Another long trip over, much fun was had. The worst part of these events is coming back from them, going back to the daily hustle and bustle of life is definitely less fun than any convention. Anyway, this would be a good time to go over how the trip went before I forget the finer details.
Some context I should probably note is that I headed down to Sakura-Con with 3 other friends and one of them drove us all there. We left Vancouver, BC at about 6AM in the morning and after some rest stops and crossing the border, we finally arrived at the parking lot we had booked a spot in to park at. The trip down took us a bit more than five hours and it was around noon by the time we got to the Sheraton hotel located next to the Seattle Convention Center. Our initial plans was to check-in and get our rooms, but we were told there was a wait for rooms and we should come back later. We left our bags at the bell desk for storage and decided to head over to the convention to kill some time and check it out.
Our first stop at the convention center would be the registration area. Even though the lines were fairly long, things were organized and we managed to get through the whole line and grab our passes in about twenty minutes which is quite efficient. Anime Revolution took me about an hour and a bit more to actually grab my pass for the event. Day one here was as packed as I thought it would be when it came to lineups since this room was constantly full during the time were there and even after we had left.
After grabbing our passes, we headed straight to the other part of the convention hall that houses Sakura-Con. Heading up to the fourth floor, we decided to go straight towards the main panel and dealers hall area. The convention center in Seattle is quite spacious and was bigger than I initially thought it would be, but this place does house PAX Prime, so it makes sense.
Heading into Exhibition Hall 4C, we get to the main panel area and closer to the dealers hall. Four rooms on the left and right serve as panel rooms and provide the standard array of panels as one would expect from a con.
Walking further down the hall leads to the sky walkway which goes into the dealers hall and artist alley. This area is where the majority of people could be found throughout the weekend and also probably where the best cosplays were found as well. It was around 1PM by the time we got here and we still had tons of time to kill before getting our hotel room.
Inside of the dealers hall area, we found a variety of stores. The store ranged from general anime goods to more specific interests such as artbooks and dakimakuras. I took a few pictures of the stores that were generally more interesting and had a lot of product on display. One store I didn’t initially think I would see was Manga Gamer, but they were there and had their full line up there to boot. The two maids there are Ally and Sally, I’ll discuss more about it in the later articles. One interesting thing I learned was that weapons could be sold as in Canadian conventions with katanas, swords, and even knives. The only difference is the need to peace bond a weapon after purchasing it.
Later on in the dealer hall area, I met up with two online friends: Puddi and Dark Sage from CryMore fame. After a brief introduction and a small chat we parted ways and decided to meet up later on in the day after we dropped our things off at the hotel room and get settled down here. We’ll have more posts about the fun adventures we had throughout the convention, as we spent quite a bit of time together.
After walking around for a bit, we got tired and decided to go see if the hotel room was ready. We dropped by and were told the room was not yet ready and they would give us a call when it was. We went out to the local mall and grabbed some food, just as we got there, we got the call letting us know our room was ready. It was already around 3PM by the time we got this call and it would be almost 4PM by the time we actually got settled down in our room.
We headed straight to the main stage after getting settled down to watch the AMV contest. We only managed to stay for the more interesting categories before heading out to grab dinner and to meet up with some people that were friends with one of the other group members. This would be the only non fast food meal I would have this week and it would be Pho. I had no problems with the food, but the service was lackluster and two people were slowly serving a packed restaurant.
Coming back from the Pho place, one of my friends whom I will codename “Kyubey”, went with me to grab some groceries at the local IGA supermarket and prepare for the rest of the night. After grabbing some drinks and snacks we headed to Dark Sage and Puddi’s room for some time to get to know each other. We hung out in the room for about an hour or so and discussed many topics including anime, fansubbing, and even IRC drama.
After some lengthy discussion, we headed back into the convention center to check out what the night life there was like. The first event we went to was the dance/rave. At first, there was one DJ that was fairly good, but soon after he was replaced by another that basically did nothing on the board at all.
Due to the DJ and lack of good music, we headed to the nighttime karaoke room where open mic was going on. Of course, I can’t really sing to save my life, so I passed on any opportunity to even attempt to sing. However, Puddi was brave enough to go up and sing a song. He’s a pretty good singer to say the least. We were in this room chatting and watching people sing until around 1AM at night, at which time we decided to call it a night.
Some pictures of cosplays I either found interesting or they provided a good photo opportunity.
The spoils of the first day of Sakura-Con 2014. Yes, I did spend around $200 in just one day. I ended up purchasing the third Madoka movie since I had bought the first two movies at Anime Revolution last year. In addition, I also picked up two Key artbooks for Rewrite and Little Busters! Ecstasy.