Friday, April 16, 2010

Sakura Con Coverage - Day 1

This year, I represented Moon Chase at Sakura Con. I arrived too late on Friday morning to catch the opening ceremonies, so I took the chance to walk around the convention centre a little, including a sneak peek at the Dealers' room. Although the dealers were still setting up for the most part, it was interesting to get a preview of the variety of products that would be available for sale later. As I've seen at other conventions, there were plenty of manga graphic novels, plushies, figurines, and more. I noticed there were also a lot of T-shirts available, from a few different vendors, and there were a few artists in the exhibitors' hall selling their artwork. There were definitely plenty of products that would attract a variety of congoers later, when the exhibition hall was publicly opened.

The pre-registration wait times this year were about two hours for congoers. Total attendance was 18002, which is surprisingly only a 9% growth from the previous year. The convention was busy and full of people at all times (including quite a few Sailor Moon cosplayers!), yet there were never lineups to get into rooms and rarely was a room too full to allow more congoers to go in. I also thought the automated video rooms were a great idea for maintaining scheduled airings.

After the Kabuki panel (see below), the dealers' room was officially open. I went again then, with my boyfriend, to see everything set up and check out what new and different things were available for sale. I also got the chance to meet Jesse from Zannen, Canada (currently on hiatus).

Kabuki with Kent and Todd:
Led by Kent William, the panel was not merely a discussion of Kabuki, but an interactive panel that encouraged audience participation. Quite a few audience members put on costumes provided, and everyone was given a fan to practice with. Todd, with full Kabuki makeup, participated along with the audience volunteers in acting out a short sketch from Sleeping Beauty. The way that emotions were represented by using hand movements, head movements, and the use of a fan was intriguing. This is the type of panel that I would love to see more of in the future at anime conventions. It encourages audience participation and is a lot of fun to watch.

Funimation Sneak Peek:

This was primarily a collection of previews of upcoming releases from Funimation, including the recent Evangelion revival.

Masquerade Ball:
Attendees were encouraged to dress up for this event, and there were many who donned formal wear and wore masks. Earlier there had been a workshop available to teach attendees how to waltz, and quite a few couples were waltzing on the dance floor. The music selection was interesting, if a little random. It included songs from Phantom of the Opera, Final Fantasy, and Evanescence.

Silver Millennium Today:
Although I arrived a little late to this panel, there was an animated and almost non-stop discussion of Sailor Moon. the audience was particularly interested in discussing the Sailor Stars season, which was never dubbed for North American audiences. The lead panelist was very engaging and used a lot of humour to share information and opinions.

The discussion was so continuous that I didn't get a chance to say hello to any of our readers who might have been at the panel or share our manga survey results. Sorry, fans! I hope you had fun anyway.

I did speak to the panelists for a little while after, and the lead panelist said he thought I should be leading a Sailor Moon panel. We are working on it for an upcoming Toronto convention and we'll be sure to keep you all updated!

Stay tuned for more Sakura Con convention coverage! There's lots more to come with Saturday and Sunday events.


Anonymous said...

Hi Emily I was wondering were you the person who was on last year's Sailor Moon panel at Anime North?

Emily said...

I was not at Anime North last year, no. I will be there this year though :)

I haven't been to Anime North for a few years, actually. I used to sell art in the artists' alley there. I usually had a big caricature of Sailor Moon at my table.

I was at FanExpo last year, but they don't have that kind of panel. I also went to Polaris last year, but I wasn't a panelist.