Sakura-con 2008 Day 2 started off well. I had breakfast with a friend who lives in Seattle while Batou slept in. Then we went and caught some of Yutaka Izubuchi’s Q&A panel. After that we went to theOtaku.com meetup.
A funny thing happened on the way to the meetup. Batou and I grabbed a snack in the lobby of the convention center. While we were eating he finished his sandwich and said he was going to see if he could figure out where a store where he could buy a tripod (he forgot his at home). So he walks 10 feet away to the information center. Someguy walks up just then. He tells me that the meetup is like 100 feet away, down a flight of stairs. So I ask him to grab Batou, and we turn around to find him gone. As in vanished. We look all around the immediate area, and wait for about 5 minutes, before I decide to move our stuff down to the meetup area. I call him and call him but he doesn’t answer his phone. Someguy does a lap around looking for him. Then MissAnonymous arrives and said she saw him going “up” the escalators. I am seriously going “WTF mate” right now. Someguy does another lap but no Batou, they go ahead and do the rest of the meetup and no Batou. Finally I give up and record the show with Someguy and we finish up the meetup. I head back to the hotel and Batou’s there. Apparently he had walked another 20 feet into the Kinko’s, which we didn’t think to look in, and then when he came back I was gone, so he went to the press room. Why? Because I had his bag, on which was his badge and in which was his cell phone. All of that did him a lot of good with me. So after I didn’t show up there looking for him he went to RadioShack to buy a tripod and then back to the room to try to call someone who could call me.
Reunited at last, we headed out to the concerts. I had gotten a call about 10pm the previous night with the news that I had gotten interviews with Yutaka Izubuchi and Roland Kelts, but they happened to be at the exact same time as the Ali Project concert. We laid down some press smash (actually, that wasn’t necessary, all we had to do was ask) and found out that we could record the entire concert. Sweet! So we went and setup at the concert. I got to stay for the first song of Ketchup Mania’s set, and then left. Batou stayed to film the rest of the concerts.
I headed down to the press room and did my interview with Yutaka Izubuchi. Izubuchi-san is an idol of mine, seeing as RahXephon is my favorite Anime and he created it.
After that was the interview with Roland Kelts. Roland is a pleasure to talk to. We had actually been trying to do an interview with him since Cool Japan over at MIT, but his travel schedule had been so busy we weren’t able to work it out. We talked about his book “Japanamerica” and the differences between Japan and America regarding the Anime industries and philosophical/cultural differences between the two in how I.P. is treated. It was a great conversation, and if you haven’t already, you should listen to my recording.
Batou and I reunited again and we got some schwag signed by Ali Project, a CD and a T-shirt. Some lucky Anime Pulse subscriber will win those (premium subscribers are eligible for that, so subscribe now). After that we had a nice sushi dinner, and then went back to do some editing and uploading. We worked for a couple hours getting the interviews up and the concert video converted. Then we headed over to the Homecoming dance (read rave). That was a good time, and I even danced for a bit. Lucky for me Batou wasn’t able to get any good video of that. Then we worked again until about 2am before knocking off for the night.
Sunday we slept in, and after breakfast went to catch The Slants concert. They were pretty good. Then I went down to get Yutaka Izubuchi to sign my RahXephon official art book. I took the opportunity to get another picture taken. We also got some pictures of the girl band Scandal. After that it was off to collect our bags and catch the shuttle to the airport. I just finished watching the video of the Ali Project concert on the plane and it was awesome! Huge thanks to Batou for recording it for me and all of you.
Final thoughts. Sakura-con 2008 was a great success. It was a lot of fun. It was great to see all theOtaku.com listeners, and Rachael and Craig, AP listeners who found us at the con. Also a big thanks to the staff, especially Mira Utz, the press coordinator, who was very welcoming to us and got me those great interviews. I am very glad we went. Sakura-con gets a “Download Now!” rating on the Anime Pulse rating scale.
*Yawn*.. I didn’t get home until after 1am from the airport, and since I still had to upload the pictures I am posting all of this now. Hope you enjoy.