Zechs gives you a look into his adventures at the anime convention of Seattle, Washington.
Author's Note: You'll have to excuse me. I still haven't fully uploaded all my Sakura-Con pictures due to digital camera issues with the memory card not being able to load on my pc including day 3, several pictures from day 1-2, plus myself and Lucy cosplaying. I've been ordered I will fave horrible death or torture if I post the later on the net if I do eventually make it work. So no pictures!
However thankfully Lucy did load some of my day 1-2 pictures right before I left Seattle, Wa. So very much thanks to Lucy for that.
This was a unique experience for me. I've been to two previous select type of conventions before. The first being my former college's gaming convention, CoD Con. It was a nice small thing and I utterly enjoyed it for what it was, playing to the wee hours of the morning having fun with friends and other people who adore gaming. Then I upgraded to comic convention of Wizardworld Chicago. That was a true pleasure onto itself getting autographs from my favorite comic book creators. So here I am going to yet another one of my favorite things, anime/manga.
Now honestly I didn't know what to expect. It surprised me though how much of a rare treat I was in for. How that all started was learning that the convention would hold the world premiere of Trigun: Badlands Rumble and several other premieres debuting there. The guests also held my interest (primarily 25% of the Homunculus from the original English Voice Cast of Full Metal Alchemist would be there and having a panel).
There be one more added bonus to this all, well somewhat. Unlike previous conventions for one day I went totally in cosplay (aka dressing up as a character), which would be my first time (I cosplayed as Kisuke Urahara from the anime/manga Bleach in his Captain's garb. I honestly wanted to do this twice, but alas my costume wasn't the best made (the straw shoes where very brittle and my actual Captain's cloak was very cheaply made. Namely the number on the back and actual parts of the costume where very loose and by the first day they where coming off the suit). Regardless, I wanted to enjoy the thrill of what it felt like to actually cosplay and do this with my girlfriend (who cosplayed as a nameless lower level Shinigami from Bleach).
On the first day aka me and her standing in the pre-registration line for Thursday it was an intriguing thing to behold. It only took us an hour to get our actual badges (unlike previous next days where I heard the lines where insane and lasted six hours). It was very amusing hearing people scream out, “Marco!” followed by “Polo!”, how badly people lost, “the game”, or people high fiving each other as the line progressed. Though the real interesting was talking to the people in front and behind learning their stories and how they got here. The person in back of me had just arrived from the airport and hadn't even checked into his hotel yet, deciding to go straight to the con instead for example. Or the person in front of us looking for his lady friend who had arrived later then he did and learn what he was cosplaying as. In the end it was a very interesting start up to the convention.
The second day and actual first full day of the convention was something truly to behold. It was my only day of cosplaying for one alas. Also I was curious to see what I witness throughout the day. The first thing I noticed was the looks myself and my girlfriend got while getting to the convention site (we had to venture outside the actual convention zone area and take the choice of two buses aka the 550 or 554 to get where we wanted. It was interesting to note some of the people actually shouted, “Hey it's two Shinigami from Bleach.” When we arrived to the actual center it was truly a sight to behold. Just hordes of people most dressed up in costume walking around the convention floors (there where four levels). Almost instantly I found myself staring at someone else cosplaying as Urahara, but in his more usual form. It was interesting to note that I was the only one who chose that version. So yeah for originality, but yuck for the effort.
Honestly I cannot tell you how much I hated the wig I was forced to wear because it didn't fully cover my head at times. But the times I got it to look the way I did I recall several people asking me to be at the Bleach cosplayers that where aseembling on Saturday. Alas, due to costume malfunctions (namely my shoes breaking on Friday and then my Captains jacket looking more worser for wear) I decided to just not cosplay anymore for the rest of the convention. Still, I did have an awesome time cosplaying as Urahara and just wish my costume was more damn functional. Also seeing Lucy in Shinigami outfit was great too and that's all I'll say on that issue for fear of her hunting me down for talking about it and how my insanely perverse mind well does what it does best.
Though when we attempted to go see the first showing of Trigun: Badlands Rumble. As we both assumed it was next to impossible to probably see it and we arrived an hour early and the line was already insane. We both knew this possibility, so we waited for the next day to see the movie (I will have an actual movie review posted later on this week). The day ended with some gaming of the non anime kind (Munchkin the card game blenderized actually) and with that day one ended.
Day two was more of the same though we started it in our regular clothes and decided not to cosplay. We caught the Trigun movie and went an hour earlier again this time getting ahead of what turned out to be an insane two line wait. Why two? Because you had to wait to check things in (cell phones, bags, coats, and cameras) due to the people behind the convention didn't want this film to be pirated easily to the net. The other was the actual line for the movie. Thankfully a dude cosplaying as Old Snake made things somewhat entertaining as he first stalked a military cosplayer around in what was a hilarious sketch before in character waited in line with the box over him before checking that in.
After the movie, we spent most of the time in the vendor section where we both spent a ton of money on (Lucy bought me a Ryomou Figma action figure, while I a Roy Mustang action figure for her). We ran into some real interesting cosplayers during that time period and while she didn't bring a camera I did (you'll see some of these folks in the cosplay thread when I get a chance to upload them).
We then decided to separate since she wanted to continue seeing what goodies where at the vending and I went to see the Anti-Alchemist Panel from the voice actors above (Chris Patton who played Greed, Wendy Powell who voiced Envy, and Luci Christian who was Wrath). Vic Mignogna (the English voice actor of the series' protagonist Edward Elric) naturally crashed the panel with some choice words. Not soon after Vic joined in to the rouse of fans, Brina Palecina (the voice of Nina Tucker on the series) stepped onto the stage as well and the panel became more a Full Metal Alchemist panel.
The actors discussed their roles on both Full Metal Alchemist series (though Patton wouldn't confirm by penalty of death if he be reprising his role for Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood). Luci stated numerous times she couldn't do much active events at the convention save for the autographs and panels due to the fact she was pregnant.
Most of the questions asked where of how to get into the voice acting business. The more amusing items that happened in the panel was when Vic stated of Roy Mustang wearing a mini skirt, an actual cosplayer jumped wearing said attire to the shock and horror to the actor. Another was a Mario from Super Mario Brothers cosplayer in total Mario accent asked them twice a question to which the entire panel and crowd split a gut. In all Wendy Powell and Vic seemed the most into the fan-base with the former even calling out this writer stating to stop taking her damn picture at the panel or else she be forced to start taking some of me.
The second day ended with some more gaming (Munchkin) and a fine home cooked meal from Lucy. It was after leaving the con I was greeted by a man at the bus stop who walked up to me extending his hand and shaking it, before an awkwardly long pause from him before stating he wanted some money. Then after a no, another awkwardly long pause before he kept trying to get money from me which I again stated no. Not soon after he left that another homeless man who was using the bus stop as a small break area and his own little stage as he sung a loud tune before passed out. I guess so because given I was distracted by the man above we didn't even know of the other until someone ran across the street wondering if the dude was alright before calling the police we assume. By that time our bus came and we left the area. After that little event, we decided to call it a night and not venture to the night events of the convention (Munchkin Midnight, Where Bad Fanfic Goes to Die, or Cosplay Ball). Though we discussed it much in the end we decided to go to the convention for the final day given the weather had ended whatever chances we could for our original plans for that day.
On arrival the final third day we decided not to get much of anything at the vendors unless it was a good deal (and utterly failed though Lucy did find some nicely priced sketches of Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin which she bought). We found a ton of cosplayers which we took a ton of pictures of. I will say it wasn't the most crowded of days, but there where still a ton of people there. About the only two things we did differently that day was attend together two panels. One of which was my personal favorite of the entire convention, the cosplay chess.
Now pretty much cosplay chess is as it sounds. You have people dressed in cosplay and in character being the usual chess pieces. For the one I viewed on one side you had Jesus Christ as the King, some female warrior I have no idea but I assume is from Soul Caliber as Queen, Toast, Kenshin, the Pope, Jill Valentine, and Samus from Metroid for one group and the other was the Leader of Team Rocket as the king, four underlings in Team Rocket gear as his pawns, Death, Psycho Mantis, someone who I have no idea as his queen, several Team Fortress cosplayers (the Assassin, Sniper, and I believe Engineer where both rooks and a bishop), Old Snake (the exact one from above during the Trigun event from Saturday) was another bishop, and several others who where ousted before we arrived. I have to admit that cosplayers of Jesus, Giovanni, Toast, and Old Snake stole the show.
Just what did they do? Well Jesus hugged everyone into submission with the power of love. Giovanni always cheated to attain his knocking a piece off or bad mouthed whenever one of his lost. Then there was Toast and Snake pretty much doing crazy antics (Snake tried eating Toast when the later got removed , also beat Death and dragged Jill Valentine away after taking her out in classic Metal Gear Solid style). The best joke was for the finale when it was between Jesus and Giovanni with the former “resurrecting” his entire crew to win.
The last event we both saw for the day was a panel called, “Has Your Anime Jumped the Shark?” it was pretty much one dude going over several lists on what ruined an anime for fans. Some of the topics where, a character dying, the actual end to an anime/manga, continuation of a story ie second season, has any anime not jumped the shark?, movie, OVA, and etc., story has gone nowhere or just become a jumbled mess, really bad English Translation, annoying characters, and has any anime become horrible yet return to its former glory in the end? which is how the panelist ended the segment. Some of the anime discussed in all of this where Trigun. Rurouni Kenshin, Bleach, Death Note, Digimon, 4kids, Pokemon, Naruto, Gundam 0080, Gundam 00, and several others.
It was an intriguing panel that discussed some things intelligently, though it did degrade into bashing of certain anime just a tad bit because of the crowd, the panelist did recover his main arguments and points. Regardless, of the flaws it still was an intriguing panel. I really hope that if I ever see it again (the panelist said that this would be a feature at future conventions) that it is expanded and that he himself goes after the subjects and less fan response for the most part. That and for the panelist to just get a simpler camera and not turn it off and on every few moments. At least that's what I think he was doing, that he was recording the people responding to his segments.
And with that ended my four days at Sakura Con 2010. I have to say it was in the end a very worth wild endeavor. If I ever return to it I do so want to see more panels (namely the Twilight bashing one they had there, and Mature Cosplay Chess), and Futurama fan panels which I heard where perfection. I do so want to try again to see this convention next year unless Lucy wants to come over to the Chicago convention. Regardless, I will be attending whatever anime convention with her just to see the looks next year when she cosplays as Bleach creator, Tite Kubo holding a sign saying, “They see me Trollin and they be hattin.” As for me? I have no firm idea in place save for someone close to who I look like. Say Aizen from Bleach or Light of Death Note fame. Eh screw it.. the only characters worthy to cosplay are DOOM and COBRA COMMANDER!