About The Staff

Matthew Miranda - Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Matthew cooling off after the SMT/Persona Gathering as Junpei from Persona 3 at Anime Expo 2013
Matthew interviewing Gilles Poitras, Guest of Honor, at FanimeCon 2011
Matthew Miranda is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of the California Conventions Blog. A graduate at California State University, Sacramento in Economics, he plans to work for the State of California or at least within the health care industry. In addition to maintaining this blog and providing anime convention coverage, he is an avid gamer and loves a good night on the town. He also likes to play Texas Hold'em poker and dreams of winning the World Series of Poker's No-Limit Hold'em Championship, or at least get on TV while in cosplay. Of course, he does watch anime and does read some manga; his favorite series (in no particular order) are: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Joker Game, Jormungand (and its sequel Perfect Order), Eureka seveN, Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop, and Black Lagoon. Oh, and everything Persona and THE iDOLM@STER.

If he had to name one "waifu" (from his harem of "waifus" that he claims to have), he would have to pick Misato from Evangelion. That and Relena Peacecraft from Gundam Wing, who he considers to be his "OG waifu."


Pacific Northwest Division

Ryan Silva - Pacific Northwest Division Head of Staff
Ryan with Yumi Kawamura and Shihoko Hirata at Taiyou Con 2015
Ryan as the Philippines from Hetalia at ALA 2011
Winning Asuna by moonlight. Chipotle worker by daylight. Always fighting the good otaku fight.

His name is Ryan Silva.

"You see, where Ryan's from..." he is both the Pacific Northwest Division Head of Staff and the Chief Photographer and Videographer. A native of Southern California Westminster-raised, he now calls the friendly combines of Medford, Oregon home. He along with Lucas were there first two to be brought into the blog by Matthew and headed the first official press team at Anime Vegas 2010. Since then he has headed press teams for Anime Expo and is responsible for some of the highest viewed YouTube videos for the blog including his recording at Mikunopolis in Los Angeles in 2011 which at the time of writing has garnered 131,000+ views. His years of reporting at Anime Expo as veteran and other conventions across the western states led to the creation of the PNW Division which he now leads.

On his off time, he likes to build Gunpla - a short-handed term for Gundam plastic model kits. He also blames Matthew for getting into the Persona franchise but also likes to play, Street Fighter, BlazBlue, Kingdom Hearts, Ace Attorney, Metal Gear, Resident Evil, Disgaea, Devil May Cry, .hack, and Dance Dance Revolution. Some of his favorite anime include Sailor Moon, Sword Art Online, Initial D, Haruhi Suzumiya, Code Geass, Gundam Wing, Evangelion, Shuffle!, Clannad, the Fate fanchise, The Irregular at Magic High School, Ouran High School Host Club, Steins;Gate, and Love Live!. If he's not taking photos and/or videos after you take the cameras out of his hands, he's taking Nendoroids and figures home from conventions and displaying it on his "anime shelf" back home. He also plays Weiss Schwarz on the side and loves Vocaloid.

His one convention dream (besides going to Japan and attending Comiket, which to be honest is everyone's dream here) is to have a worldwide-recoginzed and credited article, photo set, and/or playlist of videos.

Like Matthew, he also has a "waifu" and it's pretty obvious who it is. If he had to name another "waifu" besides Asuna, he would obviously pick the goddess herself, Haruhi Suzumiya.


Northern California Division

Nate Natividad - Northern California Division Head of Staff
Nate as Death the Kid from Soul Eater at Japan Expo 2013 (Photo Credit: Toshiyasu Morita)
Nathaniel (or Nate for short) Natividad has been attending anime conventions since he first started going to them in Fanime 2009. He has been interested in attending conventions ever since that he has expanded his attendance to other anime conventions, particularly in the NorCal region. Along with attending conventions, he also attends many cosplay gatherings around the bay area considering them as a time to socialize with other cosplayers and making new friends. Nate is a vivid anime viewer keeping up with shows that are recently released. His favorite anime includes Anohana, K-ON!, Clannad, Angel Beats!, Eden of the East, Cowboy Bebop, Fate/Zero, and many more.

Outside of the otaku lifestyle, Nate is currently studying in San Jose State University going for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. He loves to hang out with friends for most of his free time along with playing video games and keeping up with his blogs. He is currently working as an aide for people with special needs.

You may follow his blogs at the following addresses:

Robbie Pleasant - Convention Correspondent
Robbie as Red Sniper from the Valve video game Team Fortress 2 taken at SacAnime Winter 2013 (Photo Credit: Ray Ancheta)
Robbie Pleasant, also known as Eliteslayer, has been attending anime conventions around California for several years. An avid cosplayer, he's no stranger to cosplay gatherings (having hosted quite a few) and Masquerades. You can see him around conventions in Northern California, or watch his Abridged Series of Ranma 1/2 on YouTube.

Robbie also has a blog called "Whatever I Read," a blog dedicated whatever he likes to read.

Ray Ancheta - Convention Correspondent/"Purveyor of Convention Gaming Rooms"
Ray as Minato from Persona 3 at Anime Expo 2013
Ray (cosplaying as Yu Narukami/Protagonist from Persona 4) presenting at the STG 101 panel at SacAnime Summer 2011
Ray Ancheta, also known as Ray Scarlet, goes to a wide variety of conventions in Northern California, such as Kin-Yoobi Con, Sac-Anime, Animation on Display, and of course, Fanime. He started going to Fanime in 2006, then started going to other conventions in 2009. In addition to conventions, Ray also attends many cosplay gatherings (sometimes at a rate of as many as 2-3 per month), such as those hosted by Bay Area Conventions in San Francisco and Sencha Productions in the Silicon Valley area. Much of his current social life lies in the cosplay and convention scene. He runs a convention panel called STG 101: Intro to Shoot-Em-Ups, a panel aimed at introducing the audience to 2D scrolling shooters. Usually he collaborates with one or two other friends, although on rare occasions he hosts alone.

In his spare time, Ray plays a lot of video games, mainly shmups (i.e. Touhou and various CAVE games), Shin Megami Tensei, and Eastern rhythm games (i.e. DJMAXbeatmania IIDX), hence the secondary title "Purveyor of Convention Gaming Rooms." He is also into Vocaloid (mainly Len Kagmaine and Luka Megurine) and some anime series, such as Ano Hana and Kimi ni Todoke.


Southern California Division

Talyssa "Tally" Krajenbrink - Southern California Division Head of Staff
Tally with VA Greg Ayres at Anime Los Angeles 2016
Talyssa Krajenbirnk is a cosplayer and artist residing from Buena Park, California. She is a vertically challenged woman with one too many nicknames and fandoms. However, her main fandoms include, Axis Powers Hetalia, Homestuck, Gundam (Wing/Seed/Seed Destiny/00), D. Gray-Man, and Katekyo Hitman REBORN! Her heritage is mainly Dutch-Indonesian and Maltese; however, due to people looking at her like she's crazy, she just says Italian. Being from the Southern California area she attend most conventions in the area, including Anime Los Angeles, AM2, Pacific Media Expo and Anime Expo. She also travels to San Jose for FanimeCon every year.

Generally speaking, she's the one who will sit down in karaoke and listen to everyone sing, either extremely well or poorly, rather than attend panels unless it interests her or she's in the panel herself. Cosplay, music and art is her life. Conventions are her home away from home, and the friends that she meets become her family. They are her family, the people she looks to have fun at cons. Without all these things, she wouldn't be herself.

Ralph Jeriko Serranilla - Convention Correspondent
Jeriko (right) with Ryan (left) at Anime Expo 2016
Jeriko cosplaying on a Sunday
Student by Day. Nurse by Night. A Nerd all of the time. Ralph Jeriko Serranilla, known best as Jeriko by his friends and family, is a passionate fan of almost all things nerd related, especially anime and video games. Given the gift of a Sega Genesis console and a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog before he was even born, Ralph grew up with an avid love for the medium, which eventually segued into an avid love of anime as well in his formative years. A former president of his high school’s and community college’s anime club, Ralph loves to be a part of the anime community in many different capacities. Whether it’s at a convention staffing, speaking at a panel, making song covers on YouTube, writing about the deeper messages and themes about movies and shows he’s watched, or just yucking it up in cosplay at Masquerade, he enjoys every minute of it. For Ralph, conventions are his chance to finally let off some steam, and let loose the nerdy energy, while making some friends along the way.

Ralph enjoys a wide variety of anime genres and titles, ranging from Slice-of-Life to Shounen staples. He is particularly fond of anything mecha related (Gundam, Macross, Aldnoah.Zero), anything made by Studios GAINAX, TRIGGER, and Kyoto Animation, and anything touched by the musical genius that is Yoko Kanno. Though he’s really starting to get into Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure. Ralph also enjoys a variety of video game genres and franchises as well. Among his favorites in no particular order are Pokemon, Persona, Fire Emblem, Resident Evil, GTA, Metal Gear (!), Super Mario, and Overwatch. Ralph is definitely a huge fan of anything made by FROM Software, specifically the Dark Souls series. He’s currently gitting gud at Bloodborne at the moment while waiting for the DLC for Dark Souls III.

While not living the nerd life, Ralph works as a Licensed Vocational Nurse and is currently studying to earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and become a Registered Nurse.

Outside of the Blog, you can also follow him on at the links below:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSingingOtaku
Instagram: @epicnursejeriko


Support Division

Tom Gifford - Historian (RETIRED)
Tom in the group shot with Lucas, Robbie, Ryan, and Matthew at FanimeCon 2011
Tom Gifford is the Historian for California Conventions Blog. He is good friends with blog founder Matthew. Like the other staff members, he is an avid gamer, and is also quite a good singer, frequently entering in karaoke contests at the conventions he attends.

He has been attending anime conventions for 10 years, beginning with FanimeCon 2001. His favorite anime series include The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Eureka seveN, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Star Ocean EX and Ys.

He prefers to play RPGs, but does play other video game genres as well. His favorite RPG series are (in order): LUNAR, Phantasy Star, Persona, Ys, Atelier, Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Xenosaga and Final Fantasy. His other favorite game series are: Sonic The Hedgehog, Mega Man, Jak, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, the video games of Mobile Suit Gundam, and Tokimeki Memorial.

He prefers to go by his online nickname "Shiro."

In the early part of 2015, he announced his retirement citing issues regarding his health and traveling to conventions. He still aids Matthew in running the website, primarily through advice.