I may be a little late to the party, but I felt that this announcement was worth sharing around here. Anyway, the gang at Arc System Works and Strangely Compelling Media (BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend's localization, Phant...
Whenever an event proves to be uneventful, less-than-impressive, or just generally underwhelming, I prefer to take a few days to really gather some perspective before unloading on it. That's not to say Sakura-Con was less-tha...
So SakuraCon has come and gone but we still have more news to share with you that came out of our weekend in Seattle. Yesterday, Crunchyroll held an industry panel at the con and despite getting through the bulk of their pane...
Also, Canadian dates for Tiger & Bunny: The Rising finally revealed
// Tim Sheehy
This afternoon Viz Media held their own Sakura-Con industry panel and although it could likely be described as brief, they did manage to excite us with an announcement or two. Most notably, that Daisuke Aishihara's action-pac...
Aniplex at Sakura-con has announced a special audition for Magi. The season two of Magi will have a Bang Zoom! dub. In addition, there will be public auditions at Anime Expo this summer for roles in Magi. Also, Aniplex of Ame...
Sakura-Con, the big spring-time anime con based out of Seattle, runs next weekend from April 18th to April 20th. We at Japanator will try our best to bring you coverage from the event covering the usual cosplay, news and gues...
This week has seen its fair share of Attack on Titan-related news. To start, the official soundtrack has been licensed by Anime Limited, and is now available digitally through iTunes, Amazon UK and Google play. The rele...
Taking place at the end of April (the 18th to the 20th to be exact), SakuraCon in Seattle is my home away from home. I've hit the convention every year for the last few years and have always had a blast though this year is go...
More people dressed up So yesterday's Sakura-con cosplay wasn't enough for you? I don't blame you. Here is what I am going to do for you my fine readers. I'm going to give you even more cosplay pics today! Awesome, right?
Without further ado, part 2 of the cosplay of Sakura-con! Part 1 here in case you missed it.
All the dressed up people What is a convention without cosplay? Nothing, that's what it would be! I mean, how many of us just look forward to taking loads of pictures of people dressed up at their favorite characters and show off their incredibl...
Apr 03 //
First thing you will notice is that some things have moved around. Just like every year that I have attended I have to relearn where they put everything. What I did notice was why the things were moved to where they were. For instance, the panels were moved to the more spacious hallway leading to the dealer’s room. These were much larger rooms to house some of the bigger panels like industry panels. The only problem is that there is not much room for a straight line queue to get in. There was plenty of room for a more snake like line if it got too big. Hopefully they will figure this out by next year and install more line ropes.
The gaming rooms didn't change much and, really, didn't need to. The rooms are step up pretty much how you would expect with just rows of LCD TVs and consoles. In one corner we have the tournaments, another we have the place to pick up your game, and in the last corner we have the ever popular Let’s Dance on the Wii. Let’s Dance is always the highlight of the room with multiple people dancing together. I wanted to join them, but I haven’t even played it yet. It still looks like loads of fun with that big of a group. The one room that probably needs a bigger space next year is the CCG room. That place was always packed when I came by. There are so many games now that everyone plays that there just isn't enough room for everyone. Miniature and mobile gaming had no real problems housing people at any time.
Programming wise it seemed a bit light this year. Not to say there was nothing to do, but there seemed to be a bit more space for more panels. Most of your standard fair was there, Q&A guest panels and such, along with some of the Sakura-con fan favorites like Zapp Brannigan’s Loveline and Spaceship of Love. Both of which I missed out on...again. As for my Cooking Otaku panel from last year, I unfortunately missed out on the deadline for submission. Not to worry though, there is always next year. Maybe, if I feel frisky enough, I might even host a late night Japanator panel about ecchi, harem, and boob anime. Nah, no one would ever want to see that, right?
The overall feel of this year’s convention was great. Everyone seemed like they had a great time and enjoyed being there. Most of the lines moved quickly and the flow of traffic throughout the convention center was the best I had ever seen. This was mainly thanks to a bunch of yellow tape on the floor that marked off the no stopping sections. This kept the traffic moving forward so that no one was blocking the tops of the escalators or the main doors. They tried this last year with some small areas of the con with great success, so this year it pretty much doubled in size. Believe me, I accepted this with whole heartily especially with a camera and full back pack of equipment. Getting to move from one area to another without stopping was a blessing.
If you are wondering about cosplay, the guest, and the concert, I’ll have my impressions about those in the posts to come. Sakura-con 2013 was a big hit with me and I can’t wait until next year!
16th annual NW anime convention The 16th annual Sakura-con in Seattle, Washington is always a highlight of the year for me. This was my 4th time at the annual anime love fest and it has only gotten better. From top to bottom the staff and crew of ...
Caution: one of these titles has a very long name.
// Salvador GRodiles
Sakura-Con is still going on as we speak, and Josh "Totsu" Totman is scouring the entire con like a beast! As he storms through the catacombs of Seattle's anime convention, JT has discovered Yen Press's latest annou...
Remember when Aniplex had big plans for Sakura-Con that were related to Sword Art Online? Of course you do.
Well, that's not the only thing that you are getting this year, because Aniplex's online panel has revealed tha...
In case you were busy during the panel that was brought to you by the folks at Aniplex America, we are giving you the chance to read about the announcements that happened during the evening.
The first order of news will...
May 05 //
OxKing Early Hours:
There's a lot of crap to take care of before going to a convention. Aside from the necessities that you've already (hopefully) taken care of (food, costume, hotel, etc.), here's some things to supplement you're already awesome weekend, as well as things that you'll wonder how you lived without until now:
1) Download the Sakura-Con 2012 Guidebook App
This entry is not endorsed or advertised by Sakura-Con in any way... I'm saying this as a man who hopes to help out so many people this year when I say this. Listen to me, people: If you have an iOS, Android, or Blackberry smartphone or device, then you absolutely must download this Guidebook App. I was messing around with this a few days before, and what I can gather from it is that it's the solution to about every complaint I've ever had about Sakura-Con. Never. Again... do I have to pull out that ol' flimsy, 800+ page schedule that takes ages to decipher in order to find out when the next panel for Japanese bondage is. As well as providing the most up-to-date scheduling throughout the con, the app features a map of the convention floor for the newbies, as well as a complete list of guests, panels, times and social networking connectivity. Also, did I mention you can create your own scheduling, complete with custom time reminders and direct updates on how lines are doing? Fucking. Genius.
2) Scope the place out a bit
Even if this isn't your first/second time at the Washington State Convention Center, Sakura-Con has a knack of switching and changing locations up a bit year after year. Obviously, I don't mean to be babysitting you on this, but make sure you know where your hotel is in relation to the Center, where to get some good grub in case you and your friends get hungry, yadda yadda yadda. Honestly, if you download the app above, it'll take care of virtually everything.
3) Dude, just check out Seattle while you're there
Being a Washington native, I honestly forget that people come from all around the nation to visit Seattle. Looking at Mt. Rainier in the city backdrop, you have to realize that people used to paint pictures of this shit. It's a beautiful city (not always as rainy as people make it out to be), and if you're flying in or planning an awesome road trip... take some time out of your love of anime and check out some places. Pike Place Market is so close to the con location that you can practically smell the fish coming in!
Let's move on with the big stuff: If you haven't been keeping up with the stuff announced this year, here are the big events you should at least be psyched up for to see this year.
Opening Ceremonies10:00 AM-11:00 AM
Start the con off right, people! Here's where you can get all hyped up as all shit, and get to listen to the organizers, guests, industry figures and special appearances all in one place! hopefully, we don't get another Van Von Hunter situation...
AMV Contest1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
AMV's! If ya love 'em, they're here!
Dragon Age animated movie World Premiere2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
The first look at the new Dragon Age anime project, brought to you by FUNimation. Features a behind-the-scenes and Q&A panel immediately afterwards
Stereopony Concert6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Here it is: this years big musical guests! if you want to rock your ass off, then make sure you grab that priority bracelet and snag a spot in line really early.
Masquerade Ball 20128:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Honestly, this was one of my favorite events that Sakura-Con held each year, so if you know how to dance, then make it a point to try and show up this year! No partner required.
Delightful Dream Dance
10:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Basically, this is the huge-ass rave that lasts into the early-morning. Glowsticks and Soul Eater cosplays galore. Cool name, though.
Cosplay Contest / Skits
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM [Main Stage]
Skits and comedy! There's no humor like anime-related, meme-spouting humor! Funny stuff for friends and family I guess and stuff... If you're big on dressing up, this is pretty much a must.
h.NAOTO Fashion Show
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM [Main Stage]
Dresses and shit! This fashion line has a period in the middle of it, so you know it must be hot shit in Japan!
Cosplay Chess (Main)
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM [Sakuradome 6E]
Another fan favorite, Cosplay Chess returns, where cosplayers act in a scripted, yet still entertaining, mock-chess game in from of a live audience.
AMV Iron Editor
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM [AMV Theater 6A]
Again, if you're big on AMV's, here's a really awesome event going on: watch in real-time as two editors create an AMV live. Siiiiickkkk.
Moi dix Mois / Kanon Wakeshima Concert
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM [Main Stage]
Another dose of hardcore rock coming at ya on Saturday night, where the band Moi dix Mois will be opening for Kanon Wakeshima. Both are hearty offering of loud noises and sweaty fans. Awww yeah...
Delightful Dream Dance (Saturday)
10:00 PM - 3:30 AM
Holy shit, another one? Well, in case you missed it the night before (because there's no way that you'd have the energy left to go to both dances two nights in a row), check out Saturday's encore outing.
Cosplay Chess [Unscripted]
11:30 PM - 2:00 PM [Sakuradome 6E]
A more insane, fan-participation-esque version of the popular Cosplay Chess. If you enjoyed it the first time around, this showing will be sure to top that, no thanks to its unpredictable nature.
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM [Panel 604]
Come join and help pitch in for charity by bidding on cool, autographed stuff from all of the guests at this years con. I certainly don't have that much goddamn money on me, but you can go right ahead and try to snag some sick swag.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM [Main Stage]
This is it! The final event of the weekend! If you aren't leaving early to beat the traffic, check this out and feel all emotional and shit knowing that it's all over.
Now that you have a run down of what's featured this year, check out some of these to get into the cool stuff involving the industry, including company panels, sneak peeks, announcements and so on:
First off, the big-boys at the FUNimation panel kick off our FRIDAY batch [12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, Panels 618-620], no doubt talking about new releases and the new Dragon Age film premiere later that night, but stick around for some possible announcements and new titles acquired by them... it's FUNi, so expect something awesome.
PREDICTION: FUNi has been pretty silent about their upcoming series Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt... I predict some more info on that... maybe a cast list?
Following that, Aniplex of America comes in [2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Panels 618-620], no doubt riding high on their horse with Puella Magi Madoka Magica recently coming out. More snags for AniAmerica? Absolutely. Even Gen Urobuchi is joining the panel! Holy shit... There'll be giveaways, a Q&A and a lot of translating
PREDICTION: A lot of talking about Madoka, given that Urobuchi is there. It's kinda obvious that Aniplex might grab the upcoming Madoka films releasing this year, but that'll probably finally be announced. A man can hope, right? Also, there'll obviously be some touching upon for the Bake/Niseimonogatari series and Fate/Zero, as well.
NIS America will also be making a modest appearance [6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Panel 303] that night. Not much is given in the description, but there's still a lot that this upcoming distributor can prove tonight. Their more robust, extravagent panel will be held the following morning on SATURDAY [11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Panel 615-617], where their official industry panel will hopefully bring the big guns.
PREDICTION: You know, I have no idea what could be in store, really. I am expecting an announcement for a newly acquired anime or OVA or something in that regard, but apart from talking about their latest releases and answering some fan questions, I'm really not sure what NIS could be planning. I'm setting my expectations low, but I would absolutely love it if NIS manages to blow me away with an announcement.
Viz Media [1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Panel 615-617] and Yen Press [5:30 PM - 6:30 PM, Panel 3A] both have panels on SATURDAY, no doubt talking about their respective models for digital manga / releases.
FUNimation is holding a workshop for Princess Jellyfish fans [4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Panel 601], making cute jellyfish and no doubt thanking their fans for the strong demand for a Princess Jellyfish release in the US.
Alright, so you spend (at most) $60 to come to this convention to meet awesome guests, loud concerts and show off your sick Team Fortress 2 cosplay... but why beat around the bush? We all love anime, and now instead of watching it at home, you can enjoy the comfort of watching world premieres with strangers. Perfectly loud strangers.
NOTE: Aside from these select few anime, there will be a ton more anime showing all weekend long. Literally. The three days of the con will feature non-stop anime screenings in 6-7 theaters. Here are only some of the amazing gems hidden within those three days:
Kimi ni Todoke [Eps 1-6, Sub]
10:30 AM - 12:48, Theater 4C-3
Okay... seriously? If you haven't watched this yet, march your ass to Theater 4C-3.
Okami-san and her Seven Companions [Eps 1-3, Dub]
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM, FUNimation Theater 4C-4
Screening of the newly released dub by FUNi. Todd Haberkorn should make an appearance in the theater, as well.
Bakemonogatari & Niseimonogatari / Q&A [Sub]
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Panel 6C
Features guest appearances by some people from NIS America and guests / people from SHAFT who worked on the series Atsuhiro Iwakami and Katsushi Ota. Pretty cool stuff if you dig the series.
GANTZ Live-action film DOUBLE FEATURE [GANTZ + GANTZ II: Perfect Answer] [Sub]
4:30 PM - 6:45 PM, Theater 401
An awesome opportunity to catch BOTH of the awesome live-action film adaptations of the awesome manga series GANTZ.
8:45 PM - 10:30 PM, Theater 4C-2
Madhouse blew it out of the park a few years back when Redline first came out, and now here we are with a screening of the (bound to be ridiculous) dub here tonight. Experience it. With an audience. On the big screen. My mind right now is, like: "Whoa..."
AKB48 Live-action Behind-the-Scenes documentary [Sub]
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM, Theater 401
Hey, if you like your idols, who are we to judge?
Princess Jellyfish [Eps 1-7, Dub]
12:15 PM - 3:00 PM
Okay, so I fucking love Princess Jellyfish... but if you haven't gotten the US release yet from FUNimation, you can check out the new dub here!
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood Movie: The Sacred Star of Milos [Dub]
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM, FUNimation Theater 4C-4
Did you guys know that there was a red carpet opening for this film back a few months ago in Texas? Huh. I guess this movie is.... kinda?.... important to FUNimation...?
Alright, now we get to the good stuff. Aside from the awesome vendors area and getting to meet some voice actors and other guests, panels are where you're bound to spend most of your time. There are just waaaaaayyy too many panels to list, so instead here are my personal picks for some really neat/promising panels throughout the weekend:
Anime that Scarred Me for Life6:45 PM - 7:45 PM, Panel 604
One of the more really entertaining panels, Anime that Scarred Me for Life never fails to have really entertaining stories to tell... I remember one year, a 14-year old boy talked about how he was not only tricked to watch the hentai version of Elfen Lied (cleverly titled Elfen Laid), but then he was actually pressured to finally watch the actual, gory series. Double Whammy.
The Busted Pixel Panel / MOVIE NIGHT (Powered by Friendship)7:15 PM-8:15 PM / 12:30 AM - 2:00 AM, Panel 206
Starting a video game sketch comedy group sounds really lame and cliche nowadays, but The Busted Pixel actually has a lot of hilarious stuff, most of which has been featured on Destructoid and shit. One-part Mega64, two-part Derrick Comedy, the movie night screening is something you're sure to not be disappointed by if you're a late-night type of comedy guy. I mean that literally, because this movie night is at 12:30 in the fucking morning.
Anime Stand-up Comedy9:15 PM-11:15 PM, Panel 303
Destined to either be genuinely funny, or terribly, terribly hilarious, I'm really excited to see both the talented people here, as well as the bombs.
Otaku Jeopardy10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Anime trivia. Now it became a useful skill to know what color Ryouko's jeggings were in Tenchi Muyo.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Panel [Urobuchi/Iwakami] 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Panel 6C
Like it or not, Madoka Magica is huge now. This panel, likewise, is bound to be huge. What surprises await us?
Behind-the-Scenes with FUNimation's DVD & Blu-ray Production1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Panel 604
Criticism of how translations and distribution work in the anime industry are bound to be put to rest with FUNimation's new outing in giving a look at how their anime come to be.
Cooking Otaku: The Panel2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Panel 309
Oh my, what could this be...
Cute and Kawaii in Japanese Manga and Anime12:45 PM - 1:45 PM, panel 3B
Do you see this?! That is the legitimate name of a panel. The year is 2012. And there is a panel call "Cute and Kawaii in Japanese Manga and Anime". Fuck yeah I'm going to this panel.
The worst (best?) part about this huge list? There's still tons and tons and tons more to do, including video games, tournaments, the AMV Showcase, autographs and countless panels all to satisfy anyone coming to the con.
So what about you guys? Anyone else excited about the convention this weekend? Let us know below, and maybe, aside from mine and Josh's scheduled interviews and panel-hosting, we'll see your ass there.
Guys, Seattle is going to be crawling with cosplayers tomorrow. Some really good, some kinda terrible. The thing with conventions like Sakura-Con 2012, which I sure all attendees know officially begins tomorrow morning, is th...
It's been about nine years since Ninja Scroll: The Series was released, but that's not stopping Madhouse! The animation gurus have announced that something new is on its way, a little something known only as Ninja Scroll Proj...
Apr 13 //
JT: The cosplay is always a big deal to me. It’s so much fun seeing what people can come up with, from the elaborate, to the bizarre, to the just plain lazy. Some people can’t even get in the door with theirs. There are always the notable favorites from the shows you love, but for me, I always look to the lesser known characters or off the beaten path characters. When I see someone wearing something out of the norm I feel giddy inside. This year it was Tom and Crow from MST3K. Overall I was please with the variety of cosplay this year. Some of the major staples were not as ramped as they have been. So it wasn’t as annoying to keep seeing the same series over and over again.
I try and take pictures when I can or jump in on someone already getting pics taken. Most of the time, if I don’t take the picture when I see the person, I’ll end up never seeing them again for the rest of the con. Also my camera stinks and I don’t like using it half the time. Hope to save up for an upgrade sometime in the future. One cute story that I have from the con was this little girl staring at a Gundam cosplayer. This was a large elaborate cosplay that stood about seven feet tall with glowing lights. Now the guy in the suit can’t move much if at all in it. So I hear the tiny girl ask his friend that was next to him "Is there a real person in there?" He smiled and told her yes. When she looked over at the Gundam again, she could see a hand wave at her. It’s about all he could do at the time to confirm for her.
Marcus: As awesome as it is to see someone put a lot of effort into something they love, I'm pretty much the exact opposite of Josh when it comes to cosplay; unless it's something original or where the details are down to the exact measurements, I'm usually "whatever" on the topic. This year was rather good I would say, however, if only because I got to talk to a lot of the cooler cosplayers. Similar to last year, I made it a point to talk with and take pictures of those ones that I really loved, and a lot of the time it resulted in meeting some awesome people with some great taste. Some of the highlights (or the ones you just seemed to never get away from) included that huge Gundam cosplay previously mentioned, a really huge Kon (Bleach), a cardboard EVA Unit 01, one HUGE DUDE who looked like the goddamn Ox King from Dragon Ball Z (the dude must've been literally 7'6") and a lot of cool super sentai guys walking around.
Of course, there was this one time I ran across a couple of guys who were holding up their Hard Gay cosplays pretty well, especially when I asked them if they can teach me a couple of new dance moves...
JT: I didn’t get to go to many panels this year. It was bad planning on my part and something else that happened that I will go into detail on in overall impressions. Plus the fact that I couldn’t come back on Sunday.
There was one panel I just had to go to, mine. The Cooking Otaku panel went off pretty well I believe. I talked about how to make four dishes and had a load of snacks on the table. I do apologize to anyone that couldn’t get into the panel. The room ended up being even smaller then I anticipated. Only about 50 people got to come in and they had to turn a lot of people away. Next year will be different, that’s for sure. The hour I had gone by so quickly. I figured that I was talking fast and had plenty of time for chit chat after the main part of the panel was finished. This was not the case seeing as there was only five minutes left when I was done. I do have to thank the people that came to the panel. They were what I was hopping for in a panel. I also have to thank the girlfriend for running the laptop for me and Marcus for helping me pass out the snacks for everyone to look at. Thanks again you two.
Marcus: This year was the one where I did nothing but go to panels all weekend long, more than any other year, in fact. Of course, the most fun I had at one was Josh's Cooking Otaku panel, if only because a lot of the people who came were really cool and actually really into food and making food. And even though I would love to see a huge crowd in a huge panel room next year, there was an odd charm to having 50 or so people crammed into a small room smelling squid and feeling up giant cheetos.
Of course, a lot of the best panels I went too were during the late night. There was an open mic Anime Stand-Up panel that I ended up participating in, as well as Anime that Scarred You for Life and the adult version of Whose Line is it Anyways?. But the highlight of the weekend for me? There was a special screening at midnight Friday-Saturday night of a film called Rube Blackjam: The Last Man on Planet Earth. The film was hosted by sketch comedy group The Busted Pixel (who also had a panel earlier that night), and was held in a huge theater with only about 12 other people inside. The movie we saw was, in a word, unforgettable, and had nothing to do with Japan or anime... and thankfully for you, you can catch the whole film on YouTube.
Other than that, one of the more under-appreciated panels were the ones hosted by Lady Librarian, both of which focused on the Miyazaki/Ghibli films Howls Moving Castle and Spirited Away. Far from trying to be a laughfest or wacky like most of the other panels this year, it was an incredibly informative approach to understanding the motifs, themes, reasoning and meanings behind these movies, as well as ask questions and invoke discussion. And while not everyone can sit through a two-hour long Powerpoint presentation for either panel (especially anime fans), Lady Librarian was an amazing speaker, who eagerly listened for others opinions and managed to have cool things to say and keep me entertained. I honestly am really hoping that she can explore some other anime films next year, because I was honestly enthralled by these panels.
JT: I didn’t get to any of the concerts this year. As much as I would have liked to get to the Stereopony concert, it was not meant to be.
Marcus: Funny enough, I also didn't see much out of the concerts, either. Or rather, I should say that I can't really think much of them given my lack of interest. Sakura-Con usually has awesome bands playing each year, and Steropony and Moi Dix Mois definitely have their fans... but I was rather underwhelmed this year. Even going to the Steropony concert and being there was rather forgettable...
JT: I was able to get to Aniplex’s industry panel on Saturday. It was a nice and personal panel. They started out by talking about who they are and what they do. Talking some about what their process is for bringing over titles. They also noted that they are fans too of anime and want to bring over not just DVDs but something more because anyone can watch anime streamed or downloaded on Netflix, but to have extras like artbooks or soundtracks is that extra little something. I know that is a big sale to me. Anything I am thinking of picking up, I always look for the special edition of it. I’m a collector at heart.
As for announcements at the con, there seemed to not be too many. This is not surprising as most companies now wait till summer for the major announcements at the top cons. The industry itself is not as big as it uses to be either which in turn will cut down on the number of announcements.
Marcus: I ending up going to a lot of Industry panels, though of course the big two were FUNimation and Aniplex USA. FUNimation's panel was standard fare: talking about new releases, showing off some new trailers before finally rushing an announcement or two, which honestly I'm familiar with every year at Sakura-Con, so no big thing there.
Aniplex USA's panel was a bit interesting, though: there was a lot of focus on Fate/zero and Madoka Magica. Though mainly would imagine that was due to the Urobuchi, Iwakami and Ota Q&A directly afterwards, all three of which are involved in those two franchises. The Q&A itself was much more interesting than the panel before it, though I guess the surprises that Aniplex dropped were kinda rad too, I guess. Funny story: I was standing in autograph line for Christopher Sabat on Sunday, when suddenly a stampede of roughly 1,000 cosplaying motherfuckers came into the isle next to us.It turns out that, compared to the modest 30 people in Sabat's line, that this was the priority line for people who get Steve Blum's autograph before anyone else. I think his autograph session was scheduled for two hours... what a trooper.
Marcus: First off, the new Dragon Age film screened by FUNimation was pretty bad. Not terrible, or even bad enough to rant about, but I just had a rather poor taste left in my mouth after watching that.
A couple of other cool stuff was shown this year, including some awesome Bakemongatari/Niseimonogatari goodness and the new Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood film. The thing, though, is that watching certain things with the wrong crowd of people at anime cons really dampens the experience. I like Bake/Niseimonogatari enough to watch it occasionally and laugh at some of the more witty moments, so long as I'm not surrounded by people who cite it as the greatest thing ever made. Oddly enough, that exact thing happened when I went to Aniplex's premiere of a few episodes from both series', and by the second episode in Niseimonogatari, I was done.
Something similar happened while watching FUNimation's screening of FMA:B: The Sacred Star of Milos... I really dig the franchise and all that jive n' junk (I'm not nearly as cynical as I make myself out to be, honest), but I was having trouble concentrating when other people in the audience started adding their own commentary, MST3K-style.]
But hey: episode 15 of Fate/zero was pretty tight!
JT: I got nothing.
JT: This year the dealer’s room and artist alley were combined into one very large room. It can be almost too much for some. The aisles were nice and wide with only a couple of spots that were congested. Mainly in front of the Nico Nico Douga live streaming booth. They should really think about moving that more towards the front or into the very back of the room. It’s normally a big draw to see yourself on TV and let Japanese people judge you in the form of comments. The thing that I would like to know is how big is this in Japan? Do thousands of Japanese people really go on here to see us make fools of ourselves?
To me, is seemed that this year’s dealers are getting taller. Since they can not expand out, they are expanding up. I swear some where over 15 feet tall. The wears this year were pretty standard flair. They did have to cute maids back again for a card game. It makes me smile seeing them. I’ll let you decide what I mean, because whatever you pick will be correct. I kind of feel sad about some of the info only booths there. There is always empty space to walk around those booths. The only complaint that I have is the same every year. Don’t take pictures of cosplayers in the dealer’s room. It clogs up the walking lanes and makes about 20 or more people have to stop and wait for you to get done.
Marcus: Josh honestly sums it all up: the expo hall is always the same each year, with the exception that they're always growing. Tanto Cuore was pretty fun last year, so I was glad that they had those maids again this year to make Josh happy.
The Artist Alley was really cool this year, too! i mean, I didn't have any money to buy anything... but it was tight nonetheless!
JT: Sakura-con always maintains a certain level of greatness. The con itself is run as smoothly as can be expected for its size. The biggest problem that I had was in registration. Since I had some troubles acquiring a pre-reg or press pass prior to the con. I had to resort to the most horrific registration line I have ever been in. The reason for such is because the room in the convention center that they used last year was now turned into the new artist alley. They set up registration in a room in the Grand Hyatt and pre-regs in a spot in the conference building. Needless to say, this wasn’t pretty. I arrived at the registration line just before 11am. At this time, the line was a block long. We had to travel down a city block, turn for another quarter of a block, and then we got inside. Once you are inside, the next part of the journey begins. At this point, we travel about half way into the hotel and take a right. For what I am expecting are fire codes, there is a large gap in between the lines. Once you are over the gap you have a nice snack bar where you can buy something to drink and eat. There is free water all over the place as well. Now you just travel a small amount of space and enter Room 1…of 2. Yes, that’s right. You travel all this way to get to the holding tank of the registration line. The line in Room 1 weaves all over the room. Once you survive in there, you are allowed to pass through to Room 2. Where as this room is set up in 8 straight lines. Each line had one person taking info and money. ONE. This is the room that took the longest amount of time to get through. After all was said and done, it took me till 4:30pm to get my badge. People in line tried everything they could to keep themselves entertained from yelling Marco, to singing, to yo-yo tricks, to clapping wildly when some actually got their badge. So remember the first rule of going to a con, always pre-register.
The layout was flipped all around from last year as well. I do believe in the long run that this will be a better layout overall. It gave some of the more popular things, like video game rooms and artist alley, more room to work in. I had a tough time with the modern video game room last year because of cramp space and poor layout. This year thou it was nice and open. Panels were moved to more of the not as much visited places of the convention center. Again, it was a good move. If I take out the awful wait to get in and transferred that time to enjoying the con more, I would have had an even better time.
Marcus: I really, really enjoyed this year at Sakura-Con. The panels were great, there were virtually no troubles in finding certain panels or times thanks to the new amazing mobile app (and one that I can't imagine not using years down the road), there was always stuff to do, whether it was catching up on an old anime series or hitting up a late-night panel where Todd Haberkorn and Leah Clark talk dirty to their guests. of course, one of the reasons I love conventions so much are the moments where you staying up, grabbing a bite to eat at Denny's with your friends in full cosplay, heading back to the hotel for a late-night video gaming, and then hitting the floor the next morning to do it all over again. Hanging out with people who share a similar interest... and even going to panels where similar interested people all gather to have fun (and in some ways, that includes those Bake/Niseimono and FMA:B screenings I went to) are what I really enjoy about cons. It's always awesome to meet new people, grab a slice of pizza with them and see each other at similar panels throughout the weekend. Late-night perusing is always a fun thing to do, and this year ended up being my favorite one since my very first con.
If any of you have never had a con-experience like this: do it. Doing the convention runs is always fun for you and any friends who'd like to pitch in, and even if you're anti-social to the point of avoiding eye-contact with your favorite voice actor, there's still bounds of fun to be had, on and off convention grounds. Try out going to a local anime convention, chip in for an overpriced tiny hotel room, and just have fun. There's nothing I love more than convention season, and this year was just a freaking blast.
So this past weekend was a busy one for conventions. With PAX East and Anime Boston both going on to cater to nerds on the east-coast, the west-coast had its fun with its one and only big choice for anime fans and nerds alike...
Great news from Viz Media's panel at Sakura-Con! The company announced on Saturday that they have acquired licensing rights to the Berserk Golden Age Arc film trilogy. We hear that they plan on releasing the series' first ins...
After tons and tons of begging, a US licensor has finally heard our plea. Aniplex USA announced today at its Sakura-Con panel that it had licensed the beloved Shaft anime Bakemonogatari and its follow-up Nisemonogatari. ...
It wouldn't be Sakura-Con without some new announcements from FUNimation! At today's panel, FUNimation announced that it had licensed sci-fi anime Shangri-La, the story of how a future Japan is turned into the world's largest...
Can't make it to Sakura Con? no problem! It was just announced that the streaming service Nico Nico Douga and its English language counterpart Niconico will live-stream Stereopony's Sakura Con performance taking place this Fr...
If you haven't heard any of the last couple of our wonderful podcasts, you might not know that I will be hosting a panel at Sakura-Con. It's a wonderful, glorious panel, filled with wonderful food, snacks, drinks, and most of...
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you yet another anime convention-related news report!
Sakura Con has recently added two more guests to its lengthy list of attendees: Atsuhiro Iwakami, producer of the hit anime series Puell...
Here is some awesome news for you people planning to go to Sakura-Con this April! The very awesome Stereopony will be performing as guests of honour, making attendance mandatory and travelling there absolutely worth it. It se...
Do you fine folks love Japan? Well, given that you're visiting a Japanese culture website, I'm going to assume your answer was at least a mild "Eh, it's okay". The reason that I ask is because I want to ask if the lot of you ...
Sorry, Sakura-con fans. Hate to break the news to you, but your 2010 convention has just gotten a little less awesome. Yasuhiro Imagawa, the director of G Gundam, has decided to pull out of the event so that he can get to wor...
That's really all that matters.I mean, it's got other stuff, like Vash, his red coat, his gun(s), his sunglasses, Milly, Meryl, a sci-fi western setting, guns, big dudes with padded shoulders, more guns, explosions, sandbags,...
Wow, I'm simply amazed. Sakura-Con is really pulling out all the stops.Their latest guest is Noizi Ito, the illustrator for the Haruhi and Shakugan no Shana series of light novels. Sakura-Con will mark Ito's debut in the Unit...
The con season is coming up, and with it the con news. Visitors to Sakura-con 2010 will not only have the honor of trembling before the presence of G Gundam/Giant Robo director Yasuhiro Imagawa, but also gain something not ev...
Originally slated to go to Anime Weekend Atlanta last year, Yasuhiro Imagawa canceled his appearance (likely due to the swine flu hullabaloo), leaving fans in the lurch. This manly man, director of G Gundam, Giant Robo and Sh...