Sakura-Con 2013 - Special Guests

Being the huge Sword Art Online fan I am, realizing that the creator of the entire SAO franchise would be featured as a guest at Sakura-Con 2013 made me absolutely ecstatic. Not only did we get a chance to interview Kawahara Reki at the convention, we also got to meet the artists who sung the second opening and  third ending theme of the SAO anime, Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna, and exclusively record footage of their first concert in North America with high-definition multi-track recorded audio.

Kawahara Reki is a Japanese author who made his debut with his published work Accel World, published by ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko in 2008, which won the 15th Dengeki Bunko Prize. Along with Accel World, he is also the novelist of Sword Art Online, which was adapted into an animated TV series in 2012. The accumulative number of his books sold has exceeded one million copies and is still increasing, with the Sword Art Online franchise instantly becoming a big hit upon its debut. At his autograph signing sessions, fans brought everything from SAO light novels to the SAO PSP game for Kawahara to autograph. One fan even gave him three small gifts! It was an absolute pleasure being able to meet the novelist of two of my favourite franchises and sit down with him for an interview, covered in our Kawahara Reki interview post.

The next group of special guests to attend Sakura-Con are attending to represent the Psycho-Pass theme. Featuring the two directors Motohiro Katsuyuki and Shiotani Naoyoshi, as well as producer Wada Joji. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, we were unable to attend the interview session with the three individuals.

The highlight of Sakura-Con 2013 for us had to be Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna's concert. This was their first live performance in North America, and it's safe to say it was nothing short of spectacular. During our interview with them, both artists stressed the importance of putting emotion into their music and imagining what the lyrics are trying to express, and it was easy to hear their dedication through their performance. We have extensive photo coverage and video footage of the concert which can be found in our Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna concert post.