Overview impressions of Sakura-Con 2013
With Sakura-Con 2013 being my third Sakura-Con and the weather being favorable. This year was another enjoyable year. The variety and skill of the cosplays at Sakura-Con 2013 was, again, impressive., thus satisfying one of the main reasons I love attending Sakura-Con. Even though the guest list wasn’t as many as many stated, the guests present at Sakura-Con 2013 were great. Regarding guests for Sakura-Con 2013, Haruna Luna, Aoi Eir, Kawahara Reki (the creator of Sword Art Online & Accel World) and Toshihiro Kawamoto caught my attention and it was quite an experience to be able to interview all four guests. Due to the lack of resources, I had to limit the events covered, guests interviewed, and cosplay photography. However, while going from one event to another or outside of the main events & interviews, I managed take photos of a few cosplays that caught my attention. Day 0 After half a day of traveling, I arrived in Seattle and decided to walk around to get a feel for the event and pick up my badge while checking out the registration area at around 1:00PM. I noticed ANCEA introduced a Registration line for non-registered attendees. As a result, the pre-registration & registration lines looked reasonably efficient. Based on what I noticed, I hope ANCEA will continue or improve the use of the current registration system. With me being satisfied, I went back to my hotel and to do a few impromtu photo shoots. Day 1 With Sakura-Con 2013 beginning, I decided to head over to the Exhibitor’s area and get a sneak peak of what is in for attendees. Here’s a small look into what I found while strolling.
From there, I decided to head over to the Opening Ceremonies and leave the opening of the Exhibitor’s area, since both occurred at 10:00AM. During the Opening Ceremonies, the President of ANCEA made his introduction and welcome statement followed by an MMD movie, live performances and introductions of guests.
With the end of the Opening Ceremonies, I decided to use Day 1 to focus on cosplay photography and enjoying Sakura-Con. As I went about enjoying the atmosphere and taking photos of cosplayers, I decided to check out the Sword Art Online cosplay contest, hosted by Crunchyroll. It was great knowing the contest also rewarded cosplayers who are into the series. You’ll see what I mean when you look through the photos.
After the contest, I again went wandering around the convention and doing small impromtu shoots of cosplayers.
As the Day 1 progressed into the evening hours, I decided to cover the Dance at the Main Stage area. Overall the music was not bad and the atmosphere was not bad.
As the day continued into the later hours, I decided to head back and get ready for Day 2. Day 2 After an enjoyable first day of Sakura-Con, I had my first interview with Toshihiro Kawamoto, well known for his animation work in Cowboy Bebop including the Gundam Universe (Mobile Suit Gundam to Mobile Fighter G Gundam) and Macross Plus. If you are interested in the press interview with Toshihiro Kawamoto, please read the interview Toshihiro Kawamoto @ Sakura-Con 2013. I lined up for the signing event with Kawamoto and managed to get my copy of Macross Plus signed.
I decided to head to the Exhibitors’ area to check out what was going on with a few industry booths and the goods for sale. After my stroll through the Exhibitors’ area, I attended Kawahara’s Q&A panel and because of the conflict events, I unfortunately had to miss out on the Sword Art Online event at the Aniplex booth, so I don’t have photos from that event. However, I have photos from the Q&A panel and signing. Luckily, I managed to get a seat in the Sword Art Online Dub Premier with Kawahara Reki, Eir Aoi and Luna Haruna. During the introductions for the Dubbing Premiere, we were introduced to the English voice actor for Kirito.
During the concert, I had a great time,. Even though I spent most of my time behind my camera taking photos, I couldn’t get over how enjoyable the concert was. The opening song, a cover of Connect by ClarisS with the ending song as a cover of Crossing Fields by LiSA with Haruna and Aoi. It was amazing and I finally knew what it is like to be at a real live performance.
With the end of the concert, I went to Haruna Luna’s and Aoi Eir’s signing session, which went on for 3 hours! I was amazed and grateful of Luna’s and Eir’s determination and enthusiasm to sign every single person’s item, despite their fatigue from their live performance, not too long ago, and possible jet lag, with every last person in the line-up leaving with their items signed. During my wait, I saw Vic Mignogna was being interviewed by The-O Network Online and couldn’t help but snap a shot. I stayed behind and thanked both Luna and Eir for their commitment, even though I would interview them the next day.
With the signing event over at the time at about 1:00AM. I decided to call it a night, and prepare for the interviews with Kawahara Reki, followed by Haruna Luna with Aoi Eir. Day 3 In the morning, I had the interview with Kawahara Reki, followed by Haruna Luna and Aoi Eir. Both interviews went smoothly and as press. We learned a bit of interesting facts and asked the guests questions relating to their works. During Kawahara’s interview, we were asked not to take photos and as a result. I do not have photos from Kawahara’s interview. However, I do have photos of Eir’s and Luna’s interview. If you are interested in reading Kawahara’s and/or Eir’s and Luna’s press interview, please read the following articles; Press Interview with Kawahara Reki @ Sakura-Con 2013 & Aoi Eir & Haruna Luna Post Live Interview @ Sakura-Con 2013
As the interviews ended one after another, I walked away with a better appreciation of Kawahara Reki, Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna, as I was able to know a bit more of who they are and finding out certain things about them. It was quite an interesting feeling. With all of my interviews completed, I wanted to enjoy what was left of Sakura-Con by taking more cosplay photos and checking out the Exhibitors’ area.
As the convention wound down to final hours. I headed off to the Closing Ceremonies to end the event.
Just like last year, overall, I had an enjoyable time. Even though I was working as press and covering as much as I can, there was a lot to cover for one person and I feel I missed quite a bit. However, it is one of the feelings that makes me want to go back to Sakura-Con and attend Anime Conventions in general. I hope to attend as a member of Press again, to bring you more coverage.