30 March 2016

Con Report: Sakuracon 2016

Sakuracon is always my most chill con of the year, mainly because it's local and the fact that I've spent the past years tabling at the Artist Alley. I spend Sakuracon seeing friends, doing photoshoots, and eating good food with good people. I wouldn't have it any other way, honestly. This year I volunteered for ACParadise the whole weekend, debuting my Dorothy cosplay from PONYCANYON's Garakowa: Restore the World. I've been working at a very stressful job the past few months, so I didn't have a lot of energy to see friends after my shifts (sorry ;__; !!) but as all of us have gotten older, we all mutually agree that real life and health comes first. Anyways, here's my Sakuracon 2016 report!

DAY 0

I got dropped off at our hotel pretty early and was able to check-in right away. Coincidentally, my bellman today happened to be the bellman we had a few weekends ago for a meeting at the same hotel. LOL He asked me if I needed anything, and started listing off a ton of stuff that I didn't even know we could request (a fridge?! a blow-up mattress?? really??) and I just shyly and confusedly said yes to a bunch of free stuff. When I got into the room I was both shocked and worried -- did I book the wrong room??? Did they give me the wrong room??
The door opened up to... a very spacious hallway?
around the corner was still... more hallway?? a small bench? a blow-up mattress??
and then the actual room area. I was floored (heh) by the floorspace- where was I? I love the Olive 8 for its spacious rooms, but there must've been something wrong. I frantically checked my e-mail receipt and bank account while exploring this mysteriously large expanse of comfortable living.
Everything checked out - it was indeed the room I booked for the special rate I booked it as. I've stayed in corner rooms before, but never one this large. It sure was a treat HAHAHA.

Shaking myself out of my bewilderment and mild panic (oh gosh, what did I do wrong now, I kept thinking to myself), I decided to claim my spot and unpack.
First thing's first - take care of the goods. At this point Dorothy was mostly done but needed minor details attached.
Setting aside items needing to give/return to friends so I wouldn't forget haha.

I had so much time before the night was over, so I decided to run some errands, meet up with Nai, and then grab some food. There were still some cosplay bits and pieces I needed to finish (as did everyone else in the room LOL) so I figured it was better to start while the day was still sunny.
Pike Place chowder! I love how they have a restaurant in Pacific Place too - less crowded hehe.

Throughout the day my roomies arrived and we went out to grab dinner really quick before turning in for the night. We watched a lot of Forensic Files while working on cosplay, which seems to be a con tradition for some of my friends. 

DAY 1

Since I volunteered most of the con, I don't have many photos myself. A lot of these are from ACP staff @waynekaa and @everon!
Merchandise side of the PONYCANYON USA booth!
Large banners featuring various series.
Garakowa cut-outs! Dorothy's pose is a bit.........
L to R: @atashi00 as Dual, @marina_cosplay as Remo, and myself as Dorothy!

Our shifts mainly involved handing out promotional calendars, postcards, stickers, and informing attendees of PONYCANYON USA-related events and panels. It's a lot of fun being able to interact with all kinds of different people, and I feel like that's less intimidating when I'm in cosplay haha. 
During our breaks in between shifts we ran around looking at other booths and got food - Ryu and I really wanted to get a photo with Domo-kun before the day was over!!

At 1:00PM there was the Garakowa: Restore the World Screening and Industry Panel, so we headed over to the main room. 
Before the doors opened, we were asked to get pictures with Director Ishihama Masashi (left) and Producer Ishihara Ryoichi (right). I was so nervous @@
While attendees filed in, we stood by the door greeting everyone. Not unlike my day job! haha

It's always entertaining to watch screenings and hearing Q&A sessions -- some of the reactions are hilarious and witty. After it was over, we headed back to the booth to finish up our last shift for the day.

I immediately went back to my hotel room and changed out of Dorothy so I could get into Saber *^* I met up with @beertrapcosplay and @rundevinrun to hang out and take some Fate photos together.
Devin kyaaaaa
Mike got really nice shots here ;-;

We were fighting the setting sun and really yellow overhead hotel hallway lighting, so not a lot of photos were salvageable but it was a lot of fun LOL
The Ultimate Photography Fighting Monster!!
Blue Steel??
....or Magnum?
Nico nico nii!
Most of our good photos are of us messing around HAHAHA. 

The sun completely set and it was time to eat dinner, so I went back to my hotel to change into casual clothes.

Angela came back and we went to our Sakuracon/PAX tradition restaurant - yes, as always - Rock Bottom. LOL
I only get this during local cons so it's a treat treat treat.
2AM burggg. Unfortunately I could barely eat any of it... I was having weird stomach pains.

Went to bed at a decent time~~

DAY 2

 For a short ANIPLEX shift, I wore Kaori Saturday morning! The new eyelashes I bought are a little too glam for my liking, so I'm in the market for a more subtle pair... I felt pretty in them all the same though ;-;

Atashi, Ryu, and @mobilesuitguy were in SAO today, so it was Chas, Ferris, me, and a few other volunteers helping out the booth.
Wait a second....
LOL!!
Some solo shots by the booth - my OTP Shinra and Celty in the bg ♥ ♥ ♥ 

This group of Your Lie in April cosplayers stopped by to take a photo with me >< they were so friendly and nice. They offered me to hold their melodica, but I was too afraid to drop it LOL so I held up the calendar.

@ultimaaa STOPPED BY AS WELL IN HER LOVELY Y'SHTOLA AHHH!!!! TT__TT she won  Individuals Masters for the Cosplay Contest this year - so cool!!! I can't wait to work on Alphinaud...
one last shot lol!!!

After my shift was over I quickly changed back into Dorothy. I was by myself today, since Ryu and Atashi were in SAO for their volunteer shifts. I got to know the Rokka cosplayers a bit and bonded with @december_wynn over Natsume Yuujinchou and Mushishi -- such a wonderful kindred spirit ;__; I also got a chance to talk more with PONYCANYON's representatives and staffers, who were all very kind and generous people. One of them even knew my manager from my current job!! What a small world. I felt very welcome each shift, and all in all it was such a pleasant day.

After the dealer's hall closed, I made my way back to the hotel. Everyone else went out to party while I stayed in bed OTL I was so sore... Ellen and Kayla stopped by to hang out for a little while because we were all going to wear our LL cheongsam outfits TT TT but I was exhausted.. it was really nice seeing them. Not sure what time I went to bed that night but it was also pretty early. LOL no late night adventures this Sakuracon, that's for sure.

DAY 3

Last day of the con! Angela and I woke up extra early to do a very quick photoshoot of my Kaori before my last shift at the PONYCANYON USA booth. We were fighting rain and time to get some decent shots, and boy am I glad we did haha! We were both pretty soaked by the end of it, but it was all worth it.
You can see the shots here!
Photo by Jared Mitchell
Our last shift volunteering as the Garakowa girlsssss. Helping out at the Crunchyroll booth for a change of scenery!

Sunday always goes by the fastest. After the dealer's hall closed, I went to Angela's table, got out of costume, and helped tear down. We rested for a little while before bringing our luggages back to the hotel to store.

There was time to kill so we treated ourselves to one last dinner at The Cheesecake Factory! Coincidentally, some of our friends were seated in the booth directly in front of us LOL!! I hadn't run into them all con so it was really refreshing being able to chat for a bit.
I got the steak Diane *q*~
We shared a chocolate cake!! So rich omggg

Angela and I really wanted to take some of the bread home because it was mostly untouched... so I asked our waiter if it was possible to box up our bread as well as our plates to-go. To our complete surprise, the waiter came back with not just a to-go box full of our bread -- but a whole baguette!!!
My friend Caitlin got this shot of me holding up the baguette, I was so shocked and happy LOL. Look at that thing!! This year was definitely the con of hospitality and exceptional customer service. Thank you so much!!! hahaha. After dinner I gathered up my stuff and headed home.

Thank you to all my friends who I got to see, and to all my friends I unfortunately missed seeing. Thank you to ACParadise's Wayne, Imari, Henry (who was at Anime Boston this weekend) and Eve for always being such awesome organizers and staff of the ACP industry events -- they've brought a new form of joy to conventions for me. Thank you to PONYCANYON USA and ANIPLEX staff for being so kind and generous the whole weekend. 

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