all HTML, thumbnailing and few comments by eternaly wonderful Anna-neko


Hello once again, anime & cosplay fans, to the 4th Convention coverage of 2001 for ANFCP: Albert Ng's Freestyle Cosplay Photographs. This time my travels take me to the East Coast for the first time to Animazement, which was held in Durham, North Carolina from May 25th-27th. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew WHO to expect to show up, as a lot of East Coast cosplayers, some of them my friends, showed up to make my weekend stay even more fun. Also adding to the fun was my girlfriend Stella, who accompanied me for her first time to Animazement as well, and her 1st East Coast convention. Unfortunate that my friends Ace & Fernando couldn't make it for the return trip to the East Coast (they had yet to recover from Anime Central) but they're busy preparing for Anime Expo in a few weeks, and then getting ready for their first time at Otakon. So Stella and myself were on our own getting there, but after we arrived, we weren't alone from then on..

After arriving late Thursday nite, we waited in the lobby of the AZ hotel, trying to get a hold of Dommi & Christy, since they were kind enough to let us crash for Thursday nite. Saw Kimmie bouncing around in the lobby, and introduced her to Stella. Later, Christy showed up along with Nadine & Cody (who I met for the first time) and as late as it already was, we still stayed up to chat while the trio worked on their costumes. Before finally dozing off, Ollie & Zoe showed up, and I said hi then goodnite. When I woke up in the morning, Dommi had showed up after a long nite of costume work at an off-con site.

Friday morning went by rather quickly, with myself & Stella cosplaying together as Shinji & Misato from Evangelion. I began my lookout for friends and cosplayers, taking pics at those passing by. Later on, Anna showed up along with James and Anna's mom, so we moved our shtuff from Dommi's room to Anna's. After settling in, we found Carolina later.. and Stella finally got to meet her East Coast Idol and (as I like the say) her East Coast twin. :) More pictures ensued, and the afternoon went by quickly. The big event of Friday was the Yuu Watase panel, where Stella, Anna, Christy, Dommi, Iris, Kat, and Cody were able to show off their cosplayer skills in front of their manga goddess. :) I was there mainly to take pictures and also get an Ayashi no Ceres manga autographed. (Check out the nice pictures I took on the Yuu Watase & Ayashi no Ceres page)

Friday evening was karaoke, and Stella, being the hard-core karaoke fan, wanted to pull a special surprise for me, so when it was her turn to sing on stage, she asked me to go up with her and just sit on stage while she sang. Her "dedication" song was D&D's "In Your Eyes" and I was trying to not be embaressed on stage.. UNFORTUNATELY, the music broadcasted through the speakers could barely be heard, so it was hard for Stella to hear the lyrics to sing to! AND they cut the song short, 1 min. as opposed to 3 minutes, so she only got to sing the first stanza. =P I tried to make it up by adding an omake song, (since I signed up after her), so she and I did a short song & dance routine to the ParaPara Paradise song "Deluxe." We did our best to do the hand-motions that go along with the song, but again we could barely hear the lyrics, so that killed our routine once again, AND they ended it too quickly! (How can you cut a song that's only 80 seconds?!) Carolina was helpful in videotaping the 2 songs for us, but to this day I don't think either one of us will ever watch that footage again.. =P

Woke up early Saturday morning, and changed into Trowa. Stella woke up later to work on her Tifa costume, which needed to be finished. So I went out for walks, taking pictures of more cosplayers. Occasionally I went to check on Stella, who took a little longer than usual, but it was understandable. Later on, I changed into my Kim Kapwhan costume, but due to some miscommunications our King of Fighters cosplay was smaller than what was orignally planned, as people were changing into the KOF costumes at different times. More costumes, cosplayer photographs, and a little snack now and then made the afternoon shift to the evening.. Stella changed into her Card Captor Sakura costume, and before the Saturday-nite Masquerade came my pre-masquerade tradition: playing anime dance remixes, Initial D, and Para Para Paradise music on a boom-box while waiting in line. This convention was special, because when I played the ParaPara songs, Stella danced the routines. We put on a little floor-show in line, and people were coming up to us asking what we were doing. We gave the explanation about Para Para and they were enlightened. (hehehe) The masquerade went by quickly, and there were some good skits. Incidentally, my friends put on the best skits: Dommi & Ollie with their Mad Hatter skit; Dan & the Knights of the Wired; Nadine, Christy, Iris, and gang with their J-rock dance routine, and Yaya, Jenny, Leo, and Meg with their group of Fairy costumes. :)

The Saturday night fun continued late into the night, with periodic visits to the dance, and the room-party celebrating Dommi's 21st birthday. (Hope you like the fan-art Stella gave you, and the Initial-D package from me, Dommi!) Afterwards came the gathering/party in the hotel lobby, with more ParaPara routines & music, and anime remixes (thanks to DJ Socket) which I was surprisingly allowed to play somewhat loud. My friends had fun and the time went by without us caring how late it was..

Sunday was mainly saying bye to friends, taking pictures of remaining cosplayers, and friends in "normal" clothes, and last-minute buys in the dealers' room (as well as gift exchanges between friends.) Left for the airport in the later afternoon, leaving Animazement feeling a little sad it was over, but more than satisfied with our first time in North Carolina and at this convention. My only regret was that I missed out on the American Cosplay Paradise (ACP), Cosmen, the Cosplay Mailing List pics, and some of the 1st KOF group shots. Yet still, after returning home to San Francisco, I think taking 15, count 'em again, 15 rolls of film was enough for this con, and the majority of the pictures came out good as you're about to see.. ^_~ My picture-taking wasn't perfect, but that's what I'll try for at the next con..

Thanks & shouts go out to: Christy, Dommi, Kimmie, Dave, Zoe, Cody, Ollie, Iris, Kat, Kat D., Leslie & Michele, Derek & Alisa, Heather, Jason, Lindze, Candy, Yaya & Jeremy, Jenny, John H., Johnny, Leo, Meg, Mike, Nadine, Brandon, Amy, Gabbi, Misa, Danny T, Danny H, James, and anyone else I may have met that weekend but forgot to mention. Special thanks go out to Carolina, since I haven't seen you and your costumes since Katsucon 2000, (thanks for posing for those great pictures) and also for making Stella's visit to Animazement even more special. Glad you two finally had the chance to meet, as twins across the coasts should eventually.. heehee (we'll do it again at Otakon) Also extra-special thanx to Anna for letting Stella and myself stay with you, and it was nice to finally meet you (with formal introductions, and pictures together), hanging out, and of course: helping me with this Animazement page and some of those comments to go with my pictures. ^_^;; (Can't wait to see how the Anime Expo and Otakon pages will look.. heehee ^_~)
And lastly, the biggest thanks go out to my love, Stella, who travelled to Animazement to keep me company. I'm glad you went, as are you, and it was a lot of fun. The pictures, the events, the cosplays, and the ParaPara madness that we put on for people to view, (We have to teach the East Coasters more about ParaPara honey, come Otakon. ^_~) and the overall fun of you being there for me made my Animazement more enjoyable. Can't wait for us to do it again at the remaining anime conventions in 2001. :) To you, my East Coast Cosplayer friends, I'll see you all at Otakon 2001!

Enjoy the pictures from Animazement, and coming up next: the biggest convention on the West Coast, Anime Expo 2001, which will be held 4th of July week in Long Beach, CA. Expect the pics to be great, and expect a LOT! If you want to contact me or just drop me a line, you can email me at: [email protected] Also check out the pages of the other conventions I've been to in 2001, created by Anna-neko: Katsucon 2001, Fanime 2001 and Anime Central 2001
Also viewable, but no longer updated, is my old web-site, showcasing the cosplay pictures from Y2k conventions I've been to: If you have the chance, please sign my Guestbook below, as I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions. So, thanks for stopping by, and see you at the next anime convention! CIAO!

Albert AKA Trowa Al �����

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