Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011 People, Alas My year end Review from the one and only Ryu plus a sneak preview of what to expect on 2011

Hey everyone Ryu/Ryan here!

Glad to see the new year coming in nicely, I'm glad that 2010 is over with not too much happening that year. No, my review isn't late I wanted to intentional post after the new year to preview what's in store for our blog.

But that's not why I'm here...

I came because I think it's not the hours we put on the blog put in last year, it's how much we put in for the hours last year.

May I start off with that last year was beyond CRAZY! I did things and went places I would have never dreamed of going to, but if it weren't for the certain people that I made social links with and the journey we all shared it would seem that the wheels of fate were turning.

Anime Los Angeles 2010 - This would be the starting point of further and far better cons and experiences for not just me but my fellow co-workers here on the blog. Originally I thought to myself it would be just another boring con-season by myself as a lot of my friends had other agendas and had either stopped cosplaying or had temporarily retired. My aunt had pre-reged me but since I had work back when I worked at Disney, I had to pick my badge up on Friday morning. To my very surprise this would be the moment I would prove myself totally wrong and then began a very enjoyable con. An hour into con I was far too bored to care of anything until myself and my Zero mask ran into a very familiar face. That friends would be one the greatest people and someone who I look as a brother at heart who would ironically soon be my boss and Mori of my Host Club. That man is Matthew Miranda who at first was just a random person I knew from FanimeCon for two years. That moment was a huge sigh of relief as I yelled running in the hallway "MATT!!!" We attended gatherings and shot many things together and had found my manager for Host Club since mine had the flu during con. Signings became easier and gatherings more enjoyable as i got to know my kuya (brother) better. It's funny I kind of knew Zanney before I really got to know her at Fanime; to her I was just the kid in an Akatsuki Snuggie in a corner of former friends room for the night but that's to explain later. My debut for my biggest dream was born in this con - yes that was the SoCal Host Club. I had imagined after being at many Maid Cafes around cons that it would be cool to bring every con-goer a chance to experience if the Ouran High School Host Club were real. I brought image and dream to life and to my shocking surprise we had a line like no other and was a huge hit. With the event so successful I had asked my new manager Matt and my other co-founder Racheal Morgan to expand to other cons and and so far we have hit even bigger with the success of AX and soon to be other cons around the country. Last day of con blues were hitting me as always but then i met another individual who soon become a close friend and somewhat - Lucas Chang, who at time I knew as Rukazu. Thanks to his same interest in Code Geass and irony of location we lived closer than expected we had the best time during end of con. My day would not end the way I had expected as again to my surprise, as I was invited by Matt and his family to what would be my first and would never be forgotten experience at Roscoe's Chicken' N Waffles. That night Lelouch would never be known as the same again; this night would be the time where brothers were united and will never forget each other. It saddened that Matt had to leave I went back to my quiet life back in Westminster.

The months flew really quick, and during the passing months I had became a staff member for something I generally ignored (sorry Matt, it's true) I had became a member of the California Conventions Blog, or CaliConBlog for short. I had begun to strengthen my social links with Matt and Lucas to what would become not only the start of the Three Lelouches and Philippines but would become...

FanimeCon2010 - Originally I had not planned to go to Fanime because I had been laid off from Disney and i had insufficient funds at the time; that was until I had received notice of interest from new-found friends Matt and Lucas who wanted to go and would help me get there. I had told Lucas of the many wonders of Fanime but he too was weary at first; after some convincing he came along for the ride. That would be the day that a normal con would no longer be a normal con but be an adventure into many places I had always wanted to go to. For the first time in my life I had drove a long distance as my first road trip with friends from SoCal to NorCal, Westminster to Sacramento, Sacramento to San Fransisco/Japantown and then onto Fanime in beautiful San Jose. My third year at Fanime would be not just another memory but instead remarkable. After a long drive from home I get treated to breakfast at Matt and my usual spot and sight-seeing in San Fransisco which I don't think I'd ever make it alive if I lived there, but its a nice tourist spot. Japantown is a lot of fun but in my opinion but doesn't stand ground to Little Tokyo back in Los Angles. Still, the Golden Gate Bridge was worth the drive on as it was a beautiful sight. This is where Fanime begins two hours later on Day Zero. I saw familiar faces again while waiting in line for badges; this is where my social link with Zanney, who I knew as CosplayCyborg and would then lead to be known as Canada. Day One unfolds and leads to a whole day of profound EPICNESS!!! Starting with Matt and I at our Ouran Gathering, we went all out this year and really showed how SoCal Host Club how we do it! But that wasn't the main event on day one...may I say FLOW!!! Yes, that's right the big J-Rock band from Japan performing in the States??? The moment I heard they came I literally fainted. I have to say that the concert had made Fanime BEST CON EVER!!! Best concert I've ever been to since both Incubus and OreSkaBand combined, no joke! That lead to to a better con as Philippines was revealed and the Hetalia gathering lit up for us and welcomed us with wide open arms as me and Matt rally-ran to everyone's cheering. I had met a producer and artist I thought I never meet again after missing them at AX a year prior. I met and got signatures from none other than Daisuke Ishiwatari and Toshimichi Mori, the creators and artist for games series such as BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, just to name a few.

Well con had to end right? I had another sad goodbye as I take another five hour drive back home.

Things take turn for the worse after FanimeCon. My godmother who had raised me my entire life has ended up in the hospital a month before Anime Expo and would turn out to be stuck there for the remainder of her life due the suffering of Pancreatic Cancer. But she didn't stop me from going she insisted I made her proud and went to AX. And so I did after picking up Matt from Union Station we ended up at...

Anime Expo 2010 - As much as I and Matt worried sick about Lee we had made to the bustling city of downtown Los Angeles for Matt's second AX and my tenth. This is where everyone got to truly know everyone. I no longer addressed anyone by con names but by actual Real name. Canada was now Zanney, Prussia was now Avi and I was known as Ryan. also Scarlet Rhapsody was now Erica and Jared. Philippines gets the biggest reception here as a lot of not only Hetalia fans adored it but many of Filipino families and con-goers asked for photos and or gave props. I didn't care much as I did for AX in its prime years but of course we had a new CEO in charge. Things were stricter and limited but still lived to its expectations from me. AX brought heavy hitters for guests this year and I was very appreciative of the direction the con was taking and this would lead to lots of signings and some minor drama that was worked out. As I mentioned in my ALA section of my year end review, this is where SoCal Host Club Evolves in to an MEGA HIT!!! We counted 500 people from not all around the globe, may I mention we had people from Australia come to our event and panel? Con ends but time but I spent a few extra days with Matt going places with him like Roscoe's and Little Tokyo. After filming our post review i thought i wouldn't see Matt till ALA...

I WAS WRONG! Which leads us to...

Anime Vegas 2010 - Going to the Sin City during Labor Day weekend never seemed like such bad idea even for an underage adult like myself. It would be officially decided in August that both CaliConBlog and Scarlet Rhapsody would be on a joint project heading straight into Las Vegas. Since my parents were more on the Laughlin side of things I never visited Vegas yet I had always wanted to. This was my chance to kill three birds with one stone. Here I am at LAX at eight in the morning picking up Matt again for what be a trip to remember. After I got him we pick up Rhapsody and an hour later and head straight for Vegas. Now if your underage this con is still for you but you will not have much to do around the strip. But this is a con after all and it was a lot of fun. It was great to see a lot of the Full Metal Alchemist cast as well as Original Power Ranger cast and JYB aka Johnny Yong Bosch. Lastly, gatherings are full of life and was worth it. Sadly I still need to conquer a six pound burrito next time I'm in town. Matt flies home as I play chauffeur for Rhapsody and new friend Kimberly Prue Paul.

Sadly after my return, October was horrible time for me as I lost someone very close to me...my godmother to cancer. Family drama ensures afterwords, which is a long story which you'd have to ask me in person about. After a hard loss and thinking my con-season and everything I had thought and lived for was over it lead to new hopes and and a chance to brighten my sorrows.

My last con of 2010...

Pacific Media Expo 2010 (PMX) - To be honest I didn't expect much of this con but it was still worth the time I put into it and worth being around people who cared about to raise me and my spirits up. I met a voice actor who I didn't think I'd meet which none other than Stephenie Sheh (Eureka from Eureka Seven, Hinata from Naruto, Orihime from Bleach). The food trucks food was amazing; even the the runner-up of The Great Food Truck Race, the Nom Nom Truck, was present for this con. I saw faces I normally see at other cons like JRyoga. I don't think I will attend again unless I see minor changes, plus there were a lot of things that could have been avoided.

Lastly I would like to point my favorite con of the year. It was a tie between Fanime And Vegas because both had amazing experiences and fun road trips.

I'm looking forward to seeing all your friendly faces at ALA!

For me this year is the year of only positive thoughts and actions - no deaths, no drama, just living life to its maximum extent! Cons I plan for this year is ALA, Fanime, SakuraCon, Otacon and Anime Vegas. Knowing me, the flock (the blog members) will follow to these cons as well.

Well here's to a better Con-season! Happy 2011 people!

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