Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back To The Basics: Ryan's Return and SacAnime Winter 2013 Report

Hello fellow readers and welcome to my report for Sac-Anime Winter 2013! My name is Ryan "Ryu-san" Silva and it feels so good to writing for all of you again after a long break from moving on from division to division. A well needed break I'm making a HUGE impact here in Oregon for the Northern Division.

With that being said let's get down to business shall we?

SacAnime Winter very first! Not just in terms of time there, but first convention in freaking forever! Matt and I had been planning this for the last half of 2012, looking at all the differences between Anime Los Angeles (ALA) and this convention. Of course with myself living in White City, OR, SacAnime seemed to be, and was, very feasible guest-wise and price-wise. So with the wait December and the New Year cracked in quite nicely, and thus brings us to what became my...

Day Negative Zero

Now a lot of you are probably wondering... Day Negative Zero? Yes, it's the day before Day Zero for people like me who need to travel distances and or get to a destination earlier. Also given my inner photographer its a great time to shoot scenery and or things on the way to your destination. Matt had asked me to come earlier in this situation to prep for Day Zero and retrieve fellow blog member Tom Gifford.

The day was quite a cheery and semi-sad day for me as I had to leave home and the one I had my heart set on. It was a nice and chilly Wednesday afternoon in White City/Medford, low 20's but sunny. I had packed up my new SMART car with all my essentials and I was ready begin my journey.

However before I left town, I spent a majority of my afternoon hanging out with my potential love interest Amanda.

We had a nice lunch, hung out at the mall, and said our goodbyes. As much as it hurt the both of us, I had to leave town or else I would of been snowed in toward the passes and screwed as far as the convention went. so I filled up my tank around to close to 5pm and left the south part of Medford.

To my very surprise I had arrived in Sacramento quicker than I had expected and on one $20 full tank of gas nonetheless!! I arrived in four hours that would have taken five on average, thorough snowy passes and the treacherous Shasta Pass which is quite dangerous to drive at night. I met Matt at work and we drove home, awaiting us was a nice Adobo dinner and warm beds.

Day Zero

We awoke to 50°F high/28°F low weather in Sacramento with Matt complaining how cold it was which began my consistent spree of the phrase "You see where I'm from..." for the entire weekend. We begin on a note of upgrading the SMART's ECU which was supposedly free but to a sad turnout was way over my budget. To compensate I ate my very first Chic-Fil-A sandwich, now I can see what all the fuss is about!

The next stop was to fix my broken glasses that I needed for con, which my friend Christopher Bishop's dog chewed up. Turns out it was an easy fix. We then pick up Matt's potential Yasogami High uniform in hopes of a nice turnout only to find out that it'll be done on the first day of the convention. With some time to spare before Tom calls us to let us know that he's in Davis, we head out and spend whatever time we had at a local Target. To his surprise, he calls earlier than expected. We all rendezvous with Tom over a nice juicy burger, one that I can no longer receive in Oregon. Yes that's right, In-N-Out!

We had more time to spare at the house until badge pickup time arrives. We arrive at the Sheraton Grand to pick up our badges but Tom and I run into a minor error on the convention side of things. Matt had registered for VIP passes considering we were staying in the hotel. Matt, who was staffing this year, had to be almost dragged out of his pre-convention duties to fix the error. Meanwhile, Tom and I sat at the bar and watched my Oregon Ducks kick the ever-loving crap out Kansas State Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl. As we tiredly wait for Matt to get out from the staff meeting, I decide to deviate from Tom and photograph the convention center and the Sacramento skyline.

My giddy self was enjoying the scenery as shot-by-shot was taken unitl I recieved a phone call that we were finally leaving, almost near 11pm. A late night snack consisting of Burger King followed as we all were ready for the following day ahead of us.

Day One

As the sun rose once again, me and the boys were ready to take on the very first day of the convention. I started the day by cosplaying as Kyon from the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. We hit it off on a good note with some Starbucks coffee and usually I would get a cup of coffee and put Kyon's name on it but I was still dead that morning and totally forgot. Ironically, as we check in I find another Disappearance cosplayer, to be precise a South High Haruhi.

We headed up to the room to place spots and luggage in designated areas. As we await other members to arrive, I decided to do a mini-shoot of the skyline in the morning and some other assorted photos of the blog members.

Matthew talking to a KCRA 3 cameraman that eventually led to this shot below at 0:09:

One by one the others arrived starting with Robbie, then Nate, and finally Ray. My day one mainly consisted of scouting the areas of the con while dressed as Kyon. I hit up the Exhibit Hall halfway through the day and found some Nendroids I had been looking for. Later in the day I had helped Nate with photos for the Ouran Gathering which eventually I had to organize as Philippines from Axis Powers Hetalia. Time passes with some autographs and as the blog members eating at a well known local pizzeria called Upper Crust Pizza.

Here's where hilarity ensues: the SMT/Persona Gathering. With Matt on the horn we get a small group going as more and more crowd in. Sure they were small,  but the quality in comparison to what I saw at ALA was devastating.

We end the night with a proper toast and sleep off our exhaustion, but not before I head off to the Swap Meet and found a Lion Saber from Fate/Stay Night to purchase.

Day Two

The morning of Day Two was what everyone was waiting for. As Matt applies my makeup for Martryohska!Kaito, we establish everyone to trek a two block walk to the notoriously known Jim-Denny's. That morning was very memorable as the blog took all the bar stools and ate the best breakfast in town! I gotta say i never leave Sacramento without the Works Omelette.

Hint: There's more omelette under the hash browns.
Also pancakes. "Mini" pancakes.
Speaking of  Martyohska!Kaito, I found it hilarious that a majority of the blog staff and roommates were freaked and completely scared of  it. Going on from there, the first thing I do is hit the autographs line for Kevin Conroy who voiced Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. Then it's off to  the Vocaloid Gathering to find out I'm one of two Martyohska's there. I said forget it and left early with Matt to do a private shoot around the area.

Later I would walk the con as Dick Gumshoe from the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series and attempted to join the Hetalia gathering. I was there for maybe about 10 minutes and again said forget it. Anticipating another fun event, I dress up for a Durarara!! shoot which then turned out to commemorate blog member Nate Natavidad's birthday at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Day Three

The last and final day of the convention. The other members and I begin clearing out of the room early to avoid the usual elevator stuffiness and having to take several flights with a lot of luggage. I wasn't really in much of a caring mood that day so I just put on Keitaro Urishima  from Love Hina and hit up the VIP Autograph session with Tom and Matt. This is where I would finish off the rest of the voice actors that I needed for me and Amanda. I hit up Exhibit Hall one last time to pick up 2 Nendroids: Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4 and Disappearance Kyon. I deviate from Matt as he goes back to staffing on last time and I hit the game room. Surprisingly, I actually did well against Sacramento's finest fighters in SSF4: AE Ver. 2012. I get the call to leave and we say good-bye to another great end of the convention. We head back and call it a night for what was in store for us the following day.

Day Four (Another Day, Another Photo-Op)

Tom had to go home sometime right? Well that's when a large discussion of where we would go for the day to spend time till his mom, Gail, got home. Random San Francisco trip anyone? We woke up early to arrive in San Francisco's Pier District. Pier 39 would be the first destination of the trip. Looking all over the pier all the sights of the sea, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We ate a well deserved Clam Chowder Bread Bowl at Chowder's.

Leaving the pier, we hit Colt Tower to try and climb it, but due to our budgets we just take in the breathtaking views.

We leave the tower to head into Little Italy then into Ghirardelli Square. More great shots are taken and Matt and I enjoy a homemade sundae inside the factory where the you could see the chocolate being made!!!

We leave to the notorious Golden Gate Bridge, and take in the sights and shoot them too.  Even our phone charms were excited to be there!

Minutes later we do a hill climb to Hawk Hill and really just...well...die in all its heavenly glory. The sights the views of everywhere San Francisco has to offer! If you ever visit San Francisco, do not miss this chance because in person its completely breathtaking.

We get Tom home and call it a night as we get home to Matt's.

The Following Day (Day Five?)

I get up around 9am to have breakfast with Matt at the same place where I left off after I took my break.I drop Matt back home and take off back to where I call home. I visited Amanda first thing I got back into Medford to assure I was safe. I hung out at her place until dark and went home. I passed out, ending my story and I'm sticking to it.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, SacAnime moving to the Sacramento Convention Center was a smart move on the part of the convention heads and staff. However, there are a lot of faults that were covered at ending ceremonies. I'm glad what I heard there because of all the opportunities they have in store for summer. My overall convention experience was a blast and comparing it to ALA i give it a B+ and willing to re-rate it come summer.

I'm looking forward to spending this year with the new staff and memories with Amanda, whom I'm now dating!

Happy start of the convention year everyone! This concludes my SacAnime Winter 2013 Report.

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