April 19, 2003
News for Anime Boston 2003:
Anime Boston 2003 Escaflowne Panel Transcriptby Lizzard
At Anime Boston 2003 - a convention that now holds the record as the largest first-year convention ever held, and earned itself the honor of being the seventh-largest anime convention in North America - Lizzard organized an Escaflowne panel. Anime Expo has long had an annual Escaflowne panel, and I wanted to spread the tradition to a new convention. It was far more successful than anticipated. There was standing room only, and I was honored to have seated with me two of the English voice actors that worked on the show - Kirby Morrow (Van Fanel) and Scott McNeil (Jajuka, King Aston, Reeden, and more).
LIZZARD: All right, can I have your attention please? It's good to see that people actually came. I was kind of worried about attendance...
SCOTT: (redneck voice) Hello, hi everybody!
LIZZARD: The good news is that I won't have to do much work for this panel, because of course I have with me Mr. Scott McNeil...
LIZZARD: And I also have with me Kirby Morrow...
LIZZARD: For those of you that don't know, Kirby Morrow is of course the voice of Van. Uh, if you don't know that, then I wonder why you're here. Scott, on the other hand, has done - oh gosh, let's see - King Aston, Jajuka, Reeden, Kio, the lizard guy - who else?
LIZZARD: Yeah, really! You didn't know you did all those?
SCOTT: (silly voice) Yeah, of course. (normal voice) I actually spent, you know, 'cause the King Aston thing, I went and looked online, trying desperately to remember what that was.
LIZZARD: You didn't remember who the character was?
SCOTT: (very serious voice) Yes, I did not. (normal voice) And I still don't!
SCOTT: I have no idea what he sounded like.
LIZZARD: (searching paperwork) Uh, unfortunately I don't have a picture of him here, but he's the fat king guy. I knew it was you as soon as I heard you, though, because you did your Silverbolt voice.
SCOTT: (Silverbolt voice) Ah yes, I remember him.
LIZZARD: Yes, exactly. Uh, for those of you who don't know, my name is, well, Lizz, but I go...
LIZZARD: No, my name is not Allen, Kirby.
KIRBY: (nod of head) Oh, right!
LIZZARD: I go by Lizzard - that is the nickname everyone calls me in real life. I have multiple web sites about Escaflowne, including a site called Lost Escaflowne, which is about the scenes that were deleted from the original Escaflowne TV series...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (shouting out) I am so glad that you have that!
LIZZARD: (picks up Sock Ally) I also have, of course, Adventures of Sock Ally, where he travels around the world and, well, scares people. (picks up Mini-Merle) By the way, Mini-Merle will be a new appearance on the Sock Ally site soon...
(AUDIENCE GOES AWWWWWWW)
LIZZARD: I also have the big granddaddy, Tsubasa no Kami, which was the first and remains the largest web site devoted solely to the Escaflowne movie. That includes a forum as well as pretty much everything else it can possibly contain. I might add that was supposed to be a little one page site when I first put it up and it has taken over my life.
LIZZARD: I am trying to put it to sleep, but the news keeps cropping up and of course the fans keep demanding more! So, now then, for the purposes of this panel, I am going to jump right to the Q&A, because I know you don't want to hear me babble up here. I also have some prizes to give away that were donated by Bandai, as well as some items from my personal collection. We're going to have trivia questions for those, so I hope you've boned up on your Escaflowne.
SCOTT: We're doomed.
LIZZARD: Yeah, you're not going to win anything, Scott. As far as the questions go, I do have a request, and that is that you keep your questions pertinent to Escaflowne or general questions for the guests. Please don't ask anything about Gundam Wing, or ask poor Kirby to say the Miroku line one more time...
LIZZARD: I think, actually - why don't you just go ahead and do it and get it over with.
KIRBY: (Miroku voice) Would you bear my children? Would you?
LIZZARD: Thank you.
KIRBY: No, really, I'm being serious.
LIZZARD: Oh, I would be happy to bear your children.
KIRBY: 'Scuse us! (glomps Lizzard and pretends to kiss her)
SCOTT: (to audience) Whoa, talk amongst yourselves...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (shouting out) Go Lizz!
LIZZARD: Woo! Yes, that's right, I'm living the fangirl dream, I'm sitting next to Van. (points to Sock Ally) Oh, and Allen! (turns to Scott) And the, uh, dog guy...
LIZZARD: All right, anyways, I'll just go ahead and open it up to questions. Who has a question? (selects fan) Go ahead.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Some people - comparing the movie to the TV series, a lot of people have said that the movie is not so great. What do you guys think about the movie versus the TV series?
SCOTT: (gesturing to indicate a theater screen) I thought it was much bigger.
SCOTT: A lot bigger. (looking at Kirby) I'm deferring to you on this one a lot.
KIRBY: It uh, it looked to me, when they put the movie together it looked like they assumed everybody knew the entire series in and out, because so many people were confused by the movie, that didn't know the series. 'Cause if you walked in... The whole point of making a feature film, if anybody saw, uh, the X-Files feature film, I mean, there's a lot of references that go back to the TV series, but you have to make a movie on the whole understandable from beginning to middle to end - there's rising action, there's falling action - I don't think the movie encaptured that at all. I thought it was completely confusing and you had to know the back knowledge of the series to get the movie, which I didn't like, not the way it was put together.
LIZZARD: I will add just for the record that statistically, it's interesting, as far as existing anime fans go, those who see the movie before seeing the TV series tend to like the movie just fine. (turns to Scott and Kirby) Having no understandable plot is kind of an anime thing, unfortunately... (turns back to audience, coughs, and speaks quickly) Evangelion...
(AUDIENCE LAUGHS AND CHEERS)
LIZZARD: But those who saw the TV series first generally do agree that the movie is inferior, and in fact many times they come away from it almost feeling cheated because it did not continue the story or really deal with the characters in the same way - and of course, the big one, which I get approximately 10 emails about a day - why don't Van and Hitomi kiss?
SCOTT: (turns to Kirby) Yeah.
LIZZARD: (also turns to Kirby) Yeah. Why don't they?
SCOTT: What's the story, Kirby?
KIRBY: He's shy. Well, I don't know. There should have been a lot more schmackin'.
SCOTT: A lot more schmackin'. Bring the schmackin' on!
LIZZARD: We need to introduce them to doujinshi.
LIZZARD: Moving on, any other questions? (points to audience member)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Um, like, I noticed that Van's character in the movie is - he's a lot more violent, more openly violent than he is in the show. Were they trying to sort of continue on - like, he gets more violent during the show - were they trying to play off that or were they just trying to show a different aspect of his personality?
LIZZARD: (to Kirby and Scott) Did they give you guys any insight as to that?
KIRBY: They didn't even tell us they were making a movie.
KIRBY: They basically just took bits and pieces from the series and put together a movie. So we - it's not like we had this different section - or said, oh, now we're doing a feature film!
SCOTT: (mocking tone) Eh, we're going to send 'em to do a feature film...
LIZZARD: They recorded it all together then?
KIRBY: The whole series was just done together, and then I read in the paper that there was a movie, and I was like: What? Who did my character? And then I read the cast of characters and I wasn't in it - just because they didn't know who it was. There was, uh, actually, both Dobsons were listed...
KIRBY: And, uh, Trevor Devall. (laughs)
SCOTT: That's it?
KIRBY: That was the cast, that's it! And I was like, oh.
SCOTT: Oh my.
KIRBY: I don't know what happened. I thought maybe I had been fired and nobody told me.
SCOTT: (laughing) You mean you didn't know?
KIRBY: Yeah, so it was really weird. If they were gonna make a movie they should have been like - this is going to be the movie, and this is the feel we want for the movie, this is like the attitude Van's going to have and everything else, but it was pretty much - I think they just happened to take the violent sections that Van...
SCOTT: (snob voice) Let's take all the stuff we can't show on TV, and put that together into a movie. Yes, I'm onto it!
LIZZARD: They did actually do the dubbing at about the same time that the movie went into production, so - sorry, they did the TV series dubbing at about the time that the movie was in production. The movie was actually scripted as a completely stand-alone story. They apparently just didn't let you in on that!
LIZZARD: So you didn't have the secret password!
KIRBY: There's actually a whole payment issue behind that, which is why they never told us. Because they have to pay us differently for that.
LIZZARD: Ah, is this something we shouldn't touch?
KIRBY: Yeah, if they don't let us know about it, then we really...
SCOTT: Yeah, that is a little sketchy.
LIZZARD: Oh dear. Well, to answer your question, though, I do know that the director of the TV series as well as the movie, Akane, has said that he wanted the movie to appeal more to males. He estimates that the viewership for the TV series was approximately 80% female, and he wanted to shift that...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (laughing) Yeah right!
LIZZARD: That's his estimate, I don't know where he got it! He uh, wanted to shift that for males. And so that's one reason he made it darker and more violent. That was actually a conscious decision, to try and make it appeal to the guys.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Why can't girls like violence?
LIZZARD: (laughing) Hey, guys, I'm just repeating what they said! Don't attack me!
KIRBY: Did you see Girls Gone Wild? That was violent...
LIZZARD: OK, next question. (selects a cosplayer) Ah, Digiko.
DIGIKO COSPLAYER: Just how much do you love Allen?
LIZZARD: (laughs) How much do I love Allen? I have a license plate that says SCHEZAR. That's how much I love Allen!
(AUDIENCE CHEERS AND CLAPS)
KIRBY: What does that mean?
LIZZARD: That's Allen's last name.
KIRBY: Oh. (makes strange face at Lizz)
LIZZARD: (points to Sock Ally) Yeah, this kind of speaks for itself, but the license plate is fun. It really freaks some people out, too. I've actually had a couple people recognize it. So yeah, I adore him, but at the same time I recognize that he's a cartoon character. I am aware of that, you don't have to worry about bursting my bubble or anything.
KIRBY: Oh no. He's real.
LIZZARD: He is? Hook me up, man! I'm there!
LIZZARD: OK, other questions? (selects audience member)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have only seen the sub, like four times now, and I noticed probably the second time or something, that there was this whole parallel between Van and Dilandau, especially in the - I assume everyone has seen the series here, I don't want to spoil anything - but the part where Van slaughters all the Dragonslayers...
SCOTT: (slaps head as though upset by spoiler) Doh!
LIZZARD: (makes face at Scott) Didn't you voice half the Dragonslayers?
SCOTT: Obviously I'm a little confused about that part of my life.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: But, um, especially in the way he was drawn, I noticed, he was drawn a lot more like Dilandau with the exaggerated sort of feminine eyes and the way his pupils really shrunk down, and his voice got sort of the same screaming quality and...
LIZZARD: (puts up warning hand) Please don't imitate that.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh don't worry, I'm not going to! I can't imitate any of the voices. (looks at Kirby) Um, did you see, as doing Van, did you see any parallels between Van and Dilandau at all?
KIRBY: Uh, I'm trying to remember who played Dilandau...
SCOTT: Andrew Francis.
LIZZARD: Yeah, it was Andrew Francis.
KIRBY: Oh yeah! Andrew Francis, that's right!
SCOTT: You're both blonde...
KIRBY: Oh yeah, the little crazy, psychotic, yeah!
SCOTT: I thought he was great.
KIRBY: Yeah, he had a fun character. And yeah, when Van lost it and screamed - it's funny, because Andrew and I have, we can get into similar vocal qualities when we're doing things, and uh, I think that's what draws some similarities between the characters. I've auditioned for characters that he's gotten, and he's auditioned for characters that I've gotten in different shows, so we can get into the same vocal range and it just - when you get really excited sometimes you slip into the exact same vocal range, so that's probably why that happened. (laughs as he recalls the age of Andrew as well as his own age) One of them is 19, one of them is 29, it's good! Um, but in the sub you were noticing there were similarities...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, even if not in the voice, in the character. Did you - have you seen the series?
LIZZARD: You've actually sat and watched it?
KIRBY: I've watched it on DVD, the show.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's good.
KIRBY: But I've never seen the subs.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: OK, but did you notice after, when you were watching it, oh, I notice that - some things I just notice on different viewings and I was wondering what you sort of picked out of that.
KIRBY: Uh, never really made a connection to like a physical...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Or just like an attitude or anything besides...
KIRBY: Well, I think because they're both young, and the animators probably had an idea of how they both would react at that age, and that kind of environment...
LIZZARD: They also did have a tendency to try and create some physical similarities between the characters. I know if you have ever seen the design sketches for Allen when he was young and a bandit, a few of the facial expressions that they did on the design sheets, it basically looks like they took Dilandau and put him in a ponytail. I mean, he's got the same kind of (scary voice) ha ha, I'm going totally insane (normal voice) kind of look on his face, which I personally find extremely disturbing...
LIZZARD: But I do know that on occasion they did try to create similarities between the two so that they could play off each other, kind of as a foil, as you would say in literary analysis, and uh, I just gave away the fact that I'm a teacher. (sighs) Moving on.
KIRBY: (whispering) Foiled again.
LIZZARD: Yes, foiled again. (selects audience member) Yes, you again.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: About Dilandau, I know they were saying, I'm not sure about the whole American fanbase, but I know in Japan Dilandau was really, really popular, especially amongst female fans. Would you consider his character, I was wondering if you had any... (trails away)
SCOTT: Mmm, they like them a little crazy!
KIRBY: Girls like the bad boy.
SCOTT: (lisping voice) He's a bit dangerous...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: He's so scary!
LIZZARD: He is very popular in Japan, but actually the two most popular characters in Japan are Van and Hitomi, especially as a couple. However, Dilandau does have a very big following in Japan, and yes, they are, strangely enough, mostly female. But he also has a very large and sometimes frightening following here in the United States as well...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes. (giggles)
LIZZARD: Yeah. You guys think I'm weird with the Allen stuff, but no, you've seen nothing till you meet some of the Dilandau people. Um, but, like any extreme character, you know, I think there are people who are just attracted to that kind of character because they're different, they're interesting, he's got a cool laugh and a flamethrower, you know, what's not to like?
SCOTT: (mobster voice) Hey, chicks dig men with flamethrowers, it's a well-known fact.
LIZZARD: (selects audience member for question) Ah, yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: What do you... (chokes)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: What do you... (giggles and has to collect herself)... What do you think about the fact that Dilandau turns into a woman?
LIZZARD: Who are you asking?
SCOTT: (surprised) Turns into?
KIRBY: When does that happen?
(AUDIENCE LAUGHS VERY LOUDLY)
SCOTT: Apparently after Jajuka gets killed, 'cause I had no idea.
LIZZARD: (stunned) You really didn't have any idea?
SCOTT: I'm a little clueless when it comes to this show, in all honesty.
KIRBY: It's true. (suddenly notices a doodle Scott has been working on) Oh, he just drew what looks like Trowa... Or Van...
SCOTT: Oh yeah, I did. Well, it was supposed to be a woman, but you know...
KIRBY: So Dilandau turns into a woman. Refresh me!
LIZZARD: OK! Yes, Dilandau is actually Allen's long-lost sister Celena, but the Zaibach did experiments on him to turn him into... Sorry, did experiments on her to turn her into a pyromaniac.
SCOTT: Oh, those wacky Zaibach...
SCOTT: He's sitting in a bar someplace going, like, Ranma, like, eh, does this seem normal to you? Does this happen a lot?
LIZZARD: Ah, after Jajuka's killed, Scott, that's actually one of the things that causes Dilandau to revert back to Celena. And by the end of the series she's turned into a woman!
SCOTT: I have that effect on people.
LIZZARD: You cause people to grow large breasts and become female?
(AUDIENCE LAUGHS LOUDLY)
KIRBY: I know I was curious...
LIZZARD: (to audience) Oh God! Run!
KIRBY: (gesturing as though he has breasts) I woke up with these, I dunno what happened!
SCOTT: (superhero voice) I swore I'd never use my powers for evil again...
LIZZARD: So, I guess the answer to that question was...
KIRBY: Wow, that's weird. That's it.
KIRBY: But there's no surprises in anime, right?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You watched the series and you couldn't remember that?
LIZZARD: He apparently wasn't watching it closely.
KIRBY: I wasn't in the whole series, there was like, fifty-eight episodes or something...
KIRBY: Oh, no that's right, that's right, Gundam Wing, sorry, is fifty-two and... Yeah, twenty-six...
SCOTT: We're not going to make it out of here alive.
LIZZARD: Oh God, he's confusing Escaflowne with Gundam Wing...
SCOTT: (turns to Kirby) Run!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (gestures at audience but speaks to Lizzard) And you were worried about them doing that!
KIRBY: Ah, yeah, I did see it, I mean I recorded them all, but I think it's been four years since...
LIZZARD: It's been a while. The TV show aired on Fox - all eight episodes they showed on Fox...
LIZZARD: In 2000, I think it was? They delayed the DVD release for it, I remember that. See, yeah, must have been 2000, which meant you had to have recorded this around '99 or so?
LIZZARD: Which would've been about right.
SCOTT: (lisping voice) That was like the last millennium, come on. I have a tough enough time remembering Thursday.
LIZZARD: (looks at Scott strangely for a moment) I just have nothing to say to that! OK...
KIRBY: So OK, let's see, Dilandau is a woman, we missed episodes...
LIZZARD: Yeah, you with us so far?
KIRBY: The phantom movie, the kid from... Yeah, that was... (gives up) All right.
LIZZARD: Just stop, your head's gonna explode. (pets Kirby) Yeah, you're Van. You're Van. You're cool. OK. I think, Inuyasha's buddy back there had a question.
INUYASHA'S BUDDY: Yes, hi. Um, I was wondering if you, what you thought of the other... Some people's insistence that Folken is better than Allen?
LIZZARD: (puts heads in hands and then looks up with a laugh) Wow, getting a lot of personal questions here! Obviously, I think they are insane.
LIZZARD: You know, what can I say, I just don't have a thing for guys with big metal arms and spiky poison-fingers who go around destroying their own country and helping the bad guy! Even if they do turn out OK by the end and die nobly and... You know, I'm not saying Folken's not hot, but...
(AUDIENCE LAUGHS AND BABBLES)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You didn't, you haven't. Awesome black wings, though, so...
LIZZARD: There's a scene where Allen has wings!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: He doesn't really have them! It was just a dream! Hitomi hallucinated!
LIZZARD: Now, wait wait wait - he doesn't really have them? We're talking about a cartoon character! Of course he doesn't really...
KIRBY: (puzzled interruption) That was my brother, right?
LIZZARD: Folken's your brother dear, that's right.
KIRBY: (proud) Got that one!
LIZZARD: (cheerleader moves) OK, woo!
KIRBY: Ask me anything now!
LIZZARD: I can't wait to see you during the trivia questions.
SCOTT: Right, trivia's gonna hurt.
LIZZARD: (to audience again) Honestly, to each their own as far as liking the characters... Um, people have different things about characters that appeal to them, um... What I enjoy in anime, what I think is cute in anime, are the angsty bish. In real life I think that it would make me crazy. You know?
KIRBY: I think the angsty bish are good with some matzo balls, and...
LIZZARD: (laughs) Seriously, if Allen was hanging around my den all the time I would just have to beat him with a stick. You know? Stop moping! Do the dishes! No, it's not a man's world any more! You know, that kind of thing. But for fantasy, he's good. So. (indicates another audience member for a question) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I really appreciated the character designs from the movie, like how they really went into it and everything. I know Scott probably doesn't like the underwear that Merle gets, but...
SCOTT: (evil grin) Merle doesn't wear underwear?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: But what's with the big eye in the moon? It's kinda like Lord of the Rings.
LIZZARD: Um, actually the director has made a statement on that. He's said that the eye on the moon - and this is a really interesting concept - he's said the eye on the moon is actually the remnants of a base that used to be built there a long time ago. He's said that the Gaia of the movie is supposed to be basically the Earth of the future. And what you are seeing on the moon hanging in the sky...
(AUDIENCE BEGINS TO LAUGH)
LIZZARD: (notices that Scott has started fondling Mini-Merle) What are you doing? I'm trying to have a serious discussion here about moon bases and you're... Do you and she need to get a room?
SCOTT: (checks under Merle's skirt for underwear) Oh, we will be just fine, thank you.
LIZZARD: Anyways! Gaia of the movie is supposed to be Earth of the future and therefore what you see, the eye on the moon, is actually supposed to be the remains of an old moon base. Which I had never heard until Akane said that in an interview. It was... Still to me seems a little out of left field, but you know, if the director says it, OK! So that's the story on the eye on the moon, um, and unfortunately that's the only story I have on it. (choosing audience member with hand up) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: What is your, who, in the movie, what is your position on who the Wing Goddess is? Do you agree with Hitomi or that Sora is?
LIZZARD: Honestly I think there's evidence for both. Um, personally I prefer not to give my opinion on this, simply because I have a tendency, when I say things about the movie, people tend to take it as gospel. You know, if Lizzard says this, it must be. And...
KIRBY: I think it's Hitomi!
LIZZARD: OK, he thinks it's Hitomi! (pets Kirby again) Um, honestly though, there's evidence for both. It really depends also on whether or not you accept the radio dramas that came out along with the movie in Japan as gospel. Now these radio dramas were created before work on the movie was completed, so it is possible for them to have plots that aren't entirely consistent. But we... (hears giggles from Kirby) Yes, it is possible for the movie to be consistent, believe it or not... (back to audience) The radio drama very clearly makes it sound like Hitomi is the Wing Goddess. Because Sora herself refers to Hitomi repeatedly as the Wing Goddess, which she does not, as you know, do in the movie at all. She never actually calls her that or anything. So it really just depends on how much weight you give to the evidence. It could be either. (chooses audience member for next question) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, I was wondering, you guys, do you do, um, dubbing for American cartoons as well, or mostly anime? What's the difference?
SCOTT: Ah, it's very different in that it's not dubbing. That's the biggest difference right there, is that it is not dubbing. When we're doing work for a North American type show like X-Men and... Kong...
KIRBY: (laughing) There's a little one that hardly ever comes up, although it's still on TV.
SCOTT: Um, when we go in to do that type of work, we go in and read, the whole cast is there, we do the whole thing, we're working off the script sheet, it's done very much like a radio play. And so, you know, everybody's there and you're acting, reacting, throwing things, behaving generally in an extremely mature fashion I would say, highly professional at all times, and then they animate to what we have done. Whereas with anime it's already been done and we go in one at a time, watch the screen, try (William Shatner voice) desperately... to make these... sentences fit.. into another person's mouth... (normal voice) and, ah, somehow or other magically the plot will all make sense. The reason that, probably, we're a little vague on this, too, is that, um, with North American stuff, you know, we've got a complete script, all the dialogue, all the pages, we know the story, we read the script, we're acting along, we're there for the whole story, whereas with anime, with dubbing, we have generally a script with our lines, and the only part of the show we ever get to see is when our characters' mouths are moving. So they just sorta shoot through everything until it's like, OK, you know your line starts at 21:36:27 here, beep beep beep go! Why am I saying this? It doesn't matter, make it fit, OK go! Ahhhhh! You know, and then on to the next cue and on to the next cue and on to the next cue, so it sort of... Absurd as it sounds, most of the time we don't have the vaguest notion of what's happening.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Do you think there's any chance that that might be remedied somehow?
SCOTT: (redneck voice) Ya mean by educatin' the actors? (normal voice) So that they don't have to go, I played who? That was me?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (same tone as Scott) She's a woman?
LIZZARD: I think that's the line for the panel right there.
KIRBY: There's a little method to doing things which is basically whatever's cheapest and fastest is the best, and this current method is the cheapest and the fastest and so...
SCOTT: Therefore in the producers' eyes, the best.
KIRBY: Yeah. So I mean of course, we'd love to have more knowledge of everything, and more ability to - hell, we'd just like to reanimate the whole thing and do a prelay, that'd be great. But, um, yeah, I don't think there's much chance of it ever really changing. 'Cause it works this way. Or maybe not entirely, but...
(CELL PHONE GOES OFF IN AUDIENCE AND IS ANSWERED)
KIRBY: (laughs) You answered it?
KIRBY: (airhead voice) I'm like, god, Mom, quit calling me here! I'm in the middle of a convention!
LIZZARD: Should we wait for her?
KIRBY: Yeah, we'll wait, that's OK. Gotta be really important! Who is it, who is it?
(CELL PHONE USER IS EMBARRASSED, TRIES TO SIGNAL THE PANEL MEMBERS TO GO ON)
LIZZARD: On the count of three, everyone shout hi. One, two, three!
(AUDIENCE SHOUTS AND LAUGHS)
KIRBY: Listen, you must be high, what're you doing answering the phone?
(CELL PHONE USER BLUSHES AND FINISHES CALL)
KIRBY: OK, anyways, oh yeah, that's... Next question.
LIZZARD: All right, we have time for about two or three more questions and then I need to move to giving away free stash, which I figure will not be a problem for anyone? So, uh, I'll take two or three, depending on how long they take. (chooses person) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Uh, I remember in the supplementary materials for one of the discs there was a mention the movie was gonna possibly center around the Zaibach, and I was just wondering if they were ever thinking of going back to that?
LIZZARD: Ah, as of yet there are not any established plans - at least, none that they've let me know about - to do a sequel for either the TV series or the movie. There were a lot of different ideas that were bounced around for both of them. And there are a lot of ideas that remain out there that I know, um, the director and other people who worked on the show and the movie have said they would love to return to someday, but that's kind of like saying, you know, I'd like to go on vacation to Hawaii. It doesn't mean they actually have any plans to do so. Um... Considering that Escaflowne's been more popular outside Japan than it has been within Japan, I don't know that the odds are good for seeing a sequel to either the TV series or movie. In fact, the movie really only got off the ground as a project because it was co-produced by an American company and a Korean company. It was all three of them together that pooled the money to do it, and had that not occurred, we never would have seen even a movie. So, uh, I don't believe they're going to come back and use that idea, but who knows? I would've never thought there'd be a movie in the first place.
KIRBY: There was money?
SCOTT: Did we ever get any of that money Kirby?
KIRBY: Oh, I got a doughnut.
LIZZARD: (teases Scott and Kirby) Why do you deserve money? You didn't even know Dilandau was a girl.
SCOTT: (mumbles to Kirby) You got a whole doughnut?
LIZZARD: (selecting next question) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Um, Hitomi has two different personalities in the series and the movie. What are your feelings about that?
SCOTT: (laughs) I think it's called acting isn't it? To play one mood all the time is a bit dull, I'd say.
LIZZARD: (to audience member) You mean how her personality is different from the...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, like in the series she's more upbeat and then in the movie she's depressed, she wants to kill herself...
KIRBY: They really played on that whole death, death, death thing in the movie. Yeah, she was...
LIZZARD: Did you guys have feelings on that? Did you find her annoying?
KIRBY: I found her annoying in the movie. I did. I didn't like the movie, to be honest with you. (laughs)
SCOTT: I thought Andrew Francis was terrific. That was my impression when I left the movie.
LIZZARD: Where did you see the movie, Scott?
SCOTT: We saw it at the theater in Vancouver.
LIZZARD: Well, I figured it was in a theater, but...
SCOTT: In Tinseltown, right.
LIZZARD: Did you go together to see it?
SCOTT: Yeah, the whole cast went.
LIZZARD: Oh, you went all together as one big...
SCOTT: Yes, we went as a gang. (Kirby and Scott start making West Side Story finger-snaps)
LIZZARD: A mob, more like...
SCOTT: (lisping voice) Does my nose really look like that on TV? God, it's so huge up there!
LIZZARD: All right, one more question... Ah, unfortunately you've asked a bunch before... All right, we'll ask, well, I just can't resist. Van? Go for it.
VAN COSPLAYER: Um, I'm gonna get yelled at for this, but is Sora with an R or an L?
LIZZARD: It doesn't matter. Honestly, we're talking about transliterating a language and a name that literally does not exist with English letters to begin with. Um, the way her name is correctly spelled is in the Japanese katakana, um, that's the only truly correct spelling. Um, and...
LIZZARD: Yes, that's writing it in a different form of alphabet...
SCOTT: Oh, I know what it means, I'm just impressed you used it.
LIZZARD: (airhead voice) I'm smarter than I look... (normal voice) Um, as far as the R and L sound, that's one of the sounds that can go either way. The katakana... (starts over) That sound is the same in Japanese and in English as far as when they pronounce the word, so when you write it down and you can choose to write it with an R or you choose to write an L, it really doesn't matter. Some of the official paperwork does write her name [in English letters] Sora, with an R. Some of the official paperwork writes it LL, instead of R. So both of them are equally correct. I mean, that is incidentally the case for other Escaflowne names - Balgus, for example, is also sometimes written as Vargas. Biore, one of the Dragonslayers, is sometimes written as Viole. Ah, so there are a number of names - actually Van, we all know Van as of course Van, V-A-N, um, but it's equally correct to be Baan, with a B. Now, that's not very common to see, but it is equally correct. And in fact, would be consistent, considering the way Balgus is usually written. It's the same sound at the beginning of the words. Baan and Balgus. Why is it Balgus with a B in one case, and a V with the other?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Folken always pronounces it Baan.
LIZZARD: Yes, Baan. I am your brother. (makes Darth Vader breathing noises)
LIZZARD: All right! Um, if we have time we can come back for some more questions, but I figure I want to give away a few items here. Bandai Entertainment has been kind enough to provide some freebies for us. There is, for example, an Escaflowne movie box set...
KIRBY: Does it have all the episodes?
LIZZARD: No, honey, that's the movie.
KIRBY: Sorry, I'm kidding.
LIZZARD: (teasing) Oh, I get it, that was a joke. OK. All right. (normal voice) They've also provided us with the four volumes of Arjuna, which I am going to hand out individually just so that we can spread the love. Arjuna has actually been referred to by Shouji Kawamori, the driving figure in Escaflowne, as sort of a spiritual sequel to Escaflowne. Now, the characters aren't the same, the plot isn't the same, but it does have very much the same feel and you'll find that it also has a lot of other similarities. For example, Yoko Kanno does the soundtrack to it, the animation is by Sunrise, some of the voice actors are the same too, Tomokazu Seki is in Arjuna as one of the characters - Maaya Sakamoto is not in Arjuna, however. (notices Scott fondling the movie box set) Um, you want that, don't you?
SCOTT: (pouting) I'm just looking!
LIZZARD: OK, all right! I also have here some items from my personal collection. These are production photocopies called settei that were used during the production of the Escaflowne TV series in Japan. Um, now, they are photocopies, but what that means is not that I went to Kinko's and ran them off, but that these are copies that were made at the production house, Sunrise, in order to hand out to the various animators that were working on the show to use as references. These settei sheets were used, for example, um, to designate the colors. (picks one up) This one - I'm sorry for using Mole Man as my example, but...
LIZZARD: There he is, good old Mole, and it's got all the lines and stuff designating the colors. I have a range of different characters and sheets here which I will hand out, and if you win one of those you can have a piece of the actual production. All right? OK. Um, trivia questions. Hmm, how confident are you guys in your abilities?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (shouting out) We're good!
LIZZARD: I have easy questions, I have hard questions.
(AUDIENCE CHANTS FOR EASY QUESTIONS)
LIZZARD: You guys are wimps!
KIRBY: (points to movie box set) I think this is the hard question.
LIZZARD: Yeah, I think so too.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (shouting out) Make it multiple choice!
LIZZARD: Yeah, multiple choice. No. All right. Guys, let's start with a real easy one. What is Van's full name? (picks first hand up) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Van Slanzar de Fanel.
LIZZARD: Correct. All right, I'm gonna give you Arjuna number one. (hands over prize, then picks up paperwork) You see, I typed some out just to make sure I didn't forget anything. All right, let's try another one. What year did the TV series originally air in Japan?
(AUDIENCE IS STUMPED)
LIZZARD: Oh, come on!
KIRBY: (hopping up and down) Oh! Oh!
LIZZARD: No! (picks a hand) Yes, in the back.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: 1989?
LIZZARD: No. (picks another hand) Yes?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: 1997?
LIZZARD: No. (picks another hand) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: 1990?
LIZZARD: No. (picks another hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: 1996?
LIZZARD: 1996! Good!
SCOTT: (carnival barker voice) Give the man a Kewpie doll.
LIZZARD: All right, that one was apparently a little bit hard so I am going to give him this settei set for the Alseides mecha, complete with all of the compartments. (hands out prize)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.
KIRBY: Dude, that is wicked.
LIZZARD: You're welcome. All right, moving on. What were Naria and Eriya's original names?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (shouting out) Cat One and Cat Two?
LIZZARD: (laughs) No. All right. I know some of you in here gotta know this. All those catgirl fans out there.
KIRBY: Alvin and Simon.
LIZZARD: Alvin and Simon? (laughs)
SCOTT: Let's not forget Theodore.
LIZZARD: Theodore was Merle. (notices that audience appears stumped again) No one knows? OK, well, what's one of them? (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Belu-Belu?
LIZZARD: One of them's Belu-Belu! That's the one you remember. The other one is Naru-Naru. All right. I will give you something, come on up. I'll give you Arjuna number two. (hands out prize, then sighs) You guys will never get my hard ones. Hmm. All right. Let's try something a little simpler. How many Knights Caeli are there? Knights of Heaven, how many total are there? (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Twelve.
LIZZARD: Twelve, correct! C'mon up. (hands out Arjuna three)
LIZZARD: All right, this one's for the Dilandau fans. I had to have one in there. Name all six of the Dragonslayers that are with him at the beginning of the series. Jajuka does not count. All six! OK, I see someone with a hand up back there.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think I can.
LIZZARD: Oh, you think you can, you think you can! Let's do it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: There's Biore, right?
LIZZARD: Yes, Biore.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (going on) And Viole.
LIZZARD: Uh, wait, what was your first one?
LIZZARD: You were saying Biore there too, so, no. All right. (picks another hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Chesta, Guimel, Migel, Viole, Gatti, and...
FRIEND OF AUDIENCE MEMBER: You just said it...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I can remember what they look like. (laughs) Did I say Dalet?
LIZZARD: No, you didn't, but now you have.
LIZZARD: All right! That was a hard one, so I tell you what, I'm going to give you the settei sets for Dryden and Millerna. (hands out prize)
LIZZARD: Now, I could be really mean and ask you guys to name all six of Allen's Crusade crew members, but no one in here would be able to get it except for me, so we'll just skip right over that. All right, how many episodes was Escaflowne originally planned to be? (notices the girl who listed the Dragonslayers has her hand up) You've just won some!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I know. I won't take a prize but I can answer it!
LIZZARD: (picks a different hand) You.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thirty-nine.
LIZZARD: Thirty-nine! Absolutely. (hands out prize) Arjuna four! All right, guys. I've got a few items left here and then we'll go for the big one, and I'm warning you, that question's going to be hard. All right? Let's see, what's the purpose of Merle's necklace? (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's a nailfile.
LIZZARD: It's a nailfile. Yes. (suddenly recognizes person from the beginning of the giveaway) Did you already win something? You did. OK. It's all right, come on. OK, what I'm going to give you is, since you've already won something, I'm going to give you the one that is going to be least popular. She wins Mole Man!
LIZZARD: All right, let's move on. Who's taller, Dryden or Allen? Hand! (picks person)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dryden?
LIZZARD: Correct! Come on down! I'm going to give you... No, you won't care about that. (sets aside settei of Hitomi's gym bag contents) All right, I'm going to give you the specs for the Crusade, and this is a fair number of specs here, so here we go, three sheets.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thanks!
LIZZARD: You're welcome! (sighs) Ah, let's do some more hard name ones. Which twin is the gold one? (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Eriya.
LIZZARD: Yes. No. Yes! Ahhhhh! What is it? I wrote it down. (checks sheet) Yes! OK. (laughs) I've confused myself! Oh God, I think it's the first time I've done that!
SCOTT: When the master falls...
LIZZARD: I shouldn't have asked that. All right, come on up. (hands out prize) Let's see. All right. All right, guys, we need to move it faster, so the next one is going to get the sets for both Escaflowne and Scherazade. And that's about ten sheets total, so let's make it a hard one. How many brothers and sisters does Hitomi have? (picks a hand) Yes.
AUDIENCE BROTHER: One brother.
LIZZARD: She has one younger brother, correct. (sifts paperwork) Let's make sure I'm giving you all the correct ones... OK, here you go... (hands out prize) All right. Another set here... (accidentally hits Kirby in the face with her elbow as she lifts papers) Oh, oh, are you all right? I just broke your tooth out, didn't I?
KIRBY: (laughing) Yeah, took it right out.
LIZZARD: All right, another set for Escaflowne and Scherazade. What preview... (starts over) What previously existing character, anime character, was Allen based on?
LIZZARD: What previously existing anime character was he was based on...
LIZZARD: (laughing) Yes, Thor, that's right.
KIRBY: He's got the hair... God of thunder...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Do we know this if we've read all your sites?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, OK.
LIZZARD: No one knows?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (shouting out) Gourry? From Slayers?
LIZZARD: No! It wasn't actually. (realizes no one is going to get this one) It was Roy Fokker from Macross, believe it or not.
(AUDIENCE MURMURS WITH SURPRISE)
LIZZARD: Believe it or not, not kidding. No I'm not. All right, we'll go for a slightly easier one. Allen's owl is named Natal. What does that mean? (pauses) You guys are too, too weak. (laughs, picks a hand) You wanna take a stab at it?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I wanna say the word Christmas?
LIZZARD: Yes, it's Portuguese for Christmas.
SCOTT: (carnival barker voice) And we have another Kewpie doll!
LIZZARD: All right, guys, we only have two sets left. This set has Hitomi, Allen and Gaddes, all right? All together. Let's see...
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You're getting rid of the Allen ones?
LIZZARD: Oh, I have extras, trust me.
LIZZARD: I have plenty. All right. What's the difference between a melef and a guymelef? And no, it's not three letters. (picks a hand) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: One can fly?
LIZZARD: No. Digiko.
DIGIKO COSPLAYER: The invisible thing that they put on?
LIZZARD: No, that's not it. (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The liquid metal core?
LIZZARD: No. (picks a hand) Yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The year in which they were built?
LIZZARD: No. (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The energist?
KIRBY: A rich, creamy, chocolatey filling?
LIZZARD: Nope! (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dragon heart?
LIZZARD: No. (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The crystal thing?
LIZZARD: The energist? No. (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: The manufacturer?
LIZZARD: Nope! (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Transforming?
LIZZARD: Nope! (picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Who's riding in it?
LIZZARD: No! (laughs, picks a hand)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Size?
LIZZARD: Size! Yeah! Good job!
KIRBY: It was either size or one's a Republican and one's a Democrat.
LIZZARD: A guymelef is twice the size of a regular melef. If you actually pay attention during the series, you'll see them. Melefs are only like little half-pint guymelefs.
SCOTT: That's called sexual dimorphism!
LIZZARD: Whoa! (laughs) Scherazade and Escaflowne are guymelefs, as opposed to the other melefs that you see in the series, except the Alseides and Teirings...
SCOTT: Yeah, except it turns out later that they're girlmelefs!
LIZZARD: Oh, and there's one in Zaibach. I'm sorry, I mean in Freid, there's another one. OK, guys. That leaves the big one.
SCOTT: (making Mini-Merle dance on top of movie box set) Whee!
LIZZARD: With Merle dancing on top. Merle does not come with this, unfortunately. I'm sorry. All right. Let's make this kind of a hard one. Why is it that Eries Aston is not in line to inherit the throne?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (not sure if she wants to answer) How detailed do you want this to be?
LIZZARD: You just gotta give me the reason why... (notices a hand up) I'm actually gonna call on him first. Go for it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because, uh, he had a child out of wedlock?
LIZZARD: Who did?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Allen did.
LIZZARD: That's not why Eries isn't in line for the throne, no. Why is Eries Aston not in line for the throne? (picks the girl who listed the Dragonslayers, since she is the only hand up) Wanna try it?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: 'Cause she's in love with Allen?
LIZZARD: Yes, because she's in love with Allen. She has refused to marry anyone except Allen, and as a result her father has removed her from the inheritance.
(AUDIENCE MURMURS WITH SURPRISE)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's very easy to see this, you just have to look in the part...
LIZZARD: Yes, believe it or not, that is absolutely true, so you win the movie box set! (hands out prize) You knew I had to make the hard question an Allen question! Come on! All right. That being said, unfortunately we are going to have to wrap things up. Scott McNeil is going to have an autograph session immediately after this. However, I am closing things out a little bit early so that hopefully some of you can have an opportunity yourselves. Mr. Morrow has been kind enough to offer to sign some autographs now and maybe Scott will too...
SCOTT: Yes, I will stay.
LIZZARD: Um, otherwise, if you are not staying for an autograph I do need to ask you to go ahead and clear the room because we are going to have to make room, all right? Thank you very much for coming!
(AUDIENCE CHEERS, END PANEL)