Last weekend, my doujinshi group 'YonGumi' and friends went down to Malacca to participate in GACC'08, a games/anime/comic convention. It was held in Multimedia University Malacca campus (where I spent my Pre-U days...SO MUCH HAS CHANGED!), and the event was organized by its resident anime club EMINA. I was looking forward to sell our stuff which includes a Time Machine CD (archiving older YonGumi books) and the A2-sized Gurren Lagann GATTAI Poster, not to mention to catch the event's Guest of Honour ;) More on that later.
This was my first GACC, and truth be told I wasn't expecting much considering the event was held outside of Kuala Lumpur...and isn't the venue just a uni hall?
Boy, was I ever so WRONG.
I arrived ready to register my gang's booth at 10:30 a.m. and the hall was already PACKED. I was already panicking at that point, seeing there was still a lot more finishing touches I had to do before we opened for business. My gang rushed through the setting up even as the opening ceremony commenced, Gurren Lagann's anthem 'Sora Iro Days' blaring in the background. When we wre done, we settled in and started selling.
Besides us, there were a number of other doujin booths as well, selling books and merchandise such as posters, trinkets, stationery, etc...
There were also other activities running concurrently throughout the day, such as board games...
Model kit contests...
And cosplay madness. Yes, readers, someone did cosplay as Hard Gay, that flamboyantly eccentric Japanese groin gyrater. He was strutting around the hall gyrating at visitors and cosplayers alike, complete with his signature "FUUUUUUUUUUU~!!!"
I have to admit, I was a little freaked out by all the groin-gyrating action in Day 1. But heck, you've gotta respect a dude who prances around in S&M gear with short shorts, staying in character until his legs ache. By Day 2, it was hard not to find Hard Gay funny as hell (turns out he's a committee member, ha ha!).
And here's a shot of the YonGumi booth. See that Gurren Lagann poster; It's full of GATTAI spirit!!
Hanie and I, caught working on commissions.
Sales were okay. There was a steady flow of patrons at our booth.
But it's not everyday we get Kaonashi from Spirited Away to browse our stuff!
I did a couple of commissions during both days.
This one is of a character from AIR.
Sailor Saturn, looking not the bit waif-ish at all @_@
Gurren Lagann's Yoko, done for Faizal, one of GACC's committee members. Thanks for helping and checking up on us now and then. Very kind of you!
I also did an FFXII commission of Ashe/Basch, but I forgot to snap a photo of it. It's kinda sad for me, because it turned out not half bad at all ;_;
The hall is significantly more crowded that day, due to the exodus of KL folk on a Sunday. And I bet it was because of another special reason too ;)
Oh, I wonder who will be sitting there on stage?
Masakazu Morita, THAT'S WHO! The seiyuu of Tidus (FFX), Ichigo Kurosaki (BLEACH), and Teru Saeki from Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2nd Kiss! Let the KYAA-fest begin!!
You'd think he looked good on print, but he was absolutely ADORABLE in real life! He brought so much energy to the hall after his arrival, communicating to the fans in both English and Japanese (considering he only had 2 hours of sleep at the time).
I remember that my friend Phui Mun (fellow TMGS2 fan) and I kept remarking at how his speaking voice sounded so much like Saeki...and we kept kyaa-ing like the baka fangirls we are :P I swear, I think we were the ONLY Tokimemo GS2 fangirls there (we were crazy enough to hunt down the game when it first came out on the PS2, because local vendors did not stock the game. OTAKU.)
Morita-san sat down to answer questions prepared by the committee, and 4 lucky fans got to ask him a question each on stage personally. 1 didn't turn up when called...what a wasted opportunity!
EDIT: Now that I am a bit rested, I'll try to summarize how the Q&A went.
Questions were asked as soon as Morita-san sat down; They range from (do note I'm basing this off my memory, so the gist is there) :
"How did you get into voice-acting?"
(I couldn't catch much of this one) He had been involved in general acting before Final Fantasy X came along, and Tidus was his first seiyuu role.
"Who's your favourite character?"
"What kind of character do you like to portray?"
Heroic ones, with a sense of justice. He did mention he'd like to try an 'okama' role one day XD;;
"What the most difficult thing about your line of work?"
Needing to completely focus when projecting his voice. He said that different roles had varying levels of vocal control, and demonstrated by dropping his voice a bit to be Ichigo Kurosaki...imagine having to talk like that and also scream whenever his character is in action scenes (which in BLEACH, is A LOT). He projects his voice from his stomach, and sometimes he he can feel the voice pressure on his neck! So he needs to be careful as well.
"Who's your role-model as a seiyuu?"
Touru Furuya, who incidentally was the previous seiyuu for Saint Pegasus in Saint Seiya; Morita-san has taken over the helm in the newly-done sequel OVA.
Morita-san said that he had done a lot of different kinds of work in his life so far (waiter, rollercoaster attendant, etc) and tells the fans that if they have the chance to gain experiences in life then don't hesitate...saying "I can do it when I'm older" might mean golden chances might just pass you by.
OMG HE'S IN THE SAME SPACE AS I AM (I'll shut up now.)
After the Q&A was over, it was the autograph session. I was so nervously happy to get my turn that I apparently skipped (according to Eisu) and/or sashayed (according to Hanie) towards the table...I really didn't notice @_@ Anyway, I presented Morita-san a renai game issue of Dengeki Playstation with Teru Saeki on the cover; In the sea of BLEACH and FFX fans, it was easy to see he was genuinely surprised to see a TMGS2 fan in the mix. With an amused grin, he autographed my magazine with his signature...and Teru Saeki's. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! XD
Before I went off the stage, I gave Morita-san a gift bag containing a set of the available Yongumi swag, and a hastily-done 4-page gag comic I started on the day before (Originally I wanted to do a montage of him and his characters, but static art could be boring and colouring it properly with whatever time that was left was unrealistic). Sadly, like the Ashe/Basch commission, I TOTALLY forgot to take photos of the pages ;_; I hope he finds the rushed scribblings of this fangirl amusing at least. As I shook his hand in goodbye, Morita-san smiled and said "Choppu da!".
If I were to combust there, that should be the moment. He uttered one of his character's most memorable (and my favourite) quote from the game!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!
It's also cool that Phui Mun pointed out to me that Morita-san used the gift bag to carry the gifts he received from other fans. Good to know that it's useful at least :)
Thos mag is now officially sealed in plastic and will never be opened again XD
As the day neared its end, everyone was still in the mood for fun. As I sign off, I leave you with a video of one of the impromptu Cosplay Contest challenges; The Lucky Star dance featuring Commander Chaos vs Hard Gay! I caught it on footage halfway through, but it's still great to see anyway XD
Thanks for GACC'08, EMINA! It was the best :)
Until my next update, toodles!