1. Seattle is a beautiful city. Clean, not congested, and full of friendly people. The homeless are a lot crazier and assertive than those in Chicago but still seem pretty harmless.
2. The convention center was easy to get around in. No panel or event required more than a five or six-minute walk to get to. Having multiple levels to one building, instead of spreading out across acres and acres of land, made getting around a breeze.
3. Panels seemed a little disorganized at times but you’d have to be a dick to actually complain about ten or fifteen-minute delays (usually caused by technical difficulties) at a con staffed by volunteers.
4. These things are really turning into 4chan cons, aren’t they? I mean, maybe that’s what they’ve been for at least 5 years, but never quite like this. I guess that’s fine but if the Internet is going to invade real life, can we at least retire all the memes from 2007 already?
5. Naruto cosplay and fan excitement in general was lower than at any convention I’d ever been to. This, on the other hand, was everywhere:
6. Hardly bought anything at this convention except for a poster from artists’ alley. Usually, I find myself wanting to stock up on DVDs but I can’t help but feel that I’m gradually beginning to realize that my collecting habits are not sustainable in the long run, and that we are watching more anime online than ever before, so… overall, I just enjoyed this convention for what it was, and not as a shopping trip.
7. The “Otaku 25 and older” panel needed to be more than a half hour long, but it was nice to be in a room where I was actually one of the youngest people, for once.
8. The Hyatt at Olive 8 is a wonderful hotel, comfortable and very close to the convention center. Despite offering a very reasonable convention rate (as listed on the Sakura-Con website during registration), it somehow wasn’t listed in the final convention program’s page of participating hotels. So maybe it’s kind of a secret, and one that you should really look into for next year if you want to be a truly savvy con-goer.
9. Were there more cosplayers in attendance than “normals”? As I rode escalators surrounded by Hetalia girls, people wearing animal pajamas (not sure what the deal with this was but these people were everywhere), guys dressed as soldiers and SWAT team members (again: why?) and girls in schoolgirl outfits, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I was the one who was standing out in the crowd.
10. Pike’s Place Market is a wonderful destination for strolling, people-watching, and stocking up on actual healthy con sustenance and snacks. It’s also the most idyllic symbol of living, sustainable capitalism that I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit and participate in, at least compared to the strip malls and big box stores that make up my hometown. Also, people seem to really enjoy showing off their dogs there.