Fanime '15: Some Random Things

Here are some random things from Fanime 2015.

-The Dealers' Hall was greatly expanded this year. Other years, the dealer booths only took up maybe half or a little more of the hall they were in. This year, the dealer booths went the entire length of the hall, with a little room in the back for a few food places and a spot for the Chalk Twins to rock their awesome chalk art. I, and I'm sure many other, liked the expanded dealers hall.

-Meanwhile the Arcade had some familiar games and events like tournaments, giant Jenga, and new games, like the crazy Bishi Bashi. Watch this video to what exactly this button-masher wants you to mash to.

The Chalk Twins' incredible Space Dandy chalk art in-progress.

Your yearly Strikers 1943 III photo.

The Bishi Bashi is an insane button-mashing game.

-Fanime had some terrific guests of honor this year. This year they had animator Kazuhiro Soeta, actor/voice actor Cindy Robinson, voice actor Patrick Seitz, voice actor Christopher Smith, voice actor Ai Nonaka, and Fanime mainstays director Hiroyuki Yamaga, and Gilles Poitras. I think it would be great if Fanime could get more guests to appear because it's usually around 4 - 6 per year. In a line I was in I heard a couple people complaining that Fanime's guest list was shorter compared to other conventions. While all the guests did signings at some point, Ai Nonaka had the most sought-after autograph line. Her line filled early the first days she was signing, so her line was started extra early for her second session.

A Gundam fan has Kazuhiro Soeta sign his A-turn Gundam model kit box.

Hiroyuki Yamaga and his new ship!

-The Charity Auction had a few especially awesome things up for auction. There was a drum head used in the Back-On concert the night before signed by all the Back-On members. Hiroyuki did an original sketch of a new ship in an upcoming anime of his. That sold for a lot, but the biggest seller was Kazuhiro's character portrait sketch. Soeta made a surprise appearance on stage when his sketch was being auctioned off. It ultimately sold for $6000, if I remember correctly. That's incredible.

The drum head signed by all of Back-On.

Hiroyuki Yamaga's new ship sketch.

Kazuhiro Soeta's $6000 sketch.

Kazuhiro Soeta and his translator make a surprise appearance at the auction.

A Fanime 2015 banner signed by all the Guests of Honor.

-Animator Kazuhiro Soeta had a Q&A panel where fans would just ask him questions. Here are some of the more interesting bits.

-Soeta had been animating in High school, but he had to stop when he got to college because there were no programs for animation.

-When he was an animation director he said that not every key animator is of top quality. When he got some animation that is not good, he puts a yellow sheet on it with what he wants. The animation director doesn't work in the same facility as the animator, so he can't tell the animator what he is doing wrong. One time, A key frame he received was so bad that he folded it in half and stapled it together all along the sides.

-Soeta was asked which is the best Star Trek and the best captain. Next Generation and Captain Picard. It's kind of funny and cool that he is such a big Star Trek fan.

-The very first job he had was for the Dr. Slump Arale-Chan animation, coloring in the individual cels. An upper classmen of his in high school was an animator and recommended him for a position.

-He says he is very whimsical because he doesn't have a time table set for his days. He hasn't set an alarm for himself in the lest ten years, but back in high school he would be drawing around 12 hours a day, even in class. He would sneak his lunch in during class so he could draw during lunch. His after school activities would be drawing, and then he would draw more at home.

-Some of the most talented people in animation are the biggest weirdos.

-I had never been to a concert at Fanime before. I guess I never really paid attention that there even were concerts at Fanime. but a friend of mine, who also hadn't been to a Fanime concert before, convinced me to go. This year Back-On was playing. They are basically a Japanese rock band who also perform songs for a bunch of anime series, too, like Air Gear and Gundam Build Fighter. The concert was great, and especially at being free, I'd recommend any Fanime attendee to check one out, no matter who is playing.

Back-On doing a great concert.

Back-On do Gundam Build Fighters, Air Gear, and their own awesome songs.

-The Swap Meet was in a great place this year,  the South Hall. The South Hall is basically a huge blue and white industrial tent. There was plenty of room to let a lot of people in to walk around, lots of room for seller to set up their goods. The tent is so big that there could have been a lot more sellers. Last year's placement of the Swap Meet was pretty bad because only a few people could get in at a time. Hopefully, Fanime can keep teh Swap Meet in the South Hall from now on. Since the convention center's expansion and the Artist Alley in their own hall, I don't see why they couldn't.

-A lot of sellers at the Swap Meet priced their goods to sell. Some other prices their goods at eBay prices. If you really want your stuff to sell, then you have to mark it down so that people will actually buy it. There were a ton of good deals and some sellers are willing to negotiate prices.

-One dealer booth in the Dealer's Hall set up a few small basketball hoops and was giving out expensive figures to anyone who could sink in 1, 2, or 3 shots. He charged $5 for five shots. This was a genius idea because he was constantly getting a flow of money throughout the entire show. Some of the big figures that people could win were above $100, so if they could get three consecutive shots, then they would get one hell of a deal. I first went past this booth shortly after the hall opened on the first day. The next time I was there, there were still a lot of figures available to win. On the third day, it looked like a lot of people had actually won some of the prizes. I'm sure he still made a killing with how many people tried though, because the times I was near his booth, there were always people trying to win. I have to remember this sales technique if I ever have a dealer booth somewhere.

Amazing hand towels!

Some bigger towels.

I love the BMO bathmat, but I'm not so sure I'd want BMO grinning at my buns every time I've showered.

The Swap Meet had room for everybody!

Get it?

The basketball booth constantly made $5 throughout the days.

The focus here are the Danganronpa plushies.

More Kirby!

The Dealers' Hall, expanded and updated.

The Chalk Twins next piece in-progress.

The Chalk Twins hard at work.

Watching people dance to Just Dance was a popular pastime... was this hyper fast DDR thing.

- Shawn - 6/28/15

Photos by Shawn and Heidi.