Monday, December 6, 2021

Matthew's Kumoricon 2021 Report: Part 3 - Day One

As mentioned previously, there was some business to take care of in the early morning right as the convention center opened up and everyone got in line to either get their vaccination or proof of negative test verified so that they could receive a wristband to pass into the halls of the convention and/or to pick up their badges on Day One. We only had to do the first part before heading up to the press lounge to go over what was sent the night before and it didn't take long before our schedule was clear.

With that information in hand, we got ready to head out to breakfast at yet another restaurant that Ryan found in 2019 in Stepping Stones.

I went off of what Ryan had that year, the Smothered Bad Ass which was a throwback to The Works omelet from Jim-Denny's alongside a "Mancake" which again was a throwback to the Hubcap pancake from Jim-Denny's but slightly smaller but bigger than the pancakes over at Crackin' and Stackin'. 

The menu

The Smothered Bad Ass

After breakfast and once again knowing that we'd be good until dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get on our Day One cosplay and walk around the convention and check out everything that was to offer before our first batch of interviews.

The crew in cosplay in the hotel elevator
The line over at autographs

One of the places that we spent a good majority over at the Dealers Hall (also known as Kumorimarket) was the Charity Auction - the eBay version, not the live version like FanimeCon. There were some items that we found interesting, like a pair of Hello Kitty x Street Fighter collaboration plushies and a Persona 4 pack. We place our initial bids and go about the convention weekend and hope that everything holds on the final day at 12 noon.
(Since no photos were allowed at the auction, here's a TikTok of the Kumoricon chair getting pied in the face at Closing Ceremonies)

If you were at the convention and had a pocket guide, on the back there was a spot for "Cosplay Bingo" where you had to seek out certain cosplays, like for example the Pink Soldiers/Staff from Squid Game or in this case Ryan's Joker/Akira from Persona 5 or my Yuri Katsuki from Yuri on Ice!!, take a photo of them, and when you had bingo you went to the one of the offices to verify and win prizes. From what Ryan told me he got stopped at least twice but I didn't get stopped at all. I thought I was the only Yuri K cosplayer out there but then I saw others who were wearing his more recognizable track jacket/pre-skate outfit or his stake outfit and not his casual outfit that's featured in Episode 1. 
This combined with the fact that the convention center had the heater on to full blast made me retreat back to the hotel and change out to just a polo for the rest of the afternoon at least until the night events. I also realized that I may need to back to the track jacket variation that I wore when I started to cosplay Yuri in 2018 and placed a note in my mind to bring that variation back in 2022.
After changing out, I went back down to the press lounge to inquire about events throughout the weekend that were interested in attending and got our wishes granted which would greatly enhance what we shot on those two days. I then went with Nate over to autographs to get at least one in before anything major started. I wanted to meet TeddyLoid prior to Saturday and I got an opportunity to meet him as the line was much shorter than what Nate stood in for Robbie Daymond. I was looking for one of his CDs to purchase to have him sign, but the vendor selling his CDs sold out as soon as the doors opened of whatever they brought over from Anime Weekend Atlanta just the week before which was a very limited stock, so instead I had him sign my badge.

Me and TeddyLoid

For some odd reason around this time a wave of fatigue hit me hard and I went back up to the hotel to get off my feet for a bit. It could of been a combination of the drive the two days prior or not getting used to convention press fatigue, but the solution to it was a short nap before conducting my first interview of the day in ACME. In fact, naps were a constant solution throughout the weekend. It also helped that we had four other people we could rotate in for interviews - so before this one Morgan Berry was interviewed by Ryan, Jeriko, and Dalton and then afterwards Robbie Daymond was interviewed by Ryan, Nate, and Dalton and my next scheduled one wasn't for another two hours with Lara Stahl.

For the first couple of minutes you can see me trying to get my sea legs back under me but after that until the end I was in my stride and learning a lot from a band that I learned about from Kumoricon themselves. They were an awesome band to interview and after they asked us if we were going to film their set later on that night, to which Dalton and I went "YES!!!" and it was a major milestone to get the blessing of any band or performer to film their set.

After Daymond's interview, we realized that this is probably our last chance to pick up grocery food that we should of did either on Day Zero or Day One after the Stepping Stones visit. But we found time to make the short drive over to Safeway to pick up what we needed so that we weren't totally relying on convention center food or food around the area during the busy parts of the convention. 

From there, we headed back down to the convention center and recorded our interview with Lara Stahl.

Outside of ACME, this was probably the best interview that I conducted that weekend. She was fun to talk to and touched on topics that we got a lot of great answers out of.

With our last interview after that not for another hour, we made a quick stop back at the grocery store for one more item and while we were driving Ryan and I decided to order Sizzle Pie to-go as the timing was tight between the Abby Trott interview and me covering the ACME concert. After dropping Ryan back off to head off to interview Trott alongside Nate and Jeriko, Dalton and I headed down south to pick up the food just about an hour before the concert was supposed to start.

When we got back to the hotel's parking lot, there was a long line to get in and the scan cards that allowed for in-and-out while staying over the weekend were not working because no one could get in. Furthermore when we got back from the 1st grocery store trip I noticed that someone was stopping non-hotel people from parking there since the hotel is in close proximity to the Moda Center, home of the Portland Trailblazers of the NBA, and there was a game happening that night (in fact, they had two home games during the convention on both Day One and Day Two). If I had to guess, the combination of hotel guests and those attending the game caused the parking garage to shut down.

Dalton took all of the pizza back up the room as I waited until I decided to park it in valet and fight the charge later on. The lady that I talked to earlier was the one that I dealt with and after getting the end of my frustration out I handed off the keys to the valet service so that I could eat before filming the ACME concert.

Caleb Hyles performing

To my shock, ACME was not even remotely ready to go up as Caleb Hyles was still performing. I even filmed him covering a song from Naruto and an acapella rendition of "Let It Go" for reasons that we'll talk about in Part 4.

After some sound and fog machine checks, it was time for ACME to make their presence known. And for visual kei band, they brought the house down with their performance.

And then casually between hard-hitting songs drop a cover to "Gurenge" from Demon Slayer because hey, if Caleb Hyles can cover Naruto and Frozen, why not this anime title?

ACME at the end of their performance

Unfortunately there was no encore because James Landino and VGR still had their set before the convention center closed down at midnight. So after dropping off all the equipment back at the hotel room, I wander around and note that I still have some time to check out the Kigu Party that Ryan, Dalton, and Nate were participating in. 

One of the games being played

Nate, Ryan, and Dalton posing a photo

Outside the hallways, a crowd is forming. At first, I thought it was an after party for said Kigu Party but find out and it's the line for the late-night rave that is delayed because Hyles and ACME ran late plus sound issues, which again we will go over in Part 4 with one of our interviews. What is nice is that the lines are segmented so that they aren't blocking major walkways with staff at each point controlling and moving the lines along.

After checking out what Landino and VGR were doing and getting autographs from ACME, it was time to hang out at both the convention and in the hotel room as we wind down the night and prepare for Day Two.

One of the towers of the Oregon Convention Center from inside the convention center

Battle damage from just one day of work

-Day One End-

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.