The translation of Aikatsu Stars 100 is done, and I’m on the train home now from the con. We’ll have it out tomorrow if all goes well.
Blog below (not anime/sort of anime/extremely Aikatsu)
UPDATE: Episode out, and video link to my panel is now below.
My panel was a great success, or at least a moderate one. Like last time I’ve uploaded the recording as-is, and you can check it out here: Click here!
What actually started the weekend though was waking up at 4 AM to catch a train on Thursday morning, which meant I had to stream the final episode of Stars through my phone to my laptop and pray that nothing broke. Despite the poor quality, I’d still say I caught about 95% of it, and the rush of feelings that came with it kept me up through the rest of the trip. And once I did get to Boston and settle myself down in the library, I spent the next few hours timing and translating about 1/3 of the episode until I ran out of steam, and decided to finish it on Sunday after the con. But once I stopped, I could no longer deceive my heart and pretend like I didn’t notice the giant gaping hole in it. It’s one thing to watch the last episode of a series you’ve been following religiously for two years; it’s another to know that with every line you time, every sentence you translate, that’s one step closer to reaching the end, bit by agonizing bit. It doesn’t just end in 24 minutes; it’s drawn out over hours and hours like torture. And I’m still not done.
I was feeling pretty bad that night, but the next morning I had my panel to do. You don’t have to watch it, but I had fun presenting and talking with the audience, and there were even some Aikatsu fans there to see. Some I met for the first time, having seen me post about it on our site. But others were coming back after going to my other panels in years past, wanting to talk again during this rare once-a-year opportunity. And with every minute we spent together I could feel my heart thawing and filling with warmth.
So I just want to say thank you. Thank you to the person who asked questions during my panel, who I saw on a later day during lunch. Thank you to the people who came back to see me present a new panel. Thank you to the featured panelist who presented on idols, and helped to spread the gospel of Aikatsu. Thank you to the others who were there and went up front afterwards. Thank you to the Acchan cosplayer and friend who let me take a rare pic and told me about artists I missed in artist alley. Thank you to the two Aikatsu (and Pripara!) fan artists who made wonderful art and acrylics. Thank you to the Mizuki, Maria, and Yurika cosplayers who appeared in the fashion show of the Masquerade. And thank you to everyone else I met over the weekend who shares in our Aikatsu love.
But I want to extend a very special thank you to the Aria and Kirara cosplayers who created and performed a skit set to Mori no Naka no Pirouette for the sole purpose of letting more people know about the wonders of Aikatsu. I wasn’t going to stay during the Masquerade longer than the Asaka concert, but I wanted to support them for doing this (and also finally see an elaborate Aikatsu dress in person). But, unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Wings went spinning, wigs went flying, and the dance moved out of step. I felt something not unlike watching Sumire or Laura at certain points. I left the auditorium afterwards, and in the several hours that followed until the event ended, all I could think about was what I would possibly say if given the chance, or if it was even right of me to say anything at all. But I knew that if I didn’t try, I’d leave the con with regrets. I ditched the beginning of my friend’s panel to wait by the hall exit, hoping to at least see them (and the other three, totally serendipitous Aikatsu cosplayers) at least once. And after a while, they came out and I called to them. I asked how it went after I left, and what do you think happened?
They won first place in craftsmanship. And seeing their dresses up close, it was no pity vote. That was real love stitched into their Star Premium Rare Coords. But they probably wouldn’t have won if they hadn’t decided beforehand that no matter what happened on stage, they were going to continue dancing until the very last moment. In front of more people than I’ve ever spoken before combined, they showed what true Aikatsu is like. They proved that no hard work or effort will forever go unrewarded. And hearing the results from their smiling faces inspired me to do my best too. That’s what being an idol is all about.
Aikatsu is special. It’s not just a passing one-season show that comes and goes with the tide. It connects people from around the world with a shining line, and truly touches the lives of so many of us. I’m proud to meet other fans of Aikatsu; not because of anything I’ve done, but because I know that we share an understanding that goes beyond words. So to anyone who’s reading this, know that even if we’ve never met and never will, we’re all still connected. Stars may be over, but Aikatsu will continue. Even if not on the screen, then within our hearts.