“Pop culture with an anime twist” is the official tagline for SacAnime, the anime-focused spinoff that started in 2004 from the original comic book-celebrating Sac-Con. Having grown from its early roots being hosted at a nearby mall and smaller conference arenas, SacAnime in recent years moved into the larger space of the Sacramento Convention Center (Sacramento, California) in order to accommodate higher attendance due to the increased popularity of pop culture events.
This winter season’s SacAnime takes place New Year’s Day weekend (January 1-3, 2016) and, unsurprisingly, includes some New Year’s Eve festivities where partying in cosplay is greatly encouraged.
Not to be confused with the separately organized Wizard World’s Comic Con that takes place in the summer, SacAnime focuses mostly on celebrating Japanese hand-drawn/computer animation.
Special Guests and Programming
For the uninitiated, there are multiple panels and workshops throughout the long weekend to introduce those beginners on the basics of anime, cosplay, and gaming to answer lingering questions and hopefully dispel any myths on the “culture.” There is one specific panel on harassment, which I personally applaud being programmed given that similar convention organizers have stressed that these events have comfortable and safe atmospheres.
The biggest highlight of the convention is a Falling Skies (which recently concluded a five season run on the cable channel TNT) mini-reunion with special guests Noah Wyle (as Tom Mason), Doug Jones (Cochise), Mpho Koaho (Anthony), and Treva Etienne (Dingaan Botha) on two separate weekend panels.
The evening schedules includes a few panels and sessions intended for mature audiences that feature Dameon Clarke (Handsome Jack in the Borderlands Video Game Series) and Toshio Maeda (erotic manga artist and pioneer of hentai). Also scheduled in the evening are late night electronic dance sets by DJ Jinrei and special Japanese guest DJ Kitsch.
Other panels involve Inuyasha, Attack on Titan, Crispin Freeman (voicework in Hellsing, Ghost in the Shell), Borderlands, Kevin Eastman (creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor).
Oh, and did I mention the cosplay? I’m also looking forward to seeing the creativity of Sacramento’s most ardent anime and pop culture fans on the convention floor, as well as in the music video contest, karaoke contest, and fashion show.
NOTE: Article originally published on Blogcritics.