[Editor's Note: Japanator contributor Anthony Redgrave recently visited Rooster Teeth's RTX London event, and came away with a ton of pictures, cosplay, and good times! Check out the log he wrote about his time there, and don't miss some of the cool outfits on display in the gallery below!]
Stepping to embrace the warm autumn morning and into the ExCel centrefelt like no time had passed despite the 180 miles of separation. I was carried on the wings of excitement. Being a fan of Rooster Teeth (RT) content since 2005 the prospects of attending their 10th convention kept spirits high and heart pumping as I navigated the infamous London Underground. Even as a Brit, one wrong placement on an escalator can lead to death by side eye glares.
Registration was an easy process thanks to the fantastic direction from the Guardians (RTX London staff) and queue management.
With badge in hand, the rest of the night was spent talking plans and jokes with the rest of the con goers, anticipating the exciting weekend ahead.
Saturday (Day 1)
Non-morning folks such as I, arrived to disappointment as the first panel (Lazer Team 2) had already filled up around 9am. The early attendee catches the panels, something greenhorns like myself had to learn fast. The doors opened with a cheer and flood of fans clamouring through the artist’s alley and into the convention.
The electricity of the crowd was addictive. Feeling the passion of the fans amplified in this close space was worth more than thousand of YouTube views (non-fiscally speaking). Having a strong community presence and love for the same things was one of the highlights of the weekend. Happy excited faces decorated the halls as people met up with their real worldcounterparts having communicated only via the net previously. I took advantage of the early entry heading straight to the RT merchandise booth as that soon attracted one of the most consistently busy lines at the convention.
Around lunchtime I started to queue for RT's relationships podcast Always Open. The podcast started with head host Barbara Dunkelmanbeaming and welcoming her guests: con organiser Bethany Feinstein, head writer of live action productions Chris Demarais, and co-host substitute Lindsay Jones. An hour past by with laughter fuelled by the talented raconteurs and audience questions. I was impressed by the professional and mature way they addressed the elephant in the room that had surfaced recently. The panel cleared the air and eased the tension playing it off cool capping off a wonderful first panel for the weekend.
Grabbing a late lunch, I roamed the convention hall, camera in hand, snapping some truly wonderful cosplay. Despite the variety of productions and shows produced by RT, RWBY was the clear majority by a large margin. I did enjoy the more obscure costumes including a mobile Tower of Pimps, Sex Von Shaukel Boyz, and a few suave Gavin the Thirds (easily taking the best dressed at the con). Cosplayers readily took up poses with passion and confidence making it a real travesty when I accidently deleted them all! A rookie error on my part using a digital camera with a delete all button. This regret fuelled my drive for more pictures to take on the following day.
Before long it was time for the highly anticipated RWBY panel. The room soon filled up with 90% of the cosplayers at the con. There was soo many weapons present it could have been mistaken for a NRA meeting. The panel started off with a Yang! As Barbara hit the play button to show off the hotly anticipated Yang trailer. Kerry Shawcross (Director/Writer) and Barbara were then joined by Lindsay (voice actor), Gray Haddock(producer), and special guest Miles Luna (writer/ co-director). The following hour was entertaining and exciting as they proceeded to show off the first episode of season 5 to a standing ovation, and provide more information about the new sci-fi mecha show gen:Lock followed by the Q+A. The Q+A was the highlight of the day for me as the RWBY fanbase are the true stars of the show. Fans of all walks of life were able to pour their hearts out to their favourite creators.One brave fan was able to express her gratitude at the representation of associate personality disorder in a character that wasn’t portrayed to be antagonistic.
The panel ended with a teaser at another big RWBY hint being revealed at the RT Animation panel tomorrow. I packed myself up and headed home for the evening to properly ready myself for tomorrow early start.
News and bits from the RWBY panel:
· RWBY Season 5 will be 14 episodes long with an average of 15 minutes per episode
· Each RWBY episode will be followed by a CRWBY episode (behind the scenes) and RWBY Rewind hosted by Chad James and Yssa Badiola (lead 2D artist) and a special guest. The first will be Lindsay Jones.
· gen:Lock is coming in 2018. The teaser trailer released showed off a character named Julian Chase being dropped into a city unintentionally. Art and character design is still being finalised. Visuals are being worked on by UK artists Bach ‘Dishwasher1920’ Do and Gavin Manners who were also at the panel.
· gen:Lock will be a mecha sci-fi show with action similar to the Freelancer scenes from Red vs. Blue Season 9.
Sunday (Day 2)
Arriving with more confidence and more coffee in my belly I made it to the RT animation panel early to see; Kerry and Gray joined by Matt Hullum (CEO of Rooster Teeth), and Chad James (ScrewAttack) arrived on stage to begin the panel.
There was another chance to see the Yang trailer and gen:Lock teaser before Arc System Works’s game designer Toshimichi Mori was brought on stage to speak a little bit about how Ruby ended up in their upcoming game BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. Mori had been a big fan of RWBYbefore it came to Japan and he wanted the latest game to include a non-Japanese character in the game. When the President of Arc System Works approached him for suggestions for new characters in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Mori only had one answer: RWBY.
Gray and Kerry proceeded to play BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle on stage followed by a lucky fan being picked from the audience to compete against Chad James. An impressive feat considering Chad’s backgroundin Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
Rounding off the panel was another Q+A.
News and bits from the RT Animation panel:
· Three new characters were announced for BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle; Rachel Alucard (BlazBlue), Hazama (BlazBlue), and Weiss Schnee(RWBY).
· BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle will be released for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Steam)
Scuffling out of the RT Animation Panel before it finished I made in time to see the Live action panel: again with Matt Hullum, Aaron Marquis, and Chris Demarais. A little change of pace from the new and exciting releases, this panel was more laid back and humbling to see some projects that never left the ground including a finished RT Short featuring devious faucets and temptation, and a webseries called Tales from the Web. Both were hilarious but I respect their decision for not pursuing them. The latter web series was a comedy skit show taking the most bizarre stories told on the Internet and re-enacted by RT’s inhouse talent. Its downfall was that some stories were a bit too tall to be believable, and considering the content out there, that part is true.
News and bits from the RT Live Action Panel:
· A new series called Master & Apprentice has been announced. Featuring Marcus Gray LaPorte (Rooster Teeth’s Live Acton Production Designer) as the Master and Adam Ellis (head of ICT and actor at RT) as the Apprentice. The show will teach viewers and Adam how to make movie props and sets from using Marcus’s experience and knowledge at production work.
Human hunger and the need for forage for lunch was barrier to getting a seat for the hotly anticipated RT Podcast Panel on centre stage. Guardians were set to high alert directing attendees to remain within designated viewing spots allowing for a steady flow of foot traffic for other con goers. An excellent coordinated strategy as this allowed me to roam and listen at the same time. I was able to spend some time at the other booths at the convention including the cat dating game Purrfect Date, Super Mario Odyssey, Surf World Series, and Claws of Furry.
One particular game stood out to me was Forgotten Anne by Throughline Games. A small booth with just a laptop and associate producer Ingvi Steinn Steinsson Snaedal. The game was a side scroller story puzzler with an art style similar to early Ghibli and RWBY. A really cinematic game that had me leaning forward with anticipation on how the story will unfold.
As the convention came to a close, I had to reflect on what an amazing time I had. It’s a bittersweet feeling riding the DLR out of the ExCel centre, seeing attendees reminiscing about who they were able to see or what shows they are excited for before saying their goodbyes and dispersing one stop at a time. Fandom is a funny thing in the real world as it is often hidden away on computer screens, and only when it’s collected up in events like these can you really heard the noise it can create.
It was an unforgettable time for many first attendees and a landmark for those being able to meet their YouTube idols. RTX London has made its mark on Britain’s soil.
I hope RT will return to the land of hope and glory for many years to come. Even as I took the train back to the north, I could still see RT fans with smiles on their faces swapping stories of the weekend transpired.