Monday, June 29, 2015

Tangled: Collection update.

I...... I don't what to say, I don't know what happened. It's completely out of control. ._.

Oh! And after 4 years of searching for a perfect condition and decent price for my grail Rapunzel figurine. I finally found her: A Limited Edition 1/750 "Braided Beauty" porcelain figurine! She is the last figure made for the Walt Disney Classics Collection before Disney cancelled the line. Shame, all the collectibles form this line are GORGEOUS. She is one of the lowest count releases too, so she's very rare. I don't think there's a more movie-accurate figurine out there. Her face and body proportions are PERFECT in every way, down to the blue flower on the back of her hair. 
Definitely my favorite Punzie collectible to date. I loooove her :D!






This is probably like 1/3 of my Tangled collection. These are pics taken months apart because I cannot have it all displayed, it's all boxed up in storage. Someday I'll have it all together and make a decent post. Until then, random update pics like this. KTHXBYE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Disney: Frozen in my tracks.

~Frozen and I~
At the Frozen Pavilion at the Disney Hollywood Studios, Fl.  

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who collected cat figurines. Then I got into Japanese anime and started a Sailor Moon collection. Then, started to collect other things like Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Rainbow Bright, Coraline, Tokidoki and Wonder Woman. All these side collections were small and manageable so I felt it was all under control. My doom was Rapunzel. Even though I am an 80s/90s child who grew up watching all the classic Disney animated movies, I was never a die hard fan or a collector. But now it's official: I can now call myself a Disney collector too.

For a long time I was VERY judgmental about anyone who ever-so-proudly wore a DISNEY COLLECTOR badge everywhere they went. I was never mean to anyone, but just disagreed with it. How can I explain? Like, I felt like telling them "Oh hey, congratulations on dedicating your life and money to those overexposed mainstream children's entertainment films that just landed on your lap and has been shoved up out mouths for years!". With all this globaliztion thing going on EVERYONE ON THE PLANET grew up with Disney movies, so to say "I collect Disney", to me used to mean "I don't dig much. I consume what's given to me", which resulted in me rolling my eyes, because as an early 90s anime fan, I really had to dig deep, fight hard and go beyond to get my hands on anime and specially all that hard-to-find Japanese merch, y'know what I mean? Also, it doesn't help that the standard issue birthday theme for girls parties since forever has been Disney princesses, so I grew tired of watching Belle birthday hats, Ariel piñatas, Cinderella cakes and Aurora dresses being constantly overused everywhere. It had become cliché and suuuper tacky in my mind.

Yes, I too grew up on Disney (The Rescuers, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin were my jams, yo!) so of course way deep down I do have a soft spot for these movies, but I never really wanted to collect them.

Fast forward 20- something years and I'm an adult Disney collector. *siiiigh*

I'm not going to go into what Disney's Rapunzel did to me. To this day, I'm STILL pretty obsessed with her and have even started spreading my search radius to include UK dolls as well as French an Japanese harder to find park collectibles. Damn it. The reason I started collecting Rapunzel is because of her "magical girl" qualities. I love female protagonists who have some kind of supernatural power, and in Rapunzel's case (specifically the Disney version) it's her ability to heal and resuscitation powers.

It was actually quite exciting when they announced an "Ice Queen" Disney movie because we all knew Disney himself had been working on this project before passing and it's been on the drafting board for decades. I was interested because from the get-go we knew there was a girl involved that had magical powers. In November 2013, they released their first set of Limited Edition Frozen dolls before the movie even came out, so I decided to get them even if I didn't know the characters just yet.  I was lucky enough to score what are now some of the most sought after dolls in Disneyana: LE SQ Elsa and Coronation Anna.

And of course immediately proceeded to display them both on my tiny shelf XD

Unfortunately, the movie wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Not that the movie is bad per-se (although I do think it has some flaws), but I kind of hoped the story would focus on the Ice Queen herself, not her little sister's weird/dumb adventures. It would've been great to see more of what she did behind those closed doors for all those years. Hell, I would've gone way darker and had Elsa accidentally kill her parents which would give her a stronger reason for her to shut out Anna. I get the sister love point they were trying to make, I just would've liked to have seen more of Elsa. They did a great character development and costume designs though, so I did like it but overall my attention was always on Elsa... just like everyone else xD!

Anyway, since I had already dug myself into a deep deep Rapunzel hole with no visible way out, I decided to go about collecting Frozen in a very cautious manner because with anything Disney, it's a dangerous slippery slope. I love displayable objects, so my main focus would be dolls and figurines. The plan was only to get the first edition classic dolls, Limited Edition dolls and a couple of figurines here and there. That was my self-imposed limit and I must stick to it.

My fist order was the first edition Classic doll (not pictured), then the Deluxe Fashion set, then the couple set and singing Elsa doll. No single Anna dolls for me as she isn't a character I'm interested in. According to my plan, I was halfway done with my collection!


But then, Disney released a second line of Limited Edition Frozen dolls. I decided to only order Elsa this time around (I still had my Coronation Anna, but I was feeling pretty detached from her already). Once I received her and opened the box, I had an unexpected reaction: To my own immense surprise, I FREAKIN' LOVED Coronation Elsa more than SQ Elsa! There's just something so intriguing about her. The colors are so regal and she's so poised. I absolutely adore this one! It doesn't mean I don't like SQ Elsa, she's just not my fave.

 I displayed my both Elsas together ^_^!!

At this point we could say I was about 98% complete from my goal. I already had all the first edition dolls and LEs so, I was done right?----WRONG. Haahaha! I had an upcoming trip to Japan and needed funds, so I sold my Coronation Anna and headed to the Land of the Rising Sun.

And what did I find?

I found Japan was barely beginning their Frozen obsession phase! OMG here we go again! hahaha. "Let it Go" was playing EVERYWHERE and I managed to learn most of the song in Japanese just listening to it at random places. Lawl. I still tried to keep my "Frozen" shopping to a minimum (can't say the same about Rapunzel and Sailor Moon tho xD), and only bought a couple of minor things. It was very interesting to live through this phase with my friend Sarah who is a Frozenholic! I had an amazing time with her going up and down Tokyo looking for collectibles ^^!! Like I said, I didn't buy much, but here are some cuties I found along the way:


When I got home from Japan near Christmas time, I got an amazing gift from my very good friend Brooke to add to my Elsa collection! I didn't have anything like this and I'm so happy because this art is gorgeous *_*! Super pretty!!


So, now I should have my collection complete, right? WRONG AGAIN. 

Earlier this year it was announced that the before the live action Cinderella movie, a small Frozen short animated film called "Frozen Fever" would be shown. I actually really enjoyed it! It was really really cute and even exciting to see the girls again.

Around the same time, they announced yet another release of Limited Edition Frozen dolls. At the time we all thought they might be Frozen Fever dolls (Since Rapunzel got her Wedding LE doll when her short came out), but they turned out to be also based off Frozen. Not my favorite collectibles, but I definitely wanted to add teenage Elsa to my collection. At the Disney store, I also saw the Frozen Fever dolls which I just HAD to buy because those flowery dresses are just the cutest! Once I was at the register ready to pay for my Elsa LE, the cashier insisted that I take all three dolls (Anna and Kristoff too) as they were all very Limited and I needed them for my collection. I listened to her although I shouldn't have. I only wanted Elsa and wound up with the whole gang! Hahahaha. They are amazing dolls nonetheless and I do enjoy looking at them! I've bought a couple of other things here and there, including the Grand Jester Elsa bust and the Japanese Snow Queen Elsa Nendroid (on its way to me now) and some stationery items. 



Ok, so now is my collection complete?!

I'd say MAYBE. I definitely see the need to cut back on collectibles since Disneyana is a bottomless money pit, but if I find a piece that really calls my name, I might get it. Honestly though, I really want keep this a small, well-curated collection and I'm loving it so far. The finishing touch would be a very cool light-up castle to display the Nendroid, but I'm in no hurry for that.

In conclusion, I started a new collection but I'm keeping in under control! It's fun when you're not anxious about missing stuff all the time. Yay!

I'll post more pics if there are updates. Till then, CHILL OUT! :D

UPDATE: I may have found a good home for Kristoff where he'll actually be loved more! So excited to get him to his new home ^^!!

UPDATE 2: I found the perfect Frozen light-up/singing ice castle to fit my Nendroid Elsa and it's PERFECT!!! I'm 99% done with my Frozen collection. The only thing I would add to it is a Frozen Fever LE Elsa doll, if they ever produce one. Hehehe.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Twilight: Renesmee Tonner Doll.



Is there a word in the English language that means "the moment when you receive the ultimate article you have been dreaming for years about and it's finally in your collection"? No? Well, damn. I'll just go with: Renesmazing!!

Those who have been following my journey through the deep waters of the Twilight fandom know I've been asking and dreaming about this doll for so long, I probably should have given up on her a long time ago, but I always held on to hope! Finally, two years after the final Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn part 2 came out, this doll went into production. She was very close to being cancelled by Tonner because obviously the movie hype has cooled down, there isn't any demand for new Twilight toys, however, Robert Tonner had promised to make this doll, and he totally kept his word!

Renesmee is a limited edition of 500 dolls, and for not doing anything like speaking, glowing or moving she is kinda pricy (as pricy as a full size doll), but for collectors like myself, she is rare and shinny jem! There are very few Nessie collectibles in the market. We did get tons of Edward and Bella dolls from Mattel, Neca and Tonner themselves, but this is the ONLY official Renesmee doll out there.

The only other two worthwhile Ness collectibles are her "Plus Que Ma Propre Vie" locket and the Jacob's braided bracelet (both made by NECA). I don't know why they didn't produce much more from this character even though she has an important part in Breaking Dawn, but every piece is really significant and treasured.

Here she is, posed in a "let me show you my thoughts" position, hehehe.


I'll be honest here: There is really not much resemblance between the doll and Mackenzie Foy. The little actress is so mind-blowingly pretty and sweet yet this doll looks a bit too wide-faced and too adult. The paint job doesn't resemble her much either. There are other details I'm iffy about. Jacob's braided bracelet is nothing like the movie prop, it's basically a red hairy string with a huge buckle and a oversized square charm that came outta nowhere. The locket is also a slight disappointment. The movie locket has a Fleur de lis on the lid, while the doll's locket has some kind of... Medusa? A portrait of sorts that really has nothing to do with anything. I'm not super mad about them tho. I have an official Renesmee doll in my collection and that's all that matters. xD! 

Now that I have all the dolls/collectibles/props replicas/books/mangas/DVD sets I wanted, I can consider my Twilight collection officially COMPLETE. Yessss! There is no other article out there that is my grail item anymore (unless we're talking actual movie props and/or autographed memorabilia). It feels like graduation, but one never actually graduates from a fandom, hahaha! Hopefully there is more out there in the Twilight Saga's distant future whether it be more books, a reboot, an anime (there were rumors of an anime back when the first movie came out) a show that focuses on Jake and Nessie, or whatever! For now I'm just glad to breathe a sigh of relief after running a 7 year-long marathon to get to this happy point. n.n!!

And this also concludes Twilight posts on Random Fandom as well..... UNLESS more stuff comes out of course XD!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wizard of Oz: Thoughts on "Wicked".

Hello Randomeers (?!)

It's been a quite the Oz-matic year for me. Around March of this year we had the Disney “Oz, the Great and Powerful” movie come out in theaters (you can find some of my thoughts HERE). Since February I've been slowly reading all 14 volumes of the Frank L. Baum Oz novels. They're actually very cute and highly entertaining children's stories! Don't get me started on Ozma because I will go on a crazy fangirl rant! Haha! She's my fave character. I've also been collecting figures and toys, two big additions being the Tonner Glinda and Tonner Wicked Witch of the West dolls. They're HUGE (about 16” high) and they're wearing very accurate replicas of the 1939 costume designs. Really pretty. Then, the other day, one of my co-workers who knows I love the Wizard of Oz gave me a chibi Tin-Man toy from a McDonald's Happy Meal! I'm not really fond of fast food, but these I absolutely love and find a need to collect as well! I'll get friends to buy them for me xD!

Anyway, as part of my Oz-tastic year, I finally had a chance to accomplish something I've been wanting to check for years and years off my Oz list! This last October I went to Mexico City to handle some personal business and heard on the radio that WICKED, the Broadway Musical was going to be in town! I came across this show a long, long time ago (I remember seeing flyers for it in Japan back in 2007) and I'm very familiar with the songs “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” thanks to random video searches on YouTube. So, yeah, I was pretty familiar with the production and when I heard it was going to be opening in the days I was in Mexico, it was pretty obvious where my fate laid. My mom, brother and his wife came along too; the three of us have already gone to a bunch of other musicals together, so they were happy to join in for this one.


This blog is normally about things that I'm in love with or collect, but in this case, I just want to get some stuff off my chest. WICKED is undoubtedly the most spectacularly gorgeous stage production I have ever-ever seen. Seriously, I don't think my senses have ever been so delighted for such a prolonged stretch of time. No detail was overlooked; Music, score, voices, acting, dialogues, costumes, light work, scenography, choreography, and everything else you could think of. However, my disappointment unfortunately comes from the root, the most basic of things: The plot. It sorta felt like this whole performance was the most gorgeous woman in existence. Her hair is perfect, her eyes are breathtaking, her skin is flawless, her makeup is stunning and her red lips are magnificent. But what good does all her perfection do to her if she did not care to wash her teeth for weeks! This is exactly what WICKED was to me. It's maddening and disappointing that the source material for this play got so many things wrong.

Before starting my rant, let me paint a little portrait for you (color coded for easy following!) :

The Emerald City (The Wizard of Oz)

The land of Oz is a wonderful magical place which is only accessible via natural disaster. Dorothy gets there by tornado, by hurricane, or by earthquake. Oscar (the wizard) gets there in his hot-air balloon via wind storm. It is a very colorful place where animals talk and magic abounds everywhere. Every corner of the territory is ruled by witches/wizards. At the North, the Good Witch (unnamed. UPDATE: her name is Locasta according to a play Baum later adapted). At the South, Glinda, also a good witch, the Wicked Witch of the West (unnamed) and the Wicked Witch of the East (also unnamed). They each have either a reign of peace or a tyranny of terror over their own lands. At the center lies the Esmerald City, where the King has died and was replaced by Oscar (Oz) and he banished the true heiress from the kingdom.

When Dorothy arrives, her house accidentally kills the Wicked Witch of the East (who was the evil tyrant subjecting the Munchkins to slavery), meets the Scarecrow who gives a vivid description of how he was stuffed with hay and nailed on the pole. We get a gruesome description of how the Tin Man was chopped limb by limb as a human and eventually replaced piece by piece with the tin limbs. I can't quite remember the Lion's story, but all three of Dorothy's companions end up as rulers of different countries. The Scarecrow becomes the new temporal king of the Emerald City, The Tin Man becomes king of the land of the East and the Lion becomes King of the forest. It is pretty much a happy ending for all of them all and the witches, who were evil and abusive towards their people were destroyed.

Being a fan of the series, I'm 100% open to an alternate story; the more I get to stay in this wonderful land, the better! A fan fiction (yes, the novel WICKED is pure fan fiction) with a twist in the plot where Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West were once friends, certainly get my attention. It's always interesting to get to see how and why the witches become wicked. I'm all for it! But honestly, this story was handled very poorly. This is what old school Star Wars fans must of felt when the prequels -Episodes I, II, and III- came out in theaters and ruined the whole thing for them.

SPOILER ALERT for WICKED.

First and foremost, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out WTF the dragon had to do with any of this. Not with the WICKED story, not with the Wizard of Oz movie, not with the Oz the Great and Powerful movie, not with the rest of the books I've read so far. WHAT IS THIS DRAGON!? It is the very first thing you see once you walk into the theatre and is activated at the climactic points of the story. No idea. It's cool, but it has nothing to do with anything. oO!


Anyway, onto the plot.

Let me just remind you that I'm a Twilight fan. Going back to a High school setting isn't exactly a new thing for me, but I just don't think it works in every single magical world. It doesn't even make much sense. Would it make sense to you to return Frodo, Sam, Pippin or even Gandalf or Legolas from Lord of the Rings to stupid High school? NO! In their world there is no such thing, nor is there any need for a school setting whatsoever. Furthermore, it would never make any sense to make Frodo and Sauron high school BFFs, would it? NO! Why would they degrade such an amazing series to an average angsty teenage drama? I have the same problem with Oz.

Lets move past that and get into other strange parts of the plot. Why would they make the Wicked Witch of the East a.k.a. Nessarose wheelchair bound? (I hear that in the WICKED novel she doesn't have arms! I'll get into this later). I'm not sure what they're trying to do, but it makes us feel for her and empathize the sisters, when in reality, the original Oz novels clearly tell us she is a terrible terrible witch who is excessively cruel to the Munchkins. It's hard to sympathize, y'know....

Other than that, I think I've come to terms accepting Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba as best friends. If we're going to take that road, then I'll just have to get on board. It's pretty cool that they made Elphaba powerful from the get go. We can clearly see why she was the way she was. Her past gave her years and years of reasons why she was a hurt, distressed being and -according to this musical- never was entirely evil. I definitely buy into this background story more than I did the “Oz, the Great and Powerful” movie version WWW crapfest they came up with. A simple heartbreak corrupted her and then she then went on an villainous spree like whut? Noooo.

We learn she was green and powerful because in reality she was the daughter of Oscar, a child of two worlds (the human world and Oz). While this was an extremely GOOD thing to do to the story (it's a very interesting twist that I did enjoy), I still don't think it makes any sense. Originally the witches were already there when Oscar arrives, it's confusing that he has fathered one of them. Elphaba's mother drank some potion to avoid Nassarose being born green like her sister, but it backfired and she instead was born paralyzed. This is another interesting twist to the mix I did enjoy. The magic shoes (OMG THEY ACTUALLY MADE THEM SILVER!!! YAAAY!) were to make her walk. It's also a clever way to give them importance, since in the books they don't really go in too deep as to what kind of magic the silver slippers posses other than taking Dorothy home.

But two things I could not handle at all:

1) The entire WICKED storyline and key plot elements revolve around the fact that Elphaba is green. In actuality, the novels never describe any of the witches being green at all! EVER! The reason Elphaba is green in the 1939 movie is the same reason why the Ruby slippers are red and not silver. Technicolor was a shinny new toy MGM Studios had acquired and they wanted to show it off! By making the boring grayish shoes a dazzling tone of RED and by making the witch and her minions an almost neon shade of GREEN, they were sure to impress audiences and competitors alike! So yeah, the WWW was never actually green! Making that a key point in the play is just plain weird.

2) WICKED offers us alternate explanations as to how the Lion, the Tin-Man and the Scarecrow came to existence. I don't want to go into details here, but they basically decided to ignore BASIC CANON that comes out in the VERY FIRST BOOK. All this just confirms my theory that the novelist (Gregory Macguire) wrote the book solely based on the 1939 movie, without even bothering to read or even consult the first book... (BTH tho, I didn't bother to read his novel before the musical either :p). And even then! There are still things that don't make sense! Like, why would the WWW set fire to the Scarecrow, even when she knew who he really was (the man she loved!).


Now on to the positive, because yes, there is so much positive stuff to this production in spite of obvious plot holes. Like I said before, WICKED is the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen on stage. The visual elements that construct the feel of Oz truly have their own identity. The 1939 movie was riding the actual wave of art Deco, whereas the Oz the Great and Powerful movie tried so spice it up with a nod to the deco style even added a tiny hint of... eeerrr... Victorian/Steampunk (?) But this Musical only took only slight influences of deco and bent it around to form their own surreal version of it!

Every single backdrop and prop used was stunning! Lighting was also a huge part of the set, particularly at the Emerald city, where it was just shinning and adorned with hundreds lights of twinkling green. Also, most of the scenes had some kind of circular shape framing the set or used as props. Sometimes it was Glinda's bubble, sometimes a giant clock in the background, other times it was large gears, or a glowy aura around the city of Oz, or just a round cut-out shape around people, or tiny things like Oz logo, a microphone or circles drawn on a chalk board. I'm not exactly sure what it symbolizes (this story doesn't represent an eternal cycle .....or DOES IT?), but it gave it a visual consistency that tied the whole thing together.


The costumes!!! OMG, THE FREAKING COSTUMES!!! It doesn't matter how much I describe them to you, they are simply amazing! Every piece, every detail, every last hat, neckpiece, wig, dress, coat and shoe, everything was designed meticulously and crafted to perfection. Being the huge sucker for sparkles that I am, Glinda's dress had me in awe 90% of the time. SO PRETTY!!! I've never seen so much sparkle (pics and video do not do it justice). Even Elphaba's plain ol' black frock was cool looking. It's so amazing that even the random people of the Emerald city had such ostentatious clothing. I LOVE IT!


Oh , can I just point here a couple of amazingly accurate things I found incredibly delighting? First off, the Ruby slippers were indeed SILVER. YAYAYAYAYYYY!!! And second, everybody was wearing green spectacles in the Emerald City, AS THEY SHOULD BE!! YES YES YESSSSS!!! I loved this detail and I will fangirl it to the end of time.

CAN I GET AN AMEN UP IN HEA!?

I won't go into the performances and the adaptation to Spanish because in every country it's different. Needless to say, the actresses they chose are amazing! Cecilia de la Cueva and Ana Cecilia Saldúa obviously are very well prepared and talented enough to be chosen for the iconic roles that require an enormous voice power and acting skills to fill in the shoes of Cheno and Mendel. They acted out and sang every famous song just in the right tone and pitch. The translation was pretty accurate and well edited to fit in the melody, so it wasn't at all painful to hear "Popular" in Spanish, which I am very relieved to say. It was very, very cool.

Here is a video behind the scenes of the main Mexican actresses getting ready for their roles:


Finally the merch. Weeeeeell, I don't know what to say about the merch. I had seen previously some of the cute things the Playbill Store has for WICKED , and when I saw the souvenir shop, I was quite disappointed there wasn't anything I liked. As an avid Wizard of Oz collector, I was hoping to add some cute/interesting pieces to my shelf, but in Mexico there isn't really a big collecting culture that would push retailers to produce cute merch. The little boutique only had a few tote bags, umbrellas, pictures, shirts and caps. Pretty standard stuff. Check out the counter... isn't is super sad looking? xD


In conclusion, despite being utterly frustrated with the story (At one point I flat out started yelling "Oh no!! C'mon!! NOOO!" because of some changes and my brother was just staring at me like WTF!? XDDDD), I have to say I'm very very happy with it as a production. It's well staged, well acted, well sung, and well designed. There were shinny things everywhere during the play (Cycyn bait) and there was and incredible sense of grandeur throughout. I really respect the work that was put behind this. If only.... IF ONLY the source novelist had read the Oz boks before writing it, It would be perfect. Maybe I'm just being extra critical, but it's mostly because I love this story. 

If you ever have a chance to see this musical, you totally should. It's one of the MUST-SEEs in one's lifetime, much like watching the Titanic movie. HAha! I don't usually rate things on my blog, I just ramble on about them, but if I had to, I'd definitely give it 4.5 out of 5 flying brooms.


So yaaaay! WICKED off my bucket list! n.n

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Random Fandom: Piano Me and friends.

Last November I had the amazing experience of being at Camp Twilight for the premiere of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt2. At first it was really brutal because it was mandatory to camp out on the street and the days were hot, the nights were cold, it was all very confusing and sleeping on the hard floor wasn't really fun. However, in the end, just to be there with other fans, just to see so many passionate people behind the project and of course seeing the actors and watching the final movie made all the harshness worth it in the end. I thought no other event in my life would hold a candle to what I experienced back then, but Otakon has been a totally different experience in itself and OMG do the pros outweigh the cons! Whoa!

Let me start at the beginning:

There were dinosaurs roaming the Earth when I first learned about Yoko Kanno. At the time I was really into anime and consuming as many series as I could get my hands on. Around '97 I came across The Vision of Escaflowne and the amazingness that is the score Kanno created for it. I was blown away at how perfect the soundtrack suited the anime and how different it sounded from a regular movie score, and specially how tall the music stood on its own. It has a lot of symphonical construction, bits of opera and a whole lot of awesome. It so very grand and imposing. Absolutely hooked from the beginning.

After that, came BrainPowerd. Not really a famous anime but Kanno participated with a few songs on this one. The producers of this series followed a bit the feeling of Escaflowne (trying duplicate the winning formula of Yoko + Mechas), but it failed quite miserably. The music however, is mind blowingly gorgeous and the ending theme of this anime actually changed my life (this is how I first heard Kokia, but that's another cool story for another day. (*spoiler alert* I became obsessed with this singer and her music, years later I actually met Kokia in Japan x333)


After this anime, Cowboy Bebop came into the scene and blew everything out of the water!! With an incredible demonstration of her versatility, Kanno successfully moves completely away from symphonic orchestras and the classical style to dive into American influenced jazz and western styles with her own twist. Her creations for CB were an undoubtedly the strong force that helped construct the bizarre space world that is this anime. Spaceships! Bounty hunters! The wild west! Such an remarkable and unique series that to this day holds its own and is probably what she's most famous for in the US.

After that came Earth Girl Arjuna, a little known green-conscious anime where a regular school girl becomes a Capitan Planet of sorts to save the world from toxic waste the humans have created. This description sounds way cheesier than the show actually is. This anime is AMAZING and of course the score could not be more perfect for it. Kanno once again moved away from the Jazzy stuff and built a completely different feel for this series using wild percussions, acoustic guitars, raw voice, sounds made from natural instruments, maracas, Brazilian berimbau, and other unconventional media. It's all very tribal, primitive and earthy. Gorgeous gorgeous substance to this soundtrack. These CDs are by far my favorite Yoko composition.


Next came Wolf's Rain. Its a story about wolves that have the power to shapeshift into humans and are trying to find paradise, a land where all wolves happily reside. Again, these CDs are tribal and natural, they slightly blend into the Arjuna style so, this soundtrack is also in my top faves.

Ghost in the Shell reappeared on the scene after about 10 years since the first movie came out in the 90s (heavily marked by its musical composer Kenji Kawai) and again she manages to remove herself from any previous work she's done and creates a whole new explosion of amazing. She demonstrates her never-ending versatility by bringing this futuristic cyber-punk anime to life with a blend of Kawai's pre-established themes with electronic music. Not just the regular repetitive beat of house or trance electronica, but more of an exploration using electronic media as elements in unusual sound collages that make weird and unexpected turns. Completely different from anything we've heard. Simply Incredible.

Next was Genesis of Aquarion, and in this anime we have Kanno returning to her roots: Mecha anime and symphonical orchestras. Her classical style shines even brighter than her Escaflowne days and pretty much confirms to us that she is the quintessential queen of any musical genre. I didn't follow much of her work post-Aquarion, but it's in my near future for sure.

Other works of hers include soundtracks for video games and soap operas of which The 23rd Hour and Song to Fly are amongst my faves. Basically I've been eating, sleeping, breathing and living Yoko Kanno for about 15 years now. The mention of her name to me is to speak about a living Goddess who must be revered. I feel like I should stand when someone mentions her. Maybe I should be on my knees writing this blog post xD! Anyway, now that we've established how heavenly Kanno is, now let's get to the main course:



I'm not exactly a regular anime convention goer. My whole convention experience consists of mostly smaller local geek/nerd/otaku culture mushed into a single event. Most of these tiny conventions are badly planned, poorly stocked (in stuff I want), and so tiny you can walk the entire floor in about an hour. Guests are usually unknown and activities are pretty bland. The idea of attending any con this year was entirely out of my interest focus and financial possibilities. But one day something changed. One day, my friend Panda randomly tweeted "Yoko Kanno is coming to Otakon"....and then my pants fell to the floor.

The thing is, Yoko Kanno concerts are rare. Very rare. Even in Japan tickets sell out almost immediately. Getting passes for any of her shows is nearly impossible, and even when I was in Japan, there was simply no chance to get them. As soon as I heard she was going to be in the States at a comic convention, there was no doubt where my next destination would be. Baltimore was in my future and I was going to do whatever I had to in order to be in this concert. Nervous yet extremely excited at the prospect of being in the presence of my Goddess I began to make plans. As I confirmed my attendance to the event on Twitter, I realized more and more of my Sailor Moon friends planned on going as well! In fact, there were so many Moonies going, I believe this was the biggest reunion of fans in years (or at least I want to think so :p). I hope I'm not forgetting anyone but here is a short list of those who went:

Tara (@brat_zilla), Brooke (@Ochibawolf),  Curtis (cut_masta_curt), Amanda (@pocketablepanda), Chris (@chrism1185),  Susan (Tiny koi), Andrew (@ajhalliwell), Ann (@Athenia43), Sarah (Sailorastera), Elly (@sassy pants), Dan (@Marioknight), Jen (@yensama), Tina (@Moonieaddcit), Adam (ShadowEndymion), Lisa (Senshi_chan), Samara (@Sailor_Samara), the awesome cosplay group (@atproductions), and so many more I can't recall right away.

At first the Miss Dream gang offered my very special friend Ochi and I a place in one of their rooms, but those plans had to be cancelled for various reasons. It took some time to convince her to share a room with me and her hubby at another hotel. We bunked together in order to get a good price, and since we had one space left, we decided to ask one of our closest friends -Tara!- to come to Baltimore too. She was in mourning for her dear kitty that passed away so it was a delicate thing to ask her to join us, but we wanted to distract her and cheer her up. She eventually decided to come as well and it couldn't have been more perfect.

BEST TEAM EVER. :D 

Just a few days before the actual trip, Otakon annouced that not only would there be limited seating for the Kanno concert and that we needed to get a special pass for that, but there will also be an extremely limited opportunity to meet Yoko Kanno in person! Ooooooo!! Can't believe it! This is the point where I know I'll spend lots of time in lines, but I'll do whatever is necessary to live this experience!! I'm a fangirl, it's in my nature to sacrifice it all to get what I want.

On Thursday afternoon, I arrived at the Baltimore airport at around 3 p.m. and was very excitedly welcomed by the also hyper and super sunny Sakky (Sakkkeeeeh!). We were so happy to see each other, she was running to me even before I had stepped off the escalator. Hahha! Then we both went to the next conveyor belt to pick up Tara who also had a great big smile on her face and was happy to see us! First tiny Moonie meetup! YAY!
   

All three of us boarded the light train into the harbor area and surprisingly enough, it left us right across the Convention Center where hordes of Otakon attendees were already arriving. It was very impressive to see so many people already in cosplay even though the convention didn't officially start until the next day. People sure are commited to their craft!

Sakky went in through the main door (she had an artist alley pass) and Tara and I got in the regular registration line. For the first time we talked and bonded and I was pleasantly surprised at how honestly sweet and lovely she is! Just, everything we talked about we were so happy to share! Within the first minutes we were already laughing and hugging. We got our badges. I chose a Free! badge because HOT ANIME BOYS!!!


After we say hi to Adam and Tina, we decide to take a taxi to our hotel. The first thing we notice is: traffic in Baltimore is really really bad. At least in the downtown area it is. We waited there for about 10-15 mins for a taxi and the line of cars had barely even moved at all! I had previously looked at a map and thought we could easily just walk to the hotel, so Tara and I drag our suitcases around the Baltimore harbor until we reach our hotel about 30 minutes later. At first the walk had been hot and humid, then it poured on us and OMG, it was not a nice walk, but at least we got to stretch our feet after our long flights.We call Ochi and she's on her way to rent a car. Tara and I hung out at the room, just talking and getting to know each other better.

A few hours pass and Ochi finally arrives with her hubby Curtis after some very enraging times in traffic, the terrible frustration of their GPS misguiding them, and the pricey city garages. They're both tired and aggravated, but we're still totally happy to see each other and we welcome them to our room with big smiles. We decide to go for dinner in the harbor area and find a deelishus noodle place where we finally get to talk and know each other a little more. Afterwards Sakky and a friend of hers join us at another restaurant and we have a cool night out. The girls have a few drinks and we all have a bunch of laughs. Awesome way to begin our adventure!!

It's almost midnight and there are so many otakus roaming the streets still, I begin to think that maybe it would be a good idea to get in line now for the Yoko Kanno autograph badge. After all, she is very famous and this is a rare opportunity to meet her up close and personal. I thank Ochi, Tara and Curtis for walking with me to the Covention Center and I sit down on the street floor next to another fan who is already in line next to a sign that indicates where we should stand. However, after only an hour I really have to pee, so I walk to the nearest avenue and hope to find a taxi. Unfortunately they're all taken and after another half an hour, I give up on waiting for a cab and decide to walk to the hotel. It's a 30 minute walk and the street gets lonelier an darker the closer I get to the hotel, but there's no choice. I hold it in, walk faster and get to the room just in time. After I do my business, I decide to take a nap. Surely the line won't be super long if I come back two hours later, right?


My alarm goes off at 3 a.m. I straighten myself up and take a cab back to the Convention Center. Well, turns out I was right. There are only 2 more fans in line and I sit behind them, 4th in line. From 3:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. we sit there on the street, our butts on the hard floor just talking about Kanno, anime and Sailor Moon. When we're tired of sitting, we stand. When we tire of standing, we squat. When we're tired of squatting, we kneel. When we tire of kneeling, we sit again. By the fourth or fifth hour, no position is comfortable anymore, everything is painful now. Cars have been driving by all night long, drunks come talk to us asking why we're here. It's not a nice place to be, but I'll do what I have to in order to meet Kanno.

The scenery begins to change around 7 a.m. as con goers begin to arrive, lining up for registration. At some point there are about 4 lines of people: One for registration, one for actually entering the con, one for the Kanno autograph session and one for the T.M. Revolution signing. It's complete chaos, but I'm just having fun looking at all the amazing cosplay and diverse range of otaku personalities.


We enter the con at around 9 a.m. We stay inside lined up for another hour until we finally get handed our pass. Our appointment is at 1 p.m. that same day at a secret location.

Now here comes a problem: I don't actually have anything in hand for Kanno to sign and I really need something cool. She could sign my hand and I could get it tattooed but it's better to have something with HER name on it. I go looking for the dealers' room where they might have something of hers for sale. I search up and down, one room, then the next and the next. I change buildings through the sky bridge and continue to search from top to bottom. Then I move into the third building that is also connected by another bridge. All I seem to find are panel rooms everywhere! So many smaller meeting rooms with chairs aligned in front of screens, getting ready for the events that are about to take place.

This is so frustrating. I can't find the dealers' room and time is ticking away. I overhear another attendee say that the dealers' room isn't even open yet (which would explain why all I found was closed doors in the area I kept being referred to). I'm extremely tired after standing in line so many hours and after walking the entire con a few times. My feet hurt, my legs ache, my back is killing me and I'm mentally drained. I sit down in a corner and text my friends to ask where they are. I could really use some warm company right now...

When Ochi and Tara find me sitting in a corner, they come over and hug me and I'm sooo grateful for my friends, I involuntarily spill a couple of happiness tears. When I'm tired, I become super sensitive so this is normal for me. haha! Five minutes later, two other friends join us: Susan and Chris. I'm really happy to see them but for some reason I was particularly happy to meet Christian. We've been friends online for a couple of years now, we have a great friendship, but mostly HAWT DAMN BOY!!! He's so cute xD! I throw myself at his arms and melt.


By this time I'm really starting to worry, thinking there's no way I would find something to get signed, but we find a line that attendees are forming to get inside the dealers' room. I only have 10 minutes before I have to run to meet Kanno, so once we finally walk into the area, I quickly search top to bottom looking for something to buy. Luckily a friend from Twitter helps me out by pointing out there's an actual Yoko booth where they sell authentic merch. I hurry over, buy her newest CD/photobook/piano score called Petal Dance and sprint outta there running with all my might to the signing.

I was a complete gross mess when I got there: Sweaty, panicked, tired and my hair was a haystack. Fortunately I made it in time and had a few minutes to fix myself up. Again, another hour in line but it's already worth it when she walks right by us surrounded by security guards. She's such a tiny thing! They strictly warn us that there will be no pictures of her or with her and they emphasize they WILL remove our badges if we try to sneak a pic. There's no way I'm going to risk it, specially since I've yet to meet her and watch her concert, so sorry guys, no pics of Yoko Kanno. When my turn finally comes, I swallow hard to try to keep the tears from spilling.

This is YOKO FUCKING KANNO. If there is a single musical artist who has been with me at all times and through the drastic changes in my life, it has been this woman. In the 90s, when everybody was into Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, or the Spice Girls, I was into Yoko Kanno. If there is a single high standard to which I hold any other artist to, it is this person. If there is only one artist who has impressed me time and time again with her lovely compositions, it's this tiny musician.  It is not exaggeration to say that if I ever find myself at the face of death and I had to choose a song I'd like to confront my demise with, it has to be a Yoko Kanno song, and then I will gladly shut my eyes to receive my fate.

I slowly hand her the book the Petal Dance book along with a piece of paper with my name on it. "Cycyn". It appears I am the first person to buy her CD, so she and her rep seem very happy and thank me profusely for it. Then she looks at the name written on the sheet for the first time, she says: "あら!変な名前ね!", (Oh, that's a weird name), to which I immediately respond "Oh that's just my nickname!" and makes total sense to her and goes ahead to sign my book. She adds the suffix "chan" to my name making it even cuter. As she's signing her autograph, I tell her in English: "Your music has inspired me so much! It inspires me to draw, to paint, to sing, to travel and to live". She seems to have understood every word I said, she hands me back my book, shakes my hand and bows to me.

Just as I'm about to leave, her rep asks me if I play the piano (because I bought the piano score), to which I say no, but now that I have this book, I will learn to play it, just for this score. Then embarrassing word vomit comes up and I mumble in terrible Japanese that "For Kanno-san, I will learn to play piano". I know I said it wrong, but she said "Arigatou, Ganbatte kudasai", and I just walked away with a red hot face, shaking arms, trembly voice and knots in my stomach. Even though I sounded stupid with my stupid Japanese, I still managed to pull it together and walk out of that room with dry pants. HAAAAAAA!


Just to be clear tho, I'm never going to learn to play the piano. It's not high in my priorities and honestly I just want to be inspired by her, not replicate her music on the piano. Stupid involuntary word vomit. xD! 

After hours of being in line, I finally have a chance to check my messages only to discover my phone has run out of battery. It's only enough left to ask my friends where they are, but never have a chance to read their answer. Up and down the dealers' room again I searched for my friends, but ran out of luck. At this time all I wanted was to take a well deserved nap and get some food into my system. I walk out of the Convention Center and look for a taxi. Again no luck!The traffic is completely jammed, there are no taxies available and I feel like I'm walking on hot coals. The longer I stand the deeper the pain is rising through my legs. FUUuuuuck!!!

I really didn't want to, but I once again walk for the third time to the hotel. On my way I stop at the Corner Bakery Café and have a delicious lunch there. It pours on me again on my way to home. I have one of my greatest treasures in my hand, but all I could think of was having a nice shower and going to bed. As soon as I walk into our room, I plug my phone into the outlet and start reading through all the tweets and messages I received while my phone was dead. My friends were worried. They had been trying to contact me for hours. AWWWWWW!!!!!! Sorry guys! My phone stayed on all night. :(( I take a quick shower and cry myself to sleep on the bed. My friends were hanging out all together and I was alone in the hotel room.

A couple of hours later Ochi texts me that she's coming over to the hotel and we're going out to dinner with a bunch of Sailor Moon fans as a group!! YES YES YES YEEEEES!!!!! All my sorrows melt away in an instant! My girls get there, get ready and we meet our friends at a pizza place. About 30 of us are gathered there and we're talking loudly over the music, getting to know each other. We're all having a great time! I even forgot to snap pictures, I was having so much fun! We toast to Sailor Moon because she brought us all together. After the pizza, a few of us go to a local bar and we finish the night with a bunch of laughter and great times!! I am sooo happy to hang out with these amazing people! I never wanted this evening to end :D!


The next morning, I wake up early to get in line AGAIN, this time for the concert pass. I hurry out the door and find my friend Anne aka Athenia45. We've talked before on Twitter and we briefly talked the night before, but we had decided to get tickets for the Kanno concert together. I find her in line already and sit next to her. We start talking a boooooyyyyy do we connect. Dunno about her, but bonding with her was extremely easy for me! All our topics we both were interested in and we talk passionately about everything: Sailor Moon, Yoko Kanno, anime, feminism, work, writing, world traveling, our plans for Sailor Myu in Japan, etc! When we got tired of talking, it was comfortable silence, never awkward.  Seven hours Anne and I spent together in line, and they we not enough for me. I genuinely enjoyed talking to her and can't wait to spend more time with her later in Japan!

While we stood in line, a few cool cosplayers walk past us, including Samara, a good friend of mine whom I met last year. She was dressed as Tuxedo Mask and I swoooooooon over her!! And it's perfect timing because of the FemTux that's coming out in Myu! I think this is a great cosplay and she looks great! We also spot a gorgeous gorgeous Neo Queen Serenity and she looks so gracious with all her beads and pealy deatils. It's so great to see all the workmanship and passion people put into their costumes! I'm just having a blast and all I've done is stand in line this day! HAhahaha!! We finally score our concert passes and Anne and I hurry to a nearby restaurant to join our friends. 


We meet up for lunch with Panda, Susan, Christian and Andrew. When we're done Anne, Panda and Susan start heading to the T.M. Revolution concert. I'm not exactly familiar with his music, so I decide to stay behind. Getting into yet another line isn't exactly something I want to do right now.  Plus, I haven't even seen the dealer's room properly! Lucky me, there's two beautiful men willing to accompany me to shop!! YAAAY! Andrew and Chris take me to booth where they've seen cool Sailor Moon merch. I've decided not to spend any money but Andrew has this bid where he will push people shop, specially if they're not planning on doing so. I had tons of laughs and fun with the boys trying to dodge his influence. OMG I love them both so much! Andrew is so fun and Chris is super sweet. 

Afterwards, Tara catches up with us because Ochi and her cosplayed together as My Little Pony characters, but Brooke was uncomfortable, so she decided to go back to change. All four of us hang out for a while at the dealer' room and I end up buying a bunch of crap! HAha! Brooke gives us a call to join her and her hubby Curtis for dinner outside of the con and we have a chance to snap a few more awesome cosplay pics on the way. 

JAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK SPARROW!!! :D

Tara, Chris, Andrew and I catch up with Ochi and Curtis at the Hard Rock Café which is about 10 minutes away. It is so great to see everyone enjoying themselves, I'm almost envious of my last week self as I write this, because that Cycyn was so happy to hang out with our friends! HAhaa!

Anyway, we decide it's a better idea if I switch hotels to so I don't have to go back and forward to my hotel tomorrow when I have to leave for the airport. It's a long story but basically, I end up bunking with Panda, Andrew and Chris. Anne and Susan are actually old friends so they end up bunking together too. We all end up in a good place. I bid farewell to Curtis, Ochi and Tara. They leave Sunday morning and we won't see each other anymore. It's sad that we didn't get to spend much time together. Most of my time at the con has been spent in those damn lines but I still enjoyed every laugh and every hug we shared.

When we arrive to the room where we'll be spending our last night in Baltimore, I make myself comfortable right away. I wash my face change my clothes. We talk for a while, I feed them Mexican candies. We eventually decide to go out to a gay bar and have some fun. What can I say? We talked, we drank, we laughed and we had an awesome time. YAAAY!!


We get back to the room and all of them are pretty drunk! Except me of course. We talk for hours and hours. Andrew is the first to fall asleep. Panda joins Christian and I in bed. We all eventually just drop like flies, we're so exhausted. I get to cuddle with them. More hugs, more kisses. I don't ever want this to end. Such a great night.

Next morning I have a hard time waking up. Sleeping few hours and standing/walking the con is taking its toll. I had planned to get in line for the concert at around 6 a.m., but I can't even open my eyes until 8 a.m. Susan comes over and we run towards the convention to get in line. It's 9:00 a.m. already but we still manage to get a very good spot at the beginning of the line. Anne also gets in line further away from us but now we have to play the waiting game again. It's okay tho. I'm so excited to attend my Goddess' concert that I can bear with anything. Even having to stand more in lines.



Piano Me Concert

So here we are, moment of truth. The event that made me begin this whose adventure in the first place. A MOTHERFUCKING CONCERT OF YOKO FUCKING KANNO. Teenage Cycyn would never believe she would ever get to experience something like this, and right now blogging Cycyn still can't believe how lucky I got!

For the opening act, there was another singer first, Chiaki Ishikawa, but don't ask me anything about her, I didn't really pay much attention. She has a powerful voice but the music all sounded the same to me. I'm just anxious to see my Goddess in action, damn it! xD

Again, a strict NO PHOTO or VIDEO rule is enforced so there's no footage I can share with you. Her rep comes out and tells us how excited they are to be there, to please clap when the music gets exciting and sing when we know the songs. Then he finally introduces her. Yoko Kanno walks out and she's even tinier than I remember now that she's standing next to her grand piano. Kanno hasn't even sat down at her bench and I'm already in tears. Why? I don't know. I've been waiting for so long for this, I'm too emotional. She's wearing super cute bunny ears and a looooong-tailed coat which makes her look like a little girl. But this little girl was about to rock out freaking socks off. She opens up with Tank! From Cowboy Bebop. Luckily there IS footage of that. This is her announcement video:


Well it's only been 3 minutes and the audience is already on their feet, clapping, yelling and celebrating XD. Then she plays a few newer tunes that not many of us know (yet), but they're still mesmerizingly perfect. I'm still crying, this is freaking amazing. Then, the brings out the big guns: She plays Resonance of the Earth from Arjuna. ARJUNA!!! Of my favorite OSTs!! Duuuuude, when I recognize it tree seconds later, knots in my stomach tighten and huge chill runs through my body making me jerk backwards, as if I just had an orgasm. It certainly feels like it though my entire body... except in *that* area.


Then she plays Gravity, the Wolf's Rain ending theme. I know exactly what it is just by the simple note that repeats at the beginning of the song. I'm sobbing uncontrollably and yes SINGING MY ASS OFF. BEEN A LONG ROAD TO FOLLOW, BEEN THERE AND GONE TOMORROW, without saying goodbye to yesterdaaaaaay.  ;__;!! *remembering*


After that, she stands up to open the top of her piano. As she plays her wonderful music, there's a projector displaying all kinds of images that go with the tune. It's a great addition to her performance and now it doesn't feel as just a recital, but more a of spectacle for both the eyes and ears!


She plays The Real Folk Blues, the Cowboy Bebop ending theme and everyone is singing along, specially the tiny part in English that says THE REAL FOLK BLUEEESSS!! and then they just hum the rest xD HAhaha!! Me? I'm still singing all the words and crying. Then Yoko pulls out a microphone and I COMPLETELY LOOSE MY SHIT!! Seriously. Susan who was sitting beside me is worried I might faint or something, he hugs me tight and makes sure I'm okay.

The thing is Yoko Kanno doesn't sing. Wait.... Let me correct that. Yoko Kanno never admits to singing. She's hardly ever credited for singing her own songs and if you're not familiar, there is that whole "Gabriela Robin is Kanno's pseudonym" controversy too. Rumors say Gabriela Robin is not real, that every Gabriela Robin theme is actually Kanno herself singing. Other's say they're two different people and that they both have different personalities. Whatever the case, the moment she pulled out that mic, to me is almost an admission that, yes, she sings indeed, and yes, she just might be Gabriela. Or not. Who knows. But still!!! Yoko Kanno singing!! AMAZING!!! What a rare and unbelievable treasure this is!!

She sings Monochrome from Ghost in the Shell. It's as soft and trance inducing as I remember. I don't know all the words to this song, but I know it well. Ghost in the Shell is always so weird, but hearing it live sounded like the loveliest lullaby sung by a child.



The she continues to cascade us with awesome by interpreting another Cowboy Bebop theme: Wo Quin no Coin. I think I'm the only one singing this adorable song. I always loved it and now I have a change to sing it with her! Waaahh. More crying!! I'm not even forcing the tears out, they're just rolling out on their own and I can't stop them.


Almost towards the end, she plays the Star Spangled Banner and the truth is that I rolled my eyes at this. Just going to say: Really Yoko? Really??? It's not a ball game, why would she play the anthem at an Otaku convention? Dunno, I guess I was just kinda pissed to hear that theme when she could've used that minute or so for an Escaflowne song.

Anyway, she walks on and off stage a few times and plays Tank! again, which is a great way to close the concert. Everything was quite perfect and when it's all over, I'm disappointed yet incredibly thankful with life that I was able to experience this! I'm so high on endorphins and shaking because of all the adrenaline and exhausted after the endless lines and the emotional outburst. Here is a post- concert message Kanno wrote for the fans who saw her live.

Message from Yoko Kanno: 「私をステージの上で一人にしないでくれてありがとう。 一緒に音楽できてうれしかった。 待っていてくれた方、この機会をくださった方、 piano me を通じて出会えたすべての皆さんに感謝します。」
 
 
Thank you for not leaving me by myself on the stage. I was very happy we could make music together. To the people who were waiting for me, to the people who gave me this opportunity, to everyone I met through "piano me", Thank you! - 


When it's all over, I say goodbye to my friends, run out of the convention center and take a taxi and rushed to the airport, but lose my flight. Bleh. Whatever. There's a fee to get a spot in the next available flight which leaves the next day in the morning. The good part is that I get to hang out at the airport with Chris and Sakky for a while before they leave on their own flights. We're all super tired and we just want to chill. When they both leave, I'm left alone to wander the empty airport. It's creepy but I'm still super happy I did everything I set out to accomplish during this trip and then some!

I bought a few toys and other Sailor Moon goodies, but I also got some very special pressies from my friends: Panda made me a Noelle drawing from Tenshi ni Narumon (one of my favorite animes!!), Lisa aka Senshi-chan gave me a super cute silicon bracelet that says Moon Power! And Susan was super kind to me; she gave me an adorable jar of paper stars that she made (sooo cute!) and a sheet of Yoko Kanno Piano Me stickers to celebrate the occassion. These treasures are coming with me always. :D

 


I will never tire of saying this. I am the luckiest Cycyn on the planet and I had an amazing time. Thank you to all my dear friends who hung out with me and made Otakon an amazing experience!!

LOVE TO ALL!