If words like Airbender, Tardis or Gurren Lagann mean nothing to you, then the whole scene downtown this weekend might seem a little odd.
SacAnime hosts a convention twice a year, with the tagline of “Where the Anime Fans Go To Play.” Anime is a term for Japanese animation, but this event isn't limited to cartoons. The weekend offers celebrity panels, game rooms, costumed chess, voice acting classes, and even ballroom dancing workshops.
Last year more than 9,000 people came out to celebrate all things anime, manga, Japanese culture, sci-fi, comic books, cartoons, and TV shows. In other words, anything with a moderate fan-base merits representation. This year convention organizers expect more than 10,000 visitors by the end of the weekend.
Convention announcer, Joe Deas, said this is the biggest SacAnime convention so far.
“We had 33,000 pre-registrants alone,” Deas said. “The preregistration line is a lot longer than I think they were planning it being, but it’s fine. It’s what we want. People come, word of mouth gets out, more people come. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.”
On day one the main floor of the convention was packed with vendors selling t-shirts, toys, and original art.
Upstairs they had panels with famous voice actors from video games, like Steve Downes, the voice of Master Chief in the Halo games. Many of the attendees just mingled and took pictures with each other. Lots of people attend these conventions to meet other fans of the shows and media they like. Sometimes sitting around talking, sometime choreographing dancing together.
One popular convention practice is called cosplay, short for costume play, and it consists of people dressing up as characters. Many cosplayers take their craft to an artisan level, with elaborate tailoring, props and armor.
Here's a selection of our favorite cosplays from Friday afternoon at SacAnime 2014.
Chloe Corriveau as Sumia from Fire Emblem Awakening. Corriveau came from Monterrey to enjoy the convention. She made the armor herself using molding foam and an altered bra. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Aye, Aye, Captain!
Ryan Hussey of Reno came out to SacAnime to hang out with friends and speak with a funny accent all weekend, as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
A Corpse Bride
Kaylee Scharmacher caked on the makeup to recreate Emily Watson from Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Some People Just Want To Be Bad
59-year-old Alice Halbert from Concord, Ca, likes dressing up as Rita Repulsive from the Power Rangers and hanging out at anime conventions because she says she likes to be able to be bad and get away with it. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Part Of Their World
Lili Martin and Matt McCaffrey both enjoyed dressing up before they started dating, this SacAnime they cosplayed as the iconic Disney couple, Eric and Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
All Hail The Princess!
Catherine Crawford as Lucina from Fire Emblem, a video game. Crawford altered a pair of boots and made the dress from scratch. "I finished the entire dress last night," Crawford said. "There's always a rush before a con." Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Alvin Duong dressed as Ang from Avatar The Last Airbender. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
A Who Crew
A group Cosplay from the British time travel show, Dr. Who. Tina Bird as Clara Oswald, Cassie Brown as Rose Tyler, John Neal as the Master, Sam Arney at #11 right after regeneration, Evan Brown as #10, and Linus Pittman as #9. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Lovely, Lady Loki
Mejan Riggio loves Loki and finds it's easy to commit to a character she loves, even if that character is usually male. Riggio is part of a cosplay group from San Jose, called CosplayInABox, they go to a lot of conventions, but this was the first time at SacAnime. "It's more lively than I thought it would be," Riggio said. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
A Perfect Ten
Kazran Spasojevich found he looks the most like the #10 Doctor (from Doctor Who), and since he finds 10 the most fun anyway, why not dress up and put on an accent for a weekend? His costume was made by Magnoli Clothiers Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
Love At The Con
Sam and Andrew met at SacAnime last year and last July they got engaged at Anime Expo in front of dozens of people. Sam said this event is very special to her because it marks the one-year anniversary of the two meeting. They were both dressed as Ranga from Bloodedge Blazblue. You can follow them on facebook to see more of their costumes. Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio
See more photos from SacAnime on our Flickr.