This past weekend, San-Japan happened in downtown San Antonio. Let me just say, this annual anime convention is an experience like no other! For one, it’s a 24-hour experience! Maybe this is common and I’m just unaware, but I’d never seen a convention go all night long before. I just wish we’d had a babysitter so we could experience late-night geek life! I guess I’ll have to plan better for next year. (Note to self: Invest in babysitters and energy drinks)
The theme for this year was Samurai 7, an anime that I’ve only seen a couple episodes of. I debuted my Sailor Saturn cosplay, and my husband dressed as a Steampunk DJ. Our son was a button-mashing no0b, haha. Our cosplays are discussed in a separate post. In the meantime, San-Japan did soooooo many things right! I definitely got my money’s worth (and spent much more than I originally planned). So let’s talk about how they impressed me.
- Open space- San-Japan took place in an entire convention center PLUS portions of the hotel next door. This offered breathing space for everyone, which is something other cons I’ve been to didn’t do. You could walk around without rubbing anyone inappropriately, despite the fact that there were thousands of people in the rooms at any given time.
- 24-hour events- There was ALWAYS a panel, watch party, workshop, tournament, or other worthwhile event going on. From masquerade balls to sparring circles to karaoke, there was always something for everybody.
- Affordable admission- My badge only cost $50 for the entire weekend, and had I ordered it earlier, I could’ve paid as low as $35. That’s an INSANE deal!
- Pre-judging the Cosplay Contest- I love cosplay contests! What I don’t love, is sitting there for 3 hours just to get through the first stage of displaying all the costumes and then sitting around for another hour while the judges wade through their notes to figure out who won. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t start at 7pm, but really I just want to snap some awesome photos and see who won! San-Japan had cosplay contestants report during the con for a step called “pre-judging” where they got an in-depth look at the cosplays and got to ask whatever questions they had about construction. This meant that at the actual contest, contestants spent a grand total of 20 seconds on the stages each, and all the competitors were displayed in a timely manner. YES! It still took quite some time because the list of people was long, but it would’ve been sooo much longer if they hadn’t done it that way.
I had a great time at San-Japan. I only wish that I had more energy and hours in the day to attend more events, and maybe more guts to participate in a contest of some kind. I also wish money grew on trees, because the pile of loot I brought home is nothing compared to the pile of loot I wanted and left on the tables. My only gripe is that most of the celebrity appearances were very obscure people. The kind of folks who have cult followings but most lay-people wouldn’t actually know. It didn’t take away from my experience, but it would’ve been nice to see some bigger names. Maybe that’s just me being an anime novice…
Now check out my awesome collection of new geek swag!!