Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
But just because the con on paper looks like a decent convention doesn't mean the execution might play out the same way, and I hope everything goes smoothly during these four days especially during our SoCal Host Club events.
I can't believe we are a week out from AX, and I can hardly wait!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
(You could also read about it in her report as well, please?)
I haven't done English karaoke in awhile (no, the "Burn My Dread" reading doesn't count) so I hope to get some in at Anime Expo.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Since Blogaway isn't logging me in after I upgraded my Droid to Android 2.2, so I had to find another blogging app. I found one called Blogger-droid, and while this app didn't have all the features of Blogaway, it logged me in and I can post so this will have to do for now.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Missing the maid cafe already and looking to do something on Days 2 and 3? Well, you're in luck.
Welcome to the SoCal Host Club Informational Panel and Main Event
- Grand Prize: The complete Ouran High School Host Club DVD Boxset autographed by Vic Mignogna.
- First Prize: A VIP Host Club experience unlike any other: towards the end of the session at the Main Event, we will clear everyone out and only allow the winner plus a friend to enter the Host Club Main Event in which they will be hosted by ALL.
- Second Prize: A Ouran High School Host Club Wallscroll.
Then we have the Main Event on Saturday, where we put on our shoes and dig into the roles of the Ouran Hosts for your pleasure! Come on by and be hosted by the full cast! We will only have an hour to do all of this, so come early!
The panel will be on Friday from 1:30 to 2:20pm and the Main Event will be on Saturday from 1 to 1:50pm. Both will be at the same location: LP3, LACC 515A.
We hope to see you all at Anime Expo 2010!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Ryan and I got to Matt's place in the morning and got only a few hours of sleep before having to head out to San Francisco at 7:00 in the morning. Since registration opened up at 5:00 in the afternoon, we figured we can hanging out in San Fran for a few hours. We stopped by Japan Town, bought some stuff and had lunch before zipping over to the San Jose Convention Center. We got there about 2:00 in the afternoon, so about 3 hours before pre-registration opened up. I decided to test out my Austria cosplay while waiting in line. We also bumped into our friend Canada and several other Hetalia cosplayers and ended up hanging out with them in the main entrance hall afterwards. I also ran into a Fem Prussia and of course she was teasing me the whole time, not that I really mind, its all fun and games. We ended up gong to McDonald's instead of Johnny Rockets like we originally planned but it was still fun hanging out and talking to everyone. For Day Zero, it was very eventful.
The next day I fixed up my Austria cosplay and was walking around taking pictures and hanging out with the other Hetalia people and taking pictures of the cosplayers. So far, I found myself really liking the con layout and setup. I did a 'test run' on day zero, to see how one gets around the halls, and because of the two floors, it was easy to keep looping back and forth and avoid lines and jams whenever needed. At 4:00 I decided to switch into me Lelouch cosplay for a chess tournament. What sucked was that I couldn't stay the whole way; I got beat in the semifinals anyways, because the FLOW concert was right afterward at 6:00 and I had to run across the street to the Civic Auditorium where it was being held. FLOW itself was, for lack of a better word, unbelievable! I've been to a few concerts before, but these guys really knew how to have fun and enjoy themselves and all their songs were spot on and they got the audience really going especially with their last song, GO! Fighting Dreamers. Ryan and Matt got the audience going at the end for an encore and we got it! Afterward we were sweaty and tired, but it was well worth it. The concert alone, made the convention worth it and arguably, the best con of the year. After dinner, I did a sort of impromptu photoshoot with a few Code Geass cosplayers before finally turning in for the night at about 2:00 in the morning. Before I dozed off, I reminded my roommates that this was still only day one, and we still have three more days ahead of us.
The next day was mainly taking photographs, browsing the dealer's hall and walking around in my Emperor Lelouch cosplay. I didn't get up until 9:30 am, and I decided to check out the dealer's hall. I couldn't walk ten feet without someone stopping me and asking for pictures, though I don't really mind as one of the unspoken rules of cosplay is that if someone asks you for pictures, you pretty much have to do it regardless of what other priorities you have. Again I don't mind getting my picture taken cause it makes me feel like a movie star, but it can be a bit tiring. Anyways, at 1:30, I had to bolt over to the FLOW signing, which was incredibly awesome as we had bought CDs for them to sign before hand. After that it was the Code Geass gathering which didn't go quite as planned since half the people signed up on the Fanime Forums dropped out and we couldn't do several shots that we wanted. In any case, after grabbing a quick dinner, I ran off to watch the masquerade which was one of the better ones I've seen. There were 47 skits total and they were all decent to well done. They even had several of the old series like Ranma ½, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Inuyasha.
Today was mainly 'Hetalia Day' as I bought a poster and a few drawings from the Dealer's hall and artist alley, and mainly hung out with Hetalia cosplayers until the gathering at noon. The person running the gathering did not show up when she was called upon by a staffer named Brian. I was standing near him and asked if I could borrow the bullhorn to run the gathering and he said yes. I said that I'd cosplay Japan, but switched out for Austria at the last minute because I felt I can do a better job cosplaying Austria than Japan. At any rate, once noon rolled around, I was busy directing everyone to get into groups for pictures and the like. My friend Canada helped out about half way through and I thank her for that because I was burning in my costume. I don't mind taking the lead if the need arises and there were so many people and so many pictures to do. We went for a full hour before having to stop and I'll say that it was really tiring to have to run a gathering that was over 100 people. I was tired but I had to run to change back into Lelouch really quick for the CLAMP gathering, take a few photos, then run back and change into Japan. Then it was hanging out with more Hetalia fans and chatting, before having to switch back to Austria for the Hetalia Panel. For my first panel, it was kinda fun actually, so many fangirls screaming for the popular characters. I sat next to Hungary of course, and we were asked a few questions. Before we finished, I asked if she was going to be attending the black and white ball, and she said yes. Then practically on the spot I asked if I can go with her to the ball and she said yes. The ball itself was pretty fun, we kinda just improved all the dances and just went with the flow. After the ball, I just headed back and almost fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Our last day was probably one of the more eventful days, at least after the con ended. I pulled out my Lelouch costume one final time and just walked around and still got about ten pictures in. We had a few problems with our fourth roommate, Tom, who felt he wasn't able to get a ride and such. I had to stay back in the room and make sure everything was packed but I got to relax a bit. We had lunch with two other friends and managed to pack the car and was ready to leave by 3:00, the problem was getting back and after almost another 3 hours of drama and mis-communication, we finally left the con at 6:00. By midnight, we were still a hundred miles outside of Los Angeles, and Ryan and myself still had to drop his two friends off. Ryan asked me to drive the rest of the way, which I didn't mind, but by the time I got back home to Irvine, it was 5:00 in the morning, and I had to study for a test the next day. Next time, I'm most likely not going to do this ride situation ever again, because there were just too many factors outside our control. Overall, my thoughts on the con were very positive. The location was perfect, the weather was perfect, the panels were lacking a bit, but the people and staffers were all friendly and helpful, it was the con I looked forward to the most, and one that I definitely would want to go again.
Overall, tiring but fun as hell! Looking forward to next year! This is Rukazu signing out for Fanimecon 2010!
There are a lot more videos on his account, including videos of DDR Freestyle, SSFIV, and the SMB1 Speed Run Tournaments, so go check them out!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I know the schedule's been out for a while now, but I just found out that "Distant Worlds: Music from FINAL FANTASY" is coming to the Bay Area July 15th and 16th. That in and of itself is awesome, but I have also confirmed from the home page that NOBUO UEMATSU HIMSELF will be in attendance both nights!
If you don't know who Uematsu is, you've been living under a fucking rock for the last 20 years! Long story short, Uematsu IS Final Fantasy, PERIOD!
For more info go here!: http://www.ffdistantworlds.com/index.php?view=details&id=25%3Asan-francisco-july-15-a-16-2010&option=com_eventlist
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
That evening, I also performed in the Karaoke Contest for the third year in a row, wowing the crowd (IMHO) with a flawless rendition of "TSU BA SA" from "LUNAR: Silver Star Story".
Sadly, I didn't make it into the finals due to the rather excellent field of competitors this year. I wound up in a tie for 15th place, my highest finish to date.
I also went on somewhat of a shopping spree, taking advantage of the fully-stocked-on-the-first-day factor at the Dealer's room to snatch up nearly $300 worth of swag, including six anime DVDs, a PSP game, and a rare mint-condition Dirty Pair movie program! I also picked up some Ramune and Pocky for the road...what?! I was thirsty!
That's about it for Day One. This is Shiro, over and out!
Well this update is a bit late, but who cares?
Got to San Fran, crossed the Golden Gate, saw Japan Town and visited the Mythbusters HQ.
Went to San Jose at 2:00 and picked up badges at 5:00.
Tested out my Austria Cosplay and hung out with Poland, Belarus, Prussia and Russia.
Fixed my Austria cosplay and taking pictures and talking to people
Switched into Lelouch for the Chess tournament from 4-6pm
Went to FLOW Concert! YAY!
Had dinner with friends
Came back and did photoshoot with Schinezel and other Geass cosplayers
Lelouch full on. Pictures and bought stuff in artist alley and dealer's hall
4:00 Geass gathering, (plan to post pictures soon)
Hetalia full on. 12:00 was Hetalia gathering, ended up running it along with my buddy Canada.
Switched to Lelouch briefly for CLAMP gathering
Switched to Japan for cosplay battle
Switched into Itachi (borrowed from roommate) briefly
Switched back into Austria for Poland and Belarus's Hetalia panel at 6:00pm
Quick dinner and went to Black and White Ball, managed to ask the Hungary at the panel for a dance.
Lelouch on last time and taking more photos
Got back to my place at 5:00 in the morning and fell asleep for two hours.
So that was what I was doing for the con. As for my thoughts, this is the first time I've been to Fanime and I have to admit just about everything was as perfect as could be. The location and the weather could not have been better. On Friday the FLOW concert made the con for me. Standing at that concert and hearing all their songs live was one of the best experiences I've had in a while. At the end they played GO! Fighting Dreamers, and hearing the solo live was crazy! And I had to remind my buddies Ryan and Matt that this was just Friday, we still had three more days of con to go. The next few days was browsing around the Artist Alley, the Dealer's Hall, taking pictures and running gatherings. Coming back though was a bit of a pain since we were not sure of the ride situation but nevertheless we still made it back here save and sound.
Overall, tiring but fun as hell! Looking forward to next year!
I've been attending FanimeCon annually since 2001...a total of TEN YEARS. Since Matt and Ryu covered most of the main events of Fanime, I thought I'd shine a spotlight on the parts of the con they didn't cover in their video blog entries. Where better to start than Day Zero...a rainy Thursday.
I woke up around 8 or so, expecting Matt and Ryan to pick me up around 10. It was pouring outside, so I had to get my rain gear. I brought along some sushi for the group to share, and a little extra food for the trip: Chex Mix, Starburst, Raisin Bran, and a couple Diet Pepsis for myself (no one else wanted any.)
It took about ten minutes (and at least six false starts) to get Ryan's car down my steep driveway, but once we descended it, we were on the road. Our first stop was Japantown in San Francisco. Since Ryan and Lucas had never been there before, I took it upon myself to act as an impromptu tour guide of sorts as they looked around the Japan Center shopping mall.
Among other stops, we perused the anime selection at Japan Video, looked in a store (whose name escapes me) that had a ton of katanas in it, and checked out Japan Toys, which had lots of moe anime figurines. The main attraction, though, was the Kinokuniya Bookstore, where they checked out the JPop/JRock CD selection upstairs first. I took the opportunity to see if they had any music by momo-i (found none upstairs).
While they finished up there, I took the opportunity to head downstairs ahead of them. I stumbled upon a clearance sale-priced Star Ocean 4 strategy guide (not the BradyGames one, this one is in Japanese), so I decided to pick it up. (For those of you who don't know, all of the manga, anime and video game-related books are on the first floor of the bookstore in San Fran's Japantown.) I know I wasn't the only one who got something there, but I forget who got what.
After that, we hit the Nijiya grocery store to pick up some sake for the room, and then drove down to Fanime, with a slight detour to stop at Mythbusters HQ (YES they are in San Fran too). The whole trip from San Rafael to San Jose was in a VERY cramped car (four con-goers + cosplay costumes + luggage + food = two asleep feet LOL). Upon arrival at the Marriott, I went to attend to some personal matters while they went to check in.
After seeing that things had not turned out as I planned regarding a personal event I had planned that day, I went up to the room to rest and relax the remainder of the day. You see, out of the four of us, I was the only one who was unable to pre-reg, being the only one without a credit card for reasons I would care not to name. So yeah, that sums up Day Zero to a tee for me. Next time...Day 1!
Well, things have changed.
A) I took the train back up to Sacramento from FanimeCon due to everything that had happened, and enjoyed the trip up via train.
B) Ryan doesn't think the sale isn't going to go through before Anime Expo, and thus he won't be able to pick me up in Sacramento.
So again, I decided to take the train since I can take more luggage with me and might be coming back with hauls of anime merchandise. Like I mentioned before, I'm taking an empty suitcase which is going to be my merchandise suitcase on the train back. And with the price I'm paying, it sure beats having to pay for gas.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
And here are the shots from Thursday. (Courtesy of Kei Tsubasa)
If only I could find shots from the gathering now besides this one... (Courtesy of Nicholas Pahl Skinner)
The other piece of signed merchandise was from FLOW, and it was my business card for my blog.
And finally, we have the traditional chibi badge, and this year I went with the Ashford Academy cosplay since I was looking damn good in that after the Geass Gathering. I wish I could also upload Ryan's, because he got his in his Philippines cosplay which I'll probably get at AX (if they're there) or next year's FanimeCon.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Overall, I will place this as my best FanimeCon solely because of the FLOW concert and the increased attendance in the cosplay gatherings.
Special props goes out to BSaphire and the Cosplay Department - you guys put one hell of a cosplay show over the weekend - as well as Stage Zero - I love you guys all the way - and everyone else who worked to put this FanimeCon together. For that, I give my biggest gratitude.
There is one thing I want to mention: at FanimeCon 2011, this will be the 5th anniversary of the California Conventions Blog. I really want to put on a 5th anniversary panel in addition to everything else that I want to do in 2011 including pushing for a Host Club Main Event.
Well, this concludes my FanimeCon 2010 report. I hope to see you all at Anime Expo in a month (I'm really going this time!) and/or FanimeCon 2011!
Thank you for reading my report.
-FanimeCon 2010 Report End-
For the panel itself, there were only 6 people, but one of them was one of the chairs for SNAFUCon, so we answered whatever questions he had about what were going do in October. We did give everything away as we planned, and in the end I felt we got things accomplished.
A couple of Ryan's friend were abandoned after that person left due to some unforeseen circumstance and forgot to tell the two. That leaves Tom out of the loop, so what I had to do was drop him off over at the Fremont BART station and he would ride over to the Richmond station where someone else picked him up. That happened right after the Panel.
I get back in time to enjoy the last part of the convention, including lunch with Scarlet Rhapsody and taking more pictures of cosplayers -
- before loading the car and getting rid of everything that we didn't need. Since I ran out of cash, I tipped the staff one case of Red Bull and a bag full of Cup Ramen. And then we decided to sleep a bit before loading everything else.
As we load everything else up, we find out we can't fit everything in the car. So one of Ryan's friend finds a place to stay and we just take everything that we can...or so we think. Actually, one of the people that was allowing her to stay changed her mind last-second, leaving her abandoned. With no other options at hand, I take it upon myself to make sure everyone got home. I decided to take the train and as much stuff as possible, which later I found out was enough to fit everything.
Ryan beats me to my house before I got home and drops off mostly everything while I bring everything else, including the autographed drum cover and the con t-shirt I bought earlier in the day.
By 9pm, I'm back in Sacramento and done with this 120.75 hour marathon through FanimeCon. Within that marathon, I had less than 20 hours of sleep. I needed sleep, but not before all of these pictures and videos went up.
-Day Four & FanimeCon 2010 End-
With much time to spare before the Hetalia gathering, we take care of breakfast and more roaming of the Dealers Hall before going down to get Daisuke Ishiwatari and Toshimichi Mori autographs. The line was taking long, so Tom took over as we got down to the Hetalia gathering and I must say, that gathering was HUGE. It was the most fun that we ever had in one gathering, let alone the best gathering of the weekend.
Did I mention that me and Ryan cosplayed as the Philippines?
Since the Hetalia Gathering ran late, I couldn't come to the Persona Gathering but here's a couple of shots from that.
We were planning on heading down to the Cosplay Battle Pose! event at 2pm, but we all overslept from exhaustion and the heat - it got pretty hot and we were baking for an hour, just ask Lucas in his Austria cosplay. They had enough time for me to get my dream battle with Shizuo from Durarara!! and Ryan got his in with Itachi from Naruto.
3pm comes by, and its time for my favorite part of the con: the charity auction! And boy, I come home with some precious loot - a drum cover signed by LM.C, FLOW, and Halko Momoi as well as limited packaged set of "Blame Ebner" pins. There were some neat items going up for auction and I would always start the bidding but that got out of hand - for example, a sketch went for $700...no kidding.
With nothing else to do, I decide to help out a friend of Ryan's and at the same time put my skills in the food service industry to sell some anime merchandise over at Anime Pavilion. It was an awesome experience, and I benefited in the end (but won't mention how).
With a couple of hours left before the Gong Show, it was time for that Japanese dinner I've been thinking about. We wait for Lucas because he's finishing up the "Ask Hetalia" Panel and then he can't come because there was a promise to take a Hungary to the B&W Ball. So we head over to Rokko and have him catch up later...only to notice that they are closed Sunday (and Monday as well). So, it's down to Original Joe's for the "traditional" pasta meal with Ryan, and Lucas does catch up to us only to order out. I have myself some drinks to get loose before heading down to the Gong Show.
Man, it was fun. I was at a loss of words of the "quality" of the skits, if there were any though. Come on, I loved it when everyone walked out on "God Knows" or manhandling the guy who forgot the lyrics to "Surfin' Bird."
While the report will be short at first, I'm trying to get everything in first before filling in with photos, videos, and details that I have missed.
However, I can't dwell on Fanime as Anime Expo is right down the road, less than a month...
However, before I head down to the FanimeCon Fantasy RPG Theme Gathering at 11am, I had to take care of some items, like fixing the Gekkoukan patch on Junpei and getting a wooden sword for same character - thank you Chaz for providing the glue guns and to the dealer who sold me one for $10. For my expectations, it was lower than expected but still had fun and I also helped the Cosplay Department a bit since I love BSaphire so much.
By now, it's almost time to see the FLOW Q&A Session so that we can see FLOW again.
Ryan has to spend some time first getting Death the Kid from Soul Eater ready and meets me downstairs. After determining the line wasn't moving and it was past 1pm, we ditch the line in favor of waiting for the autograph session. We finally get into the Dealers Hall, where I find out people are selling Ouran wallscrolls for cheaper price with a new design, but I say to myself "I needed to secure one beforehand just in case." We also visit Artists Alley again and talk to Ejen, the author of Cosplay In America to find out when we wanted to do the interview with him.
Ryan heads down to the Soul Eater gathering while I go stand in line for the FLOW autograph session, the only autograph session available. I had in my hands Ryan's CD and my business card that I always have people sign. According to Ebner, there was to be about 10 seconds between each member if we wanted to get everyone in and while I was there I counted more than 10 seconds for even just one item. I had two and I thought I could squeeze it in if I had no other interactions than just shaking hands but they restricted it to one item. I get Ryan's CD signed and jump back in line to get my cards signed. Ryan shows up from the gathering to take my place to get my cards signed. Since the Geass gathering is about to be on soon, we had to hustle but ultimately we were late to the gathering and by then mostly everyone had left including Lucas. Luckily we got some good shots with a C.C. cosplayer including a kiss shot which made everything worth it in a way.
With the Papa Johns pizza already ordered, we went back up to the room to wait for the pizza to eat. We sit down and relax, eating the pizza and watching some of the sports offerings on TV at the time. Even though I ate the pizza, I still needed food so I had more Ramen and took my food downstairs to Stage Zero to watch the evening news.
Then we get to the FanimeCon Game Show, and I take part in the first ever public-speaking-style game where you have one minute to speak on a topic but your opponents have the ability to take the mic away if you stray off the topic. It came down to a strict game where literally if you had one "um" in your sentence we called it, and I came in 2nd place.
Ryan also got into the speed game and came in 3rd place.
I decided to make this day my "stay up all night" day. In between all that I had more Swap Meet, blowing $40 on the Stacker game when half of the time I got up to the top, Chaz's late-night PBJ run, hentai, more Rock Band, and that tarrot card reader who accurately read my life.
By 3am I crash only to again wake up at 7am...
-Day Two End-