-It looked like Fanime's attendance skyrocketed
this year, despite the higher admission prices. I was there on the first day and
the line just to pick up badges was looping inside the convention center, out
the doors, and probably around the block. I overheard some people say that they
had waited in
line for over six hours. The same goes for those buying badges for a single day.
The lines were ridiculous on the second day, too. Last year on the third day, Sunday, there was
basically no line; you could just walk right up and buy a pass. This year
Sunday's line was at least a 1 - 2 hour wait. Fanime really needs to figure out a
faster way to hand out badges and for people to register. Or, they should let
people who only want a single day pass the option to buy them online. Currently,
only those who buy a pass for the entire weekend can buy them online.
-You could still walk around the hallways and
check out tons of cosplayers without having to buy a pass, which was totally
-The program book was better than last year's and
had more information for when things were and where, but not for everything. Fortunately,
they also had a Pocket Guide that had schedules for pretty much everything going
on. Now this was a handy thing to have. It fit in your pocket and and you knew
where to go and when. It would be nice if other conventions had a Pocket Guide
so you wouldn't have to haul around the bigger program book, so great job on
that, Fanime staff people.
-There was still construction going on at the
convention center, limiting the number of places cosplayers could gather for
photos. I'm sure it'll all be done by next year and there will be a ton more
great places for cosplayers to pose and flaunt their goodies.
-I went to the swap meet this year to see what it
was all about. There was a super long line to get in, which apparently isn't
normal. Some people around me were saying, "There's a line for the swap meet?!" I
almost gave up and left a few times because I was getting sick of waiting in line, but I
stayed the course. After nearly an hour of waiting I finally got in. The swap
meet is basically like a dealer room, but most of the people selling stuff are
just fans like the rest of us who are clearing out their collections. There were
some good deals and I saw some things I didn't think I'd see. I was very
impressed with one girl's Zuntata CD collection. There were two rooms, a big one
and a small one. If you take a look at the Colonel Guile and Mileena cosplay in my
Cosplay gallery, you can see basically what the swap meet looked like.
-There were protesters outside the convention
center preaching about God. They had signs like, "God saves from Hell," "Trust Jesus," and
"Fear God." I don't know why they hate people who are attending
an anime convention. Doesn't seem very Christian to me.
-Last year I was able to avoid buying anything
form the dealer room; this year not so much. I found some good deals this year
that I tried to pass up, but didn't.
-The random dance parties in the middle of
hallways that people had to walk through got annoying. There were way too many
people walking from here to there for others to clog up the walkways.
-The artist alley had lots of talented artists,
along with a few mediocre ones. 8-Bit Bytes, who I last saw at WonderCon 2011,
was there with their plastic bead art of videogame characters and other characters anime
and comics. I've been told that making these is really easy, but I don't have
the patience or time to make them myself, so I think it's cool. They also had
small paper hello Kitty dressed as superheroes. I saw another booth with some
bead art characters, but his were pretty pricey compared to 8-Bits Bytes.
-There was an art show next to the artist alley
where people could bid on art. You weren't allowed to take photos, unless you
were super sneaky like one guy I saw. You could take photos of the awesome
dragon sculpture, though.
-There were themed rooms if you wanted to sit and
watch anime. If you needed a place to relax they were good places to go. They
might also serve a place to watch something that might not have made it out of
Japan yet. I hope there aren't people that spend all day in the rooms, though.
There's so much more to do!
-I was at the charity auction for a little bit.
The stuff auctioned off were some figures, posters, most of which were signed by
someone involved with whatever it was. Oddly, there were also drum covers and
baseballs. All of Fanime's guests of honor signed the drum covers, which was
cool, but why drum covers?
-There were way too many guys dressed like female
anime characters. Way too many.
-The only panel I attended was the Gundam
Universal Century Vs. Other Gundam panel. I didn't know what to expect from
this, as in would it be why one is better than the other or if it would just be
informational. It was being held by Gilles Poitras, author of the books Anime
Essentials, and The Anime Companion, and The Anime Companion 2).
It was basically an informational panel of the differences between the more
realistic Universal Century and all the other more fantasy Gundam shows. It
seemed like most of the people at the panel were already Gundam fans, but if
there was anyone new to Gundam, then they certainly learned a lot.
-I was originally going to attend a couple other
panels, but I lost track of time taking photos of cosplayers and stuff. Oops.
-There was an entire wall of a dealer booth lined
with body pillows. There were also a few dudes walking around with them. We all
know what you're going to do with those.