Fanime 2007 Debriefing
I just got back from FanimeCon and I’ve gotten over my hangover and taken a shower to wash off the otaku smell. It was a great trip, and I’ve got a ton of pictures and video for you guys.
Be warned, there is just under 100 photos and 5 or 6 videos under the cut.
We left Friday morning, running a couple hours late because Disko and I both lag pretty bad if left to our own devices. I drove, because the xB gets way better mileage than his truck and smells a whole lot better than his accord.
An hour into the drive, his punk ass fell asleep. In his defense though, he was up late as hell the night before at the emergency room with our goalie that ripped his ankle apart in Thursday night’s game.
At least he is getting some sleep so he wont pass out early later, right?
So you would think…
Anyways I get us to San Jose and Disko wakes up, but we cant figure out how to get to this convention center (which we can clearly see the top of, but inconveniently, we cant see any entrance for). Downtown San Jose has more No U-Turn signs than I have ever seen in my freaking life. Long story short, we use the knowledge gained through hours of FPS gaming and get to the high ground.
High ground in this case turn out to be a 10-story parking garage. Across the way, incidentally, was the SJ offices of Adobe. From our vantage point we could see the employee-only tennis and basketball courts. Must be nice.
We found the Hilton, and this painting greeted us as we exited the service elevator. Apparently the artist used herself as a model for all three of the pointy nosed gentlemen in the work.
This reeks of Freudian self-issues to me.
After dropping off our stuff at the hotel room and checking in we made our way to the registration counter. On our way we saw our first cosplayer of the weekend. I think he does a pretty good Barrett, and the San Jose Convention Center (here forth SJCC) kinda looks like a Shinra building.
We rushed through a 15 person registration queue in a matter of 15 minutes, and it wasn’t until Saturday morning that we would realize how short our line was on Friday really was.
I got my super cool laminated badge, and Disko got his weak blue paper badge. It’s funny how the caste system can be so much fun sometimes.
After registering we did the only thing left to do after traveling. We got food and beer. The Hilton’s bar makes a great BLT by the way. Highly recommended.
As a tip for the cheapskates in the group, they don’t seem to notice if you sit out on their patio all night and drink beers that you pull out of your backpack.
After lunch, we continued exploring. We found more cosplayers, including a good Ryu from Street Fighter and a fairly depressed looking pirate.
We never figured out what this next group was supposed to be dressed up as, but the guy on the left kinda like my friend Kyle, and the 2 women in the photo are sporting some serious camel toe. And that’s always funny.
This is just a random shot of Disko walking down the promenade. Take a good look, because we won’t be seeing his ass for a while very soon.
I met Jesus. He showed up to Fanime as well. Did you know that Jesus drinks Soy White Mochas when at Starbucks. So do I. What does that tell you?
Why not throw in a topless cowboy for the ladies.
This is about the point when my fearless co-pilot here goes to the room to take a pill and lie down. He asked me if I had any painkillers for his sinus headache and I gave him my wife’s old birth control pills. Serves him right for punking out on me.
So I put on my iPod and began my laps of the concourse. I found the arcade, and watched a whole bunch of people school each other on Sonic the Hedgehog. I didn’t know people still played Sonic. Good for them.
As a side note, I also never knew that there were adults who wore Naruto gear.
I saw a woman in her 40s with a bright orange shirt that said “I’m the mother of a narutard”. Ok, you are the cool parent. We get it. Don’t ruin it.
This is also about the point where the serious cosplayers start showing up. Notice that Disko has passed out and I am on my own and it’s still freaking daylight out.
It’s always great to see teams of guys (and girls) who coordinate their costumes as a group. Here’s a great Mario and Luigi pair, and a small squadron of Spartans. Dig the one that Sharpied in his abdominal definition.
This is a good time to add in another couple dollops of cleavage and leather. I spoke to the guy on the right for a few minutes and he showed my how he constructed his glove. It’s constructed of heat resistant materials (like the ov-glove?) and he can actually light it on fire with a flammable gel.
Seeing as the schedules that were supposed to tell you what was playing in what video room were useless since they contained no correct information, I took another spin out around the fountains out front (notice that it is still light outside, despite the lengthening shadows) and found a pretty good Rikku, as well as an… um….
This samurai was great. I don’t know if it was performance or he really was just drunk and resting in the hallway for a half hour, but either way it fit. The photo on the right is one of my favorite costumes at the con, despite it’s relative simplicity. I just gotta love the doctor.
It wouldn’t be a con without 4chan representing. I don’t know if the second photo had anything to do with 4chan, but I bet it’s already on 4chan so I’m grouping them together.
A great costume doesnt have to be expensive or costly to build, as long as it is original. That’s why the Super Mario Brother coin block gets extra points. In the middle is a fantastic Faye Valentine. I’m just going to assume she was bitchy because she was staying in character. On the right, this Yuna is fantastic, she hand stiched the patterns on the waist cloth herself. Bonus points.
I was getting tired and rather drunk at about 2 o’clock and I made my way into a theater that was showing some Macross movie (which turned out to be Macross Plus and incidentally I’m watching it in it’s entirety as I write all this out).
As I was walking in I saw a Zoidberg. He scuttled up to and scared the shit out of a guy standing behind me.
I knew it was time for sleep.
I woke up the next morning and Disko was amazingly still asleep. I was not awake enough to think of taking a picture of him so I’m going to use this photo again.
Just pretend he’s in a hotel bed instead of in my car.
So I shit, showered (more than some at the convention could say), and shaved then I set out. On my way out of the convention center I saw this.
I probably should gone to the Animaid Cafe, which was staffed by anime maids such as the one on the right. Instead I went to the posh Marriott hotel restaurant.
Bacon, eggs, coffee, and juice, along with some high-fallutin version of the McDonalds hash brown patty. $14 sounds about right I guess… Fuck.
I ate my leisurely breakfast and made my way down the concourse and about half way down I got a call from Disko. I guess 17 hours was really all he could sleep.
About this time I realized that I spent more on beer just walking between the two bars at the ends of the convention last night than was probably a good idea. We decide to actually leave the hotel and walk until we can find someplace we could find beer that we could bring back to the mini-fridge in the room.
Venture forth we did. We didnt need to use restrooms, but if we had needed to, the city of San Jose apparently provides quite lavish public restrooms every block or so.
We didnt realise exactly how far it was to a liquor store. We walked on sidewalks, through alleys, and moved through stores where we had to ask ourselves if we would even recognize beer if we saw it.
Finally we found this place. The neon in the window was a shining beacon to our thirst. We filled up our backpacks and walked our clinking asses back 15 blocks to the Hilton. We earned our cheap beer.
On our way back in we saw a pretty good group of Final Fantasy cosplayers and a speeder bike trooper. Some costumes, like our Imperial friend , can have production budgets ranging into the thousands. Others, like this Wiimote, can cost almost nothing.
We returned to the room and began to fill and then empty the fridge. Keep this in mind and the rest of these pictures will make much more sense.
On the right is my favorite elevator ride ever, and that’s saying something. If any of you guys from the 2:43 ride from the 6th floor lounge and the lobby see this, give yourselves a round of applause. You know who you are. Big ups and mad respect.
Energized, nourished and equipped, we began to wander once more. We found a pretty good Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop, and a decent Shinobi.
We saw a sumo on the escalator but unfortunately when we saw her later her batteries had run down and she was slowly deflating.
By this time it had been a few minutes and we were feeling parched again so we made our way back up to the room to refill the backpack. As is the way, as we drank our penchant for mischief making increased and we thought it would be fun to just sit in the 6th floor lounge drinking beer and snapping photos of the elevators as they opened. Some people (see left) found it quite exciting, while others (see right) thought we were impulsive disrespectful gaijin.
I have no idea what the hell either of these things are.
This woman’s skirts took her 15 minutes to arrange before she would allow anyone to photograph her.
I have no idea what so many of these people are dressed up as. It’s like playing ‘Guess That Cosplay!’
Just in case you have lived your life without ever seeing an overweight girl dressed up as Princess Mononoke doing DDR, I bring you this.
On the left is another fucking furry. This is when I began to realize that if all these people were here, SecondLife must be a fracking ghost town. On the right is a very stoned Rikku and an even more stoned Yuna. Girls, try Visine.
Taking this next picture was very odd because as I was asking these girls if they minded me taking a picture, they seemed very happy and like they were good friends but as soon as they posed it was like they hated each other. I like to think it’s because the girl on the right is a Coke supporter, but the girl on the left waves Pepsi colors.
Once again, it was time for a trip to the mini-fridge. On our way up, we found a Raccoon City Riot Policeman from Resident Evil. Note the infected red eyes.
Here is where we add some new characters to the story. Our friends Matt and Joy, who live in Santa Cruz, but were visiting Sacramento, called us and wanted to meet us in SJ. About the same time they called to say they were leaving Sacramento, Disko and I had just met a couple to drink with at the bar and we were sharing our backpack beer strategy with them.
Enter Edgar and Kendra. On the left is Joy and Edgar, and in the right photo is Disko and Kendra. Somehow I don’t have a picture of Matt, but I suspect that was deliberate on his part.
Now it was getting dark, we were getting drunk, and our supplies were getting low, but we discovered that Kendra and Edgar had more hooch up in their room!
Woot! Notice the excellent view from the 18th floor?
We all made our way up to their room and had time for a couple of drinks before some sort of biological or bacterial attack occurred on the hotel. Thats what you would think anyways.
I believe it turned out the be a smoke alarm that had been set off, but our drunk little group had to descend 18 floors on foot anyways. Some of us had more trouble than others…
Do you know who I bet had to walk up and down alot of stairs? The Ghostbusters. As a matter of fact, we saw a Ghostbuster and a Tidus too.
The Tidus made his sword from actual glass. Wow.
This is right about the time I found out Edgar was friends with one of the guys in Lagwagon. He showed me this key chain form Lagwagon’s Japan tour.
This is his other key chain. It’s solar powered, and Japanese and incredibly advanced.
The photos are getting more random and sporadic as I get really inebriated. Sorry about that, there was no way around it. It just happened.
We checked out this industrial Japanese punk band, Mechanical Panda, and I managed to get a couple seconds of video before this burly guy with an ear piece asked to me put it away or give it to him.
Speaking of random, here’s some Star Wars Jedi and a WoW quest giver. The NPC’s boyfriend looks about ready to pass out.
We drink some more, and Disko has more fun exploring his lack of balance and yelling at strangers. Luckily no one took offense, because there were some wily looking kids with samurai swords. Like this guy.
Now it’s about 2 in the morning, and Disko makes room for some more beer. Eeew.
Speaking of eeew, check these things out. I found them for sale (for a pretty steep price) in the vendor’s room. As best I can tell, they are a line of effeminate male dolls that you can dress up and make them make out. On the right, another Stormtrooper. Or maybe it’s the same one as before.
Fuck it, I was drunk, I dont know. We passed out shortly after…
So it’s now 12:09, time for me to catch up on some sleep. I’m going to finish this off with the most random photo and video of the weekend.