San Japan 13 – 2022 trip!

Qyandri, Infamy, and Pegastars attended San Japan 2022! Infamy & Qyandri have gone to every San Japan since San Japan 7, with the exception of last year’s “.5” convention.
We drove to San Antonio Friday morning and overall we had a great time! It was terrific to see con-goers again, and San Japan continues to be one of the more put-together cons out there of its size.

Some highlights!
  • VShojo: Ironmouse and Nyanners. I was sort-of aware of the existence of vtubers, and a friend of mine regularly sends updates that I did not understand about drama in the vtuber industry. Pegastars was aware of them, though, and she was eager to see this event, so we attended. And it was pretty great. I see the appeal. And I was happily surprised to see Ironmouse open the concert portion of the event with a really good rendition of No Me Quiero Mas by Selena. Both of their song lists were pretty on point. :) After hearing the stories of some of these vtubers, I think they’re a really interesting phenomenon that gives a lot of folks the opportunity to stream and be on camera that might not have otherwise done so.
  • Artist’s Alley & Dealer’s Room. As always, lots of great items available here and many talented artists. Some things were overpriced, some things were decent deals. Among other things, we picked up Season 1 of Hell Girl, and why doesn’t anyone have the rights to stream Seasons 1 -3 now??? And now Pegastars has to track down the artist who is drawing people’s cats in the style of Stray. ^_^ Infamy picked up some surprisingly well-priced MTG packs from one dealer. Pegastars adds: I wish there were more washi tapes in artists alley because I like those a lot!
  • Panels! Pegastars and Qyandri attended more panels than Infamy, who spent a bit more time in the Dealer’s room and Tabletop hall. The panels were pretty interesting- video games, games shows, costume prop making, gold embroidery- a lot of great and fascinating topics, and we make it a point to attend whatever panels we can every year. Qyandri and Pegastars came out particularly inspired by the gold embroidery panel, and we came away with a giant list of indie horror games to check out.
  • Games! The Tabletop hall was pretty nifty. In addition to a boardgame library, D&D and other RPGs including Vampire the Masquerade, Feng Shui, and more were available for folks to play, along with Magic and several other CCGs.
  • The KenDolls – Houston-based burlesque troop that has performed at the last several San Japan’s gave another great performance. Yeah, they are hot and their athleticism is amazing.
  • The theme: The horror theme was fun! They had some great con art for the theme this year, and we came home with a pretty nifty acrylic convention poster.
  • SJCares! It’s great of San Japan to provide accommodations for folks who need them!
  • Honestly, the registration line! This was quite possibly the fastest registration line we’ve ever had, even comparing with much smaller cons. Great job.
Costumes! Cosplay watching is always fun at anime cons.  Every year we look at costumes, see what the trends are like, to see if anything meets the sheer volume of the Naruto/Bleach explosion several years back. I had some thoughts about what might be popular:
  • Spy x Family! I was right that this one would be popular. Although I thought we would see a lot more Anya, while there were Anyas there were a looooot more Yors. Qyandri says- the awkward girl/hidden badass appeals to women!
  • My Dress-Up Darling – We did see some! Although we saw all Marin and no Goro. Qyandri was disappointed about the lack of Goro, and noted: I think it is ironic, considering it is a cosplay anime, that the cosplay is the school uniform Marin. So yeah, school version Marin, which is certainly cute and recognizable, but there are so many potential options you can get from a cosplay show! :)
  • Genshin Impact – A lot of the fancy costumes and merch I did not recognize right off was from Genshin Impact, which I haven’t played. The costumes were great, though.
  • Tons of pictures are being shared at the San Japan Official Cosplay Facebook Group!
The Unexpected…?
  • MLP! There was an MLP booth and some MLP cosplaying, which we hadn’t seen in a while.
  • BTS! I hadn’t seen so much BTS merch before, and there was even a booth that seemed entirely BTS-themed.
  • Howl? Huh? Why were there so many Howl’s? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Moving Castle fan, but why so many Howls?
  • How did so many Riverwalk restaurants close?? Pour one out for Chilis. And the Mexican place next to Marriott. And the Italian place next to Marriott. And the Japanese place in the River Center.
  • How did Denny’s not prepare for crowds? We left when one person noted they were waiting an hour and 45 minutes to pick up their food. Luckily we didn’t have issues anywhere else.
  • Gatekeeping?? Bwahaha. Qyandri was looking for pillows and found a really soft long Madara pillow. Someone stopped us in the elevator line to ask her if she even knew what that anime was from- whaaaaa? Asking us, who own all the special edition blu-rays, have introduced people to the show and whose cat is named Madeira, if we knew that Madera is from Natsume Yujin-cho? :P I am charitably assuming they were just excited but it’s odd they didn’t follow up with any comments, just checked if we knew who it was and disappeared back in line when we assured them that yes, we did know who Madara is.
Opportunities for improvement!
  • Full panels turning people away! I don’t know if this was a Room 216 issue, but Pegastars and Qyandri didn’t make it into two sessions scheduled in that room, and apparently would have had to have missed their previous panel to have had a chance of getting in the room.
  • The Cosplay Contest was full and turned tons of people away- whaaaaat? This is the first time at a con, ever, that we have not made it into the cosplay contest room. And we’ve gone to a loooooot of conventions. Again, came from a panel straight to wait in line, with what we thought was plenty of time- but after waiting in line for some time they stopped letting people in. :/ :/ :/ I’m not sure why they weren’t using the convention center theater this year- we’re guessing it has something to do with the construction- but I hope they can get back to that venue in the future.
  • Closed off areas on the convention center and strange routing. Yeah, from one part of second floor, to get to the panel rooms on another part of the second floor, you have to go down to the first floor, walk a really long way, go to Hall 2, go up a different escalator to the 2nd floor. Yes, there was a much shorter and direct route on the 2nd floor straight there but it was staff only? /sigh. For people who may have a hard time walking, it’s pretty rough, and it caused us to miss a panel. And it was really confusing to everyone- I heard several comments from people that were confused, including staff.

Kudos! San Japan had a Covid vaccination, Covid testing, and mask policy, and they enforced it. We would not have attended otherwise, and much kudos to the con for dealing with the vaccination and Covid deniers that invade their social media. Our families have been impacted by Covid deaths. We recognize that we were in a very privileged place to be able to attend the convention this year in many ways, and we know that not everyone was able to take that risk. The least we could do was wear masks and continue to push for reasonable Covid protocols, especially when they are relatively easy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.