The Ims Go to SonoaidaCon

A continued EVP recording.

The Ims Go to SonoaidaCon
stock photo via unsplash

Jim: "Hey what's up, I'm Jim Thresh."

Tim: "And I'm Tim Ripp."

Jim: "And we're The Ims. Get podcasted, friends."

Tim: "Get pod-- Hey. Wait."

Jim: "Something wrong, bud?"

Tim: "I thought we already recorded this. Like just now."

Jim: "Why would we record it again if we just did?"

Tim: "Yeah, true. Sorry. Maybe it's me, maybe I'm the one who got podcasted."

Jim: "Maybe so! Today we're here to talk about being VIP panelists at SonoaidaCon, the local anime con."

Tim: "Remember, the P in VIP does not stand for panelist. It's not an ATM machine situation."

Jim: "Correct. It stands for 'Podcaster.'"

Tim: "So this one was nearby, and we didn't have to book a hotel. What a relief."

Jim: "Hotels are the worst."

Tim: "I mean, the con itself was inside one."

Jim: "I stand by what I said."

Tim: "It was only a short drive from the house where I grew up, and the stream in the woods where Jim and I used to play, when we were growing up."

Jim: "The brochure for the con actually had a whole section on how great that stream is."

Tim: "It's the best stream in the entire world. Unforgettable."

Jim: "Award-winning. So many accolades."

Tim: "So anyway, Friday we go in to just kind of see the sights. Artist's Alley, a couple other panels, and there was an open mic night. God, that open mic night."

Jim: "We'll get to the open mic night."

Tim: "Right, right. So the Alley was mostly pretty standard, but this one guy had bizarre vibes."

Jim: "And a way bigger booth than like anyone else we saw. Like some kind of palace."

Tim: "Like a museum gallery that he could lurk in the corners of, for some reason."

Jim: "Creep reasons."

Tim: "All of his prints and merch were like. I don't even know how to describe his art style except 'photorealism that is too real.'"

Jim: "Like a version of the uncanny valley where it just. Passes through to the other side, and lingers uncomfortably."

Tim: "Yeah. They didn't look like photos, they looked like windows. But flat."

Jim: "And the subject matter was always something super mundane, like this family eating at a Waffle House and the parents and their young son are laughing, but the teen sister has this like, weird alienated grimace, like she was trying to put on the mask of laughter, to hide her real face."

Tim: "My favorite was the guy sitting in a waiting room looking at his phone like he just got a text with the worst news he ever read."

Jim: "Yeah I don't think I have ever been that devastated by reading the written word. Maybe by something someone said aloud, but."

Tim: "Oh, I have."

Jim: "Oh yeah?"

Tim: "So the two panels we went to on Friday were like, promotional things for new localizations of recent anime. Like the dub cast were there with some localization crew and they'd talk about the experience of localizing it and dubbing it."

Jim: "But in a way where they hope it inspires you to watch the show on Crunchyroll."

Tim: "Right. Ulterior motives."

Jim: "How deceitful!"

Tim: "No one's ever is as up-front about their motives as we like to hope they are."

Jim: "What?"

Tim: "So the first series was this sort of hissy guy thing--"

Jim: "Isekai."

Tim: "That's what I said."

Jim: "Okay."

Tim: "This isekai thing where this college student's train derails on the way home to visit her parents and little brother for the holidays. And she gets transported to this sort of. It was a lot more afterlifey than most isekai, but more just surreal than like. Anything particularly death-oriented."

Jim: "Yeah, she doesn't even realize it at first, like she's going through the motions of her old job but it's all weird, in an escalating way. And eventually she sort of processes the stuff she needed to say to her family, her brother especially, and makes peace with what she was going through and her regrets."

Tim: "Right. It sounded super melancholy."

Jim: "Oh, definitely. Like you put that on at the college anime club and everyone is sobbing and leaves to call their family and tell them they love them."

Tim: "Right. You can't take it for granted, having the chance to do that."

Jim: "I mean, you can, but you'll regret it for the rest of your life."

Tim: "I know."

Jim: "The other anime was pretty similar. Must be a subgenre trend."

Tim: "Dead college sister train derailment trauma processing isekai."

Jim: "It's pretty specific!"

Tim: "And then, to cap it all off, that open mic night."

Jim: "Yeah. Normal mix of attempted standup comedy and 'guy with acoustic guitar trying to sound sensitive.' But then..."

Tim: "Then this woman gets up on the stage, and looks right at me, and she's just silent, but you started saying all this weird-- God damn it I'm dreaming again, huh? You died in that car accident in 2018."

Jim: "Maybe I'm actually your older sister. Like how the Cuba Gooding Jr. character in What Dreams May Come was actually Robin Williams' character's kid, in disguise."

Tim: "That was such a depressing movie."

Jim: "It had a happy ending, at least."

Tim: "I never thought of it that way. They're together but they're still all dead. Everyone they left behind still has to reckon with that loss."

Jim: "There are no happy endings for everyone. At the end of Star Wars when they all get medals for exploding the fascism sphere, Luke's family is still dead, Obi-Wan is still dead. It's a matter of focus and perspective."

Tim: "What am I supposed to be focusing on, then?"

Jim: "Not podcasts."