This convention was held August 17th-19th at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (formerly The Hilton).
Yeah, fuck that con. I'm never going back there again. It was hands down the worst convention I have been to in years. The entire thing was nothing but hype. They promised snacks and drinks will be served at the masquerade ball and they didn't deliver. All they had was water in the back of the room (as with every panel room) from what a friend tells me. Why in the hell were they charging a fee to enter when they said it would cover the cost of snacks and drink and yet didn't have it!? The theme was Gundam Wing but they didn't have anything to even represent said theme. At all.
The dealer's hall was quite small and there were only two vendors that interested me, one of which was selling the ever so popular necomimi and another one was Epic Cosplay. Other than that, the selection was filled with mostly bootleg Chinese goods. Why can't cons ban this crap? It looks awful and the jewelry is filled with lead. There were some vendors selling items that were better left concealed from general view. You do not want a child to walk past a pillow of an anime girl with her exposed breasts for the world to see!
There were several rooms showing anime which never interests me since I can do that at home. Then again, I don't really watch anime anymore since I'm more of a gamer. Even if I were into anime, these conventions don't show the old school stuff I enjoyed. I walked past several of these screening rooms and they were pretty much empty. Nothing was of interest to me except for Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt since that show is so unique compared to most anime crap of the modern era. In short, I passed on the screening rooms.
Biggest con in the universe, eh? Well, it sure lived up to its name as in it was the other kind of con (if you know what I mean). There was hardly anyone there. The con was so small and not worth the $60 at the door price for a badge or the $40 one day only pass. I would say $25 at the most. For a con to brag about people pre-registering by the thousands I sure didn't see that many people there--a few hundred at the most. This con hyped itself up so much about being such an amazing convention and it failed to deliver. The most unusual aspect about this convention's attendance was that there were more cosplay videographers and photographers than cosplayers themselves. This never happens. I think this happened because that huge hype of a large masquerade prize draws out some amazing cosplayers... but the majority of the cosplayers that were in it to win it were in the screening room and not walking about.
That brings me to the biggest drama maker of this con--the cosplay masquerade contest. The promise of the $10,001 drew out a lot of cosplayers that brought out their A-game. When you're using the cosplay masquerade contest as the main draw of a convention, you better fucking make sure you have appropriate prizes for the winners. Every costume that entered this thing was nothing short of amazing (honestly I was really surprised by this). Several awards were given out and for some reason or another, they were giving some groups multiple awards. Weird, but okay whatever. This is what left a bad taste in everyone's mouth that was involved in the competition (including myself): no one but "Best in Show" got a worthwhile prize. Say you win... "Best Overall Craftsmanship" (which I believe is second place). The prize you got was merely a DVD boxset donated by one of the convention sponsors and a useless trophy. Most people would say, "Better than nothing at all, right?"
There is a huge jump when first place is $10,001 and second place is just a trophy and a DVD boxset. This is equivalent to winning nothing at all. The trophy has no monetary value and the DVD boxset is worth about $40 at the most (since DVDs have very little to no value at all these days), yet the first place winner gets $10,001. There were numerous awards given out which were the exact same thing that second place got. Now do you see how unfair this was? This is wrong on multiple levels. The way they handled winning is fucking stupid. The way things ended, they should've just used the entire $10,001 to split among the winners so no one gets screwed over (when in this case, everyone but one group did). DON'T HAVE THE GRAND PRIZE BE $10,001 WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE SHIT FOR LESSER PRIZES. This leaves zero incentive for any cosplayer to even bother with this sham of a masquerade next year.
And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't even place. I am however, angry at how the prizes for everyone else was handled. A trophy and a DVD boxset... what a slap in the face.
I won't even get started on that maid cafe... but I will.
This entire convention was centered around the maid cafe which was way overkill. Not everyone who goes to an anime convention goes just for the maid cafe! The whole idea of charging a fee to get into said cafe was stupid enough when you have to pay for food inside in the first place. Needless to say, by the middle of day 2 I was sick and tired of it. During every event, for whatever reason they were dancing to Kpop songs on stage. Why was everything at this convention centered around the damn maid cafe??? Opening ceremonies? Maid dance! Gundam Wing ball (which was changed at the last minute)? Maid dance! Taking way too long to decide on a winner for the sham of a masquerade that cheated everyone but one group? Maid dance!!! Closing ceremonies? Oh, let's add a stupid last minute maid graduation for no reason!! The CEO guy claimed that the maid graduation was supposed to be a private event for the friends and family members of the maids in the cafe... but if that's true, then why was it part of the closing ceremonies? Why was it in the program guide!? His excuse for why we saw so much of the maid cafe is because "There were no other groups at the con avaliable to entertain." Well, they were the only group the con had put together to entertain so what the hell is he talking about?? Dude can't even keep track of his lies.
The people running this con didn't know what the hell they were doing--that much was obvious.