End of an era for me as well, saying farewell to ACen and never coming back (I know there are some really cool people that are Suzaku'ing ACen from within to try to change some of the crappy structure and general issues, but UNTIL it stops being "Raver-con" nothing is going to change). I honestly think they should just have a Rave-con type separate event and attempt to Lelouche ACen back to its former glory. Like I said in another thread I've been in attendance since 2003 and have seen a lot of ups. Initially I thought there was no way ACen could get better and they kept impressing me. Now I can't imagine it getting worse and they continue to show me otherwise. Once again there are some really awesome people on ACen staff that I highly respect. But they can't transform the system.
vortia, on 29 April 2012 - 06:58 PM, said:
Wow, didn't realise they cancelled the Masquerade, that's mad terrible!
Again, I was Okabe on Friday and basically to this all I have to say is *mad scientist laugh*. It's basically "lolACen" at this point. When staff (not IRT who are not walking guidebooks and shouldn't be treated as such, I'm referring to actual staff) themselves didn't know about schedule changes or where an autograph session that was happening (hint: next door) that was completely changed and not reflected on paper or in the program book, my friend circles' running joke was "sasuga ni ACen!" (that's ACen for you!) Or when the masquerade incident happened...hey they pushed back Hardcore synergy by two hours and those are actual Japanese DJs. They couldn't do the same to Soap Bubble because "oh no, our main event consisting of mostly DJs unrelated to Japanese/Anime culture (except for this year, kors k I think?)" and allow the Masquerade to run. Just as Haruki Murakami reflects on Japan in his novel Underground, similarly [ACen] had no back up plan in the case of emergencies or other circumstances that made them run around with their heads cut off. Yes the actual evacuation and reorganization was handled very well, however the actions taken were rash and unjustified. Everything Friday was delayed by like two hours, and even so, stuff actually still happened despite the delay. But they could not afford to delay the Soap Bubble.
My major complaint was simply the lack of any major Japanese Anime Industry Guests. With all due respect to Mr. Shinichi Watanabe, he's become a regular con attendee, and this year's failure to secure any other industry guests was a major let down, and the culmination of a trend of declining quality of industry guests over several years.
You know I would have agreed with you before the con, and let me tell you right off the bat, the primary reason I go to cons is to see International Guests and Concerts. It ranks higher than random encounters, cosplay, shopping in that order. Here's my con story:
1) Masashi Hamauzu was the focal guest of the con for me, as the other limited Japanese guests did not particularly interest me. Went to line up for VGO and Imeruat, waited for 40 minutes since they said in the dealers' room that the concert would start like an hour early. Then after waiting in line they say "oops, we're pushing it an hour past the SCHEDULED time" Okay we leave the line and come back. COncert was awesome, and as a huge surprise (not really if I had researched Imeruat which I had not) Mitsuto Suzuki composer of FFXIII-2 was in attendance as well.
2) Then they announce a Meet and Greet schedule and room change. The M&G is to occur now right after the concert, in a room different from the one listed. We go to the room and line up even though the sign says some different panel is to occur there. 10 mins later a staffer comes down with a handwritten sheet of paper that has "Imeruat M&G" written and posts it up by the door. "Sasuga ni ACen" Needless to say there were like 20 people in the room which was AWESOME for me since my friends and I got awesome seating for the panel and it was a great setting to ask a lot of questions of very talented Japanese VG composers.
3) At the concert and panel they announce a schedule change for the Autograph session, saying it would be Saturday afternoon instead. Just for the heck of it, we went Saturday morning because our smartphone-owning friend said it still showed up on Guidebook. There were 20 people tops at the session to see Masashi Hamauzu and Mitsuto Suzuki... Which again was awesome because they had some technical difficulties securing a booth with the Dealers' Room staff to sell their CDs (not the awesome part) so they allowed people to re-line up once they were able to actually buy the Imeruat CD (which is sweet btw).
4) They of course DID also have the re-scheduled VGO signing at the new 3:30 timeslot, which also no one knew about so there were like 20 people in line. Got to talk with the whole group who are extremely cool people and even take group pictures. Pretty much could guarantee that at an East Coast con this wouldn't happen, but due to misinformation or lack of information coupled with the downward spiral of decreasing true anime and game fandom of attendees, made such things possible. I won't complain.
5) Yet another panel was held in the Hyatt basement called "Music of Final Fantasy". Here, thanks to the wording of the title, there was a decent crowd and line. The organization of the line on the otherhand...since the panel was right across from the game room, the line formed a horseshoe and went out the door. But people would just go to the end of the "horseshoe" and crowd. Sadly though we tried to tell people where the end of the line was, pretty much IRT did not really enforce line policies (well line policies in general... lol) But that's a minor gripe.
6) Concert Sunday was of equal awesomesauce. They announced signings and merch right across from the main Info booth next to the Main Ballroom, but apparently this was news to IRT and staff who couldn' control what turned into like two separate lines going in opposite directions. It was pretty "on the fly" but out of respect for the artists I'm pretty glad that today's more "open" signing had a decent attendance.
So in short, I completely agree with you about the lack of Japanese guests. I follow seiyuu a lot and the lack of seiyuu was disappointing. I would have liked to see LM.C but I had to choose with my time. However despite the lack of international guests I have to give a pat on the back to whoever got Hamauzu-sensei (which in one of the panels Nakama-san from VGO said it was something he'd envisioned as well after meeting Hamauzu-sensei at Distant Worlds, so props to getting VGO as well). I made the best of it nonetheless since the guests that did come were pretty cool.