Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kintoki-Con 2011 Report: Part 1 - Prologue & Friday (Day Zero)


For as long as I've known conventions in the Sacramento region, there has really been two: Sac-Anime and Sac-Con. In 2011, two new conventions have entered hoping to "dethrone" these long-standing conventions: Decepti-Kon, which was in April, and Kintoki-Con. This convention has more promise than the other, seeing that it's located in the downtown area - something that conventioners like myself have been wanting for the longest time. But, this is also a first-year convention so you know things won't be perfect. Despite that, this convention was primed for a lot of excitement and adventure as I enter my first convention in downtown Sacramento.

Friday (Day Zero)

My first mistake was forgetting the memory card on my DSLR, meaning I would have no shots for Friday. However, I brought the rest of my equipment so at least I would be capturing something from this day.

I arrived near 5pm to enjoy some Happy Hour deals before receiving my badge and enjoying the festivities of the Preview Day/Day Zero. I was planning on Happy Hour at the hotel, but instead went to Chop's for some drinks before heading to the Hyatt Regency.

When I arrived, I immediately found people who went to FanimeCon just a couple of weeks ago. To us, it was sort of a reunion and a small break before Anime Expo, two weeks after Kintoki-Con. Pre-Registration wasn't open yet, so we talked about our experiences and all the grievances with the rovers. I also found people who read my pre-report about places to eat in addition to helping people find places to eat as part of their attack plan for this convention.

Eventually I got my press badge and was waiting for everything to start. I wandered the halls to find some of the maid cafe members practicing their skits and songs for tomorrow's business. I noticed one lady singing the opening to Highschool of the Dead, and I offered to play her the version that I had on my iPod to help her out. I wished all of them luck and headed off to find anyone from the game room.

By the time the game room staff arrived, nothing was still going on besides Swap Meet. I offered to move some tables and to organize to their liking. After that I did swing by Swap Meet to find any deals, but nothing compared to what I noticed at FanimeCon; then again, this Swap Meet was miniscule compared to FanimeCon's.

It was now 8:30pm, and finally something else was getting underway. There were a number of delays, but that didn't stop the Sacramento Taiko Dan for putting on a great show and a great way to start off Kintoki-Con.

After their performance, one of the co-chairs, Eric Gergorio, announced that the GoH Meet and Greet Dinner would happen at Dawson's. I was looking forward to some fine dining, so I headed over there and waited until everyone was being seated. I really don't know how I got to this seat, but eventually I sat next to Eric himself and some person named Richard Epcar. I didn't notice it at first until I saw his badge.

While we were ordering, Richard mentioned to the waiter "We should wait until Mary shows up so that she can order." Wait a minute, Mary as in Mary Elizabeth McGlynn? So you're telling me that I'm sitting with the co-chair of the convention and two Guests of Honor? I was very honored myself to sit with these three.

Throughout the dinner, I was hearing insights about Ghost in the Shell and their disagreement to outsource the dubbing the Individual Eleven movie to Canada and about how Richard has voiced over 300 characters and can't remember them all. In fact, Richard was surprised that his characters from Bleach aren't as recognized despite Bleach being a popular series.

The dinner itself was fantastic. The beef brisket was tender and literally melted in my mouth, and the side macaroni and cheese was delightful. It was worth it for the experience that I had.

After dinner I went back up to the game room to see that it was near full strength. By tomorrow it would be at full strength with everything running.

With nothing else to do, I called it a night around 11:30pm to head back home and to prepare myself for the real part of the convention.

-Prologue and Friday (Day Zero) End-

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