Sakura Con 2002 Report


Friday, April 28, 2002.


This time of the year arrives when Convention season hits a frenzy. It comes a time to get ready to go to another city and enjoy the weirdness, sights and bargains that a convention holds. This convention is no different from most.


I start today gathering the usual changes of clothes for a few nights. In addition to bringing that, these types of conventions you try to bring the extra set of cosplay costume. In my case, I do have a Patlabor Uniform that I had made for San Deigo Comic Con several years ago. Unfortunately, in the lapse of time, I have seemed to misplaced certain parts of the costume. Oh well, maybe I they will turn up by next year.


Another thing to have ready is a camera. Cosplay is a big part of this convention, and it sure helps to have a digital camera for these. Yea, I know that can be expensive but it isn't really necessary to have a really high and expensive one. After all, these will be memorable moments and sights of complete strangers doing and wearing completely strange things that will probably never ever see them or their weirdness again.


Food is an important thing to think about. Like most otaku, essential things like food, sleep and accommodations are lower down the list than things like spending money and what to bring to room parties. Food is something that you want to bring. Food is expensive down in the US. I will you some of the examples of some typical things I have found that you can eat: there is always the hotel food, pizza which they gave the special Sakura Con Price from $14.95US to $9.95 US for the 8" pizza (that's a small at Pizza Hut) oh, there is also a 19% gratuity and $2.00 US room service fee too and taxes are 8.5%. Yea, that $8.95 Cdn small sounds so much more attractive doesn't it? How about a hotel vending machine? A 600ml Coke will cost you $2.00 US and a 1 Litre bottled water will cost you $2.00 US. Yea! What a deal! Even UBC doesn't even charge that much! There was a 7-11 across the street on the far end of convention center away from the hotel. They had more normal street food and drinks. A 2 litre bottle of pop will cost ya $1.79 US (the ones that Superstore sells for 99 cents Cdn). Or how about a $1.99 US for a 300g bag of chips or nachos? (At 7-11 that would be how much we would pay in Cdn funds) $1.29 US for the 1.3 Litre size Slurpee ($1.39 Cdn usually). Ok, you think, fast food is the way to go. Yes, there were things like Denny's near by and Taco Bell and Jack in the Box. They do have some really good deals, which were kinda worth it. Denny's has the Slam breakfast, which was not bad for $3.99 US (2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 sausage, 2 bacon). The Taco Bell and Jack in the Box had the 2 Taco's for 99 cent deal though the Taco Bell ones are much better. They also had Sourdough Jacks for $2.99 US (Quarter Pounder using sourdough rather than buns).


So on with travels. Daisuke was my driver today, and unfortunately, he worked a real early morning shift on Friday so he was unable to arrive until 3:00pm. We fortunately managed to miss some really nasty accidents on the bridges and highways out of Vancouver to arrive at the Peace Arch crossing. There was about a 30 minute wait. Daisuke had to go into immigration to get his passport stamped. After that, it was pretty clear crusing into Seattle. Unfortunately for us again, we hit core of Seattle during rush hour. Some loser crashed and closed off the express lanes. So we finally arrive and check into the hotel around 7:30 pm. This was too late for the dealer's room or any of the main events but we could at least look around at some of the evening entertainment like the open video gaming room and the free Dance Dance Revolution/Para Para Dancing Machines.


The video game room was filled with some 15 TVs and monitors hooked up to everything from the old old Intendos, to Genesis, to Neo Geos, to Saturns, to Playstation Ones, to Playstation 2's, to Dream Casts. The room was definitely too small and had a major problem with number of outlets and power requirements. The other PC Lan gaming room is much the same. About 10 or so computers networked for as much Counterstrike and Red Alert and Unreal till you puke. The arcade room was much better this year. This room was the replacement for the Vancouver Washington's Clark Anime Room Party that they had last year. Apparently, this year, this is what they wanted to do because they couldn't book a suite. Lots of room to put a DDR 2000 Solo Mix, DDR 4th Mix Solo, and a Para Para Paradise 1.1 Mix full arcade machines in place.


I stayed in this room pretty much all night and all morning impressing the audience of players. It was a figured, most people have never seen such a game since most arcades won't have it. Thus, most people are trying it for the first time or have only played it rather briefly. I also expected there should be a handful of people who can play it at the complex levels, and I was right. Of the people I saw played in a variety of ways. One player was still using a jabbing and poking boxing style which I guess he carried over from the beginning of the game and has never refined to a dance style. There was a three others who were basically using the two arm flap (ie. fling the arms back and forth and hope to hit everything). I didn't however, seen anyone dance with anything that resembled para in Expert. Nobody played hi-speed and nobody played random. I only ever saw one girl in a Digi-charat costume perform some 6 star songs in Expert. Staff closed the room for one hour at 7:00am for quote "Room Maintenance", which is a load of crap. It was the really the "Kick out all the otaku losers, so the STAFF can play the games hour". Oh well, I guess a bit of sleep didn't hurt.


Saturday April 29th, 2002


I get a wakeup call around 11:00am in the morning from room cleaning service. That only gives me about three hours of sleep but that is enough for now. I got ready and headed down to the dealer's room since there will be most likely a line up as always. And sure enough, good thing I got in line when I did, there was like already 70 people in line, and by the time I got in over 150 people must have been in line.

The Dealer's Room, I spent most of my money (like most cons) and most of it will be spent on the first day (like most cons). Most years, I spend lots of money on books, videos, and cds. This year I was surprised to see that the con staff clamped down and got rid of most of the Ever Anime and Son May Bootleg crap. They even got rid of those stupid Hong Kong and Taiwan knock off DVDs. I would say they even did a good job and got rid of the Taiwan knock off posters too. I was impressed.

Here is a quick run down of what I managed to haul in this year:


I saw at the Anime Jungle booth two whole boxes of second hand original Japanese CDs, most of them were $2.00. Well as you can guess I just started grabbing them. Here is a wack of Twin Bee Paradise CDs.

Here are the $2.00 Dokyusei CDs (ie. End of Summer).

This was a good haul on Sedimental Graffitti, and Journey CDs. There was even 2 Tokimeki Memorial CDs there too. All were $2.00. Some other loser on the con floor was trying to sell the Tokimeki Memorial ones for $20 each. Yea right.



This is the rest of the CDs I picked up from around the con floor and at Kinokinoyua Books in downtown Seattle. I found a Hand Maid May CD from the Laser Perception guys. Unfortunately, it was volume 2 but that is still good. I also saw two VA CDs, the Cherry Princess and a Silent Mobius CD at the Anime Jungle booth for $2.00 each. I picked up a Princess Rouge CD from the LP booth, but I later realized I already bought one. OH well, Ebay fodder. I also bought 2 Mamotte Shugotten CDS, the 2nd NeoRanga CD. I also was very happy to find the Black Heaven Soundtrack, now THIS was a CD that I have customers asking me for!! I also picked up 2 Maid in Hananako CDs. These CDs were more or less the real yen price so this batch was well over $300 USD. Ahhh.... such the life as a collector.



DVDs in general were too expensive at this con. Almost every booth had the original SRP price on the all the DVDs and they were offering a 10% or 20% discount off the price. Some booths were cocky and were charging tax too. Some of the bad deals were like Black Magic M-66 with a SRP of $29.95 USD. You can buy it from MAL for $19.95 Cdn, what is your point? I also saw things like Gundam Endless Waltz for $29.95 USD, when you can buy it for $34.95 Cdn from Future Shop.

Any way, I digress. There was some good smut at the con. I picked up Kizuna DVD for my female customers, had to pay full price plus tax for this gay title. And for my normal Hentai clientee, Sailor Moon and The 7 Balls and Anime Fiction (both dojin anime smut). This they gave a discount if you bought both of them, it was a flat $40. The Pokemon DVD I got given for free. I guess they couldn't sell it, and would probably would have to pay someone to take it away!!

There were three tables carrying Dojins in comic boxes. Only one table had a good selection of them and this was were I picked them up from. They averaged around $15 each. I saw the Gundam Girls one which is good since there never seems to be enough original or G Gundam Smut. I picked up the Obari Dojin for Tekkaman Blade, because of the cover. I bought the Yuri and Friends since I have all the other ones and I do like his works so I may as well support him by buying is dojin instead of downloading it. The Model series of Dojin has always been a favourite of mine since they are usually pretty thick and well priced for the number pages they have. Lots of Capcom and SNK smut in them too.

This year had a good variety of action figures for sale. However, most of the expensive cold cast ones were probably all sold out on the first day. However, I did find a few things which we nice. I picked up a full set of the Capcom swimsuit girls set which only cost me $25 at the Anime Jungle booth. Of course, some other loser in the hall was trying to get $11 for each figure and he didn't even have a full set.

The other set I picked up was the Christmas Asuka and Rei from Evangelion. Kinokinoyoua Books had a 50% Sakura Con Special on them. After going to their downtown store late Saturday, I realized it was more the "Oh No, we bought too many of them, lets get rid of them" SALE price.




Page 2 of More Items

Page 3 of Sakura Cosplayers