Anime conventions – while in the same realm as comic conventions – are still incredibly different. For example, the cosplayer to “normal” attendee ratio is much more skewed – there is one “normie” to every ten cosplayers. You’ll see massive swarming groups of the same character, repeated over and over with differing body types and faces, all giggling excitedly about their shared fandom. The ENERGY at anime cons is another thing that is incredibly different – everyone is bubbling with boundless excitement. Excitement for their shared interests. People don’t go there to buy comics or get art – they go there to cosplay, to scream out inside jokes at fellow fans, and maybe catch a glimpse of their favorite Japanese voice actor.
I encountered all of this – as I do every Easter weekend – this past weekend at Sakura-con 2013 here in Seattle, Washington. The streets were overflowing with colorful anime characters, people carrying body pillows, and all of the surrounding restauraunts were serving cocktails and coffee called “The Totoro” or “The Ninja”. The cherry blossoms were blooming in a perfect nod to Japan, and the entire thing was bathed in sunshine. It was wonderful.
While I was one of the cosplayers who turned out in overwhelming numbers, I still had my camera hidden under my cloak or strapped across my chest. Whenever *I* wasn’t posing for photographs, I was making others pose for me. Without further ado, here is Sakura-con 2013: through the eyes and lens of Molly McIsaac.