With Spring on the horizon and the cold days winter still lingering over us we found ourselves warming up with some Wasabi. Due to an on going plague that moved into my face and chest I could only attend for one day. So I decided to do as much as I could on Saturday, and so I got in and Straight outta Wasabi.
We arrived on site Saturday morning, picked up our badges and started exploring. The guidebook was a very handy tool, though the map was hard to understand at first. Wasabi has moved to a different hotel for 2017, If I recall they have used this hotel once in the past as well. It is a very nice space, with lots of room. I feel like the convention space was a little to big if I’m being honest. I felt like attendance was about the same as last year but the space was several times larger and this created a bit of a void at times. I was nice not having to dodge bodies all day long or stand in lines as there was plenty of seating in all the events.
We Explored the dealers room and the artist ally. We found lots of good stuff to shop and look at. There was a nice variety of vendors and artists to choose from.
There were booths with voice actors, game creators, artists, and various artisans. I enjoyed the variety and the talent.
The gaming room was huge this year. With Rockband on one side of the room and game tournaments on the other side with table top space in the middle. I love the rockband setup that Death of the Arcade hosts, it is fantastic. We walked in and watched a few rounds of the Street Fighter V tournament and also took in some smash. I honestly feel like the gaming room should have been split up a bit more as it was hard to hear the game announcer calling the matches while rock band was rolling and roaring. And the table top space was also hard to use due to all the noise in the room. I would love to see these elements again but divided up into different spaces.
Death of the Arcade Rock Band!
Street Fighter V
Meeting with Talented Jan Scott-Frazier and Jamie McGonnigal
It was an honer to sit down with a small group of folks and discuss LGBTP topics and challenges with Jamie and Jan. The panel was small, personal and very in depth. We discussed topics such as struggles with being LGBT, support groups, changes in laws and so much more. Being among others and hearing their stories is always inspiring and insightful. I rather enjoyed Jamie’s perspective about life, stories and of course his advice. He wants to help others tackle problems and challenges in life that he has already been through. Jan answered questions and told stories about her life and the changes that she went through. She also gave advice on how to tackle challenges with change and she shared her insight on gender identification and being trans and the challenges of being born a girl in a boys body. The panel as a whole was very positive experience for those who attended and I really appreciated it.
After that panel with Jamie and Jan we took lunch and stopped by the Made Cafe. And after that we stumbled around and checked out random panels.
Chris Rager’s Hour of Explosions!
We spent an hour hanging out and talking with Chris about his career, borderlands 2 and of course MR. Torgue!
He spoke about how he got the Role and how his background in voicing pro wrestlers from the 80’s and 90’s prepared him for the role. He mentioned that when he tried out for the role their was a picture of Macho Man Randy Savage in the booth and that it was what to set the stage for the voice and personality of MR. Torgue, the character had not been finalized at the time of the try out. Chris works with Kyle Herbert and his studio to record demos and apply for parts or roles in voice acting. He has voiced several anime characters and numerous video game characters. Chris is a huge fan of games and gaming. He has played the games he has voiced in and loves Borderlands 2. Chris did make a mention about the voice actor strike with the Unions and how it affects him and other voice actors. He did not go into great detail regarding the topic but I agree with him in the fact that voice actors go underpaid and under credited in many cases.
Chris made mentions about Border Lands 3 and did not have any further details that he could share at this time. The panel was fun and insightful and Chris was a fantastic guest to talk with.
Some Lines from Borderlands 2. Go play the game for a more complete Mr. Torgue experiance.
Some Photos from the Mini Car show that just showed up.
C&C Rehearsal was a good thing, they did this last year and it honestly helps organize the contest and helps the cos players hit their marks.
C&C Contest, We filmed it this year, see the video below.
Stage setup was pretty sweet this year.
I only hung around for a few hours of the all night event due to plague. But from what I experienced it was a banging good time.
AnimeLand Wasabi was overall a fun time for me and those I spoke with. There were some flaws but for the most part everything went down fairly smoothly and all the events I attended for fun and personal. I wish I could have spent more time at the Convention but my body really was not up to the task. I hope the green team makes a return next year.