Sunday, June 17, 2018

Matthew's FanimeCon 2018 Report: Part 3 - Day One

I woke up around 8am, knowing that I had to get ready and leave the downtown area to pick the rest of my party up. I still had some time to roam around and catch the Friday morning crowd roll into the convention center on this overcast day.

You have been noticed
My first stop outside the downtown area to get Ray. Traffic was light going out of the area, so I made a quick stop at Walgreens to pick up items that I knew I would need that I should of grabbed back in Sacramento, like a jug of water for myself, spoons, and straws. After picking him up, we headed over to Bill's Cafe, a local joint that reminded me of Sheri's.

Portobello Mushroom Benedict (left) and Smoked Salmon Benedict (right)
Now to pick up the other two members of said party from San Jose International Airport: Erica and Jared, the main duo behind Scarlet Rhapsody. Thanks to apps that tell you when a plane lands, we timed it perfectly...except for the part when SJPD told us to "go around" because our passengers were not on the curb, the first time I've been ever been told that. A couple of rounds of Facebook Messenger tag later, we were on our way back to the convention to get them settled.

More testing of streaming from the convention
I spend the time after arriving back relaxing before 2pm, which is historically has been the "ceremonial" start time of FanimeCon with Opening Ceremonies. With that, I headed back downstairs to roam the convention center and somewhere during that time I took a risk and tried out "WickedlyFastWiFi" connection that was set up. From what I was told it was up during Silicon Valley Comic-Con but had concerns over a unsecured connection according to my iPhone. But a speed test through verified that the connection was set up by the City of San Jose - a game breaker given that I was planning on streaming the entire weekend under Sprint LTE but now had a reliable connection at least inside the convention center.

Might as well do something while waiting for Opening Ceremonies. Also WA 2000 best waifu
Somehow, a new mobile game called Girls' Frontline was the dominating subplot going into Opening Ceremonies - imagine Fate/Grand Order but instead of historical figures it's real world firearms, like Upotte. While the convention was going on, one of my goals was to find friends to gain points in the first limited event - including Erica and Jared who tipped me off that the game was out of beta and had been released.

Mr. Wendell during the beginning of Opening Ceremonies
Guest of Honor nano
Mr. Wendell at the end of Opening Ceremonies
Stage Zero had definitely stepped up since their creation over a decade ago as a one-stop place to relax, obtain information about FanimeCon events, and sample everything the convention had to offer. I love attending Opening Ceremonies and is a can't miss on my convention weekend checklist.

Once the ceremonies were done, I booked it over to Dealers Hall to begin part of my window shopping to see what the room was offering this year. I also stopped by the charity auction table to lay down some bids, even though odds are my bid would not stick since the silent auction portion would not be finished until 1pm Sunday.

Plush galore!
My focal-point of the live streams that weekend was cosplay gatherings, and I specifically chose gatherings based off of this year's theme "Gaming," the first of which was happening Friday afternoon: the aforementioned Fate Grand/Order. I had some trouble finding the place for the gathering since it was my first year under the new system and learned how far that city wifi actually went.

"Look, Waver's being carried!"
Press F to pay respects to Dr. Roman
2nd Group Shot
"Thanks for the free SQ (Saint Quartz)!"
I had somehow not gotten anything to eat since Bill's Cafe in the morning not counting the plethora of snacks up in the room, so I made a stop over at Subway that is almost across the street from the Marriott and the convention center and finally was able to open up the bottle of orange sauce from La Vic's to chow down while watching Cavs-Celtics Game 6.

Justin (left) and Nate (right) cosplaying from Darling in the FranXX
Darling in the FranXX group
There was still time for Artists Alley shortly after my late-late-late lunch, so I went off to do more window shopping and find a lady who did chibi badges. I wanted to get a 2018 edition chibi badge to go with my 2008, 2009, and 2014 badges but could not find her.

Reactions during a round of Gang Beasts
I then took a closer look at the Gaming Hall after a morning visit, which was heavily revamped for 2018 with a huge integration of esports, both PC and console. There was a Smash Melee tournament going on as I walked in and there was a viewing party for the local SF Shock Overwatch team. I was tipped off a few days ago about their involvement with FanimeCon this year, which made my decision to live stream the Overwatch gathering much more sweeter. I also took in some freestyle at the properly-named "DDR Extreme Freestyle Takeover" which contained a ton of old faces playing a pretty old version of Dance Dance Revolution.

Super Smash Brothers Melee tournament
Jonas during his 1st freestyle set
SF Shock watch party
By now it was 10pm, and Ray and I were hungry for a late-late dinner. I wanted to take a Bird Scooter to make the trek quicker but I learned here that a) it is illegal to run the scooters at night and b) this is were the gig-economy portion kicks in because the "employees" pick up the scooters to charge overnight. So we had to WALK over to the old-school La Vics location near SJS even though we could of also went to the San Pedro Square location which was roomier and probably not that busy.

While dining in we caught the SF Shock support crew walk in with David Ramirez, aka nomy, who was there over the weekend to do meet-and-greets as a reserve player. I'm not exactly sure how I got his attention, but somehow he came up to me and asked how the food was here compared to his home country. At first I thought he said "Italian" and said that he needed to go to Original Joe's down the way, but then I heard him better the second time as he said "Mexican." As a Filipino-American, I know that the food always tastes better back home, so I gave him the most stock answer: that nothing compares to the food back home, but this place is pretty decent.

SF Shock's nomy at La Vics downtown
Back in the room Nate and his friend Justin decided to visit once again and during this time I mentioned if they had heard about what had happened a month ago involving myself, a nationally syndicated sports radio called The D.A. Show, and the visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club.

The thing was, that tweet was not supposed to go out. And this was after he read another tweet of mine involving Futoshi and the anime Darling in the FranXX.

I also played this for Erica, Jared, and two random cosplayers who were cosplaying from said series. The odd thing was I did not run into any Monika cosplayers until Monday morning, which led me to the theory that she was the only Monika at the convention and that the others had been deleted.

I wanted to stay out longer on the first night of FanimeCon, but my 29 year old self had other ideas.

"Sleep and get ready for the workhorse that is Saturday or...nah, I’m picking sleep" -Me at 12:30am Saturday morning
-Day One End-

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