Convention Life

San Japan 2016 Convention Report

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San Japan 2016 was an interesting event. Overall the convention was a lot of fun as it always is but it had it’s issues. For me each San Japan has meant something different to me especially as someone is who is slowly but surely getting back into anime. The first time at San Japan I felt like an outsider looking in having not been to an anime convention in quite a while. The second time I went as a fan as some of the voice actors from childhood were there and this year I really felt fully incorporated into the show especially in terms of having created friendships with guest and the staff who work behind the scenes.

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Where each show has been a lot of fun if I were to compare each year to the original Star Wars Trilogy I would say this was the Return of the Jedi. It was an enjoyable convention but not quite to the level of the previous two. It felt like they were trying to work within limitations due more to the recent remodeling at the convention center than anything else. Regardless there were things that could have been handled better. It seemed like the volunteer staff was spread too thinly and communication could have definitely stronger.

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While I understand that San Japan has always followed the tradition of announcing guest signings during the event instead of giving each guest their own table. With this show they came half way by giving Mr. Creepypasta and Team Four Star their own tables and it was definitely an improvement. I hope this will be the beginning of a trend and hope their other guests will have the same accommodations allowing for more personal and friendly interactions with guests and their fans.
While San Japan did have it’s problems there were a number of positives. I hope that next year they fix the issues that occurred with this con and continue to improve the fan/guest interactions as they have done this year. Looking forward to next year.

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Ian McIntosh

October 7th, 2016

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