Anime in the Desert: Saboten Con


logo-saboSaboten Con, also known as “Cactus Con”, is one of Arizona’s largest anime conventions with a little over 4,000 unique attendees for the 2013 year (according to the website). This convention focuses on all things Japanese. From anime to J-Pop to gaming, they have a vast array of Nihon inspired memorabilia and events.

This year’s Saboten Con boasts a big event: the World Cosplay Summit SouthWest Regionals! World Cosplay Summits are held throughout the country for paired cosplayers to compete in. Each event requires the cosplay duo to have crafted 80% or more of their costume; they are also required to prepare a skit lasting no more than 3 minutes to wow the crowd and impress the judges. These are impressive events and often extremely competitive. Even I, your local cosplay savant, am a bit intimidated by these regional occurences. Saboten is also boasting some big name cosplay professionals such as: Alodia Gosiengfiao, Chris Tang, Living Ichigo and Giada Robin! This puts a major focusing on costuming and crafting for this anime convention. There are also costume related workshops that attendees can participate in (the programming menu is not yet available on the SabotenCon website however; I have been assured it will be present in the next week or so) to enhance your crafting skills. .

Not a big cosplay fan? Chekc out the gaming! Saboten hosts gaming tournaments with their partner AZHP Gaming. These tournaments are centralized on Japaense video games and vary from console to console. Even if you are not a competitor you can play casually in one of the game rooms on table top, computer or console! Here are  just a few of the titles that SabotenCon has made available to their attendees this year: BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Dance Dance Revolution/Stepmania,King of Fighters XIII, Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition, New Super Mario Bros U, Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 and Ultra Street Fighter IV. So what happens if you are not interested in gaming or cosplay?

Other than the vendor hall, which is really nice to check out – there are a lot of local artists, you can: visit a Maid Café, attend a panel with your favorite anime voice actor/actress, participate in a workshop or party all night at one of the convention’s themed raves. There is a bit of everything at this convention for the Japanese enthusiast. So if you’re going to be in Arizona or you just happen to have time Labor day weekend, stop by the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa and pick up a ticket for what is sure to be this year’s biggest Saboten Convention!


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