San Japan- brought to you by the IGO Otaku club

IGO OTAKU cracks

So to kick off the end of summer, one of our members Marie went to the largest anime conventions in San Antonio. SAN JAPAN!

It’s located near the famous Riverwalk, with over 11,700 attendees. That’s over 9000!. Well, for those who have never attended a comic conventions, quoting Marie, “It was two buildings of pure happiness. Everyone was open and weren’t shy to express their love for anime.” Many con-goers go were in cosplay, impersonating their favorite characters. Not just anime, even characters like Batman or Doctor Who; pretty much just fandom heaven.

Arriving downtown, cosplayers filed down the sidewalks and infiltrated the lives of the normal pedestrians. They streamed towards the hotel, convention center, and the mall next to the convention center. It was like the invasion of the anime nerds.

Inside the convention, the atmosphere buzzed with excitement. People snapped pictures of all the cosplayers; Marie had cosplayed as Soifon from Bleach on Friday and Tenten from Naruto on Saturday, and people hounded her for photos. She was quite ebullient.

DSCF4271

DSCF4263

DSCF4264

DSCF4266

DSCF4244

First thing to do is to get your pass in the convention center. Which can and is cheaper to be ordered online.

Leaving the entrance room, Marie immediately entered the lounge; a large hall filled with cosplayers lounging. A small stand selling pastries and baked goodies stood in the middle of the activity. couches and small tables littered the area near the floor to ceiling windows.

DSCF4243

In front of this lounge is the craft room (totally different from the dealer room which we will explain next). The craft room held handmade items from different anime lovers and artists. Every seller had their own stall, like a stall you might see lining the streets during a festival in Japan. Artists hung their own pictures up for sale on the walls of their stall. Some artists took commissions. Other non-artist sellers sold little handmade dolls, key-chains, and jewelry. This is also the place to go if you are looking for autographs or just to meet celebrated voice actors-the dubbed ones. Examples include Scott Freeman, Jerry Jewell, Scott McNeil, and Karen Strassman. Marie visited Johnny Yong Bosch’s (the guy who voiced Ichigo and Lelouch) panel, where she heard him tell stories and answer questions.

DSCF4237

Leaving the craft room, Marie wandered through many halls, eventually arriving at the dealer room. The dealer room also hosts an assortment of sellers and their stalls overflowing with anime products. The only difference between this room and the craft room is that the dealer room sells factory made products such as t-shirts, bags, and certain manga. You can’t buy this stuff at Wal-mart folks. For example, Marie bought:
-Blue Exorcist t-shirt
-Black Butler t-shirt
-Bleach t-shirt
-Ouran High School Host Club t-shirt
-San Japan t-shirt
-Garra key-chain
-Bleach captain key-chain
-Naruto cross body backpack
-Garra plushy
-Ouran High School Host Club wall scroll
-3 boxes of Pocky

In front of the dealer room, a professional photographer shot photographs of anyone willing to pay the amount to immortalize that glorious day. Even if you didn’t want to take out your wallet, they’d still take the picture, you just wouldn’t receive it.

DSCF4274

Marie continued through her voyage exploring the various panels until the masquerade ball at eight, where a guard made sure all dancers were in black tie attire. There, Marie ended the Friday by dancing the night away.

DSCF4254

DSCF4253

San Japan was actually three days long, and Saturday was similar to Friday. Many events still occured, but Marie had a penchant for the cosplay chess that she participated in. Two chess players picked a cosplayer for every chess piece. They sat upon a stage and played normal chess, but at the foot of the stage a not so normal game of chess was happening concurrently. A giant chess board occupied by cosplayers instead of chess pieces mimicked the smaller chess board on stage. All the cosplayers had to stay in character. When a piece was taken, they must battle it out, using actions their character might have used.

Marie was a rook on the loosing team. She only moved twice.

She’ll try better next year.

Written by Marie and Melanie
Teens of the IGO library
Chairmen of the IGO Otaku club    ( published on August 28, 2013;   revised on September 4, 2013)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: