Friday, June 3, 2011

Fanime 2011 Gatherings & Robbie's Report (Days 0-1)

FanimeCon 2011 was my fourth year attending the convention, so I'd figured I'd gotten pretty well acquainted with the con by now. Of course, with so many costumes to bring and friends to meet, I found myself with a schedule so full I'd clearly overextended myself. Still, as the majority of my plans involved attending cosplay gatherings, that will be the focus of my report.

I arrived on Day 0 to check in and stop by the swap meet. I wanted to debut my new cosplay of Luffy from One Piece (time skip version), but since I wouldn't be attending the One Piece gathering later that weekend, that was my only chance to wear it. The lines moved relatively quickly once badge pickup began, although after we got our bags, we discovered that there was no schedule of events.

The Swap Meet was very nice this year, and I managed to find some useful swag for very cheap. On occasion they were selling for more than I could afford, but the small things I bought were more than affordable, even on a minuscule convention budget. For the thrifty convention goer such as myself, Swap Meets are often better than Dealers Halls for finding a good deal, as long as you're not looking for something brand new. However, that was really all there was to do after checking in on Day 0, so I ended my day with that.

When day 1 rolled around, I debuted my cosplay of Elan from the webcomic "Order of the Stick." I was actually surprised at how many people recognized the character, as well as his personal hand puppet/god, Banjo the Clown, god of puppets. I wore that to the Bay Area Conventions meetup (BAC being a group for cosplayers in the Bay Area to meet and attend semi-monthly gatherings with, open to all), where I met up with several friends. After some photos and some improv games, I prepared for the next gathering on my agenda.

Following the BAC meetup was the Yugioh gathering. Two years ago, on my second year at Fanime, I hosted the Yugioh gathering and found it a massive disaster, due to several cosplayers from Yugioh GX openly disrespecting me and ignoring my attempts to organize a photoshoot, as well as one of them insulting my costume to my face when I tried to tell them how disrespectful they were being. This year, a friend of mine was hosting the gathering, and I made sure to show up to support him. I cosplayed as Manjoume Jun from GX (known as Chaz Princeton in the dub), and found that the crowd was remarkably less rude this time around. There were a good selection of cosplayers from all the various Yugioh series, and while I noticed that once again some cosplayers tended to congregate to themselves and ignore everything until they were spoken to, at least they were far less rude about it. It was my friend's first time hosting a gathering, and all things considered, I'd say he did a good job.

I had hoped to attend the Phoenix Wright gathering, but with the Yugioh gathering only 30 minutes apart from it, I could not make the time for it. From what I saw, though, it looked very awesome. Next year...

Still, with time to spare after the Yugioh gathering, I stopped by the Artists' Alley to find it filled with people selling wonderful fanart and crafts. I have to complain about one artist who spent fifteen minutes talking to one customer about another convention while a line was clearly starting to form, though, so if you have a table, remember: there are more customers than the one in front of you. As my girlfriend had a table of her own, I spent some time as Elan again, playing my bardsong on a ukulele to attract customers. I cannot play the ukulele, but after spending all day trying, I have learned to play the basic chords to "Still Alive" from Portal.

My last stop of the day was the panel "Pokemon DS Cafe," where players could bring their DS systems and Pokemon games to trade or battle with other players. It was an entertaining stop, and I got several good battles in, as well as making a few good trades (dressed, of course, as Giovanni). I teamed up with someone cosplaying as a Team Rocket grunt, and we had some double battles, reciting the motto upon winning, and calling out "We're blasting off again!" when we lost.

Finally, I returned to my room to prepare for the next day. Sadly, I discovered that while McDonalds may seem like a good choice to grab a quick and cheap dinner, the food poisoning that resulted from it was not worth the initial convenience. Chatting and chilling with my roommates helped distract me from the poisoned fast food, and when I awoke for Day 2, I was feeling ready to tackle the day.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch, food poisoning at a convention, not cool.

    The Phoenix Wright gathering was pretty awesome though.


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