2009 was my first trip to Fanime and I had a fantastic time! Fanime is a 4-day con and that extra day makes a huge difference in the overall mood of the con. The attendees were very laid-back, the weather was beautiful, the con center was big and airy, and I got to see a lot of people that I’ve wanted to meet or haven’t seen in a while. Despite the relaxed atmosphere and lack of commitments, I felt BUSY! I wore more costumes than I ever have at a single convention and felt like I was rushing around taking photos almost constantly. At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted but felt really fulfilled with the experience. I definitely recommend Fanime!
Get ready for a wall of text...starting..now:
Megan and I flew into San Jose on Thursday, May 21st. It was my first time flying to a con with a friend and it made the experience a lot more pleasant. We arrived in San Jose in the afternoon and met up with Kayla, Mandy, and Chris at the airport. Like always, I was very happy to see them!! Chris lives in San Jose so we went to his apartment to unload our luggage and Kayla and Mandy had a surprise waiting for me. They handed me a box and I opened it up to find a Silent Hill Nurse costume. I think my first words were “SHUT UP!!! WHAT?” See, Kayla, Mandy, and Megan had planned on doing a Silent Hill group at Fanime but, because I was busy finishing up school, I didn’t have time to make a costume of my own. Apparently, Kayla and Mandy cleverly obtained my measurements and had made the costume as a surprise. I was SHOCKED. I mean, that’s not exactly an easy costume to make, you know?? I have to find a way to make it up to them somehow.
Anyway, after my fangirling, the group and I drove to the convention center and immediately ran into a large cluster of cosplay friends! We all kind of puttered around and said our happy hellos but had to leave to meet Kayla’s friends Tim and Eric for dinner. Tim and Eric were accompanied by Izeekial, all of whom were extremely nice, funny, and tall. We ate fried foods and milkshakes and went back to the hotel to swim. It was cool outside but we swam anyway and played chicken and swore a lot about the cold and tried to take jumping pictures and failed. Eventually, we snagged some coveted spots in the hot tub and had the pleasure of encountering Kayla’s shameless stalker, who took pride in looking like Rock Lee. Afterward we went back to Chris’ apartment and crashed for the night.
Friday got off to a late start, per usual. We drove over to the hotel and discovered that our room was absolutely gorgeous! We had a beautiful suite that was nice and roomy and practically all windows. We had a nice, clear view of San Jose and MOUNTAINS, which always make me happy.
Kayla and I unpacked while Megan, Chris, and Mandy went to Walmart and I changed into Sakura for the Street Fighter gathering. Tim (cosplaying Ryu), Eric (Ken), Izeekial (Sagat), and I met up with the rest of the Street Fighters for photos. Wearing Sakura was actually really fun! We got some really cool fighting shots and Tim, Eric, and I spent a solid 5 minutes trying to get an in-synch “Hadouken!” shot. After the shoot, I walked around with them for a while and we went to eat at a place called Pizza My Heart which made me smile even though the food wasn’t so great.
Afterward, I met up with the girls + Chris and Mandy, Kayla, and I changed into Kingdom Hearts. Kayla let me borrow her Kairi costume which made me giggle a bit because I kind of looked like Krystal. We waddled downstairs in our KH shoes and took some pictures out front of the convention center. We got a lot more attention than I expected - it was really cool! We took some photos and walked to Starbucks, at which point we discovered that Mandy had lost one of her ankle belts. (Ankle…belts…?) She was upset so we went back to the room to change. At that point, Megan and I met up with Lionel to get a quick glimpse of the Xenosaga props he brought for us to use. I swear between the 4 Xenosaga weapons, unassembled Bumblebee, and other colorful props, that man’s minivan is just a cove of prop GOLD! We stood in the parking lot, staring at the props for a good 20 minutes. We were tired but it really pumped us up for wearing our Xenosaga costumes! Afterwards, the 3 of us went back upstairs to eat pizza with Kayla, Mandy, and Chris while Lionel expressed his views on curvy women.
Saturday was Xenosaga morning. I don’t know what my deal is but I am always in the worst mood whenever I wear Shion. I feel like a fat cow and it always takes a million years to get from point A to point B because Megan wears 100 inch heels. It’s just slow moving and the costume is uncomfortable and it’s really annoying all around. I felt bad because I knew that I was ruining the mood by being annoyed but I couldn’t help it. Anyway, once I was able to take photos with Lionel’s props, I felt a lot better. His weapons were really cool! Eventually, Leonard and Al took some photos for us too so we have a ton of photos from the shoot. We were really busy and at some point toward the end of the shoot, someone came up and asked us for photos. I said apologetically, “I’m sorry, we’re right in the middle of the shoot, maybe we’ll catch you later?” The girl looks at me, rolls her eyes, murmurs to her friend, gives me the stink eye, and storms off. Are Xeosaga photos really that important? Really? It made me feel bad but come on…
Anyway, after our shoots, we walked around the con for a brief moment but quickly went back to the hotel room to rest. I stripped out of Shion immediately, put on normal clothes, and jumped into bed. I think Megan was disappointed that I changed out of Shion so quickly but I really wanted to eat and relax. Megan stayed at the con and the rest of us went to grab some food. Afterward, we went back to the hotel and I took a quick nap, apparently with my eyes half open, which is creepy. When I woke up, it was dark outside and it was time to change into Silent Hill! The nurse costume was hard to get used to at first! The mask made me feel really claustrophobic and it was strange not being able to talk. However, after about an hour, I felt a lot more comfortable and actually liked wearing the mask – it was like a…face blanket. Or something…
While wearing Silent Hill, I approached people I knew, only to discover that they had no idea it was me. I failed at identifying myself so just took photos with Vince in silence instead. It was kind of nice actually and he got some great shots!
Afterward, we took showers and changed into normal clothes. We probably ended up eating with Tim and Eric…it’s been too long and I don’t remember!
Sunday was a great and not-so-great day. Kayla and I wore Chrono Crusade and I had a really great time in those costumes. Rosette was really comfortable (despite a few malfunctions that I need to fix later) and I liked being so tall, hahaha. We stayed in those costumes all day and took a bunch of photos. Lionel’s photoshoot was one of the best I’ve ever been a part of and Leonard was nice enough to take some photos over at a nearby church, which turned out beautifully. However, at the end of the day, Kayla and I had a miscommunication and the night ended in kind of a sour mood. We all changed out of costume and had a little introspective talk about getting attention/getting ignored in costume. I think the talk helped and helped clear the air a little. Eventually, Tim and friends came back and we had Pizza Hut. Afterwards, we split up and me, Megan, Kayla, Mandy, and Chris went to watch hentai.
OKAY THIS IS ALL CAPS FOR A REASON.
If you choose to ever watch some hentai at a convention for the lulz, DO NOT WATCH NIGHT SHIFT NURSE. Oh my god, guys. I’ve watched hentai at cons before but this was beyond anything. People ran out of the room screaming and I almost vomited on several occasions. Someone stood up and yelled, “GAME OVER MAN!” and proceeded to run from the room. Once the first episode ended and the Fanime staff put on episode 2, people were SCREAMING and begging to have it turned off. When episode 2 started, half the room left. It was insane!
Okay that might have actually convinced some of you to watch it. BUT I WARNED YOU!
After hentai, we attempted to watch yaoi but it was like watching Sesame Street after Night Shift Nurse. So we went back to hentai and watched a show about valkyries and giant monsters. After that, we went to the awesome game room! It was 4AM by this point so it was practically empty so I got to play Para Para (WE DON’T HAVE THAT IN IL ANYMORE!), DDR, Dance Freaks, Pop’em, and Puzzle Fighter. I was still wide awake but Kayla and Megan were getting sleepy so we went back to the room to sleep. It was a really good night!
Monday morning we woke up and packed. I was supposed to wear Selphie but I was too tired and decided to wear Ouran with Kayla, Mandy, and Chris instead. For some reason, I felt like Megan and I were really grating on each other’s nerves on Sunday and it made things really awkward. We all went down to the dealer’s room and we ended up losing Megan, which didn’t help the awkwardness. The 4 of us went to the artist alley so Mandy could get something she had been eying but we all bought Fat Rabbit shirts instead. By the time we got back to the dealer’s room, Megan was pissed and we were all kind of quiet on the way out.
Then, as we were leaving the con, we found out Mandy’s car had gotten towed. This began the 2 hour period of sitting in front of the hotel, waiting to hear word from Mandy. Eventually, we all took a cab back to Chris’ place where we all tried to decompress and sort out the mess. When everything calmed down, we headed over to the Olive Garden to eat and everyone felt a little better. Afterward, we wanted to get ice cream but decided to drive to the top of a mountain instead. I never get to see mountains so it was really, really neat. In the end, we DID get ice cream and went back to Chris’ house to talk and eat. We all fell asleep relatively early but it was still a nice end to a semi-bad day.
On Tuesday, Megan and I had to leave around noon. It was less sad saying goodbye than ever before because I knew I’d see everyone again soon enough. The plane ride back got delayed and we had to land in my least favorite state (Indiana) but we eventually made it home alright.
And that was the end of Fanime! If you read more than a sentence of all of this, I am very impressed.