Fanime '12: Some Random Things

Here are a few thoughts about Fanime 2012 in general, the swap meet, artist alley, a panel, and a some other things.

-It looked like Fanime's attendance skyrocketed this year, despite the higher admission prices. I was there on the first day and the line just to pick up badges was looping inside the convention center, out the doors, and probably around the block. I overheard some people say that they had waited in line for over six hours. The same goes for those buying badges for a single day. The lines were ridiculous on the second day, too. Last year on the third day, Sunday, there was basically no line; you could just walk right up and buy a pass. This year Sunday's line was at least a 1 - 2 hour wait. Fanime really needs to figure out a faster way to hand out badges and for people to register. Or, they should let people who only want a single day pass the option to buy them online. Currently, only those who buy a pass for the entire weekend can buy them online.

-You could still walk around the hallways and check out tons of cosplayers without having to buy a pass, which was totally cool.

-The program book was better than last year's and had more information for when things were and where, but not for everything. Fortunately, they also had a Pocket Guide that had schedules for pretty much everything going on. Now this was a handy thing to have. It fit in your pocket and and you knew where to go and when. It would be nice if other conventions had a Pocket Guide so you wouldn't have to haul around the bigger program book, so great job on that, Fanime staff people.

-There was still construction going on at the convention center, limiting the number of places cosplayers could gather for photos. I'm sure it'll all be done by next year and there will be a ton more great places for cosplayers to pose and flaunt their goodies.

-I went to the swap meet this year to see what it was all about. There was a super long line to get in, which apparently isn't normal. Some people around me were saying, "There's a line for the swap meet?!" I almost gave up and left a few times because I was getting sick of waiting in line, but I stayed the course. After nearly an hour of waiting I finally got in. The swap meet is basically like a dealer room, but most of the people selling stuff are just fans like the rest of us who are clearing out their collections. There were some good deals and I saw some things I didn't think I'd see. I was very impressed with one girl's Zuntata CD collection. There were two rooms, a big one and a small one. If you take a look at the Colonel Guile and Mileena cosplay in my Cosplay gallery, you can see basically what the swap meet looked like.

-There were protesters outside the convention center preaching about God. They had signs like, "God saves from Hell," "Trust Jesus," and "Fear God." I don't know why they hate people who are attending an anime convention. Doesn't seem very Christian to me.

-Last year I was able to avoid buying anything form the dealer room; this year not so much. I found some good deals this year that I tried to pass up, but didn't.

-The random dance parties in the middle of hallways that people had to walk through got annoying. There were way too many people walking from here to there for others to clog up the walkways.

-The artist alley had lots of talented artists, along with a few mediocre ones. 8-Bit Bytes, who I last saw at WonderCon 2011, was there with their plastic bead art of videogame characters and other characters anime and comics. I've been told that making these is really easy, but I don't have the patience or time to make them myself, so I think it's cool. They also had small paper hello Kitty dressed as superheroes. I saw another booth with some bead art characters, but his were pretty pricey compared to 8-Bits Bytes.

-There was an art show next to the artist alley where people could bid on art. You weren't allowed to take photos, unless you were super sneaky like one guy I saw. You could take photos of the awesome dragon sculpture, though.

-There were themed rooms if you wanted to sit and watch anime. If you needed a place to relax they were good places to go. They might also serve a place to watch something that might not have made it out of Japan yet. I hope there aren't people that spend all day in the rooms, though. There's so much more to do!

-I was at the charity auction for a little bit. The stuff auctioned off were some figures, posters, most of which were signed by someone involved with whatever it was. Oddly, there were also drum covers and baseballs. All of Fanime's guests of honor signed the drum covers, which was cool, but why drum covers?

-There were way too many guys dressed like female anime characters. Way too many.

-The only panel I attended was the Gundam Universal Century Vs. Other Gundam panel. I didn't know what to expect from this, as in would it be why one is better than the other or if it would just be informational. It was being held by Gilles Poitras, author of the books Anime Essentials, and The Anime Companion, and The Anime Companion 2). It was basically an informational panel of the differences between the more realistic Universal Century and all the other more fantasy Gundam shows. It seemed like most of the people at the panel were already Gundam fans, but if there was anyone new to Gundam, then they certainly learned a lot.

-I was originally going to attend a couple other panels, but I lost track of time taking photos of cosplayers and stuff. Oops.

-There was an entire wall of a dealer booth lined with body pillows. There were also a few dudes walking around with them. We all know what you're going to do with those.

A couple cool custom Gundam Vinylmations spotted in Artist Alley.

Gilles Poitras and his three books you should buy.

The super cool dragon sculpture at the art show. Also, do not touch!

Even if it is easy to make bead art, the 8 Bit Bytes booth was a very popular stop for people.

A little of 8-Bit Bytes' bigger pieces.

Inflatable Portal turret.

Plush Portal goodies.

- Shawn - 6/10/12