IGPX - Immortal Grand Prix Premiere ———————————-
I am sure by now you have heard of IGPX, or Immortal Grand Prix. The joint production of Cartoon Network and Production I.G. will air on Toonami on Saturday, November 5th, 2005 at 10:30PM (ET). As I am writing this, I am watching the screening of it at WCG or World Cyber Games. The event was held at the Manhattan Center on West 34th street, 8th avenue uhhh Manhattan (Duh!). Upon arriving there, the ONLY aggravating thing happens to me. I left the house at 4:00PM, knowing that the subway takes only 40 minutes to arrive to my destination. But what I did not calculate was the stop times the subway I was on took. Stupid train made my 40 minutes travel time to a whopping an hour and a half. What the hell? Why did it take so many stops? Well the reason behind it was because there was another train ahead of the train I was on. WHAT? Make that stupid train go express and we would not have to stop every two minutes!
Argh! Whatever. That was the worst thing that happened though, now comes the bad thing. After my friend and I got out of the subway station, we proceeded to walk to the location. After walking a good six or seven avenue blocks, we look for the number of the venue. 311. I do not see it. I see a 300 and a 317, but where the heck is 311? After asking a mailwoman, she said it was that way and we did follow her simple instructions only to be at that 300 - 317 thing. So I ask another person and he was not much of a help, only stating the obvious. Then, suddenly something hits me. The way we walked was going up meaning we will leave the West side and go to the East side. Making sure of this, I looked up at the street sign and saw E. 34. I was like, ‘….’ Then I power walked back to the West part and checked the watch, I was already an hour and a half late. The screening was to be shown at 5:30PM and I was still walking at 6:30PM (Yes, I know it is only an hour difference, but I wanted to be there at 5:00PM). Anyways, my friend and I kept walking down and finally saw a big crowd. I knew immediately it was it. And to my surprise when I got there, the screening has yet to start! Maybe because they saw how important I was and had to hold it off until I arrived (Just joking!).
Anyways, when we got in, we got greeted and some raffle tickets handed to us. As we step into the main area, the place was filled with computers in the front and umm geeks :P. I noticed the big NYT sign and their station so I proceeded to walk over and looked for Taeko, who invited me to the whole thing. Nope. Did not see her, then I took some posters and stuff and played a little Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig on the PSP and left to search for Taeko. Walked around a bit, and then I saw her. Approached her and stuff and when she said to me that there were issues with the IGPX screening, in my mind I was saying, ‘Cool, I have not missed a thing.’ Since IGPX was not going to show until the person on stage finishes up with his prize giveaways I waited and it was funny how in order to get a prize, the contestant must act out a video game that the crowd screams out… uhh, how do you act out Dead or Alive? Or Initial D? The only person that made a great effort was the Super Mario dude. Okay anyways, yeah yeah, here is where Dave Chappelle’s ‘Wrap-it-up’ box comes into play.
So after a long time standing around, we finally get to sit as the show finally commences!!!! IGPX’s Eastern premiere!! The people grab their seats while my friend and I grabbed those same seats, we then later on moved onto these big single couches. Man was that nice hehe. While those people are sitting on those uncomfortable chairs, we were sitting on these ‘at home’ type of chairs.
When the lights dimmed and the episodes rolled, I was immediately taken by of course, the animation, as things that look good always have a lasting appeal to a person’s mind. Production I.G. deserves some props. But just because something looks good, it does not mean that something will be good. What I thought of IGPX? Nothing much actually. It is like Nascar mixed with those speed ice skaters. I mean, the whole Immortal Grand Prix is a metal skating, offense and defense racing course for mechas piloted by different teams. Sure it is an original anime for the Cartoon Network, but has this type of anime never been done before? Nothing should be dubbed original, unless it is something that nobody has done. Well, that is what I believe in. Now as for the down low or low down. Takashi of Team Satomi (the main character, I assume) is a rookie racer and has yet to prove himself on the asphalt. The first two episodes scroll back and forth between cuts of the races and scenes of his background. While I find it hard to pay attention to the screen during the story development I found no problem at all when the speed comes into play. You can just feel the adrenaline rush from watching the races. The mecha design is amazing. Add the transformation feature and it will grab your attention even more.
The music is right on for the action sequences. Blockhead did their job on it… but only if they had shortened their live performance after the screening was over. I do not know how anybody can stand hearing an endless loop of techno music for thirty minutes and above. Dude, everyone needs a rest. The crowd starts splitting, yet you are still spinning the turntable. I did not want to move, because I like to give people chances to impress me, but they had me at five minutes. When they stretched it to twenty minutes, I again, had to question where that ‘Wrap-it-up’ box was. Now my friend was crazy. He shouted out ‘Yo WRAP IT UP!!!’ But I guess nobody heard him except me.
When Blockhead finally decided to stop, we cheered and walked around a bit more to see what was left. Nothing much. Most vendors had closed shop, and most people had gone off to either the ‘Players Lounge’ or wherever. Even the event host had to say that the raffling would be drawn out the next day. Well dude, here is a news flash. Not everyone has time to come the next day! You are being unfair to those who stayed till the end.
When I was waiting on Taeko to take a picture with me, she kept running about and it was a mission to get her so I decided to go… only to be stopped by a… geek. The dude was scary. He comes out of nowhere, starts talking and then proceeds to hand two cans of sugar free Red Bulls to me. Then he was nice enough to offer to go get some regular Red Bulls instead of the sugar free ones. After I took a sip, I felt some tingles, but that was it. But when we left for dinner I really felt the effect. I swear to never drink Red Bulls again, because I feel like crap after I drink it. Oh wells, both of us went off into the night with some goodies back. The whole event was great, but I would have loved it, if I had known people that were there. Just standing and walking around is not my thing. I guess. Oh wells. IGPX should be a hit for Cartoon Network, and although I was not surprised or deeply impressed by it, I give them (Cartoon Network) a high five for trying to produce something for themselves. I can just visualize this as a trend of the future hehe. Hey you never know ;).
Here are some pictures from the event. I included two videos, one of them is a clip from IGPX and the other is the person acting out Pong. :P. Enjoy!
Here is NYT’s booth. They got a few PSP’s set up for the people to try out.
The picture makes the venue look small, but if you were there, you would be impressed.
Intel’s “Extreme” team here, showing off the chip’s prowess.
Here is a PSP with a face sticker and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig in it.
I have no idea, whose booth this is… seems like my friend liked them. Oh wells.
Weirdo host rounding up some contest participants. Click here for the Pong participant (18.4MB, 640×480 Resolution. Please Save Target As… onto your computer).
Team Satomi’s mecha. Looks crazy nice. Click here for the IGPX teaser video (18MB, 640×480 Resolution. Please Save Target As… onto your computer) that I have gathered.
You know what they say, “Two is always better than one.” But in this case, there were actually two more plasma televisions on the floor :/. So that makes four is always better than one.
Some dude whose name I did not catch.
Here is Taeko of New York to Tokyo, thanking the people for coming and introducing Blockhead.
Well, these two dudes make up Blockhead. I was not expecting a performance, such as, the one they put up.
We got a WCG player here! Why am I not surprised that he is playing Halo 2?
Blockhead is still spinning those tables after thirty minutes. Here is when I begin to shout out, “Wrap it up!”
At last, the stuff that we freeloaded from the event :).
Main Idea of this Rant?! - IGPX and WCG all in one!
Closing Statement(s) - The event was kind of confusing for me. Maybe I am just not used to going to them. It was a convention more than a screening. IGPX will most likely win a lot of fanfare amongst the American viewer and I am just itching to see what might follow after this show.