As ever the
victims teams had to battle against time constraints, corporate concerns and the everyday misery of having to run a team with no discernable leader. “Monoculture”, that perennial storylining problem, when copying other people means stuff just looks like everybody else’s, came to the fore, as did the perils of pitching. One team went in with a full-on movie-trailer for their concept, but forgot to use some of their best and funniest lines. The other team went for a more traditional approach, but fatally neglected to preface the whole thing with either their high concept: “CUTE + MECHA”, or their major inspiration (“Romeo & Juliet”) which might have saved them from a lot of abuse at the hands of their rivals.
I also had the chance to drop in at the Bank of the Czechoslovak Legion in Prague, an intricate Rondo Cubist building like some sort of transplant from a world of steampunk deco, built with the spoils from the collapse of Tsarist Russia and the fall of the Far Eastern Republic, by the survivors of the army that fought its way across Siberia on an armoured train (^^ look! an armoured fricking train! ^^), in order to get back to Europe the long way round. But it’s not a tourist site per se, it’s an operational office building, so we celebrated by getting Mikiko Ponczeck to take some money out of the ATM.
Meanwhile, at the con proper, I was asked to sign copies of Schoolgirl Milky Crisis, Anime: A History and the long out-of-print Erotic Anime Movie Guide. And I was asked: “What is your favourite kind of meat?” Which has never happened before.