Notes from the Outside: The Nan Desu Kan 8 Journal

by Matt Houck

The following is a special Animefringe exclusive "day-in-the-life-of" journal that photographer, Matt Houck, supplied us with after Nan Desu Kan 8 that was just so "bizarre" that we couldn't not print it. Enjoy.

Day the Second (Saturday)

10:00 AM - Just arrived, commanded by flyer in hallway that I can learn Japanese in an hour. Gone to investigate.

11:00 AM - Finished panel. Still can't speak Japanese, but now when I hear it, I feel like I should know what people are saying. Self-esteem plummeting.

11:25 AM - The AMV Saga, part one. Wife left me to watch AMVs on my own. I believe that she is holding my lack of Japanese linguistic skills against me. After replaying the introduction to the videos with varying degrees of success, the show proceeds through two and a half fan-created videos before the sound leaves the room and the screen freezes. Slavering otaku are placated by brave volunteers enacting Shakespearean-level morality plays via shadow puppetry. The scene involving a well-endowed bunny rabbit chasing a man until an offstage alligator eats him moved me to weep like a child. After the cunning one-act plays finished, we are told to leave and return at 2:00 pm for rebroadcast of the show. Con staff fails to specify AMVs or shadow puppets. Intrigued, I exit, intending to return later.

11:28 AM - Saw my sixth tubby Rikku. Eyes burning. Off to find wife.

12:30 PM - First news of the day. Anime News Network announces something. I schmooze. I network. Otaku now look up to me as I hand out my email address to the little people. Bathe in the aura of me.

12:34 PM - Talked to at length by wife. Told I still do not know Japanese, and therefore, am not a God to Otakudom. Ego returning to normal.

1:00 PM - After the dealer's pit, I have no fear of death, for I have seen the horrors of hell here on Earth. On the other hand, I do have a new manga. Never before have I been forced to witness a forty-year old woman dressed as Seung Mina knock down a fifteen-year old boy dressed as Yuna in order to view the wares of the local Yaoi dealer. Wife says she will pay for therapy as long as I learn Japanese.

1:59 PM - Off to AMVs.

4:00 PM - Otaku have fallen prey to taking themselves too seriously. Twenty videos about this or that sad anime, set to pop hits and Roger Water's musings on depression, leave me with serious bummer feelings. Where are the days of Mindless Self Indulgence paired with Grave of the Fireflies? Now that was comedy. I am disturbed to find a gentleman seated directly behind me making guttural murmurings of his joy at looking at bishounen with all the vocal fervor of a wrestling fan looking at his first panty match.

Question: If a video is focused on bishounen to the exclusion of all other characters, is it truly necessary to scream like an exultant school girl every new scene where the character is shown for The Whole Frickin' Three Minutes Plus Video?!?!

4:05 PM - No food since breakfast. I crave meat.

4:30 PM - Have sated hunger on the Colonel's fixin's. I continue.

6:00 PM - Just finished panel on the question of humanity and the soul as witnessed in Ghost in the Shell. Conclusion being that computer programmers are unto SS officers fellating the devil in their effort to create a "more human machine". This includes all programmers, not just those who work for Micro, whom we all know have been fellating the Dark Lord since the days of Windows 3.1.

Wife vanished halfway through, muttering of Philosophy 110 class in college. I wonder what her Philosophy 110 professor has against computer programmers.

6:15 PM - I have seen the devil. A fifty-one-year old Yuna lost her top. I have born witness to a fifty-year old Yuna nipple. ...Oh the humanity.

7:00 PM - Screaming, I am dragged by wife to cosplay contest.

8:20 PM - I have seen The Full Monty before, but not like this...

10:00 PM - There are few beautiful asses in this world. Tonight, I was treated to one belonging to J-Pop singer Kumiko Kato. She sang, she danced, and her ass gyrated in seductive rhythms. Angels sang and God Himself wept at the very sight of it all.

11:00 PM - Awoke in hospital bed. Doctors say I was knocked out by several purse-shaped blows about the head and shoulders. Wife has dangerous gleam in her eye as she tells me that it is for the best that I don't learn Japanese. Her purse is missing. I do not inquire too deeply.

11:10 PM - Off to home sweet otaku-free home. Wait... What do you mean my wife's an ota... Dear God... Noooooo...

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