Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fanime 2011 Gatherings & Robbie's Report (Day 2)

Day 2 of Fanime, Saturday, was doomed to be my busiest day from the start. Due to poor scheduling and a surplus of costumes I wanted to bring, I found myself with four and a half costumes for a day full of gatherings.

The Pokemon gathering proved to be my first stop. As always, I wore my Giovanni cosplay, and found several Team Rocket grunts as well. The gathering was massive, so much so that there wasn't enough space for all the cosplayers trying to fit. The organizer did the best she could to keep it running smoothly, and all things considered, she did a good job. Earlier, we'd conspired to have Team Rocket "steal" the Pokemon during the shoot, although when I launched the attack, that led way to the other trainers surrounding Team Rocket and sending us, well, blasting off again. After several good photos, I prepared for my next gathering.

Following Pokemon was the Soul Eater gathering, which I attended as Spirit Albarn. It was at that time that the usual religious demonstrators showed up to hold their signs and preach to a crowd about how we're all doomed to go to hell because… well, they never quite specified, just stated that we were sinners of some kind or another. In spite of the annoyance they caused, we continued the Soul Eater gathering, which went without much difficulty. So far so good.

It was at this time that I noticed the gatherings were unusually short this year. Normally they run for about an hour, but these gatherings had been ending within 15-30 minutes. This is not any fault of the organizers, as it means they've run quite smoothly, although it seems like they've been rushed through from photo to photo. Apparently the gatherings were limited to 30 minutes this year, to the lamentations of several organizers, but it was a necessity on behalf of the con staff to allow time for all the gatherings on the schedule, and for their photographers to get to each one. I'd suggest the gatherings be better spaced throughout the days next year, since almost all of them were on Saturday.

Next on my schedule was the Avatar: The Last Airbender gathering. I attended that dressed as Melon Lord, the training dummy from season 3 with a watermelon for a head. When it began to rain, though, cosplayers began to panic. After all, several costumes could be damaged by water, or makeup could be smudged. With my watermelon head made out of paper mache, I feared for its safety as well. Fortunately, the weather cleared up, allowing for another successful and swift gathering.

Originally my plan was to attend the One Piece gathering that day, but the schedule conspired against me. As it was set right between two other gatherings and events, I didn't think I'd have the time to attend it, which was why I wore my Luffy cosplay on Day 0. Sadly, in spite of anyone who asked for the gathering to be on Sunday, it was another gathering set for Saturday, leaving me unable to attend for the first time since I started going to Fanime.

After the Avatar gathering was an event I was hosting: the Cosplay Battle. Cosplayers would get into one-on-one "fights," pretending to attack and pausing for pictures. It was difficult finding many of the cosplayers who had signed up, since it was located around the corner from the usual gathering spot, but I managed to get a few, and more signed up at the event. I think it went quite well, although I had to warn a few people about any moves that could hurt the other person, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. The battles ended just in time for something I'd been preparing for for a while: my panel.

For the last two Fanime, I hosted a panel on Abridged Series. Last year, it was so crowded and popular that I requested a two-hour time slot for this year. Sadly, last year's popularity was not an indication of how it would go this time. While we had a decent sized crowd, it dwindled over time, and the audience members were much less interactive. While we didn't make any major blunders, it seemed to lack the energy of the previous year, and I left feeling like luck was not on our side this time. For the panel, my co-host and myself discussed what goes into the creation of Abridged Series, what makes them work, and why people enjoy them so much. We ended by having audience volunteers come on stage to record lines for an abridged episode of Bakuman. I think those who attended it enjoyed it, but only time will tell, I suppose.

Finally, I went to the Marvel/DC gathering, wearing my Maxwell Lord cosplay (White Lantern version). The gathering had a huge amount of cosplayers, and even more photographers, but was still organized really well and ran very smoothly. I was impressed by several of the costumes there, since be it Iron Man, Batman, or Blue Beetle, it was clear that much hard work went into the creation of the costumes. I actually felt rather unimpressive compared to them, but when a character's costume consists of a white shirt, gloves and pants, with the White Lantern logo plastered here or there, it's not going to be that impressive anyways. I'd have liked to stay longer, but the rain forced me inside once again.

Wandering around the convention center at night, while other attendees were either at Music Fest or the rave, it felt like something was different about this Fanime. It was some intangible feeling, but it seemed to lack a certain something that made the previous two FanimeCons busy but always entertaining. I had done everything I had planned: attended as many gatherings as I could, hosted my panel and the Cosplay Battle, and spent time with friends, but something still seemed amiss. I spoke to other friends, and they agreed that the magical feeling from previous cons just wasn't there. Perhaps, we thought, it would return on the next day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.