I was on my way to the Sacramento Convention Center. I turned the corner and almost ran full on into a Spartan from Halo, posed for a picture with a Predator from the predator movies.
Just a normal day at SacAnime.
The convention’s halls were chalk full of people and, as it turned out, SacAnime broke its record for attendance with more than 10,000 people attending.
Cosplaying, or, in laymen’s terms, “dressing up in costume as a fictional character,” tends to be my favorite part of attending the convention that goes on semi-annually.
While it can take quite a bit of work, time, and money to put a good cosplay together, the end result is that people don’t look at you and see you; they see the fictional character. And that is quite a feeling; it’s nice not to be yourself every now and then, and even better when you can be someone who doesn’t exist in reality but that you love and/or idolize.
I usually try to dress up at least once during the convention; however, during this winter’s SacAnime, I was unable to. Let me tell you, walking into a convention center full to the brim of people, most of whom are dressed in some sort of cosplay while dressed only as myself was quite the let down. And that “fish out of water” feeling only got stronger with each step inside the center.
I attended this convention with some close friends of mine and we rented a hotel room at the Hyatt so we could spend the entire weekend right there. The Hyatt was a nice place that allowed me to return to the normal world of comfy shoes and bathrobes after spending the day immersed in what seemed like a real-life comic book or anime.
However, every morning, at least one of my friends would be putting on a pair of ears and a tail or putting on a wig… sometimes even both. And then I’d get dressed and look in the mirror and just be myself.
My friend, Catie Wilson, said that her favorite part of SacAnime is “seeing all the cosplayers and costumes.” Too bad the two of us were not among them this time.
Other attractions at SacAnime were the guest panels, their autograph sessions, and the musical guests, like the band, Kazha, that came from Japan, and played for all of us live.
A few of the guests included Steve Blum, a voice actor in many animations, including Regular Show and Code Geass; Janet Varney, who voice acted as Korra in the “Legend of Korra”; and Jeremy Shada, the voice of Finn from “Adventure Time,” as well as many, many others.
My friends and I spent quite a bit of time at the artist and vendor’s hall as well. There you could find amazing artwork ranging from anime to tv shows to video games, plushies of any creature imaginable (but mostly alpacas for some weird reason), as well as many games and much, much more.
Maryssa Arellano, another friend of mine, told me this hall was her favorite because “the larger hall that we’re allowed to use in the convention center means that we aren’t crowded anymore, and it has also drawn new artists to display and sell prints of their works.”
SacAnime was a wonderful experience, despite my cosplay envy and some long lines full of fangirls and fanboys of all shapes and sizes that led occasionally to events.
So, if you have ever watched an anime, played a video game, watched a television or movie and fell completely in love with it, then I suggest you look into going to SacAnime this coming August.
Note: This article was featured in The Prospector Spring 2014 edition.