Well here we are folks, a couple week after the con high. It’s been a long two years since the last Sakura-Con, and I think everyone was surprised at how much people wanted to be back at this con. For the first time in all my years attending, this is the first time I’ve ever seen it sold out (even with the new limited capacity restriction). All of this was great to see how much people truly love this con.
It really felt that this year they wanted to go all out, the panels were very up to date with current trends and nonstop (the con never closed for the day). Along with multiple cosplay meet-ups every single day (though I do wish it was in the guide book), and lots of rooms to unwind (with quiet rooms and a manga library to chill out in). There were also a good amount of panels with guests, plus their signing events. We even got a fashion show on the last day with a fashion designer from Japan.
Although the best part of this con, a part in which it is very known to con goers, is that it is a cosplay hub. Every anime you could think of, there was cosplay. From the most simple and casual cosplay to the most elaborate and incredible cosplay you have ever seen (some of which I’m still trying to figure out how they constructed it). This was also my first time making my own cosplay and going all out all three days, and I can’t think of any other con I would have loved to start my cosplay life at, then at Sakura-Con. Every single person was kind and had amazing poses to go along with their cosplays, and with making sure everyone knows that cosplay is not consent (no matter the type of or amount of clothes covering a person).
Getting to talk with vendors and artists, they too were surprised at how much people have been waiting to come back and how much they wanted to spend. Completely selling out of the most popular goodies by the end of the first day was amazing to see, and lots of orders via their websites too. I know, I for one was buying what I could get my hands on too (and taking many cards to follow up on items on their website once back from con). Though the volunteers did an outstanding job making the con run as smooth as possible, there were a few hiccups that could sadly not be ignored. The artist alley was a war zone, held in one of the smallest places and not being able to move or even breath freely was not great. There was also a second, lower floor that continued artist alley that not many knew about the first day, the WiFi signal down there was lacking. The WiFi issues caused artists to have to turn people away who didn’t have cash (as all close by ATM’s were tapped out). These problems came more to follow, as a lot of the con goers wanted to go to the artist’s website to try and buy what they could. That became an issue as many of the artists no longer have a place online to sell (and it might be awhile) since we are in the middle of an Etsy strike, and what was sold at con were con exclusives.
Overall, even with the problems faced from the artists alley this year at Sakura-Con (something they will hopefully learn from for next year!), this was an amazing comeback for the biggest well known anime convention for Washington State. I cannot tell you how much I learned this time around and what I plan on doing for Sakura-Con 2023, and I can not wait till next year and all the fun that will be had!
Were you at Sakura-Con? Are you going to go in 2023? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter at @TheConCollectve!
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