Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fanime 2014: Recap

 Fanime's 20th anniversary! My 13th consecutive year! The 10th anniversary of meeting my Sak at con!

And for as many Fanime cons I've been to - this was all in all a very good year.  I got to do what I wanted, there was minimal drama, no one was harassed or looted from, and I got to hang out with my sister and my very good friend E, as well as several from our Cal Poly crew. Also saw many of my brother's friends, and my cousin too! I couldn't ask for more (except my dear dear cousin T! I MISSED HER SO MUCH).
They covered the VTA lightrail with bishies!!
I still haven't made any new friends, or come out of my shell to try and talk to new people..maybe by my 50th anniversary or something :P
So many people!
Anyway, here's my breakdown of 2014:

Beach theme this year.
Though I was fearing the dreaded 6 hour linecon of several cons past, instagram and twitter reports Thursday afternoon showed that the line was running smoothly and ahead of schedule.  When we arrived after work that day, we walked through the empty maze of tape, straight up to the reg booth! QR codes were scanned and badges were printed in seconds. I was completely dumbfounded.  Fanime really took the complaints to heart and super fixed the problems, it was amazing! The con was already a winner for the year just for the experience.  The badges are super nice too - no more paper label.  I was hoping for the penguin design, but the bishi speedo boy isn't bad at all.
No lines!!!!!!


We stayed at the Saint Claire again this year, because I like that it doesn't have many floors (waiting for elevators can be a pain).  It wasn't the cleanest room this year though, Friend E found a red hair in his duvet. Ick.
Annual key card art was a lovely plus as usual!
Hoody surfer boy is my favorite. Dunno about armpit man.
Swap Meet

This year swap meet was held in the civic center, which was different. We didn't go on Thursday, since the line was really long and people were reporting hours of waiting just to get in. What. I was a little peeved, but we came back on Friday and stood in line for over an hour.  I don't know if it was just my perception, but it seemed like there were less swap meet spots than usual. It was crowded, but that's normal.  I found a few gems as well, so the wait was worth it (though still obviously undesirable).
You have no idea how long I was looking for Princess Debut. $10 score! And those Panda Go Panda keychains are amazing. $1 each. YESSSSS. Penga-Sis bought banana Miku. So random.

Artist Alley/Dealer Hall

AA was held in the brand new, just built ball room on the main con floor, which was nice.  But it was cramped. Really cramped. As bad as South Hall's air quality was last year, at least it was big and open with plenty of room to walk around and browse.  Also, I don't really get the whole portfolio judging thing they did this year - the artists all looked pretty similar to year's past - was there supposed to be a huge jump in "quality" or something?  Art is so subjective anyway, so who knows.  Sak, surprisingly, was a little bummed about not having a booth this year.  I don't know whether it was because he just wanted to sit and streetpass/play bravely default all weekend, or because he liked selling things last year, but maybe we'll look into it again next year.  I do like having other people enjoy the things we create though, it's very rewarding!


One of the things I look forward to the most, the anime music video competition.  But unfortunately, I looked forward to it too much and actually ended up watching a vast majority of the videos BEFORE the con via Youtube/ Gah. My bad. It was still entertaining though. And I really think that Free/It's raining men video they showed prior to the competition should have made the cut.  Pandering to the fangirls, yes, but it was a good video! Here's the creators youtube page, it looks like the video will be posted soon now that con is over.

Anime Hell/Midnight Madness

The other thing I look forward to the most. Ha!  Anime Hell never fails to dissapoint, and there was a nice mix of new material as well as fan favorites.  It's kind of a blend of stupid Youtube videos, random Japanese commericals, trailers for new and exciting things, and short films. It's hilarious and there's a lot of audience participation which is fun. I like seeing newbies come in and just totally get into it.

We stayed only til about 2 AM although it goes all night. I'm not as young as I used to be, ha!

We didn't really attend many panels this year - but the one we did go to, Hilariously Bad Bootlegs, was pretty good.  They showed pictures/video of silly bootlegged products, and also gave tips on how to avoid accidentally buying them in the future.

Just like they fixed the reg line problems, Fanime also stepped up and fixed the cosplay masquerade problems as well.  They cut out all the pre-show filler, saving the martial art expo and karaoke winner for the intermission, which I think was a good call.  The A/V worked well for the most part, with a few hiccups but nothing major.  The host - at least he didn't do much joking, but I really think he could be..more charismatic? He seemed a little stiff and unexcited. Maybe it takes a couple years of warm up?

The acts were all pretty good - Fanime has a pretty good track record of good acts. In particular I liked the acrobatic man-Mai and the Epic Rap Battles of Anime acts.  Overall it was a very short masquerade, which was nice because it gave us time to get dinner and do other things later.

Oh - and the kiss cam before it started? OMG. Hilarious, but I imagine wildly uncomfortable for social anxious otaku like myself.  My sister and her friend were captured! I'm glad they didn't kiss or anything weird cause that'd make me a bad chaperone. :P

Anyway, in the next post I'll cover cosplay, since my sis was kind enough to ask lots of people for pics! In the meantime, a few more random con photos..
Didn't expect to see such awesome Otaku cars out in the neighborhood! 
Giant jenga in the game room.
Someone put all these super old convention books out on one of the tables. So cool!
A punching/slapping game!
And.. Sak and Friend E's first time getting peace bonded! Can't believe we've never had weapon props in our cosplay before!


  1. Loved the post! Wish I could convince my husband to go to something like this, it looks like fun. What is peace bonding?

    1. it is a lot of fun! peace bonding is a little tag the staff put on your prop weapons so people know it's safe and not real :3

  2. Black Mage Staves...

  3. Wow custom keycards?! That's cool!


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