Since we already have a Fanime review in the reviews section, I decided to post mine in the Blog section:
So Fanime has come and gone.
If you don’t know what Fanime is, it’s an anime convention in San Jose, CA. It takes place every yearly during the Memorial Day weekend. It lasts Friday-Monday with a DAY 0/pre-reg pick up on the Thursday. Fanime is one of the larger Anime cons in the US, and has events likes Raves, Black and White ball, Karoke, Panels and viewing rooms. It was also partnered with a SteamPunk convention called “ClockWork Alchemy”
MissionStart was there to cover it!
The dreaded line:
First off let’s talk about Day 0, normally you get a nice line of people waiting for pre-registration badge, people chat, take pictures, and generally you’re in out of line a few hours as people can pick up their pre-reg badges throughout the weekend. Things didn’t go so smoothly this year. A capacitor behind the convention center shattered the evening quiet with a loud bang and a flash, shutting off electricity for the convention center and surrounding areas. Some people ended waiting in line for 6 hours to get their badge, and others went off to their rooms to just wait for tomorrow. As the hotels were impacted, it left some stuck in Elevators and other in lobbies and taking the stairs for a few hours while things got worked out.
The outage led to large lines for pre-registration during the Friday-Saturday days. People were stuck in line for 2-4 hours trying to get their badges, which while this is the norm for regular at the con badges, it wasn’t expected. The lines went out the door and wrapped around out to the block.
Aside from the lines, this year we all program guides right away, and staff that I talked to generally knew were things were located.
The dealers’ hall was in the same room as the past years and offered all of the normal things you see. Mostly new/current anime products and some of the more popular order ones, but I’d say the big hit were the Necomimi cat ears. They’re controlled by your brainwaves using sensors and move around accordingly. They had two booths set up and you could people with them everywhere. In fact bought myself a pair!
Artist Ally was in its own large location as well, and was packed full of interesting things. You had dresses, prints, and doll clothes even.
The raves were like your normal con raves. They had loud music! Plenty of dancing going on, the rooms was decent and not packed. You had space, and could move about it pretty easily if you wanted to stop dancing and take a break by the wall and rest. They also supplied waited that was kept refilled out the of the rave rooms.
There were two rooms, a small one and a large one.
The Black and White Ball:
The ball was pretty great this year. The dancing was classy, and formal as it supposed to be for a Black and White ball. I’ve been to some were it is isn’t that way at all. The music was good; sometimes it was a little off though. Having J-pop as Swing music as an example. They enforced the dress code, not allowing you to enter if you weren’t in dress slacks or the proper cosplay attire. They also supplied water, and had some nice changes up for the dances. Though it starting at the same times as the Masquerade contest made it hard to decide to what to attend, it lasted late enough that you could manage to attend to both if you wanted to.
This brings me to
It started at a decent time, didn’t have a lot of entrainment this year. It went really smooth, having what seemed like no technical errors save for one. Some great skits were shown. It was interesting hearing the crowd reactions in between skits. Such as shouts of Marco Polo. At one point someone yelled out “What time is it?” to which a loud reply of “Adventure time” ensued.
The swap meet was moved from the convention center to the The Fairmount hotel two blocks away from the convention. This seemed to upset some people about having to travel so far with their stuff to get there, but overall it went very well. Long lines, but once you got in you could get some good deals. Kaz, one of or review members, picked up a haul of manga for a decent price.
The Cosplayer hangout room:
I’d look to bring attention to this room. Why? Because it was great: A place to go and sit down, where photography is allowed. You can sit back and do repairs on your costume. Supplied by the people that helped setup the room for other cosplayers, there was a sewing machine, glues and hot glues, velco, and just about anything else you could need to make quick repairs on your outfits. As mentioned, it’s supplied by other cosplayers that support the room. Fanime gave no funds to it!
A few drawbacks of the con:
Crowded on Saturday with no set of flow traffic
Long lines for registration
Black and White ball and Cosplay Contest on the same day and time
Over priced food vendors and drinks (convention supplied)
Peacebonding was inconsistent
I caught one of the judges at the contest checking his phone during every single skit and didn’t seem to be paying much attention.