So Bak Anime was a ton of fun. It was my very first time attending this con and I didn’t expect much from it but it ended up being amazing.
I ended up going to this con for a few different reasons. The first was to meet some of my cosplay Instagram friends for the first time, second was to see Christine Cabanos, Cristina Vee, and Kyle Hebert, and the final reason was that my favorite Burger place and favorite Ice Cream place are in Bakersfield.
The drive to Bakersfield is two hours one way so I needed some good justifications to make the trip and those were all of the reasons I needed.
I also used to live in Bakersfield before I started Pre-school so this was a bit of a homecoming!
This is the con that the love of my life @CeltyFarron was at!
(Read more about that in the article titled “CeltyBlackSwordsman – The Love Story of Two Weebs”.)
So Bak Anime took place on January 24th and 25th. It was on a Saturday and a Sunday. The fact that it was only two days made me think that the con would be really small and would suck compared to the bigger cons I had been to earlier in the month like SacAnime and ALA. I was about to be proven wrong.
So my brother and I both got off of work at around 5pm on Friday night and we immediately set off to the hotel.
Well, almost immediately… We had to stop for Japanese food first because any good weeabo would do that, right?
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But we got to the hotel and we roomed with my friend Ryan who was gracious enough to let me borrow his custom made lightsaber to use as my photon sword for my GGO Kirito cosplay!
It was REALLY convenient staying in the same hotel that the convention was in.
So on Day 1 we headed downstairs to check the area out and walked through the con in about 5min. It was small but cozy!
After that we met up with some of my Instagram friends for the first time face to face and it was great!
So my friends and I all got interviewed in two different groups. My brother was too shy, though but I’ll get him to do it next time.
First there was the Fire Emblem group and then there was the SAO group.
I always love getting interviewed so that’s why I always seem so excitable in the videos!
Christine/Cristina – Main Events
After that, we headed to the first scheduled event which was the Q&A for Christine Cabanos and Cristina Vee.
I tend to get really excited at English Voice Actor panels since they’re the people that voice the anime I enjoy so much!
I had just seen Christine Cabanos at ALA a couple weeks prior to this so she remembered me even though I was in my GGO cosplay!
After that, I told my friends about my favorite burger place in Bakersfield. It’s called Happy Jack’s and they serve really good homemade tasting burgers and amazing pie.
There were 7 of us in the group BUT we all wanted to take one car to this restaurant.
Jo was jokingly saying that he could fit a couple people in his trunk but Ryan and I decided to take him up on his offer.
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I don’t take up much space and it was a short ride so I figured that it wouldn’t be too bad!
It was really funny arriving to the restaurant, having the trunk opening, and seeing the looks on peoples’ faces as the two of us stepped out of the trunk.
We all enjoyed the food very much and had a group picture there before heading back.
Cosplay Contest Signups
Some of us ended up signing up for the costume contest!
Jo, Woohoo, and Celty signed up as the Fire Emblem group
While Nancy and I signed up as the SAO II group.
Hanging Out in Lobby
While waiting for the Cosplay Contest to start, we all hung out in lobby to take a break from walking around so much.
To anyone that has ever been at a con with a long wig, you understand the struggle of it getting extremely tangled.
Part of our “resting” was getting my GGO wig untangled.
So it finally came time for the Cosplay Contest.
It was actually my very first time being in a costume contest so I was a bit nervous at first but when it was our turn to go up the Beatles were playing on the speakers so it was really easy for me to get into the zone!
Nancy and I had 3 pose ideas. One serious pose, one with me holding a pregnancy test, and finally, the cheer for me pose.
None of us won but it was still a ton of fun! I’d definitely love to do one of those again but maybe next time we’d come up with a skit.
An evening with Kyle Hebert (18+)
The final event of the evening was an 18+ panel with Kyle Hebert. If you don’t know who Kyle Hebert is, he is the announcer on DBZ that says “Next time, on DRAGON BALL Z!”
And he’s also Gohan, Kamina in Gurren Lagan, and in a billion other things. He’s even 2 characters in SAO! He’s Godfrey and Kainz.
Well there was ONE more thing that we did.
My favorite Ice Cream place in the world happens to be in Bakersfield and it is called Dewar’s.
Some of us went to Dewar’s and hung out there in cosplay until we got kicked out at 11pm.
End Day 1
Overall, Day 1 was one of the greatest con experiences in my life.
I got to enter a cosplay contest, see some of my favorite voice actors, and most importantly finally get to hang out with some of my Instagram friends.
On Day 2, there wasn’t too much I had planned so I didn’t wake up too early.
Christine & Cristina Autographs – Autograph Area
As soon as I had everything packed, I threw it into the car and got in line for autographs with Christine Cabanos and Cristina Vee.
When we finally got to the front of the line, it was cool chatting with Christine Cabanos. I was really shocked the Cristina Vee remembered who I was since I met her all the way back at Anime California in August!
I had already had Christine sign my posters so Cristina signed my K-ON!, Madoka, and SAO posters.
I wanted to get a selfie with them but I sorta failed since I had swords on my back, didn’t want to hit them, and they were behind a counter thing. Yeah, it didn’t work out.
Kyle Hebert Autograph – Autograph Area
After that, my friends and I got in line to get autographs from Kyle Hebert.
I had just seen him recently at SacAnime but it was great seeing him again!
I had him also sign my Madoka and SAO posters.
I told him that I forgot my Blue Exorcist poster and that I’d bring it next time and in his DBZ announcer voice he said “NEXT TIME” and my inner fan boy went a little crazy.
So after that Celtyfarron (pronounced kelty-far-on) dragged me to a panel about Side Shows run by a man called George the Giant.
My mind was in Anime mode so I didn’t really think much about what would be happening at it. I was told that her street performer friend was hosting a panel. I don’t know why but when I thought of a street performer I thought about people breakdancing or a guy playing guitar with his feet or something.
But I was wrong! This is a guy that does outrageous things like hammering a nail into his head or sword swallowing.
Before you say that it’s all a trick…it’s not. You see, with magicians, their stunts are all fake.
With side shows, it’s so disgusting that you WISH that it was fake
So this guy shoved a straw through one nostril and then had it come out the other one and he even drank from it. Ugh.
But during his panel, I had to be the Knight in Shining Armor for CeltyFarron. She wouldn’t stop screaming and yelling and I was so brave…
Before she kills me, to be honest, I was the nosiest person in the room.
There’s no video of me panicking when he shoved a huge sword down his throat after telling us that he once cut his throat doing this… but I pretty much said:
Oh no.. no.. DON’T DO IT!! DON’T DO IT!! OH SWEET JESUS!! NO!!..
I literally was the loudest person in that room.
His grand finale was offering to let people staple money to him. If one brought up a dollar bill, he or she would have the “privilege” of stapling to it.
He also made an offer if someone brought up $20 that they could staple it to his head.
Of course one person did bring up a $20 and it was definitely stapled to his head.
I got a picture with him after. He was so cool.
After he had received all of the money, he pulled the staples out of his belly and he bled a bit. It wasn’t the most beautiful sight in the world.
That man’s insane.
Since the next panel was in the same room, my friends and I took the opportunity to move to the very front of the panel room for Christine Cabanos and Cristina Vee’s second Q&A panel.
I don’t think they realized what had happened on the stage before they showed up…
Christine/Cristina Q&A – Main Events
Seeing Christine and Cristina’s second Q&A was great. I think that it was even better than the first one!
There were less people so it was more intimate and people got to ask multiple questions!
At about 4pm we were pretty much done attending all of the events we had planned on attending and most of us literally eaten nothing all day so we decided to call it a day and go to Denny’s.
Of course having dinner with cosplays wasn’t enough for us. Afterwards we ended up going to Dewar’s again!
It was a Sunday evening and I had planned on leaving at 8:30pm maybe 9pm at the very latest.
But we were all having so much fun that I didn’t end up leaving on time.
Whenever we tried parting ways it just got too depressing but I eventually got away at nearly 10pm for my 2 hour drive home.
My brother and I had work the next day and I was a zombie at work.
One of the Best Times in the World
So like I said at the beginning of the post, I didn’t expect much from Bak Anime. I thought that the con would actually be a bit lame.
Well I was wrong about the con being lame. There was nothing lame about it! I could easily say that it’s one of my favorite cons now! Big cons are great but little cons are great in their own ways too!
I typically do love to be overwhelmed at big big cons like AX but this was a nice relaxing con.
But of course my new friends are what made this experience amazing.
It was great meeting a ton of my followers at Bak Anime. I didn’t know I had a following in Bakersfield at all so that was a pleasant surprise for me! I always love chatting with my fans and love meeting new people.
Don’t worry, I’ll be back at Bak Anime in the future!
Sword Art Senpai
Before I go, I have to give a big thank you to the Sword Art Senpai account on Instagram.
If it weren’t for whoever runs that account, I wouldn’t have met the group of friends that I hung out with all weekend!
Quick story: Sword Art Senpai uploaded a collage of Kirito cosplayers. I saw @kirijokun and saw that he had an AMAZING Kirito cosplay so I wanted to be his friend immediately and followed him.
After that, I became friends with the rest of his crew and I have since been dating CeltyFarron!
(Read more about that in the article titled “CeltyBlackSwordsman – The Love Story of Two Weebs”.)
The rest as you can say is history.
I will definitely be back for Bak Anime again!