Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fanime 2013: Robbie's Report (Days 3-4)

Day 3 of Fanime started off with the Rumiko Takahashi series gathering, which I co-hosted. We decided to hold it at 10 in the morning, which unfortunately clashed with the Avatar/Legend of Korra gathering. It also meant that many of the attendees were still sleeping, tired, or hungover, so next year we'll set it for a somewhat later time. That aside, the gathering still got a very nice turnout; we had a fair amount of Ranma 1/2 cosplayers there (including myself as Ryoga), and an equally fair amount of InuYasha cosplayers. Hopefully we'll get more cosplayers from more Rumiko Takahashi series in future years, but this was off to a good start.

Immediately after I had to host another game of Cosplay Clue. This one went slightly better than the last, after my experience with the previous one. We still had some issues to work out, but it was a step up. We also had enough time and attendees for a second game, though most of them were there just for the My Little Pony gathering. As the gathering was due to start before the game ended, we had to call it early to let them have the area.

Later on I switched into my Hatori Sohma cosplay for the Fruits Basket gathering. Sadly, this gathering was also at a time that proved problematic for many attendees, so it was also a small one. Still, when it's a small gathering between friends, it's still fun to hang out, take pics, and be in-character. Admittedly, being in-character for Hatori just means being very stoic while other people do fun things, but hey, it works.

Then I had the Team Rocket gathering to get to, to which I wore a summertime variant for Giovanni based on one of Meowth's fantasies. For some odd reason, this was on a different day from the Pokemon gathering, which cut down on the attendance quite a bit. In spite of that, we had a small but okay turnout, even if we had to grab some random Pokemon cosplayers to do so. The ever-popular dancing Deadpool cosplayer D-Piddy also stopped by and joined in some pictures, so yes, Deadpool is now a Team Rocket member.

Team Rocket's rocking
Afterwards, I had the last day's Cosplay Battles to host. I think those matches went best of all, in spite of a few attendees who cared too much about winning. But considering some of the matches consisted of Krillin versus Roxas, Deathstroke versus a Team Rocket grunt in full tactical armor, and Batman versus various foes, it definitely had some excellent fights.

I'd also like to thank all of my friends who came by to join in the Cosplay Battles, as well as the cosplayers I'd just met who joined in. None of this would be possible without any of you; otherwise it would just be me doing the schizophrenic Fight Club outside the convention center.

Once I was done around there, I returned to the hotel to change into a more formal Giovanni for the Black and White Ball. I attended with my girlfriend, who was cosplaying as Persian, so we both looked incredibly fancy, which is always fun at the ball. Sadly, while the dress code was (inconsistently) enforced to the point of frustrating many would-be attendees who were turned away, the music itself was much less well-regulated, resulting in songs that completely took away from the sophisticated mood and fancy feeling of the event. Still, we got a few dances in before my feet began hurting too much, and we returned to the hotel to pack up for the next day.

While I was not at the Masquerade, I was not hearing great things about it. Apparently it was plagued by technical issues, such as lighting and sound problems, contestants kept getting switched around, and the emcee, through no fault of his own, was not given enough information to fully prepare. I did, however, hear word of a proposal at the masquerade, so congratulations to the happy couple!

This was so awesome I actually fell to my knees slack-jawed. (Call me, Berserker)

Claymore cosplay is always appreciated

More attack on Titan awesomeness
At any rate, Monday began with cleaning up, packing up, and getting to the staff meeting. As it was the last day, there wasn't much in the way of gatherings or events. I had completed all the Cosplay Battles and Clue games, and while I normally host the Negima/Love Hina gathering on Monday, I decided to give it a break for a year. It will be back next year, though. Instead, I cosplayed as Luffy from One Piece, with my girlfriend as Boa Hancock. And of course, as soon as I wear the costume requiring an open shirt, the weather suddenly turns cold and drizzly.

One of the first things I had to do, though, was go to my panel: Abridging a Series. This one may have still been on Monday, but it was not at the same time as the screening room was showing Abridged Series, for which I was thankful. Best of all, when I got to the panel room, I was delighted to see there was a line waiting to see it!

I've hosted this panel many times before, and while the material remains the same, it's always a different experience. The audience always has something new to contribute, a new insight to provide, or new thoughts about the series they watch. I also abridge a new episode with audience volunteers each time. This time we abridged the first episode of Sword Art Online, and the volunteers were amazing; their deliveries were great, and they really brought the material to life. I cannot wait to finish the episode and post it to YouTube (it'll be under my channel: EliteslayerX).

While LittleKuriboh, the man behind Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged, the series that started them all, was at Fanime, he was unable to make it to the panel due to being busy working at the dealer's hall. Of course, that's totally understandable, and he was still a pleasure to talk to. It's rare that you ever meet someone as sincerely nice as LittleKuriboh is, but that's honestly the best way I can possibly describe him. We're both hoping that next Fanime the panel will be at a time that he can attend and participate in, so there's always hope for next time.

The rest of day was mostly spent wandering around and checking out things we missed before, as well as saying goodbye to friends before departing. One of the places I visited was the Artist Alley, which had been relocated to the large tent behind the convention center. This isn't exactly the most convenient location, being far less appealing than the nice shiny halls, but it did have more room for them. It did mean that the hall the artists were once in was rather under-utilized this time around, and that people had to leave the convention center to hunt down the Artist Alley, but the extra space might be worth it.

I ended up leaving around 3:30, saying goodbye to yet another Fanime.

Now then, how does this Fanime compare? To call it "LineCon" almost seems unfitting, as that would indicate there was any sort of enjoyment behind the lines or a will to stay in them. The line situation was absolutely horrendous, for while I may not have been stuck in them, I've heard the tales and complaints from all my friends who endured seven or more hours of waiting, and I weep for them.

That said, the rest of Fanime went pretty well for me. The gatherings I managed to attend were all fun, my panel went amazingly well, and the groups I hung out with were great. I can safely say I had a lot of fun with all of them. I also didn't encounter any super-annoying members of any fandom; the Homestucks, bronies, and Whovians I interacted with were all polite and friendly, and while their gatherings may have taken up massive spaces, well, that's just how big the fandoms are.

Sadly, the dreaded con drama claimed many a victim this year, and avoiding it proved an impossible task this time. The crowds were still pretty bad and brainless, causing damage and making a mess everywhere; there were drunkards, druggies, loud noises, and all sorts of other problems that come from too much partying at a convention. Surprisingly, the protestors only showed up for one night; for whatever reason, they left us alone after Friday.

I know many who may not be returning to Fanime after the experience they had this year. I want to give Fanime another chance once the construction at the convention center is finished; it's been around for ages, providing many great memories, so it's deserved that chance. Hopefully it can pull its game back together soon, though.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one! I wish I was able to attend that event but unfortunately I live in another country :(.
    Photos look very great ^^


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