follow us:

Latest News

Tusk returns to Killer Instinct
The barbarian from Killer Instinct 2, Tusk will make his return to the franchise in Killer Instinct Season 3. ... [read more]
New Nintendo Direct shows Star Fox Zero in action
The latest Nintendo Direct had info about some up Nintendo's upcoming games, but let's face it, the start of the show was Star Fox Zero. ... [read more]
Capcom punishes rage quitters and will look for more
On Feb. 26, Capcom's Neidel "Haunts" Crisan revealed that rage quitter's were going to get punished, but he didn't give specifics. In his latest blog, he revealed the fate of those who can't take the loss. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

PAX South 2016: Umbrella Corps Preview
Compared to last year, PAX South 2016 was lacking major developers. This would explain why I was excited to see Capcom in attendance. I don’t play Resident Evil games, but something about the previews I had seen compelled me to stand in line to play Umbrella Corps.... [read more]
Your safe space doesn't belong in my competitive game
Whether it’s trash talking or teabagging, some people are looking for a nicer online experience. Guess what? We’re not in elementary school anymore. This is digital dodgeball and players like me are aiming for your head. ... [read more]
Smite Preview: Hey look at me, I'm playing a MOBA on my console
There's no doubt that the top two MOBA games are DotA 2 and League of Legends, and with the control layout for those games, it's unlikely we'll see those games make the jump to the consoles. However, Smite, the third-person perspective MOBA game and arguably the third most p... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Firewatch Review: Prepare for an interesting sensation
Firewatch is the first game developed by San Francisco-based company, Campo Santo. Needless to say, for this to be their first game it was certainly on fire. ... [read more]
Pony Island Review: Not that innocent of a game
I saw the trailer for Pony Island and thought to myself “Well, this looks like a fun puzzle game at least and it’s a pretty funny title”. I gave it a shot and I wasn’t disappointed.... [read more]
Undertale Review: An 8-bit RPG with a twist
Toby Fox first made himself known to the public with his ROM hack, “Press the B Button, Stupid!” for an Earthbound Halloween Pack back in 2008. With the help of artist Temmie Chang, he created a game that will take you back in time with its 8-bit look, music and turn-bas... [read more]

Latest Videos

PAX South 2016: Lords of New York Interview
If you never thought you wanted a poker RPG, then you haven't played Lords of New York from Lunchtime Studios. ... [read more]
PAX South 2016: Moving Hazard Interview
Moving Hazard is a new take on the zombie action game. The multiplayer shooter makes the zombies the weapon to take out the other team. ... [read more]
PAX South 2016: Eternal Interview
Dire Wolf Digital is jumping into the card game genre with Eternal. Unlike other card games, Eternal lets players make decisions both on offense and defense. ... [read more]
San Japan :3: Mike's Report
Posted on July 22, 2010 by Oscar Gonzalez




This past weekend an invasion force took over the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel in downtown San Antonio, Texas. They prepared to….dance Caramelldansen dressed up in costumes? That only could mean one thing; San Antonio’s anime and Japanese cultural convention San Japan :3 was back for another year of fun, dress up and panels. This year brought some changes, such as the new location of the convention, new musical acts and much more.

The first thing that I noticed was the change of venue from the Holiday Inn Tropicana to the Marriot Rivercenter Hotel inside the Rivercenter mall in the center of downtown San Antonio, Texas. The move to a new location was a good change for many reasons; the con was all in one area so less walking from place to place, since it was inside guests could come in dressed up without worrying about dying from the Texas heat, and since it was inside a mall there was easy access to the surrounding area shops, restaurants and local attractions. One complaint I did have about the location is that it was kind of hard to find of the panel rooms, even with the help of the map. It was a new location though, so I might just be nit picking a bit, but overall it was a great location and hopefully next year it will be second nature to find the panel rooms.

One the first day going up the escalators, I was bombarded with the sights and sounds of a busy crowd and I wasn’t even in the main area of the con yet. In the second floor lobby of the hotel was artist alley, surrounding the main event ballroom. Ranging from artists drawing commission pieces to selling different types of cosplay accessories there was a wide range of art for sale. In the center of artist alley was the main event ballroom and adjacent panel rooms.



In the main event ballroom was where most of the bigger events take place, from the opening and closing ceremonies to the dance/rave and the band concerts. On the first day in the main event ballroom was the opening ceremony. Dave “The Proz” Henkin kick things off by thanking the con goers for coming to San Japan :3, introduced some of the guests, and gave away some free stuff. The prizes were ranging from posters and air fresheners to tickets to an advance screening for Scott Pilgrim Versus the World (which I won). After talking a bit he turned it over to the opening act, The LoliHolix, an anime and JPop cover band, and followed by the main act for the first night, KESHIKI a JRock band from LA. I didn’t stay for KESHIKI, but The LoliHolix was a really good opening act, playing cover opening songs from shows like FLC, Full Metal Alchemist and some original songs that they have written themselves. I skipped out on the VA panel this year because, well it didn’t interest me. I love anime, don’t get me wrong, but I’m more of a gamer than I am an Otaku.

I ended the first night by sitting in a panel by a group of cosplayers called The Resident Evil Residential Files. These were a group of friends that have a love for the Resident Evil series that they went out and started to make shorts recreating some of the scenes; leading up to the premier of a Big Brother meets Resident Evil parody called “The Resident Evil Residential Files”. The first episode will be premiering sometime after San Japan.

The second day was the busiest day of the convention, as everyone was fully dressed up in their cosplay to compete in the cosplay contest being held in the main event ballroom. Some of the costumes were pretty well made. Some were elaborate and elegant while some were just simple yet the cosplayer really pulled them off very well. The contest was pretty long so I didn’t stick around for the finals or the skit portion of the contest. Afterwards I, thought I’d try my hand at the game room next to the main event ballroom. This year the game room hand a bit more selection of games to play, ranging from fighters like Tekken and SSFIV, to Rock Band and Mario Kart for the SNES. The area was a little smaller than last year but that didn’t stop con goers from going in and seeing who good they really are. The last event of the night was the rave/dance in the main event ballroom. I didn’t stay for the dance, but headlining the concert was a group called The Protomen and their opening act was Maja. From what I heard from other con goers, the concert was awesome and epic.



The third day was the last day of the con and even though it was the final day, it looks and feels like if it just started all over again. Everyone was dress up in there cosplay, buying art pieces from the artist, and merchandise from the dealers’ room. I had missed the Kingdom Hearts Fan panel due to mixing up the times, so it was time to hit up the dealers’ room finally. Now with most cons, buying on the first or second day is ok if you really want that certain item, but it’s worth waiting for the last day of the con. The reason being is that the dealers do not want to go home with all the merchandise they had brought, and will start slashing the prices to lighten their load. After getting what I wanted (which was a Dark Phoenix variant action figure, number 1,2 and 3 set of the 25th anniversary of Marvel’s The Secret Wars, a new katana and the 20th anniversary Street Fighter art book. After almost spending my money at the dealers’ room, one last panel was in order before I decide to leave the con. I met up with Eduardo, drummer of the LoliHolix and voice of the Top lists on the site, and Chris Holm of First Storm Manga and one of the artists for the site to sit in on the panel “How to Break into Comics.”

This panel was interesting to say the least. The orginal people that were suppose to conduct the panel never showed up, so Chris and one of the other artist from FSM Red Beard, stepped up and moved the panel along. It was really informative to hear what they had to say. Their experiences, how they broke into the industry and how they gave tips and advice to aspiring artists. Now I’m not an artist myself, but it was really cool to hear from their perspective on the industry.

So ends another year for San Japan. After attending the last two conventions, I would have to say that this year was pretty good. Other than the me not being interested in the VA panel this, San Japan is heading in a good direction. If anything, I’d like to see more of a video game presence in the cons to come, and I don’t mean just the game room. Video games are a big part of the culture in both Japan and in the US, so having a panel that just focus on the video game VA would be really great. Also, the game room needs to be in a bit bigger space to fit not just the people playing the games but also those who want to watch as well. Other than those things, San Japan was really enjoyable and I cannot wait to see what the con organizers will bring to San Antonio next year.

- Mike V.

Send your comments to the author mike@original-gamer.com

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for March?

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Tom Clancy's The Division
Hitman
EA Sports UFC 2
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
MLB The Show 16
Pokken Tournament
Killer Instinct Season 3
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Dat Rocket League


San Japan :3: Chris' Report

San Japan Mach 5 - Mike's Report

San Japan Mach 5 - Chris' Report

Other Gaming News From The Web