Yeah, yeah, I know, it's been a while. I'd make up an excuse, but in truth, I'm just too damn lazy. In fact, that's the main reason I haven't been keeping up on my posts. Yup, I just don't have enough free time on my hands, so I frequently do nothing simply to keep up the allotted amount of time spent doing nothing that even slightly resembles work. Plus, my burning passion for anime (Japanese Animation for those of you not in the know) has been viciously rekindled by Animethon 11. Again, for those of you whose minds are going blank, Animethon 11 is the largest anime (do you still remember what that is?) convention in western Canada. Uh huh, I know that tacking "Western Canada" on doesn't always say much, but the convention continues to grow year by year. This time around, instead of nine viewing rooms, there were sixteen, and the dealer's room was located nearly two buildings away (on the Grant McEwan College Campus...did you really think a non-profit event could afford a hotel?) in a gym. On the negative side, that meant more physical activity for those of us who were perfectly willing to sell their souls for the season of "Slayers: Next" on DVD. On the positive side, due to the larger space, it wasn't as crowded and it didn't smell like the weekend of Animethon had coincided with National Not Take A Bath Day.
Me, I got a good haul, and for once, I didn't have to spend all my money! This year, I had made a solemn vow not to buy any manga (*I'll explain this later...), or any DVD of a series I had not seen yet, or any CD that didn't have at least one song I had heard before and enjoyed. The year before, I blew 400$ (All of the salary I'd received so far from my summer job at Safeway...it was my first job, and I was unused to getting that much money in such a short amount of time...predictably, it all went to my head) and wound up with four manga volumes I was willing to throw away two weeks later, a CD of Sailor Moon music all performed on a mouth organ (I'd asked the vendor for "Instrumental" Sailor Moon music, and that's what I got) and two Japanese versions of "Newtype Magazine" that I couldn't read. Sure, I'd also bought the second half of the "Fushigi Yuugi" series, the "Escaflowne" movie, and a "Fushigi Yuugi" OAV, all of which I enjoyed, but if I'd only purchased those, I would have saved a boatload of cash and my parents' respect for my financial judgement.
*Why do I not like manga (Japanese comics)? Enough to completely strike it from my Must Buy list? Simple. Translated manga, even though it is becoming increasingly more common in book stores like Chapters and Indigo, costs anywhere from 15 to 30$, and it takes about twenty minutes to read, tops. Plus, the anime versions are nearly word-for-word identical to the manga that inspired them, so by buying, say, the "Full Metal Panic Vol. 1" DVD for 40$ and the "Full Metal Panic Vol 1" manga for 25$, you're basically throwing 25$ down the drain. I prefer colour and movement, so I stick to anime and leave the manga well enough alone. If I see a title at a library, I will take it out and read it with relish, but if I have to shell out a quarter of a hundred bucks for twenty minutes of pleasure, I'd rather save my moolah for the anime version.
Anyway, back to Animethon. I walked away with the "Strawberry Eggs" series on DVD, the "Escaflowne" series on DVD, "Full Metal Panic: Mission 06" (I only had Missions 01 and 02 at home, but it was the last one in the whole Dealer Room), and the soundtracks for "Full Metal Panic" and "DNAngel". That's it.
My parents (still convinced that anime, simply because it was animated, was a childish pursuit) were extremely disappointed in me nonetheless for spending so much money in one place, regardless of how rarely I did it and how long I had waited for the event. I find it more than a little frustrating, seeing as they blow a ton of cash every year at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival on CDs and gear. I don't agree with it (to me, every Irish jig sounds the same), but I don't lose any respect for them because of it. Folk music is important to them, and it's only once a year, and they've attended Folk Fest with most of their friends for the last fifteen years. If I can tolerate it, why can't they?
Other than my parents' disapproval, I also gained a newfound interest in drawing manga (yes, I can create it, but I don't like reading it! ^_^). I'm pretty good at it, or more accurately, parts of it. I have faces, heads, hair, and storywriting down pat, but there are a few details that have alwasy escaped me and eventually led up to me abandoning my hobby. Primarily, I suck royally at drawing hands, buildings, backgrounds, shading, texturing, and perspective. I always wanted to start a manga of my own, but a little voice in the back of my head would always say, "Wait until you've learned this, so that your comic will look better." But I would never learn it, and my story would go untold. Well, no so anymore. I will start designing a comic! It will probably never get published, but it will hone my skills. And at faces, heads, and hair, I have mad skills indeed.