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Paper Tiger and Jia Ri Meng talking, giving you the goods on Anime USA for 2001. For all those who've never been, which can't be too many (heck, how many people actually visit this site?), it's a pretty small con. But fun, yes!

After feeling dazed and confused, Meng-chan, her boyfriend Joe, and Tiger came in, picked up or passes, and changed into our cosplay costumes right in front of the elevators. Tiger was, of course, Gourry Gabriev, while Meng played the justice junky, Amelia (she had the high-pitched voice and everything.)

Tiger: (I'd to think I can do an okay Eric Stuart impression, but I'm sure Mr. Stuart himself would strongly disagree.)

Oh, and Joe came as Zel (he says "hi".)

After watching a good hour's worth of Music Videos (some of them WELL DONE), we scuttled off and toured the facilities. Among the thrills were an awesome looking Vash, Lupin III, and chicky-boo (also from Lupin,) while earlier we bumped into an awesome Spike from Cowboy Bebop.

Later we sat through the panel held by Studio Ironcat. The presentation was casual at best, involving two smart-allic panelists and an audience staying under promise of Cosplay Advice. After a lively discussion of what mangas should be brought to the US, they then gave us 3 tips on how to do really good cosplay....we Really can't remember what they were exactly...but we're sure they were important.

Its was something like:

~Make the Judges Laugh/Smile

~Pander to the Audience


Then: The COSPLAY!!!

First of our group was Amelia who took a flying leap onto the platform and amid thunderous cheering (she being in the 10% of the female attendance) struck some "Justice Poses" and flew off the stage...and fell on her ass tangled in her cape. Only those who knew Amelia knew she was really okay.

Then entered Zelgadis, cape flowing. Those who didn't think he was "MoonlightKnight" (with blue skin) Cheered and cat-called (again the 10% girls) as he casually struck a pose and strutted off the platform.

Meng: I was kinda Jealous ^.^

The Coup de Grace, Gourry! Heart racing, Gourry strode on, cried "LIGHT COME FORTH" and "VROOOM!" the sword whoosed out among a roaring crowd. Grinning stupidly, he waltzed off.

There were other fine contestants. A break dancing Squall (who took the model's "turn and spin" rule to the extreme), a Lecherous Loupin, Mega Man, the Death of Quatre!, and two Wolfwoods (Chibi and Regular size.) Our new friend Lina (not affiliated with GigaWorks, unfortunately) and her friends showed us a chilling foreshadowing of the inevitably bad version of Slayers to be released by FOX! ("Gourrymon, Digivolove!") And Yay for Iron Man and the Pastel Bandit, who wasn't wearing pastels but that doesn't matter. (Sorry, you had to be there) And the audience was in a great mood!

UNTIL...(bum bum bum) the Judging.

For some reason or another, the Judges took their sweet time deciding, 'cause it took one crappy episode of Parallel-something (ITS NOT-TENCHI!), and at least another half hour of Mayhem for them to reach their conclusion. In order to quell the blood-thirsty arena, Squall got up and showed his MAD skills as he break-danced and raved! Soon, all the Cosplayers got in on the act! We wowed them all with a super-techno-remix-performance of GOURRY, LORD OF THE DANCE! accompanied by the "Slayers Riverdance Troupe!" They Loved us! (either they were laughing at us or laughing with us). A Good time was had by all!


For a list of all the winners check, out the AnimeUSA website, but we're pleased to say that the Gigaworks team walked away with 2 Director's Choice awards!

Meng-Chan got one from Amanda Winn-Lee, prominent Voice actress/producer (Including Rei from EVA), who said, "I have finally found someone with more energy than me!" After hugging Miss Amanda, and flashing a "V" sign and crying "BICTOREE!", Meng retreated to her seat.

Next Came Amanda's Husband, Jason Lee gave his "Director's choice award" to Paper-kun! He enjoyed people "who got up and waved their big swords around." There is reason to believe that he is also a Star Wars fan...

The next day was a lot more laid back. We returned to the scene of the crime in civilian attire... No one suspected a thing. Paper was able to witness a blown-up projected version of the Cowboy Bebop movie (kick-ass!!!) while Meng pestered Doug and Steve at the Studio Ironcat table since she couldn't buy anymore things with her now-voided credit cards. (oopsie ^.^)

And at the Voice Actors panel, we were quite disappointed to discover that there are Anime-dubbing facilities in every state but the ones near us. Our only hope is to move to Vancouver. Meanwhile we cocked our heads in confusion at one of the panelists. "Hey, wasn't that the guy from the Studio Ironcat panel yesterday?"

Indeed, one of the panelists was Doug Smith, voice behind Kintaro Oe in Goldenboy and several other parts in ADV films (You'll hear him in the Slayers Movie as Thug #3 ["BYE-BYE"]). In addition to working in Studio Ironcat, he was a graphic designer for ADV and rose through the voice-acting ranks. Tells you something, don't it?
Quoth he:

"We'd just be working staff when the voice director would say,'Hey we need a bunch of people to scream and die' So we'd all go into the sound booth and go 'AUAUUGHAHAHHHUAUUAUAUGH!' We were all just staff members, but I think I must have been one of the better screamers...Some guys would just go 'ahhhhhhh' while I'd be like 'AUGUGAGHHHHAUGHFFHAGH!'"

Copy-monkey to Stardom...its just that easy.

In the End we all Learned Valuable lessons.

Meng: I learned the true meaning of Christmas.

Paper Tiger: I learned that your true friends are the ones that don't frame you for Regicide and say "We'll all have a good laugh about it later."

and poor Joe learned his girlfriend is crazy.

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