Tag Archives: sakuracon

Mia’s Con Blog, Sakuracon Day 3

It’s the last day of the convention and I’m already feeling sad. Last days just bum me out.

Things are slow-going around the hotel room. We laze about a bit, watching TV and packing our bags and getting ready to check out. It just isn’t as much fun as arrival was. There is a line for the elevator. A line for the check out desk. A line to get down to the parking garage. I’d probably be feeling grouchy about all the lines if I wasn’t already kind of tired and depressed.

We eventually head over for a last hour or so at the convention center. We can’t stay long as we’ve got hours of driving ahead of us and work to prepare for in the morning.

Dang work, ruining our fun.

I stop by the Art Show room to pick up the picture I won from the auction. Technically I’m not supposed to get it until 1pm but they let me in anyway. I also take a last turn through the vendors’ hall, grabbing some Pocky to snack on (if you don’t know what Pocky is you are really missing out) and a few more business cards so I can buy more art later on.

Though the convention center is still pretty busy, there are a lot fewer people in costumes running about today. Maybe even the hardcore attendees are feeling a bit run down on this last day of Sakuracon.

Soon it’s time to say goodbye to friends, Seattle, and event craziness. I leave the convention center one last time with, I’ll admit, a bit of drag to my step. I pack myself into the car with my con buddies, ready to trek on home.

I wear my convention badge just a little bit longer than necessary, even after leaving the sight of Seattle behind in the rear view mirror. I want to retain the excitement of the weekend just a little bit longer I guess.

Don’t judge me.

So long Sakuracon. Thanks for a fabulous weekend and I’ll see you next year!

 

*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Panera Bread – I really need to just give in and get a frequent buyer’s card from this place as I’m eating there every time I’m in Seattle; the cheddar broccoli soup and Frontego chicken panini are just as good as I remember

Mia’s Con Blog, Sakuracon Day 2

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this ‘sleeping in’ business. It is delightful. I manage to sleep until at least 9:30am. Eventually I get up and ready for the day. I don’t have any specific panels in mind to see yet but there is shopping to be done in the vendors’ hall.

After breakfast and some running around in the rain, my con buddies and I finally make it to the convention center. It is quite a bit busier than Friday, yet still not to the level that Emerald City Comicon managed. I’m okay with that.

Our first stop is the Art Show, where original pieces are up for sale and auction. I bid on a tiny mash-up picture of Sailor Moon and Adventure Time. I also buy some postcards because they are adorable and I’m all about supporting independent artists. There are a couple of pictures I wish I had seen on Friday as they are already purchased. Bummer.

After the Art Show we head to the vendor area and I’m delighted to find a booth selling prints of the pictures that I couldn’t buy in the Art Show. One of my buddies finds a picture of President Taft in a bathtub perched atop a dinosaur. He can’t stop giggling about it for the rest of the weekend.

We wander amidst the aisles for a while, looking at artwork, picking up business cards, and buying prints. If I had all the time and money in the world I’d probably purchase everything I see. The artwork is just that good.

Eventually we leave the vendors’ hall with our hands full and our wallets not so much. We head to the AMV (anime music video) screening room to see some comedy videos. The audio is incredibly loud and not all of the AMVs are particularly funny, but it isn’t a bad way to spend an hour. Later we head outside to the garden area of the convention center. It’s chilly but has stopped raining and the place is bustling with activity.

Cosplayers are hanging out, smoking cigarettes and chatting with each other and posing for pictures. In the largest area of the garden a giant ring of people surrounds a smaller group who are happily kicking plastic bottles around. After they kick, they follow the direction the bottle is pointing and run over to hug whoever in the giant ring it is pointing at. That person than runs into the middle to kick at bottles and the game continues. I’ve seen this game played every year but I’ve never joined it. It’s fun to watch all the players laugh and yell and skip about and hug each other though.

Once the sun goes down it gets too cool in the garden so we head back inside to attend a voice actor panel. First we sneak into a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic panel, just to see what the hullaballoo is all about. There is a lot of singing and people in bright costumes and more singing and contests and – you guessed it – more singing. We last about ten minutes and then bail.

At the voice actor panel, all of the attending stars are there to read an original audio ‘play’ and give us a great idea of what it is like for them to do their job. Of course with so many on stage at once, sharing microphones and performing dual roles in some cases, a bit of chaos happens. It is delightful though.

We intend to attend another fanfic panel after midnight but it never happens. We head back to the hotel room for some drinks and a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, and end up passing out early. It really does seem like we are getting too old for late night adventures.

*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Specialty’s Bakery – found them right across from the hotel when searching for breakfast; had myself a giant breakfast sandwich with egg and cheddar on a ciabatta roll; unfortunately for my fellow eater their breakfast fruit cup was mostly melon, which neither of us are fond of
Umi Sake House – incredibly tasty sushi in a very interesting setting (the bathrooms are hidden behind a secret door built as part of a wall); I had a sake cocktail with lemon that was excellent, along with a Dragon roll that was extremely good

Mia’s Con Blog, Sakuracon Day 1

My con buddies and I get to the convention center before 10am. There are people wandering around already but only a few dozen. At least a third of them are in costume.

The first event of the day is the opening ceremonies. They’ve upgraded since last year and included multiple large TV screens so even those in the back of the room can see what’s happening on stage. I’m sitting toward the middle.

Taiko drumming, Kabuki players, greetings from special guests freshly arrived from Japan, and a rousing bit of karaoke with full audience participation kicks-off this year’s Sakuracon – the largest anime convention in the Pacific Northwest.

I get a little teary-eyed when the Consulate General of Japan comes on stage in traditional dress. Don’t ask me why. Happens every year.

After opening ceremonies I go walkabout. I can’t help but notice how different the space looks for this convention than it did for Emerald City Comicon a few weeks ago. There are less people shoving through the hallways and squashing themselves on to escalators. The rooms have been downsized to accommodate more and smaller panels. And the exhibition hall has been condensed into one big space instead of multiple giant spaces.

I spend some time in the vendor area, looking at rare animation cells (no one has $600 on them to loan me to take one home), original artwork, costumes and costume accessories (so many wigs!), board games and expansion packs, and action figures, models, and Japanese snacks. I buy very little. I still have two days after this one to blow all my money after all.

I attend two panels, neither with celebrities. Sakuracon has way more “fan panels” created by and for fans than celebrity sessions. A group of cosplayers led by Zapp Brannigan (Futurama) and including Home Simpson, Johnny Bravo, and Jamie Lannister (Game of Thrones) does their version of ‘Loveline.’ It is sometimes funny, sometimes awkward, and sometimes really bizarre.

Later some ladies read aloud the absolute worse fanfiction they can find. I’ve attended this panel the last four years in a row and never left before laughing until I cried. My only complaint is that it happens so late at night (12:30am this time around) because it is a ‘mature’ rated panel. As I get older staying up so late isn’t as easy as it used to be.

I’m not terribly surprised that as soon as the fanfic panels ends I’m back at the hotel and crawling into bed.

*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Pike Brewing Company – I think I have a problem, and it’s my addiction to the pulled pork sandwich at this brewery (so yummy!)
Ohana Tiki Bar – we ended up here because the place we were actually headed was closed, but it was not a waste of our time at all; had a giant mai tai (complete with festive umbrella!) and a sushi roll I can’t recall the name of but it was full of fish and crab and lightly fried and very tasty, also their gyoza were superb and the decor was delightfully over the top
Benihana – it was one of my friend’s birthdays so we dressed up a bit and headed to the Seattle Benihana location; it was loud and busy but fun and my Teriyaki chicken was tasty