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.


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. 


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!!


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