Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fanime 2012: Robbie's Report, Days 2-3

Now we get to Day 2 of Fanime. This is where things get crazy, but also much more awesome.

My Saturday morning began bright and early, as I began cosplaying as Giovanni for the Team Rocket and Pokemon gatherings. At 10:00, I went to the gathering spot, and met up with my loyal grunts. I actually run a Team Rocket group on Facebook, and I'm an administrator for Team Rocket of North America, so when I say they're my loyal grunts, they actually are. Many of them I'd never had the pleasure to meet in person before, so getting to speak to them face-to-face was a pleasure. While the official gathering was relatively short, many of us hung around afterwards to talk, and wound up getting more members and pictures taken.

A personal favorite moment was when a little child came by and asked to take a picture with us. After the picture, I handed him a TR patch that one of my group's administrators had made, making him an honorary agent of Team Rocket. I'd like to think that helped make his day.

As the Pokemon gathering grew near, we moved to the farthest gathering spot, where there would be enough room for everyone. As the convention center was undergoing contraction work, the gathering locations were limited, and the courtyard in the Hilton was the only place that could hold all the Pokemon cosplayers.

The gathering itself went quite nicely; the organizer had hosted it before for some time, so she knew what she was doing, and the attendees were cooperative. There was even a guy with a saxophone playing the Pokemon theme songs nearby, which added a nice touch to the gathering. When Team Rocket took their group photos, we were treated to a song by Jigglypuff (or in this case, a Jigglypuff gijinka designed to look like Elvis), which as anyone familiar with Pokemon will know, puts those who listen to it asleep.

I awoke later to find a monocle, beard, and mustache drawn on my face.

(Don't worry, we had planned that.)
Team Rocket's rockin'!
The Pokemon trainers
Ghost Pokemon and Buster
Jigglypuff defeats Team Rocket

After the Pokemon gathering, I had to change into the Riddler for the Marvel/DC gathering. (I almost forgot to remove Jigglypuff's doodles from my face, but the markings washed off easily enough.) As with last year, it was a huge gathering, in spite of being at an anime convention. (In fact, some of the biggest gatherings this year were not anime related at all; aside from this one, Homestuck and My Little Pony were some of the largest gatherings there.)

While it took a while for this gathering to get started properly, once it did, it went quite nicely. There were some great photos taken, and I met some wonderful cosplayers there. Naturally, there were plenty of Avengers cosplayers (I assume many of them got shawarma afterwards), and several Lokis, but all had great costumes. I got some nice pictures with fellow Batman villains, and while my costume may not have been that great, I still had a good time, and I was pleased with how it turned out.

After that gathering, I had yet another thing to attend to. I returned to my room (never an easy task, given the elevator situation), and changed into Aizen from Bleach. I've been known to cosplay Aizen at Fanime (and I don't mean to brag, but I do tend to make a damn good Aizen), although I'm running out of variants, and I think in future FanimeCons I'll make the time for other gatherings, so Bleach will have to be put on the backburner next time, so I can make room for more gatherings.

Before the Bleach gathering, I had the Cosplay Battles to host. For those unfamiliar, it's an event where cosplayers get into mock "fights," freezing for pictures until one of them takes a dive. It's a fun event, though it can be difficult to find all the cosplayers and get it organized. It often starts off small, then grows larger as more people join in. While not too many of the people who signed up online made it, but it still had a good deal of attendees, and we got some nice fights in. All in all, it was quite fun.

Then came the Bleach gathering. While it was hosted by a new organizer, she did a commendable job getting everyone organized and running the photo orders. A personal favorite is "everyone vs Aizen," where I calmly walked towards all the other Bleach characters with my sword drawn, followed by me blocking all their swords with mine. It may not have been the most eventful gathering, but it was a good one, and I enjoyed it. When the others went off to the park for pictures, I finally had the time to get some food; with all the gatherings, I didn't have much time for food, but fortunately, there was a Subway nearby, and Psycho Donuts was selling donut sushi in the convention center.

At long last, I had time to check out the dealer's hall and artist alley. The dealer's hall had a great assortment of booths and dealers, and I got some nice deals on manga. The artists also had some wonderful pieces of work, and I was impressed at the quality of crafts and prints being sold.

When my feet were too tired to walk any further, I returned to my room and gathered friends for food. We ordered pizza, joked around, and had a great time. That was the kind of fun time with friends that I was really looking for.

After resting up, I went back outside to meet up with a friend for some Bleach night cosplay. A friend of mine cosplays as Ishida, and he has this amazing light set that he places on the ground to form one of Ishida's attacks, so we were going to get some pictures of him blowing me up inside it. Of course, no sooner did he set it up than people started forming a line to get pictures of themselves inside the lights, and while most of them were careful to avoid stepping on them, some were not so courteous.

We did have to deal with some people being disrespectful and tripping over the lights on the ground, and one drunk person stumbled by, nearly damaging them. It angered those of us who were working with the lights greatly, and says a lot about the amount of drunk and thoughtless people we had to deal with.

Seriously, there were a lot of people causing trouble at night. We didn't have anyone pulling the fire alarm this time, but I saw someone passed out drunk in the hotel, heard sirens all the time at night, and generally was concerned about going out at night.

Unfortunately, the photographer we were supposed to have didn't show up for the shoot, but we got some good pictures in, then I returned to my room to get some sleep. Thanks to fan support on the internet, Toonami had returned to TV, and it was a pleasure to see TOM back on the air. While they didn't show the older Toonami anime, it was still a pleasure to be introduced to new shows. Of course, that's neither here nor there, but while my friends were out at the rave, I prepared for the next day.

So, time for Day 3, Sunday. My day began as I cosplayed as Ryoga from Ranma 1/2. As I returned to the convention center with breakfast, I noticed there was an InuYasha gathering forming. They were kind enough to let me jump in for a few pictures, since I was from another Rumiko Takahashi series, and as Ryoga, I clearly got so lost I wandered into another show. It was fun getting pictures in with them, and we plan to work together to host a Rumiko Takahashi gathering next year.

I seem to be very lost...

Around noon, I hosted the next round of Cosplay Battles. This time, there was a Hetalia gathering at the same location as the battles are held, but they began to disperse as the battles were due to begin. We still had to deal with a few stragglers, but some of them joined in the battles, and while they had flags with them, they were sure not to use them as weapons (just to claim their opponents after winning).

When the battles were over, I switched to Melon Lord for the Avatar gathering. It was an unofficial gathering, but still had a decent turnout. That did mean we had to find a spot in the corner for all the photos, but we made do with what we had; there were some incredible cosplayers from both The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, and once we got things organized, the gathering went quite nicely, if off to a rough start.

The Avatar gathering
The Last Airbender
The Legend of Korra

Next year I hope to have my cosplay of the Pro Bending Announcer finished for the gathering. That should be awesome. As much as I love cosplaying Melon Lord, the costume is a pain to wear all the time, especially with the watermelon head, so after the gathering, I switched into Elan from Order of the Stick. This was a more formal version, so I could wear it to the Black and White Ball that night, but I also brought his puppet/god, Banjo the Clown, god of puppets.

But first, I decided to sign up for some karaoke. Actually, I signed up for karaoke earlier that day, but the wait list was hours long. So after grabbing some quick dinner at Johnny Rockets, I returned to the karaoke room. When I checked to see where I was on the list, the first person couldn't find me anywhere, even though I still had a half hour until my estimated time. The next person did find me, and told me I was up next… then the list skipped over me and went to the next person. They eventually got that sorted out, and I performed my usual karaoke go-to, the Pokerap. While it did go over incredibly well, as it tends to, I think I've done that one enough at conventions, and it's time to start working on something new, like "Yakko's World," or "Gallifreyan Buccaneer."

Ready to fight for half-priced bento boxes

Once again, Fanime had the masquerade and black and white ball at the same time, making attendees choose between one or the other. Although I had some friends doing skits in the masquerade, when I saw the line circling around the room where it was in, as though it were about to morph into a mobius strip of a line, infinitely looping without end, I decided to pass on that. (Of equal size was the Homestuck gathering, which I passed by on the way there, and required the nearby park to hold all the attendees.)

When I went to the black and white ball, I still had my Banjo the Clown puppet with me. I was mostly curious as to whether or not they'd let me in, wearing a long sleeved white shirt with a brown sash, wide green belt, costume boots, and a blue cape, while carrying a puppet. They let me in without question. In fact, I wasn't even the strangest person there: that award went to The Tick in a bow tie. I was later bumped down to third place when Domo-kun in a top-hat came in. Yet in spite of the three of us, some people who were dressed more formally were turned away for something as small as having shoes that were just a little bit different from the right type, even if it was part of their cosplay. Very inconsistent.

Now, my girlfriend was unable to make it to Fanime, since she was on a family trip, and I wouldn't have felt right dancing with anyone else. So my intention was to go to talk to some friends, see some costumes, and find out if they'd even let me in. I ended up sticking around longer than expected, though, since even if I wasn't dancing with anyone, Banjo was quite the popular puppet that night. Ladies and gentlemen alike wanted to get a dance in with the god of puppets, so I stood by while they took the puppet to the dance floor.

Actually, I think my puppet got more dances in one night than I ever did at previous balls.

Code Geass cosplayers at the ball
A follower of Banjo dances with his lord
The two gods meet on the dance floor

At any rate, my feet were burning with every step by the end of the night, so it was time to call it a day. I returned to my hotel room and let my aching limbs rest, preparing for the fourth and final day.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, that was adorable what you did with that kid. I wish I could have witnessed it myself. Secondly, it sounds like Fanime was an enjoyable experience for you, which is contrary to what I've heard from some people.

    Finally, I'm a little upset at the inconsistency with the Black and White Ball staff. My friends and I were all going to go, but one of my friends couldn't get in because his shoes were brown, and not black, so we had to change our plans completely, yet to know that they let some unusual characters (no pun intended) in is unsettling.


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