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AniMegaCon 2012 Convention Report

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:33 pm
by waynekaa
AniMegaCon is a first year convention held at the LVH (Las Vegas Hotel, formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton). It occurred over August 17-19, and as you might suspect, average degrees in the desert oasis of Las Vegas were 108oF. Luckily the air conditioning was on, and while outdoor shoots would probably not be pleasant, it kept most people indoors. From what we hear, AMC only started planning 4 months prior between 5 key staffers. Attendance was good for a first year con, probably near Anime Destiny levels. Some people may complain about not having a good time, but a convention is only as good as the people you spent it with. Hence, we here at ACP had a great time at AMC!
The LVH is an older hotel, and it's off the strip, but it does attach to the strip by a monorail. A 24 hour pass on the monorail is a reasonable $12. And who can argue with $80 a night, that's a deal in Las Vegas! Some people would jump on that for the room rate alone.
When we arrived we spotted an enthusiastic gentleman named Jason working hard in an AMC shirt. I guessed that he was the con chair. I was correct. It's quite refreshing to see the con chair getting down and dirty with his con, ensuring things are going just as planned. I don't recall the last time I saw such an interactive con chair. Most of the time you think of a con chair, you think of an untouchable suit hiding out in the board room. Jason's down to earth, personable, and likes anime. I'm cool with that.

Friday
Getting our badge was extremely easy and painless. ACParadise is considered industry by AMC for our convention events that we do. We toured the convention center, which you do need to cut through a casino to get by. So if you're a minor, no dawdling. Even though the Star Trek Experience has long since left the LVH, there are still obvious architectural remains, which was cool, if you had a Star Trek uniform. The exhibition hall included the artist alley in the corner, and there were several cars on display.

Highlight of the Day :
http://www.acparadise.com/acp/picview.p ... 56&s=40102
Origami Cyclone from Tiger & Bunny by ACP cosplayer Akii


Saturday
It's kind of funny that AMC picked up some things that Anime Expo tossed away in 2012. For one, AX Idol kicked the bucket for 2012, but was reborn at AMC! The AMC Idol was narrowed down to the top 10 singers. The judges were Quinton Flynn, Cristina Vee and Vic Mignogna. It was hosted by the leather clad Vampy dressed as Ayane from Ninja Gaiden. It did start about 30 minutes late, but that's ok, because we got to chat with the A/V crew for main events, which was headed by the awesome guy, Giovanni. This man was an incredible A/V technician and friendly to boot. He wasn't like some other tech crew that are possessive and uncooperative, he'd ask up front, what do you guys need for this next show? What was a great story was that his kid liked FMA, and when he was talking to the guests, he found out that Vic was the voice of Ed, so called up his kid and said, hey, do you know the voice actor for FMA? Well he's here! And Vic Mignogna hooked up Giovanni's kid with autographs. We later called
Two runner ups were announced and Melissa Schurig ended up taking home the "Best Buffet" trophy (running joke if you were at the event)
https://www.facebook.com/ANIMEGACON#!/p ... =1&theater

Then came the masquerade. Sure there would be alot of drama surrounding a masquerade that gives out $10,001, but really, in Vegas, 10K is the norm for Halloween contests at the major hotels on the strip. So 10K is ho hum in Vegas land, but big talk on the convention scene. The plan was to give incentive for people to bring their "A" game. And that plan worked. This masquerade had some of the toughest competitors that we've seen in a long time, and we film many a masquerade. Arguably better content wise that even Anime Expo this year. You could tell AMC put alot of effort into their masquerade, who's coordinator was Jezeroth, an accomplished cosplayer himself http://www.acparadise.com/ace/display.php?a=69953:
Compared to an average convention masquerade, the stage was about 2x larger, and the room itself that housed the masquerade was 4x larger. The lighting of the stage was far superior. It was a masquerade setting fitting for a 10K+1 prize. To see what you'd see at an average masquerade, check out this video.
http://www.acparadise.com/acp/vid.php?v=6628&s=h

Now check out the video for the winner of the 10001 prize, Angel Hearts, performing Starry from Idolmaster. Their costumes were outfitted with LEDs attached to an Arduino chip which controls the pattern of the flashing lights.
Best in Show : http://www.acparadise.com/acp/vid.php?v=6920&s=h
To be fair, you really oughta check out the full masquerade, because the competition was fierce, and everyone was excellent.
Full Masquerade : http://www.acparadise.com/acp/cons.php?cyid=5085&t=3

The judges for the evening were Carlos, Tristen Citrine and Jezeroth, and they did not have an easy time to make their decisions. The masquerade initially registered about 20+ entrants, and ended up being 17 groups after entry scratches.
The halftime wasn't specifically planned, but ended up featuring slap stick antics by the hosts (Vampy and Wayne Kaa), dancing from the Maid Cafe, a serenade by Vic Mignogna and a Ronald McDonald chair which was brought in by the Takarazuka group.

Highlight of the Day :
Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon by ACP cosplayer HarajukuBunny
http://www.acparadise.com/acp/picview.p ... 80&s=40102

We also had time to check out the game room, where if you managed to beat the voice of Nina/Christie from Tekken, you'd get her autograph.

Sunday: We went out for buffet at the Paris Hotel, and then fell into a deep food coma from all the crepes and crab legs, so we missed out on the last day of Animegacon. But it was WORTH IT. #oppa vegas style.