Mixing social commentary with illustrations, videos, or examples of subject material, the discussion panels were the best place to learn about a new realm of hot topics within the anime and manga marketplace and industry.  For many fans, it was a time to reflect and explore the growth and diversity of the local anime community and see how involved everyone really was for this year.  Much applause goes out to all the panelists, moderators, and participating fans who breathed spirit and life into the panels.

Sakura Con 2001
Panels Summary 2

Live Action Role Playing: Like any game that amasses a group of excited team players, the challenges faced for plot continuity and character focus in a simulated real world situation are numerous.  For the White Wolf affiliated local Camarilla chapter, player safety is always a top concern and precautions are always taken in advance to inform local authorities and the surrounding community about various activities and locations to play safe and secure for the enjoyment and entertainment of all involved.  Topics included using forests and no-touch policies during simulated combat and using scenarios from World of Darkness and Vampire the Masquerade. Magical Girl Marathon: Getting back to basics of old school magical girl shows, the panel consisted of viewing and discussing quality shows like Miracle Girls based on everlasting friendships and steady character development throughout each episode.  With so many great new anime shows utilizing elements of magic and battles of wit and intuitiveness for female audiences these days, sometimes it's nice to take a look back on the older shows that started it all.
Sakura Game Show: The stakes were high as contestants battled for anime knowledge superiority and cool prizes with anime quiz questions including Ranma, Clamp School, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, Fushigi Yuugi, El Hazard, Goldenboy, Video Girl Ai, Slayers, My Dear Marie, Sanctuary, Crying Freeman, Bastard, Those Who Hunt Elves, Gundam Wing, Marmalade Boy, Please Save My earth, and much more! Pencil Boards: Known as Shitajiki in Japanese, anime and manga-themed pencil boards are on the rise in the collector's arena as resources for cels and trading cards grow as well.  Classified as trading cards, pencil boards are often outputted in limited-run quantities based on the projected popularity of the shows or mangas.
Guest Panel with Steve Bennett: Steve gave highlights of Ironcat history, entrenched in manga and focusing on the hardcore manga fans who want more than what mainstream entertainment has to offer with such successful releases like New Vampire Princess Miyu and Futaba no Change as well as the "Official Kitty Cosplay Calendar" for the cosplay enthusiasts.   Karate Demonstration: Sakura Con looked to local karate organization Washington Shito-Ryu Karate to gather youthful and spirited members to give an exciting demonstration on the basic practices and close combat sparring techniques of the traditional martial arts form.  Including both young and old, female and male members, the demonstration encouraged many fans to take up a new hobby and stay physically fit.
Kabuki Academy: Mary Ohno, an accomplished founder and professional Artistic Director of the Kabuki Academy Performance Troupe, gave an exciting presentation about the Kabuki experience for the anime crowd.  With numerous examples of Kabuki theater aspects applied to anime shows, the audience was well-tuned to every single topic covered to enhance their anime entertainment as well as learn more about the artistic diversity of Japanese culture.  Mary quickly started off with brief summary about the Kabuki characters: KA meaning musical percussion with singing, drums, and background instrumentals all representing natural sounds; BU meaning dancing with slow graceful movements, proper use of a fan to declare student/teacher territory or be a basic stage prop; and KI meaning theatre performance including interaction with the audience and surrounding vocal accompaniments to enhance the overall entertainment aspect.  A noteworthy subject of Kabuki theatre use in anime shows are the Ki blocks often heard during opening or closing curtain calls; the same sounds are often used in anime shows like Tenchi Muyou! in the same way.  Topics also included the use of housenames or stage names, professional shouters in the background during performances, stage props like umbrellas, swords, and fans, the frequent and exaggerated use of eyes and hands like in anime, and the various musical instruments involved.
What We Are Watching: With more anime shows compromising ethics and morals over entertainment and shock value to make money, more parents have every right to be concerned about how it affects their children and what efforts the anime community can do to ensure today's kids grow up watching shows with socially redeeming values and avoiding the Fist of the North Star syndrome.  Panelists heartily expressed to parents to always preview an anime before their kids watch it and to look for the Comics Code symbol on translated mangas that are deemed as having moral uplifting standards and are deemed safe for kids.  Examples of quality anime shows great for both enthusiastic adults and kids alike were Ushio and Tora, My Neighbor Totoro, Super Cat Girl NukuNuku, Astroboy, Battle Athletes, and Moldiver.  Examples of anime shows that are great for adults but not quite for kids were Mermaid Forest, Peacock King, Goldenboy, and Sorceress Hunters.  And then the gray area was touched with shows like Legend of Crystania, My Dear Marie, and Blackjack that had questionable themes or graphics.

[Main] [Major Sakura Events] [Guests of Honor] [Dealers Room Gallery 1] [Dealers Room Gallery 2] [Cosplay Contest] [Saturday Night Dance]  [Video Gaming, Console Gaming, RPG Gaming] [Karaoke Contest Night] [Discussion Panels 1] [Discussion Panels 2] [Discussion Panels 3] [Discussion Panels 4] [Workshops] [Holiday Inn and Everett Convention Center] [Travel around Everett] [Commentary]

[Cosplay Gallery 1] [Cosplay Gallery 2] [Cosplay Gallery 3] [Cosplay Gallery 4] [Cosplay Gallery 5] [Cosplay Gallery 6] [Cosplay Gallery 7] [Cosplay Gallery 8] [Cosplay Gallery 9] [Cosplay Gallery 10] [Cosplay Gallery 11] [Cosplay Gallery 12] [Cosplay Gallery 13] [Cosplay Gallery 14] [Cosplay Gallery 15] [Cosplay Gallery 16] [Cosplay Gallery 17] [Cosplay Gallery 18] [Cosplay Gallery 19]