Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ray Reports: FanimeCon 2014 - FanimeCon 2006 and Day 0

Then and now

My first Fanime(Con) was in 2006. It was a rather bare-bones experience. I only went from Saturday through Monday, and each day I left by around 7 PM or so, getting dropped off and picked up by my parents every day as I had no car at the time and the thought of staying in a hotel room didn't cross my mind at the time. I didn't put on any cosplays, having not gotten into that hobby yet.

This being my first con, it also introduced me to a lot of firsts. It was my first time seeing cosplay in person--before I had only been minimally exposed to it through photos. I loved how people were replicating their characters via costume, and it was something I decided I wanted to do as well. It was my first time being in a space full of like-minded folks--15,000 fellow fans in one space? Hell yes! I had never experienced anything like it.

Blast from the past.

Now, we fast forward to 2014. I've attended every single Fanime, each one bringing new and unique experiences. This is no exception.

Day 0

The day started with my friend and blog editor-in-chief Matt coming over to pick me up. I still hadn't finished packing, so I did that, and after we discussed plans among other things, I got my stuff in his car and we headed off to the convention center to check in.

Shortly after we arrived around noon and Matt had his car valet-parked, we noticed that people already had their badges! We asked, and they mentioned that prereg lines opened around noon, and that there was no LineCon yet. Surprised to hear this, Matt and I then met up with Lucas, who had arrived earlier; the three of us then went up to the room, dropped our stuff off, and also met up with Nate, who had biked all the way from Fremont. Nate left shortly afterwards, so it was just me, Matt, and Lucas again. From here, the three of us decided to split off for a bit, as press badges weren't available until 5 PM.

I decided to check out the prereg line for myself. I was greeted with the sight of not people sitting in massive lines and moving slowly, but people just walking through the queue, going in to get their badges, and getting out, fast. That's right, the very con with 10-hour wait times for badges now took LESS THAN TEN MINUTES for each attendee.

After that, I decided to head over to Hydration, a mainstay for SJSU students and Fanime attendees alike. As I left, I just had to take a photo of this gem:

Yes, he was actually having the Gangan Style sandwich.

Unfortunately, LineCon wasn't entirely a thing of the past. The Swap Meet had moved to the City National Civic across the street, and there was a rather sizable line for it, to the point where I decided to not bother, as I was hearing reports of 2-hour wait times.

Around 5 PM, we went to pick up our pretty new press badges. Seems the theme of this year is beach vacations:

Made more evident by the sign around the Dealer's Hall entrance:

A bit later, we went over to the gaming hall, which was already open. The arcade was already mostly set up, as was some of Console Gaming; I got to meet up with a friend of mine who regularly plays 2D shooters, so I watched her play, among other things.

We wanted our hotel room to be decently stocked up, so we drove away from the convention center to get food at Costco, then swung over to Daiso as I had some cosplay things to buy.

For dinner, Matt, Lucas, and I headed to Iguana's, a Fanime and SJSU mainstay. Matt had a coupon for a Burritozilla, one of those 18-inch burrito monstrosities. We split it three ways, me getting full a bit easily.

There wasn't much else to do so we eventually retreated to our room and called it a night. There was still much more convention to cover...

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