Convention Impossible: Holiday Matsuri 2016

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Happy Holidays to all and I am back from Holiday Matsuri! Sorry for taking a few days, I had to get my rest after waking early during the weekend and unpack all the stuff I bought and the cosplay I took with me! So, it is my review!

Disclaimer: This Convention Impossible is based on Opinion and Observation! Please respect the thoughts of the Lead Writer of this blog and thoughts from her teammates. Thank you!
Convention: Holiday Matsuri 2016
Location: Orlando, FL

This year was our second time doing press and man it felt good! Hek, it felt good going back to a convention after not going to any for months. This year it was at the World Center Marriot in Orlando and it was the same until we had food. Normally hotel food would be expensive and not as tasty but this time around they changed the food court into more of a pantry style and made everything cheaper. Back in 2014, I spent $18 on a philly steak, fries, and a peach tea and the tea was a small bottle but this time you get a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, and a bottle of lipton peach tea for $6! That sas more srasonable than two years back and the food was still tasty as the food back then. Also, parking was very convenient because it was not only $11 for it but you can pre-pay for the entire weekend and have passes that are in and out which if you go off hotel grounds for an hour or two, you can get back in with the same pass without paying for another parking spot. I hope this happens again next year if ithis convention didn’t out grow this hotel. Plus, the space was even more amazing for the convention because of the amount of rooms that were used for panels and events also the space for the huge vendor’s room, which….

Vendors: Oh man! I think this year I pretty much found pretty good stuff since they had more vendors to work with! It was bigger than last year and it fit all the tables because last year the space had most of them in the vendor’s room and then more tables in the game room but this year it was all in one place which made it more easier to find and browse. On Friday, though, not all the vendors and artists were there but it did have a good amount until Saturday rolled around when everyone was there and selling items. I did do a video with a huge haul of the items I did buy but to make it quick, this is what I got:

Mint KitKats
Twilight Sparkle plush
Evee plush
Typhlosion plush
Gatomon keychain charms
Harry Potter Hufflepuff beer glasses
HiChew in orange and mixed berry (also got one for someone for Christmas but not revealing it!)
Red bean and chocolate flavored bread buns
Official Carla plush

Yeah, I did some damage to my account and money pouch, which of course I did get my DVD box set of Gurren Lagan signed by Steve Blum….

Guests: Next is guests! Oh man! It felt like a dream when I was meeting Steve Blum for the first time because Gondras got to meet him when I couldn’t at Florida Anime Experience five years ago and did include a story that dealt with that in my book (BUY MY BOOK!) and I got to finally meet him after hearing him for years as Tom the Robot, Spike Spiegel, Evil Snake Man, and Lee Ron! It was worth getting his signature by the way! Also, we did meet up with Mary Elizabeth McGlynn since we haven’t seen her for a while and by the looks of it this was her first convention in town from my memories of conventions in the past. She was surprised that we remembered interviewing her and we did a new one with her, which will be on YouTube in the next couple of days along with our interview with Steve! Stay tuned for that!

Besides doing interviews, we did cover events and one of them happened to be the Voice Actors Holiday Super Show on Sunday and it was very entertaining! This was a first to see Todd go out into the audience and asking attendees questions about their time at Holiday Matsuri and got to ask questions based on Christmas things and even anime things. I wanted to ask Todd about his work on Death Battle since I didn’t get that chance in our interview last year but Gondras gave me this to ask instead and that was what was their funniest Christmas story? I do tend to ask about their funniest booth stories and this was a bit of a play on that and their first reaction was being stumped. I felt like during the Ten Years of SPD panel last year when I asked the guy who played Bidge about the “Buttery” finger gesture out of habit. I guess interviewing voice actors for three years help with coming up with more fun questions. Anyways, what did they answer with? Mary talked about how she dropped a bag of roux for gravy and it exploded, Todd making a turkey in college for his first time where the oven dorr didn’t close all the way, and Steve had the best one which I would let you watch the video when it hits YouTube! I would stay tune to our Twitter for when that is up!

Panels & Events; This year was the year that we went to the most panels and events besides covering two of them! There were a good variety but there should’ve been more interesting ones according to Nerdy Shirts. Some of the panels we went to included World Literature in Anime, which looks at Western Lit being told in anime such as Secret World of Arietti, Nadia and the Deep Blue, Romeo x Juliet, and so much more. I may have to watch Romeo x Juliet since I haven’t seen it in so long and it rekindled my love for it after this panel. We also went to a makeup panel done by one of the members in the Black Butler Caboret and she did provide good info on makeup and what to use. She did mention that she works at MAC and that does help a lot due to providing recommendations even with shade matching which she said it is best to go to Sephora, Ulta, or even MAC to get a better idea of what will work for you.

One panel that did stick out to me is the Non-Visual panel which deals with disabilities. I won’t cover too much but I would say this one panel did make me tear up and usually I don’t tear up at panels. Hell, even was on theedge of tearing up during one of Steve’s stories during our interview. Anyways, after going to this panel and meeting up with one of the people in there on Sunday, the thing is that we are not alone when we are suffering from disorders like PTSD, anxiety, heck even a visual impairment like I have. Heck, I even told the story how I lost a friend who said that they wish they were blind like me and so many people had the same reaction like I did of “WTF@?” Still, it is not easy dealing with these things and that we can get through it with friends and family and even the significant other because we can support each other even times of trouble. Even the hostess thought it was amazing that me and Gondrass did use to host the Blind Experience back in the past after the panel and did give her and her buddies cards to this blog and the book.

So, back to lighter notes! The two other events we had to cover were the Peppermint Parlor and the Cosplay Runway.In our honest opinion about the Pepperment Parlor, even though it was in the game room (which was very amazing by the way and used the entire space during the day) it was okay, just okay! There were performers from Pleasure Pixels and a DJ going but there were only two performers onstage when we first got in. We did see the pole and a few rings but where are the rest of the performers? I understand it was supposed to be a Burlesque, there should’ve been ore to it. The Holiday Cosplay Runway, on the other hand, was very entertaining and even fun to see the many cosplays like Sailor Moon, even a Miss Piggy with a Hannakah flare, and of course taking on the new Pokemon games by having Team Skull. The best part was the performances which the Holiday Ambassadors perform by singing or dancing to songs. One Ambassador sang a Japanese song which you rarely heard being perform at an event like this and there were two other groups that did dance numbers but the one who did the most entertaining number was Break Dancing Kakashi! Not only he did his usual stuff but he danced “Cotton Eye Joe!” Even some of the cosplayers in the crowd including Team Skull danced along! I did manage to take down the winners and Gondras did get pics, which those will be in the Cosplay Gallery in a few days too, and they are:

Most Great: Miss Piggy
Most Fun: Team Skull
Most Festive: Batman Villains (Their Bain cosplayer joined in with the “Cotton Eye Joe” fun!)
Best Prop: Ghost Rider
Most Flashiest: Mad Hatter
Best Group: Sailor Moon
Second Rummer Up: Magi Group
First Rummer Up: Boshido Zelda
Best in Show: Christmas Fawns

Game Room: Since the Peppermint Parlor took place in the Game Room, maybe I should mention this briefly! This year the room was bigger than the last. It did have arcade cabinets and the usual fighting games, which Gondras did play one of the Marvel v. Capcom during the Parlor on Saturday. They did have the Rock Band 4 stage which Gondras did perform with a group on that. I was happy that more Fall Out Boy was in the game with “Century” and it did sound like some of the old tracks were in there from the other games!

Rating: Accomplete! This is why! Even though it felt like this year was accomplished but did feel on the eddge of complete and like the Completionist himself, this did combine Accomplished and Complete which makes it Accomplete! The next section will give the real reasons!

Needs for Improvement: Even though the convention was awesome in some areas but it needs some adjustments. Don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy it but like most things there need some room for improvement…

1. Panels: As in there should be more interesting panels. Yes, we did attend some interesting ones, even the makeup panel was something that did give good tips from someone who has been working at a store that deals with it, but I can see what Nerdy Shirts is talking about. There should be more variety to choose from with the entire weekend. I feel that there should be more guest panels since in the past years as a convention goer turned journalist that there were a lot of guest related panels and the only two we went to were the Q&A opanel with them on Saturday and the SuperShow Sunday and I did try asking Nerdy Shirts if there were any panels with the voice actors and not so much. I know Nate Wants to Battle did have a few but some of the panels we went to ran into his time slots too and that kind of made the choice a bit harder. I did hear that with some panels that the time slots were kind of weird in the scheduling portion where when we went to the Ultimate Gaming panel that our friend, Xeno, was a part of was at 12:45 in the morning on Friday and they wanted to make it great but due to their time slot it was a bit of a mess. Now I am thinking should Blind Experience return? Still, panels should’ve had a bit more variety by attendees and the voice actors as well.
2. Interviews: Okay, remembered how last year that with the Cosplay Runway’s pre-judging that there was mixed messages there? It happened here this year. How so? Well, apparently there was a confusion where I was told this year that we were supposed to talk to the guest to get it scheduled like last year and added on talk to the handler to get it arranged during their signing times depending on the line size. Then we got told that it had to be arranged before the convention itself which I remembered when filling out the form that I was supposed to get a schedule of the time slots to choose from with each guest when I checked the box for interviews and that didn’t happen and that didn’t happen last year either. Here is the thing…interviews should be arranged by the convention if press teams check that box on the form itself. I have done interviews at other cons like MetroCon, MythiCon, and Omni Expo where they gave us the schedule of the interviews which the convention staff confirm with the guest if it will work in the schedule that they were given before the convention. Heck, even doing back to back can happen which I had that happen at Omni two years in row where this year I had my RJ Heady and Dino Thunder interviews back to back and it worked out fine because they were scheduled that way. Still, hoping, did suggest it to them and hoping it gets taken, pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssee schedule interviews beforehand because these mixed signals make it complicated and like the convention want to be organized with everything.
Well, that brings us to the end of this review! I think we had less ideas for improvements than last year but this convention was great and it is still growing. Hoping next year things will be better in some areas and hoping that it will be at this hotel again because it did have the space for it. Also, in case anyone is wondering, yes my mobility worked out this time around due to the training I went through but there were times when my cane almost got knocked out of my hand due to how much of a crowd was drawn to this thing.

What is next? We will be posting more coverage including our videos from this year and our Holiday Matsuri Cosplay Gallery! Stay tuned for that! Also, within the next few weeks I will be doing the Bests and Worsts of 2016, November and December Favorites, and the Convention Spotlight on Omni Expo 2017! Oh yeah! Starting to talk about next year’s convention lineup! Til next time!

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