We got checked in and got our badges. This years hotel is well in a word fun sized, it was bumper to bumper inside and well freezing cold outside and we had the wrong gear for the conditions. Cosplay photos were pretty much out the window for us as we really don’t like taking photos under these conditions so sad face. That said we are getting some new kit for NDK, and for all the cosplayers out there I will be hosting some free photo shoots and group events soon so keep your ears and or eyes on the Facebooks.
Well back to Friday, after getting our badges we wondered around the convention and checked out the system. Poped our head into the Rave and ducked into the Late shoe for short while, and after that we wondered around the con. It was packed busy all through the night, at sometime late in the morning we turned in for night.
Saturday we woke up and started planning out our day. We wanted to hit the dealer’s room, the artist ally, and various panels throughout the day. With plans in hand we headed downstairs into the swamp of bodies. We first wandered into the dealers room, which like the rest of the hotel was packed. We wandered through the room checking out the tables and items. We found some figures and some wall-scrolls and various other books and Blu-ray’s. I will be posting photos our items in another post that will be going up soon after this one.
We stopped in to see Kyle Herbert and his geek talk panel. Transformers movie, Kyle loves them for the action, and fighting robots. Kyle also enjoyed the new Star Trek Movies, I gotta say I enjoyed the reboots as well. Kyle talking about his experiences in voice acting, he said he always wanted to work in the entertainment business and voice acting has been his path into anime, video games, movies, and TV. Kyle is very proud of his work, his favorite video game voice is Ryu and he got to reprise this voice in a Disney film “Wreck it Ralph”. In Anime Kyle said it’s no question Gohon from Dragon Ball Z was his favorite role. Kyle was asked many questions about movies and video games. There was a debate about the Alien movies and Avatar, questions about how Kyle felt about these movies and franchises. Dragon Ball Z Evolution came up and Kyle took a big sigh, he then said “It was so bad the theaters in Asia presented the movie as a parody and it did well”
Overall it was a good time talking about fandom, industry, geek topics and more with Kyle. Kyle was a fantastic speaker and everyone had good time spending time with him.
Next I Sat in on the mystery panel which turned out to be the Jan Scott Frazier panel. This was an interesting panel with a Q\A focus. Many topics were discussed.
After that we took a lunch break and came back for the combo panel. Kyle Hebert, Stewart Zagnit, and Lucien Dodge. It was a QA panel and many questions were asked and many good times were had. Questions about industry, crazy stories and everything in between. A Few funny questions stood out among the usual such as how you get into voice acting and how to build a portfolio and demo reel(s). One of those questions was “If you could be a sandwich what would you be?”Kyle said pepperoni and egg, Stewart was a Ruban. Getting back to the standard questions all three voice actors said they love what they do and all had different backgrounds in acting and work. They all recommend doing theater or commercials and building your demo tapes by subject one at a time, say selling or promoting a product, a line read for a play, or a voice demo for a character in a game or show. Keeping the demo’s short and to the point and if you need help, hiring a studio or production team to help you build your demos is not a bad idea, it’s an investment in your voice acting career. Stewart as known as Professor Oak from Pokemon was flexible when it came to singing and voice acting but could not handle fast talking like auctioneer work, he built his demo’s around his strengths and took jobs he knew he could handle. All three voice actors were also asked if the Dress was blue and black or brown? All three answered blue and black.
After that fun panel I took a walk around the building in search of food and found this little guy. Pretty much a tame wild rabbit, does not really have anything to do with the con, but it was cute and it was outside! I pretty much did not shoot any cosplay because all the shots would be sub par due to an extreme lack of space and light, also I brought the wrong gear for the shooting conditions, live and learn. I have post con purchased some new kit, as mentioned at the top of this post. Life goes on , yolo, all that zazz.
After that we peeled away from the hotel and found Ihop and stopped in for some pancakes and grub. The Ihop was crazy busy and full of cosplay and con goers, you could spot the folks in the restaurant who were not with the con, they were either having a good time and enjoying the spirt of the of con or completly alienaited, we watched a couple come inside the lobby, saw the cosplayers waiting for a table and turned and ran. It was quite funny frankly. We waited about 15 minutes and got a table in the back. We were seated near a huge group of cosplayers all singing random songs and screeming, it was quite terrible for all the people around them, again I just laughed it off but ya they were pretty rude. We ordered our food, ate, and paid up and rolled out. We headed back to our room to plan out the rest of the evening.
We made our plans and headed down, we attemped to go into a few panels but they were full, we stuck our head in a few but sadly full and lines everywhere. I stuck my head in the gaming room to check out the setup in there. I found that the DDR setup was fun sized in fact everything in there was fun sized, they really need a bigger space for next year. Did a couple rounds of ddr and took in the scean there were some grudge fights and smash brawls going down, entertaining to watch.
Next we heard some big booming coming from the main hall, the Rave was kicking off. The Poke Rave not much poke but much rave. I danced in for a few dj sets shot some photos took in the boom and kicked it with the stage folks. The Dj’s were all pretty good, different styles and different beats, I tend to favor the big bass and lower to medium bpm tunes. Drum and bass, dubstep, electro, happy hardcore, drance, elecrto step. I not huge rave buff and I don’t follow the electro world so I honestly can’t weigh in on the quality of the rave, but it was hopping. The room was insanely small for the amount of people lined up. It was like a 100 man jumpfest, just enough space to walk around with your arms in the air. I had a good time still, despite the mixed dj’s and tiny space.
There was a fire alarm pulled so our night was interrupted by the classic a-hole move. Lucky the chap who pulled the alarm was found by police and was hauled off, this chap has pulled alarms at other conventions and has a bad history of doing so. I returned back to the rave for another hour or so, my colleagues wondered off to panels and back to the room. On my way back in I saw a safety placard and decided to snap a shot of it. Well later in the night I photo chopped it and posted it on the face tubes. After this we had a few drinks and called it a night.
Sunday Rolled around and we had to play the clean up room, and get checked out game. We luckily had a fairly late checkout so we were able to get some zzz’s after the long night. I used to be able to function on 3-4 hours of sleep but those days have long since past. Well once packed up and living out of our cars we wondered around the dealers room and artist ally and made a few more purchases. I have taken photos of some of the figures and items I have purchased, those photos are on the face tubes, and I will be cross posting them soon.
Sunday from that point was really just a wonder around and talk to people, and we spoke with guests, cosplayers and friends. We asked them how they felt about the con and they gave us a mixed bag of answers. Honestly if you came to this convention with really high hopes you were disappointed, but if you came with a low bar or standard expectation of a smaller con you would find yourself having a better time. I honestly found the convention space way to small and just about everyone agreed with that statement. The majority of the people I spoke with said they would come back but the hotel would have to be bigger. People feel the convention ran well, events started on time, spaces were populated well and the convention was organized enough. The short comings were there, many of the guests we spoke with said they wanted more panels, more rooms, and more to do. I felt the same, not enough seating as many panels only seated 25-40 people and if you were not there when the room opened you were not getting in, other Denver conventions have had this problem, it really is about cost and huge stepping stones in room and cost.
I was lucky enough to run into the head manager of Sakoshi Con and I spoke with him briefly about the future of the convention’s. This year’s convention was a joint venture of sorts with the Wasabi brand on top with Sakoshi con running the management behind the stage, though it was a blend of staff this year we won’t see that next year. It will be a stand alone Sukohi Con next year and a rumored Stand alone AnimeLand Wasabi breaking off to do it’s on thing once again. Either way a bigger hotel is for sure happening, and an overall change of flavor will be accompanied by the changing of the guard. We will know more as time goes on, but I’m hopeful for the future.