To reiterate just how influential and significant the social aspects of Sakura-Con 2013 were on me this year, Day 11 of my 12 Days of Anime is reserved for a continuation on this theme but on a much broader and open scale. Following the massive social event that was Sakura-Con, several local bloggers and internet personalities decided to form a cohort, of sorts, and meet at various times in Seattle as a means of maintaining our camaraderie. What resulted was more than simple get-togethers with food and friends but a new medium of exchanging ideas on anime and getting to know people and their opinions that would otherwise be impossible on the internet alone. What resulted were not only numerous enjoyable experiences but some of the best memories of 2013 in regards to anime.
Besides Sakura-Con, there were four instances where I met with other bloggers or internet personalities this year. The events largely revolved around meeting at a restaurant, having a meal and then lingering at a place or wandering around. So while these events don’t necessarily sound all that special, it was the content and conversations of these meetings that had a lasting impact on me. No, it wasn’t that we talked about our opinions on various anime or some of our favorite moments or shared unknown, unheralded anime with each other. Although those were major factors in making these events memorable, it was the style of the forum. Rather, it was talking about anime in an intimate setting with people that ultimately stood out for me. It was the emotions and expressions of people that added a whole new level to discussing anime that made these experiences one of the most treasured of 2013.
It isn’t that this is a means to usurp the role of the internet or Twitter or Skype when discussing various features and events in anime but a means to supplement it in a format unobtainable from the internet. There’s just something special about seeing and hearing people laugh or get excited or become irritate when talking about various anime. Furthermore, there’s something special about learning more about people and their tastes in anime when hearing them speak about than just reading some black and white text. There isn’t a lengthy delays between communications either nor is there a chance for someone to pause, back up and rewrite what they’re thinking or feeling. It’s a format of discussing anime that is largely foreign to me since the main outlet I have is this blog. I could count on my thumbs the number of people I could discuss with anime before this, but now this number has expanded greatly. This year has been special to me in how it’s augmented and expanded my social networks with other anime bloggers and internet personalities. And thanks to these little get-togethers, I now have several fond anime memories of 2013.