This year Ariesna and I returned to AnimeIowa after a years absence. We’d gotten a bit burned out on the con due to the overly crowded hotel and the lack of programming for the over-15 crowd. But this year AWelkin and some mutual friends put on Natsukashii seminar, a programming track designed specifically to cover older anime shows. Natsukashii seminar turned out to be a blast and surprisingly was attended by some of the younger crowd rather than just bitter, old fans like myself. Now I could write up a detail summation of my experiences at this year’s con, but I’m far too lazy for that. So here’s a quick list:

  • Good grief! The lines for registration were insane and stretched around practically the entire hotel.
  • That many people in one place, even a place with excellent A/C, stink! Seriously the funk around those lines was as bad as most cons on Sunday and this was only the first day.
  • With registration so backed up most early panels were empty, which was really good as from what I was hearing most didn’t start on time anyway.
  • The hotel was gorgeous and much better laid out for the con, excluding that con-com put the consuite on the 8th floor. Also, paid parking sucks but Ariesna & I got lucky and found a free spot.
  • The con ran a blood drive in cooperation with a local blood bank. I donated and it was kind of fun seeing how the medical staff were reacting to the con-goers. Some were interested, some ignored them and some looked confused.
  • Driving back in the next morning, our free parking spot was still empty. Wahoo!
  • This year’s dealer’s room was huge. Unfortunately, the number of dealers was not as large as it initially appeared as the artist’s alley was in the middle of the room.
  • Though that was cool for the artists and not bad for the con-goers.
  • The dealer’s room had a decent selection of merchandise. I filled in some missing discs of R.O.D. TV and Ariesna got a doll she’s been looking for. Still there was considerable overlap in the merchandise between boths, not surprising but not pleasing either.
  • A larger number of con-goers were costumes this year1. Good! A good portion of them had giant sized weapons (ala Final Fantasy) and the costumers didn’t really know how to handle their props safely. Bad!
  • Once the con-goers were more spread out; the funk in the air lessened somewhat. Though you could still tell where the A/C was weakest by the strength of the funk.
  • Watched some excellent anime in the Natsukashii video room, heard it was the best video room at the con.
  • I saw a dealer selling large, wooden paddles. Weird! Later noticed the goobers who bought them spanking one another with them in the halls. Bad! I also noticed they didn’t pay much attention to their surroundings, and so were constantly in danger of hitting people who did not want to be hit. Very bad!
  • AI’s idea of a fansubbing panel was to have an industry shill sit up in front of an audience and tell us all the ways people can pay to watch anime rather than downloading the fansubs. Seriously, odds are this guy would have never heard of anime if people hadn’t started fansubbing it and all he can do is sit up there babbling on how people who download fansubs are all thieves. Note: It is possible that the panel discussion actually had something useful in it later on; however I grew sufficiently discontent with it that I left after listing to ~20 minutes of this nonsense.

1 I also found this somewhat depressing as nothing like this exsisted when I was the same age as these kids and there were a fair number of attractive, young ladies in rather interesting costumes. Which had I been single and of the same age (or at least close to) I would have enjoyed making their acquaintance.

The title on this post is somewhat misleading. The default stylings of AnimeIowa‘s forums make my eyes blee, especially after some of the forum members have taken it upon themselves to give their words extra features ugliness. E.g. putting bright, yellow text on top of a dark blue background. Fortunately, I do 99.9999% of my web browsing using Firefox and there exists an extension for Firefox that will override any given site’s default CSS with the CSS you specify. This means people can do things like take the CSS which makes so lovely and with a few tweaks turn this…

AI Forum Before

Into this…

AI Forum After

And all it took was the Stylish extension and this little bit of CSS:
@namespace url(;
@-moz-document domain("") {
html {
color: #0F0F0F !important;
body {
color: #0F0F0F !important;
background-color: #FFF !important;
a:link {color: #D57100 !important;
text-decoration:none !important;
a:visited {color: #459045 !important;
text-decoration:none !important;
border-bottom:none !important;
a:hover, a:active {
color:#6F2314 !important;
text-decoration:underline !important;
table tr td {
background-color: #F1EFFF !important;
color: #0F0F0F !important;
font {
color: #000 !important;
font .quote {
background-color: #FEFFBF !important;
font .catbg {
background-color: #F1EFFF !important;

Don’t believe this makes that much difference? Then try it out yourself, your bleeding eyes will thank you.

Apologies to all my faithful readers, I’ve been busy working on some new features for the ICON 30 website (with some massive help from Aizuchi. For extra pain, we’re into our next beta cycle at work; so I’m considerably busier there. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve had a bit of a cold that just isn’t going away. Ye olde Advil Cold & Sinus beats it down for a while, but it seems to keep coming back. If it doesn’t go away by this time next week, I’ll probably be making an appointment with the doctor to get checked out. *sigh*

I did get one break since my last real post and that was last weekend’s AnimeIowa. I was rather disappointed with this year’s con. The programming track was only sparsely filled and I didn’t see anything in it that interested me1. So I mostly hung out with people I knew at the con and tried to help out the con photographer2. Mostly, I just helped tear-down/setup his gear in different rooms. *shrug* It was no big deal and I got to see pretty much all of the costumes. As usual, some were fabulous and some were…. not. Of course some of the best were in the Masquerade, and the Masquerade was the main reason we went this year. A friend of ours was in charge of it and overall it appeared to go fairly well. However there were a few problems; most of which I did not hear about until after the con was over. The main thing that I noticed was the costumers wouldn’t shut up. It may seem a bit harsh, but they all know they’re supposed to keep quiet while in the green room and we had to constantly go around asking them to be quiet throughout the whole Masquerade. *sigh* If you know the rules in advance, have them re-explained to you when you show up shortly before the Masquerade then why do you have to continually break them? *grrr*

As for the rest of the con, the dealer’s room was smaller this year and unless you wanted Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist merchandise; you were pretty much out of luck. Since they didn’t have as many dealers; the con-com put the Artists’ Alley inside the dealer’s room. This was a bright idea and I ended up buying some magnets from the guy who does the FAUB webcomic. I was not familiar with the webcomic prior to this year’s AnimeIowa but I really liked the artwork in the magnets and have since read through their entire archive of webcomics and added it to my Portal page.

I didn’t have much desire to go into any of the video rooms, but I did find one playing Bubblegum Crisis which was kind of nice. Though I didn’t get to stay around long as that was just before I had to help Wookie move his gear from the hall cosplay judging room to the green room for the Masquerade.

All in all, it was a disappointing weekend. *shrug* Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

In more current news, I’ve finally gotten caught up in listing to all the podcasts I’ve downloaded. It’s nice to listen to them and actually hear other people’s thoughts on current events while the events are still current. Along those lines, the jazz mashup from the episode# 240 of the Daily Source Code was extremely cool. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got time to write for now.

1 I should say nothing on Saturday or Sunday as I wasn’t there Friday.
2 Wookie comes to the con and takes pictures of all the Hall Cosplay entries & after the con puts them on a site where people can order prints if they want them. Also, Wookie’s a fun guy to hang around the con with.

Alas, there will not be an new issue of Ant-Boy posted today. I was stuck working out of my company’s home office for most of the week and didn’t get a chance to work on cleaning up the scan of the next issue. Tonight, I’ll be heading off to AnimeIowa and won’t have time to get the next issue ready. Hopefully, I’ll have time to get it posted by next Tuesday.