I didn’t take any pictures at the convention, so there is only what I am writing here to talk about.
Before the Convention
It’s been a while since I went to an anime convention. I mean, the last convention I went to was Sakura-con 2019 before the pandemic. It really feels like the world has completely changed since then considering how COVID shook up everything. That’s ok. I wanted to go at least one day and I was not sure if I was going to be able to do it this year because funding is a thing. Luckily, I was able to get a press pass this year so I had to plan my work week accordingly to make sure that I can go.
So I woke up early today on Saturday after going to bed much earlier than I usually do because I was exhausted from working the previous few days. It is a tiring job and it makes going to sleep easy. I woke up, ate breakfast and watched the episode of Aoashi that came out today because it comes out early on Saturdays. Then I got dressed, prepared some things like a backpack, phone charger, water bottle, and then drove out to the closest light rail station that has an inlet into Seattle. As of writing this opening part, that’s where I am right now.
Would I have an easier time just driving into Seattle? Even on a good day, I don’t know if that would be the case. I mean, Saturday traffic is usually much more tolerable then week day traffic unless there is a Seattle Sports game because suddenly everyone wants to get into Seattle (not sure about covid conditions). But this way, I can enjoy the nice view of the local area without having to drive into it.
I find a cheaper parking ticket and that great view for about 20 or so minutes a pretty good pay off then a much more expensive parking ticket in who knows where Seattle. Absolutely do and I am not sure if I can park my car safely in Seattle anymore either. So after making it to my stop, it’s going to be a bit of a short walk and then straight into the convention to pick up my badge. Should be easy enough considering that it’s a very linear walk. We shall see about all of this though. There are always more surprises.
Around Seattle Pre-Convention
Ok, it’s been a little bit of a time and the convention doesn’t open until 10 am. I showed up at 8:30 this morning, so I had some time to quickly get my press badge and then wander around the city. Seattle is currently having a protest outside of a Starbucks for union busting and go them. I just wanted to go there so I can enjoy the wifi and put the e for the convention on my Chromebook because my phone is going to be sitting in wait until then.
Seattle is an interesting place to have that protest because there is literally another Starbucks a shorter distance away from the convention center that has no protesters at all. They are making a statement, but they should have planned to go to all of the places at one if they wanted to protest it better. I don’t know what else to say about it though. It worked at an amazon, so I hope it works here too.
Just being around the convention area is so much fun. Everyone is masked as is requirements and no people can just wander in and get a pass, so it’s been cut off the pre-registrations but there are a lot of people here. It’s so cool to see all the wandering cosplay around because no other place can feel so otherworldly than a convention. I feel happy to recognize most of them. I guess I am somewhat up to date with my weeb stuff considering that I wanted anime seasonally. Seems to be a very well secure and well checked convention so far too.
The Convention Itself
Watch 70’s Anime
Two expert anime fans talk about different anime series from different famous people in the 1970’s year by year. I mean it. They basically list some series that sound fun and interesting with some obscure stoff. It’s a good time though. A pretty crowded little panel here with people who really know their stuff talking about all of these anime. The panel is lead by female and male couple and it’s just really cool. I know a lot of these titles, but I don’t know everything that came out from the 70’s so it’s just generally excellent here too.
And I really mean that. It’s some very fun times with an audience that wants to know more and listen so there is some good audience to panel runner things here too. I like that well enough here too. Just beware of things produced by Knack which don’t know what they are doing. The panelist recommended a lot of Dezaki, Go Nagai, Takahata, Tatsunoko, Miyazaki, Tomino, Nagahama, Matsumoto, and Tezuka anime from that period. If you have a short amount of time to explore anime from the 70’s, these named people did some great work in this series.
This panel is what led me to purchasing Daltanious. Pretty excited to watch it in the future.
Talking Bebop with Spike and Faye
This was a Q&A panel with Steven Blum and Wendy Lee focused on Cowboy Bebop. I mean, of course that makes sense right? It’s in the title. But yeah, they were there and apparently they haven’t been together since before the pandemic, so this brother and sister like combination came together again. For me, Q&A panels are usually pretty bad because the questions random people ask panelists are pretty bad. But for the most part, this was pretty good here.
Or maybe its from Steve and Wendy’s experience that they sounded good. Steve and Wendy have a great chemistry together and they did give whole hearted and longer answers that made the questions feel pretty intelligent even if they weren’t. I mean, they have been doing panels for a long time and you can tell that sort of experience when they told their stories of how they got selected and how their voice careers are going. Along with the cycle of working and not working and that works well here as well. It was great.
Promare Panel with Johnny Yong Bosch
It was supposed to be focused on Promare, but it was Johnny Yong Bosch answers some questions about all sorts of characters that he’s played and how he connects with them. All great and stellar stuff. It really feels like he does connect with his characters and how he actually looks at all the works he watches compared to some older voice actors who don’t. Very fun and personable person there too who is very lively with his audience. It’s kind of incredible there too. Also, he is a Lio and Gallo shipper himself and also a figure collector of his characters. I love it.
Venus Wars Watch Along
This is nothing more than checking out Venus Wars in a theater room with other people. I have never watched it before, but I wanted to for the longest time so now I am. I will not say anything about it now and will write a more detailed thing at a later day too. It is within my genre of things to watch and enjoy and that is why I wanted to see it. Especially if it is right in front of me for free without me having to buy a blu-ray disc or anything. All I had to do was go to a convention which was cheaper for me than other people.
It was a bit harder to watch things in this screening room. Part of the reason is that I chose a corner seat and not one directly in front of the screen. Other reasons are the small bit of con noise in the background because the door was open and the fact that people constantly walked in and walked out which is very unlike a movie theater. But, I wanted that experience and I got it. I mean, it’s not like I was distracted from what watching so I was able to take it in. It all worked out.
Around the Convention
Now, I did go around the convention alone and I didn’t see anyone I recognized or thought I would meet because there are a lot of people wearing masks and having fun at this convention, but I had a lot of fun. Even if I didn’t talk to a lot of people because everyone kept to their own groups or to themselves, there is an energy here at the convention that cannot be missed at all. I mean, just having people sitting around in cosplay doing uncharacteristic things is enough to say something about life at Sakura-con 2022 or conventions in general.
One event that I particularly liked is just having an inflatable Pikachu vs an inflatable green among us character just fighting each other. They appeared right in the large space in front of the Exhibition center. Crowds went wild and suddenly there was music playing. It was an absolutely magical moment that could only happen in that sort of environment. It was fun. There was a small bit of an encore with a red vs green among us characters who faced off, but it wasn’t very long. I love conventions.
Conventions are where people’s passions meet and you can see that. There was even a bit more fun this time with a small pep band like group outside with people in cosplay. Some really cool energy there that only comes from a convention even though they didn’t feel directed very well or as tight as they could be. I wish I could have taken one of their trumpets and played with them and maybe have taught them a thing or too. But apparently there is a concert of people in small pep band groups with that marching band energy going around in Seattle and I want to see more about it.
Then there is the video game room which I didn’t spend much time in. But it looked like a lot of fun. Had a lot of different arcade games from Japan with the sort of rhythm games and such. One of the DDR Games was under repair for being used too hard and that is amazing to me. Not just to see the insides of it, but the fact that someone was repairing it so you can see some of the simple inside functions. Then there was another sort of actual dance pad competition too. Amazing. I really just like being here.
General Thoughts of My Time at Sakura-con 2022
In general, the convention was just a lot of fun. I mean of course with the energy and passion of people wearing cosplay or not throughout it just wanting to celebrate anime in the way they want to. I didn’t make it to any cosplay contests or AMV contestants, but it was fun regardless. There is plenty to go to and to do. It’s a very well organized con even if I just got permission to have my press badge last Monday. So they were pretty last minute, but I am sure they did it to put in as many details as they could there too. If I went with a group, it would have been better so I would have someone to talk to, but I wasn’t the only solo person.
Next time, I want to make my trip a little better and a little longer. I wish I had more time and probably a bit more money saved away for a convention trip. I honestly did not know I was going to even make it to Sakura-Con until last Monday because of the pass situation. Having a press pass allowed me to go there and I made it without having to spend more then $100 for one day, which is kind of astonishing from how conventions usually cost and go. I did have a little cheat because I used this blog to get a press pass, but it worked out for me. Next time, I will plan better and hopefully there will not be a pandemic anymore. Anyway, thanks for reading.