On the convention scene since April 2004, T-MODE was founded by Lawrence & Renee Stuckey (Chaiman & Co-Chairwoman respectively) & took place in the general vicinity of the Metro Washington, D.C. area on a yearly basis. It promoted fierce, but friendly competitions in all realms of otaku fandom by way of some high-quality guest performers & industry professionals, a sweet gaming room, & a dedicated set of passionate staffers, to name only a few endearing qualities of this special convention. After having been a fan of TAKII at a distance since TAKII ~Ichiban~, Lawrence reached out to D-chan & his Team TAKII Coalition in hopes of cultivating what would become a mutually beneficial & inspiring partnership. By early 2008, The Asian Karaoke Idol Invitational would end up releasing a press release, touting the new pairing of the TAKII World Tour & T-MODE, featuing many flattering & humbling quotes from T-MODE's Chairman. It wouldn't be long before the commencement of TAKII 5 ~Shin Seiki (Neon Genesis)~ that the Anime world would be rocked hard with the news that Lawrence Stuckey suddenly passed away sometime around March 12th, 2008. Determined to do what it could to help Renee & her 2 beautiful children honor the memory of their loved one through T-MODE, the TAKII World Tour embarked on a no-limits pursuit of "the extreme" through not only festivities like the "TAKII Show" & "Ota-Rave", but by providing assistance & a shoulder for the immediate Stuckey family to lean on in their time of need. Shortly before this "Historic Archives" page was erected, it was announced that while T-MODE 2009 wasn't going to happen, T-MODE 2010 was certainly in the works! No matter how long T-MODE is around, we want the world to know that the TAKII World Tour, & moreover the Team TAKII Coalition & Family, will be there for them!
<< SEPTEMBER 5th-7th, 2008 >> As D-chan & the TAKII World Tour arrived at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA on Day 1 of T-MODE 2008 (September 5th, 2008), Renee was there to greet him with open arms! It wasn't long before he was ushered into his own private hotel room, unpacked, then went downstairs to enjoy the festivities for the day. Once there, he was able to get suited-up with some T-MODE swag & the convention's official dogchain badge (which hangs proudly on his wall at home to this day ^_^). At the Registration Table sat her high school-aged daughter, who made some amazing paper cut-outs of Final Fantasy characters & the T-MODE mascot that were on sale for some good prices. The TAKII World Tour would help to end the day’s festivities with an epic performance by D-chan of some moving J-Pop & K-Pop standards.
Day 2 of T-MODE 2008 kicked off with a special VIP Brunch as a way for select T-MODE pre-registrants to meet & greet the convention’s various guests & performers, including D-chan (^_^). Mingling with people from up & down East Coast USA was pretty awesome, giving the TAKII World Tour invaluable insight into this highly-desirable demographic. After having his fill of ham chunks, hash browns, & scrambled eggs (yay ^_^), D-chan kicked the day’s main events off with a unique edition of “Say WTF Karaoke”, where dozens of T-MODE 2008 fans got to sing themes from their favorite series like Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) & Bishoujo Senshi SailorMoon (Pretty Soldier SailorMoon) & favorite Asian Music artists like MAX, S.E.S., & Ayumi Hamasaki. Later on that day, TAKII friends Kiwi & Nai (attending T-MODE 2008 with another social group) were invited as special guest judges for the TAKII World Tour’s “TAKII Show”, featuring some very spirited competition from a boy group singing Samurai Champloo songs, as well as T-MODE 2008’s own staff getting in on the action with quite a few Asian music hits (….& plenty of misses :-P)!! Everyone who took part was given a flyer for TAKII 6 ~NintenDecision 2008~, which they could then redeem in exchange for #1 Contender’s Pass discounts. The TAKII World Tour would pause for the better portion of the day, where D-chan would party with Nai & Kiwi as they watched a marathon of Captain N: The Game Master & ate pizza from the comfort of their hotel room. Later on, D-chan would go out with his fine ladies (^_^) & some other acquaintances to a local sushi bar, consisting of some awesome Japanese dishes! As the night was still young, the TAKII World Tour would return to set the night on fire with a special midnight version of the fusion festival classic “Last Otaku Standing”, as well as being part of a memorable “Ota-Rave” experience.
Day 3 of T-MODE 2008 signaled that the end was near for this very inspiring convention, with highlights including D-chan returning to DJ during a special autograph session for the con’s guests & performers (he even signed a few dollar bills & some girls & guys t-shirts ^_^), as well as being witness to Renee’s moving speech during Closing Ceremonies. She was kind in acknowledging all of the help & support that she received from anyone who had anything to do with T-MODE that year. The moment that stands out the most in the mind of the TAKII World Tour, however, was her presentation of a plaque, featuring a portrait of her husband & T-MODE Co-Founder, Lawrence Stuckey. As her voice quivered, her soul remained undaunted as she spoke of his never-ending love & support to not only her own family, but to his extended “family” – crazed otaku & industry professionals alike. D-chan had a lump in his throat the entire time she spoke & to this day it remains 1 of his most fond memories of an Anime convention ever.
Throughout the entire weekend, the TAKII World Tour would be in the company of many outstanding people, from the young (yet professional) staff, to voice actors like Johnny Yong Bosch & Stephanie Sheh, to Japanese Music icons like Love Etc. & Sakura Madams, & so many more. Even though there was another convention taking place at the Hilton Crystal City that day (an AARP function), a couple hundred people turned out that weekend for what many would end up appreciating & loving as 1 of the most intimate & energizing conventions on the Anime con circuit! Lawrence, as a wise woman once said, “Someone may stand where you once stood, but no one will ever take your place”. Through your fabulous family & impressive network of supporters, may T-MODE live on to represent what it really means for a con to be FOR fans, BY fans – “Watashi-tachi wa anata ga inakute samishii desu (WE MISS YOU)!!!!”