Fanime, Fanime, Fanime…where do we start? FanimeCon has been around since the mid 90s but really came into it’s own with it’s move into the San Jose Convention in 2005. It has remained there ever since and is now one of NorCal’s largest genre conventions. Fanime has had growing pains, especially in the last few years. They have also faced more their fair share of unforeseeable obstacles (power outages anyone?) that have made the experience of registration less than optimal. This year Fanime decided to move all registration OUT of the convention center proper and into the Marriott Ballrooms. At first this move seemed like and odd choice, but this freed up the convention center for exactly what it was designed for, enjoying a convention! Hats off to the staff for diligently working hard to make the usually arduous task of picking up your badge not such a bad pill to swallow this year. I was lucky enough to be granted press access and Milton Le’s team was quick and professional as I have always found them. We arrived on Friday and G33k-hq picked up their press badges and we were off to cover the con in record time!
Agent P and Dviouz1 both attended as photographers and myself and Karla von Guerra were there to cover to the show. We wasted no time in hitting up Cosplay Alley, the unofficial space on the side of the convention center where most of the cosplayers and photographers gather for photoshoots. After grabbing some quick pics we decided to hit the Dealers Room floor before it got too wild later in the weekend. The Dealers Room now occupies both main halls with the dividing wall completely retracted. Artist Alley is located in the new wing that was just recently completed. I like this set up and it allowed for a much better flow for the attendees. It would be nice to see some more industry displays in the hall from Animation Studios and the like, but the room had a great selection of merchandise for sale. I actually made it through without spending TOO MUCH money 😉
One of the best things about Fanime however is that is does NOT rely on the Dealers Room to keep the con going. Where most shows are over for the day once the vendor hall closes, Fanime is a lot more like Las Vegas. Fans can be seen wandering the convention center, playing games in the Game Room, or watching the fave anime in one of the many viewing rooms onsite at all hours of the day or night! I took my lesson from years past and made sure I called it a night before staying up too long and my feet thanked me for it the next day. Even outside of the convention there is activity and things to see. The park at Market street is always a favored place for some of the larger gatherings to congregate. We were walking through at one point to get some food and saw one gathering be suddenly upset by the sprinklers going off! I can only imagine the mess that would have been if was the Homestuck kids 😉 You would think the city of San Jose could have the forethought to make sure that didn’t happen when they are expecting a large convention onsite?
For me the best part of Fanime is just wandering around and seeing what you can see. I ran into Miesha Mock who was working as a mascot for the newly debuted Rune Story phone app game. Rune Story is literally one of the biggest games in Japan enjoying millions of downloads since it’s launch. Colopl is adapting the game here for the American market. Stay tuned for an article about this fun new RPG that will surely have you all addicted. We also caught SeanxLong who was busy recruiting cosplayers for his dance music video. Check it out and see how many of your friends may have made it in!
This year was an absolute blast, one of the best Fanimes for me personally in a long time. We have a bunch of new photo galleries that will be posted here soon and you can check out this video of the Masquerade on YouTube!
Below are just some of the pictures that Danny “Dviouz1” and Perry “Agent P” shot. The level of costuming that comes out for Fanime rivals any national Comic Con twice the size!
Photos in gallery above from Perry “Agent P” Louie
Photos in gallery below from Danny “Dviouz1” DeLuna