I make absolutely no qualms about being an anime geek (witness the write-ups for School Days and Clannad). What a better place to spend my memorial day weekend surrounded by other like-minded geeks who also enjoy dressing up and talking about and watching anime. I will spend my posts this week discussing what I experienced and saw at Fanime.

Since, like at most cons, there’s generally downtime between panels I brought my computer with me. I figure if I can write it shortly after hearing it, I might actually remember it better.

So, let me start with Friday night.

Friday night was the night of the epic line. My SO and I headed down to San José to the convention center to pick up our badges and see some Friday night panels. Generally when we we’ve gone through per-registration it’s been pretty quick and painless.

Not this year.

Thursday night (or preview night) there was a block-wide power outage. They could only process 100 pre-reg people before the outage. Now this created an even-longer line today. We got into like about 4-ish and we finally got our badges at about 6:30-ish. That’s a 2.5 hour wait. That is a long wait.

We had to stand in line for 2.5 hours (as a side note, the only time I have done that was to wait in line for Space Mountain). This is a lot longer than I like to stand around doing nothing…

Hard Gay cosplay and proselytizer

However, at least there were plenty of moments for entertainment. When we got into line there was the normal proselytizer standing on the sidewalk telling us we’re all going to hell. Which means it’s about time to mock the proselytizer. The best part was that there was a guy cosplaying Hard Gay (a Japanese wrestler who plays up gay stereotypes for Japanese TV) who kept doing his Hard Gay thing (for a better reference, check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igC4bPDp6cU).

Of course, when you wait that long in line you can either do something solitary (or with the person you’re waiting in line with) or you can talk with the people around you. We decided to talk to the people in front of us and behind us. It was a nice way to spend the time. We got to make some pretty awesome jokes.

And there were some great costumes. I saw 2 guys cosplaying Major Alex Armstrong, complete with facial hair and little blond lock of hair on his brow. One was Major Armstrong in a suit. The other was in his State Alchemist uniform and showing of his physique (which is something Armstrong likes to do). We also saw several different versions of the Matt Smith Doctor, one David Tennant Doctor and one Tom Baker Doctor. There were several Links and a really good Shizuo from “Durarara!!”. The most unusual cosplay I saw this year was a pair that was dressed and Death and Delirium from the Sandman series. It was a very good-looking cosplay.

Another highlight from waiting in a long-ass line was a random guy who went through the line asking each person what their favorite first 150 Pokémon were. My SO said Jigglypuff. I went non-standard and said Porygon. According to him, I was the only person who said Porygon. Really it’s a toss up between Porygon and Kadabra… but I digress.

We thankfully made it through the line. We were happy once we finally got our badges… and more importantly happy we could finally have dinner.

After dinner it was time to be off to our first panel of the con. The EigoManga panel. There were some interesting things that they showed us… one of which was a full-length Korean movie called “Padak” which is being viewed at Cannes Film Festival as an official selection for this year. They also showed off a new video game they’ve been working on called Vanguard Princess. It’s a fighting game like Street Fighter and Guilty Gear.

After the EigoManga panel, things got a little sexy. We got to see a panel on the sex trade in anime and manga… which, of course, was an adult panel. That was actually quite interesting. There’s a lot not known about the Japanese sex trade (and what is legal and illegal in the sex trade in Japan) outside of… well… Japan. There were some things that panelist Gilles Poitras covered that I had known… and a lot that I didn’t know. It was entirely worth the panel, and in many ways made me realize how I could better write my screenplay.

The better part was that the panelist stayed afterward to talk further in an impromptu Q&A session afterward to answer any other questions that people might have. That was nice so we could get some extra information.

Death and Delirium

An interesting note about the demographic about the sex trade panel. If one was to stand up and look at the room of people, you would notice that the room was overwhelmingly male. Now, this is not entirely surprising given the community. It was interesting how quickly I felt like a minority. Even more interesting… you could quickly tell the people who were there only for the sexual content and the people who were generally interested in the topic by the number of people quickly dwindled from a full room to about ten.

This was my first day at Fanime (and is more than likely going to be my shortest day as well). There will be more to follow.