IncreaseBlue’s Saboten Con Re-cap

5 09 2012

Anime and game lovers alike are back to the daily grind after the exhausting 2012 Saboten Con finished up over the weekend in Glendale. This was the convention’s first dive into its new venue of the Glendale Renaissance Hotel and despite some missteps, it came out victorious over last years’ performance.

The Yamaoka-centric concerts with Mary Elizabeth McGlynn on vocals were an easy highlight of the convention.

Although Saboten Con was more so anime and video game-oriented, thus having a less diverse draw of panels and events than the Phoenix Comicon, the convention definitely made each individual event count with its guests and programming.

The new hotel was a more than welcome change, as the Saboten Con was all but bursting with attendees in its old home of the Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix. This allowed the latest Sabo endeavor breathing room to try on new things, some a step in the right direction, while others could use some fine-tuning.

Logistics and Space-

As mentioned above, the space factor was greatly in Saboten’s favor this year. The larger Glendale Renaissance Hotel was roomier and gave way to much more rooms that had plenty of space for the crowds they drew. While the vendors room was a bit underwhelming, the main stage area was more than big enough to accommodate the big names that played in them.

Having dedicated rooms for events such as the maid cafes and concerts were great as the programming rolled out each day, but many fan panels were relegated to the basement level of the hotel and often went unnoticed due to a lack of signage or direction that they were even there. Another big confusion lied with the vendor’s hall being closed at 6 p.m., when signings with guests still occurred inside the hall space itself.

Panels-

The panel programming seemed to focus in quite a lot regarding the guests and while fan panels carried a fairly wide variety of topics to choose from, many went with only few attendees present. The Akira Yamaoka question and answer panels were insightful into the composer’s musical talents, while the more buzzworthy maid cafes and Club Sabo turned out to be a bit of a bust. The Otaku Closet event turned out to be an interesting foray into convention garage-saling, but could’ve stood to be moved into a more spacious hall. The Silent Hill and Akira Yamaoka concerts were more awing than expected and all bands including Kazha put on great shows on the main stage.

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