The first weekend of April boasted an unprecedented set of BlazBlue-centric programming at Sakura-Con 2015. To celebrate the soon-to-be-released BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend, coming in April to Japan and summer to North America, Arc System Works brought the fight to Seattle, Washington with an official tournament, guests of honor, an exhibitor booth, and the first international look at BBCP Extend.
Guests of Honor
Attendees at Sakura-Con welcomed the BlazBlue dream team: Toshimichi Mori (BlazBlue creator), Kanako Kondo (voice of Noel Vermillion), and Kana Ueda (voice of Rachel Alucard). Over the weekend, they held panels and autograph sessions, and met with fans in an intimate Q&A over dinner at the Meet the Guests reception. The guests were delighted to see the excitement of overseas fan for the beloved series.
Arc System Works Exhibitor Booth
Attendees got their hands on BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend for the first time outside of Japan. The booth featured a first look at the English language version of the game and the newest characters, Celica A. Mercury and Lambda-11. The FGC came out in droves, parking themselves at the booth to check out the new changes and get in some pre-tournament practice.
Available for purchase was a selection of official merchandise — t-shirts from Eighty Sixed Clothing’s BlazBlue collection and the Arc System Works “Shin-Yoko” company shirt, BBCP Extend posters, pins, and Kanako Kondo’s CDs.
The BlazBlue Experience
Capping off the weekend was the BlazBlue Experience, the Saturday night extravaganza featuring our BlazBlue guests of honor, BBCP & GGXrd grand finals, and BBCP Extend invitational tournament. The BBCP and GGXrd tournaments ran from Saturday morning to afternoon, where 64 competitors battled it out with the Pacific Northwest FGC making a proud stand in the rankings. BBCP Extend was an invitational tournament restricted to new challengers Celica and Lambda-11, with BlazBlue EVO 2011 Champion, Alex Chen (Spark) and Derek Bruscas (sG), the highest placing US player at EVO 2014 amongst those invited to compete.
In-between matches, the audience was treated to Kanako Kondo (voice of Noel Vermillion) singing “Love So Blue: Ao no Kodō” and “Pandora Tears” from BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift live, as well as a BBCP match between Mori and Ueda.
The winners were crowned by the BlazBlue Guests of Honor themselves:
A big thank you to the sponsors who made this all possible: Mad Catz, FUNimation, Eighty Sixed Clothing, Strangely Compelling Multimedia, LogicHole Studios, Sakura-Con, and Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association.