Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reports from the Anime Convention

Yesterday I reported on the writing seminar I held last weekend. But for today, a report on the other lesser event that took place there – an Anime convention. 1500 wildly costumed conventioneers invaded the LAX Hilton. I wonder if the stunned guests from Iowa and Georgia knew that there was a convention or just thought this is the way it always is in LA. I took some notes. And pictures.
Overheard by a guy dressed as a giant bee. “Why is everyone is looking at me?”
A gentleman in a star fighter costume (not the future Anthony Weiner pictured above) with loin cloth, feathers, and giant sword was told he couldn’t stay in the lobby because he was shirtless. He was pissed. “The fucking Rainbow Brite bitch was practically naked.” I commiserated. “Whoever heard of a galactic warrior wearing a shirt?” “I KNOW!” he said and stomped off to the Coke machine.
I asked one girl if she was dressed as anybody specific? “No, “ she said. I had to follow up with: “Are you in costume?”
Amazingly, there was no one in the karaoke room. I guess no one wanted to look foolish.
Hental porn is Anime. Where were those re-enactments?
Nice to see Eddie Munster making an appearance.
Scanning everyone dressed up in the lobby I thought, “this must be what RuPaul’s memorial service will look like.”
“Pikachu” spotted my name tag and almost gasped. He said I was like a God. Then I realized he thought I was the Ken Levine who created BioShock. Imagine both of our disappointments.
There was a meeting room where Autographs were offered. Autographs? By who? The actual cartoon characters?
Was Michael Jackson an Asian Anime character because eight people came dressed as him… or it.
Got in an elevator with a Japanese flight attendant in uniform. I asked her who she was supposed to be? She didn’t see the humor. Even though she was standing between Astro Boy and Vash the Stampede.
Overheard in an elevator: “Hey! Watch the wings!”
All kidding aside, they all were a nice bunch of kids, dressing up, and having fun. If you want to see REALLY weird – just check out the regular customers at the Carl’s Jr. next door.


Mac said...

Be honest Ken - if a woman in Hentai Porn gear had asked if you'd created BioShock, would you have been so quick to answer "no?"

Blaze said...

I recall fondly a convention I attended (not anime). Some crossed booking date had the convention at the same time some crew was trying to use the posh lobby to film a commercial. Apparently the hotel's arrangement allowed the filmers access tot he hotel, but not CONTROL of the hotel (like in a full movie shoot).

I don't know why I took such evil delight in watching from a distance as camera would roll. Handsome actors in dapper evening dress would walk up to the elevator. The elevator would open and...three Klingons would walk out. Take 2...well, insert any of Ken's photos for a general idea.

I always thought directors just shouted "Cut!", not "$*(@$%@ CUT!"

Mike Botula said...

What a perfect backdrop for your writing seminar. Reminds me of my first few months attending broadcast classes at Don Martin on Cherokee. Superman, Buffalo Bill and any number of other characters were on the street. "Everyday was Halloween on Hollywood Boulevard."

Sean D. said...

"There was a meeting room where Autographs were offered. Autographs? By who? The actual cartoon characters?" - Probably close. I know a lot of Anime cons bring in the voice actors who worked on the North American versions of the shows. That very well could have been the case there.

Chris said...

Here's one for friday: how long is a story outline from which someone writes the teleplay and how many details does it contain? Do the people who write the teleplay just stick to writing lines or do can they come up with story details as well?

Tom Quigley said...

Ken, a suggestion for next year:

"The Anime Writing Room"

What you do is lock six prospective sitcom writers in a room with half a dozen people dressed as anime characters and see which group can drive the other one into becoming suicidal before the night's over....

Any bets on who smashes down the door first?...

Brian Fies said...

I appreciated your final paragraph because I happen to know a few kids like these--might even have a couple in my immediate family--and they're some of the smartest, kindest, best-adjusted young people you could meet. Most are aware of how they look, that's part of the fun. Easy to mock but not much different from a guy painting a big letter on his chest and going to a football game.

Andy Cook said...

A Friday question…
How is it handled when one character has to say something personal and derogatory about the appearance of another – e.g. they’re fat or ugly i.e. some nasty description that actually applies to the actor.

Do writers shy away from it? Does it make the rehearsal process awkward? How do you call for actors for the fat/ugly part and what’s the audition like?

Johnny Walker said...

So wait, those guys weren't part of the Sitcom Room weekend? That explains all the terrible scriptwriting advice they gave me. *removes antennas*

Kate said...

I cannot believe I am going to nerd out like this, but it is for a good cause:

The giant bees are actually butterfly henchmen working for the Monarch, from the ridiculously enjoyable "Venture Bros," part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

Basically, Johnny Quest grows up in the shadow of his much-more-famous father & accompanying crime fighting team, with the end result that he's become Dr. Smith with daddy issues, and his personal Will Robinsons are his two cloned sons, Dean and Hank.

Instead of Robby the Robot, the boys are protected by Brock Sampson, a Patrick Warburton-voiced slab of testosterone currently involved with a Russian assassin named Molotov Cocktease.

In other words, it's the finest television programming ever made.

Johnny Walker said...

Hehe, I was going to point out the same thing. I LOVE The Venture Bros. One of the greatest comedies ever made, IMO.

HogsAteMySister said...

I am old. I do not get this stuff at all. Except for the hot girls.

Kevin Jq said...

Go Team Venture. Can't wait for the new season.

Pat Quinn said...

tried to post this before sorry if it is a dupe

Sorry I missed both events.

HBO showed Volunteers today. I disagree with you about the scene where they read the subtitles.

Watching the beginning of the movie, they also go from an animated map tracing the car chase from CT to NY to a scene with the two cars ripping through a huge map.

Those two wall breaking scenes kind of bookend the movie and, to me, showed that it was a comedy that didn't take itself too seriously.

Write Away said...

Ken, this was a great blog post. I have not laughed out loud for as long or as hard in years! Thank you!

Ms Scrappy said...

Ken, seriously, you should check out The Venture Brothers. That show is on a whole other level than any cartoon ever made.

Kate (different one) said...

Joining with the "Go Team Venture!" comments. 21 & 24 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE87hH8hdIw

Sean M said...

Great post, Ken. And I loved that you ended it with a picture of someone dressed as a Bioshock character (it's the girl in the dress with the rabbit mask).

Anonymous said...

Love it! The fact that this happened to be going on at the same time at the Sitcom Room makes me happy.

Pat Reeder said...

I notice someone in the last photo is wearing one of those plastic Guy Fawkes masks from "V For Vendetta" that all the OWS protesters are wearing. Does anyone else have the same visceral reaction to those that I do? By that, I mean do they make you want to haul off and punch them right in the mouth?

BTW, this has nothing to do with politics. I just can't stand that bland, superior smirk. It's as if they hired a commercial artist and told him, "Design a face that could illustrate the word 'smug' in the dictionary." I can't believe that's really winning a lot of people over to the OWS side. If they have to wear masks, why not something more appealing, like this?:


Occupy Jellystone! Pic-a-nick baskets for the 99 percent!

Unknown said...

First of all: THANK YOU! I imagined you doing this post and thought "Hey maybe he has enough time during rewrites to drop in on the Cosplayers" and guess what - you did! Woohoo!

But Ken - you don't know "Venture Bros."? I'm appalled!


Left: Dr. Girlfriend Cosplay
Right: Molotov Cocktease Cosplay


The two smaller things are "Moppets", the little Henchmen of Dr. Girlfriend once she became Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

Anyway, I hope that Henchman did the "Why is everyone looking at me" like Henchman 24. He and 21 are the prime Henchmen in the Monarch's Hive.


There's fanpages about them!

Anyway... best show ever. Great voice actors (Patrick Warburton!) and lots of guest stars (Nathan Fillion did a guest voice spot last season).

Awesome show.

Steve Schnier said...

Addressing Pat Reeder's comments about the Guy Fawkes masks from "V for Vendetta":

The hilariously ironic thing is that "V for Vendetta" is owned by Warner Bros. - a division of Time Warner. Whenever the protesters in the anti-corporate spirit of "STICK IT TO THE MAN!!!" buy those masks, a nice percentage goes into the WB coffers.

Unknown said...

@Steve Schnier: you can say that about everything they wear, eat or drink.

That's like saying it's ironic to protest animal testing when it's almost certain the group of protesters is profiting from medicine that has been tested on animals.

If you were following that protester paradigm you'd have to kill yourself in protest of being a human living in a first world country.

Pat Reeder said...

From Sebastian: If you were following that protester paradigm you'd have to kill yourself in protest of being a human living in a first world country.

According to today's news, some of the protesters have contracted ringworm, scabies, lice and lung disease from living in these camps. So maybe they're actually trying to do that.

Once again, though, I want to make it clear that my animosity toward that mask has nothing to do with politics, left or right. I just really, really, really hate that smug-looking kisser.

VW: Bessest - As in "Bessie Smith is the bessest blues singer in the world!'