This year we managed to make it to the opening ceremony, which was great as it essentially introduced all the special guests and provided that kick of energy everyone needed to get the morning started.
I myself thought the opening ceremony was rather nicely put together, especially the video which served as the opening of the opening ceremony (an opening within an opening?!), which featured an MMD dance routine with Sakura Miku, singing to Tell Your World, with random Sakura-Con documentary scenes played behind the actual dance scene, if that makes any sense at all.
Shortly after that, Christopher Louck, the chairman of Sakura-Con and the ANCEA, came out to do a little speech, along with the Japanese Consulate General Ota Kiyokazu with a rather interesting choice of wardrobe. First he appeared in a samura helmet with a hapi jacket, then changed to a plush One Piece mascot hat. That really got the crowd going, including myself.
As with most con opening ceremonies, there was a martial arts demonstration by the Seattle Wushu Centre.
And last but not least, the Japanese guests made their way on stage. It was nice to see all the guests as a whole group during the opening ceremony, as it really gives the con attendees something to look forward to, even more so given that we know they're present at the con.
As the final ceremony closed, we made our way into the con, with the intent to enjoy the con as much as possible, and oh boy did we ever.
The exhibitor's hall was packed as always, with rows and rows of anime and Japanese merchandise. The artist alley was also located in the exhibitor's hall, so it was nice being able to sneak a quick peek at all the great art featured for sale. You can find more coverage of the exhibitor's hall in the merchandise Sakura-Con post.
I was somewhat disappointed at the number of cosplayers with quality outfits attending Sakura-Con this year, which was really not that much. Alas, I took as many photos that I could of truly well-done cosplays, which will be posted soon in the cosplay Sakura-Con post. Kudos if you can spot Maridah.
The star-studded guest list featuring the brains behind Fate/Zero and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica were present, with Urobuchi Gen, Iwakami Atsuhiro and Ota Katsushi, along with musical guests Stereopony, Moi dix Mois and Wakeshima Kanon. You can find our exclusive SUTORAIKUanime press conference with Urobuchi, Iwakami and Ota in our SUTORAIKUanime exclusive interview post, and extensive coverage of the Stereopony concert in our Stereopony post, or check out our Sakura-Con special guest post for a brief outline of our special guest coverage.