Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fanime Review from Rukazu: (updated)

This is my update and review of Fanimecon 2010. I had finals this week so I wasn't able to write a decent review until now.

Day Zero:
Ryan and I got to Matt's place in the morning and got only a few hours of sleep before having to head out to San Francisco at 7:00 in the morning. Since registration opened up at 5:00 in the afternoon, we figured we can hanging out in San Fran for a few hours. We stopped by Japan Town, bought some stuff and had lunch before zipping over to the San Jose Convention Center. We got there about 2:00 in the afternoon, so about 3 hours before pre-registration opened up. I decided to test out my Austria cosplay while waiting in line. We also bumped into our friend Canada and several other Hetalia cosplayers and ended up hanging out with them in the main entrance hall afterwards. I also ran into a Fem Prussia and of course she was teasing me the whole time, not that I really mind, its all fun and games. We ended up gong to McDonald's instead of Johnny Rockets like we originally planned but it was still fun hanging out and talking to everyone. For Day Zero, it was very eventful.

Day One:
The next day I fixed up my Austria cosplay and was walking around taking pictures and hanging out with the other Hetalia people and taking pictures of the cosplayers. So far, I found myself really liking the con layout and setup. I did a 'test run' on day zero, to see how one gets around the halls, and because of the two floors, it was easy to keep looping back and forth and avoid lines and jams whenever needed. At 4:00 I decided to switch into me Lelouch cosplay for a chess tournament. What sucked was that I couldn't stay the whole way; I got beat in the semifinals anyways, because the FLOW concert was right afterward at 6:00 and I had to run across the street to the Civic Auditorium where it was being held. FLOW itself was, for lack of a better word, unbelievable! I've been to a few concerts before, but these guys really knew how to have fun and enjoy themselves and all their songs were spot on and they got the audience really going especially with their last song, GO! Fighting Dreamers. Ryan and Matt got the audience going at the end for an encore and we got it! Afterward we were sweaty and tired, but it was well worth it. The concert alone, made the convention worth it and arguably, the best con of the year. After dinner, I did a sort of impromptu photoshoot with a few Code Geass cosplayers before finally turning in for the night at about 2:00 in the morning. Before I dozed off, I reminded my roommates that this was still only day one, and we still have three more days ahead of us.

Day Two:
The next day was mainly taking photographs, browsing the dealer's hall and walking around in my Emperor Lelouch cosplay. I didn't get up until 9:30 am, and I decided to check out the dealer's hall. I couldn't walk ten feet without someone stopping me and asking for pictures, though I don't really mind as one of the unspoken rules of cosplay is that if someone asks you for pictures, you pretty much have to do it regardless of what other priorities you have. Again I don't mind getting my picture taken cause it makes me feel like a movie star, but it can be a bit tiring. Anyways, at 1:30, I had to bolt over to the FLOW signing, which was incredibly awesome as we had bought CDs for them to sign before hand. After that it was the Code Geass gathering which didn't go quite as planned since half the people signed up on the Fanime Forums dropped out and we couldn't do several shots that we wanted. In any case, after grabbing a quick dinner, I ran off to watch the masquerade which was one of the better ones I've seen. There were 47 skits total and they were all decent to well done. They even had several of the old series like Ranma ½, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Inuyasha.

Day Three:
Today was mainly 'Hetalia Day' as I bought a poster and a few drawings from the Dealer's hall and artist alley, and mainly hung out with Hetalia cosplayers until the gathering at noon. The person running the gathering did not show up when she was called upon by a staffer named Brian. I was standing near him and asked if I could borrow the bullhorn to run the gathering and he said yes. I said that I'd cosplay Japan, but switched out for Austria at the last minute because I felt I can do a better job cosplaying Austria than Japan. At any rate, once noon rolled around, I was busy directing everyone to get into groups for pictures and the like. My friend Canada helped out about half way through and I thank her for that because I was burning in my costume. I don't mind taking the lead if the need arises and there were so many people and so many pictures to do. We went for a full hour before having to stop and I'll say that it was really tiring to have to run a gathering that was over 100 people. I was tired but I had to run to change back into Lelouch really quick for the CLAMP gathering, take a few photos, then run back and change into Japan. Then it was hanging out with more Hetalia fans and chatting, before having to switch back to Austria for the Hetalia Panel. For my first panel, it was kinda fun actually, so many fangirls screaming for the popular characters. I sat next to Hungary of course, and we were asked a few questions. Before we finished, I asked if she was going to be attending the black and white ball, and she said yes. Then practically on the spot I asked if I can go with her to the ball and she said yes. The ball itself was pretty fun, we kinda just improved all the dances and just went with the flow. After the ball, I just headed back and almost fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Day Four:
Our last day was probably one of the more eventful days, at least after the con ended. I pulled out my Lelouch costume one final time and just walked around and still got about ten pictures in. We had a few problems with our fourth roommate, Tom, who felt he wasn't able to get a ride and such. I had to stay back in the room and make sure everything was packed but I got to relax a bit. We had lunch with two other friends and managed to pack the car and was ready to leave by 3:00, the problem was getting back and after almost another 3 hours of drama and mis-communication, we finally left the con at 6:00. By midnight, we were still a hundred miles outside of Los Angeles, and Ryan and myself still had to drop his two friends off. Ryan asked me to drive the rest of the way, which I didn't mind, but by the time I got back home to Irvine, it was 5:00 in the morning, and I had to study for a test the next day. Next time, I'm most likely not going to do this ride situation ever again, because there were just too many factors outside our control. Overall, my thoughts on the con were very positive. The location was perfect, the weather was perfect, the panels were lacking a bit, but the people and staffers were all friendly and helpful, it was the con I looked forward to the most, and one that I definitely would want to go again.

Overall, tiring but fun as hell! Looking forward to next year! This is Rukazu signing out for Fanimecon 2010!

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