Unfortunately, I couldn't stay the whole entire day as I had to be home for a family dinner. Therefore, my approach to this day was to sample everything and prepare for the Saturday rush since Friday isn't as busy.
I got to the convention around 9am in hopes of obtaining a good parking spot at the Radisson. In fact, my plan was to get there early to obtain a good spot because once those disappears, the only other way is to park across the street, park on the side of the street, or (what I learned later) park in the shopping center adjacent to the Radisson.
I obtained my press badge very quickly, and made sure that Robbie's badge was available, which it was. From this point on, there was really nothing else to do at least for another two hours, so I went around, talked to some people, and took photos.
I also had my first glimpse of the Matsuri Festival, SacAnime's take on the "end of summer Japanese festival," which looked really nice and had a lot of things to do. I made a note to come back often, especially during Saturday (they didn't run the festival on Sunday).
Near noon, I heard from Jason that there was an autograph session for the winners of the Manga Contest, and I had the chance to meet the ones behind the winning set: Kashia Moua and Marcos Martinez. If you still have the booklet, their manga is the first published, and you can see why they won. I even had them autograph my business card - the first of the weekend.
Opening Ceremonies was about to start, so I slide in and partake in the ceremonies. There was a nice introduction video to Cafe Hoshi, SacAnime's very own maid cafe, and a couple of Guests of Honor spoke.
After Opening Ceremonies was done, I decided to take off for lunch. I went to Subway across the way, and I got in just in time before they got busy once everyone figured out that there were other places to eat than the hotel.
Back at the convention, there were a number of things to see now that the pace has quicken: Eyeshine was promoting, Dealer's Hall was open, and there was a sushi demonstration outside at the Matsuri Festival. I also paid my first visit to Cafe Hoshi. I took in the atmosphere of the maid cafe, and took some photos of them performing the Para Para version of "Night Of Fire."
The rest of the day involved visiting the console gaming room, seeing old friends and acquaintances, seeing Robbie for the first time and making sure that he's all squared away, taking more photos of cosplayers, sumo wrestling, and getting my first glimpse of Johnny Young Bosch since Anime Vegas last year as well as newcomers Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, which I found out both of them went to Jim Denny's that morning (by recommendation of hotel staff, not by watching Man vs. Food like I hoped) and enjoyed the food as much as I do every time I went.
My last event of the convention before heading home was the Samurai Senshi panel, an original series that Robbie did some voice work for. I had already heard some of the clips from the first season, and I was very surprised that there was a second season. I can't wait to see the "motion manga" that they have planned for this series and what they also have in store for the future.
During the panel, my 16GB memory card decides to play dead on me, causing much concern going into Saturday. But I was going home so it gave me time to diagnose and recover everything. It also gave me time to prepare for Saturday much differently than I had originally expected since my plans before this was to come home after Cosplay Poker, near midnight. I got everything ready and got a good night's rest before Saturday.
-Friday (Day One) End-