[Flashback Friday] Sac Anime Winter 2009 Part One

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Welcome to the start of Flashback Friday here at RA:N! Its time to take the time machine back to previous years to examine some past events! 
Turns out plenty of old coverage of mine has survived and untold adventures await to be shown! 
My photography improved as well as my cameras down the road, I only ask that you please excuse the blurry not-so-wonderful quality pics!

SacAnime Winter 2009 Entrance

Sac Anime Winter is a yearly event that has occurred regularly since 2005. 
Sac Anime also hosts Sac Anime Summer as well. 
The two events make up Sacramento's main anime convention, striking twice a year. Sacramento has a few other events as well like Sac Con, Wizard World Comic Con (skipping this year however) and more. 
Sac Anime began as an anime convention but has since changed tune a little to include a lot of western cartoons and movies and other things- however it is still mostly an anime convention, complete with a nice vendor's hall selling tons of anime merch. 
Sac Anime Winter 2009 took place on January 9th-11th, and it was special for me for a few reasons. ^^ 

One, it was the first convention I attended after deciding to make the blog that lead to this very website down the line. 
Two, I had never felt brave enough to bring a camera to a convention for the purpose of taking pics and bringing them back for my blog. 
Three, I actually made friends there! I've been with Sac Anime since the early days in 2004, starting as a volunteer and collaborating content promoter and more- but I had never made any real convention-made friends until 2009. 
Up until then I had either promoted the convention or attended with a school friend, or just stopped by to buy things since I didn't have internet- or couldn't shop on the internet back then as an adolescent. 
At the Winter 2009 convention I not only invited some childhood friends of mine to try the convention, but I also got to meet friends from Myspace and even stayed for the late-night dance/rave and really enjoyed myself. 
Back then I was struggling in an old relationship and headed for a break up- so it felt very good to let loose and enjoy myself with friends who gave me a lot of support back then. 
The friends I made at that convention and the ones I had invited loved the event SO much that together my friends all wanted to plan a trip to venture to FanimeCon for the first time together, and that also lead me further along my path of destiny. So in a way, this is where a lot of my current work began. 

Here's a tour of my own journey from much simpler times, and a look at some other photos from flickr users that have surfaced of Sac Anime Winter 2009 since. 
In the first picture towards the top you can see many folks piling into the Scottish Rite Center here in Sacramento- not the birthplace of Sac Anime, but it's first real venue and also the old site of Sac Con. 
(Also you can see old runaroundkazu watermarks, please ignore them! ^^;)

Sleepy Kazu 

This was me that day!

Brunch 

 A bowl of ramen and whatever else I added in. I think those are bacon bits, but Konata sure is excited!

Vendor's Room

Here's a look at the vendors hall back then. It was smallish but Sac Anime has always had a lot of great vendors. 

The right side of the Vendor's Room In Opposite View 

There were about 4 main aisles of tables that were side to side. 
There was not much separation of artist alley and vendor hall, it was mostly vendors and just a couple artists. 
Down the line they actually began making the entry zone to the building more of an artist-occupied zone. They may have done that as well at this time, but I don't remember.

RebelXSi-2922Lovely Shirts and Figures  

One of the first merch photos I ever took. You can see some Evangelion and Soul Eater figures there.

Shop at SAW09 

 More merch. I really liked that sheet in the lower right from "He Is My Master".

Plushies and Wall-Scrolls!

Plushies from Death Note, Naruto, and Mario. Wall-scrolls too.

TCG and Stage Area

You can't see it well but the stage in the back of the main hall had players gathering for Trading Card Game tournaments.

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More plushies!

Square Goodies and Other Items

Ah...back when Square Enix's Play Arts series began. Back then you could obtain them pretty easily without giving out an arm and a leg. (Play Arts Kai these days are upwards of $200) However the original Play Arts figures were a slightly lesser quality and somewhat shorter, less articulated. 
Still have pieces falling off my Play Arts Kai's today like the special Noctis from the FFXV Ultimate Box breaks pretty easily. >.>;; I believe I bought those Bleach figurines there in the pic.

Lokisa (Lolita Kisama)

Lolita Kisama aka Lokisa or Visual You was just a couple years old and still starting out back then! I'm so proud of them for how far they grew and their success. 
That manikin there looks a little nippy don't you think? Must be chilly.

Lolita Kisama

Another shot of the Lokisa shop at Sac Anime Winter 2009.

Random Merch 

 More Play Arts figurines, man they were really popular back then!

Geass Kits 

Code Geass was huge at that time after being released for only about a year. 
Here you can see some Geass mechs of the Guren and the Lancelot. 
I was a Geass nut at the time and swooned over these models but I had already spent all of my money by the time I discovered them.
When I see this picture I remember something kind of amusing. Because the vendors' room shared the room with the big stage, the late-night dance/rave was held in the same room, but not all vendors had time to/or put their merch away, so the convention just taped off a specific zone for the dancing. These two mechs were RIGHT at the line and I remember seeing the boxes rock and vibrate to the party that ensued. lmao! 
Later on and especially after the convention moved to it's next venue, vendors would mostly clean up and move out before the dance. There'd also be a separate room for the vendor's hall and the dance/stage area as well after the first move.

Figures on Display

Figurines of Nero from Devil May Cry 4, Asuka from Evangelion, and Daredevil from Marvel displayed in a glass case.

Picachu 

Pikachu!

Autograph Signing 

 Guests signed at a table out toward the entrance/exit area of the building. Guests that year were Akai SKY, Laura Bailey, Lisa Furukawa, Tom Kane, Vic Mignogna, Ben Roman, Chris Sarandon, Travis Willingham, and {mid:night}. 
Wikipedia lists Katie Bair and Jodon Bellofatto as well, however they were Sac Anime staff members who were representing their personal skills as Guests. 
The white haired man you can easily see there is Tom Kane who is known for voicing Yoda in the Star Wars Clone Wars animated series among other cartoon and video game roles.

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Zaraki Kenpachi 

 Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach!

Oozaru Form King Vegeta 

 Another one of my first cosplay photos, King Vegeta in Oozaru/Great Ape form!

Rin and Wolf-guy 

 Rin Kagamine and a fur suit that I do not know.

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 The Riddler.

Zelkova 

 Zelkova from the .hack//G.U. series.

Theo with Yoruichi Shihoin 

 Yoruichi and Ichigo from Bleach.

Banana Man 

 A banana!

Grimmjow 

 Grimmjow from Bleach. He wanted to give a pose he thought Grimmjow would like to give. XD

My first picture of a cosplayer 

 Wasn't sure which this one was.

Captain Jack Sparrow 

 Captain Jack Sparrow!

Beetlejuice 

 Beetlejuice!

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Sometimes random things like conga lines form at Sac Anime.

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The game room!

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Stay tuned for part 2! 


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About Hikaru Kazushime

Hikaru Kazushime is an American entrepreneur from the USA who lives in California and is the creator of Run Around:Network, a brand that brings Visual Culture to life. Kazu (called for short) is an active personality in the anime and gaming industries and sub-culture scenes. Kazu resides in his hometown of Sacramento, California where he manages RA:N from his home office. Learn more about Kazu by clicking the "About Hikaru Kazushime" link at the top under the "About" tab.

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