Sunday, November 20, 2022

Matthew's Kumoricon 2022 Report: Part 4 - Day Two

"Sometimes, you just got to do it yourself." -My mind

After waking up and trying on a casual variation of my Yuri Katsuki cosplay, I headed into the convention and the Registration Hall, went up the Volunteer desk, and told them I wanted to volunteer. Since I had cash handling skills as well as a background in customer service, I was placed into the At-Con Registration section. It also helped that I knew how to handle a Square reader from my time using the machine at SacAnime, which made the process that much smoother for me to understand and by the third set of attendees I was assisting I was getting the flow and quickly catching on. 

This whole experience made me understand not only the attendees point of view of waiting hours on end but also what staffers have to experience especially since Saturday is shifted towards At-Con purchases than Pre-Registration pickup. I gained an appreciation of this community even more because it's everyone that drives this convention together and by noon I was finished with what I could do before having to shift back to press and prepare for the Studio TRIGGER interview after getting in lunch back up in the room. 

This also left me with the realization that I had back when I was pressing at SacAnime and wanted to do more which then led me down the road of staffing at that convention and I feel like I might be going down that same road of staffing at Kumoricon 2023 - but we have almost an entire year to figure that out.

A view from behind the At-Con Registration desk

I will say that this edition of our Studio TRIGGER interview went much better than it did in 2019 as we learned to not ask questions related to other Studio TRIGGER works as if they were the studio themselves. It was wonderful to hear two well-known names in the anime industry in Japanese geek out about Star Wars including details about the rainbow lightsaber from Star Wars: Visions that completely blew all of our minds.

[Studio TRIGGER transcript coming soon!]

The interview ran late, so after resting a bit and putting on my full Yuri Katsuki cosplay, attending the NOILION panel was a no-go. And with a huge gap between that interview and the only other thing I had scheduled after - my Yuri Katsuki photo shoot - and a much larger gap to our next interview with Cherami Leigh, it was back down to the convention. It was here that I finally bought something: a Junpei charm that went on my AirPods to be eventually transferred to my car keys but as of writing are still on said AirPods.

Violet from Violet Evergarden

Attendees sitting outside

The newly relocated health check line, which made things smoother at least here

The photo shoot went off really well, and my photographer was great to work with. As of writing I am still waiting on those photos can cannot wait (well I can) to see them.

At this point, it feels exhilarating that I pulled off a trifecta of unique convention events within a span of six hours - volunteering, interviewing, and getting a photo shoot done.

Komi and Tadao from Komi Can't Communicate

UMP-45, UMP-9, and a Griffin Commander from Girl's Frontline

Both our interviews with Cherami Leigh and Bryce Papenbrook (an hour later) were shorter than our other interviews but that didn't stop us in having discussions about Sword Art Online, Cyberpunk 2077, and Miraculous Ladybug.

[Cherami Leigh and Bryce Papenbrook interviews coming soon!]

In between those two was the Kumoricon Wine Party hosted by the California Cosplay Gala (or CCG for short) with Craig (the acquaintance from Part 3 who suggested Pine State Biscuits) and Kenny. For the time we were there, we sampled on what the two brought, broke the ice & got to know some people, and had a chill time which was needed before it got ramped up at 10pm. It was also wonderful to see Craig again from probably the last time I attended FanimeCon.

Nate with some light appetizers with TRAPPIN IN JAPAN 22 in the background

After knocking out our last interview of the day, Levi suggested that we hit up a vegan restaurant that was a 15 minute walk from our hotel called Black Water. But as we got there, it was packed for a show and there was a cover charge just to sit down and order food. So instead we try Frank's Noodle House again but then realize it's past 8pm and they are closed. So instead we go with our third option of Schmizza Pub and Grub and decide to not order pizza but instead wings and pasta to load up ahead of tonight's main event. It was great to have a peaceful and chill moment over drinks and pasta that was loaded in sauce.

I get another Lyft ride back to the hotel to provide ample time to grab what we need and slide into the convention center geared and ready to cover both TeddyLoid as well as the opening act DJ Greenflow, who subbed in for BANVOX at the last second. After setting up we sit back and enjoy the beats that echoed the Main Events Hall.

Now it was time to see TeddyLoid once again live for a second year in a row.

NOILION makes an appearance during TeddyLoid's set

Stunning visuals feat. The Mona Lisa firing laser beams from her eyes

Usually we try to figure out when we're going to hear "Daisuki," "ME!ME!ME!", and "Fly Away" (from Panty and Stocking). But we did not expect him to go hard on the mixer during Daisuki and closing with Fly Away was a treat on its own. And as he walked off the stage with minutes to go until the Oregon Convention Center closes at midnight, there was no way he could get an encore in...right?

TeddyLoid and the "Kumo Leap"

After heading back to the hotel, we wanted to close out Day Two by visiting the Umbrella Lounge, a lounge set up in the Hyatt Regency with drinks curated by Kumoricon staff. But since this was the only thing open after midnight with all other options closed or down the street across the 84, the line pushed towards the lobby staircase. So instead we go with what we have and close out Day Two that way.

Take a bow my man, you deserve for putting on one hell of a show!

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