If you’re an anime devotee or a pop-culture connoisseur, chances are good you’ll be attending Northern California’s largest Japanese animation/pop-culture convention, SacAnime, between Jan. 7 and 9. The event, to be held at SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, happens twice a year and teems with activities: cosplay competitions, panels and autographs, an exhibitor room, K-pop and J-pop battles, digital art contests and a lot more.
The lengthy guest-of-honor list this time includes Zach Aguilar, a Los Angeles-based voice actor known for his roles in “Demon Slayer,” “Genshin Impact” and “Fire Emblem”; Peter Behn, who in 1942 was the voice of young Thumper in Disney’s movie classic “Bambi”; and Morgan Berry, a voice actor, singer and YouTuber who has played voice roles in dozens of franchises.
Many fans will mingle among these personalities while sporting costumes and wielding props. And what characters might predominate in 2022? “‘My Hero Academia’ will probably be popular, as well as ‘Demon Slayer,’ since we have quite a few ‘Demon Slayer’ guests,” says Dan Houck, the event’s founder and convention director. “A high percentage of attendees wear costumes, maybe 30% plus.”
Houck is expecting 15,000 to 20,000 attendees, most of whom range in age from 12 to 30. SacAnime has continued to grow since its beginning in Sunrise Mall in 2004. The convention also has the distinction of having been the last event before the convention center closed for remodeling in 2019, and the first event after the new SAFE Credit Union Convention Center opened this past September.
For tickets ($20–$50), information and COVID safety policies, see sacanime.com.