Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Matthew's FanimeCon 2014 Report: Part 3 - Day One

Much like every other FanimeCon I've attended (or any convention in general), I'm always the first one to wake up while everyone sleeps in past the "normal" time since nothing happens until Opening Ceremonies happens.

Back at the registration line, a small group is forming waiting for the doors to open at 8am, and like yesterday the line would be virtually non-existant within the first few hours of the open doors.

Both inside and outside, the crowds are starting to form. From the photographers to people playing in the Gaming Hall to cosplayers gathering outside around the new structure that used to be the fountains, it's starting to look like a typical FanimeCon.

Before Opening Ceremonies, I was able to capture a giant Jenga game that was two blocks away from a perfect game - two blocks on each level. I loved seeing everyone's reactions as they attempt to pick out blocks and place them on top using a ladder. At some point I thought they would need a larger ladder.

With Opening Ceremonies about to be underway, that would also signal the opening of both of the Dealers Hall and Artists Alley. And with most conventions, people are going to line up for that especially if you were an artist that had a table at AA.

Artists waiting to check in.
I took a seat in the front row and watched the festivities kick off with the Fanimaids throwing around beach balls while dancing, which then turned into the actual Opening Ceremonies with Wendell and the Stage Zero crew. Highlights including the establishment of "Fanime Day" in the city of San Jose every May 23rd, Make-a-Wish Foundation granting a wish in style, and my first first look at HOME MADE Kazoku before Music Fest.

San Jose Councilman Pete Constant presenting the plaque commemorating Fanime Day.

Tatum getting some Fanimaid love.
A rare photo of DJ U-ICHI speaking.
And with that, FanimeCon 2014 was officially underway.

As I roamed both the Dealers Hall and Artists Alley for the first time, it seemed like everything got BIGGER. And it did. They also had bounce houses within Dealers Hall. Yes, BOUNCE HOUSES. One of my objectives today was to donate a piece of FanimeCon history that I've been holding for over six years - a framed 2008 program guide autographed by GAINAX animators and staff back when Yamaga-san held his first ever "Yamaga-san Party." I would be at the Charity Auction that Sunday to see that piece be auctioned off, and I didn't even care that I didn't get a tax write-off; I wanted to give back to the convention as well as benefit Make-a-Wish.

Soon, it was time for me to sit on one of the major events of the day: the Karaoke Contest. I brought my camcorder to capture some of the performances including my old friend Zanney who was going up first. I would only had captured a few of the performances early on because I had other engagements going on that evening, but from what I heard she did make Top 10 and got to sing her 2nd song and was just as spectacular as the first round.

One of my engagements was to hook up with an artist that I've known for years and like all other FanimeCons since 2008, I got myself a chibi badge. This year, it was me as Jonah from Jormungand wearing Agent 47's outfit from the Hitman franchise. I was excited to see her back at Fanime and to have one of my staples achieved.

Dinner time rolled around and I was supposed to have dinner with some people that I met on the Fanime Forums but that fell apart after one of them couldn't make it. So instead I hooked up with Lucas' Touhou friends to have dinner with them instead. Initially we had hit up Pizza My Heart but instead went to the spot that I was originally supposed to go to: Smokeeaters. There, the wings were bigger than what I'm used to known and were a good way to fill up after a day at FanimeCon alongside a cold one.

Break dancing on the lobby floor.

Third and East San Carlos.
Nate was supposed to be back sometime after we got back from dinner, and once he got back we all celebrated and headed out for the first night.

I continued to tour the convention in late-night fashion, checking out the karaoke, Gaming Hall, and the dance/rave before it got busy. I also found out that our badges had a hologram when flashed with a black light to deter counterfeiting.

Remember friends: pace yourself. It's only Day One.

-Day One End-

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