How one year can change.
Last year was the first year of DAiCon, an attempt to form an anime convention that was ran by the Davis Anime Club. It was a small, intimate-type of convention and a lot was learned from its first year.
This time last year, things weren't going my way. Since then, things have steadily improved and I was looking forward to this year's DAiCon in combination with my recent success.
How one year can change.
Even before DAiCon opened registration at 9am on May 4th, 2013, I was immensely impressed on the strides this convention made in just a short year. Once I arrived, I was immensely impressed on those strides even more, and that was an hour before they officially opened their door at 10am.
Before I arrived, I decided to stop by Black Bear Diner, a west coast chain that's akin to a Denny's or a Sherri's. I decided to order the "regular" Chicken-Fried Steak and Eggs.
The reason why I say "regular" is that there is "BIGFOOT" Chicken-Fried Steak and Eggs which is basically another egg, another biscuit, "a mound" of hash browns, and a twice as big steak. I like to eat a lot and even that sounds too much for me, maybe to share.
I arrived at Freeborn Hall, which was the first major improvement to DAiCon. Last year, everything was located in the Memorial Union (MU for short), but this year things were expanded to include this hall that has housed many musical acts and debates.
A Dealer's Hall and an expanded Artists Alley within Freeborn Hall was also a major improvement.
Of course, you can't forget about the cosplay.
I had some time before 12pm, when Wendee Lee was supposed to speak. I decide to check out what's in the MU, where everything else was.
The League of Legends Lounge was a nice compliment to the Console Gaming Room next door, which was run by the UCD LoL Club. These types of "castle defense" games have caught fire in the gaming world, and watching people play all throughout the day (combined with friends that I know who play this game) got me really interested. I was joking with some saying that I need a hobby once I graduate, but there was some truth to that because this game does look fun.
Back at Freeborn Hall, Wendee Lee was holding her panel. She told stories about her adventures as a voice actor and how she got to his point in her career. She also takes a question from me about the closing of Bandai Entertainment USA as well as one of the weirdest fan request that I have on record.
|Thank you for getting my two pencil boards signed!|
By now, the MU is bustling with activity.
The cosplay contest was about to start, and it included a performance from Angel Hearts, an iDOLM@STER group that I've only heard of and seen on other convention videos.
After the cosplay contest, I bolt back down to the J-Rock Lounge to capture whatever footage I could any performance that was left. I caught a collaboration between akai SKY, Kurenai and Valkyrie Kiss right at the end.
At this point, the convention seems to be dying down a bit, but there were a few more things to do, like watch a part of the AMV Contest or watch Wilson win Marvel and some Black Bear Bucks.
I round out the evening by reconnecting with some people that I haven't seen in awhile as well as enjoying people playing Dance Central.
By 8:30pm-ish, I was ready to call it a night. I had a drive back to Sacramento and I had to start working on these photos and videos.
|Yes, there is such thing as #Yolo County.|
Like I mentioned before, this year's DAiCon was very much improved from last year. The usage of Freeborn Hall, a Dealer's Hall, obtaining guests like Wendee Lee and J.S. Gilbert, and the list goes on and on. Granted, there was some sacrifices that were made. This year, there was no free-play in the arcade and there was no stream for any of the video game tournaments, which were understandable as conditions to either save money or have a certain space. There was also concern about the usage of the buildings, like why the cosplay contest wasn't held in Freeborn Hall, a much bigger space than MU II. Then you realize that any answer to that would have to be "it's the university." According to Miles Thomas, the chair of DAiCon, UCD wanted to keep the Freeborn Hall events down-low and didn't want something like the cosplay contest in that building. You can't question it anymore since it's out of the hands of the convention since it's a different game when it comes to dealing with your facilities.
I really do hope they can build on this new tradition alongside their longevity of the Davis Anime Club. I want to thank Mr. Thomas for bringing me to DAiCon for a second year and all his staff that made this convention a break from school and work life a memorable one.
What's On Tap
I won't be going to Fanime this year, for a second straight year, due to the fact that graduation is right in the middle of Fanime. I am sending a team much like last year, so be on the lookout for that coverage. I'd rather save up my money and focus on returning to Anime Expo, which will be my next stop in our convention coverage. We're wanting to make this the biggest and most expansive coverage that we've ever done, so keep an eye out on those details!
Thank you for reading my report.
-DAiCon 2013 Report End-