I would like to start by thanking two people who are allowing me to use their Fanime pictures, Jeanie Butera and Brit Cossel. Thank you so much for allowing me to use some of your pictures. I truly appreciate you helping show what Fanime was like this year.
Every year, we make a trek southward to go to Fanime, the local anime convention. It’s a time to gather together with other people with similar interests and spend our weekend geeking out, having fun, spending money on geeky things and staying up as late as possible watching anime. While that may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea… it is, in all actuality a ridiculous amount of fun. It’s something I enjoy doing every year. This year was no exception.

He's a dandy guy... *insert finger gun here* in space. Yay for Space Dandy cosplay!

He’s a dandy guy… *insert finger gun here* in space.
Yay for Space Dandy cosplay!

Every year does have its drawbacks… and last year it was the registration lines. They were all sorts of fail. For people picking up their badges on Thursday night, we had to wait a whole of 6 hours. Getting us home at one in the morning. Maybe it was because they opened up registration at 3 PM instead of 7 this year… Maybe they finally got better organized. Whatever they did, it worked. We were in and out picking up our badges in 8 minutes. It was painless. This is what it used to be to pick-up badges if you pre-registered. I’m glad they found something that seems to work well.

There was one thing that I was surprised to see, and that’s the prevalence of panels I wanted to see earlier in the convention. Because of that, instead of skipping Friday entirely or heading there later in the evening… I had to be there earlier in the day. It wasn’t something I was happy about. I wasn’t allowed the time to decompress from work. I like my little buffer times.

So, I left home early on Friday, being dropped off at the Redwood City CalTrain station at 10 AM. Going the whole way on public transportation, the commute time took me 2.5 hours, that includes picking up some medication.

So, that means trying to find stuff to do until the convention officially opens. I made a beeline to the Hilton to sit at their bar and get a bite to eat. It was there that I had a nice 3 hour conversation with another con goer who was dressed as Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. It was a fun conversation were talked about a bit of everything. In that time we both had a bit to eat and a couple of drinks. It’s been sometime since I just sat somewhere and had a great conversation. It was nice to do.

At about 2:30 or so, we parted ways to head in to the now open convention. I wish I had seen the opening ceremony. I’ve never been in San José to see it, and I wound up missing it again this year in lieu of good conversation (it’s a weakness, I swear).

Nightwing Picture by Brit Cossel

Picture by Brit Cossel

The first thing I saw was the dealer’s room. They had a good assortment of costuming goods, otaku collectibles and other sundry items. I noticed that they opened up the dealer’s room more. While it wasn’t full, I think that they may be toying with having a larger dealers room. I would like to see that. See more stuff available. Who knows, maybe they might get to start being Comic Con big. OK, that would be difficult at best. The Comic Con dealers room takes up the entire bottom floor of the San Diego Convention Center. I wouldn’t be surprised if that room is 2 miles across.

After making my way through the dealer’s room, I made my way to my first panel, the Viz Media panel. This year they moved the panel rooms from their normal spot of the Marriott to the Fairmont. It made getting there from what is essentially the base of operations a bit more problematic. It meant factoring in the travel time between two points. They’re not too far apart, but when you need to walk back and forth between the two several times over a day… it gets to be a bit tiring. I didn’t have a hotel at Fanime this year, so I didn’t even have a place to rest during the lulls in the day. I did miss that fact. Having a place to kick back and relax would have been better with all the walking I did this year. I believe that the rooms might be a bit larger… and there are certainly more of them. I’m not sure there’s a good solution to this… it also seemed like there were more panel rooms available than previous years.