SacAnime is an anime convention held twice a year in Sacramento California. The fact that I was born and raised in Sacramento and love attending comic con like events, means I was obligated to attend in order to retain my nerd card. The convention is held in the Sacramento Convention Center which is quite small when compared to the bigger (SDCC or NYCC ) venues. That fact doesn’t mean it was any less fun then those conventions from the big boys though. With appearances from actors from Game of Thrones, Power Rangers and various voice actors from a wide range of video games and animation, Sac-Anime put on a very respectable show.
The Sacramento Convention centers main hall is 134,000 square feet. Again that is relatively small comparatively, but the space was used quite efficiently. According to the program guide this year was the first time that SacAnime was able to use the entire Sacramento Convention Center including all of the halls and rooms for convention related activities. I was able to attend each day and the crowd was always robust. Compared to the last SacAnime approximately six months ago, this convention has grown considerably in a short amount of time with more growth expected.
The main show floor was bustling with people at all times of the day. Cosplay played a major roll as usual and some of the costumes were absolutely amazing. Tracer from the popular game Overwatch was one of my favorites and Overwatch as a whole seemed to be somewhat of an unofficial cosplay theme this year as people dressed up as their favorite character from the popular video game.
The programming and guests this year was very diverse with something for everyone. Anime was obviously strongly represented and there were over one hundred vendors and several hundred artists in attendance. Panels included voice actors from popular video games such as Mass Effect, Overwatch and Zelda while television was represented by actors from Power Rangers Dino Charge and my personal favorite Game of Thrones. Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara Sand) told stories and answered many questions about their time on the extremely popular HBO show. Kristian got a huge laugh from the crowd when he said he would love to come back as a White Walker and kill Brandon Stark for carrying him around all the time!
SacAnime actually offers something that is rarely seen nowadays in the convention community: Free autographs! That’s right most of the guests that are in attendance offer one free autograph of an item. The free line can be quite long but unlike last SacAnime you also had an option of paying $25 for a fast pass ticket that would get you in a much shorter line to save some of your precious time. This system seemed to work out very well as I bought 4 fast pass tickets and was done relatively quickly with the autographs that I wanted to obtain. Furthermore all the autograph signings took place in one room separate from the main floor. In the past the signings took place in the same room which caused a considerable amount of slow moving traffic due to rubber neckers trying to catch a peek at celebrities. This was more than a welcomed change.
I have been to approximately 3-4 SacAnime conventions in the past and I would have to say that this was the best one so far. With a varying guest list and panels there really was something for anyone who attended. A couple more headliner celebrities would have been great, but that’s just me being nit picky. Overall this was a great convention and I very much look forward to their next show in January 5th-7th 2018 and their sister show Sac-Con show next month. If you are in the Sacramento area next January be sure to check it out. You wont be disappointed.
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