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Anime Central 2003 on Film

I kept my camera handy throughout Anime Central and I was not disappointed... Well, to be honest, I DO want to erase the memory of the legions of cross-dressing cosplayers present at the convention this year (aaargh, my eyes!). Still, there was plenty of other action to be captured by our roaming lenses, so I hope you'll enjoy the photos! (Yes, there are even some decent cosplay pics, since "only" a mere 3-out-of-5 ACen cosplayers actually engaged in *brrr* cross-play!)

If you see yourself in any of these photos and wish to be removed from this webpage just send a message to and I will do so as soon as possible. Also, if you hold your mouse over certain images, my personal comments, if any, will appear.

We Really Only Came For The Deep-Dish Pizza

The gang's all here: Jesse, Lisa, Sinclair, Mike & James! I'm teaching Jesse the manly joys and wonders of the notorious YATTA! dance Please don't ask me why I look so exhausted (i.e., one of the rare moments Lisa & I actually ventured outside our hotel room the entire weekend ... oh, baby!) Representing the WEST-SIDE! in Chicago
Our brave Anime Stackers contemplate the six-hour drive back to St. Louis; for some odd reason, though, they wouldn't let me drive! And then Lisa & Sinclair tried to spice up their relationship with threesomes... yikes! Love & Peace! Papparazzi was only able to catch a glimpse of James before the Anime Stack crew made their getaway

Okay, so I wasn't thrilled at how the cameraman constantly drooled at Lisa... hey, why is she smiling so much?

This Is Supposed To Be A Smaller Convention?

Welcome To Anime Central 2003! Poor souls waiting for the Masquerade Newly found friends at the autograph line ACen staffers (duped into Para Para dancing like their lives depended on it) shuffling like headless chickens!
Yes, only the creators themselves and yours truly were crazy enough to sit through the entire 6-hour Anime Music Video contest, held inside a tiny room so stuffy my glasses constantly fogged up! Jesse (far left) poses with a couple of Guests Of Honor along with some other fans! Sure, we can tell you where to find ~GOT SOAP~ T-shirts, but then we'd have to kill you! The crowded lobby of the Hyatt O'Hare Regency... wait a minute!  I taht I tahw a Kaonashi...

When Cosplayers Attack...

I did! I did! I did tahw a Kaonashi (No-Face) from SEN TO CHIHIRO (SPIRITED AWAY)! Motosuwa Hideki, Chii, Freya & Shinbo Hiromu from CHOBITS Goth reigns supreme with these GACKT (j-rock) fanatics! TRIGUN characters Nicholas Wolfwood, Vash The Stampede, Milly Thompson & Dominique The Cyclops
Chidori Kaname from FULL METAL PANIC Aeris Gainsborough from FINAL FANTASY VII Peorth from AH! MEGAMI-SAMA Aisha Clan-Clan from OUTLAW STAR
Merle from ESCAFLOWNE Link from THE ADVENTURES OF ZELDA Sumomo from CHOBITS Ikari Gendo & Akagi Ritsuko from NEON GENESIS EVANGELION
I don't know, the flaming winged poodle of death? Yes, my brothers! It's Kuhonbutsu Taishi from COMIC PARTY The one on the left looks like Sango from HANAUKYO MAIDS ... And the other one?  Beats me...

Typical Japanese Tourists...

Hidenori Matsubara & Hiroaki Gohda (character designer & director of AH! MEGAMI-SAMA, respectively) Even after about a decade, Gohda still remembers how to draw his mecha design for GUNBUSTER. Due to overwhelming pressure from the panel audience, Matsubara is forced to draw a SAKURA TAISEN shower scene Matsubara emphasizes that the most important key to drawing shower scenes is that the hair must stick close to the face, because it is wet, naturally
Kazuko Tadano (character designer for SAILOR MOON) joins Matsubara & Gohda for the character designer's panel Gohda (who's always late due to his pre-panel smoking sessions) demonstrates Character Design 101 Still fueled by his cigarettes, Gohda continues to draw in order to complete his original character design While Tadano discusses her work on PETITE PRINCESS YUCIE, Gohda (again hyper on nicotine) draws a Yucie of his very own
Tadano passes on the favor, sketching a caricature of Matsubara, who poses with the picture Kazuko Tadano (also a character designer for WEDDING PEACH) Yasunori Ide (director for ONEGAI TEACHER, BURN UP, and HANAUKYO MAID TAI) Satoru Akahori (writer for Bakuretsu Hunter, Maze, Those Who Hunt Elves, and other wholesome ecchi goodness)

Yeah Baby! Work For Them Dollar Bills!

The Yoko Ishida concert! Yoko sings the popular opening themes ~Towa no Hana~ (AI YORI AOSHI) and ~White Destiny~ (PRETEAR) Newly recorded, the English version of ~Sugar Baby Love~ (YUKITSUKAI SUGAR opening theme) is performed Yoko introduces the new theme songs ~Proof Of Life~ & ~Ienai Kara~ (PETITE PRINCESS YUCIE) and ~Shinjitsu no Tobira~ (GUNPARADE MARCH)
Yoko slips into something more ~comfortable~ following a screening of her first music video She performs the song from the music video, ~Yokohane Gozen 2JI~ which is a tribute to her friend who recently died from cancer Yoko begins to sing her famous Para Para remixes of popular anime themes A group of ACen staffers join her on stage to demonstrate Para Para dancing (which the staffers unfortunately continue to do throughout the weekend)


Alright, Now Let's All Put This Stuff On E-Bay!

The reason why we basically skipped lunch every day Sinclair's ONEGAI TEACHER art book autographed by Hiroaki Gohda (the character designer) Hidenori Matsubara (AMG character designer) signs a shikishi out to Sinclair's name in Chinese characters (because the interpreter can't translate his English name) NADESICO DVD insert signed by Maya Okamoto (voice actress for Minato Haruka)
MEGA-TOKYO comic signed by creator Fred ~Piro~ Gallagher Para Para Max 5 CD insert autographed by Yoko Ishida, who provided vocals for all 7+ volumes An autographed shikishi courtesy of Hiroaki Gohda (with a chibi-Mizuho from ONEGAI TEACHER) AH! MEGAMI-SAMA MOVIE cel of Celestine signed by Matsubara & Gohda (character designer & director of AH! MEGAMI-SAMA, respectively)
Maru sketch and autograph by Yasunori Ide (ONEGAI TEACHER director) NADESICO Complete Chronicles DVD cover autographed by Maya Okamoto (who also plays Harumi from IRRESPONSIBLE CAPTAIN TYLOR) Shikishi with self-sketch from Kazuko Tadano (PETITE PRINCESS YUCIE character designer) ONEGAI TEACHER clear poster signed by Ide & Gohda
Autographs from Kazuyoshi Katayama (BIG O director) & Kouhei Tanaka (GUNBUSTER composer) AH! MEGAMI-SAMA MOVIE cel of Belldandy & Keiichi, again signed by Matsubara & Gohda Autographs from Tadano & Satoru Akahori (screenwriter for MAZE & BAKURETSU HUNTER) NADESICO art book with Minato page autographed by Okamoto

Now all we need is Lisa to lie down naked in the middle of our stash for the ~Indecent Proposal~ shot!

Domo Arigato!

I was hiding a handgun in my left hand to deter Jesse from pinching Lisa's butt again!