There is no better way to kick-off 2019 than a weekend at SacAnime Winter, the first major fan convention in North California of the year. After taking a long break from attending conventions, it was only right for 8Bit/Digi to start the new year at SacAnime.
Anyone who enjoyed Crunchyroll Expo or FanimeCon would enjoy a weekend at SacAnime. The event had vendors from all over the West Coast along with artist to sell copies of their work and a diverse group of special guests who were eager to meet their fans.
Vendors and Artists
SacAnime had over 100 merchants and artists in Hall A and B selling a verity of goods. From figurines, old video games, and collectable merchandise are among the many gems in this treasurer trove. Or one could pick up some amazing designs from respected artists. Even if you had no shopping agenda, it’s still fun to look through all the cool stuff and meet the many artists.
Even though there were many vendors, these are among the few that stood out or we just spent a lot of time chatting with:
BitReplay has always been the go to vendor for used games and consoles at any fan convention. From old PlayStation and N64 titles to games from the Seventh Generation era, their collection is a treasure chest for gamers.
Hero Wares & Supplies was the ultimate shop for the most hardcore Legend of Zelda fans. Fans could find handcrafted items based on those that could be found or inspired by the iconic fantasy series.
Kelly’s Heroes Steampunk is the ideal shop for all your steampunk and wasteland needs. Shoppers could find all kinds of hand crafted items for their steampunk style or their post-apocalyptic cosplay.
Known as the best place to get retro games in the Sacramento area, Fair Game had a booth setup during SacAnime. Gamers could find classic titles from the days of the 8-Bit era and the Fifth Generation along with current era titles.
Next to the East Lobby Terrace, several fan organizations and conventions had setup booths promoting themselves. Among them was the The Central California Garrison of the 501st Legion, Ani-Me Con 8.0 and Extra Life.
Guest and Fan Panels
Cons are not just about meeting celebrates and making new friends, it’s also a chance to gain some insight into the culture or industry. SacAnime organized a series of panels that discussed a verity of topics given by special guests, industry insider.
These are some of the panels I got to checkout during the weekend:
My Hero Academia featured Justin Briner, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian, J. Michael Tatum, Brandon McInnis and Eric Vale sharing behind the scenes stories about the show. The panel also included a Q&A session with the fans.
The original cast of Pokemon: The Animated Series hosted a panel that presented an inside look into the work involved in starting one of the longest running series. The panel featured Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart, and Tara Sands sharing their stories followed by a Q&A session with the fans.
A Goofy Movie Reunion was a special panel that brought together Bill Farmer (the official voice of Goofy) and Jason Marsden (who played Max). Both actors shared what it was like to work on the film and the impact it has had on pop-culture. Fans also got the chance for a Q&A session to learn more.
It’s not an anime convention without the team from the Foundation for the Preservation of Gen 1 Pokèmon. They were back at SacAnime with some of their hilarious panels that take jabs at anime fandom and culture. Guest are welcomed to either learn from their insight or just heckle them.
Activities and Meet-Ups
There was no shortage of activities during the weekend, from board games to cosplay gatherings and more. Being bored during this weekend was a personal choice and a sign of one being a buzzkill. Here are some of the activities one could stumble upon:
Cafe Hoshi was the maid cafe of the convention and was located in Ballroom 308 on the third floor. Guest got to enjoy some tasty treats while playing fun games or watching a live performance by the staff.
Foam Sword Fighting was hosted in the Cosplay Room and was the perfect opportunity unleash ones inner nerd rage. Guested signed up and then participated either in a minor battle or practice their skills with someone.
While not organized by the SacAnime staff, there were random moments in which guests would gather for a game of Pokemon Go. With several gyms nearby, fans would get together to participate in either raids or attempt to take a gym for their team.
Anyone who had a boombox had the ability to orchestrate a dance-off on the spot. This was a common sight near the East Lobby Terrace as fans would gather around a boombox to demonstrate their dance skills.
Late Night Electronic Dance has been a staple of SacAnime’s late night scene. Guests are welcomed to dance the night away in a fun but also safe environment. The event was held on both Friday and Saturday night while being hosted by DJ Jinrei.
Food Trucks and Snack Vendors
There are plenty of restaurants around the Sacramento Convention Center, but there were a few food trucks and snack vendors for those who didn’t want to go far. Guests had a diverse option from trucks that served traditional Mexican food to ones that serve fusion dishes. In the expo hall, several booths were selling candy or speciality treats.
The SacAnime story is never complete without mentioning all the amazing cosplayers that were present. Some worked for authenticity while other added their own personal style. There were also several scheduled gatherings were cosplayers from a media franchise could get together for a photo shoot.
SacAnime also organized a good number of cosplay gatherings at the East Lobby Terrace. This was an opportunity for cosplayers to showcase their work among fans and photographers while receiving advice on how to improve their work. There were also several unofficial cosplay gatherings around the area that was organized by fans.
Did you get a chance to check out SacAnime Winter 2019? If so then share your story in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: SacAnime provided me with press credentials for the weekend.
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