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Old 06-01-2013, 02:23 AM   #1
SaiQ
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Fanime 2013

Hey fanatics, I recently finished an action packed weekend of Fanime! This year, they had an exciting lineup of guests. However, I didn't plan to meet any of them or attend autograph lines. You can check out more information by following this link:

http://2013.fanime.com/

I recently purchased a DSLR camera and was committed to taking pictures of cosplayers. Having purchased my camera a month ago, I'm a beginner when it comes to operating DSLR, so I apologize in advance for some of the pictures I've taken being off centered, not focused, or poor lighting.

Day 0

Last year, pre-registration badge pick up started at 4:00pm and took place on the first floor of the convention center. Unfortunately, the San Jose Convention Center was still under construction and many areas were either walled off or doesn't exist anymore. Registration was moved to the Fairmont Hotel's Imperial Ball room and started at 7:00PM.

This year, the staff of Fanime tried something new. They had the Game Room open on day 0 with no badge check to get in. Everything else was closed. I was busy on Thursday, so I didn't take advantage of it.

I arrived an hour early and was the last person to line up in the Imperial Ball room before they cut it off started a new line outside. By the time I arrived, the ball room was already packed. The line wrapped around multiple times across the room. At 7:00, the line finally started moving. They processed groups of people, so the line periodically moved ever ten or fifteen minutes.

After processing the first couple groups, they finally allowed the people waiting outside into the ball room. Unfortunately for me, the guys that came in and right behind were a rowdy bunch and wouldn't stop singing the entire time. I had to put up with them for a long three hours.

 


When I finally reached the exit door, I was relieved that the long ordeal will be over. Argh, spoke too soon! There was another room with a couple lines. Fortunately, these lines were shorter. There were was one for checking in and another for badge pick up. Twenty minutes later, I finally checked in and got my badge.

 



Since the time I arrived, it took me a total four hours and twenty minutes to through the line. Last year it took me five hours and that's with the power outage. This year, there was no power outage and they have the same number of booths and staff checking people in. Thinking back, the number of booths and staff checking in people has remain the same over the past couple of years while the number of attendees increase a few thousands each year. Their infrastructure doesn't scale and as a result, the time it takes to check in and get a badge increases.

This is one of the biggest complaints this year. I suggest whoever is running Fanime to rethink their check in methods. If Anime Expo, which has 49,000+ attendees, can process people on Day 0 in 2 hours, then Fanime (22,000+ attendees) should be able to do the same.

After waiting in line for so long, I explored the convention center. The halls were eerily quiet. I learned Artist Alley was moved to the south hall, located outside of the building in a large blue tent. The room it used to be in now serves as a giant hang out place with a food vendor that open early and late.

 


Day 1

On Day 1, I was at the convention up till 1:00pm. Day 1 happened to be the same day for my graduation ceremony.

There wasn't much happening in the morning on Day 1. The opening ceremony takes place at 3:00. Artist Hall and Dealers Hall won't open until then. There weren't a whole lot of cosplayers. My guess is most of them were checking into hotels or waiting in line to pick up their badge.

After wandering around for a few hours, I headed back to San Jose State University and attended my graduation ceremony. After having dinner with family, I dropped by Fanime for an hour and then headed home.

Day 2

I ran into my friend Nate early in the morning. He was cosplaying Death the Kid from the anime Soul Eater. He had a press badge and was attending the Viz panel. I didn't have any immediate plans, so I joined him.

At the Viz panel, two representatives discussed upcoming releases and new features. Viz now has a mobile app that digitizes older and newer manga titles. They also announce Neon Alley, which allows streaming anime. At the end of the panel, they did Q&A and asked us to fill out a survey. In return for handing in the survey, they gave us a bunch of free swag. I got a few key chains and Blue Rose poster from the anime Tiger and Bunny.

 


Nate and I headed outside to the Soul Eater cosplay gathering. Cosplayers dressed up as Soul Eater characters met up outside, in front of the convention center. There they did group poses with various combinations of characters while photographers took picture. After a while, I parted ways with Nate. I spent the rest of the day walking around and taking pictures.

 


Later towards the end of the day, I attended the concert. This years musical guests includes ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D and 7!!. ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D went first. Their songs was a mixture of rock and rap. The lead singer did a splendid job playing guitar, singing versus, and rapping. Their music was upbeat and they performed 'Complication', second opening to Durarara!!. Up next was 7!!. Their music style is closer to Jpop. Their band composition is unique with two females playing drums and lead vocals while two guys play guitar and bass. They performed 'Lovers' and 'Sayonara Memory' from Naruto Shippūden. This year's musical guest line up was one of the best. Both groups were bands and played instruments while performing on stage, which is a big improvement considering last years musical guests. There were times that 7!! instruments overpowered the vocals. Aside from that, music from both groups flowed well and the acoustics was excellent. On top of that, I was allowed to take non-flash photography, which is a huge improvement over previous concerts.

 


Day 3

I spent most of the Morning taking pics. While walking on the ground floor, I ran into my cousin who just came back from the Hilton. He informed me Yaya Han was currently in the hotel lobby and if I wanted to take a picture, I should hurry. I did just that. Hazzah, thanks cuz and thank you Yaya Han for letting me take a picture!

 


Afterwards, I wandered around Dealers Hall. I ran into Dana, a friend of a friend who as of now is a friend. We ran into each other at the Gundam booth. Apparently she likes to collect and build master grade Gundam kits. This was Dana's first time at Fanime, so I volunteered to give her a tour. She was really impress by the Artist Alley. We spent a lot of time walking around and looking at each artists booth. I commissioned one of the artist to draw me female Shepard from Mass Effect and mail it to me. We headed outside near the front of the convention center. We admired many of the cosplayers and I took several pictures. After a while Dana had to leave, so we parted ways.

 


I headed back to the Marriot to attend the Little Kuriboh panel. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one. There was a huge line that filled up the Marriot salon hall. Rovers and staff were completely overwhelmed. The room quickly became packed and ran out of space. The staff guarding the door allowed me to take a picture, but wouldn't let me in. Oh well, at least I got see him in person.

 


I headed back down stairs to the front of the convention center. After a couple hours from taking pictures, I headed across the street and waited in line for the Cosplay Masquerade. The line started moving around 7:00PM. Prior to the Cosplay Masquerade, a local band played a mini-concert. In the middle of the concert, they had a brief intermission where two con attendees proposed on stage. After much cheering and clapping, the concert finished and the Masquerade began.

 


This year's Cosplay Masquerade was a major disappointment. The audio technician or whoever was in charge of the soundtracks was completely unprepared. There were a lot of delays between skits and a couple times the soundtrack ended prematurely or started too soon. In one skit, a performer awkwardly waited on stage for 8 minutes waiting for her soundtrack to start. The soundtrack for a Madoka skit ended prematurely. As a result, the performers had to redo their skit towards the end. The MC wasn't prepared either, but he did a decent job improvising. Nevertheless, some of the skits were quite good and I applaud to memorable performances. Some honorable mentions include Female Avengers, Olaf Bot Lane, G.I. Joe Ninja vs. Ninja, Dragon Ball Z, Fate Stay Night - Indian Jones style, Wreck it Ralph, hip hop Miku, Nintendo Burlesque, Zelda the Hero, and Zelda Men.

 


 


Day 4

Monday was the last day of Fanime. It felt sad knowing everything was coming to an end. I spent the morning walking around and taking pictures. There were a lot less cosplayers dressed up and posing for pictures. Most of the con attendees had packed up and were checking out. While the convention center felt less crowded, dealers hall was jammed pack like usual. The best deals is usually found on the last day of the convention.

 


 


I hang around till afternoon. I didn't bother staying for the closing ceremony. This year, I didn't attend any of the panels or paid close attention to guests. I'm pretty sure other attendees going to the closing ceremony will voice complaints similar to mine. I spent the remainder of the day taking pictures. I met up with a couple friends for lunch and then headed out.

Despite a few drawbacks, I genuinely had a good time at Fanime. My main reason for attending this year was to take pictures of cosplayers. Many of the cosplayers spent a lot of time and money to creating their costumes. These conventions helps them showcase their hard-work through mingling with other fans and photo shoots. I had the pleasure of meeting and taking pictures of these talented and dedicated fans. Perhaps one of these days, I too will build a costume and join their ranks as a cosplayer.

For those who have never experienced an anime convention, I highly recommend you visit at least one. It’s fun intermingling with other people who are just as passionate about anime, manga, and the Japanese culture.

Thank you for reading my report.

SaiQ signing out.

LINK TO ALL MY PICTURES INCLUDING COSPLAYERS
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: Fanime 2013

I am not sure if I am supposed to go super in-depth here but here is my overall review:

Day 0 - Badge-less preview and pre-reg badge pickup. My friends and I arrived at 6:45 (15 min before line was supposed to 'open' and 'start'). We knew there would be a crazy line so weren't surprised when we were greeted by hundreds of people already waiting before us. The line opened about 30 - 45 min late (7:40 ish) and began processing people. About 5 hours later were were in the final loop of the line and about to get into the actual 'badge room'. Once we got in we finally got our badges and left. That was a total of 6 hours and some odd minutes. We were so tired of hanging around that we didn't check out the badgeless preview (which I regret now) but instead just headed home exhausted.

Day 1 - Was that 6 hour line worth it? Time to test it out. It has been 8 years since I last attended Fanime so I was excited to see what was new, exciting, and what changed. Apparently Friday (day 1) is not a huge day so I took most of the day to take photos, check out the game room, and explore the dealer room. Overall nothing too exciting, but was a good start to the con overall (got my bearings).

Day 2 - THIS is why I waited 6 hours in line. Day 2 (Saturday) was the best day of all Fanime for me. Not only did some of the most amazing cosplayers come out and show their stuff, but I also got to sit in on some awesome panels (armor making, history of bandai toy designs presented by the man who actually designed them, and other interesting panels). After all that, we explored some of the film rooms and got to watch some interesting new features like video game movies (movies made from cinematics and in-game snippets to tell a complete story) and the marathon room for Dragon Ball Kai (cell saga). While normally we spend a majority of time watching anime, this time we spent more time exploring panels, finding cool cosplayers, checking out artist alley, and best of all (for me), MUSICFEST 2013 !!! This was my first Japanese concert and it was a blast. We waited about 1 hour in line to get some of the best seating in the house ! Rookiez is Punk'd put on a stellar performance and kept the crowd jumping, clapping, singing, and enjoying the show. After Rookiez came 7!! (seven oops). They did a good job and were overall very fun but it was hard to follow-up such a high-energy band like Rookiez with a more pop-alt band like 7!! overall, both were great, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole show.

Day 3 - Sunday was a good day because I got to get my CD's signed by Rookiez and 7!!. Both were very gracious when signing and Rookiez even investigated my shopping haul and said my figures were "kawaii" or cute. I appreciated their interest and interaction even though they didn't have to. 7!! were cool and shook our hands and personally thanked each person who came. After all that, I ended the day with the fanimaid cafe which was... awkward but an experience. We checked out some more panels then called it a day. Overall it was a good wind-down day.

Day 4 - Monday was similar to Friday. Not many people, not as many big shows/events, and in general just a less huge time. I still got to see some amazing cosplay (the best Lara Croft I saw all weekend) and got to do a last-minute wallet purge and buy some stuff in the dealer room and finish off my coins in the arcade area.

Overall, if I were to do it again, I might consider avoiding the pre-reg line and just killing some of the early time on Friday (day 1) since most people aren't there early and most big stuff won't start until later on Friday. I would still go to every single day as I don't like the idea of 'missing' anything, but for less die-hard enthusiasts, Sat/Sun would be the two days for sure to hit, with Fri being a maybe and Mon being avoidable.

For those who are interested, here are some photos I took:
Kairu Photography - There is a Fanime album and a Musicfest album. Please check out both, like the page if you like the photos, and tag anyone if you know them (and I haven't tagged them already).

Thanks and enjoy !

Last edited by badninja; 06-01-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
MakiMaki

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Re: Fanime 2013

OMG, so awesome that 7!! (Seven Oops) performed in the U.S. and that you got to see them! Very jealous! XD

Thanks for posting pics from the con. It'll give me something fun to do at the hotel while it pours buckets outside...fun way to start my vacation! lol (~_~)
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