I don't even know how I'm going to write a decent introduction for this but let me say that OH MAN WE HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME AT FANIME I HOPE WE CAN GO BACK! And... I TOLD YOU I WAS SHORT! Also, this entry is going to be really loooooooong. And this is just the first installation!
Sorry I couldn't update sooner! I've been wanting to make this post since right after Fanime but after that I spent a couple of days catching up on sleep and going around San Francisco, then it was time to fly off to Maryland to visit my cousins who dragged me over to New York right after I got there. Now we're back in Maryland, and I can have my quiet time.
I was actually feeling kinda down right before we left. I'm just very sentimental when it comes to departures, I guess. Ever since vacation started, I spent a lot of time with my friends, and I couldn't help thinking about how much I'd miss them while I was on the other side of the world.
While waiting in the airport, I took pictures to kill time.
View outside my window just before takeoff. It was a cold, damp night, which made me even more of a emotional fool than I normally am.
The flight was going to be approximately 14 hours long, so I brought a notebook to write in. I was hoping to prepare an outline of my speech for Pecha Kucha Night (according to the site: Creative people talking about creative things. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each.)
in Manila for when I get back. It kind of lost its purpose because I slept through the whole flight.
I woke up to this outside my window. Hello, San Francisco!
I found it so weird that it was around 7PM and the sun was still out.
There were monks in the airport. It was so cool.
I'm such a dork.
Shooting stuff while on the walkalator.
It was May 21st when I left the Manila. When we arrived in San Francisco, the date was still May 21st. I could not help going HELLO I COME FROM THE FUTURE. Another thing I kept saying was HOLY %@#& IT'S COLD.
My aunt and uncle picked us up from the airport and they insisted that we have dinner together because airline food sucks. I had ribs and fries. So good. After that, I settled into the room I'd be staying in and laughed myself to sleep watching Ghost Rider.
I AM LEEEEGION
The day after, my aunt took me downtown to meet up with Miguel ~merkymerx
. We had an awesome breakfast at Sears Fine Foods. Oh man, those 18 LIttle Swedish Pancakes were amazing</a>. And I had a side of THE MOST PERFECT BACON IN THE UNIVERSE I'M NOT KIDDING. Okay, I'll try to stop talking about food now.
I was almost attacked by a pigeon and kind of froze. Miguel wouldn't stop laughing at me about it, which resulted in him receiving quite a number of my punches.
And then he led the way to Japantown
where I looked for dango and okonomiyaki, ogled at the mochi store, OKAY ENOUGH ABOUT FOOD REALLY. There was so much to see! Even the furniture stores were interesting because they had beautiful printed fabrics and Noh masks. And ahh, Kinokuniya. We also wanted to raid the sword shop. I really wanted to get a couple for my collection (and perhaps my long-delayed Samurai Champloo costume) but then I started to feel the jetlag and slightly swayed on my feet. Was a little scared that I might suddenly black out but I was okay after having tea. </div>
I wasn't able to take many pictures because my head was hurting, but I really like this shot.
Fanime Day One!
May 23, Friday! I could barely sleep the night before because I was so queasy and anxious and excited. That morning was a blur of packing stuff for the con, and before I knew it I was checking in at the Fairmont. Miguel got there ahead of me and was already dressed as Sasuke when he met up with us at the lobby. I changed into my Shippu! Konoha Gakuen Den Naruto outfit as fast as I could, and we headed over to the convention venue.
A lot of people we were walking with were obviously there for Fanime as well, based on how they were dressed. Then we caught sight of San Jose McEnery Convention Center and the cosplayers and congoers swarming around the entrance, we had an "OH SHI- WE'RE REALLY HERE" spazz moment.
I was trying to look calm and cool but part of me was still processing that we were actually there.
SASKAY CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT STOP SMILINGfrom ~MrsRizaMustang
I was surprised we were recognized even before we got to the place where I was going to pick up my badge. On a geeky little note, I'm really happy about our new contacts. If you click Download
, you can really see them on our eyes even without harsh lighting.
The mere size of the place was overwhelming because you could fit most cons in the Philippines into one Fanime exhibit hall. The number of cosplayers AND congoers was also something to behold. It wasn't even at its peak yet, as we learned the day after. But I'm getting ahead of myself. More pictures from Friday coming up!
We hit the Artists Alley and found Naruko and Sasu...ko? (I know Naruko doesn't like her real name being publicized so this is what I'll be calling them for now, haha.) We took pictures of each other and talked a bit. After some time they asked if I had a picture online eating ramen at a restaurant with Team 7 and I was like, "...Yes." and they hugged me and Miguel.
It was always a treat dropping by their table because they were always hyper, cheerful, well-dressed and a pleasure to shoot. I have quite a number of pictures of them in my Fanime album, which I will link at the bottom of this entry.
There were so many DA artists in there! Miguel and I kept pointing at prints and going, "I have that in my Faves!" We're such dorks, haha.
as Michael and
We met Aku ~Akusesu
and Haku ~hakuku
! And ~korilin
gave us buttons, aww. Naruto for Miguel and Sasuke for me. (Because of all the SasuNaru in our omake pictures perhaps?) We wore them around the whole day. Thank you guys again for the warm welcome! You were many flavors of awesome!
Our photo from ~hakuku
Panda, I still can't thank you enough for the Akatsuki robe! I apologize for being a very flustered Kenshin at the time but I was really surprised and very grateful. That was incredibly thoughtful of you. I found it so hard to accept it without having anything to give in return. But really, it's beautiful and very comfortable (because of the way you did the lining, I think) and it actually fits me perfectly!
It wasn't too long ago that we were exchanging notes in DA about his Ichigo cosplay, so it was an awesome surprise to run into him there!
Miguel and I headed for the fountains for some fresh air and found ~evanae
as Tetsu, and they made an awesome Peacemaker Kurogane pair.
's shot of me and Miguel
We also saw ~MistressWinter
and her sister ~MinaKitsune9199
(Don't worry about hitting Miguel with the parasol - Sasuke's hair protected him
Come to think of it, we met quite a number of DA people while at the fountains, including ~xxSaru
. But my favorite fountain moment was when someone called out, "Heeeyyyy! Do you has a shuvel?"
A little bit later, I called up Kim ~chaos-shadow
and that's where we met in person for the first time after more than a year of talking to each other online.
We found an Alucard!from ~swtluck
We ran into Naruko and Sasuko again...
...Sakura later joined themfrom ~darkflair
...and we danced with them a bitfrom ~chaos-shadow
...and a little bit more.from ~xAutumnWinds
Hey guys, remember Black Gai from my SPOILER: COSPLAY IS FOR FUN
HE WAS THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We saw him first as Akuma. We didn't get to talk much at first because we didn't recognize him without the Gai-sensei smile and we all had to run off. But I was thinking, "Whoa this guy has great charisma." It was only during dinner that night when we were reviewing the photos that I realized IT WAS HIM. Miguel and I freaked out, calmed down, and made a vow that we'd find him again and introduce ourselves properly.
There's always something interesting by the fountains...
I found her hopping around happily but every time I'd point my camera at her she'd stand still like this. I think she might have been scared of me. D:
I WONDER WH- [cough]
Kim, Miguel and I didn't know what to do about dinner so we asked someone from Kim's hotel for directions to the nearest Japanese restaurant. He did his best to be helpful but wasn't entirely sure about the directions himself. Being the geeks we were, we treated it like an RPG quest. We got lost for about an hour in the freezing cold, looking at maps that weren't the least bit helpful, and asking for directions from people who gave us smiles and funny looks because of the way we were dressed.
Eventually we did manage to find Rokko, and a very nice Japanese lady served us really good meals and talked to us about the convention. That miso soup made finding that place worth all the trouble.
Fanime Day Two!
May 24, Saturday! It was the day of the Bleach gathering so we went as Cuarto and Sexta Espada.
Oho, sounds kinda wrong.
Agh, that Ulquiorra makeup is the bane of my cosplaying existence. I mean yeah, part of it is definitely enjoyable, otherwise I wouldn't bother with him. But the makeup is such a pain. I can't eat or drink easily. I could barely even talk because then my black upper lip would smudge with my white lower lip. Haha. To add to that, I wasn't used to the weather, which to me was freezing cold because I come from a tropical country. I got a little sick and would lose my voice sometimes. I had so much trouble just asking Miguel if my makeup was still on right or if my nose was running. What a sight that would have been.
We came out pretty late because it took us so long to put the makeup on properly. We're a couple of blundering oafs without the guidance of Kat and China. When we finally made it to the convention center, it looked as if the number of cosplayers and congoers had doubled compared to the previous day!
I saw a lot of cosplayers I recognized from pictures online (like ~xSeyx and some, um, anons) but I was too shy to approach them. I rather regret it now. _|￣|○ Well, that should be incentive for me to try to come back again, hopefully in the not-so-distant future.
Bleach gathering! BOH HA HA HA HA HA!
We arrived as everyone was playing frisbee.
It looked like fun and everyone was having a good time. I was tempted to join but knowing my luck, that frisbee would knock the bone helm right off my head. So I stuck to roaming around the circle and taking pictures.
While Miguel and I were resting, a flashback Yoruichi (who we later found out through her letter was ~Faeolan
) handed us a nicely-wrapped present and ran off before we could even get her name. We chased after her and she just told us to check inside the box. We didn't want to possibly ruin the contents so we tucked it away in my bag. We opened it in the hotel room much later and read one of the sweetest letters we've ever received. Left us teary-eyed but we had to fight it or else our Arrancar makeup would be all over the place. And we discovered that she made little clay figures of Tuxedo Team members based on the photoshoots where we incorporated our own ideas into existing character designs. Each figure was obviously made with lots of care, and we admired the attention to little details. ~Faeolan
, we don't know how to thank you. When we get back home we'll give everyone else their respective miniature selves and let them read your letter. It's people like you who make us happy we share our work over this big, crazy internet.
I'll spare you guys from my cheese and get back to talking about the Bleach gathering.
It was headed by
, who was Ulquiorra with the almighty STFU megaphone. Respect, authoritah, you know the drill.
THE SPIRITS ARE AMONG US BOHHHH HA HA HA HA HA
All the groups had their turns for a shoot by the fountains.
First off, captains!
Captains with Don Kanonji BOH HA HA HA HA
Ichigo and BFFs!
Hueco Mundo partyyyyyby ~UsoIsLove
There was a huge demand for Grimmjow's middle finger, so Miguel gave them what they wanted. The crowd was very pleased.
The awesome Halibel in between me and Miguel is the brilliant *JenZee
More fun with Don Kanonji.by ~UsoIsLove
I did the pose, but to stay in character, I had to look like the saddest emo clown in the world still.
BOH HA HA HA HA HA HAnarutochief
actually got video footage of part of the Arrancar shoot! I'm the Ulquiorra nearest Don Kanonji and beside Halibel. My coat is flapping evilly in the wind, hahaha.
Random shot Kim took of us after someone else took a picture.from ~neomarie94
They requested for a shot of us with Doraemon. XD
Of course I had to do the zomg so kawaii peace sign.
was Yachiru, and I just knew someone would carry her at some point.
Off to the park we go! We followed Yachiru and Ken-chan and Hitsugaya *CanadianStrawberry
Bleach characters crossing.
It was certainly... a sight to behold.
ZARAKI KENPACHI IS A GOOD PEDESTRIAN
as Halibel with
When she's not being badass, she's also very pretty.
At one point, i could no longer control my curiosity and mustered up enough courage and what was left of my voice to tap a certain Kenpachi's shoulder to ask what had been on our minds since the night before. "E-excuse me... A-a-are you... Chris?" His eyes widened and he went, "That depends... Did I do something bad?" Then I went on to shake Miguel's arm in a manner which might have led people to think that I was trying to rip it off and I mouthed out, "It's him! It's really him!" and before we could freak Chris out any more, I explained that we've been fans of his Gai cosplay since forever. And then I lost my voice again so Miguel had to take over.
Even if he's dressed as Kenpachi, there's no mistaking it!
THE POWER OF YOUUUUUUUUTH(Why yes, I do has a shuvel.)from ~chaos-shadow
LET ME SHOW YOU IT(Ack, this was taken before I reapplied white gunk onto my hands. Stupid stuff kept rubbing off everywhere. Mostly on my camera, haha.)
I apologize for the lack of other pictures, we spent a bit of time talking to Chris. What a great guy!
OHHHH OUR BRAINS
YOU BROKE THEM
Lookin kinda epic.
Taking the epic crap.
Yachiru spitting on baldy.
Oh you crazy Espadas.
Ulquiorra leg action for the ladies.from ~neomarie94
HAY GUYS WHAT'S HAPPENIN OVER HEREfrom ~JAPAN-ophile
I THINK I'LL SIT THIS ONE OUT THANKS
I'LL TAKE PICTURES INSTEAD HOHOHO
Grimmjow and his bitchezzzzz
Whoops, a little too much for Grimmy. Kon is wondering why he's being left out of the action.from ~neomarie94
Espadas taking pictures.
It was insane. At one point, an entire wedding party and their photographer came up to us. We thought we might be asked to leave but they actually ASKED TO HAVE THEIR PHOTOS TAKEN WITH US. Epicccccc. Man, what I'd give for a copy of those pictures.
and me after the Bleach gathering
Kari, I still haven't gotten over how awesome the Ichigo Vizard mask is. Thank you thank you thank you! It fits perfectly and it's just beautifully crafted! Just in time for the next Bleach photoshoot we'll be having when we get back home, too! I'm so glad you guys were able to make it to Fanime and it seems you had a great time. We're lucky to have kept running into each other each day you guys were there, considering the size of that con. I suppose that note I sent you had enough cheese in it, I'll spare the rest of the people reading this for now.
My favorite kind of mage.
Here he comes, here comes-
After hitting the Dealers Room, we went to pay Haku and Aku another visit. XD
They're always fun, and we wanted to check out their stuff but still couldn't decide which ones to get.
NONE SHALL PASS
"It's just a flesh wound!"
The Black Knight sees what you did thar.
We saw *Lillyxandra
She's so beautiful.
as Dynasty Warriors
Absolutely amazing work on the costumes, you guys! [bows]
Kamina, Yoko and Simon
Somewhere in Artists Alley, we met ~NiraTM
who were dressed as Near and Link. When i saw that pair, I immediately remembered ~NiraTM
's comment on my pre-Fanime journal entry and thought that might be them. She confirmed it by keeping her promise - there were sure to be lots of Near cosplayers, so she said I would know for sure which one she was because she'd smack me on the head (gently) with Link's sword since Ulquiorra's helm would be protecting my skull anyway.
Here we are with ~NiraTM
The proof of our meeting.
Grimmy goes to YaoiCon?
This is where ~imari-yumiki
caught us. XD
(All I bought from there was ~shel-yang
's artbook, I swear!)
We dropped by Artists Alley again to look for people, and took pictures of and with Haku ~hakuku
and Aku ~Akusesu
again. picture from ~hakuku
Espadas with Hibari and Hibirdpicture from ~hakuku
Espadas with Suzaku
(Oh no, Miguel's starting to do THE FACE
That was definitely the least comfortable of my costumes so by the end of the day I really wasn't feeling too well. Ulquiorra was forced to retire relatively early.
Here are some other shots from the second day that I was able to find. Again, thanks to everyone for the pictures! Damn that Ulquiorra, limiting the number of my possible poses. With the same sad emoclown face.
I am in, like... ONE POSE. Hahaha! I guess I didn't do the others enough. I look like some ridiculous wax figure or something.
But this is one of my favorite shots of the day...
...from when Josh ~narutouzu101
asked us to do this again
Allow me to apologize to everyone whom I might have caused to worry about me. Haha, that Ulquiorra makeup can be deceiving. It makes me look upset when I'm really not. Even Miguel would often ask me if I was feeling okay. I tried smiling, but it made me look even more terrifying. I was also very quiet that day because my throat hurt, which made me seem even more reserved than my usual shy self which I transform into upon meeting new people. So yeah, sorry about that.
I made up for it quite a lot the next day, when I cosplayed Naruto and felt much more like myself, and not a sick emoclown. I was so hyper at times that I wanted to suckerpunch myself, haha. Aaaand I'm getting ahead of myself again. Before that...
I didn't catch very much of the Masquerade because I felt really ill and just wanted to collapse into bed. But I'm really glad I caught this:
High-res pictures from my camera
The now complete Fanime Con 2008 album Higher resolution versions of the photos in this entry and more!
A lot of these were taken by me, but for the ones where I'm actually in the pictures, someone was obviously kind enough to shoot in my place. I wasn't able to take as many pictures as I would have liked, so this album isn't a very good account of everything that happened in Fanime and the people who attended it. Juggling between posing and shooting proved to be a bit of a difficult task.
If you're in the photo, go right ahead and use 'em as you wish! You don't have to ask for permission from me or anything. I put these up to be shared.
As for the pictures from other poeple, I made a Fanime Con 2008 Collection for photos that DA friends submitted. Please do note me or something if we have a picture together. I'd like to save them to my Fanime Photos folder. Such great memories from that convention.
Fanime Day Three and Day Four
TO BE CONTINUED
This journal entry is way too long as it is, so I'll cut it here for now. Hopefully I get to post the second half soon despite how my cousins have been dragging me outdoors and all over the East Coast. I still have so much to tell! And I have this awful tendency to forget things, so I'll probably be adding a lot to this entry as well.
And now, time for some much-deserved sleep. That trip to New York drained me. Pleasant something, everyone.
FANIME CON 2008 REPORT (Part 2)
EDIT: The second half of my Fanime report is over HERE