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SacAnime continues its growth

The Sacramento Convention Center marquee displaying SacAnime Winter 2014.
The Sacramento Convention Center marquee displaying SacAnime Winter 2014.Oscar Benjamin

SacAnime Winter 2014


Sacramento is the capitol of the state of California which is considered the most popular state of the United States of America. There are many sites of interest that draw tourists to the region ranging from Old Sacramento to the Capitol Building itself. The state capitol is also becoming a popular playground for Cosplayers from such far flung locations as Australia as the convention known as SacAnime continues to be a magnet for many to display their ingenuity and acknowledged talent.

Ashley Fee as Snow White at SacAnime.
Ashley Fee as Snow White at SacAnime.Oscar Benjamin

SacAnime is a convention that takes over the heart of the city twice yearly. The latest version in the continuing transformation of SacAnime as a major force to be reckoned with touched down upon Sacramento during the first weekend of the new year. SacAnime continued its impressive track record of attracting A-list voice actor and musical acts. Headlining the convention was the remarkably humorous and popular actor and voice actor, Vic Mignoga. Mignoga is incredibly well received at the SacAnime because of his wonderfully compassionate personality that is demonstrated at each and every one of his panels. He is prone to giving warm hugs to fans in the audience and spontaneously singing as he is also a talented singer. His impressive credits include Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater and Macross. His well known love for Star Trek has also allowed him to be cast as Captain Kirk and also direct a new series that hopes to complete the original five year mission of the Enterprise from the Shatner era of the series. The first episode has raised the bar for "fan-made" productions and Mignoga impresses with his interpretation of character made forever famous by the legendary actor, William Shatner.

The three days of the convention also included fan favorites such as Steve Blum whose often irreverent and biting sense of timing causes fans to double over in riotous laughter. Blum's deep voice also can be seen to effectively send many chills down many fan's spines as he agrees to requests to answer phone calls and address questions in character from many of his more well known ruffians he has voiced. Another well received and popular actor to appear at SacAnime was Dante Basco whom many will remember as Rufio from director, Steven Spielber's film, Hook. Although he is one of the most recognizable of all the talent that was featured at the con, Basco has made a reputation for himself as a voice actor as evidenced by his contributions to the phenomenon known as Avatar: The Last Airbender where he voiced the role of Prince Zuko.

SacAnime has an equally envious track record of attracting noted music acts to their main stage. Kazha is a melodic rock band that has roots in Japan, Brazil and New York city. The group was formed by lead singer, Kazuha Oda whose haunting voice and ethereal stage presence strikes a deep chord within the Anime loving fan community where Kazuha Oda seems to have stepped out of the latest intergalactic epic. This was Kazha's third appearance at SacAnime and the band attracts an enthusiastic fan base that is growing with each appearance. Equally well received was the first time appearance of the all girl band known as Nylon Pink. The group was formed in Los Angeles, California and bills themselves as the only female all Asian band in the continental United States whose mutual love for the color pink is also very flamboyantly evident. The group is enthusiastic with their mutual love for hard driving rock and rather exhibitionist tendencies as displayed by bassist, Katt Lee whose amazingly short mini-skirt was rather revealing on the high stage at SacAnime. The highlight of the night occurred when this columnist became a participant in the show. Katt Lee apparently misjudged the edge of the stage where this reporter was covering the event and she nearly took an unplanned tumble off of the stage. This reporter is proud to report that he quickly rushed to action and stabilized Lee so she could continue her act!

At the heart of SacAnime and raison d'etre for the convention is the celebration of Cosplay and Cosplayers. The halls of the Sacramento Convention Center were vibrantly alive with living and breathing characters from the colorful worlds of Anime and Comic Books. Celebrated cosplayers such as Ashley Fee, Joe Devastis Knoll and Matthew O'Connor startled and dazzled fans and the curious alike with their interpretations of beloved characters from comic books and anime. Photographers were able to capture these cosplayers and many more on the mezzanine level of the convention center where gatherings where organized for social and image capturing reasons. It was the best opportunity to view the cosplayers beyond the masquerade event that was held on the second day of the convention on Saturday.

SacAnime celebrated several milestones over this winter edition of the institution. It was announced on the final day of the convention that SacAnime reached a record number of attendees with participants in excess of over ten thousand over the three day period. It was a first for the convention and it bodes well for the twice yearly event whose numbers will continue to grow in participation and prestige. It was also the tenth year for this convention which is now an established tourist attraction that is transforming Sacramento as more than the capitol of California and perhaps will one day become the capitol of Cosplay.