Saturday, January 11, 2014

Matthew's Otakon Vegas 2014 Report: Part 2 - Day One

The good news going into Day One of Otakon Vegas that all the badges and accessories needed to distribute them came right before pre-registration opened at 9am. Twitter and Facebook didn't update the night before or overnight, so to those who were wanting their badges on Day Zero hopefully the lines wouldn't be too long.

Since both Craig and Nate weren't arriving until noontime plus the fact that nothing was going on at the convention, the only objective so far was to pick up badges. So for now, the only I can do is take photos of the crowds and talk to some of the attendees.

These two are from Saudi Arabia. No seriously, they are.
Having our badges gave us a 20% discount as Earl of Sandwich, Planet Dailies, Planet Hollywood over at Caesar's Place, and Bucca di Beppo. Earl of Sandwich was next to the Sports Book at Planet Hollywood and from the times that I passed by there was never a moment when there wasn't a line and became the place to eat during the convention. I tried out the Original 1762, which consisted of just roast beef, cheddar & horseradish sauce. It doesn't seem that much, but throw all those ingredients together with fresh-baked bread and through a toaster oven for five good minutes and everything came together in nice little hot package that exploded in your mouth.

I came back to the hotel only to wait a bit longer because a) Craig's flight got delayed, and b) trying to get a Super Shuttle through Strip traffic was just as bad as us driving through the Strip. Everyone arrived at one just in time for everyone to settle in before the convention got started. By then, the only thing that was going on was Opening Ceremonies, but welcoming people in trumps over that.

Once everyone was ready, we headed back down to the convention to "officially" start Day One. The McGlynn and Epcar Q&A Panel wasn't until 4pm, so we had some time to check out the gaming room and Dealer's Hall. The room was alright, about the size I was expecting for a first-year convention.

I had thought for a second that Otakon Vegas was giving out actual poker chips featuring their mascots or at least selling them. At first they didn't have the merchandise at their booth inside Dealer's Hall because of the storm that delayed everything, but when I went to go ask the next day it was just a design that they used for other merchandise like magnets and buttons.

Meanwhile, over at the FUNimation booth they had converted half of their booth into the Boobies Lounge from Space Dandy complete with girls in Boobies outfits and Dandy himself. For some odd reason, FUNimation were obsessed over "boobies" but that was a given with their Space Dandy theme which carried over to their industry panel and the world premier the next day.

Right before I went to the McGlynn and Epcar Q&A Panel, I took a stop over at the Danganronpa Gathering to see Nate as Naegi and snap a couple of photos. The number of gatherings listed were very lowed compared to West Coast standards and there wasn't even a Persona Gathering listed. That gathering was done at the last second.

At the Q&A Panel, all of us there were able to catch up on the two and what they had done since the last time we had talked to them. Richard Epcar was the Joker on Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn was working in general. Questions ranging from Ghost in the Shell to their work as ADRs were asked. At this point, me and Nate were compiling questions for our interview session tomorrow afternoon.

Next was the FUNimation Industry Panel. I was expecting some big-time announcement like a dub for Attack on Titan but got none of that; they mentioned Space Dandy and some of their simulcasts that they picked up, but nothing major that would make us jump out of our seat.

With some time before the Sayaka Sasaki concert, everyone headed over to Fresh Bar and Grill to sample Vegas-style eateries without the price thanks to coupons that I had from I tried the Chicken Club sandwich with their fresh potato chips and I was immediately hooked. I had some old coupons that weren't cashed in from FanimeCon, so I convered those into more coupons at Fresh Bar and Grill that I would come back to. Some of them wanted to try Earl of Sandwich tomorrow but I knew were I was coming back.

Sayaka Sasaki in her second-half outfit.

I had no idea who Sayaka Sasaki was. Nate knew her for the ending to Nichijou, but at the time she wasn't one of those household names that I knew off of the top of my head. Still, her setlist contained covers and her songs she sang and the lighting was perfect for the setting. Me and Nate had a wonderful watching her concert, and I was more thrilled when she responded to me back on Twitter after sending her my Instagram photo.

Then we had this filmed on the Strip as me and Nate walked back.

We changed in for the first night out on the Strip. We first headed over to the Bellagio Fountains to watch a show before heading out into the nightlife.

There are some lessons to be learned that evening, such as:
  • If you have a comp from a hotel, make sure you have the comp slip or have the code for the hotel you're staying in.
  • You're going to win some and lose some. Yes, Las Vegas has the lure of winning big, but the scenario of you winning that jackpot on very little money is rare. Mostly, you'll win just to break even.
  • Decision-making in Las Vegas goes out the window. It doesn't help that the alcohol flows in Las Vegas faster than the Colorado River on the cheap. Dollar beers and cocktails while at the tables? Count anyone in!
  • Like Danganronpa, there were stages of despair. I had hit Part/Stage 1 and Part/Stage 2 in one night.
  • If anything else, there's always a jacuzzi to melt away that despair.
- Day One End-

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