Tekko 2016 Review: Saturday

We’ve talked about Friday at Tekko 2016, but what about Saturday?  Well that’s what we’re talking about, today!

Saturday started around noon for us, after checking in with Con Ops we hit the lounge to fuel up for the day. We caught the better part of Nancy Kepner’s “How to Explain Anime to Your Parents”. One of the funniest selections from her routine was talking about her conservative religious aunt telling her, “Your Grandmother would be so ashamed of what you’re doing!” because in her song ‘Sexy Asians Dancing’ she uses the line, “Oh my God, sexy Asians!

So once we were done fueling up and Nancy’s show was over, we headed to our home away from home, the Tekkou Gakkou room for our final panel of the weekend: Samurai Mythconceptions. In it we discussed the common tropes of the modern media portrayal of a samurai as well as various myths associated with samurai. If you were there for that and liked any part of it, you will definitely enjoy our Samurai Gaiden series on YouTube.

Once that was all said and done we dropped off our gear since we were done running panels and we hit Jimmy Johns again, but unlike the first time…this time they were packed. The line wound around the interior of the building and you had to pass the line in order to get to the end of it.

But Jimmy Johns is incredibly fast and we were trough the line and had our food within ten or so minutes. We headed back to the convention center and ate in the Premium Lounge, watching the opening portion of the masquerade on the lounge’s closed-circuit TVs. We got to see the fantastic Castiel cosplay that the young lady with the extendable wings; that was pretty cool to see. Aaron Fristik of Snap-Fit Comedy’s final Masquerade stand-up was about the last thing we saw before heading out from the lounge and headed to the what would be our first panel that we planned to attend and only the second panel of the weekend we attended.

What panel was it? Games to Film: Issues of Adaptation run by the guys who do the Inciting Incident podcast. They recorded the panel live and you can find it on their podcast here (the panels starts at the 32 minute mark). They discussed some interesting points and were pretty entertaining; seemed to know what they were talking about as well.

I really enjoyed their deconstruction of the old Super Mario Brothers movie and how they were able to look at it with an entertaining way and deduced the problems that created it. One thing that was interesting was how they were able to critically cite the flaws and issues with various video games movies, even though they liked them (their comments on Street Fighter is a great example).

We then went to the Game Room and watched a few people play some pachinko and arcade games before checking out the table games on the other side of the room. It was nice that they expanded the game room this year; I can’t wait to see what it looks like next year with even more stuff to fill the room.

The wife enjoyed watching some of the Japanese games that looked flashy, even though she couldn’t read enough of it to have any idea what the game was or what the hell was going on. She did get a kick out of the Taiko Drumming game. But we didn’t stick around long enough to play anything and never made it back to the room with everything else going on.

The final panel we attended was the Japanese Mythology in Anime and Games 101. They had some interesting information, although the girl leading the panel had a problem with her countenance at first. When the panel started out she was clearly trying to hide how nervous she was, because she couldn’t complete a sentence without stammering and repeating herself. She would start the sentence…she would start the sentence and then stammer…she would start the sentence and then stammer a bit before being able to finish her thought.

But to her credit she seemed to smooth the problem out by the mid-way point of the panel and was able to talk in a more confident style and the panel improved a bit there. They had a few bits of trivia that I’d argue were incorrect, but the overall information was good.

Unfortunately at that point we hadn’t eaten in about five hours and couldn’t contain ourselves for the rest of the panel and headed out to scrounge up some food. We spent the rest of the night sitting around, watching the Sleeping Samurai stuff and chatting with the guy who owned it while he was making a foam sword.

~RCS

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Tekko 2016 Review: Friday Part 1

Another year has come and another Tekko has come to pass. The following two days will be our standard post-convention review; this time for Tekko 2016! We generally have too much setting up and preparation to do to attend the first day of Tekko, Thursday, which is generally just a video day. So we’ll be discussing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s affairs both fun and not-so-fun.

We had some panels to run this year and our first one was 3:30pm on Friday, so we planned to get there by 2:00pm to make sure we had time to register, meet with Con Ops to get set up and get to the panel room in time to set up and get the first set of jittery nerves out of the way.

We actually wound up being exhausted from Thursday’s work and I managed to pull a muscle in my back after the vacuum cleaner broke while trying to vacuum the steps. So…we went to bed early Thursday evening and wound up waking up super early Friday, so we actually got in around noon. We got our badges; we preregistered so it took about five minutes to get through.

We did the Premium Badge again this year and one thing I have to say is that the Premium goody bag…kind of sucked. It had a nifty little portable speaker in it, but other than that it was just some marketing materials from Funimation in a DBZ bag…and the bag was about an inch too short because the posters in the bag cut the hell out of my fingers while trying to carry the bag. No treats or anything like that.

'Bluetooth' is not a state of mind.

‘Bluetooth’ is not a state of mind.

The speaker was a nifty little toy, much like the battery backup devices they doled out last year, but the whole thing just seemed so half-assed compared to last year. Especially since it was downright fraudulent in its labeling. The box says “Bluetooth Speaker”, but it’s not Bluetooth; it’s not even remotely wireless. The directions clearly say you have to plug the silly thing into the device you want to play from. The only thing ‘wireless’ about it was that you can plug it in and charge it and then play from it on battery power; but it’s certainly not Bluetooth.

At least it looks cool...shame it's almost useless to me.

At least it looks cool…shame it’s almost useless to me.

I don’t know if this year’s stuff was sucky or last year’s was just that awesome. Either way, we were disappointed in the goody bag.

So on to actually getting into the convention. We roamed around a bit and tried to gain our bearing and figure out how the building was set up this year. We checked in with Con Ops and took a sweep through the Premium Lounge.

Allow me to digress for a moment. A few years ago when we looked at getting the Premium badges, we saw that one of the features was access to the ‘Premium Lounge’. A little place where Premium badge holders could go to sit around and waste away the time.

We thought that was just the stupidest little idea. Who would go to a con just to sit around and maybe watch a live-feed of whatever was going on in the main event stage? Is that worth the extra money? No way.

Fast-forward to the first time we got the Premium badges after the lounge was founded…

Dog-lounging-around

…god damn do we spend a lot of time in that lounge, now. It’s a great little place to unwind in between things. Got a panel at 7 and another at 9? Hit the lounge from 8-8:30 to unwind and stock up on complimentary bottles of water; you’ll need ’em for all that talking in the panel.

Anyway, back to the review at hand! We figured that we had some time to kill so we watched the first Nancy Kepner show in the lounge. Nancy can be a little awkward at times, but she’s a nerd musician in a room full of nerds; she was probably the least awkward person in that room. Nancy’s sweet and adorable, though, and she’s got some hilarious songs. The wife really enjoys her Yaoi Song and her Crossplay Song. I always enjoy the Weeabo Song and this year every time the wife and I passed the J-Pop Music vendors in the Dealer’s Room we would turn to each other and sing the chorus of her Sexy Asian’s Dancing Song.

Once the show was over we headed to the Tekkou Gakkou room where our first panel would be…in about an hour or two. We sat in on the Sides of the Spectrum: LGBT in Anime panel. They discussed a few anime we weren’t familiar with, but didn’t flood it with spoilers, so that was nice.

The opening of the panel was informative and I’m sure we could have gotten more out of it if we were more familiar with the anime they referenced. We got the Madohka and Sailor Moon references, but many of the other references were lost on us. Our fault, not theirs, really.

EastWest-Opening1

Click me to watch the East vs. West Panel Main video!

The next thing we did was set up for our own panel, East vs. West: Arms, Armor, and Lifestyles of the Knights of Europe and Samurai of Japan.

With this first review post we will begin debuting the videos of our panels. There are 5 videos in total, we decided to split them into 2 parts: Panel Main and Q&A, rather than split them into 10-minute mini-vids and then a full-on panel video as well. The exception is the final video which is about an hour long, but only has 8 minutes of Q&A, we just put the whole thing together in one video.

As this review is up here on Sunday, we will be releasing a video every day this week, culminating with the May Samurai Gaiden video ending the week on Friday. This month we’ll be talking about one of the guys I mentioned in the Samurai Mythconception panel and going a little more in-depth with his life. Come back again every day this coming week for more Tekko 2016 videos and reviews.

~RCS

Tekko 2015: Day 3, Sunday and Final Overview

Sunday did not start anywhere near as early as Saturday.  Thank God in Heaven!

Praise the Merciful Lord of Flighty Deliciousness!

Praise the Merciful Lord of Flighty Deliciousness!

We got in around noon, maybe a little later.  There weren’t in particular panels we were gunning to see but we always wait until Sunday to hit the dealer’s room.  We headed straight for the dealer’s room and picked up all the merch we had been eying up the day before, which we quickly hauled back to the van.

Unfortunately one of the places we frequent for purchases, Far East Boutique, has decided to go out of business.  They decided it was just too much and they were getting too old for the convention circuit.  So we went back closer to closing time and got some huge deals from them.  On the one hand it sucked that they were closing down, on the other hand…we got bunch of stuff for way less than we normally would have.  And I finally got the statues they’ve been selling for years that I figured were too expensive.  Yay, me!

So, what did we do while we were waiting for things to get a little nearer to closing time?

keep-talking-im-listening_307

Yup, just lounged around in the Premium…well, Lounge.  While we were in there a local act, a lady by the name of Nancy Kepner, was going on.  We’ve heard about her and one of our friends actually has a huge crush on her and wanted to ask her out a few years ago, but he backed out of hitting on her at the last-minute.  Needless to say, we’ve never actually managed to make it to one of her shows.

She was rather amusing, a bunch of humorous songs.  I think my favorite was her song about filler episodes with the awesome line about, “…following a ninja ostrich up a hill…” but she had a bunch of great songs in her repertoire.  Highly suggest giving her a listen if you have any interest in Anime, Humor, and/or Music.

And that was pretty much Sunday for us.  I always like Sunday being kind of an easy-going day to recuperate and ease out of the convention atmosphere.

So that brings us to the overall review of Tekko 2015!

Ultimately it was pretty cool.  There was a limited number of panels we were interested in, but that was mostly our own fault.  We are so far behind on watching new anime that we couldn’t go to half of the panels because they were about shows we haven’t seen, yet.  Like Attack on Titan, Madoka Magica (which are watching right now to fix that issue), or Kill la Kill.  Hell, we just finally watched Death Note like three months ago.

The panels we did attend were done well, there weren’t any crap-panels and the only panel that seemed to have any unaddressed tech issues was the one we watched at 9:00 am when the staff was trying to get everything else fixed up.

Actually our main problem was that the Premium Lounge didn’t seem to be stocked properly.  Almost every time we went there for a snack or a drink it was empty, especially if you were looking for a bottle of water.  So, since our biggest complaint was that the Premium Lounge was poorly stocked, I think the folks at Tekko have definitely improved greatly from what they were just a few short years ago.

The staff seemed professional and helpful.  I had an issue with my first panel on Friday that I needed a staffer to answer a question.  The issue was whether or not each panel room had separately registered lighting; you see the last year there was some issues that Panel Room 2 would try to lower their lights for a video presentation and the lights in Panel Room 1 would shut off.  I wanted to make my presentation easier to view, but didn’t want to shut the lights off on other panelists.

They had already learned from last year’s kerfluffle and each room had their lights separated.  The wife went to Con Ops while I was setting everything up and they had a staffer there to help me out in a matter of minutes.  Much better than I’d seen in past years.  The staffer knew what he was talking about, too; that’s always nice.

So yeah, overall only superficial issues.  I hope that Tekko continues to remain at this level in coming years.  I really can’t even think of anything for them to improve upon for next year, except for a better system of keeping the Premium Lounge well-stocked with victuals for the foppish pricks full of first-world problems like myself.

So, that’s it.  We enjoyed the convention immensely this year and can’t wait for next year.  The videos and the merch post will begin going up some time this coming week.

Thanks, again all!

~RCS

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