Anime Vegas 2010 seemed like a mixed bag this year. There were plenty of improvements, but there were also dissapointments. In a way, the good and bad cancelled each other out. This was also a joint trip with CaliConBlog. Matt was very hyped up to hit Anime Vegas for the first time. This is my second time at Anime Vegas. I do appreciate the improvements from last year. It shows that the convention staff listens to everything said post-con.

For example, last year, the Anime Vegas website would not load. For 2010, the website loaded like any other website. I was able to get a contact to arrange panels with. Therefore, Convention War Stories, Applying Fandom to College, and Anime Convention Reporting made it to Anime Vegas' programming schedule. The hotel had nice locations for cosplay photos, but if it was any other time of year, this would have been nice for cosplay photos. It reminded me of the time when AniMagic was at the Antelope Valley Inn. I can't blame Anime Vegas for the heat (literally), but it was a decent choice in venue. Cashman Center hardly had any decent photo spots. The ballroom dance felt more like a ball this year than the first year attempt. Another huge improvement was the return of the Anime Music Video Contest and maid cafe.

However, Anime Vegas did have a few bumps in the road that need to be addressed. As mention in the report, the maid cafe did not feel like a maid cafe. I am not asking for a five star restaurant, but just seeing the maids enjoying time with the attendees would have been nice. Instead, it felt like they were just selling food at a table. It would have been nice to see a rock, paper, scissors contest or maids playing games with the attendees at those huge tables. Simple games like Uno, Go Fish, etc would have been nice to keep guests entertained. Neither did the maids look happy to be there. I understand this is Doki Doki Cafe's first year, but there is room for improvement. The masquerade ball was pretty "eh?" last year, but it turned out great this year.

The Anime Music Video contest was nowhere to be found, nor was it listed in the program guide. I respect Lauren for putting together the panels and programs all in one book, but there was misleading and confusing information on the guide. In addition, Anime Vegas' masquerade garnered infamous attention with several contreversial skits in content and series source material. I enjoyed a good handful of cosplay acts, and Natalie's cosplay staff has been the most friendly and understanding cosplay staff I have ever met. While I do not agree screening skits will solve problems, fading the lights off on a skit or stopping the audio are probable solutions if an entry is doing anything to break the rules. Having contestants acknowledge the rules and consequences (ie: signing a waiver or contract) would be something to consider.

I did not stay at the Alexis Park Resort. However, I was not fond of their staff. The hotel buffet had horrible service. We had to flag down a waitress a few times to get her attention. The hallways were very cramped and congested with human traffic. Some panels that attracted many attendees (ie: Little Kuriboh and Jason David Frank) should have been in main events. The Alexis Park Resort is one step above the Cashman Center. While I do miss the stage, I do prefer having the convention at a hotel with the proper space to host an anime convention. However, I cannot help but chortle at the sign that said the hotel was "newly renovated."

The overall enviroment seemed to have young college students and high school kids attending the con. For the most part, I did not see any unwanted hugs or glomping. Internet memes were kept to a minimum save for, "You lost the game." In addition, there were conventioneers from the Los Angeles area who attended the show.

Despite Anime Vegas' downside, there were still quite a few things to write home about. The guests of honor line up rocked. This really made the programing much more interesting. There was an awesome list of panels this year. If you are really into American voice actors, this is the convention for you. Sadly, there were no Japanese guests of honor (unless you count Miley Yamamoto and Kaiji Tang). However, all the guests - actors and directors - had funny stories to share and they were willing to take any questions.

Perhaps my favorite part about Anime Vegas was the Silver Millenium Ball. Though attendees were confused about what to wear and what not to wear, 95% of the ball attendees looked dressed to impress. The other 5% - I have no idea how they got in. I noticed some of them were members of the press. I would imagine that a dress code would suffice for everyone. Though I helped with this event, it is still my favorite part about the convention. I got to hang out with my Vegas buddies again and I got to make new friends. The song selection this year was nice and it fitted the theme. I just wish there were more Sailor Moon songs on the playlist, but it was a nice balance of swing and slow waltzy songs. I also enjoyed a random salsa or two. I am really hoping this tradition of themed balls continues. Heather did a great job with the imagining and theming of this event. I feel very honored to be a part of the princess team.

The great part is that the Alexis Park Hotel was very close to the famous Las Vegas strip and Hard Rock Hotel. I'll take the strip over the old downtown anyday. It has been mentioned on the Anime Vegas forum that strip locations are being looked into for 2011 (ie: Mandalay Bay, Rio, LVCC, etc). I would love it if Anime Vegas would move to Manadalay Bay or the Sands Expo. It would bring more attendees from California and the west coast if they know they can enjoy the convention and the Las Vegas nightlife all at once.

Many thanks to Lauren for helping Scarlet Rhapsody and CaliConBlog set up our panels. Many thanks to Rich for taking last year's suggestions to make Anime Vegas a better con. Knowing this, gives us faith that 2011 can be better. Many thanks to Jonathan Klein, Eyeshine, and Cristina Vee for their time for interviews. Many thanks to the guests of honor for spicing up the programming.

Most of all, thanks to my press team: Jared, Matt, Ryan, and Lucas. Though this was a joint effort to cover the con all together, it was great traveling and rooming with all of you. Thank you for the trip to Walgreens to gather supplies. Thanks for the additional video and coverage.

With Anime Vegas, I always go back and forth if I should return. Likewise, it just depends where it will be held next year and what my situation looks like. All I can do for now is wait for the announcements and hope for the best.

Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rapsody. If we took your picture, feel free to use it on your gallery. While you're here, do sign the guest book. The site was brought to you by the font Adobe. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the image resizing and watermarking program.