Tuesday, December 8, 2020

"10 in 2010" - A Look Back at 2010 for the California Conventions Blog | Part 2 - Welcome to the (Anime Expo) Jungle

Even before FanimeCon started, I had my badge already bought for $40 (which seems like a steal compared to the more recent pricing of today's Anime Expo). But how to get there and where to stay I was still working on.

Luckily, this was about the same time that Ryan was coming into the picture more clearly and offered to pick me up; stay with him in Westminster, a city in Orange County and a stone's throw away from Downtown Los Angeles; and to drop me back off. This meant that while I could stay for almost zero cost I had to deal with the long commute - something that I haven't dealt with before in my short convention experience up to this point. I was thankful for his generosity as we started off the convention weekend. 

The SoCal Host Club Informative Panel filled to the brim

Ryan and I were on a mission when it came to the SoCal Host Club - we were able to apply with Anime Expo staff to run two events: an informative panel about who we were, what we did, and gave away some prizes for listening to our presentation; and an actual "main event" where we hosted a line of people that stretched far. While the informative panel went off without a hitch, we ran into a major problem with the main event - we requested a "workshop room" with round tables so that each host could sit and the guests would join them at the table, but instead they gave us another panel room with a completely different setup. Everyone in the group worked on a solution and ultimately we were able to reconfigure the panel room to something that resembled our original request. Anime Expo staff also contributed by allowing us a "second session" so that we could get everyone that lined up for the actual event. As I mentioned in my original Anime Expo 2010 Review, "we were furious at the beginning, but by the time we got done with the [second] session we felt relax and accomplished." 

LA Live at night

After we debriefed about what happened that day and what we learned, Ryan and I parted ways as I went out with a group of friends that I recently met online and did things that he could not be a part of, at least for another two years. He was probably shocked though that I had went on my first all-nighter "bender," went through all of Day Four, voice our concerns about a lack of communication with Anime Expo staffers, help out a dealer break down after end of Anime Expo, drive him and his friends up to Woodland Hills without being drowsy, and then driving down back to Westminster without being drowsy. 

Ryan and Erica as Keitaro and Naru from Love Hina

That following Monday we spent more time and through these moments he figured out that we were mostly the same but also some key differences that would pop up throughout our friendship. We also established our routines and traditions when we are together, like going to Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles whenever we are in Los Angeles or other ones established later like Korean BBQ at least once every trip, convention or no convention. 

On Tuesday, the final day that I was in Southern California, we recorded a multi-part review of Anime Expo (that later became a two-part review thanks to restrictions on how long a YouTube video could be were lifted).

At over 50 minutes long, this is where I start to see the chemistry between us and realizing that he would become both a integral part of the blog as well my life.

Little did I know that he would be the boost I needed to bring the blog and our friendship to the next level...

-Part 2 End-

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