Sunday, August 16, 2020

"10 in 2010" - A Look Back at 2010 for the California Conventions Blog | Part 1 - Meet the Lelouches

Going to Anime Los Angeles felt like I was in uncharted territory - flying to a convention for the first time ever, going to a SoCal convention for the first time ever, going to a 24 hour Subway at 3am for the first time ever, and even having people that I didn't know staying in my room for the first time ever (at least back at SacAnime Summer 2009 the ones who stayed in my room I knew). But it was here that I met the ones that would join the blog, well at least one of them for the first time and one that I've seen around for about two years from this point.

Ryan as Kyouya at the SoCal Host Club ALA 2010 Event

Ryan would say that I met him at FanimeCon 2008 during the Ouran High School Host Club gathering but I remember more of our interactions at FanimeCon 2009 during the Gundam gathering where he was cosplaying as Heero Yuy and then again at the Ouran gathering. But up to this point, we had just talked in passing but didn't know him that well.

But that all changed when Ryan's partner couldn't attend the SoCal Host Club event that they had planned and needed a fill-in. We haven't even gotten into the official start of the convention - Opening Ceremonies - before I threw my hat into the fray. Now I was helping out in addition to reporting this convention and with my leadership skills in high school, Sac City, and Sac State, I was a natural fit to not only be a fill-in but also manage the event. We even decided on getting a poster board for signage as well as an Ouran logo that we wanted guests to sign - which was made in hours after a early morning run to Staples at a nearby shopping center - and even got my webcam up to document the entire event.

Fun Fact: Ryan still has the poster boards and wants to give them back to me

After that, I spent more time with him over weekend which including spending the majority of my Sunday covering the CLAMP gathering and subsequent Code Geass photo shoot with Lucas and him and going with my auntie to Roscoe's after the end of the convention but before my late flight back to Sacramento.

Ryan as Ashford Lelouch from Code Geass

Post-convention meals

The infamous "All hail Chicken & Waffles" photo

Lucas as Emperor Lelouch from Code Geass playing chess against Ryan as Lelouch (from above)

I met Lucas through Ryan at ALA especially on Sunday during the CLAMP gathering and subsequent CG photo shoot with the two. However by the end of the weekend I still didn't know his name as I kept calling him "Emperor Lelouch." But it was only a matter of time before he quickly entered the picture by the end of May and especially into August.

The early days of anime content on YouTube

By the time Anime Los Angeles ended, there was a two day turnaround time to focus on the next convention on the calendar: FanimeCon. At this point, I had already paid the $45 for pre-registration and was waiting for hotels to open and back then there was the initial rush but nothing compared to the more recent years when booking has become full-blown Battle Royale but without high schoolers murdering each other. Before noon on January 12th, I had a Thursday through Monday room at the San Jose Marriott, my third visit to the hotel at the time. 

Prior to my encounters of Ryan and Lucas, the room was mostly just Tom and I but knowing that the two would also want to go to FanimeCon and I could cut our share of the hotel room in half, I gave them a call to chat about them coming up to Sacramento then all of us carpooling to San Jose via San Rafael to attend the convention.

I'll never forget the first leg of the drive from Sacramento to San Rafael, getting caught in a sudden rain storm in a Mercury that had its gas light on and trying to find a gas station in Novato and making an illegal turn in the process. That and trying to get that behemoth of a car up and down Tom's driveway (twice). 

Ryan as Rin from Shuffle!
Then there was footage that we shot of the convention on Day Zero going down from the hotel room to registration.

The convention included more events for the SoCal Host Club, including our first of two informational panels of the year and also throwing an extravagant Ouran gathering complete with all the bells and whistles.

Signage to the gathering

The bottles of champagne apple cider on ice

The other infamous "champagne apple cider shotgun" photo

Group shot

The cake that was brought - or what was left of it

And then there was the run with Axis Powers Hetalia as Philippines, which didn't exist in canon but we did it anyways and made a splash - except for Lucas, who was Austria.

Lucas as Austria

Ryan and I as the Philippines attacking a Japan cosplayer

In between all this, the panel, and getting to see FLOW up close at MusicFest, one could say that it was a successful convention weekend.

And through all that tossed in with the two staying in my room throughout the weekend, the bonds got deeper. Unfortunately, some snafus outside of our control made me volunteer to take the train back up to Sacramento and they would drop off anything I couldn't carry with me back home before heading back to Los Angeles but that wouldn't stop me from taking the next big leap - going back to Anime Expo.

The three of us passed out at the Marriott car park waiting for our car to be brought to us

-Part 1 End-

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