K/DA - Super Crown Academia: Sakura Con 2019 Con Report
Written by Riri (@lillyums)
Twelve years now, twelve years since we have been attending Sakura Con and this year felt a little different than last year, just like the year before felt different than the year before that. What I do see year after year, are slight improvements that enhance the attendees’ convention experience. I was rather satisfied overall with my experience this year.
To start, just like last year, Artist Alley was still located at the TCC and was located in the bottom level where ventilation was really not great at all. If we recall last year’s convention report, Justin Prince suggested moving the Artist Alley up a floor to two to allow for more lighting and better ventilation. It felt very small, claustrophobic and congestion. I wonder if having this moved to the 6th floor convention would work; much like ECCC had. TCC rooms may still be utilized for panels and other events since doing it this way would remove the 6th floor rooms. But if it could work, the artist alley would be much better ventilated and there would be more room to move around. That or move the artist alley a couple floors up in the TCC.
The programming this year was much better than last year, just like last year was better than the previous year. There were NO photoshoot gatherings added to the programming since much of that have been managed via social media, and more panels filled the programming guide. We were able to attend our friends at Zapp’s Spaceship of Love, the Cosplay Contest, and the AMV Finals.
My experience with the Cosplay Contest was better than last year. I needed to access the event and wanted to ensure that there was a place for press to do their coverage. The convention staff I interacted with were polite and when they couldn’t help me, they directed me to the Sakura Con staff member in charge of this event. The Sakura Con staff member informed that the first 3 rows in front of the stage were for ADA and staff, and that I may sit there for press (where staff = press). The only downside was, press still had to stand in the general admission line – the upside was, she directed me to stand in the line that was going in first. Upon entering the Main Hall, as I approached the first 3 rows located on either side of the cat walk, attendees were sitting in these seats until a staff member came by to inform them that they couldn’t sit there. However, those seats were not roped off nor marked to inform the attendees that they were for ADA and staff, causing frustration amongst them, having to find farther seats that were now occupied by the 2nd and 3rd line of folks coming in. A lady had returned from the bathroom to find that everyone had left and revealed her frustrations as she now has to sit in the back of the Main Hall when she had arrived an hour early to line up. My suggestion for next year (and all years after that) is to always provide visual designations for seating.
The Cosplay Contest itself was organized differently than last year as well. Historically, the cosplay contest was its own segment, and the cosplay skit contest their own segment. This time, they interspersed the skits between the walk on contestants. I’m not sure how I feel about that – I see pros and cons with it. Pros because it would give both skit and walk ons more coverage and more presence, but cons because some people may prefer to see one segment and not the other. I spoke with a friend who was also press, and she mentioned it took more time to switch between recording (the skits) on her DSLR and taking pictures, so she would miss the photos for first contestant right that followed right after a skit. Other than that, we had a diverse group of very talented contestants and as a fellow cosplayer and a Sakura Con cosplay judge alumni, I was proud of the contestants this year. Great job everyone!
This year, we actually made it into the AMV Finals, because they moved the AMV Finals to the Main Hall – this is a well deserved location for the AMV Finals. Additionally, they moved the time up to 1pm (vs 2-3pm) which made it much more convenient to finalize shopping and say our goodbyes afterwards. This was a yearly tradition for us up until last year, when the room got full and even the press individuals could not get in (nor were there designated press seating). I was very glad that this panel was moved to Main Hall, as it has shown over the years how popular this panel has gotten. The winners were all well deserved and I had such a great time watching it. They not only awarded the winners, but also the individual who made the AMV introduction animation for them for years. For the list of winners and awards, click here.
We certainly couldn’t end this coverage without commenting on the cosplay at Sakura Con. With Naruto ending in 2017, we had the birth of My Hero Academia just a year before Naruto ended. Just like we had all the Naruto cosplays previously, My Hero Academia is now our new Naruto. Not only that, but we had an influx of K/DA League of Legends popstars and also surprisingly a decent presence of Super Crown meme cosplays. I didn’t expect that we would have so many Super Crown cosplays, as some memes die fast, but their presence proved me wrong. Otherwise, I would have brought my Chompette! Check out the rest of our hall cosplay collection on Facebook.
At the end of Sakura Con, I felt good and satisfied of the slight improvements made over these last few years. Even the back corner of the 4th floor had tables and chairs added (since ECCC) for attendees to rest at and socialize. It’s a good con to see old friends and meet new friends. Until next year, Sakura Con.