Las Vegas is known for many things. Many know it as the ‘entertainment capital of the world’ the ‘fighting capital of the world’ and of course, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. In many ways, the ‘entertainment capital of the world’ seems most fitting. After all, the biggest fights, entertaining shows, nightlife, and craziness can only be contained in the neon-lit city of Las Vegas.
In the Las Vegas Hotel, Animegacon held their first convention. From August 17th to the 19th, the convention was filled with attendees from Nevada and other parts of the country.
For Gigaventure, we were thankful we could attend the con, and it was great to take the chance to cover it (stay tuned for all the pictures!). Though things could be better, we can all say that we enjoyed it for a first year con, and we can see it improve and grow over the years.
It was amazing to see that they were able to attain many high-class guests like Vic Mignogna, Jamie Marchi, Lisle Willkerson, Linda Le, Cristina Vee, Wendee Lee, and La Carmina. All of which made the convention a unique experience. They had a bunch of specialized panels which meant that many of the industry guests had panels DAILY. It was quite unique since it meant that attendees had many chances to meet any particular guests. Usually in other conventions the guest would have a single (usually Q&A) panel, but nonetheless things went off without a hitch.
At least for the most part.
In some panels I have seen missing panelists and guests. For the most part they did a great job in getting most of the panels running, but it also felt like the guests had a hard time accommodating the random panels that they have been “assigned” to. As mentioned earlier, “the intro to sewing” panel had missing panelists! So the totally-rad Pokemon Men came and took over the panel. Scoring points for the local cosplayers and making that particular panel hilarious.
The con had its share of vendors, but it seemed that it lacked some booths, and some just left on the last day. We noticed that many of the vendors had uneasy feelings about the convention in general age range and many of them just up and left early on sunday. It was unfortunate to hear that things didn’t go as well as planned for some of the vendors I talked to, but perhaps next year things will go more as planned.
The convention in general was pretty small (I don’t blame them on that) but it was sort of confusing especially for the location (near the back of the casino area [problematic for some minors, which was the majority of the con]). With small area, some of the photographers (remaining anonymous) expressed their concerns about how difficult it was with the lighting in some areas. Granted yes, it was very spacious but it presented some difficulty in some areas.
On some note here are some positives to this con.
The best reason to attend this convention: Cosplay. This year they held a cosplay contest where the winner would earn $10,001 dollars (yeah that extra dollar was needed). So many intricate and amazing cosplayers came to attend the convention wearing their best to impress the judges. And if you can’t believe it check out their facebook for the winner: Angel Hearts!
The biggest thing I have seen pushed (and advertised at multiple conventions) is their maid cafe. The maid cafe was held next to the entrance at the Le Bistro steak house (eatery) where for $10 dollars, you can interact and spend time with the maids while eating and drinking tea, coffee, and such. The reception I hear has been better than most maid cafes and it shows by what they can provide. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t attend and meet the maids, but from what I heard it was a genuinely great experience.
The highlight for my team was the Doll Delight Fashion show. Overall, it was a great opportunity to meet them and see the fashion show in person. For those unfamiliar with us, we have a strong admiration for Lolita fashion and we appreciate the type of outfits that they can produce. And it was a uniquely great experience to see them in person. Brian (videographer of Gigaventure) said, “The room had a good crowd, and it seemed that everyone who was in there was familiar with lolita. A lot of the dresses were great. I’d have to say though, that the crowd had a better reaction to the doll delight dresses over all. and that it seemed most of the models (who was not doll delight) seemed more at home”.
Personally, I had spent more time in the board gaming room. I enjoy learning more about the game Tanto Cuore and the Resident Evil Card Game. They even gave out some promo cards for each of the game including some starter decks for Magic: The Gathering.
The anime viewing rooms were pretty great and they had some excellent titles playing through each day. To be honest, sitting there I considered getting a Crunchyroll account because of the fact that these are all accessible on that site as well! My biggest highlight was roaming with Photographer Gus (Event photographer for this site) and exposing him minimally to his first hentai! Oh thank Haruhi these random memorable experiences. By the way, check out his album here!
Overall I can say that though there were many problems that the con had, I can see this being a great local experience for any average Las Vegan/Nevadan/ Anime/hobbyist/cosplay fan. On a local scale it’s a great experience to have the small con feel, yet have a good amount of professional industry attendees. Uniquely for what it provided, it did well, but for people out of state, it presented a lot of factors that made it difficult to attend. But then again, IT’S VEGAS. It was a fun time to meet new people at the convention and hang out with them hours later on the strip, in the hotel room, or even at a random panel. In the end, I guess that was what mattered. It was a way to get each other to meet and interact with a crowd of people from the awesome anime fan subculture without being isolated from the insanity Las Vegas.