Tuesday, 09 October 2012 17:39

Sac Anime Summer 2012 Report

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So this year, I once again found myself at Sac Anime Summer 2012 for the Labor Day weekend, August 31st to September 2nd of 2012, due to a combination of ‘what if’ style planning and air fares being near on nonexistent. It helped that I really didn’t have much planned that weekend, so off it was to Sacramento.

As before, we didn’t hit up the first day due to a lot of factors, that day was near on totally shot, but not a complete loss, having managed to have dinner with Gensao and meet an old friend from the Navy I’d not seen in well on seven years now. Even so, if I ever do this again, I’ll need to plan that out a little bit better. Like flying directly into Sacramento...that’d have solved a lot of problems.

Getting a press pass this year was...weird, but then, as I recall, actually getting approval for the press got kinda weird considering it was all very last minute. This was more of a screw up on our end and not so much theirs, which we fortunately managed to compensate around. I dislike making such errors as it causes unnecessary problems for everyone, and that’s just screwed up on all accounts, so I do apologize to the Sac Anime press coordinators. Still, we managed to get it taken care of despite the SNAFU. On the other hand, I will say to people that work behind desks: Acting like droids does not help anyone. By this, I mean to say that continually repeating something like a policy (especially if you’ve not posted it anywhere), is something that can be done by a tape recorder and does not speak well of an organization. If you’re in the middle of a situation that is somewhat outside the scope, or perhaps makes a weird bit of sense despite seemingly going against the rules, it should be noted you have a chain of command. Simply note to the person that this is outside what you actually have the power to alter, but you can get the guys in charge to help out here AND THEN GO GET THEM! That’s what they’re there for; their job...their reason for being, so to speak. In other words, while it’s not always necessary, keep in mind that engaging one’s brain is sometimes required, and that one should be prepared to do it. To do otherwise is to be a droid, and that’s just bad behavior all around. It’s one of the reasons that people hate going to the DMV, after all.

This year saw two situations of particular note. One, that the convention had finally outgrown the Woodlake (formerly The Raddison) Hotel location and would, for its foreseeable future, be relocated to the Sacramento convention center. Attendance was near triple capacity this year, or so one of the guys at the front desk claimed. Given the crowds, I believe them. Just getting through the dealer’s hall, for example, was an exercise in pain management. One should not enter if they were claustrophobic; it was slow and packed...probably violated a few fire codes as well. That hallway bottleneck was even worse, even with the security detail keeping people moving. It’s a damn good thing they’re moving to the convention center at this point, because they cannot handle any more at this hotel. The second was a more somber situation, as a long time attendee and convention supporter Harison Randall, whom was often seen in his cosplay of Jiraiya from Naruto walking around with the miniature version of a boombox, blasting music to all those around him, was struck by a drunk driver while in the company of his girlfriend and four dogs on July 16th. It was reported that he saw the driver coming and pushed his girlfriend out of the way; she still suffered a broken leg. All four dogs were killed. Harison himself lost a leg, and two weeks later lost his life. More information on that can be found here on the KXTV News 10 website. A memorial was held on the 2nd at Sac Anime with many friends and several members of his family in attendance. I included the tribute dedicated to Harison Randall (thanks to Jodon Bellofatto for allowing me to do this) that Sac Anime put together and presented at the Masquerade within the Masquerade video itself, which you can watch by clicking here. I didn’t know the guy, but it seems like he was a pretty decent dude all around judging from the crowd at his memorial and the care that Sac Anime put into honoring his memory. It’s pretty fucked up when someone is taken like that, especially when the dipshit has as lengthy a history being a bad man as the guy who hit those kids and their dogs...and as such could have been prevented.

Pictures this year were fun, if brief. You can find mine here on TFA Cosplay, as well as Gensao’s and Mayhem’s; hopefully theirs will be available by the time you read this (if not, check back later). I’ll say it again; I’m really enjoying the use of my new Nikon D7000. The quality of pictures I’ve taken have risen considerably, though still not quite where I want them. Then again, I’m not going to be happy until I can photograph people and get their sweat pores in extremely sharp HD detail. Until then, I’ll be happy to get a Nikon D800 or D600 full frame cameras...likely the D600 because it’s smaller, cheaper, and comes with a kit lens to start out. Highlights include this wonderfully accurate Merida (no not that Maridah...cute as that one is) from the movie Brave. The ponies were out in force, which is fine, so you get to see things like this couple of Shining Armor and Mi Amore Cadenza, Nightmare Moon, Celestia and Disqord, or a whole herd of ponies. There was some cuteness from Bakamonogatari; so yes, a cat is fine too. Ran into the lovely Charmie Sweets cosplaying Maka from Soul Eater; I hope her cast is off by this point. This was really good cosplaying, if she didn’t point it out, I’d have never noticed she had one on. While good, this Raven cosplayer’s coloration showed me that the infamous D7000 LCD screen green tinge is alive and well since she looked very green...though she was perfect when I examined the picture on the computer later. Wound up going fishing at the pool later and hauled in a cute one. There are many more; I invite you to check out the whole gallery as you may find a surprise or two.

The Masquerade this year was as entertaining as it was last year, though many skits did include some of the more overused memes like PSY’s ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’ song and Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’. I suppose we have to get those things out of our system...like ‘Caramel Dancing’. In any event I did manage a far better recording than last year since I got a proper white balance setting from their projection screen. Seriously dudes, blue LED’s and white CFL’s do not mix...and without any lights barely anyone can see what’s going on. That becomes an issue when you have to take your lights away to use at the concerts, but you still have the half time show of the karaoke contest winners. There’s only so much I can crank the gain up on a video camera before the image looks like a bunch of white noise, and flash don’t work so well for it. If I make it next year, my new tripod (since my old one self-destructed) is going to be absolutely hilarious back in the back since it’s a full blown video tripod. May pull out my mechanical head...it’s been awhile since I’ve used that. Ah, but you’re probably wanting to check out the video, well here it is embedded right from our Youtube channel:

Concerning the half time show, I was actually somewhat surprised that the guy singing ‘Snake Eater’ was only in second until the young lady singing the ‘Kodomo no Omocha’ theme song got up and did the whole song and dance SOUNDING like she belonged in that anime. That ‘ah ha!’ moment actually had me shaking my head, because on any other day, the guy singing ‘Snake Eater’ would have won...the moe took you down, sorry dude, heh. The only real criticism I have of the girl who won was that if you’re going to sing and dance at that level, you need to be in FAR better shape...you have to be in the best shape you can get in, because that is operating at the level of a professional athlete. It shows since she was obviously running out of breath there in the middle getting progressively worse all the way towards the end. On a more somber note, this was also where they showed everyone the Harison Randall tribute, which you can see in the video above in its unaltered form, and was well received by all in attendance. I thank Jodon Bellofatto for allowing me access to the tribute and permission to include it within the masquerade video so that all may see what he meant to those who cared about him.

After the masquerade, I took a little time to take care of some other matters, and then headed out to record Eyeshine as I had last year. They’re a decent band, they rock, and they entertain. What more could you want out of a band? I did find the fact that they wound up playing the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers theme to be absolutely hysterical considering who their lead singer is. Then again, he didn’t sing it...the audience did. Here, you can see that and more below:

I sometimes wish I could record more than just one band, but when they put their concerts on at the same time as the Masquerade, well...I get what I get. I haven’t figured out a way to be in two places at once. Still smacking myself over the "K-ON" concert a couple years ago.

What can I say? Good trip, good friends, good convention. Worked out fairly well despite the somewhat hurried nature of everything we wound up doing. Hell, even managed to hit up downtown Sacramento during their old west reenactments. Didn’t buy anything, but I really wasn’t looking for anything this time around either outside of items on my long term list. I’d like to thank Sac Anime for putting up with us, and me especially during the Masquerade, since while unnecessary, they were trying to make it as easy for me to record the event as possible; so thank you, truly...most conventions tend not to be nearly as accommodating, even if I do share my footage with them (and I always do). If I can, I’d like to check it out next year when they’re at the convention center. Still, this comes at the tail end of convention season, and by this time, I’m usually pretty tired. We’ll see though. For everyone else, if you’re ever in the area during the time when it’s going on, check it out. You’ll have a pretty good time, and probably even better now that they’re not going to be so crowded, heh.

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 17:51

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