Wednesday, June 8, 2011

FanimeCon 2011 From Ryu's Point of View!

It's been a nice May wouldn't you say? A lot has conspired (get it...con-spired...LOL) during this month for both myself and the blog, with a major event causing most of the staff to wait an entire year for.

With that being said, it's time for...(and no it's not time to duel either =[)


(Fanime, Fanime, everyone waits for Fanime).... b l a m e Black I d o!

Day -1
I was the first to rise early Wednesday morning, and I had to wake up staff member Aubrie Hollands and fiance Bryan Wilder from their slumber in order to prepare for endeavor to Sacramento. We had some personal delays that caused not to leave on schedule (note to self and others: forgetting wigs doesn't help much either!). After the pesky business is done it's a long way to Sacramento. Two gas stops and near accidents later, we arrive around 6pm to meet up with fellow staff member/leader/brother of the blog Matthew Miranda. We stock up on supplies for the convention to ensure no emergency room visits would arise during the convention while enjoying the sights of Sacramento. After enjoying a nice pizza dinner the press team briefs on what to do and expect over the weekend. We all hit the sack for what then became...

Day 0
Considering Matt and I stay up all night anticipating the convention, I began the morning waking up to music. It's a ritual that I do every pre/during con. Sadly enough, the only two asleep were the lazy duo of the blog, so it was time to "Mass Destruct" their dreams and get ready for the convention. Our first destination was a place I was dying to go to since I saw it in the Travel Channel's Man vs Food: Sacramento's own Jim Denny's. I must say, if you are in or stopping in the Sacramento area this is a MUST!!! "The Works" is by far the best omelet I've eaten ever! After the harty and healthy breakfast I receive, I'm powered up and "my body is ready" for the trip to San Raefel and beautiful San Fransisco. After picking up fellow blog member Tom Gifford, we enjoy our traditional stop to San Fransico's own Japantown. Doing more supply shopping and pre-convention browsing at Japan Video and Kinokuniya Bookstore, we leave shortly afterwords to the host city of FanimeCon, the lovely city of San Jose. We check all staff into their respective hotels and play the waiting game until about 5pm, killing time by updating Facebook accounts, playing our handhelds and watching ESPN. We didn't have to wait in line this year considering our press status and receiving our "special" badges, so considerably time is in complete slo-mo as we all realized there a lot of time on our hands before the convention actually started. Me and Matt checked out the arcade since Swap Meet was still being set up. Thirty minutes later, Swap Meet was in full swing and UNLUCKILY for me I miss out on a Limited Edition copy of Persona 3 which Matt nabs 0.5 seconds before I did and pays out $15 to what could of been mine (I've been looking for that for months now!!!). Trying to find a way to compose myself, Tom challenges me to some Air Hockey. I couldn't refuse and as it turned out San Rafael couldn't beat me. Trying to find redemption of my win last year at Golfland Roseville, Matt then steps up to the plate...and, you guessed it, THE BLOG STILL HAS NOTHING ON ME!!! After winning both combatants, I walk off with a beautiful grin on my face. Later in the evening, we wait the arrival of fellow staffer Lucas Chang, who arrives at two in the morning. While we were waiting, I get some night shots in as Rin Tsuchimi (Shuffle!). Falling asleep to a "familiar poem to my soul" and no visits from any creepy kids, the early morning brings...

Day 1 - Duh, WINNING!!!
Matt's alarm goes off at 8am for some odd reason as no one actually woke up that early. At 11am, we all wake up and try to begin our day, realizing nothing happens till 2 pm. Matt and I hit up whatever is open but find nothing of particular interest. 2pm strikes so we hit up Stage Zero for Opening Ceremonies. We snap a few shots while enjoying the guests we like come up on stage. Fact to contrary belief, there was something entertainingly distracting all people from Stage Zero: a little Cirque du Soleil-type show below. This my chance to pick up the things I forgot and check-in for the Ouran High School Host Club Gathering. As usual, Matt and I host it, but sadly due to the lack of cosplayers and the slow decay of the fandom this is most likely the last year we host the Hosts. Don't get me wrong: the gathering was great, but it's just Ouran is now an older series. We head up to the hotel to switch to our newest creations Dotachin (Matt) and my dream cosplay (hence the reason I got the nickname) Ryu. My first exposure with Ryu was the Fighting Games Gathering commencing downstairs. That was probably my 2nd favorite gathering of Fanime. During the gathering I get some great shots in, most notably my fight vs Kazuya for the Street Fighter X Tekken crossover series then my Shoryuken shot in front of the fountains. Matt got his chibi badge done back at Artists Alley, which I couldn't get this year. We head over to the Karaoke Contest to see Tom perform. We all decide to call Day 1 dead after running into staff member Robbie Pleasent and Erica from Scarlet Rhapsody. Several tacos and one Dark Hour later, I learn from a creepy kid next to me that an ordeal is coming as the full moon rises, which became to be...

Day 2 - Our end has come!
"Early Morning" has come after another rude 8am alarm and a time extension. We have our 1st ever interview for the blog that morning, and our interviewee is none other than well known Librarian and Author Mr. Gilles Poitras. We spoke about many a topics, especially in particular the "moe" outburst in anime as of late. 45 minutes and one sucessful interview later, we get the "Joy" of running into Erica again over at the Cosplayer Hangout. During Our "Afternoon Break," the blog raises their "Social Links" by eating at Subway. On our way back, we run into the usual protesters who appear on Saturday trying to make our lives more "Troubled." We get by them no problem and begin to "evoke" ourselves into the Shin Megima Tensei/Persona Gathering. This was my FanimeCon debut for Minato Arisato/Protagonist from Persona 3. The gathering was great especially when the two title "characters" from Catherine jumped in. At this point, it's only "After School" meaning we have more of the day to finish. Then we show up to Robbie's Cosplay Battle Event very last minute and I beat Ash as Minato by summoning Junpei for an All-Out Attack. The Durarara!! Gathering is next as I snap shots for Matt. Sadly the turnout is all the popular characters and Matt is in the minority as Dotachin. We then ditch the convention for Music Fest and we didn't know what was in store for us here on the blog. First up was Yuya Matsushita, and to be honest to everyone reading I completely underestimated this "cat." Really he has the moves of Michael Jackson, the face of Beyonce, and the voice of Usher. Flat out, his performance was great and his acting skills show brilliantly especially stating that "[He's] one hell of a butler!" It kind of made me wonder if my "Charm" went up. Next in store is a band we're all familiar with: FLOW!!! They played all of the hits we all knew and loved, but mid concert they stopped playing and took a second to remind of us what happened in March and how a lot of people in Japan are re-building and adapting. It was touching because FLOW wanted to give their hearts to us for all the hearts who helped during the quakes. After their small speech, FLOW continued to blow off the roof of the Civic Center. Did I mention that me and Matt started the encore uproar again for a second straight year? We get an encore from FLOW and even upon exiting the concert the celebration didn't stop. Even the hotel rooms we saw had con-goers jumping for joy while fliping the room light switch on/off. Matt and I get the Music Fest review done and eat at Pita Pit down the street. "It's getting late" so "we head back to the dorms" and "ask Lucas to go to Tatarus." He agrees, so we get ready to face our ordeals and it's a "Full Moon" out there.

"The Dark Hour approaches" meaning...

Day 3 - the Persona Dark Hour Gathering begins! ("Here's our chance for an All-Out Attack!")
Much like the gathering earlier, it was highly enjoyable. Besides, how often do you see a gathering held at 12 midnight? A lot more "potential" users come out to play during this gathering such as Ken, Aegis, and Akihiko. Unfortunately, the rovers shuts us down and it's "game over" for us. We eventually gather up somewhere else and play a game featured in Persona 4: the "Kings Game." This is what sealed the deal as best gathering for me. While Matt enjoys more of the "Dark Morning," I head off to sleep. Morning comes again and the Axis Powers: Hetalia Gathering is up first. I stayed less than I would normally would; instead, I went back to Dealers Hall to buy an RX-78-2 model kit for Tohru Furuya to sign the box and shield. Noticing the time, I was nealry late to the Rick Meyers interview. But when I find out Matt was waiting Mr. Meyers to arrive, I had a deep sigh of relief. We kill that interview, but then run into our 1st Japanese Guest of Honor interview with GASHICON. That was enjoyable and I look foward to interview more Japanese GOHs in the near future (maybe picking up more on my Japanese as well). Matt and I split for I had to run The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya Gathering and he had the FLOW Q&A Panel to attend. It was a decent turnout, but could be better. I was glad to see Robbie there as Itsuki instead of Kyon. After that, I switch to Keitaro Urishima for the 2nd Cosplay Battle Event. Again, Robbie was hosting it and and I end up beating all three of my opponents such as Bass Armstrong (DOA), Robbie as Kyon (Melancholy), and Tron (Tron: Legacy) thanks to Tama-chan and what little wits I had. I laughed as I found out Matt didn't lose his wallet to the Charity Auction and won nothing so we decide to hit Subway before Masqurade. I really don't know why they allowed so many dance skits, but me and everyone else left the Masquerade early to arrive at the Karoke Gong Show where Matt "Mass Destructed" "Mass Destruction" and made an "ass of himself" as Junpei. Way to go Stupei, Ace Defective. After that I beat Matt in a couple of scratch battles in DJ Hero 2 and we call it a night.

You know whats more Defective as Stupei?

Today would end quickly as everyone is leaving and checking out. While Matt handles the rooms, I get my final gathering of con in The Works Of Ken Akamatsu Gathering hosted by none other than Robbie Pleasent. Its always great to get manhandled by everyone at Mahoura Acadamy but I enjoyed the gathering regardless. We get one last photo in for the official blog photo and call it for FanimeCon 2011. We quickly we make a pit stop at the local In-N-Out and head back to Sacramento. Now, normally this is the part where I say "I head back home with everyone else and end my report."

But like every visual novel I play...
Life gets its alternate endings as well!!!

FanimeCon 2011 Epilogue (Alternative Ending)
It was something ripped out of a visual novel. I had to make a choice that would either help me or do nothing at all for me. But for me I made the right choice and stayed in Sacramento with Matt for two days. This would lead me to back to my true home where someone important was waiting for me this whole time: my mother. I'm currently back home in Medford, OR, taking care of her as a job but more importantly to start "The Beginning of Brand New Days" for myself. Really, there's nothing left in Southern California for me anymore except some conventions. But on a serious note, I'm starting my life anew. Everyone needs a fresh start somewhere, am I right?

Well it's time I "make a man out of [myself]" and say thanks everyone for your support! It's been great knowing and having you all around in my life!

I end my report with a song and by saying....

I look forward to seeing all your friendly faces soon at AX!!!


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