Monday, December 21, 2020

"10 in 2010" - A Look Back at 2010 for the California Conventions Blog | Part 3 - The World Series of Anime Vegas


I never thought I would obtain a press badge in 2010, let alone three. If anything, I was going to use that year as a springboard to 2011 where I would probably obtain a pass to that year's Anime Los Angeles then apply to FanimeCon as our first major event that we would cover under the blog and the current team at hand.

When I told Ryan that I wasn't going to apply to Anime Vegas and my 2011 springboard idea, he told me to do it anyways because "there's no way of knowing if you try." So I did - but unfortunately I don't remember when I exactly applied and got back a response. But I do remember that one day I had checked my email and saw that we were approved for three badges: Ryan, Lucas, and myself. Ecstatic, I called Ryan up not knowing that would pick up during the middle of of his shift at Disneyland but was able to relay the news.

As I mentioned in the last part, I felt he was the boosted I needed to bring the blog as well as our friendship to the next level. He was the one who gave me that gentle nudge and brought up my confidence faster than I expected.

Ryan posing in front of the Pre-Registration sign for Anime Vegas

This would be the first time that we would be running press as a team, so for the first time we tried to go into a convention with a solid game plan around finding out who was a Guest of Honor that we were interested in covering, what events we wanted to cover based on our current consumption of Japanese media, and build around there. Of course, this is Las Vegas which is a whole different beast like San Jose, Los Angeles, or Phoenix/Mesa where we also have to build around the nearly infinite nightlife options that exist. Because we didn't interview any guests for our first run, that gave us more time to do the second thing that we like to do when attending conventions: running cosplay gatherings. This dates back to when Ryan and I ran Ouran High School Host Club Gatherings at FanimeCon and would eventually spill into HetaliaCode Geass, Shin Megami Tensei/Persona and Yuri On Ice!!! just to name a few. I even had time to get lost trying to find a Pizza Hut so that I could order a Big Italy Pizza to bring back to a Geass luncheon that we also hosted alongside the gathering that Sunday.

Ryan and I as the Philippines from Hetalia during the gathering

Planning a cosplay gathering is just as daunting as planning a convention to cover but ever since this convention it's been a staple to do both during the same weekend. It has given us some insights into the groups themselves that we involve ourselves in, which in a way makes us feel more connected to what we're writing and publishing. 

Once again Ryan and I parted ways during the evening portion of the weekend as I went out to explore the Strip and did things that he could not be a part of, at least for another two years. He wouldn't miss out either as he and Lucas also hit up the Strip to enjoy the sights.

E Flamingo Blvd & S Las Vegas Blvd at night as taken on a Samsung SL30

Ryan quickly established himself as the videographer of the group as he would record the entire masquerade during that weekend with the camera that would bring us our highest-viewed video in the blog's history in about a year's time. That left me as the photographer, although that dynamic would shift over time.

Before I forget - there's also the duo of Erica and Jared of Scarlet Rhapsody that were in attendance as well over the weekend (as seen in the video above). I've known them for quite a bit now dating back to what I can recall around 2006-2007. I also credit them for inspiring me in my coverage style and many collaborations would be in order in the coming years.

In all, this was a successful weekend in which we got our footing in the door as a press team and would lead us to our biggest breakthrough - what I had thought of covering in May 2011...

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