So this was actually my first time attending any SacAnime. My brother and I flew into Sacramento from Burbank airport since we did not want to drive 6 hours. The flight was around an hour so it was a pretty sweet deal.
I’ll walk you through my trip. The summary will be at the top for those that just want a basic idea of what happened! If you read past the TLDR, you can read all of the details of my trip!
I had an amazing experience! Despite having to live off of mostly 711 hot dogs and popcorn, a lot of great things happened!
Senpais noticed me
I got to meet a lot of my favorite english voice actors. This con is fairly large and it had a great amount of guests.
Made New Friends
I got to meet some people for the first time in person that I had only known through Instagram which was amazing!
I also met a lot of people at the con and have made so many more friends!
I also got to hang with one of my favorite photographers Jayson Tran and he did two photoshoots for me that weekend.
Got a couple of posters
On top of all of that, I also added two new posters to my collection.
So now I’m going to walk you through my whole trip!
SacAnime Winter 2015 happened to fall on New Years Day weekend. Day 0 was on Thursday January 1st and Day 1 was on Friday January 2nd. So it worked out pretty well with my work schedule since I had both Thursday and Friday off.
Flying and Checking into Hotel
The plan was to depart from Burbank Airport on Thursday at 11am and arrive at the Sacramento Airport at around noon. We almost decided to drive 6 hours but I think that flying was definitely a better decision.
Being the overly paranoid person that I am, I had my brother and I leave for the airport at 7am. We ended up getting through security very quickly and had a lot of downtime.
After arriving at the airport, we took a taxi to the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento and checked into the room.
Unpacking was an interesting experience! It was my first time flying with cosplay props so I was VERY careful when packing them. They were all wrapped in bubble wrap and carefully placed in a golf bag.
I also broke my Dark Repulser again. This thing is infamous for breaking!
We had some time to kill so we ate at a nearby restaurant called Cafe 15L.
I originally had no idea that this con had a Day 0! The day before, I received an email stating that we could pick up our badges starting at 4pm and that there would be a Day 0 panel in the evening.
We walked over to the Sheraton Hotel which was about one block away from where we were staying and got in line for our badges!
In line I made a couple of new friends right so I got off to an amazing start.
Day 0 Panel
While I was line, my brother and I were contemplating on if we would go to the Day 0 Panel or not.
No one seemed to know exactly what would be happening at the panel but a rumor was going around that there would be one English Voice Actor attending so we decided that we would come back later in the evening.
After we came back, we got in line for the panel and were seated shortly. Apparently, even the staff wasn’t fully sure of what was going on. A staff member approached the front and announced that he was JUST notified that Todd Haberkorn would be at the Day 0 Panel so I was not disappointed!
Along with Todd Haberkorn was also the new English Voice Actor Allen Lee who was really cool, funny, and humble. I really want to check out the show Gargantia now since he is the main protagonist in that show alongside Matt Mercer and Cassandra Lee Morris.
So the panel was hilarious. I didn’t even expect to catch Todd Haberkorn until a future day so this was quite a nice treat.
His voice was dying at the panel. He had just arrived from the airport and the whole day he had been recording Free! and Fairy Tail. As you know, Fairy Tail has a lot of yelling so it was really cool that he still took the time to speak at the panel despite his throat feeling like it was on fire.
I ended up asking a tentacle related question.
He responded by saying “No! I had no idea… I’ll have to give him poop for that!”
Almost got Todd Haberkorn Autographs
After the panel, we all lined up to get autographs from Todd Haberkorn. I jumped at the opportunity since I knew his autograph lines within the next few days would be packed!
Unfortunately, he apologized that he would not be signing autographs so that he could rest for the con and I was slightly sad of course but he had already done more than enough at this point.
After that, I had my “gourmet” dinner of pop corn and slim jim at 711 and knocked out.
I was excited when I woke up on Friday since it would be my first time using my GGO Kirito cosplay at a con.
I unfortunately did not have time to cut and style the bangs so it was sort of a generic-looking black wig. On the bright side, the wig didn’t get tangled at all so that was nice!
Cassandra Lee Morris Autographs
The first thing that I did on Day 1 was wait in line to get an autograph from Cassandra Lee Morris.
If you don’t know who she is, she is an English Voice Actor that is in nearly all of my favorite shows!
She is Leafa/Suguha in SAO, Ritsu in K-ON!, Minori in Toradora, Kyubey in Madoka, and more.
She was extremely nice and signed my cosplay card! I was told several times by the staff that we were not allowed to take pictures with the guests but Cassandra took one with me anyways.
I met one of my favorite english voice actors Cassandra Lee Morris (@cassandra.morris) at SacAnime Winter 2015! She was so nice! I appreciated her signing my cosplay card and also taking a picture with me despite it being against the rules! It’s always crazy meeting voice actors that record on my favorite shows. It’s no coincidence that she is in my top 4 anime (SAO, K-ON!, Madoka, and Toradora)! I hope to meet her again someday!
It’s always so cool meeting the people that have voices in my favorite anime!
Attack on Titan Q&A
After that, we realized that we had missed a large chuck on the Attack on Titan Panel Q&A panel but we decided to show up towards the end!
SAO Cosplay Gathering
After that was one of the events that I was most looking forward to all weekend! It was the SAO Cosplay Gathering.
(Someone was kind enough to film the entire SAO Cosplay Gathering at SacAnime, upload this, and then email me the YouTube link!)
Since it was my first time at SacAnime, reading that the gathering was at the “Art Wall” made no sense to me because I didn’t know where that was. I spent a good chunk of time wandering around and realized that it was actually very easy to find!
Since I found it a lot sooner than I thought I would, my brother and I walked through the exhibit hall a bit and I ran into a few Instagram friends!
Since I was in GGO Kirito Cosplay, I was REALLY hoping to see some Sinons or Death Guns at the Cosplay Gathering. Unfortunately there weren’t any but there was one other GGO Kirito so I was not completely alone!
A big thank you to @catie_bug11 for this picture from the SAO Cosplay Gathering at SacAnime Winter 2015! Myself and @siennacosplay as the two GGO Kiritos, @catie_bug11 as an Asuna, and @lady_ravenrose as Leafa! The post from this picture was supposed to be “Males vs Females” so that put @siennacosplay and I in the “middle” literally xD. Pretty happy with how this turned out. I wasn’t able to chase down any of the photographers that photographed all of the poses for this! If anyone could send me pictures of each of the poses, I will be eternally grateful and can compensate you somehow!
I was most excited about there being an Agil cosplayer! He was the first once I had ever seen. I wanted to give him a Cosplay card and also get a picture with him but he was way too popular amongst the other Kiritos and he left us all pretty early on so we were all a bit sad!
I regretted not being able to chase down any of the photographers to beg them to send me pictures but my friend Sienna was kind enough to send me her photos from the gathering!
GGO Cosplay Photoshoot
Shortly after the gathering, I met up with my photographer friend Jayson Tran to have a scheduled photoshoot.
(Photo credit: @JaysonTranPhotography) A big thank you to @JaysonTranPhotography for taking this great pic of me during our GGO shoot at SacAnime Winter 2015! I really had a lot of fun with this shoot. While I do prefer my Aincrad and ALO cosplays, this one felt refreshing and new. It was cool to do something different!
(See the “GGO Kirito Cosplay Photos” page for more)
He is one of my favorite photographers for many reasons. First, he does his research on different locations. Since he had GGO in his mind, he took me to an area where construction was being done and that looked a bit industrial to fit the cosplay.
Second of all, he gives great directions. A lot of us cosplayers practice our poses in the mirrors but when a picture is being taken, I trust the photographer over myself. Why? Well when I’m posing for a camera, they can see me while I just pose awkwardly hoping that it looks okay! Being given solid directions makes photo shoots go so much more smoothly.
Bryce Papenbrook in Exhibit Hall
While my brother and I were walking around, he was going through social media and saw that Bryce Papenrbook stated that he was hanging out in the exhibit hall at a table selling prints.
I excitedly said that we should go find his table and maybe get in line for an autograph. I assumed that he’d be swarmed since he’s extremely popular!
I guess the fangirls weren’t paying attention to social media because there was only 1 person at his table!
I wanted to approach him but I got a bit nervous because I couldn’t believe my favorite Voice Actor was right in front of me and that there was NO line!
Before I could brace myself, he looked over and noticed my cosplay and complimented it!
It was so cool talking to him because it’s really obvious that he enjoys what he does and is legitimately stoked to meet fans.
I also “warned” him about my friend @alfheim_asuna! She was planning to meet him at a future con and she is a HUGE fan of his! I expected her to faint when meeting him.
I probably got a bit annoying because I stuck around and hung out and talked with him and a few other of his fans for about an hour. Bryce was the coolest guy ever!
We took a “Cheer for Me” picture!
Speed Dating Panel
After I hang out with Bryce for a while, my brother and I met up again. He had told me about a Single Speed Dating panel that was happening and I laughed at the idea of it at first.
After some thinking, I got a bit curious about it. I figured that nothing could go wrong.
So the panel wasn’t what I expected it to be AT ALL. I thought that it would be one of those awkward things where you were paired up with someone and had to talk with them for a certain time limit and then it would get awkward if you didn’t click with them or you would be sad if time ran out too soon with someone you enjoyed meeting!
Instead, it was divided in to 3 rounds.
The first round consisted of the host asking the entire a group a question and having all of us raise our hand if it applied to us. One example was “who likes Anime” so obviously everybody in the room raised their hand. All of us were allowed to ask questions too after.
The second round consisted of each person standing up and introducing themselves in 30 seconds to the entire group. We were told to pay attention and see if there was someone there that caught our attention.
The reason for that was that in the third round, we were given the freedom to approach whoever we found interesting.
I wasn’t particularly smitten by any girls in the room but a lot of them seemed super nice! (If you must know, I did get someone’s number. )And she was extremely nice! The person I talked to is a classical singer that likes disney.
Kyle Hebert After Hours
Right after that panel, my brother and I got in line for the Kyle Hebert after hours panel. If you don’t know who Kyle Hebert is, he was older Gohan in Dragon Ball Z as well as the announcer. Just think about the epic voice that always said “Next time, on DRAGON BALL Z!!”
His panel was pretty hilarious. Since it was an evening panel, you were required to be over 18 to enter because there was a lot of “adult language” in the panel.
That was the last event I attended on Friday. I then had my gourmet dinner of Popcorn and Slimjms from 711.
Bryce Papenbrook, Trina, Lauren, Kyle Autographs
Even though I met Bryce Papenbrook on Day 1, I still wanted to talk to him again since he’s my #1 favorite voice actor.
I wanted him to sign my some of my cosplay cards the day before but he was not signing autographs in the exhibit hall on Day 1.
I woke up early on Saturday and got in line about an hour before the autograph session began to be sure that I could meet Bryce.
The line was super long so I figured that I would only have the chance to meet him. When I got inside, I saw him sitting next to Trina who plays Mikasa in Attack on Titan, Sohara in Heaven’s Lost Property and a lot more!
After waiting in line for Bryce, I also got the chance to meet Trina! She was extremely nice. I approached her and asked “I’ve always wanted to ask you this” and the said “okay” and was paying 100% attention to me. I then asked “Can you karate chop as hard as Sohara?”
I think she was expecting a very serious question because she laughed harder than expected!
Bryce signed my cosplay cards and I got to take a selfie with him! It was cool that he told me he saw a video I had posted the night before on Twitter and Instagram. It was one of those “SENPAI NOTICED ME” moments.
Selfie with my favorite English Voice Actor, @BrycePapenbrook! He's such a cool guy. It's obvious when you talk to him that he's legitimately stoked to be meeting his fans. He himself is also a huge anime fan and that was very apparent too! It was so great to meet him again today! He didn't rush me or anything despite there being a HUGE line behind me! It was funny that he told me about how he saw the video I uploaded last night ???. (Referencing the one of me preparing him to meet @alfheim_asuna). I also saw him in an Attack on Titan Panel after and it was great! He's great in Attack on Titan, Blue Exorcist, Blood Lad, and more ??
The line for Todd Haberkorn and Caitlin Glass was packed. That line was actually capped so there was no chance of me meeting those two.
Off to the side, I noticed that the line for Lauren Landa and Kyle Hebert were surprisingly not too long!
I met Lauren Landa at SacAnime Winter 2015 and was totally star struck! She is the English VA for Kyoko in Madoka, Annie in Attack on Titan, Katja in Fairy Tail, Sakuya in SAO (one of the Sylph leaders in ALO), and more! It’s always crazy for me to meet people that do the voices for my favorite anime. I definitely tend to forget that they’re human beings since I place my senpais on such a high pedestal ?. But she was so incredibly nice! There was a line of people waiting to meet her but she liked me so much and gave me so many compliments and kept on talking to me and it was so cool! Taking pictures was against the rules since this was at an autograph session but she took one anyways with me ?. Also, at the Attack on Titan panel which was full of hundreds of people, when I went up to the mic and greeted her, she had the whole room yell “HI ANDREW!” and that was pretty amazing! At each panel of VAs, I always started with “Hi Lauren!” and I feel that I overdid it ???. I also happened to see her in line for security at the airport in Sacramento when I was preparing to head back to Burbank Airport xD. She was on the same flight as my brother and I (along with several other English VAs too). Crazy. Bottom line: she was really cool xD.
I first got in line to see Lauren Landa. I was a bit nervous because I really love her stuff. She’s especially amazing in Attack on Titan as Annie, Sakuya in Sword Art Online, and my personal favorite is her roles as Kyoko in Madoka.
I think she was the nicest Voice Actor that I have ever met. She was so incredibly friendly! She got up from her seat to take a picture with me despite it being against the rules and whispered a line from Madoka into my hear!
She pulled me aside and said so many nice things to me. She told me to be sure to go to the Attack on Titan panel later to ask a question. She said “with your personality, you HAVE to go!”
She then whispered a signature quote from Madoka in Kyoto’s voice. “…I’m going to put her rookie ass out of commission…”
She was so amazing. Words can’t describe how grateful I was for her being so nice to me.
As I was in line for autographs, I street passed Kyle Hebert on my 3ds and I panicked a little! I thought it might be a fake one but I clearly saw him playing on his 3ds at his autograph table.
When I went to meet him, he was funny. I congratulated him on the hilarious and successful panel from the previous night and told him I would tweet him with a picture showing that I street passed him! I will be seeing him again at BakAnime.
I then made a comment saying “Oh, so I did street pass you! I thought someone was impersonating you or something!”
His response was “Yup, it was me. No would would impersonate me. People should at least try to impersonate someone famous or something!”
After that, my brother and I were craving some sort of real food. We had pretty much been living on snacks from 711 so we took the time to check Osaka Sushi which was very close to the convention center and we indulged in some amazing Sushi.
Attack on Titan Q&A 2
Immediately after eating, my brother and I went back to the convention center to get in line for the second Attack on Titan Q&A panel of the weekend.
We got great seats that were close to the front and it was so exciting! Since we got there early, I was one of the first in line to be able to ask the panel a question.
When it was my turn, I had to say hi to Lauren who was so nice to me at the autograph signing! She got the entire room of hundreds of people to say “Hi Andrew!” which sorta blew my mind.
I just ended up asking the panel who they thought would win in a sparring match between Bryce Papenbrook and Johnny Yong Bosch since they both have a history of martial arts!
The answers were great.
The whole panel was amazing! People had some good questions and the actors always had great answers for the questions!
Hung out with new friends
After the Attack on Titan Panel was over I got to just hang out with a lot of my new friends on the third floor and that was extremely enjoyable!
One of the greatest things about going to an Anime con is making new friends! Of all of the several new friends I made at SacAnime, these are the ones I hung with the most! One of the worst things about attending an Anime con is that you may not be able to see the new friends you made for a long time ?. I'll try to return as soon as I can! Thank you for helping make my SacAnime the great experience that it was ???
SAO Photoshoot with Jayson Tran
On Day, I had another scheduled photoshoot with Jayson Tran!
(See the “SAO Kirito Cosplay Photos” page)
Matt Mercer in 711
I unexpectedly ran into Matt Mercer at 711 while getting a little snack!
When I was at 711 across the street from SacAnime, I ran into Matthew Mercer!! He is Levi's English VA in Attack on Titan and the English VA for Seijirou Kikouka in SAO Extra Edition! (If you watched that or SAO II, he's a member of the Ministry of Eternal affairs. Has a character named <<Chrysheight>> in ALO). Fingers crossed that SAO II will be dubbed so he can be apart of it! Saw him at a big English VA panel along with Kyle Hebert, Bryce Papenbrook, and more this evening and it was hilarious and amazing! This con has been so great! I've also made a ton of new friends! ?
Chillin with the VAs
Later that evening, I attended a panel called “Chillin with the VAs”. I didn’t read the description for it or anything so I didn’t know what to expect.
It ended up being really great. So the guy in charge of the panel hand picked a lot of great voice actors including Bryce Papenbrook, Kyle Hebert, David Vincent, Matt Mercer, Dameon Clarke, Richard Epcar, and more. He gave them all a script to a really terribly cheesy space alien romance plot.
Each of the actors were assigned a role.
So this was a cold read so the actors had never seen this before.
The fact that they made such terrible writing super entertaining was so impressive! I really enjoyed that panel!
After that panel, I had another “gourmet” 711 meal of popcorn and a slim jim.
So I had a small situation on Day 3.
I packed everything in the morning except for my cosplay that I would be wearing that day and we checked in our bags at the front desk, had a quick breakfast at a nearby restaurant and then ran to the con.
Fabulous Women of Voice Acting
The first panel I attended was called “Fabulous Women of Voice Acting.” It was pretty much a round table that contained the majority of the female voice actors attending the con including Caitlin Glass, Lauren Landa, Cassandra Lee Morris, Erica Mendez, and more.
I was the first person to ask a question and I started by saying hi to Lauren Landa again. (I totally overdid it and probably came off as being extremely annoying or weird.)
And I told her and Cassandra about the Madoka panel that would be happening at ALA the next weekend with Carrie, Christine, Sarah, and Marianne.
I then finally got around to asking my question which was if any of them remembered any favorite bloopers that didn’t quite make it to dvd or any official blooper reels. The answers I got were pretty great.
Hanging out on Floor 3
I didn’t have anything else to do until later in the afternoon so I just decided to go people watching on the third floor.
Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from running from panel to panel and just admire other peoples’ great cosplays.
I saw a Jesus cosplayer and I told him to forgive me for going on naughty websites. His response was “It’s okay. You’ve done all you could for the world, Kirito.”
I also took a lot of pictures with people! Here a couple of my favorite pics I took with new friends I finally met at SacAnime.
After people watching for a bit, I was approached by the SacAnime staff asking if I’d like to be interviewed. I pretty much just talked about Bryce Papenbrook… oops.
Amazing Men in Voice Acting
The last event was pretty much the opposite of what I saw earlier. It had the majority of the male voice actors that were present at the event.
Before I asked any questions, this happened.
I then asked for all of them to talk about their biggest fangirl moments they’ve experienced.
A lot of them ended up talking about signing boobs.
Packing Cosplay in Lobby
So after that panel was over, my brother and I rushed back to the hotel to get the rest of our bags since our flight was that evening.
I wasn’t about to go into an airport in cosplay with plastic sword and we obviously didn’t have our room anymore so I was stuck packing in the lobby. Cosplayers walking by weren’t phased but others were confused when they saw me bubble wrapping my swords and shoving them into a golf bag.
After that we took a cab to the airport.
Found Voice Actors at Airport
At the airport I headed for the security line and I stopped in shock because I saw Matt Mercer and Lauren Landa towards the front of the line.
Since they’re SoCal based it made sense that they would be heading back to the same airport but my brother suggested that we all might even be on the same flight.
I got scared that they would think that we followed them or something.
I happened to see Dameon Clark in line and he gave me a fist bump. He was the guy that did Perfect Cell’s voice in the Funimation dub of Dragon Ball Z so it was pretty amazing to talk to my favorite DBZ villain’s voice!
Voice Actors on Same Plane
As it turned out, my brother was right. We all got onto the same exact plane as several of the voice actors. There were two seats next to Kyle Hebert but I kept walking because I didn’t want to disturb and come off weird to one of my favorite english voice actors in the world!
So by some strange crazy coincidence, my brother @animeangecosplay and I are on the same plane to Burbank as Kyle Hebert, Cassandra Lee Morris, Lauren Landa, Dameon Clarke, David Vincent, Matthew Mercer, and Erica Mendez. I sorta freaked out lol. There were two empty seats next to Kyle Hebert and my brother told me that we should sit there but I freaked out and kept walking down the aisle LOL.
So that was my Sac Anime experience. It was so much fun flying into a new city and checking out a brand new con and making new friends in Nor Cal. I would definitely do it again if I could afford it.
Thank you so much for checking out this video! Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!