From attending entertaining panels to seeing movie-quality cosplays, our first time at Fanime 2016 was a blast!
Hello anime watchers, manga readers and cosplayers! Thanks for joining us on another episode of Fangirls Unleashed where we tackled Fanime for the first time. Fanime is Northern California's largest anime convention and it's held here in our wonderful city of San Jose downtown at the San Jose Convention Center on Memorial Day weekend. They have everything from panels, artwork, and one of the hottest boy bands in Japan, Da-ice. In our video below you can see us doing a wide range of activities from posing with cosplayers to interviewing a few Fanime attendance veterans. If you want to see the top 5 highlights of Fanime 2016 for us, grab your favorite mangas (our favorites are Sailor Moon and Attack on Titan) and read on.
The amount of cosplayers in attendance was staggering, exceeding those that we saw at the Silicon Valley Comic Con. It seemed as if almost 1 in 3 people were dressed in cosplay, including the Fangirls. The craftsmanship that these cosplayers did were on a professional level and they even went so far as to act like the character they were supposed to be. Our favorites were the mash-up Sailor Moon and Princess Ariel Sailor Scout and the Daft Punk duo with working helmets. Fun Fact: Alyssa went to high school with those guys!
The size of Fanime was huge, and we heard from many people who attended in the past that it keeps getting bigger. Fanime covered the San Jose Convention Center and the surrounding hotels, which includes the Marriott, the Fairmont, the Hilton, and the Doubletree. It was almost reminiscent of a Fanime-style Disneyland with the different spaces and constant walking. This is a tribute to how popular Fanime is.
3. Exhibition Variety
If you want to shop or play games, there is a ton of opportunities for you to do so at Fanime. At the Artist Alley, it showcases original artwork from artists depicting everything from your favorite scene of an anime to portraits of popular super heroes. The Dealers Hall is your one-stop shop for rare figures, hilarious t-shirts, and popular Japanese snacks. If you have time in between panels, head on over to the Gaming Hall. They have everything from Dance Dance Revolution, arcade games like Street Fighter, and console games such as Nintendo 64. As you can see, it's rare for one to get bored at Fanime.
The energy of Fanime was infectious and exhilarating, and there were smiles all around. How can you not smile while seeing a life-size Pikachu? Every single person we asked for a picture was more than happy to let us photograph them. The fans that let us interview them were so kind and they were really knowledgeable about the convention. A Fun Fact we learned from our interviewees was that you can tell how many years an attendee has been to Fanime by the number of badges they have on their lanyard. As you can see in our video, Aaron has attended for an impressive 8 years!
There were so many panels during Fanime, that it totaled nearly 200! This means that you will definitely find a panel that interests you. They had everything from interviews with voice actors such as Cristina Vee who was the voice of Sailor Mars to learning how to improve your cosplay making with different materials. Our favorites were the Sailor Moon Panel and the Fanimaids, where they ended their panel with a show-stopping Pokerap sing-a-long that made the crowd go wild. Any 20-somethings who grew up in the 90s who remembered the Pokerap?
As you can see, we had so much fun that we're definitely planning on going back next year! Did you attend Fanime? If you did, comment below your favorite parts and what you recommend we should attend next year. Keep a lookout for our next blog where we attend another festival for the first time, the Bay Area Book Festival. If you need a little more Fangirls Unleashed in your life, you can follow us on our social media accounts down below for a first hand look at our vlogging process and sneak peeks of our next blog. Until next time, happy readings.
Fun Fact: Did you know that each San Jose Public Library Branch has their own unique artwork? If you frequent many of our libraries, you might be wondering what that circle of artwork in the floor near the info desk at Alum Rock Branch means, or what that interesting metal sculpture with a tree coming out of it is about at the Bascom Branch. Simple. All you have to do is go to our main page at sjpl.org. Hover your mouse over the Your Library menu near the top of the page. Next, click on Art in Our Library under "Features". From there, you have all the branches artwork and their meanings right at your fingertips.
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This blog has been a collaboration between Adilene Rogers and Alyssa Mendoza.