This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of my FAVORITE anime conventions in Phoenix, Arizona: Saboten Con! Saboten is, by far, my favorite convention. I look forward to it every year and find that my joy at this convention increases with each day of attendance. This year a few friends and I saved some cash and reserved a room at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in down town Phoenix (where the convention is hosted). That was the best decision in years! Not only were we able to attend the convention earlier every day but we had a place where we could rest our feet, set down our props and/or make repairs to costumes that were being unruly. The hotel itself was very accommodating and we even had covered parking! That may sound silly but as the weekend’s temperatures peaked around 106 degrees (at 25% humidity) Fahrenheit we were more than happy to know our vehicle was somewhere cool.
I attended this convention all four days (Friday thru Monday) over Labor Day Weekend. Each day was a unique experience and brought with it more fun than I could ever hope for! On Friday we hosted two panels:
- Constructing Cosplay Weapons
- Cosplay Armor 101
They were packed and we had excellent interaction from the attendees. We brought our giant props with us for the weapons panel and used the armor we were wearing during the Cosplay Armor 101 panel as examples of what can be done with various cosplay materials. Amber Brite joined us for these panels and she was a wonderful resources for advanced materials and techniques!
On Saturday we hosted a panel that focused on Anime of the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. We played clips from some of our favorite anime series and riled up the audience with a joint yell of their happiest anime series. We received the most hype from the following anime: Sailor Moon, DBZ, Gundam, Ranma 1/2, Fruits Basket, Cowboy Bebop, Fushigi Yuugi, Bubblegum Crisis, Magic Knight Rayearth and Samurai Champloo.
Here’s a photo (provided by the lovely Amber Brite) of us as we prepared for what turned out to be one wild panel!
Sunday was the masquerade day. The lovely Steviespade Cosplay and I (aka ThermoCosplay) dressed as Pyrrha and Nora from the Roosterteeth series RWBY. At pre-judging we had the opportunity to present our work to some very talented cosplayers:
Since there was a pretty large gap between our pre-judging time and the actual masquerade slot we decided to visit the Sailor Moon Cafe hosted by Sugar Pink Cafe. There was a $10 cover fee and some very simple hors d’oeuvres. Each server was dressed as a Sailor Scout or Sailor Moon character and loads of old school games were dropped at the tables to keep the participants entertained. We managed to snag the Rock’em Sock’em Robots game and madness ensued…
The masquerade itself was wonderful. I’ve included some great shots in the video that ends this article for all of you to see.
Saboten in a Nut Shell
This convention will always hold a place in my heart. Its concerts (LadyBeard and Kazha) staff (many thanks to owner Greg Fennel) and attendees always make this con the place to be during labor day weekend each year. Since it’s difficult for me to put into words how much I LOVE this convention I’ve included a video below that pretty much summarizes all the wonderful things I was able to participate in. I’m already looking forward to next year which marks the 10th anniversary of this ever growing and evolving J Culture phenemenon!