It’s my favorite time of the year– Anime/Manga convention time! My second year at Sakuracon was quite the experience. In the weeks leading up to the con, I was incredibly pumped for the concert. I stocked up on glow products from around the world. I picked up a box of Lumica Ultra Orange Glowsticks which I was rather pleased with, along with a set of KING BLADE LED pen lights.
I came up with a few goals for Sakuracon year. My inspiration for doing so comes from meeting my wota friend Kiseki last year, with inspiration from the excellent fan panel entitled Surviving Life After Con.
1) Get a Happi jacket to show my support for my Idol, Hatsune Miku.
2) Get a pair of LED penlights, a staple in modern Wotagei.
3) Dance all night!
And dance all night I did. I attended both the Friday and Saturday “Welcome to the Jungle” themed dances. I love the Ultra Orange (UO) glowsticks I bought. They are the brightest chemlights I have ever seen, but they have a fairly limited run time. I gotta go off on a tangent about these things now because they are extraordinary!
UOs are not meant to crack and dance all night with, or illuminate a tent at night, or mark something important in the forest. UOs are meant to be cracked at key points of your favorite songs in the performer’s set. They are extremely bright for chemical sticks. They are even brighter than some LED products commonly seen at concerts. I saved my UOs for moments when I was feeling PUMPED, and I wanted to visually express that sensation. I would crack a pair of UOs, and you evolve into my final form!
They glow for about 1-2 minutes, then slowly dim. At around 3-5 minutes, they are comparable in brightness to a classic chemlight. At around 10 minutes, they are completely dark. If that doesn’t seem long, keep in mind the length of an average song in a set. 4-8 minutes maybe? I think it’s safe to say that a UO lasts for about one song.
Lumica UOs are a little longer and sturdier feeling than the chemsticks I’m used to, which is not bad at all, it’s just a note. In the picture above, they are the orange sticks along the top. They are satisfying to crack open. I used a cracking technique I saw on youtube videos which is to hit them against the floor in sync with the beat.
I was noticed, and people made comments.
“Bro I gotta have some of that glow-glow stuff!”
As I had planned, I handed a pair to several people.
“These are so bright!”
“Where did you get these?”
As you can see, my review of Lumica Ultra Orange Glowsticks is very positve. I think the color these glowsticks produce is very fitting to their usage as symbols of a dancer’s elation as a spectator of a live performance. A dazzling radiance of fire-like colour, like the wielder’s burning soul, stoked by the energy of love and music.
Saturday night I left the dance at about 1AM. My phone had about 60% charge remaining. I was tired and wanted to get back to the AirBnB, so I hurriedly summoned a Lyft using the app. In doing so, I made a mistake entering the destination address. I think I entered South where I should have put South West. I ended up in a neighborhood that looked very similar to the one where my AirBnB was at, so I figured I was just a couple houses away. I thanked the driver and got out.
The street name was the same but like 6 miles in the wrong direction. I walked around a bit in this neighborhood wearing my Happi jacket where all the house lights were out and nobody was in sight. I finally saw another human, a dude smoking pot in his car. I walked up and asked for directions. He guessed that the street was in West Seattle Then I walked a bit because I thought I was close… then I realized nothing looked familiar so I just went to an area with more vehicle traffic.
I found a train station and found an emergency phone. I hesitated to pick it, but ended up doing so after I started shivering. I picked up the emergency phone and the operator was grumpy and said it’s for emergencies only blah blah. I just apologized and hung up. I waited around to see if I could hail a cab. But all I saw was Lyfts and Ubers which I couldn’t hail.
I walked about a mile and found my savior, an open 7-11 convenience store. I bought a charger and walked back to the train station and charged my phone. I got a Lyft back to the correct AirBnB at 4:30 AM.
I learned a valuable lesson– Cell phones are lifelines in modern society. I was in an okay part of town at night and nothing bad happened, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be and it could have been worse. I was very thankful to be back at the AirBnB in one piece. In future excursions, I will always have a working cellphone and a backup plan!
My Sakuracon 2019 was a bit stressful, but I will always remember it. The time I spent in con-space was sublime and I will cherish my memories of people watching, cosplaying, and feeling alive as an otaku.