Friday, September 21, 2012

Nan Desu Kan 2012

I have been going to Nan Desu Kan (aka NDK) for about 10 years now (wow, crazy) with many of my close friends.

This year we were talking about how much has changed.

When most of us first started going, we were in 8th or 9th grade and it was held in a building out by the airport. We couldn't even drive yet. Our parents dropped us off in the morning and picked us up at night. We didn't sleep much, hardly ate (no food within walking distance), and were always running around giddily. Many of our inside jokes started here. We spent nearly all our time in the game room because it was usually pretty empty and we could sit and talk and play Apples to Apples to our hearts' content. There weren't a lot of rules. "Will yaoi/yuri for Pocky" signs everywhere, people carrying and making odd jokes about paddles. "Glomping" was when someone ran up to you and gave you an abrupt, crushing hug, usually without warning so any personal space you had was not there for the weekend (and you just had to accept that). There were more games and events to participate in (like Anime Olympics). If you got too bored, there were always a couple of viewing rooms where they showed (usually dubbed) animes. Scott McNeil used to come almost every year. I remember when he stopped, there were petitions all along the walls that said "Save our Ma(Scott)." He hasn't returned since, which is sad because he was always a favorite. I have his autograph and a picture with him. He read and talked to me. I saw some of his shows with other voice actors and he was always so dramatic and funny. (I mostly know and love him for the roles of Duo from Gundam Wing and Kouga from Inu Yasha, even though I generally hate watching dubbed anime.

On that note, I want to share my treasured Scott McNeil stuff:
With Scott McNeil, 9/20/2002 (WOW! 2002?!?!)
I know it is difficult to see, but this is the cover of the second Gundam Wing Manga. It says "Samara 'I may run and hide... but I never tell a lie.' Scott McNeil <3" (Yes, there is a heart :) ). And he read page 62 to me (I know because that is where I keep the photograph) and it is Duo (duh) saying: "Piloting a Gundam has special meaning. Am I right Deathscythe? You don't qualify to pilot Gundam unless you're prepared to self-destruct! I wonder how Heero's doing.." <3
These days, NDK is held at the DTC Marriott. We stay there or drive home. We have easier access to food. Parents now accompany kids and pre-teens instead of dropping them off (and some of them are probably shocked by the antics that the societies socially awkward kids get up to). There are rules against everything above: no paddles, no yaoi/yuri references, no glomping. I wouldn't be caught DEAD in the gaming room (now that technology has taken over it is always packed). There are insane numbers of people and fewer events to participate in. There are more panels to attend and the cosplay contest and AMV (Anime Music Video) contest are popular as ever. If there are viewing rooms for animes, I do not know where they are. (As a side note, this video won Drama/Romance — Best use of emotion and feeling this year, and I loved it, so here is a link: Creating Something Beautiful by siny)

This all sounds very negative, but it isn't entirely. The positives: I have lots of friends to attend with and we all love to dress up and make costumes. Also handy for big group cosplays, like our Katamari one (see my next blog post). We are old enough to drink so we usually begin Saturday morning with mimosas and end evenings with beers. It makes for great conversation and a laid back atmosphere. By staying at the hotel we don't have to stress as much and with atrium rooms, we have a GREAT spot to people watch. Some people have incredible costumes, which is fun. I think we are in a great position to have a good time (once we are finished stressing over last-minute costume preparations).

Also, one of my friends, Wyatt, has a video blog, often with another lovely friend, Eli. Here are a couple of links to the special NDK videos they made. The second one is especially good because you get a pretty good taste of what NDK is like (and they filmed it on the atrium balcony, which is awesome--you can see where we liked to be). The second also mentions a couple of interesting sites to use if you are an anime/cosplay fan.

Video one: RAW: NDK! The First Night!
Video two: Brain Cheese: ALL TEH ANIME!!

Also, here is the main NDK website:

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