Crunchyroll Expo and MAGWest – Day 3

Last day, shortest time I was at the convention center, and a Round 1 trip that lasted longer than I spent at con today 😮

Before the con

Since I had zero spending money in regards to cash, I spent my breakfast and lunch at home just so I wouldn’t have to spend anything for those meals when I went out. As a result, I left the house at around noon to head over to the convention.

At Crunchyroll Expo in the afternoon

Knowing full well that this was the last day of both Crunchyroll Expo and MAGWest, I checked the Crunchyroll side to see how things were shaping up, and the first thing I went to was the exhibit hall. Almost all of the vendors were still at full speed in the afternoon, and there was no sign of slowing down anytime soon, though I can imagine that vendors wouldn’t start packing up until around the late afternoon anyhow, since the exhibit hall hours end at 4, at least going by MAGWest badge holder’s access.

I felt a bit empty ending off Crunchyroll Expo with nothing but a large tote bag to go by, so I went to their merch stand and bought a set of stickers for 5 bucks (they accepted debit cards, thankfully). I ran into one of my old elementary school friends while I was wandering around afterwards, and apparently he managed to spot another one of our old elementary school friends as well. I guess anime really does bring some old friends together, if only for a very brief moment (´・ω・`)

This, and the big tote bag that I got as a Premium member, is my “memorabilia” for this con 😮

After my small trek in the exhibit hall, I stopped by the artist alley to see if things were slowing down on that end as well. Long story short: it wasn’t, either.

At MAGWest in the afternoon

Meanwhile, back at MAGWest, I went back to the gaming room and had a round of Groove Coaster 2 and Beatmania III -THE FINAL-, as well as some rounds of Silent Scope (mostly on the shooting range and time attack). In contrast to Crunchyroll Expo, I noticed things starting to slow down a little bit with some of the arcade machine owners beginning to turn off a few of their setups, and I also caught a glimpse of the SJSU Game Dev Club moving the homemade arcade cabinets out of the venue.

A few moments later, my net friends ran into me in the gaming room asking me to head over to Round 1 Eastridge with them, to which I told them that I was going to one final panel at 2:45PM at Crunchyroll Expo: their feedback panel. They told me that they were gonna wait outside of the panel room after it was over (or at least until I went out), in which a few moments afterwards, I made my way back to the Crunchyroll Expo side for the panel.

At the Crunchyroll Expo Feedback Panel

The panel was hosted by three employees at Crunchyroll with the goal of taking the feedback that was given out in this panel and relaying it to the company in order to make next year’s iteration a better experience for the congoers. The room managed to fill up quite a bit, and the panel went a bit over time to accommodate all of the feedback that people had to offer (I only stayed for an hour). There was a lot of feedback to go around, and I managed to get three concerns across throughout the panel:

  • “Should MAGWest not be coincidentally timed with Crunchyroll Expo, would you guys consider bringing in a gaming hall for next year?” (This was met with a resounding applause, and the employees definitely agree on considering a gaming hall for next time)
  • “Would it be possible to put any special conditions and pricing for additional services and goods beforehand on guests that have them during autograph sessions?” (I mostly mentioned this because I overheard that Kore Yamazaki didn’t want pictures taken and that Max Mittelman charged $10 for selfies, something I didn’t know until I was literally the next person to come up in line; the employees would take this into consideration)
  • “Could you potentially add closed captioning to the video programming that you occasionally show on the Santa Clara Convention Center monitors?” (Mentioned because the convention center video monitors do not produce sound and yet they had their Q Review and Anime Academy programming as part of it; they did not know of the video option until 8 hours before the beginning of the convention, in which they basically just handed over a hard drive full of their programming to the convention center and went from there)

I’ll be doing a post-con reflection of Crunchyroll Expo (alongside MAGWest) later on where I compile all of the feedback that I heard while I was at the panel (I have a recording of the panel while I was there, so I can go back to that for reference).

After the panel, my net friends were waiting for me outside of the panel room to head over to Round 1 at Eastridge. One of them had to pick up someone, so I just told them that I’d meet them there in a bit, leaving the con at roughly 4PM.

At Eastridge Mall post-con

My net friends wouldn’t make it until a little later after I arrived at Eastridge Mall, so I recharged my card with 5 bucks and another to renew my club card, then slipped in a game of beatmaniaIIDX 24 SINOBUZ, taking advantage of the free VIP PASS BLACK to give myself the dumbest setlist for my skill level (VIP PASS BLACK guarantees all 3 songs with no difficulty cap, which means that I don’t get booted out even if I fail a song).

When my net friends + one of my net friends’s Japanese friend finally arrived, we all headed to the food court for dinner. Since I was trying to save my money, I went to McDonalds and went for a medium-sized two cheeseburger meal (though alternatively I could’ve just ordered some items from the dollar menu instead whoops); everyone else save for the Japanese guy (who didn’t order anything) got either Mongolian BBQ or Chinese food. We ended up talking more about the music and con shenanigans that have transpired throughout the past month or two for about around a half hour (since one of my net friends spent more time talking than actually eating his MBBQ) before we actually headed back to Round 1.

At Round 1 Eastridge

Considering I only had 14 credits left, I only had enough for roughly 2 games; all of my net friends got at least 10 bucks worth of credits…that managed to stretch out for a good two hours D:

One of my net friends wanted to play Ecchi Fighter Nitro Plus Blasterz just so he could spam Super Sonico’s cat attack ( ゚^゚) I managed to get a couple of wins against him as Saya, but I wasn’t able to win any matches with him due to the aforementioned cat spam (I had to attack from the air most of the time just to even get a hit on his character). Another one of my net friends joined the fray against him, first picking Super Sonico just to see if he could counter his cat spam with cat spam on his own, but wasn’t able to pull through with it.

That is, until he picked Anna. Then he accidentally discovered a projectile counter to Super Sonico’s cat spam: sword spam.

Unlike Super Sonico’s cat attack which launches from the ground, Anna’s sword attack launches mid-body, so the only way to deal with it is to dodge it or block it. My net friend that was playing Super Sonico couldn’t really do much, especially since he didn’t know how to block, so he just took the loss in the end. This left my other friend playing the story mode, in which it quickly devolved into “how far can I get into the story mode using nothing but sword spam.”

He got to the final match. Long story short: the final match destroyed him.

He did manage to win one round with just a couple of pixels of HP left

Throughout the day, the net friend who played Anna also had a few rounds of crossbeats REV Sunrise where he was trying to hit S rank on a particular song, CODENAME wa EQ, on Master difficulty. I offered my Aime card so he didn’t have to keep unlocking the song, in which he was able to play the song three times in a row for every credit (though I eventually asked to have the last song on each credit since he was using my account, after all). After about about over 10 or so attempts (I gave him all three songs as a favor on his last credit), he managed to come close to beating my personal best on my account, though not before I gave him some helpful pointers and rhythm assistance on parts he was having trouble with. We all grow together (´・ω・`)

He was 440 points away from beating my personal best on this song 😮

After that credit, I parted ways with my net friends for one last time before heading home at around 8:30PM while listening to the Crunchyroll Feedback Panel audio that I recorded.

And that wraps it up for both Crunchyroll Expo and MAGWest. As I mentioned briefly before, I’m going to do a post-con reflection write up sometime soon where I go into detail on what worked and what could use improvement for both cons, but until then, I’ll end things off with some miscellaneous photos I took around the con that day.

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