by Oliver Layco
After attending one of the largest conventions in the world in my adventures, it was time to wind down and relax once I got home. My friends had the idea of attending SacAnime; a local convention on everything Animated. I decided to go because I haven’t seen the guys in awhile and to see how a smaller community does conventions. After going to both NYCC and SDCC, all I can say is small cities really do it different. The essence of the convention is still there, but on a much smaller scale; which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. There were no super lines to get into a panel nor was there any reason you wouldn’t be able to at least see some famous people. The cosplayers are still there and the geekiness is still at the same level. As we entered the show floor, I expected some big names like Marvel, DC, or FUNimation. Surprisingly I didn’t recognize any company that were selling their wares and that was probably the biggest surprise for me in my one day there. Also kind of confused me that there was no free stuff being handed out; no little buttons, stickers, or anything! Again, I had to remind myself this was a convention on a much smaller scale so the companies that do come don’t have the convenience of handing out freebies or any of the other items I’ve come to expect. However, having a group of friends to experience this made it much more enjoyable. As we wound our way through the convention center, we would end up in line for meet and greets with several voice actors. The biggest names for me that I cared for were none other than Nolan North and Troy Baker; Nolan for his work in the Uncharted series and Troy for voicing everything recently. The line honestly wasn’t that bad and by the time we reached the tables where they were it was probably only 30 or so minutes. Unfortunately for both of their lines, they were capped out so we settled for getting in line for someone else. I didn’t recognize the name at first, but the second Black Power Ranger was sitting right in front of me (Johnny Yong Bosch)! That was actually fairly exciting for me to actually see one of the original Power Rangers up close. And while the line for Nolan North was capped, I did catch a glimpse of him from far away. One of my friends would not give up and he would return the second day to get pictures with both Nolan and Troy! After that little segment, we would explore some more and see that they had rooms with arcade machines set up. This was a nice surprise to see that there was a sort of break room if people wanted to play games against each other. For the time being, we realized we didn’t have lunch so we settled on finding some grub. There was a Mayan place that served some spicy tacos to us. Three tacos and some sweat filled napkins later we made our way back to the convention center to see what the evening programs held for us. We would first stumble into the costume/karaoke contest. The cosplayers had some good ones going, but they were mostly some I couldn’t recognize because my anime knowledge is fairly low. However, when the judges had to step off to the side to determine who won, there was a karaoke session. It was interesting to say the least. I would not stick around for the results of the costume contest and eventually I found myself in front of an old friend; Time Crisis II had found its way back to me. After a few rounds, we would call it a night. While my friends would return the next day, I can say for myself that it was interesting to see a convention done on a smaller scale. While it did seem unorganized in some aspects, I didn’t experience any problems with security or anyone else. Since there was a smaller crowd, there were fewer jerks that I could see. As we rode away from the convention center, we would get ready for a night we won’t soon forget.