Saboten Con is one of the conventions in Arizona I look forward to all year. Saboten took place August 29, 2014 and ran through Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1). I’ve been going for around four years and I’ve enjoyed every year so far. It has a great atmosphere, inviting guests and some great cosplay from the attendees. Saboten is the largest anime and Japanese cultural art convention in Arizona.
This year’s Saboten took place, once more, at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale, AZ. It’s been the home of Saboten for many years now, but next year it will shift its location to downtown Phoenix. Sad as it may be, Saboten is growing and with it comes growing pains. Let us hope the Saboten fans can adjust to a new location.
There was a lot to see and do at Saboten Con this year. Plenty of panels and games lined the main hallway for the attendees to enjoy. I found myself sitting down and playing some table top cards games like “Card Against Humanity.” I also enjoyed panels like, “How to Train You Cosplayer,” to improv comedy panels that had a “Whose Line is it Anyway” vibe to it.
This year’s guest list included, voice actors Derek Stephen Prince, Robert Axelrod, Alexis Tipton Ian Sinclair and D.C Douglas. They also invited cosplayers like Alodia Gosiengfiao, Living Ichigo, Giada Robin, Electric Lady and Chris Tang to help judge in the World Cosplay Summit Masquerade Contest.
Saboten Con has shown year after year, that its attendees excel in creating some fantastic anime cosplays. There were a lot of favorite cosplays to see and many of them can be viewed on the Geekorama Facebook page. My favorites had to have been the Transformers, Attack on Titan, and the Mass Effect groups.
The exhibitor room was expanded this year and it allowed room for some cosplay and charity to groups to be displayed. A couple of the cosplay groups that received tables were the Justice League of Arizona and The Arizona Avengers.
There are some things they can approve on for next year’s Sabo. Communication is a big part for any staff at conventions and I felt that some of the new staff wasn’t adequately prepared to communicate with the proper channels when it came to pick up badges. I’m hoping that next year, they decide to have the registration for guest, panel and media in a more open area, instead of a hallway. The hallway became jammed with oncoming and exiting attendees and it became confusing to many, including myself, which table to go to when it came to proper registration. As far as the badges are concerned, I really like the new design and I can fully get behind the new security hologram and faded image to prevent counterfeits.
Whether or not you agree about the move to downtown Phoenix next year, it looks like Saboten Con will once again dominate as one of the staple anime and Japanese cultural art conventions in the Valley of the Sun. Saboten Con returns to the Valley September 4-7 at the Sheraton Phoenix downtown. Book your hotel there and receive free parking (One vehicle per room) and buy your tickets early to receive a great price.
Coverage Submitted By: Jeremy “JPOOL” Colwill