Sakura-Con 2013 - We're Back!

Every year for the past three years, we have ventured out of Vancouver, driving two hours south of the border to attend the oldest and most well attended anime convention in the Pacific Northwest. This year was an especially busy year for us at Sakura-Con, but definitely well worth it. We were very lucky this year to be graced by the presence Japanese guests such as highly acclaimed Sword Art Online and Accel World novelist Kawahara Reki, voice actor Fujimura Ayumi, BONES founder Kawamoto Toshihiro, Psycho-Pass producers and directors Motohiro Katsuyuki, Shiotani Naoyoshi, Wada Joji, and last but not least, artists Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna. Aside from meeting up with new and old comrades, we had a chance to interview Kawahara Reki, as well as interview both Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna. Regarding Aoi Eir and Haruna Luna, we are very excited to share footage from their first North American concert at Sakura-Con featuring SUTORAIKUanime exclusive high-definition multi-track recorded audio. This post serves as a brief summary of the events we attended at Sakura-Con 2013.

First and foremost, We'd like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to KUROHI Media, our photography and videography representative at Sakura-Con 2013. With their presence we were able to get a significantly increased amount of work done efficiently and effectively, something which we did not have the capacity to complete in the past in regards to conventions. So thanks!

The morning of the first day of the convention, heading out to the nearest Starbucks for some much-needed caffeine (what better place to drink Starbucks than in the birthplace of Starbucks?), we were greeted with this lovely sign board. One could really feel the convention vibe in Downtown Seattle, sans the nice Sakura-Con flags on the street lights which were present last year.

We were welcomed to the opening ceremonies by Sakura-Con chairman Christopher Louck, followed by an array of traditional Japanese musical presentations. Eventually, the special guests made their way on stage, which is the primary reason we attend the opening ceremonies to get a glimpse of the special guests before their panels because after a two hour drive and a very long wait at the border crossing, one does not simply wait any longer to see the special guests.

Attending Sakura-Con as press, we were rather pressed for time, pun fully intended. Either it was something with the scheduling this year that made it difficult for us to not feel constantly in a hurry rushing from event to event, or we were just overwhelmed by the great amount of special guests this year that we couldn't keep up with the scheduling. Either way, we focused exclusively on the guests this year as there simply was not enough time to catch everything on photo, including cosplayers and the exhibitor's hall as we did in the past years we visited.

You can find our interviews with both Kawahara Reki, Haruna Luna and Aoi Eir in our SUTORAIKUanime interview posts, and extensive coverage of the duo's stellar live performance at Sakura-Con 2013 in our Haruna Luna and Aoi Eir post. For a brief outline of our special guest coverage, check out our Sakura-Con special guest post.

A big thanks to Christopher Louck and congratulations on yet another successful year! Please look forward to the categorized feature posts for more in-depth coverage of each individual event, as well as SUTORAIKUanime exclusive footage and high-definition multi-track recorded audio of the Haruna Luna and Aoi Eir concert.