Monday, January 30, 2012

Return To Our Roots, Modern Japanese History Edition

This may not be the "Return To Our Roots, Part 2" that you might be expecting, but I do plan on having a "Return To Our Roots, Part 2" if I ever make my return to Round 1 in the near future.

As I enter my final year here at Sacramento State, I'm taking a history course about Modern Japanese History from the 1800s to the present. The professor asked this question on the first day of class: How did we get from samurai and "Old Japan" to "New/Modern Japan" with cars and anime?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Notice: Staff Member Leaving

I was hoping that she would post this herself, but she has left me to do this task.

I would like to inform everyone that as of right now, Avianna Tiscareno is no longer part of the California Conventions Blog. She has moved to San Antonio, Texas due to unspecified reasons and can no longer perform the duties as a staff member.

Avi was part of the first wave of people that I hired back when I first expanded in 2010, and she did a wonderful job covering such events as Anime Five Cities and PMX in addition to anchoring coverage at Anime Expo and Anime Los Angeles. She was also the lolita expert and had much insight into Japanese fashion and music.

You will be missed Avi. Thank for you everything that you brought to this blog, and I wish you the very best in your future.

- Matthew

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Mathematics of Conventions, Part 2: Nendoroids

As of late, I've been collecting Nendoroids, starting with the Hatsune Miku Support Ver. I got back at Anime Expo 2011. I was able to pick up one at SacAnime Winter 2012, nabbing me another Hatsune Miku Nendoroid, this time Snow Miku Ver. 2010 (there's a 2011 and 2012 versions of Snow Miku as well).

The word around anime conventions is that convention dealers will markup their items versus buying online. But if you look closely and find the right dealers, you can actually save money versus buying online. However, there is always a downside.

Monday, January 23, 2012

SacAnime Winter 2012 Report: Part 5 - Epilogue


SacAnime Winter 2012 Report: Part 4 - Sunday (Day Three)

Like all last days of conventions, my first priority is clearing out my portion of the room and ensuring that the room is clear. Despite only getting four hours of sleep, I was up an hour before the VIP autograph session would take place and in under half an hour, I was able to clear out my portion of the room and pack everything in the car leaving myself to check on the room often between now and check-out. I didn't feel like driving to Starbucks again, so I settled on a bagel with cream cheese alongside some A.M. Gatorade.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SacAnime Winter 2012 Report: Part 3 - Saturday (Day Two)

Day Two started for me at 7am, taking about an hour to get everything ready for the day. It was a chilly morning, and I didn't feel like making the trek over to Starbucks in the sub-freezing weather. Luckily, my car was unfrosted and I was able to make the quick drive over there to pick up a Venti Extra Caramel Extra Shot Caramel Macchiato and a Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap.

You know you're a cosplayer when you put your character's name on a Starbucks cup and bag.

Sac-Anime Winter 2012 - by Ray

My first convention of the new year. After the mild disappointment that was Sac Summer last year, I thought to give this con another shot, especially with some obstacles now out of the way. While still a small convention compared to, say, Fanime, its growth in recent years has been staggering, becoming what is perhaps the second largest anime convention in Northern California. But numbers and growth aren't all to a convention; after all, it's about the quality of the experience, which I found would take surprising changes as the con went on.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

SacAnime Winter 2012 Report: Part 2 - Friday (Day One)

The best way to start out at a SacAnime is a good breakfast at Jim-Denny's around 7am because the night before I realized that there were events going on and I wanted some good early parking even if I was staying over at the hotel.

#7 Katie's "Just Right" Breakfast

Friday, January 20, 2012

SacAnime Winter 2012 Report: Part 1 - Prologue

It's interesting how things change quickly, even faster than the transition from summer to winter. The Radisson changed its name to the Woodlake, I gained a new staff member that helped me cover SacAnime Winter 2012, and I even had a new camcorder to play around with at the convention.

But coming back here often reminds me of my early days here at SacAnime.

Cafe Hoshi

NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the California Conventions Blog.

As you will read in my report, I spent a good amount of time at Cafe Hoshi over the weekend of SacAnime Winter 2012, ranging from spending my first hours at the convention with the maid cafe to filming and photographing various events over that weekend.

You might of heard that during the VIP show Saturday night that the hotel and the convention got into a disagreement which resulted in a) food not being served at the VIP show and b) everyone migrating to the hotel buffet, Basil's, to be served instead. I was part of that of that group that migrated over and while were walking I was talking to the group behind me for some instant reaction, which was very negative at that moment. I would of stuck around to see what would of happened, but other commitments pulled me away from the VIP show.

There is something much deeper than what the attendees and everyone else saw that weekend, and I have obtained some leaked documents and testimonies from my sources close to Cafe Hoshi.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Hotel Troubles: Radisson/Woodlake

Some of you might have noticed, in my recent reviews and comments, that I've been having a little trouble with the hotel at Sac Anime. I thought I'd share my story, so you can hear exactly what happened, and why they're trying to rip me off a good $150.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sac Anime Winter 2012: Robbie's Report

Sac Anime Winter was my first convention of the new year. So what can I say about this? It wasn't a bad convention; far from it, it was actually one of the better Sac Anime cons I've been to. Yet I still have this sinking feeling in my gut when I think about it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

SacAnime Winter 2012 Panoramas

A panorama of the Fountain Courtyard on Day Two
A panorama of Cafe Hoshi at work on Day Three

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011: The Year in Conventions - by Ray

2011, for me, has been quite a year in terms of conventions. This past year has seen me attend conventions left and right, unlike in past years where my knowledge of cons was mainly limited to Yaoi-Con, Fanime, and Kinyoobi-Con.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ALA 2012 Review by Rukazu

So I am back from another great ALA, a little tired and sore, but other than that, it was another amazing convention. I was busy during the week up to ALA and didn't really do as much preparation as I would have liked. For example, I didn't really prepare my cosplays nor coordination with the other members on the blog about what events to cover or what pictures to take. However, I did meet up with Aubrey and Zanney briefly during the AMV contest and discussed a little bit about what we each would be doing. As usual, my activities during the con primarily consisted of gatherings, taking pictures, socializing and hanging out with my friends. I also made sure to attend the two major events and a few panels.

SacAnime Winter 2012 Pre-Coverage: Places to Eat

This might be a re-post from the Summer 2011 version, but there are some added information as well as couple of new photos; plus the Radisson changed its name to the Woodlake Hotel, as noted by this SacAnime bulletin from their website.

Now compared to most conventions in the Sacramento area, SacAnime's location is what I would call "isolated," where there's nothing much unless you want to drive out, but I'll mention that later. But there are some options that are within walking distance, perfect if you don't feel like risking losing your parking space at the Woodlake.

Monday, January 9, 2012

CCB Insider: Anime Los Angeles 2012

Anime LA In a Nutshell

Anime LA, a con local to folks who live in the greater Los Angeles area, takes place over the second weekend of January every year at the LAX Marriott hotel. Most notable for being geared towards cosplayers, this con also features a relaxing, friendly atmosphere, a hotel that's used to anime conventions, well-organized staff, and my personal favorite--the beanbag pile!

Features of note: Night Zero Ice Cream Social & Dance Party, AMV Hell Morning Madness, Scarlet Rhapsody's Convention Reporting Panel and the Parents' Lounge.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Mathematics of Conventions, Part 1: Gatorade

In preparation for SacAnime Winter 2012, I went to my local grocery store to stock up on food and drink, something I recommended in my "Planning for Conventions" guide. During this trip, I stocked up on six 32 oz bottles of Gatorade for $1.00 each plus a $0.10 CRV charge for a total of $6.60.

Now, let's do some math on how much you can really save at conventions, shall we?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Year End Review by Rukazu

I know this is a bit late, but Matt wanted me to write a review before ALA started and I've been really busy during the holidays, but that's another matter. I plan to keep this short and to the point. What matters right here and now is my review for this year's conventions.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sporting Events + Anime/Comic Conventions Combos

One of my other hobbies besides covering anime and comic conventions is that I love sports. I'm a huge Oakland Raiders and Sacramento Kings fan, and in addition I used to play football back in high school until halfway through my Senior year.

As I type this, I'm watching the Rose Bowl on TV and and thinking how nice it would be to attend both the Rose Bowl and Anime Los Angeles in the near future. In fact, there are a few anime/comic convention and sports events combinations that I would like to attend: