*sigh Youtube is still logging me out. Oh well, I'll start my impression of Sakura-con 2008.
This is my first time attending a convention like this. Overall, it was awesome! It's amazing how many people came. What's even more amazing is the dedication of the otakus in the US, and the amazing cosplay costumes.
1st day: I pre-registered, so going to pick up my badge on the first day was pretty quick and the line wasn't bad at all. Opening ceremony was okay, but it was running late, thus delaying other panels/events too. Ali Project Panel was so so. The questions were not great, but it's fun seeing the drag queens. They're hilarious. Next to Penny Arcade Q&A session. I love their comics, but never see them in person. It's great to finally see them. The questions were so so, but it's great to hear their favorite things (mostly video games). Alas, I was expecting more info on their upcoming game, other than “It's done.” Lastly Scandal autograph session. No raffle tickets, contrary to the poster posted outside. Line was long, and it went over the specified time, but I got my autographs and picture. =)
2nd day: Missed the Scandal panel. =( Went to a workshop about making a website. Disappointed. Knowing that many anime fans are students where money is not in abundance, I was hoping the workshop will show tools that are freeware and/or open-source. First thing I saw when I walked in was Dreamweaver on the screen. Sure enough, the next recommendation is Photoshop, another expensive program, overkill for simply resizing pictures. Adobe's programs are the industry's standard, but Dreamweaver is like $400. When asked about alternative programs, the answer was notepad. Well, at least he mentioned a hosting/blogging service called theotaku.com. Nothing is mentioned about Apple's iWeb, free website builder softwares, free picture editors (picasa, paint.net, GIMP), various free hosting services by yahoo and google, blogger.com, etc. I dunno, it seems that the workshop opportunity was wasted. Next was ketchup mania/Ali Project concert. Very long line, and it was running very late. The concert itself was great! Next was the cosplay contest. As shown in my video, the line was even longer! The skits were okay. Some were funny, but others were only so so. There were quite a few audio glitches. I liked the Hanakimi skit with Bambino reference, though I had a feeling not many people were familiar with those doramas. Had to leave early due to snow. Oh, dubbed shin-chan sux.
3rd day: I came on the 3rd day only to attend the second Slants/Scandal concert. The line was much shorter. The room was not even half-filled. The concert was great, and the floor was really shaking!
-This is an anime convention. Although I don't mind the crossover with comics (Penny Arcade) and games (Microsoft research was there having their own room!), I don't see the point of vendors selling Chinese movies. Nothing against Chinese movies, but I don't see the correlation between that and anime, other than Hong Kong making a lot of anime bootleg DVDs.
-The staff need to at least learn to pronounce Japanese properly, especially if they're the announcer (“How do you say Clannad?” Oh please).
-Another reminder to myself that US dubbing sux. (shin-chan, xxxholic).
Things to do for next year:
-Buy a digicam with at least 10x optical zoom and support for SDHC for taking pictures in concerts, and taking videos. My Canon SD700IS with 4x optical zoom without SDHC support (max SD card I could use is 2GB) just didn't cut it.
-Pay more attention to the schedule. I didn't realize there was a para para panel until a couple minutes ago! =(
-Maybe do a cosplay too! =D
Funny stuff: The guy selling yaoi doujins was hilarious! He's shouting “Boys on boys action” and “It's orgasmic!” Good thing Jack Thompson wasn't here. LOL