Saturday, April 23, 2011

ACC (Anaheim Comic Con) Anticipation and a Response to the Return of FLOW

So ACC is coming up around the bend this week and its coming really fast! It's good to see that fellow staff and columnist Zanney Sperber will be making her return from Canada with our newest staff member Jackie Doncaster tomorrow, so if your reading this ladies...WELCOME HOME!!!

So now that's out of the way, here is what I'm expecting from ACC.

Knowing as I've been on both sides of the culture swap of American Comics and Japanese Anime/Manga I've been a respective fan of both worlds. With all due respect ladies and gentlemen, I myself have never been to any comic convention in my entire life. but I digress, I always wanted to go to the San Diego International Comic Con for the experiences of seeing the differences of a Comic Con and an Anime Con. Even though this isn't that con, this is may be a smaller taste of what expect from my craving of a of Comic Convention. I look forward to covering this convention in full swing and meeting such guests as Adam West and the original actor for Shaft, Richard Roundtree.

So word around the grapevine is that FLOW is making their return to FanimeCon 2011? As I told Matt last year, "Somehow I told you so... just doesn't cut it!" And well guess what Matt? SOMEHOW I TOLD YOU SO...REALLY DOESN'T CUT IT!

I had a prediction last year after my video review that FLOW would make a return trip to Fanime this year, a lot of the blog looked at me crazily and laughed stating that "[There would] be no chance in hell that FLOW [would] perform two years straight!" Guess that comes to show how well I called that one.

It's great they're coming back! I anticipate another great concert, more importantly now that the blog is pressing at this year's FanimeCon, Matt and I look forward to a possible interview of the band. I know I have my questions ready!

Be sure to keep an eye out for FLOW's new album, ANIME BEST, coming out digitally May 10th in the US. Looks like Matt and I are making another satisfying trip to Japantown's Kinokuniya because I know I want that CD (which I hope they release alongside the digital copy)!

Well everyone I'll be seeing those of you going to ACC.

Till next time,

Friday, April 22, 2011

One Week Until Anaheim Comic Con, Plus FanimeCon News

In less than a week, the California Conventions Blog staff will be down at the Anaheim Convention Center for Anaheim Comic Con.

As we get closer and closer to next weekend, I wonder: What am I looking forward to?

My first guess is to look and and compare the atmospheres of a big-time anime convention such as FanimeCon and Anime Expo to a big-time comic convention. This will be my first ever visit to a comic convention of this scale, so I await the experiences this convention will bring.

Another thing I'm looking forward to is seeing all the guests and exhibits they're bringing in. There's not that many conventions where I can see Adam West, Burt Ward, and Richard Roundtree. But I'm really looking at some of the video game composers that they're bringing in, especially one Kevin Sherwood who has worked on "Call of Duty: Black Ops" and is known for composing the theme songs for the Zombies game mode. I'll have my hands full when I get a chance to interact with the guests.

Anaheim Comic Con kicks off a 2 month stretch of convention coverage for the California Conventions Blog which will also include FanimeCon, Kintoki-Con, and Anime Expo.

Speaking of FanimeCon, guess who's coming back?

I can't wait to see FLOW again, and maybe this time we'll get an interview with them.

So once again, I leave you with the "PIANO HOUSE Mix" of "DAYS", as featured on the Eureka seveN Pocket ga Niji de Ippai (Pocket Full of Rainbows) Music Collection...


...and this.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Decepti-Kon 2011 Post-Con Thoughts

Like I said in my review, this convention is something that Sacramento hasn't seen: a combination of not only both Japanese and American animation but a combination of both Japanese and American subcultures.

This convention didn't have that feel of a traditional anime convention but at the same time didn't have that pure comic book convention vibe. There were a lot of things to do at this convention: check out a car show, watch R/C drift cars, learn how to speak like a pirate, watch martial art demonstrations, listen to acoustic performances, and check out the many people cosplaying. Speaking of cosplaying, it wasn't just cosplayers representing anime and manga; there were pirates and Renaissance-era costumers and Klingons.

With a 1st year convention, there's growing pains to be expected, both big and small, like not having press badges printed or having trouble with panels. There was also direct competition from the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco and other events over that weekend which made this convention might lighter than it should be. But as with all 1st year conventions, you got to give them some slack. I love the idea of the melting pot between Japanese and American subcultures into one convention and as long as this convention keeps growing and improving upon their mistakes then soon enough Decepti-Kon will be on everyone's convention list. I remember having a chat with an attendee and this person mentioned the similarities between the iPhone and Decepti-Kon: "Remember how bad the 1st iPhone was? Look at the iPhone 4 now. If Decepti-Kon is the same way, then Decepti-Kon 4 is going to be one hell of a convention."

I would like to thank Luis Perez, Director of Decepti-Kon, for allowing me to attend this convention as press; Jazel, Coordinator of Special Events and representing Team LoveHATE; and the staff for giving me water whenever I needed it. I wish everyone involved the best of luck and I hope this convention grows to its greatest potential.

See you all at Anaheim Comic Con and/or FanimeCon!

私のレポートを 読むためにありがとう。
Thank you for reading my report.

-Decepti-Kon 2011 Report End-

Decepti-Kon 2011 Review

As I woke up Saturday morning, I didn't know what to really expect from convention newcomer Decepti-Kon. I knew though that I would be only getting half the story as I was not able to attend either the Saturday night events or Sunday as a whole due to other set plans. But from what I saw that day, this con has the potential to grow into something that Sacramento hasn't seen.

As I drove up to the Red Lion Inn Hotel, I saw a couple of staff cosplaying on the corner of Arden Way and Sears Driveway.

As I got into the hotel about an hour before the convention started, I looked around to see what potentially might be going up today.

Soon enough it was 10am and it was time for the convention to open up.

The staff here told me to wait around the Registration area for my press badge. Then they told me and couple of other press members to chill in the Con-Ops room while they went to get some press badges. One of the executives came back and told us they didn't print any press badges for us but then gave us full reign. They even hooked me up with bottled water throughout the day especially when it got hot under my cosplay.

The Gaming Room was still being set up, so I went to go check out the R/C drift cars and the car show.

There was also a Cosplay Cafe and a Green Screen station in addition to your standard Vendors Hall.

I spent some with the R/C drifters, taking a lot of shots of them drifting around their created course.

The majority of the photo from the Decepti-Kon 2011 set are numerous shots from the practice sessions, their elimination tournament, and the free-for-all jam session. Using the abilities of taking multiple shots with one shutter click, those drift shots resemble a picture flip book or an animated GIF.

With the Game Room finally set up and in operation, I pay my usual visit after taking a 30-minute lunch break to catch my breath and up on the Pacers/Bulls game.

Armageddon Potato Games were back for this convention with their NES arcade set-up and booth complete with vanilla Persona 3 with artbook on sale for the cool price of $50.

In the hallways a group called Kurenai were performing for both the attendees and on the live stream.

I also took a photo of attendees playing trading card games under the shade.

Back outside I was able to catch the announcement of the winners of the car show which went to the Scion group.

As I went back inside, one of the executives came and told us to come outside at the grassy area for a special presentation, and man it was one special presentation.

Back inside I catch Rob Miles alongside Guest of Honor Karen Dyer being interviewed.

In between taking photos of the R/C drift cars, I find time to take a short trail mix break while taking some photos of cosplayers.

A little bit after taking a ton of R/C cars, I stop by Dyer's panel to find out that it was cut short due to time arrangements. She still did an autograph session though.

I went back to the Gaming Room to get some time in on DJ Hero 2 to prepare for my two planned "shows." I ended up losing in a heated DJ Battle.

I also went back to what I proclaimed to be the "TCG Pavilion" to take more photos of players.

Right was I was about to leave, I ran into another Persona 3 cosplayer who was a Fanime Forums member who was going to attend the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona Gathering at FanimeCon 2011. We had a good discussion about said gathering.

I made my final rounds through the convention before taking off for the evening.

And with that, it was time to call it a convention.

-Decepti-Kon 2011 End-

Monday, April 11, 2011

Decepti-Kon Update

I mentioned about two months ago about Decepti-Kon as a convention that I was interested in going. Well I didn't realize that it was this weekend and that family plans are preventing me from going on Sunday. As for Saturday, I might do depending on said family plans.

I'll give an update via Twitter and Facebook to whether or not I'll go.

UPDATE 4/15: I'll be at Decepti-Kon for only Saturday. I'll have my review and photo gallery afterwards.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


So while I was revisiting our FLOW concert review from FanimeCon 2010, Ryan mentioned the fact that this concert was the best since OreSkaBand at Anime Expo 2007.

Then it hit me: in addition to Anime Expo they were part of the Warped Tour which made a stop in nearby Marysville the same year. In fact, they were on Good Day Sacramento...

BONUS CLIPS: They came back in 2008!

I hope that I get to see OreSkaBand just like Ryan did back in 2007, and maybe get a interview with them. Now that would be nice.

Migration Update

After a long week of leaving my computer on to upload videos overnight while I sleep, the upload portion of the migration job is complete. Every photo has been re-uploaded to the new Flickr stream including some sets that I never put up in prior years like Sac-Con December 2006 and Sac-Anime Summer 2009. As for videos, everything from FanimeCon 2010 on has been re-uploaded to the new YouTube channel. The bad news is that everything prior including every video that was done by webcam was lost in the transition. I do have some of the videos such as the VA panel at Sac-Anime Summer 2008 archived on my external hard drive, and I'm currently working on them to upgrade them to the same quality that is of the other videos (.mpg and .avi make a world of a difference when it comes to audio and video quality).

Now comes the really hard part: I have to go back into all my reviews and replace all the photos because they are still linked to the old Photobucket accounts and not the new Flickr account. It's not a priority though since the archives have the links to the new sets and will provide the illustrations to my reports.

Only three weeks left until Anaheim Comic Con 2011 and then FanimeCon 2011 a month after that. These two months are about to get very busy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Moving Photos Too

You could say that this is spring cleaning for the California Conventions Blog.

In addition to moving all the videos to our new YouTube channel, I am also in the process of clearing out all the photos are online and moving them to new accounts. This will take about a week day to restore, so I have my hands full uploading both photos and videos to new accounts in the coming month. Again, I hope to get everything settled by Anaheim Comic Con.

I'll post updates via Facebook and Twitter to when I get the photos uploaded.

Speaking of photos, check out this screenshot from my Droid when looking at the Anaheim Comic Con website.

Looks like we're confirmed in for that convention. Now to prepare...

Moving YouTube Channels

I knew I should of done this a long time ago, but as we add more members and expand our coverage I felt that this was needed to be done immediately.

I closed the old YouTube channel for back when it was just me on the blog and before I added anyone and created a new channel that reflects this change.

You can now find most of the California Conventions Blog's videos on this channel. Some of the videos were lost in this transition, but most of the core videos will be re-uploaded before I hope Anaheim Comic Con.

Here's to a new era!