Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nate's Report: Kinyoobicon 2013

Man does it feel good to be back home. After a month of good times at Anime Expo, it's time to hit up another anime convention and wouldn't you know it, this con is located right next to me! It's called Kinyoobicon, an anime convention made by a gaming club in Chabot College of Hayward. I haven't heard about this place until one of my friends told me to check it out. With a guest lineup of Sonny Strait and Christine Cabanos, how could I not turn down an con like this. It's time to check my "homecourt" con and see how it goes.

Day 0

It all started on Friday, which was called Day 0 apparently to Kinyoobicon. Registration was supposed to start at around 4pm, but there was a delay. Apparently the manager of the convention wasn't here yet and we had to wait until he comes in to open registration. So while we wait for registration to open up, I would head over to the pool area where the VIP pool party was supposed to begin. Unfortunately due to the delays, there is no party yet. But when the time came, I would see guests of honor Sonny Strait and Christine Cabanos walk up to the pool area. All of the volunteers and other VIPs were wanting their pics. I was able to get a pic with them as well.
Me and the VA of Dragon Ball Z's Krillin, Sonny Strait
Me and VA Christine Cabanos
Everyone wants a pic with the Guest of honor

I would continue to chill at the pool area until it was time to head back to pick up our badges at registration. The time now was 7:30pm, 3hrs. and 30 minutes into day 0. A very big delay, but we were able to get our badges at that time. Also looking at the registration line, there wasn't much people in it. About 25-30 people at least picking up their badges. The manager whom we were waiting for apologized for the big delay and gave everyone access to the pool party as well as a free drink at the poolside bar. Now that's a good way to forgive them. So now everyone is at the pool party and I was surprised again at a low turnout. When something like this comes up, I would expect everyone to hang at this event. That wasn't the case. No one was swimming either. It was just a case for most of the attendees of getting your drink and then off to do other things. Speaking of other things, there wasn't much to do at this day. Even if the schedule says that things were occurring today like a gaming room, anime viewing, and an autograph session, it turns out that these events were cancelled. Not looking good for the start of Kinyoobicon. But then again, this is Day 0 and like other con experiences, there is nothing really much to do on this day. So I would finish my drink at the pool party before heading home preparing for the next day. Still though, the turnout for this con is awfully low. I just hope tomorrow will bring in more attendees. 

Day 1

So we enter into day one of Kinyoobicon pretty late actually (around 10am). By this time, opening ceremonies was done and everything was open (Dealer's Hall, Artist Alley, Game Room, etc.) I would roam around the con to see that it is a pretty small area. I entered a room which was supposed to be dealer's hall but instead there were more artists in the hall than dealers. Artist Alley is as it is with local artists selling their works. I find that to be quite odd seeing artists showing more stuff than dealers. Speaking of which, there were more dealers out in the hallway of the con selling stuff as well. It looked pretty disorganized in my perspective.

I would meet up with my friend who was cosplaying Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove and would grab a bite to eat along with other friends who also cosplayed on this day. At around one, I would be the cameraman to my friend's panel that he was hosting. Now he was cosplaying Kuzco from the same movie and well you put those two together and we've got ourselves a show! It's Kuzco explains it all. Basically, the cosplayers of Yzma and Kuzco are up on stage answering questions from the audience and replying to them in a way that is hilarious. I found these two cosplayers to be very good in their respective roles as they try to amuse the audience in laughter. I really loved their jokes and I believed this was pretty much the best panel this con had. I did take video of the panel. Engorge yourself with laughter guys. Haha.

Yzma and Kuzco from The Emperor's New Groove

After the panel I would be in line for the guests of honor's autograph signing. I would arrive in line with a couple of my friends and I would realize the line is pretty short. There weren't really much attendees in the autograph line. Maybe they weren't fans of the two VA's or that Akai Sky was playing during that time. Well I still managed to get Christine to sign my Filia poster and two Weis Schwarz cards of characters whom she voices (Silica from Sword Art Online, and Madoka from Madoka Magica). Still though, I wonder why there weren't much people for autographs. 

The day was getting pretty weary. With nothing to do, I would drive my Yzma friend back to her place and get out of my Death the Kid cosplay into typical clothing. She on the other hand had a lot to take care of so I helped get her out of her cosplay. We would arrive back at Kinyoobicon in time for me to check out the cosplay contest. I was actually thinking of entering but seeing all these good cosplays made be back out at the last minute. All of them had good cosplays . There was a Black Rock Shooter, Raiden from Metal Gear Rising, Princess Peach, Vanellope and King Candy from Wreck-it Ralph, and even some Dangan Ronpa cosplayers. The judges were from the Kinyoobicon staff along with the guests of honor.When everyone got introduced and did their skits, we would have to wait an hour for the judge to decide who will win the contest. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see that. There was another thing I had to attend to. But from what I'm hearing, the Raiden cosplayer pretty much took the show. So it was nothing big at it's first day. There were some good panels and events that I was glad to attend to, but that was it. Nothing out of the ordinary that got me liking this con, yet. There is another day for this con and I hope it stands out more than day one.
Free! cosplayer found at Kinyoobicon
An Umbrella Ninja from Resident Evil

Day 2

Day 2 started off with me being there late to the con, around 11am. After that party I went to last night, I couldn't manage to get up early to attend a VIP breakfast that started around 8am. I was cosplaying Dipper  Pines from Gravity Falls as part of a group of Dippers as I used them for my clones. Now we just need to find a Wendy cosplayer. Haha.
Me and my Dipper clones. Photo taken by Namu Williams

When I arrived at the con, there wasn't really much of anything interesting that I wanted to do. So I would wander around again over at the Dealers Hall and Artist Alley to look around and see if I wanted to purchase anything from the sellers. I would manage to get an Erza Scarlet key chain from Fairy Tail and a Nagisa Hazuki pin (from Free!)  from my good friend who was selling her artwork at the con. At noon, I would go off to Togo's with a couple of my friends for lunch. We would head back to check out open-mic Karaoke. This open-mic karaoke session turned out to be the most entertaining thing I've done besides the panels. In the session, people would request songs to the man running the laptop and he would put up the video via Youtube. I would be able to sing the first opening of Soul Eater, Resonance by T.M. Revolution. Oddly the song was very popular to the people who were at the session that even a female Death the Kid cosplayer joined me in singing the song while other sang along as well. I'm guessing this is because Soul Eater is on Toonami now and that the show is getting more popular recently, which I really like. Some other songs that were the group sung included openings to anime, a Doctor who musical song?, and a really odd parody of Gangnam Style with the Tumblr memes. But overall, I really had a good time at this. I was also thinking about attending the Karaoke contest that was going to run later on, but there was another panel I wanted to attend to so I missed out on it.
The Audience having a great time singing Karaoke 
Me and a Death The Kid cosplayer singing the OP to Soul Eater
An attendee singing a song from the Doctor Who musical

I would head over to the panel room where my friend would host a panel about acting in cosplay. He would give out some good advise when it comes to cosplaying and how to act in that cosplay. I would learn a lot from his panel and will use his advise in my future of cosplaying. Afterwards, I would check out the gaming room to play a couple of games. The only game I would find available was an N64 where I would play Super Smash Bros.. The other consoles were used for the other gaming tournaments that were running during that time. I wasn't even able to play something from the Wii or PS3 during this time so I was only there for a couple of rounds before leaving to check out the other things going around the con. But there wasn't much going on. The Dealers hall and artist alley would close during this time and the other things that were going around the con weren't interesting to me. So I ended up leaving early for Kinyoobicon before the closing ceremonies. At the last day, I had some good times with some events happening during the day but it just didn't feel like I had a good time hence me leaving early. If there were only other things that like other cons had during this day, I would have been more interested in staying. 

So I was pretty hyped for this con to be a good convention experience. Last year the attendance was great and I was looking for this con to have the same experience. But unfortunately, that isn't the case this year. What I found intriguing was that there weren't much people in attendance this year. It seemed really low this year looking at what I saw and that was disappointing. The people who were making this convention even went to some big events like the J-Pop Festival and AOD in SF to advertise for this convention. And to see it have an attendance count like this was disappointing. It looks like they didn't do their job right. But their could be other reasons. They scheduled this con at a time where 2 other big named conventions were happening at the same month and that is Japan Expo and Sacanime. If I was an attendee, I would save up my money for these two cons which looks to be the case here. The small amount of attendees could be due to these two cons coming up. If it was only scheduled at a better time, like after Anime Expo, maybe the attendance count would go up. But I also did check the registration page and according to sources, the price for the whole weekend looks to be more expensive than last year's price which may have also lead to the small attendance count. No matter how you look at it, it's just very small and wasn't up to the hype I was hoping for at this con. 

It wasn't a good start either for Kinyoobicon. At day 0, we had a major delay for getting our badges. The delay was so bad that we had to wait for over 3 hours to get them. What's worst was that nothing was going on around that time, even if the schedule said there was going to be other things happening! Nothing was open, gaming hall was closed, the pool party wasn't happening on time, it looks very disorganized. So what are we supposed to do when registration isn't open? Nothing? Really me and the other attendees don't want to get bored while this delay occurred. Also, the reason of the delay was because they were waiting for one person who had a flight delay and it looks like the manager of this con. I find that to not be a good reason for the delay. What they should have had was a backup plan. There are bound to be issues that could occur that would make the con look bad and it seemed to be the case here with the whole manager not being there at con on time. If this occurred, I would have just given the duties to another person where he/she would run the con temporarily until the manager arrives. No that isn't the case here and we were left in the dust wondering what is going on. Really this delay would have be averted if someone else was at the helm running things when the main guy wasn't available. It would help things run smoothly for the convention. But at least we were all treated to free food and drinks so I guess that helps.

But with that delay, it seems everything was properly running during day 1 and 2 of the con. The only problem is that there wasn't much of anything to do at this con. All the content that was happening at this con didn't fit my interest so I was just mostly chilling and talking to my friends who attended this con. Plus, it seems that some events couldn't get a lot of people attending. I've seen the judges of the cosplay contest looking around for cosplayers who would like to attend the contest, which is why the contest had around 15 attendees participating in it. Some events that I attend to didn't even fill up the room. For example, Christine Cabanos' panel was surprisingly low in attendees! The only events/panels that I thought had a good turnout was Kuzco explains it all and the Karaoke room. Maybe it had a good turnout at the Homestuck panels and it makes sense. Most of the attendees were cosplaying from Homestuck. But it just felt really bland to see that no one was attending these panels. Kind of depressing too especially coming from a person who was hoping for an awesome time at Kinyoobicon.
The attendance for GOH Christine Cabanos' panel is surprisingly low....

Artist Alley had a good amount of artists while Dealers hall was surprisingly not even dealer's hall. It seems there was more artists showcasing than dealers. Gaming room was OK but I would like it if there were more consoles for us to play games with because most of them this year were used for the tournaments. But overall, it wasn't what I was expecting from this con. And it all begins from the beginning because it was all disorganized with registration and with everything not even at par with the schedule (Ex: VIP party not happening and gaming room closed at Day 0). There wasn't much in content at this con that made me want to attend the panels/events which disappoints me because I was looking forward to be entertained by them. Instead, I was disappointed. The low attendance count was another problem. It is at it's second year at the Hilton hotel and it looks like they didn't improve from their first impact last year. In fact, it may have been worst. There are a lot of things for this con to fix up, but it is a start up con and I am still hoping that next year will be better. I mean this is a home con for me, I can't let this con be this disappointing for the future! 

Well that ends my coverage of my hometown convention. Later Kinyoobicon, Coming up next is Japan Expo!!! 

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with this review. I've been attending Kinyoobi con since 2010.And this years con was their most boring one to date. The irony is that I've been attending as an artist in Artists Alley and this was the first year I actually profited in terms of walking out the con with some money. even still the disorganization, the lack of attendees, and the cost of the con just made it seem like Kinyoobi con is just not worth it.

    The cons organizers and the people running the hotel need to have better communication as well. The reason that Day 0 was so disorganized is because the hotel was hosting an event in the area that Kinyoobi con organizers thought they had available to them on Day 0.

    As far as registration goes. One of the main guys in charge of making sure things at the con run smoothly was there. He was too busy dealing with getting Day 0 events started. I feel bad for the guy because I see him busting his ass every year trying to run Kinyoobi con.

    Sadly I feel the people running it are not well equipped and organized enough to make the con more successful than it is. I feel it was a better con while it was at Chabot College.


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