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The staff here is wonderful

 I was so amazed by what I walked into the main show floor at PAX East I witnessed all developers, hardware manufacturers have their very own nook carved out of the Boston convention center. Before I walked down the long steps and I snapped the 1st picture of my face in utter amazement. I first walked into the Boston Convention Center and stood in line to receive my first media badge. I proceeded to walk towards the big glass doors spotted with a few security guards and some structures promoting PAX. As I walked through the door  I had an Idea of what was to be in store for me but, what took me by surprise the most was the amazement that stemmed from the actuality that I have finally made it! I have made it to one milestone of mine to go to one of the big shows in the gaming world PAX East!

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  I descended the staircase I first noticed Bethesda Softworks booth showcasing large walls of Wolfenstein & The Evil Within images the large titan tron screen had no image up yet, later they were to display two titles ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) and Wolfenstein.The two titles displayed are good as some of you know already of ESO but, the beginning sequence to Wolfenstein was awesome a far cry from the original game of course in the graphics department but, more importantly story. Later, I wandered around snapping selfies of me in from of Turtle Beaches mammoth sized headphones and snapshots Xbox One’s large setup. In Microsoft’s booth they were setting up Kinect Rivals Sports definitely a game I would love to play on the show floor tomorrow. I also snapped a picture of a barely set up of Project Spark another title I must play coming from the wonders over there at Rare Games. As I moseyed around the corner from there I saw roughly 15 monitors half in which had Xbox One’s hooked up, I’m sure the rest will plug into the flat screen tvs. I wandered around avoiding heavy machinery and guys and gals pushing carts around with serious merch and building supplies and I got side swiped by that hinted at behemoth two legged dinosaur monster from the game Evolve and this statue is surely fine crafted and gargantuan!

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 There was several sections setup for pc play for titles from developers like NC Soft & Carbine Studios WildStar  and games like Infinite crisis which has a large section carved out with custom comfy gamer PC chairs on stage and off… sounds like some great things will happen in that side of the convention center. I have heard some rumbling about Infinite crisis but, when I saw a little bit of the cast which is DC universe characters, if you didn’t know made me flip my wig (just a tad). When I took a deeper look on the outskirts of the show floor where all the large displayed casted its shiny shadows I saw random geekery merchandise from creators like Fangamer whom makes all types of stuff showing reverence to our video game favorites like Animal Crossing New Leaf socks and Legend Of Zelda shirts and the flying P from Super Mario Bros 3. There is plenty from these wonderful folks and hopefully I can catch the ear of one of their booth reps to ask them a few questions for realotakugamer.com. I also saw small booths displaying mobile games, This weekend I will try to over the small indie mobile games that are glue that binds this convention. I saw merchandiser booths for retro games and even retro systems to go along with those classic gems. Oh yeah, The Crew had a grand display too giving us the feel of working in the garage set of fast and the furious RIP Paul Walker.

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Come to find out after I recharged my body phone and wrote part of this article on the 1st floor when I went back inside to check out some more booths for around 20 minutes an “Enforcer” people whom are hired to secure the floors for random things that shouldn’t be happening, spotted me and noticed I had a Media Pass. The nice fellow asked if i had any “other passes like a vendor badge”, I honestly said “no” and he politely asked me to leave. He walked me to the front counter, the information counter and explained to them that the security at the door was not checking badges properly. I was elated that i was able to experience the behind the scenes of PAX East while also giving you, our readers the inside scoop on my Twitter account.

Boy oh boy I have plenty to say about my 1st PAX East but, to the thing is it hasn’t even started yet! This is only the beginning and oh how sweet it is even at the crunch time for the shows main opening. Stay tuned for future reporting from myself Sean “NoirZilla Gamer” Jacobs and Tiffany Marshall on whats going down on the show floor at PAX East 2014 from RealOtakuGamer.com

AoT everyone

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AoT everyone

FUNimation has been releasing clips from the Attack on Titan English dub to get people excited about the release of the first half of the season in June and for Anime Boston, which is going on right now.

Here is the latest clip:

With each and every clip, I get more and more excited for when I can get my hands on Attack on Titan – Part 1 with the English dubbing. Whether I get the Collector’s Edition, Limited Edition, or Standard Edition is still up in the air.

Attack on Titan will be releasing Part 1 of the series through FUNimation on June 3, 2014.  The Collector’s Edition will run at $96.74, Limited Edition will run at $67.49, and the Standard Edition will run at $37.49.

What did you think of this latest clip? Let us know in the comments!

Source: FUNimation Twitter

By Isabel On 23 Nov, 2013 At 02:53 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Featured, Otaku Events, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Chibi Pa has kicked off today to the delight of many. One of our new writers, HMK, has hosted several panels today (and on his birthday, such a champ). I will be hosting panels tomorrow and Sunday while HMK will be hosting his podcast live tomorrow. Here are the events starting Saturday in chronological order.

Chibi Pa: Future

  • EPIC and HECTIC LIVE (JJ & HMK): Saturday 4-5 PM
  • Let’s Play with Slenderman! (Isabel): Saturday 9-10 PM
  • The History of Vocaloids and their Fandom (Isabel): Sunday 10 AM -12 PM

I will be giving away freebies courtesy of the website to anyone who attends my panels. We’ll have a lot of fun, guarantee. Chibi Pa is also an amazing convention that has welcomed us with open arms repeatedly, and for that we are proud to help them have another spectacular show! Anyone currently in South Florida should make sure not to miss this opportunity.

By Isabel On 12 Nov, 2013 At 09:53 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, News, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
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Akira banner

For the 25th anniversary of Akira, Funimation has really gone out of their way to promote this classic to a new audience and their latest promotional effort is hosting free screenings of Akira across America to the delight of many. The hostees in question are Alamo Drafthouse, a chain of excellent movie theaters. If you fear seats might run out, you can reserve one by buying a $5 voucher which can be used for concession. Out of courtesy attendees are asked to buy concession items to help the theater make up for the cost of screening the movie for free. The theaters will also give attendees a discount code to take 40% off the price of buying the 25th anniversary edition of the movie in Funimation’s online store. The following states will have one or more screenings.

  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Colorado
  • Virginia
  • Michigan
  • New York

You can get more information by going to Funimation’s announcement page. To those in participating states I really hope you get to experience this movie on the big screen like it should be experienced.

Firstlook 2013 Destiny

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Firstlook 2013 DestinyThe month October is very special for Dutch gamers because every year we get to visit the “Firstlook” convention. Firstlook 2013 focused on Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen systems and gave visitors a chance to experience a ton of new games. I was there to report the convention on behalf of Real Otaku Gamer so check out this Firstlook 2013 impression.

The Convention floor

Firstlook is meant for the consumer and this is getting clearer every year. There are many fun activities, awesome prizes, free goodies, cool games and ofcourse lovely ladies.

Dutch retailer Game Mania attended the convention with their usual yellow schoolbus, where visitors were able to play Tear Away on the PS Vita. Game Mania also handed out a load of goodiebags and this sent many visitors home with a huge smile on their faces. Another very popular stand was Activision’s Destiny statue, where fans could get their picture taken. It was pretty impressive, although the Titanfall mech at Gamescom was way more epic. Visitors could also collect a special set of Destiny promo cards that will grant access to a special item when Destiny launches next year.

League of Legends fans had the opportunity to meet cosplayers, watch a live tournament on a big screen and socialize with other LoL fans. There were a couple of merchandise booths on the convention floor too and they mainly sold tshirts, retro games and game merchandise. Prices were kind of high so I wouldn’t recommend spending your hard earned cash at Firstlook. Stick with the online webshops.

Microsoft’s Xbox One booth had such a long line that I just couldn’t get myself to stand in line for hours to play a couple of games that I’ve already played at Gamescom. The people that were patient enough got to play Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, dead Rising 3 and Killer Instinct. I did feel bad that I didn’t get to try out Killer Instinct, but I surely will in the near future!

FPS fans got to experience the digital warzone that is known as Battlefield 4 on dozens of computers that EA brought to Firstlook 2013. Many headsots and stray bullets later the deed was done and we had a lot of fun. Battlefield 4 is shaping up to be an awesome game and I’m looking forward to how the full version will play. EA also brought two lovely ladies that glady took pictures with geeks of all shapes, sizes, gender or appearance. Who wouldn’t like that?!

Lovely Ladies

In my humble opinion every game (or comicbook) convention needs lovely ladies and EA wasn’t the only publisher that rallied a couple of the most gorgeous Dutch models to represent their products and services. Logitech brought a huge disco-container where visitors could show off their dancing skills to a couple of enthousiastic booth babes. Ubisoft stole the show with six pretty ladies that gave multiple Just Dance demonstrations and also gave away awesome Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag prices, like a pocketwatch, posters, coinbags and more! It was a great weekend and I will certainly visit Firstlook again next year. If you ever visit the Netherlands in October, definitely go check it out!

By SarahTheRebel On 9 Sep, 2013 At 10:33 PM | Categorized As News, Otaku Events, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4 | With 0 Comments
kingdom hearts 1.5 hd remix launch

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First appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com

Square Enix originally planned to hold their Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX official launch event in Downtown Disney, but the heat and the number of RSVPs (around 3,000) forced them to relocate to the ballroom of the Marriott.

kingdom hearts line

So here I am, expecting a launch party, and instead a mini convention has taken form.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is an HD collection of Kingdom Hearts games for the PS3. The game includes Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Re:Chain of Memories, and a Theater Mode of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which will allow you to basically watch that game as a movie. All three games have trophy support.

kingdom hearts mural remix

At the launch party, fans could purchase the game a full two days early and get an exclusive art book and a PS3 dynamic theme.

They also gave away posters and collectors pins, had a cool green screen photo booth with the Kingdom Keyblade, and featured a game demo station.

kingdom hearts swag

Fans could also win prizes, including a sweet Tron-style action figure.

kingdom hearts 1.5 prizes

The event was a ton of fun, and I’m so glad I went!

By Isabel On 12 Aug, 2013 At 10:59 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Otaku Events, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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Mini Con certainly stays true to its name. Having been to many conventions held in smaller hotels before, I knew the majority of them weren’t as wholesome as conventions held in conference centers and spacious well-equipped hotels. I believed Mini Con however would be a good experience. Was it? Kind of.

It would've been more fun if I had money to buy stuff.

It would’ve been more fun if I had money to buy stuff.

I will begin with the biggest problem I had with this convention, basically, the entire layout. I’ve complained about the layout of conventions before but the layout for Mini Con was nothing short of a panelist’s worst nightmare. Everything was stuffed into one room (except the video game room which was before of the main room). Aside from some artists and vendors near the entrance everybody was packed along with the main event stage, photo booth, and makeshift panel “room.” Basically it was a small area with chairs and some equipment obscured by two walls, one of which served as a doodle space. When you have more people interested in a wall than what’s supposed to be going on in it, it’s very discouraging. I have hosted these two panels before, and all of them have had a decent turn out but for Mini Con that wasn’t the case. The reason for panels being hosted in their own, concealed space is to attract more people by having an environment separated from all the distractions of the con itself so people can wander in and see if what’s going on is of interest to them without being drawn away by something more noisy. The feel of the room is greatly improved by isolation as it does provide a break from the often agitated atmosphere of a convention. My setup didn’t provide that, the loudness of the main stage in this enclosed space had me yelling to be heard and passerby couldn’t understand what was going on. Also the people that attended overall didn’t seem to seek out the unique things a convention provided and were mostly there to hang out. Maybe this was due to the fact an offshoot show hosted by a more notorious well known convention I’ve covered before was happening the same day and might have directed the active hardcore convention attendees away but it’s just a theory. The video game room was quite good, lots of retro games were to be found as well as newer ones. The cosplayers, simply great. The majority of the attendees were cosplaying and there was everything from Attack on Titan to League of Legends. This made the costume contest quite entertaining.

The free table of a young artist.

The free table of a young artist.

The sellers were decent and I did see quite many underage and disabled artists selling their artwork because of Mini Con’s generosity. A paid workshop to make Twinkie minions was held to give the profits to Drops of Hope. And of course everybody’s paid tickets had part of it go to the same charity. With all its faults Mini Con is still one of the only geek events in Florida to be actively involved with a charity and it needs the community’s continued support to keep thriving and growing. As a newcomer to the scene it is bound to make some mistakes, but I have confidence in that the show will get better with time. These are my suggestions in how to make the new show considerably better.

  1. Have panels away from the main event room in their own individual spaces.
  2. Seek out panelists to offer a wide variety of panels so con attendees can see the plethora of things they can do on their con schedules and decide to check some out.
  3. Have parking for con attendees in a more convenient location.
  4. Larger space if exhibitors and main stage are to be put together.
  5. Try to get more attendants by making sure event is not the day of another event and advertise in other conventions more.

To stay up to date with Mini Cons next show, like their official Facebook page.

By Isabel On 8 Aug, 2013 At 11:51 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Featured, Otaku Events, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments
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minicon

Part of my work with ROG is the ability to attend events and host panels. It allows me to promote the site and get the chance to interact with other otakus. Mini Con is one of those events. I don’t always get to host panels, but when I do I make sure they kick butts! I will be hosting two fun, informative panels for your enjoyment.

  • Otaku on a Budget
  • Spot the Fakes: How to Avoid Replicas and Other Unlicensed Goods

Mini Con is an event I strongly recommend attending. A portion of every ticket sold goes to Drops of Hope, a local charity that helps pediatric cancer patients. Thus you can have a great time and help people in need simultaneously, it’s a win-win. Another charitable gesture they do is give free artist tables to young and disabled artists, make sure you support them.

Make amazing things like this happen. A room makeover for a little girl who’s battling cancer.

There shall be a game room hosted by Anime Gaming Experience, a costume contest with prizes, and many other cool panels alongside mines. I hope to see you there soon!

RSVP here.

By Charles On 28 Jun, 2013 At 06:34 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Featured, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
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Always bring a banana to a party.

Always bring a banana to a party.

Well, well, well- look who’s back. It’s been a while since I’ve made an appearance on here, and with good reason: since the beginning of May, I’ve been on a whirlwind of convention travels- all the way from Charlotte, NC for KiraKiraCon, to Sandusky, OH for Colossalcon, and most recently, Portland, ME for Portcon. In between I’ve dropped by VA for AMA, Boston for AB and a splendid little event in Pittsfield, MA called BAMcon (currently my favorite event of the year). And one of the constants I’ve had all 6 of those weekends is new congoers, from those who have always wanted to attend, to curious friends dragged along for the ride, to the confused parents wondering what their children have been jabbering on about incessantly since last summer.

For those of you who have never been to a con, there really is no time like the present to start attending. Explosive community growth, huge influxes of new fans and fandoms, cosplay galore- this is a great time to start hitting up your local con scene, or even traveling someplace new and exciting for a weekend unlike any other.

Wow, that sounds like a sales pitch.

For those of you who have never attended, or find the entire process intimidating, allow me then to provide you with some tips for selecting and navigating your first convention. You don’t need to heed my advice, because everyone’s experiences at the con are different- that’s what makes them so enticing- but at the same time, there are always common pitfalls that have the potential to derail a previously fantastic weekend.

Author’s note: these tips are not the standard sort of “drink plenty of water,” or “sleep and shower once a day” type- the basic precepts of health and hygiene are common sense, and we all are aware of them. And if we are not, the con staff will definitely make sure you observe them. Rather, these tips will (hopefully) allow you to have an enjoyable weekend, free of drama, hassles, and unplanned roadblocks.

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Dressing like this might get you dinner…or arrested.

Rule 1: Friends make the difference. This might sound obvious, but nobody wants to be attending their first con alone. From the overstimulation of the crowd’s emotions, to the often hectic environment itself, to the huge platter of events and programming, it is extremely easy to get lost in the mix. Flying solo at a con can be one of the scariest, and overwhelming experiences any fan can encounter- so much so that even veterans often dislike attempting it.

Thankfully, the solution is simple: go with your friends. Make new ones at the con. Build a ‘network’ of people you enjoy spending time with, and coordinate schedules so everyone has fun over the weekend. It’s easier than it sounds, because at the con, everyone is a prospective new friend, and many are actively seeking new people, new experiences and new comrades to share them with. Try it out next time, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Rule 2: Budget, please. Everyone has a con story that proceeds something like this: “I brought $200 with me to cover my weekend, and blew it all within fifteen minutes of hitting the Dealer’s Room. Now I can’t afford to eat.” If this sounds like something that happened to a friend (or even yourself), you are not alone. All congoers fall into this trap at some point- I once spent $400 at a single con on commissions in the Artist Alley, and lived off the charity of my friends for the last day and a half. This often is accompanied by guilt, fear and the knowledge that you just spent a large amount of money in a short period of time, sometimes with little to really show for it.

Budgeting is your friend, throughout the weekend. It’s extremely easy to survive on the cheap at most big cons (especially ones in urban areas, with easy access to fast food), but when the temptation to blow your hard-earned cash on figures and DVDs arises, rely on those friends you went to the con with to keep you in check. Make sure you never take all your money with you anywhere, or give it to a friend who you know budgets well and have them reign you in. Your first con will fill you with impulses you might never have felt before, which invariably leads to impulse buying, and “shoppers remorse.” If you have your friend with you, keeping you from throwing cash left and right, you will make it through the weekend unscathed.

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The freaks might not come out at night, but the yokai certainly do.

Rule 3:Don’t try to experience everything. Simply put, you can’t. It’s not possible to do everything at the con over one weekend, especially if your first con is on the scale of Otakon (which is a popular choice for East Coast congoers), Anime Boston or *shudder* Anime Expo. Often events on that scale are massive, with dozens of panels and programs running concurrently all across the convention space. Trying to “keep up” will drive any neophyte congoer insane.

The best strategy is to find a few things you really want to see, and then allow the weekend to progress organically. What do I mean by organically? Well, even the best-laid plans can run awry. Sometimes friends have different plans, or there could be a completely spontaneous decision to do something other than what you planned to do. Looking at the programming schedule beforehand helps you whittle down what you have time for, but it can never forewarn you about random photoshoots, dinner plans, or bumping into that friend you know online who wants to catch up outside of the internet.

Progressing organically, then, is to just ‘go with the flow.’ Enjoy yourself, enjoy your friends, and decide what’s really important when the moment arises. You might wander into a random panel and find yourself interested in the subject. You might discover that a certain cosplay event isn’t what you expected it to be. Or you might just latch onto a cluster of new people and follow them. This is usually one of the best ways to approach congoing, especially now, so just enjoy yourself, and see where everything takes you. Becoming preoccupied with pre-planned events is a surefire way to ruin your weekend. The real appeal of the con is just being at the con.

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Navigating the halls sometimes requires skills with a lightsaber

Rule 4: Utilize discretion.  On par with common sense, just because you are at a con, doesn’t mean you should run around like a blithering idiot, get wasted, hit on anything with two legs, and consume things you would never touch in your daily life. Discretion, common sense, a bit of skepticism- these will allow you to circumvent any number of unexpected shocks and potentially toxic situations.

Now this might SOUND like a given, but bear in mind- the energy exchange from cons is powerful, and has the potential to itself become intoxicating. And people who start to fall to intoxication lower their inhibitions and act in ways that might be completely unexpected, even to THEM. I’ve witnessed young adult males doing questionale things for a girl’s attention, seen teenagers drink themselves silly because they can, and witnessed all sorts of…unsavory behavior, simply because one person wasn’t paying proper attention at the time.

Now do not take this to mean that cons are dangerous. They’re incredibly safe. But at the same time, even the safest places are not immune to stupidity and bad decisions. Be aware of yourself, and utilize discretion in your interactions. It will save you more than your fair share of drama.

 

When meeting your favorite voice actors, please remember they are people too.

When meeting your favorite voice actors, please remember they are people too.

Rule 5: Don’t feed the trolls. Just like on the internet, trolls exist, and prowl around cons. They can be the guys with the cameras taking candid photos without permission. They can be ‘that guy’ in the back of the panel room who never stops commenting on how ‘wrong’ the panelist is. It could be the kid in the mask throwing water at people. They are present, and sometimes highly visible at the con weekend, and can contribute a huge chunk of unwelcome drama. More than a few new congoers have been driven off by their antics, or reduced to tears in the hallways.

Remember, trolls are a part of the fandom experience. You will eventually encounter one, that’s a given. The real tip here is not just not let them bother you. They are actively trying to provoke a reaction, often for no reason other than their own boredom. They thrive on conflict, and making you feel terrible. If you give in, they win. If you shrug them off, they find someone else.

Look all the way back at rule 1 for the best way of dealing with them- your friends. The words of some anonymous congoer might sting, but remember that your friends are there for YOU, and will help you deal with any trolls you might encounter. Rely on them, and your weekend will be a success.

Note: Also, do not confuse trolls with the grey-skinned denizens of the popular webcomic Homestuck. Those are also trolls, but not of the same variety.

So, first time congoer, go forth and enjoy yourself.

For more information, check out some of my earlier blogs on the subject:

Con-Ventional Wisdom

Con Advice

By Isabel On 18 Jun, 2013 At 08:44 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Otaku Events | With 1 Comment
End of panel audience

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This year’s Mizucon was held June 14-16 to lovely weather and sunshine at the Miami Sheraton hotel. Mizucon has always been one of my favorite conventions due in no small part from the tremendous effort and love their volunteers and staff put into it. But last year the followers of the con learned Mizucon was now under new management after an amazing run. And you know how most people react to change.

NO.

The new management was under an extremely reliable group called the Japanese Anime Investment Group that run conventions like Ikkicon in Texas and Anime Crossroads in Indiana and have investors as well known as AAA Anime (the only United States distributor that sells Good Smile Company merchandise) and Yes Anime (another distributor that is the largest in the Francisco Bay area), and the con chair himself owns a store and online retailer called Anime Pavilion, also an investor. To me it seems this well funded group and the staff would be capable of pulling off another hit this year. Well let me analyze how everything went.

In terms of activities available and use of space they get a thumbs up. There were the necessities, a video game room, maid and butler cafe, vendors room, artist alley, and plenty of roaming space. But the promise of karaoke and an anime viewing room went unfulfilled. The panel rooms were spacious enough but my panel room on Saturday lacked sound and the staff had to fetch me a cable and the likes. Needless to say I believe every panel room should be prepared prior to any presentation but the staff were constantly running around doing things and I could forgive them. The panels were varied enough so there was something for everyone to do. This abundance of activities made it unlikely for anyone who decided to look at the schedule to be bored.

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I ended my panel earlier than expected and ended up improvising, lots of people showed up so now I have a new panel to host…

I loved the vendor’s room and walked out with some amazing deals and the vendor’s alley had great artisans but my funds were limited and I really wanted some merch. The video game room had Super Smash Bros. Brawl but other than that nothing interesting.

The cosplayer attendance was huge, I believe there were more cosplayers than casually dressed people, and the costume contest had great entries. The most impressive costume I saw during the convention was definitely the Alphonse Elric armor that won Best in Show.

Alphonse Elric cosplay

What made the con was the attendees who were hanging all over the place because there were huge problems all three days of the con. All of them were largely the fault of the hotel who caused major inconveniences for the organizers, panelists, and attendees. I’ll break the problems down by day because there were plenty.

  • Friday: Panel rooms were missing and the schedule was changed, panels were pushed back and moved around, and attendees didn’t know when certain panels were being held.
  • Saturday: Solid schedule set but late night panels were cancelled because the hallway containing all the panel rooms was closed off early. The rave was shut down early for unclear reasons and attendees that were planning to stay late were made to leave at the same time.
  • Sunday: The convention was made to end earlier than expected.

Needless to say, the con chair is now looking for a new venue for next year.

The new management of Mizucon definitely tried the best they could to create a good show and it was a pretty good show. Next year will definitely be better with a hotel capable of handling conventions, a larger staff and volunteer pool, and the knowledge gained from this year’s experience to make a show that lives up to the image Mizucon has held for so long. And I’ll definitely be looking forward to next year. All picture taken of the convention are below.

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