Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sac-Con December 2010: Con Report

It's been a year and a half since I last came to a Sacramento convention, and from one cosplayer that I talked to things have changed...a lot. It was nice to see old faces in a familiar setting while taking my new skills and attributes back to my roots of conventioning.

I was there pretty early, almost an hour before the con even opened. This would allow me to lock up my interviews with Laura Bailey and Jason Dube as well as Laura's autograph for my Persona 4 merchandise.

Unfortunately, my video camera needed to be cleaned from the inside (I would later find out that I need to clean the tape head, thanks Robo!) so I went old-school with a pad and pencil. It also allowed me to take notes while I was at the con. I used this con as a training ground for the 2011 con season.

Over at the Dealers Room, I saw some interesting vendors. This one had a coin-operated 10-in-1 NES cabinet. The folks over at Armageddon Potato Games gave me some free play, which I thanked them, then I came back later with a dollar bill to play some more. There was also a comic book dealer that was selling a one-of-a-kind hip-hop comic book series that was the first and only of its kind for over 20 years full of Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, and Rick James references. I actually did buy something: a Persona 3 and 4 key chain, which happened to be Orpheus, Minato's starting Persona. With Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist getting rusty, I gave away that key chain to a random attendee. I would later go back to that dealers to buy another with a dollar discount and I got Teddie. I did take a quick glance at the Charity Auction, but I didn't buy anything which is a rarity for me.

I also bought a custom Junpei key chain from one of the local artists that were outside. On the front it has Junpei and on the back it has his hat logo. It cost me $4 and I threw in an extra dollar. Thanks for the folks over at Digital-Love for making it!

Over at the Games Room, the people in attendance and I had discussions about last night's Spike Video Game Awards show and the video game industry in general over the pickings of Street Fighter, BlazBlue, Tekken, and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I also had the first people who recognized me as Junpei from Persona 3, and I talked to them for a bit about the game. I would frequent the room throughout the day.

I was in and out of the Laura Bailey Q&A, but I caught a few of the audience's questions. She said her favorite character was Shin from Shin-Chan, and provided a couple of quotes from that series. She also mentioned work on Street Fighter 4 as Chun-Li and was surprised that she was auditioning for that role because she didn't know originally what she was auditioning for and that she was the only one who recognized Chun-Li from the provided artwork the auditioners provided. There were discussions about how voice actors in original animation like The Simpsons and Family Guy get paid than their anime counterparts because of syndication & the fact that they get paid more for each episode aired in syndication, and how she wanted to be BECK and Mass Effect 2 with a mention that she loves Dragon Age alongside the Final Fantasy and Mass Effect franchises.

During the Laura Bailey Q&A, I caught up with Hikaru Kazushime of Run Around Kazu, another person that I met back at Sac-Anime Summer 2009 and most recently at the FanimeCon Staff Meeting back in January. It was nice catching up with him, and like the cosplayer I mentioned before he told me that a lot had changed.

I went back to Laura's Q&A to hear about accent training and doing research for accuracy before taking off for lunch. I thought there was going to be food available like most Sac-Cons to pair with my one sandwich and a bottle of Gatorade, but there was none so I stuck with what I had. I also saw Team LoveHate's cars outside.

By 3pm the con was already slowing down, and I wanted to see the Masquerade which was supposed to start in an hour. But in fact, it had already started and I got there late.

This has to be the shortest Masquerade that I've ever been to with only 5 entries.

With the con almost dead and done, I went back to Laura Bailey to jokingly ask if she was going to invite me to their wedding since she's engaged to Travis Willingham, and we again shared a couple of laughs. Then I got one last signature for Zanney as Minako before saying good bye for everyone and calling it a day.

It's always fun to come back to where I first started all of this, a laid back and relaxing con where I don't have to worry about running gatherings and Host Clubs and juggling more while hanging out with people that I've grown to more. I wish I could come back to more Sacramento conventions in the near future, and that might me a possibility starting with Kintoki-Con in June 2011.

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