Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sac Anime Summer 2014: Robbie's Report

After the so-so weekend that was Japan Expo, I was looking forward to Sac Anime to spend time with friends, see some guests, and generally have a good time. The convention had been getting increasingly better, with less drama and more things to do each time around, so I was optimistic about this year.

I arrived at the convention Friday morning, cosplaying as Danny from “Bravest Warriors,” and picked up my badge. (The convention was very accommodating with our large crew, for which we are all thankful.) Heading out to check out the con, I found out that the Greek Food Festival was once again on the same weekend, but I did not see any of the congoers causing trouble for them, or vice-versa. In fact, the festival let convention attendees in for free, which was very nice of them.

Also worth noting were some signs positioned around the convention, telling people to report any harassment or dangerous behavior to the convention security. There were security concerns raised in the past, in addition to the rising awareness of con creepers, so the signs were a nice addition.

Friday was mostly spent finding friends, catching up, and getting pictures. The Cosplay Chess signups filled up before I had the time to join in, so I enjoyed the summer weather for about as much as I could, then got back indoors to avoid the heat. I briefly checked out the dealer’s hall, and bought myself a large amount of raffle tickets to try and win a Snorlax chair (spoiler alert: I didn’t, but it’s all good, cuz that’s how raffles are), among the usual fun stuff from vendors.

A pair of Tinkerbells from "Hook," in memory of Robin Williams.

Sailor Senshi
After a quick Bravest Warriors photoshoot, and more time catching up with friends, I had to leave for a few hours. Thankfully, the parking garage for the hotel allowed in-and-out privileges for those staying at the hotel, which I took advantage of.

Saturday morning promised for the busiest day. I began by cosplaying as Elan from “Order of the Stick” (a webcomic I highly recommend you check out), which received a pleasant amount of recognition. Also one guy who was creeping on my puppet. But that’s another story.

I wasn’t doing any group cosplays that day, so I mostly had time to wander, get pictures, and check out the dealer’s hall. Before lunch, though, I decided to change costumes into something more comfortable for the summer, and went as Giovanni in a Hawaiian shirt, as seen in Meowth’s dream sequences. I grabbed a quick lunch at the deli across from the hotel (which serves great sandwiches), and went back to the con. I had hoped to stop and see the Cosplay Wrestling Federation panel, but there was already a huge line for it, so I had to pass.

I also took a minute to stop by Mark Sheppard’s booth, as he was one of the biggest guests at the convention. I was hoping to get an interview, but thanks to his contract with WB, he was unable to set one up without their say-so. Still, it was a pleasure to meet him, interview or not.

Later on in the day was the Pokemon gathering. Long-time readers may recall that I used to host the Pokemon gatherings at Sac Anime, but my attempts to pass the torch inevitably resulted in me either helping it, or taking over when the organizer didn’t show.
6th Generation Pokemon and trainers
Villains at the Pokemon gathering
Like with last time, after plenty of Pokemon cosplayers arrived, no one knew who the gathering organizer was. So I took over again, calling for people to come up for photos. My voice was starting to give out soon enough, but there was another attendee there who was willing to do the shouting for me, so I could save my voice. The gathering ran well, as I’m plenty experienced with this, and we were also joined by cosplayers with animatronic, remote controlled Pokemon. Which was awesome.
Remote-controlled awesomesauce
Afterwards, I was informed that there was a press “conference” of sorts for a few of the guests, before they split into smaller interview sessions. I managed to get an interview with Josh Grelle, who spoke about his convention experiences and the roles he played over the years.

Nighttime meant karaoke, though I was a bit late at signing up for it. I got dinner at a nearby pizza restaurant with some good friends that I hadn’t seen since a few conventions ago, and wandered around until it was my turn to sing. I opted for a short but sweet one: “Brand New Day” from “Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” Thankfully, enough people dropped before my song that I was done just in time to catch the latest episode of “Space Dandy” on TV with friends.

By that time, it was quite late, and we’re not exactly the party types, so we ended up sleeping at an almost reasonable hour. The next morning was an early wake-up to pack and get in line for the VIP autographs for the final day.
That's what happens when you teleport bread.
Nonon has had enough of your crap.

Game over, man, game over!
After packing my bags and readying the car on Sunday morning, I dressed as Apollo Justice and took to the autograph lines. I managed to be the first in line for Sam Riegel, who voices Phoenix Wright in “Dual Destinies” and “Marvel vs Capcom.” Afterwards, I got in line for Yuri Lowenthal and Johnny Yong Bosch, though afterwards, the lines were too long for anyone else. Neither Rodger Bumpass nor Mark Sheppard were at the VIP autograph session, so I missed out on them.

While I was trying to organize my fellow Ace Attorney cosplayers, I received a message from Sac Anime Press that we could get an interview with Rodger Bumpass, so I went to the autograph room. Upon arriving, though, I saw that his line was still quite long, and he wouldn’t be done for some time, nor could I find the press relations member I was supposed to meet with; others had a similar problem, so I decided to leave and get back to the cosplay.

After finally getting all the Ace Attorney cosplayers together, we stopped for a photoshoot on the balcony. Then, it was back inside to survive the heat and bring the convention to an end. I stopped by the game room, although it took a lot of waiting until I could finally get a game of Super Smash Bros in with my friends.

Finally, it was time to go. I took a last round through the convention, saying goodbye to any friends I saw, and hit the road back home.

Although there were some issues with setting up interviews this time around, Sac Anime Summer 2014 was still a successful one. The convention has been steadily improving year after year, with great guests and greater friends, making it one worth going to.

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