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No Brand Con XI held at the Plaza Hotel & Suites in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, kicked off with opening ceremonies led by the Gardening Ninja and his crew of No Brand Heroes. Attendees were treated to a video of the No Brand Heroes holding auditions for a new hero while the Gardening Ninja took some much needed vacation. Which leads to this year’s theme: “Who will be the next hero?” The No Brand Heroes – Gardening Ninja, Duct Tape Boy, Future Girl, and Green Boy – then welcomed all in attendance and introduced the special guests.
Guests at this year’s No Brand Con XI were given a chance to a better introduction. The guests proved to be a good mix of humorous personalities. The industry guests are Chris Cason, Quinton Flynn (who had to be reminded to watch his language), and Kyle Hebert. Among the fan guests are Samurai Dan and Jillian. After the guest introductions, the No Brand Heroes gave a further description of the panels and events for the weekend.
Before ending the opening ceremony the new hero was named. There were only two finalists and the first choice was not present so the runner-up was named the new hero. When the new hero Friendutron was introduced the Gardening Ninja immediately recognized his nemesis Executron in disguise.
His crew had unwittingly made their enemy one of them. Executron took control and disbanded the No Brand Heroes. Attendees will be given a conclusion at the closing ceremonies. In the meantime, they are left to wonder what is going to happen to the No Brand Heroes while enjoying the panels, vendors, artists, and other events.
One panel on opening night was Anime Behind the Scenes with Chris Cason. This is a deceptive title as Cason is open to the panel becoming whatever the attendees want it to. The opening was hijacked by Samurai Dan as he waited for someone to retrieve him for his own panel in the next room.
He cracked wise for several minutes before returning to his own panel. The discussion of the process of making anime specifically, casting voice actors. After this opening the panel quickly became something different. Among those in the audience were a group of girls who were attending a convention for the first time. And they were huge fans of Cason and Flynn.
One of the panels given by Cason and Flynn is an 18+ panel. The girls were desperate to attend but one who was 18 didn’t have an ID and actually asked Cason if he could help her get in to the panel. Things spiraled from there. She called her mom on her cellphone and gave the phone to Cason. Cason put her on speakerphone and held the microphone to the cellphone so the audience could hear the conversation. In the end he said he would help her get in.
By this time Quinton Flynn had crashed the panel. Since the girls were also huge fans of his they were gushing and in heaven. Both Flynn and Cason continued to answer questions but several times jokes got in the way. Flynn jokingly hocked his CDs (and sold two, to the girls) and recited lines in his character’s voices for the audience. The panel concluded with Flynn singing “Yaoi Song” from his CD.
No Brand Con XI opened with a bang and left attendees wanting more. After the panel with Cason which was crashed by Flynn the audience were almost salivating for the 18+ panel which will conclude Day 2. Between the crazy panels and the mysterious fate of the No Brand Heroes, attendees are left wondering what will happen now?
Image Courtesy of No Brand Con