Duel of ‘Fate’: A trip to Anime Expo (part 2 of 2)

July 30th, 2010
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Last July, a group of cosplayers, among them Oahu Anime Explorer president Kell Komatsubara, performed a skit in the Anime Expo Masquerade as members of the Hakaida Squad — an award-winning experience and one for which Komatsubara was kind enough to provide an account for Otaku Ohana readers. (You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.) Kell and the gang returned to Anime Expo earlier this month for a return engagement with new costumes and a fresh skit … and we were more than happy to host his account of what took place once more. If you missed it, Part 1 of this year’s account is right here. –Jason Y.

In the beginning of June, I started shipping everything to Los Angeles. This year, unlike last year, everything arrived unscathed. Everything looked really good at this point, but as you know, Murphy’s Law has a way of rearing its ugly head at the last minute.

Ethan suddenly called me and told me that he had just gotten a job promotion. Great! But Ethan then said he wouldn’t be able to come in until the Friday morning of the convention. So I told Ethan to practice his moves in advance as much as possible, and we’d refine it at the Friday night rehearsal.

I was about to leave for L.A. when I got the news that Danielle would have to go back to Hawaii for a family emergency. When I got to L.A., Danielle and I could only practice for one day — we spent almost three hours getting the routine down. She would return to L.A. on Thursday night of the convention and we would continue to practice. Also, due to her family emergency, she could not finish her gloves and boots. So after we finished the Friday night rehearsal, Danielle and I, as well as Mark and Ethan, went to my hotel room, and we stayed up until 5 a.m. finishing the costume.

When we woke up on Saturday morning, we started packing, and used Kevin’s car to take everything down to the Marriott where Flo was staying. As I went down the elevator, I felt a sudden itch on the side of my face. In all of the rush, I forgot to shave! I ran back upstairs to get a razor and decided to shave in Flo’s hotel room. When we got to the hotel, I was about to shave when I realized that I forgot to bring the shaving cream. So I did it “Man vs. Wild” raw style.

We finally got to the Nokia Theatre, and we were led by Anime Expo staffers to the Green Room downstairs. Mark and I helped Danielle into her costume, while the rest of us prepared our costumes. I then prepared my costume. We also practiced our parts.

It was now showtime, and the staffers led us to the stage. This was probably the most intense skit I have ever done, so needless to say, I was VERY nervous. Danielle held up her hand to me and said, “Let’s do it!” I put my hand up to hers and replied, “Let’s go!” Right after I said that, I heard the emcee, Kyle Hebert, call on our skit.

The lights came on and the music started. Danielle and I ran onstage and started the duel. Next to come onstage were Mari (Caster), Mark (Soichiro), Cody (Shinji) and Jaden (Rider).

The time soon came for my character to die onstage. (Someone later asked why I didn’t use Assassin’s “Tsubame Gaeshi” move — the main reason I didn’t use it was because there were no detailed explanations of how the move was completed. The move used in “Fate/Stay Night” could be done only by a highly trained swordsman who has been training for a lifetime, and not a wannabe like me.)

The second battle scene was up next, and Ethan (Archer) and Kie (Rin) ran to link up with Danielle (Saber) at center stage. They all completed their moves perfectly, and Rin and Archer chased Cody (Shinji) offstage while leaving Saber behind.

The next scene featured Saber returning to her original time of King Arthur and Camelot. Her two loyal Knights of the Round Table, Sir Bedivere and Sir Kay, then appear onstage to assist her. Sir Bedivere and Saber trade lines, and both get up to walk off stage. At the end of the skit, Sir Kay told all the dead actors onstage to get up, saying, “All right, you corpses, lying down on the job, eh? Let’s get a move on! Come on!” As the corpses rise and did the zombie shuffle offstage, you could hear Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

We returned to the green room, and we began packing our props and waited to see if we won anything. The AX staffers suddenly called our number and told us to go back onstage. I asked one of the staffers, “What did we win?” But no one seemed to know. When I saw one of the Masquerade coordinators, I asked her the question again, and she told me, “I’m not saying! It’s a secret! You’ll find out soon enough.”

When we were called on stage, it was announced that we won second place in the “Best Presentation” category. Danielle and I walked to center stage, crossed our swords, then accepted the award. We all stood on stage until all the awards were given out, and then we went backstage to get the other prizes.

After we left the Nokia Theatre, we went to the Marriott to do our final photo shoot. We did single poses and group photos, and then we went to IHOP for our traditional post-Masquerade dinner. Danielle went still dressed as Saber. I was going to go as Assassin, but I had to go back to my hotel first, and I decided not to wear my costume. We enjoyed our final meal together at IHOP before we said our farewells.

On our way back to the hotel, Flo, Danielle and I began talking about our next skit. We were trying to decide: Do we HEAD TO OUTER SPACE? Or do we HENSHIN into something else?

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