FANIME CON 2008 REPORT (Part 1)
The first half of my Fanime report is over HERE
The now complete Fanime Con 2008 album
Higher resolution versions of the photos in this entry and more!
I'm a bit overwhelmed by the number of comments on that last journal entry. And I don't have a lot of internet quiet time nowadays so I hope it's okay if I'm a little late in answering notes and comments! I'm sorry!
Fanime Day Three!
May 25, Sunday. I... overslept. So we missed the Naruto gathering, ARGH. And due to my not feeling well the night before, I had to whip out my travel sewing kit (Ishida Uryuu style!) to do the repairs on my jacket when I woke up, which made us even more late. I have to fix that thing when I have the time. I did such a crappy job, haha.
Miguel and I made it downstairs in time to catch the Shonen Jump gathering, but there was a lot going on and it was making me confused so we decided to just go around by ourselves. We wanted to hunt for Chris, but couldn't find him. We missed his Gai cosplay! ZETSUBOUSHITAAAAAAAA. Another reason to want to go back to a US con!
So many of the pictures I found are of us in this one pose...
I cropped and adjusted the lighting a bit; original is here: fc02.deviantart.com/fs25/f/200…from unwing
:thumb86923589:from NamineArtBookfrom kangliyi
Whoa, we're like wax figures! Hahaha! We did other poses but for some reason, most pictures I found were of us in this one!
Miguel, we have to do something about that Sasuke hair. Those spikes refuse to show up in most photos unless they're taken from the side like in this shot
. Though sometimes from the side it disappears, too. Like in this shot that hakuku
took of us...
That was a failed attempt at this:
As seen through the eyes of SasuNaru shippers
like certain people we can name
We must do a more accurate reenactment at a proper shoot with the Kusanagi sword. (Live steel props weren't allowed in Fanime.) We owe it to Haku hakuku
and Aku Akusesu
Haku, the Naruto and Sasuke prints are beautiful! And with the special messages full of cheese! Aku, your keychains are adorable! Julian is a happy camera now. He has a jingley pet dog. Thank you both for the hugs and the photos and just for being your awesome selves. You made Miguel SQUEAL. Never forget that. Hahaha!
Finally, a different pose.
So we met xoxojulie
...and they were like, "Can you touch each other?"
"You don't look too happy, Naruto!"
Someone else caught it. D:
asked for another pose... _|￣|○
...and gave us chocolate. Does chocolate heal psychological damage?
(Who am I kidding? We're pretty much used to this by now, haha. After all the other things the Tux Team girls make us do...
We spent a portion of the day with Kim chaos-shadow
(though she left early to catch An Cafe), Stephanie SilentCannonball
and Celina tinystarkitten
, just going around and enjoying the con festivities while exchanging stories. We ran into Inc-ness
and she gave us sticks of Giant Pocky which were really... gigantic. Someone asked for a photo while I wasn't done eating and I had no choice but to pose with it. He was like, "I understand Naruto with ramen. Naruto with Pocky is something new." XD
We went to Artists Alley again and everyone helped me search for Table 187 to go see Crystori
. We had a bit of trouble, but eventually found her. Tori, I think I might've freaked you out when I asked you to take a chibi keychain from my ninja pouch.
Sorry 'bout that! It was really cool meeting you, and wow, thank you so much for the Little Prince drawing! That was one of my favorite books so that project meant a lot to me. It was very thoughtful of you to do a illustration based on that.
Back to the old pose!from BubydubCreayu
took this shot of us.
And I took this picture of them.
Really cute Rei and Asuka, they were.
This was from Ginny LimitlessEdge
And here's one of us with her as Yuna and Jessica as Lenne.
Sasuke is lookin' kinda fabulous.
I learned that it's difficult to grin the way Naruto does.
"Hello, Usagi? Where are you? You're not standing me up, are you?"
Gaara's gourd, awww.
I saw them and I wanted to ask for a photo, but we were both moving around and they were kinda far by the time I got my camera out. Much to my surprise, they called me back to ask for a photo, so I got my shot of them as well.
My account of the event has been a happy one so far, but we did run into some bad luck - Miguel lost his cellphone and kind of panicked. He says he wants to apologize to everyone who tried to talk to us while he was freaking out. He got really worried and couldn't concentrate on anything else apart from looking for his phone. It got me anxious, too. It was such a huge event with so many people. What were the chances that we'd find it again? We tried checking Con Ops but it wasn't there. I kept calling it and after some time, someone answered! It was the DJ from Stage Zero, and he kindly directed us to where he was. We found him after some time, and Miguel practically worshipped him. I expressed my thanks as well, and Mr. DJ hugged us both. Such a nice guy. Stephanie and Celena, we're really grateful for how calm and helpful you were! Such great company also. Thank you!
After that was all sorted out, Miguel was back to normal.
Normal. Yeah. Tobi is a good boy and invited us to Cosplay Chess where apparently you can "yell and kill people". Sounds like my kind of chess game.
She was so much fun.
She let us pet her. "Good doggy!"
as Bankai Renji. She's so awesome.
Saucekay, what's with the uke face, hmm?
It's a little blurry but Yukari looks badass. And I (appropriately?) look like an idiot.
Naruto vs. Bleach!
Battle of the two most overly popular shonen series!
But pffft, we're not going to let the bad part of the fandom change our minds about something we know we love.
This Gin ran up to where we were, holding something that was blaring out Caramelldansen and just started dancing. People joined in immediately.
Yeah, even Zaraki-taichou who at first was yelling, "NOOOO NOT CARAMELLDANSEN!!!"
Thanks guys, but I'll just stand here and take pictures of you.
Chris had changed out of Gai and into Akuma by the time we found him. DESPAIR. I'M IN IT. But he's still awesome.
I think kangliyi
told him about my blog entry
because he kept squealing and giving me bear hugs. CHRIS, YOU ARE OUR HERO.
When I started not feeling well again, Miguel helped me up to the room so I could rest. Thank god we moved to the Hilton so it was directly connected to the convention center. I probably wouldn't have survived the walk to Fairmont. We also tucked away all the prints people gave us as gifts for safekeeping. (You guys are all too sweet.
) I was knocked out for a little bit, and by the time I came to, Cosplay Chess had probably already started. We ran down to try to catch it but we ran into Stephanie and she said it ended early because Black Team had forfeited. D: We contemplated attending the Black & White Ball but everyone looked so formal and proper so we felt like the clothes we brought wouldn't exactly pass the standards of the dress code.
We did run into deviantART people and it was fun getting to talk to them for a bit. And someone thanked me for posting this journal entry
, because otherwise she wouldn't be at Fanime. (You're very welcome. It makes me happy that my silly rants somehow touch people.)
So then we headed out of the convention center in search of a place to eat but all we did was get a little lost yet again and discover that restaurants in the area apparently close really early compared to the ones back home, some of which are open until the wee hours of the morning. Cold and exhausted, we resorted to our favorite fallback - The City Bar & Grill at the ground floor of the Hilton. I was hooked on their lemonade and they had great sandwiches with the crispiest fries we've ever had so no complaints on our part. We also saw the Wiimote cosplayer chug down a beer, cheered on by the group seated at the table beside us. Fun times.
Though at one point, Miguel and I were so tired that we ended up kind of falling asleep on each other. We were sitting on stools at a high table nearest the hallway. His head was on my shoulder and my eyelids were getting heavy when a group of congoers ran past and brought me back to my senses. I shook him awake, and the aforementioned group of girls said hi and asked if they could snap a photo though apologizing for doing so while we were eating. If any of you girls are reading this - sorry our heads weren't on straight and we even forgot to ask for your names. I hope the picture turned out okay though I think I might have covered my face upon your request for us to pretend that you guys weren't even there.
And I found out that Miguel smiled for the camera anyway, that dolt. I could have just done the same and may have looked more decent for you guys.
Fanime Day Four!
May 26, Monday. Miguel woke me up extra early so that we could fix up the Sano wig before going to the con. Still half-asleep, I acted as a dummy head to style the wig on. Miguel finished the task in about an hour so I shook the hair off my pajamas, showered quickly and threw on my Kenshin costume.
It was the simplest of my Fanime costumes. Just a kimono top, hakamas, tabi socks, sandals, and the contacts and wig. I couldn't bring my sakabatou because of the live steel prohibition, so my only prop was our trusty parasol. But overall, it was definitely the most comfortable of my cosplays. I couldn't stand being outside, though. Kenshin wears his kimono kind of open on the chest area and I still wasn't used to the blustery weather, so... Gah. Breezy. I shivered violently every time we stepped outside. Hahaha.
We heard that not a lot happens on the last day and people mostly head home, so we chose that day to get presents for our friends back home. We spent most of our time going around the Dealers Room shopping for them.
We were around for a relatively short time, so I didn't get to take a lot of pictures.
Miguel as Sano and myself as Kenshin
And now with Julia as Rukia
Hahaha, they were great. I told them they looked hot - especially the one in the middle.
IZ THAT SUM TUXEDO TEA-
And here are a few shots from other people, but I'll only put up a few since we're in almost the same pose in every one and I don't want to bore you guys who have been so patient with my looooong journal entries.
We went to Artists Alley to look for the new friends we made to say goodbye before we left. I looked everywhere for Loki-rei
, whom I had been trying to find since the first day, but all of us failed to locate STFU Studio. I'm so sorry, Loki.
I guess perhaps we should have exchanged cellphone numbers or something. Though I sometimes had trouble with my own phone, as well. I couldn't contact taho
and wasn't able to meet up with her alsol. ARGH.
We said goodbye to KoiCosplay
, but couldn't find Akusesu
. Though we did find Chris and he introduced us to Ziggy
, whose pictures I've admired online for years.
Akuma vs. Sanosuke!
Chris is brilliant. He directed the poses for that series of shots; yes, while carrying Miguel.
And here's the picture he took of us.
We hung out with Chris for a bit, and talked about how it's amazing how cons bring people together. I told him I was really happy that he decided to go to Fanime for the first time on the same year Miguel and I were able to go. Just that made the whole trip EPIC. And he gave us great big bear hugs and we promised we'd meet again someday.
On our way out, we were almost out the door when I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and there was a group of cosplayers and pandari
who looked out of breath from running. That was when she handed me the Akatsuki coat she made, because she had read that I was planning to cosplay Deidara. I was floored. I started mumbling like an idiot, but I hope that somewhere in there she was able to comprehend the gratitude I tried to express.
Finally, we had to make our way back to the hotel to bring our stuff to the car and get ready to leave. Walking through the now near-empty hallway, I noticed that Miguel look a bit out of it. I elbowed him to get his attention. Startled, he looked at me, maybe to demand an explanation. I laughed and asked him if anything was wrong because he kept spacing out. He quietly replied that he just felt a little sad because Fanime was nearly over. Other people might find it a strange thing to say, but I knew that side of him very well. I felt the stupid grin on my face fall a little, and I realized that my own heart was feeling rather heavy. We can both be embarrassingly sentimental, which is one of the reasons we get along, I guess. We slowed down a bit to make it last even just a little longer, looking around at the hallways that had begun to feel something like home.
To counter that last bit of cheese in the previous paragraph, I'll stick this part in here now. Ahem.
A lot of my friends back home have been asking about how different US cons are from cons in the Philippines. Now remember, these are objective comparisons and observations based on our experience at Fanime 2008. This is NOT a general American Cons vs. Philippine Cons kinda thing. It's not a competition, and it is not SRS BZNS. They're just very, very different and both are fun and enjoyable in their own special ways. [a rainbow appears]
Size and duration
The most glaringly obvious difference is the size and duration of the convention. Consequently, the number of cosplayers and congoers. Philippine cons usually just go on for one full day at most, and they're held at venues that are as big as just one of the exhibit halls in the McEnery Convention Center. Fanime was four whole days long. During daytime, it's very busy. Lots of events all happening simultaneously in different areas of the con venue. When activities for the day were done, the screenings went on nonstop so you could watch different anime series
or hentai all night if you wanted to.
People in general are extremely friendly, vocal and outgoing. I'm always mildly surprised when somebody just initiates conversation out of the blue, or throws me a compliment. At times it takes me a little while to process that I'm the one being talked to, haha. I'm not saying that people back home aren't friendly (quite the contrary), but we're very modest people and it takes a while for individuals to open up to each other. At Fanime, I found myself talking to people and feeling as though I've known them forever when we haven't even told each other our names yet.
Also, it was like everyone there had a dA account. Some phrases I had heard all weekend were "Hey, are you on deviantART?" "Are you two from that cosplay group on deviantART?" "Are you behindinfinity?" We had to do quite a bit of running during the con, because after people ask if we're Jin and Miguel, they had a tendency to run off before we could catch their names. I was pretty overwhelmed over the fact that there was quite a number of people who knew us. Whenever someone would ask, I think most of the time I just gave them a little bow while looking like this: Sometimes it would be followed by comments like "Wow, you seem shorter in person!" upon which my face would switch to: (I stand about 5'4". And it's for that reason I like to cosplay characteristically short people like Kenshin when I can. But come on, Edward Elric is a little too much. Hahaha!)
Something I noticed was that congoers were very shy and courteous when it came to asking for photos. We're always happy to pose for or with people, but they'd apologize profusely over how we'd need to drop our bags and get into position for the photos. It's a lot of fun for us, and it makes us happy that they liked our cosplay enough to want pictures so there really was no need for apologies!
For the record, we did not get glomped! Everyone was gracious and always asked first, and we were never brutally tackled, but hugged. I got a few surprise hugs from behind, but they were very gentle.
Actually, I think I was the one who glomped someone. Miguel and I were heading back inside after the Shonen Jump gathering, and we ran into a Sasuke cosplayer. He had his photo taken with us then pointed to the GLOMP ME sign on his shirt and said I had to glomp him. I was like, "Okay! How do we do this?" His friends told me to back up and get a running start then, uh, jump and something else I forgot but I think I did it right. Neither of us got hurt and we high-fived each other people going our separate ways.
This is a really bad photo I took.
According to their community info, the lovely people you find here is "the army of Fanime artists who come every year to worship our dark deity by providing hand made awesomeness to bring faith to the masses who love us too"
How can you not love them?
So basically, AA is a venue for artists to share their fanmade merchandise like fanart prints, illustrations (you can commission them as well), handsewn plushies, keychains, buttons, accessories and any other things they made themselves. The merch was awesome, but what made them really special was being able to meet the artists that created them.
For a glimpse of what it's like to be a Fanime AA artist, you can check out hakuku
's journal entry (which is full of pictures) here: hakuku.deviantart.com/journal/… Dealers Room
Figures, posters, manga, DVDs, doujinshis, artbooks, anime character swords, costumes, j-fashion clothing, cat ears, BJDs, Japanese snacks... you can get almost every kind of geek merchandise imaginable in the Dealers Room. (Look, even Spider-Man shops here!)
This is the YaoiCon booth. Remember, you need to be 18+ to purchase their merch! They will
Yaoi Land is a whole other thing. Yes, that sign does say FABULOUS YAOI.
The gathering we were really able to participate in was the Bleach Gathering organized by Yukari-of-Konoha
. I think it was initially organized online, over forums on CosCom
and the official Fanime forum. If you take the time to check those threads, you can plan out which costumes to wear on which days of the con to be able to take part in the gatherings. You can post in the threads to say that you'll be attending and to talk to other people who will be there, but you're also free to simply join in on the spot. Fanime organizers took note of the decided time and location for the gatherings and put up schedules around the convention center to serve as a guide for cosplayers.
Cosplay gatherings usually involve games and photo ops, as far as I was able to observe. It's also a venue for people who love the same series to get together, enjoy each other's company and just have a good time, whether they're cosplaying or not. Click here
for a more detailed (and very image-heavy) account of our experience at the Bleach gathering. Masquerade
What's known in Fanime as the Masquerade is similar to the group skit competitions we have in the Phlippines. In cons in our country, we usually have cosplay catwalks for cosplayers to perform a little bit on-stage individually. But based on what we saw in Fanime, there are just so many cosplayers that it probably wouldn't be practical to have something like that because it would take forever.
The Masquerade at Fanime was held at a sort of amphitheater with good lighting, a stage with ample room for the cosplayers to move around in, a clean black backdrop, a decent sound system, and there's a large video projection that zooms in on the action happening on-stage. There were I think two floors with several tiers of seats for the audience, so everyone could see what was going on, were comfortably seated and therefore pretty much behaved. Very conducive environment, so it was pleasant and entertaining. The audience was always extremely supportive, and sometimes equally amusing because you're likely to see see people randomly dancing along to stuff like Caramelldansen and Numa Numa.
I have to admit, sometimes my friends and I don't bother to stick around for group skits in cons back home. For me, it's because I can hardly see what's happening on the stage since everyone's standing and I'm definitely not one of the tallest people around. Amps and mic stands and wires make it difficult for the cosplayers to move around on-stage. The stage backdrop is usually distracting (overly colorful event tarps with graphic overdose) so sometimes it's hard to really get into the performance. The sound system also leaves much to be desired because the usual con venues don't really have good acoustics. Sounds echo and bounce around the walls so it gets difficult to understand what you're hearing, especially when the skit involves dialogue. And the warped sounds also have to compete with noise from the crowd and the rest of the con area. I just thought I'd put that out there after seeing how good group skits can be when the cosplayers have a good stage to show their stuff on.
Maybe then it won't all be danceoffs and blatant fanservice so people can use that creativity in writing clever skits.
An excellent example of a masquerade skit is Marvel vs. Capcom
by Maximum Pwnage, which I also pimped in the first part of my Fanime report
When it gets kind of late, there are raves where people just go to... dance, I suppose. Haha, I really don't know. We weren't able to see it for ourselves, but at night we'd see people wearing party outfits with glowsticks heading somewhere together. Seems interesting, though. (To you guys who go to raves - Who organizes them? Where are they held? What usually happens?) Yaoi Night
Another thing I heard about was Yaoi Night. According to my source, it's somewhere "interesting people do interesting things". And you can't be underage. Hmmm. Black & White Ball
On the third night, there was a formal event - the Black & White Ball. Kind of like a cosplay prom, I guess? But you don't necessarily have to be in cosplay. There's a formal dress code, and if you're cosplaying, you're encouraged to wear character outfits that would fall under the dress code. We weren't able to go because we were discouraged by the long line and the fact that we were already exhausted. But I hear that it's a lot of fun and people just dance and have a good time so next time we'll know that we shouldn't drain ourselves before the night is over. Random lulz in random places
Never a dull second if you know where to look! Someone's always causing a commotion somewhere, and people happily join in. One of my favorite moments was when the crowd suddenly cleared to make room for a group that was performing some sort of dance down the hallway. It kind of reminded me of this. Big happy family!
Miguel and I really loved the atmosphere around Fanime because we felt like part of one big family. And it seemed like everyone there understood that cosplay is for fun.
Despite all the amazing cosplayers around, nobody was treated as if they had celebrity status or anything like that so everyone felt equal and there was no competitive air or other such nonsense. God knows how Lillyxandra
is like a goddess to me (haha) and I was stunned to see her there. But she'd casually walk around, talk to friends and occasionally pose for pictures just like anyone else, except that she happened to be
emitting an ethereal radiance
wearing an amazing billowy gown and huge, ornate faerie wings. I'm sure there are many others there who admire her, but I never saw her being mobbed. They must have shown her just the right about of respect and let her keep her personal space. I'm sure that reflected well on others, also. Despite her being, well, Lillyxandra
, they were able to see that she was, in some ways, just like every other geek who went to Fanime to enjoy the company of people with similar interests.
More convention fun recorded by cameras that were not mine
Here are some memorable Fanime moments from other people's cameras.
OH SHI- THERE WAS A CAMERA?
I definitely remember this from after dinner on Friday night! We were on our way back to the convention area and our hotels after dinner at Rokko, and ran into a group of congoers, including an Orochimaru cosplayer who snuck up on Miguel. But we had NO IDEA we were being filmed! (Even though I, uh, appear to be looking directly at the camera in the video.) If I didn't know better, I'd doubt that it was the three of us in there but... Yup, it's unmistakably Kim, me and Miguel (making an epic OHNOES face) with Orochi.
And I can hear Kim's laugh towards the end. photo from Anon
A group of Christian extremists came down by the convention center to try to, uh, show us the light. Or something like that. And there just happened to be a Jesus cosplayer...
OH MY GO-photo from Anon
WOLFWOOD'S CROSS HAHAHAHAHA
Okay, okay I'm sorryyyyyyy I'll stop laughing.
OOH OOH OOHWA- AAAARGH CANNOT ESCAPE CARAMELLDANSEN
Random danceoffs in random places during cons is something quite new to a US con n00b like me. Things like this don't happen where I'm from, haha. It was so great seeing such a large number of people who most likely don't even know each other simply having fun together.we don't know who took the photo, sadlyJenZee
(who is in this photo as Halibel) found this photo of us from the Bleach gathering.
It looks like Halibel stole Ulquiorra's cookies, and poor Emocar is now truly the saddest emoclown in the world.
Slightly higher-res here: img165.imageshack.us/img165/77…photo from Anon
The guy cosplaying as Leonidas - I kept seeing him in the game room in casual wear. His actual hair is like that of Leonidas, and the facial hair was real so it was like... Leonidas in a football jersey at the arcade. Oww, my brain.photo from Anon
MY CHILDHOOD 8Dphoto from Anon
Take that, DBZ live action movie!photo by ZiggyB
Oh, man. It's a rarity to see Guilty Gear cosplay done right. Especially of I-no.
But I'm tempted to cosplay Bridget for the lulz. His character bio always amused me.photo by ZiggyB
If anyone were to do this back home, she'd probably have a horde of perverted fanboys running after her.photo by ZiggyB
Gankutsuou! I am amazed.photo by ZiggyB
Chris as Akumaphoto by Eurobeat King of ACParadise
Chris as Gai-sensei!photo by ZiggyB
Chris as... MOOOOO~JO JOJO!photo by ZiggyBphoto by ZiggyBOMG5
, you guys are awesome. photo by ZiggyB
Oh, Zero. Preparing to make yet another grand entrance, are you?photo by Richard Bui
One of our favorite Fanime pictures. Thank you, Richard. photo by Oscar Cwajbaum
Hmmmmphoto by Oscar Cwajbaum
HMMMMMMMMphoto by ZiggyB
Akuma vs. Sanosuke!
Higher-res here: farm4.static.flickr.com/3020/2…photo by ZiggyB
Akuma vs. Kenshin!
Higher-res here: farm4.static.flickr.com/3185/2…
For more Fanime pictures, you can visit:Richard BuiZiggyBAsianSchoolBoy
We received so many gifts which we felt rather guilty about keeping but you know how once something is personally handed to you, you feel like the person's going to feel hurt if you don't accept it? Though I also have to admit that it was hard to refuse because, well... They were so awesome. You guys know us all too well. Some people even made or drew things especially for us. Aww, man. You're all too kind. You really didn't have to do that for us. But we're very grateful. They were really amazing Fanime mementos. I wish I could take pictures but they're all safely packed away in my luggage. I shall do so when I get back home!
If you're one of the unbelievably sweet people who gave us something, please note or email me! I'd really really like to properly thank you.
Wrapping things up with cheese and fuzzy feelings
I don't know if you guys realize this but Fanime meant much more to us than simply attending a convention. (Though that alone was really special because it was our first con in another country.) The idea of going to Fanime was nothing more than a crazy though Miguel and I had more than half a year ago. And it came true. We met so many amazing people and made such great memories. We hope we can come back for more US cons in the not-so-distant future.
The fact that we were able to do that much gives us confidence that we're capable of making even bigger, possibly crazier, hopefully more significant ideas come into reality.
I can't possibly name all the people we met there because there were so many, but you guys know who you are and to each and every person we hung out with, photographed, were photographed by, exchanged hugs with, made us laugh with their silly antics around the con area - THANK YOU. We'll never forget the four days we spent there. Thank you so much for being part of that awesome experience.