Sakura-Con 2014: Wrap

It came and went, never overstayed its welcome in my attention span/brain-space or whatever that keeps me focused. Just like a nice, well-rounded, colorful single origin roast. Also kind of regretting not buying all these coffee/chocolate while I was at those shops on Thursday. Because, man, it’s not like NYC doesn’t have great coffee or chocolate, but it’s different than what Seattle has to offer.

And that’s kind of like Sakura-Con in a nutshell. It’s a great con, I think, and I kind of like it. The guests are what they are, but the crowd has a nice positive buzz, it’s both laid back and yet pretty focused. It feels so funny seeing the people going around asking for autographs at the Guest Dinner because it feels so unnatural, and it’s probably the weirdest moment for me at the con.

The 4chan im@s panel is second. Clearly animeweedlord loves his idols and when I spotted him walking down the street in his casual Yayoi cosplay on Sunday it kind of sums up Sakura-Cn for me in a nutshell. Again.

Of course, the guests do make a big dent on my enjoyment. Having four A-1 animators means invariably some of them are going to be involved in Anim@s, and in this case we have the talented Akai Toshifumi. Masunari Kouji is there too, but I like him more for other stuff, like Welcome to the Space Show or Read or Die and the like. But he also did anim@s.  Adachi Shingo is great sport for hanging out along with Akai, I guess the two are real life friends while at it.

The Guest Dinner is also a big deal in my overall experience in that I was able to talk to people like Ishikawa Yui, the Pony Canon producer, or the Fuji TV producer outside of a panel, because catching panels for a dozen JP guests is such a pain. I even sat down for Ohata Koichi as he talked shop about Hayao Miyazaki. It was interesting. And I got to pester Nagahama again! Totally asking for a sketch of Iron Man next time I get the opportunity LOL.

The fellowship of fellow nerds is also a big deal. Saw Ally & Sally again. Most of the West Coast gang. Some East Coast guys. Great food and great company make a great time, as you would expect. Still I missed out a chance to catch Sixten! That’s the only guy missing out.

To that end, there’s also great music. Elisa has some pretty solid singing going on for her, despite this whole “English-exotic” imagery they have. She’s very warm and personable, if a tad “on her own pace.” Very cool customer.

I wish I have the set list but it’s something like:

  1. ebullient future
  2. Realism
  3. World God Only Knows
  4. Soba ni iru yo
  5. Wonder Wind
  6. Millenario
  7. HIKARI
  8. Mononoke Hime (a capella short version)
  9. euphoric field
  10. (encore?) Do You Remember Love

This is a really vague guess based on old memory so LOL. [Updated via animate.tv]

eleee-saaa

Her rendition of Mononoke Hime is great. The story goes that it’s her first anime that her grandmother got her, and she loves this song.

Her MCs are also really long. I guess that’s just how it is.

Sakura-con is also kind of like my blog the past six months–it’s awfully like IM@S. The two IM@S panels aside, because when you bring over like four people who works with A-1 and Aniplex, one or more is bound to have worked on their anim@s product. So the end result is my loot pile.

命 indeed.

loot sidewaps

  • BTW “Yuiberries” LOL
  • BTW #2: Anyone wants those GSC exclusive Cinderella Girls petit nendo + stage set? Turns out I have it after all! Now I have 2. [Update: A Digi Kerot has claimed it]
  • Not included is the Sakura-Con x ELISA t-shirt, which I got as a “con” memento. The con tees are all pretty nice actually, but meh.
  • And because I rotated the image, upside-down Yamada is just horizontal.

Cosplay: A little better than average East Coast but surprisingly not so different in both quality and type. There were a few more “otaku” characters. Like an Anzu. And team weedlord. Otherwise nothing really too special as far as what I can tell. The Anime Boston Mako bancho was better than the Sakura-Con Mako bancho, if it means anything. Both are still awesome.

Back to more IM@S. I think Adachi is kind of a closet uhhhh let’s just say he really likes Yamada and not so much Asuna, and is an IoriP. I asked him during the “live sketch” panel. Akai said “DD” but I think in Ogistar he puts down Miki/Kotori. So whatever; Akai’s workspace has a Nishigori movie visual posted. And he did go to both days at SSA. So if anything I know he knows “the feels.” (You can kind of see it in the full size picture.)

20140419_164159

There’s even a follow-up on the Ogi-star Memories/Backstage M@ster story. So there were actually several print mistakes between the first run and the current run, including Masunari’s profile being the wrong one? I forgot exactly what Masunari said but his profile got switched with someone else’s, and the new one is missing something from Nishigori’s page. I don’t know if he remembered the specifics but he said something to that extent.

There was a charity auction. There was Range Murata–I attended both of his panels in part, but he’s his usual self, just like how I remembered it from AX 2004. As usual Murata’s pieces fetched real high prices, although this time I think Titan did pretty well too. I don’t know because I only heard second-handedly as I traveled back home.

Koyama Mami is a nice older lady with a stamp! If you do stamps with your shikishi, you are instantly awesome in my book. Also, her lines are tiny. :(

I talked with producer Kinoshita at the guest dinner. He did a study abroad program with… I want to say LIU? So he was in NY and that’s when he first saw anime as sort of a thing he could do. I guess someone showed Akira in class, and that was the trigger.

It’s a similar story with the noitanimA guy, who spoke really good English. He talked about how he feels about working on the various Leiji Matsumoto shows as a 30-40something growing up. Really touching story about how Yamato 2199 was for him.

Anyway, I think I want this con wrap-up to be short. So let’s finish with Ms. Yuiberries. Ishikawa is pretty much as you expect, except I think unlike many other seiyuu of her age (early 20s) she’s a little more “alive.” Fairly talkative and approachable, she’s probably in a crossroad place in her career but that Titan thing is pushing things along? I have hopes for her. And yeah, she’s very cute, in a Japanese next-door-girl kind of way, and yet really distinctive looking. Hard to put my fingers on it.

PS. Yui Ishikawa’s photos here.

PPS. Here’s a quote from a happy customer about the Elisa photograph session “Line was kind of long, but they were really pushing people through. You got to sit in a chair next to her and she held my arm and leaned in for when they took the pic. []I’m sure she’s pretty tired, but she was really warm and friendly the whole time.”


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