Otakon is always about karaoke for me. In 2008, I performed Taiyou no Mannake e by Bivattche (Eureka Seven op 3) and SoulTaker by JAM Project (Op to The SoulTaker, my favorite anison, on accuont of JAM playing at Otakon that year). Sadly, I have no videos of those performances. In 2009, I legendarily and creepily performed Kuusou Rumba by Ootsuki Kenji to Zetsubou Shoujo-tachi (Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei op 1) which you can watch here. This year, I went all out and did three different songs, with a total of four performances, since I did one twice. I’ll be presenting them in the order they were performed, which is also a convenient gradation of EPIC scale.
First, there was my Friday night performance of Shounen Heart by Home Made Kazoku, the second opening theme from Eureka Seven. I chose this song months ago when I found out that HMK would be performing at this year’s Otakon, and I practiced it innumerable times to nail down the lyrics. The performance turned out better than I’d thought it had when I walked offstage, since I was pretty mad about screwing up many lyrics in the first verse and some in the second verse, as my nerves got the better of me. I really should’ve just done the song from memory and tossed the lyrics, since even if I hadn’t been perfect, the delivery would’ve been better. Still, though, I’m pretty satisfied with how it came out, and I think I completely owned the third verse. This is particularly awesome for me because it’s one of my favorite anime songs and from one of my top favorite shows, plus I covered my other favorite song from the show in 2008. I might just have to do a recording of myself singing Taiyou no Mannake e sometime just so I can have both on video.
Next, we have myself and my 17 year-old brother performing Ai Senshi by Daisuke Inoue, the theme song to the second Mobile Suit Gundam movie from the early 80s. We actually performed this song on Saturday night first, but Funeral’s dumb ass forgot to record it (no, you won’t live that down), so we performed it again early Sunday morning. My brother is a diehard mecha fanboy and newly experienced in most of the Universal Century Gundam timeline, so he chose this for his first karaoke performance. We first heard this song on Andrew W.K.’s Gundam Rock album, wherein it was both of our favorite track, and after we saw the movie, we both became huge fans of the old song. Originally, my brother planned to duet Tatakae! Otaking with me, but we then remembered Ai Senshi and thought it would be much more appropriate. There’re some lyrical mistakes because the lyrics that they gave us were different in places from the ones we practiced with, but overall I loved the performance, because I love the way our voices sound together, and it’s just such a fucking brilliant song. It’s worth nothing that about 5 seconds are missing from the first chorus due to camera troubles.
Finally, on Sunday morning, I performed SOMEONE ELSE, the opening theme to Working!! with Omo and TheBigN under the team name ‘A Bunch of Dogs’ (try and guess why, lol). This was a very difficult performance because I’d only heard the full song once or twice before Omo announced a week before the con that he wanted two people to sing it with him. I instantly volunteered and memorized the labyrinth melody of the song in time for our group performance. The actual song is performed by the seiyuu of the show’s three main female characters, Poplar Taneshima (Kana Asumi), Mahiru Inami (Saki Fujita), and Yachio Todoroki (Eri Kitamura). In this performance, we split the singing roles by character, so Omo was playing Inami (since I didn’t want to, lol). TheBigN played Yachio, and I played my favorite, Poplar. As you can see, all of us still managed to screw up plenty of times, but it was still a complete blast to perform, and is still totally fun to watch. Many thanks to Momotato for filming the performance, since my camera died in the middle of the filming.
So anyway, there you have it, three shows, and a lot of fun. None of them were disappointing, and I look forward to doing even more crazy-ass karaoke at future cons (I’m also finally writing out my ‘karaoke wish-list’ that’s been building since 2008).
Of course, since I did all those karaoke performances, that also meant that I spent a lot of time in the karaoke room watching other people perform. There was nothing this year that matched the epic of last year’s three-man performances of SoulTaker and Live and Learn from Sonic Adventure 2, but there was some great stuff, still.
In my Kuusou Rumba video, you can see and hear this awesome Kamina cosplayer dancing around; there’s also a video online (or two) of that cosplayer singing Mazinger Z. This year, while I was in the karaoke room, my baby brother and I observed a truly amazing cosplayer of Professor Stein from Soul Eater. He was sitting in his chair backwards, smoking a fake cigarette, and twisting the giant gear on his head (it even made a clacking noise!) all just on his own, like some kind of amazing method actor. When he got on stage, he performed Mazinger Z in a way that I instantly recognized as the same Kamina cosplayer. I asked him about it after his performance, and he remembered me from the Kuusou Rumba performance, and even said that he’d done the song at another con himself, where he’d been cosplaying Itoshiki-sensei (interestingly, all of his characters even fit his body type perfectly. This guy might be one of the best cosplayers I’ve ever seen.) He even seemed to have the energy of Stein as opposed to the energy of Kamina that he had last year. I’d have loved to see his Itoshiki performance.
There were other greats, like a truly flamboyant Catch You Catch Me from Card Captor Sakura performance by a big, older Asian dude, and a few interesting takes on Uninstall from Bokurano (such as one guy who sang it with a deep voice that resembled an 80s Gundam song or something.) My favorite performance of the weekend, though, was when the guy who ran the Touhou panel got up for his second performance on Sunday morning and did La Divina Tragedia Makyoku–Jimang frum Umineko no Naku Koro ni and had more fun than should be legal. I’d actually never heard the song before, but instantly recognized it from the OH DESIRE meme. Let me tell you, nothing has ever looked more fun than screaming OH DEEEESIIIIRE!!! in the sickest voice you can accomplish. That guy singlehandedly made this one of my favorite anisons.