Every Memorial Day Weekend, San Jose, the nearest big city to me, puts on a decently large Anime Convention called Fanime Con that I’ve gone to yearly since middle school. I’ve never been extremely in to Anime, but it’s a wonderful time to hang out with other people with nerdy interests. Also, I haven’t ever done serious cosplay until this year, and they all turned out well!
Without further ado, here is a recap of the days of Fanime!
Day Zero – Poor Planning
The Thursday before the convention, you can go pick up your badge for entry early so that you don’t have to wait later. Because past years had been inconsistent in terms of whether the line moved quickly or slowly, my girlfriend Jillian and I arrived early to secure a spot in line. Jillian told me that the schedule said badge pickup began at 8 AM, so we left to arrive around 10. We arrived, and the line was extremely short, but not moving an inch. We played cards with friends, watched some Netflix, played on our phones, and generally waited for a few hours until re-checking the schedule around 1 PM that pickup actually began at 3 PM on Thursday and was at 8 on all the following days.
Because we had a good spot in line, we decided to wait it out, and thankfully pickup opened at 2:10, and it was extremely well organized. We had our badges by 2:15, went out for lunch, met a friend of Jillian’s for a moment then headed back home. Full of regret for misreading the schedule, we had fairly normal ends to our days.
Day One – No Busk For You!
The convention actually began all its events on Friday, and I arrived early around 9:45. I brought a tip jar, my Ocarinas, and dressed as Captain America and played first in the lobby, later in the convention itself for about an hour. I made around $17 playing during a low-traffic time, but the staff made me stop asking for tips when I played in the convention center.
Darn, I was hoping tips could pay for the convention while simultaneously giving me practice for Anime Expo! (I will be playing in an Ocarina Ensemble at that convention!)
Shortly afterward, I went to the gaming room to play some Smash Bros, then Jillian arrived as Black Widow to match my Cap. We looked great together!
She and I took some photos together, but not too many, then went to browse the Dealer’s Hall and Artist Alley to look for merchandise she wanted. My birthday gift to her was $50 Fanime spending, since she really wanted to go shopping with me. We ran into some friends, and walked around those halls for a few hours.
Next, we went out for sushi with her friends and utilized the magic of Groupon to save some money! It was a little far from the con, but food was good. To be less expensive and to allow Jillian to focus on eating rolls, I had a beef rice bowl and it was delicious. I also finished other people’s food, because I am a human trash can sometimes. We returned to the con, hung out for a while, then went home.
Day Two – Spider-Antics
Today I was Spider-Man. I arrived to the convention well before Jillian, so I made the most of it by doing Spider-antics. I ran around doing dumb stuff, and because I had a mask on, there was a lot less anxiety about looking dumb! I did comedic bits as I went from the parking lot to the con, played Smash as Spider-Man, and played Just Dance as a fierce, intensely dancing Spider dude. Today was also the day I brought the Fanny Pack back.
Jillian arrived in the early afternoon after working last-minute on some cosplay. I had made plans, so I told her my schedule and we parted ways. At 3 PM, I joined a Spider-Man meetup, and we had around 10 spider… people (?) come. There was an AMAZING Deadpool as well
After that shoot, I went to the Cthulhu for President panel for the 5th or 6th time. It’s a political satire panel about electing Cthulhu, though the panelist occasionally makes great policy points. But the main policy is baby eating, of course. The panel follows a format of 25 minutes of policy and cabinet members with 30 minutes of Q&A. I asked why Cthulhu couldn’t just seize control, and the panelist responded that Cthulhu believes in the democratic process.
Well played, Mr. Elder God.
Next, I had a bit of down time to grab a dirty dog – a street hot dog wrapped in bacon, covered in onions, and slathered with sauce – and a horrible choice of food when you have Spider-Man on. I made a mess, then grabbed some Boba for myself and Jillian to have for our next panel, which I have mixed feelings writing about. It was crude, odd, hilarious, and done by the same panelist as Cthulhu for President. Then, we went home.
Day Three – Smash and more Smash
I dressed as Waldo, drove to the convention with a full car of Jillian and friends, then proceeded to play Super Smash Bros for a few hours, only to be interrupted by plans we made months ago that I nearly forgot about. A friend was part of the Butler Cafe off-grounds from the convention, which had a magic theme, interesting sweet cream-based drinks, good snack food, and many hijinx. There was a book-on-head balancing contest, and I sadly lost due to not going fast enough from the start and the venue being too narrow to pass the leading person. It was all good fun, and it was a nice change of pace from the convention!
We all went back to the con, and you guessed it – I played more Smash. One of my good friends came and joined the play rotation I was in, and I was playing surprisingly well. If you aren’t involved in the Smash community, many things I could say would mean very little or nothing, but the jist of what happened was: I figured out how to play as Link. It was all great fun for a few hours. Around 6, Jillian, friends, and I went out to eat some Poke for dinner, which was delicious. We all returned to the con, I bought a friend a street taco and Jillian a dirty dog, and then I went to play… more Smash.
Fast-forward an hour, and we left the con and went home, leaving only the short day remaining.
Day 4 – The End
Today was the short day. We arrived around 10, but Jillian needed to repair some props right as we came. We visited a friend of hers, left the glue holding her prop together to dry, then went to the dealer’s hall to buy the sweater she had been eyeing throughout the con. I also looked around, but bought nothing so I could save money. Jillian left for her last photo shoots, and I kept browsing and window shopping.
I left the hall, found her on her shoot, and she gave me her phone. I told her when our train would arrive for us to leave, but because I had her phone, I had her clock AND means of communication. To add to the separation, her photographer did a shoot a decent ways from the convention, so I couldn’t find her to tell her that we had to get to our train. It was an anxious time for me for sure, but she returned before the train – by two minutes – so we barely missed it. I was a little bummed, but we took the next train and proceeded to have a Memorial Day barbecue with my family, which made it all better! The rest of the day, Jillian kept trying to sleep due to her lack thereof during the convention, thanks to her cosplay work after hours. Eventually, she went home, and she slept. A nice way to end the weekend!
Fanime was great. I finished finals about a week ago, and there’s no better way to celebrate. I enjoyed spending time with friends, making new ones, and having new experiences! I’ve gone every year since I first went, and I intend to continue that pattern. Furthermore, I intend to make fanny packs a trend again. I brought one when I was Spider-Man, and now I plan on using them in daily life because they are so useful. If anyone reading went, I hope you had a great time, and you may have heard my ocarina or seen my cosplays! If so, let me know.
I look forward to next convention – Anime Expo here I come!