Being a local to San Jose, it was kind of strange for my friends and I to reserve a hotel room for this year’s Fanime Convention. But hey, sometimes we all need to get away from the house once in a while, right? ^^;; Steven went along too and was, in fact, the brains behind the planning (and photos). What a good guy!
For many of us, it was the first time attending Fanime for the whole weekend. It certainly was for me. And I was looking forward to the event since the beginning of the year, so when the day of college finals were over and the days of endless amounts of cosplay and anime were about to begin, I was absolutely ecstatic.
We got off to a pretty rocky start in the preregistration line. It’s a certain fact that standing in a line for over six hours, surrounded by the musk of countless con-goers in a power outage, could bring a lot of discouragement to a person, but once we got our membership cards, our program guides, and pocket schedules, we were all set to go (including a few other bigots outside of the hotel group that kept bothering us over the phone even though we were the ones suffering in line for them). I think the problem could have been averted, had Fanime not acted as if they were still a small convention. It’s honestly become one of the biggest anime conventions in the states, and as such, fans that preregistered should receive their membership cards through the mail instead of waiting in a long line. I hope they fix this in later years. ^^;; It was honestly kind of funny – in the middle of the power outage, they started handing out free water on luggage carts (a very nice gesture!), making it look as if the convention center was a bomb shelter.
After the long wait in line, at around 9 or 10 PM, three out of four of my buddies (including me) decided to wash off the exhaustion in the Mariott’s pool. Needless to say, as a person who hates pool water, the Mariott’s pool water happens to be the worst I ever swam in. lol
The next day, we headed out towards the arcade to kill time until the Pokemon Men: Muscle Hustle panel. Needless to say, I love good cosplay, so when I ran into this awesome Thor cosplayer, I couldn’t resist asking him for a picture on my camera phone. Because the quality of the photo on my phone is too lacking to be posted on this blog, I’ll use the photos taken on Steven’s digital camera.
Note: I am not in the picture, since I was the photographer – those two are my friends. I don’t view myself as photogenic and my face will forever remain a mystery. xD
We also participated in Live Chess during our wait for the Muscle Hustle. I was a pawn… and throughout the whole game, I didn’t move an inch. Oh well. The Pokemen panel was, of course, hilarious. You had to be there in order to visualize the homoerotic and strange things done with the human body. I’m pretty sure nobody except for me got the Pokemon Special reference at the end of their panel. 😛
Super Mario FPS
The rest of the day was spent in the Artist Alley and Dealer’s Hall. I visited those places the most often, everyday, because of the awesome selection of imported art-books, plushies, and figures. Too bad none of the dealers had light novels! Unfortunately, coming from a family struck with apparent perpetual poverty that is always in need of my money, I didn’t have much of a budget to buy many things. In the process, Steven ended up buying more anime-related swag than I did, which is strange phenomenon due to me being the anime freak. Needless to say, I was jelly.
On Saturday, in the early morning, we caught a screening of Mayo Chiki! I actually never got around to watching this anime until that moment, and I was surprised at how funny it was. I’m rather disappointed that it’s only 13 episodes though – that’s never a good length for an adaptation of an ongoing light novel series. Nevertheless, I plan to watch the rest of the show at home. As for the rest of the trip, we also got around to watching Detroit Metal City (the funniest anime EVER), The Mystic Archives of Dantalion (DALIA = AWESOME), and the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. Yes, the ones where Shinji gets it on with his Not-Mom Girlfriend. The anime screenings were awesome except for the typical problems that come with watching films with dozens of other people in the room – you get the loud obnoxious guy that just can’t shut up during the anime (thanks for spoiling the taser scene in Mayo Chiki! for me, jackass!) and people that just can’t stop clapping during a movie. It’s not like the movie’s going to bow to you, guys.
Other events I went to include the panel hosted by Yotoka Mamoru, the animation director and character designer for various anime such as Death Note and Shin Mazinger Shōgeki! Z-Hen, and the Universal Gundam Vs. Other Gundam panel. Apparently, Yotoka-san believes that Japan is stranger than America (xD) and values a strong work ethic in the animation industry. He also cooked Chinese food as a chef before he became an illustrator. The Gundam panel was very informative and demonstrated the clear differences between the often Super Robot Gundam Multiverse and the original realistic Universal Century Gundam universe.
The elevators in the hotel were an absolute torture. Sometimes it got so packed that you were forced to use the stairs – which, in all honestly, isn’t all that much troubling as long as its a trip down. 1:00 AM, Sunday morning, my friends and I were so bored that we resorted to hanging out around the elevators just to observe the sad, sad faces of the passengers that went through our floor. In the process, we met some cool British guy, who reminded me of The Doctor, that informed us of the sexual activities that went on in the Mariott’s jacuzzi that he had the unfortunate honor of witnessing on Saturday night. Ew.
Awesome Touhou Cosplayers
On a personal level, I had a great time at Fanime 2012 and plan on making attendance there a yearly thing for me. I was a tad disappointed that this year was supposedly one of the so-so years overall, though. It was fun, but I can see where they’re coming from. One disappointment comes from the fact that I couldn’t get into the GAINAX panel because it was full. There was literally a line that looped multiple times around the hallways and there was only thirty-or-so chairs left in the panel room… there was no way any of us would be let in, so my friends and I decided to leave the convention early without attending the closing ceremonies because the padding would have been two more hours of doing nothing. Still, it was a fun experience, and as long as the staff behind Fanime treats the con as a large con next year, everything will be even better than this year, which turned out to be a blast. The streets of Downtown San Jose was literally packed with con-goers and cosplayers – proof enough that the convention is getting bigger and bigger every year. One of the funniest out-of-convention moments for me was when an old lady had the most bewildered “is this some kind of new cult?” face when she saw the local McDonalds being overrun by cosplayers – priceless!
We ended Fanime on a good note, though. There were Christian preachers/protestors outside holding signs that said “FEAR GOD” and spewing a ton of bull on their megaphones. Supposedly, they appear every time there’s an event at the San Jose Convention Center (do they do anything else with their lives?). They were harassing the con-goers all weekend long. So we decided to test if there was any type of rationalism behind their words by actually attempting to start a civil discussion with them instead of cursing them out or telling them to fuck off – turns out it was futile, so my friend turned on the siren on their megaphone in the middle of one of their rants and we were told to leave the area by one of the rovers. That was definitely the highlight of Monday at Fanime, everyone in the area was laughing their asses off at the stunt he pulled. xD We’ll get around to posting up the video of that, someday.
Arts and Crafts. 😛