Another blog I found in draft form that I never actually posted at the time I wrote it. I just thought I did. Not the same thing….
Did you go?
As usual, we did: Jeb and I, our sons Andy and Stephen, daughter Amelia, and son-in-law Mikey. This time though – with the exception of Andy who could only get off work for Saturday and Sunday – we went all three days. Unfortunately, Andy’s sweet lady Bonnie didn’t get to come this year, but maybe next I hope, I hope, I hope! This has become a regular family tradition with us that even overtakes Easter somewhat as both fell together this year and the Sakura Con won out. Yes, I still made Easter baskets, but everyone was too distracted by getting ready to go to the convention that they scarcely noticed until after getting back.
Jeb dressed as Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, of Full Metal Alchemist. Very distinguished!
I dressed as Belldandy from Oh My Goddess!
Mikey dressed as a Steam Punk Mad Hatter. It suited him to a tee.
Amy dressed as another goddess – albeit one we made up in desperation from not being able to find just the right costume otherwise. We renamed her Freya, the unknown mother of Belldandy, and decked her out in a beautiful ball gown of film white with green satin ribbon trim, a green jewelled forehead, and angel wings. She was adorable!
Stephen dressed as a school boy from an anime that in English translates to “Monster Academy.” I can’t recall what it’s called in Japanese. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it myself. But Stephen said his character was the lone human at the academy.
Andy didn’t dress up this year because his Bonnie couldn’t be with him and also because on Saturday morning before going to the con, he attended the funeral of Bonnie’s grandmother. But he still had fun with his beloved little brother.
“Sakura” by the way is Japanese for “Cherry Blossom Season” and boy was it ever this time! All the trees were in bloom and it was beautifully sunny out on Friday and Saturday. The convention center opens onto Freeway park, where cement structure amid beautifully blooming gardens create a the appearance of rocky escarpments on a mountain, including waterfalls and pools. We picnicked out there on Saturday afternoon and Amy and I got our pictures taken too.
Okay, so everyone take’s everyone’s pictures at Sakura Con. It’s what we do amid dancing, gaming, anime movie marathoning, Japanese cultural events, and exploring the many exhibits. The costumes are worth coming to see all on their own. It’s a real see and be seen event. The costuming is wonderfully elaborate and detailed.
On Friday, while Stephen was in the gaming section, Jeb and I, Mikey and Amy danced for a while at the formal masked ball and even swapped partners a time or two. It’s fun to see everyone dancing in costume with fancy masks to boot. It was mostly romantic waltzes and love ballads, but also some lively Michael Jackson. Good fun exercise and quite a few show stopping dancers in between.
We all had too much fun in the exotic Anime market place too, finding our soveniers. Jeb bought tee shirts, some gorgeous artwork, animes, and figures, ect. I went gagga for the jewelry, hair sticks, and fans. I wanted one of those cute triangular white furry critters with the smiley faces and red jewel in the forehead (whose name I can’t recall except that it begins with an ‘M’) but never did knuckle under to buying one since, for a stuffed animal, they were more ridiculously expensive than I could justify. Andy and Stephen bought fancy swords and satchels and Mangas of course. Amy went for the jewelry, tee shirts, and elf ears.
As to the Animes we watched together, Black Butler (“I am one hell of a butler!”) and Birdy come to mind. I can’t recall all that we peeked in on though. Those two were the ones we sat through the most episodes of though because they were really really good.
Anyway, years ago… Okay, about 8 or 9 years ago, when the kids were still in highschool, Amy and I were the lone family members enthused about Sakura Con even though all of us liked Anime. The boys didn’t want to dress up and didn’t want to go to the convention either. So the first one or two Sakura Cons Amelia and I went to alone… well, not with the boys anyway. We went with a bunch of her friends from school. When we finally talked the boys into coming the first time, they wouldn’t dress up but had fun anyway. All the same, they felt a little out of place not dressing up. So now they dress up to a degree: Andy sometimes, Jeb at least one day out of the con and an Anime silk Dragon Ball shirt the other days, and Stephen always and perfectly.
Andy and Stephen now admit they’re glad we dragged them into this. The gist of it went something like… “Everyone’s so friendly here! It’s neat that everyone here has an obsession with Anime. You don’t share that with just anyone. Here it’s something we ALL have in common… and no one is judgemental about anyone either in costuming, personal style, or relationship. We’re all okay with each other. More than that, we’re all enthused with one another. Every one is instant friends, instant conversations, hugs, and high fives on the escalator are standard. That’s really cool.”
It is really cool. Too bad that kind of feeling about others isn’t true in the majority of society at large.
Click HERE to see my Sakura Con 2011 pictures. I don’t think I’m in any of them though. I was the one taking the pictures after all.