Change occurs whether one wishes it or not! You can either watch change happen or you can decide to take control of the process. The presenters of the bi-annual convention event known as SacAnime have adopted the latter strategy with the explosive and positive changes that have greeted fans since their decision to move their convention to a more spacious venue within the Sacramento Convention Center at the beginning of the year, 2013.
SacAnime is a convention that was created by convention chairman, Dan Houck who had created the show as a logical extension of his quarterly and more modest convention known as SAC-CON. The first SacAnime was unveiled to fans in the year, 2004 in the month of July in a mall in Sacramento, California known as Sunrise Mall. The con continued to grow and jump from locations such as the Scottish Rite Center to the Woodlake Hotel. This columnist made a prediction after attending the final Woodlake Hotel convention appearance of SacAnime that the presenters of the con would need to move to a larger venue because of the every increasing popularity of this event that draws fans from inside and outside of the area.
There are several factors that have made SacAnime a must attend event for Cosplayers, Anime devotees and music fans. The latest SacAnime continues to astonish with its relatively inexpensive admission price. Fans are always encouraged to purchase early, so the price is unquestionably cheap. The convention's dealer's room is now wonderfully spacious with an eclectic amount of product one can purchase. Items that were seen at SacAnime included the hand woven designs of Carly Michelle Breslin to the comic books that could be found at "Legends of Heroes and Villains." Dealer's rooms are also convenient because of the variety of props that can be purchased there for cosplayers who might need an extra item for their look and filmmakers who wish to grab an accessory for a film they might be working on at the moment.
Many attendees are attracted to this convention because of the excellent celebrity guest line-up that the con is able to draw. The summer edition of SacAnime included an impressive list of voice actors, artists and musicians. Fans were treated to spectacularly humorous comedic panel headed by voice actors, Bryce Papenbrook and J. Michael Tatum whose tales of the voice acting business and on the spot voice requests was worth the price of admission in itself! Therein lies the heart of what makes SacAnime so fascinatingly unique and different other cons with similar themes that are exhibited. This columnist cannot verify whether or not the signature trait of SacAnime is the fact that the celebrity guests who attend are genuinely happy to be there and they are immensely kind to fans. The best demonstration of this occurred on the panel that was dedicated to the actors who had portrayed the latest version in the Power Rangers franchise entitled, Power Rangers Samurai. The gathered principal actors were Hector David Jr., Najee De-Tiege, Alex Heartman and Steven Skylar. They were truly selfless with attendees and they demonstrated genuine humility when fans expressed their thrill to be seeing them. A harrowing and crowd pleasing moment that will not quickly be forgotten was the instance when Hector David Jr. decided to demonstrate his athletic skills by taking a running start and leaping over fans and wowing them with a mid-air flip. He continued to up the ante by adding fans to the point where he leaped over six fans huddled on the carpet. It was plainly evident that their handlers and/or promotional agents were not present for this demonstration.
The convention has all the events one would expect. There are various panels dedicated to the talent, cosplay demonstrations and music-live and disk jockey driven. The con's acts included Akai Sky, Raj Ramayya and fan favorite band, Eyeshine. Eyeshine is a band that was created by actor, Johnny Yong Bosch who had gained fame portraying the Black Ranger in the original Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. Eyeshine's performance is guitar driven which compliment's Bosch's passionate delivery of the band's lyrics. Their signature song, "Alone" caused many hearts to flutter as Bosch delivered his plea for compassion and understanding which always strikes a nerve with the Cosplay crowd. Indeed, Bosch might have actually created the anthem theme song for Cosplayers and might consider marketing the song in that manner.
Cosplayers are also well known for being fans of the electronic dance scene which is commonly referred to as a Rave. There is controversy that you would court at the convention if you called it a Rave because apparently the city of Sacramento has come to believe that such event foster unruly behavior. It is merely semantics because this reporter cannot see any clear difference between a Rave and an electronic dance, but if that calms the city's nerves down then the best decision was taken to change the name. The late night dance was once again shepherded by Chris Castagnetto whose charisma and stage presence makes him the ideal leader of a group of disk jockeys who share duties in spinning music until the early morning. It is often entertaining and astonishing to be among dancers that will arrive in various appearances for the simple reason of the talent that must be mustered to be able to dance with the additional weight and length of some of the more imaginative outfits.
The convention has also grown from the first time it made its debut appearance within the walls of the Sacramento Convention Center. The roof area of the convention center was opened up for gatherings and Cosplayer photo sessions. This proved to be a popular decision because of the sheer amount of individuals that began to use the area for impromptu meetings and reunions. It will be interesting to observe how this area might be used if there is rain in the forecast for the upcoming winter edition of SacAnime.
The mission statement of SacAnime is “Fans Come to Play.” If you own a corporation and you have achieved your mission statement, then it can be argued that you have succeeded. SacAnime continues to fulfill its mission statement in style by giving fans an excellent and exciting bang for their hard earned buck. The next exciting chapter of SacAnime will be experienced on January 3rd through the 5th and promises to be another must attend event!