The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Japan Town Anime Faire took place in the middle of December. Previous JTAFs took place in the middle of September. The rationale was to have the convention during a time of year where there would be less events. JTAF's original date was sandwiched in between Pacific Media Expo (PMX) and AniMagic. Did the change of date affect the outcome of the con? In many ways, yes.
In the middle of December, San Francisco typically is in for heavy rainstorms. The rain did pour into the JTAF weekend. Did the staff have a Plan B? I cannot give you the answer because I am simply an attendee. True, JTAF did not have space at the Miyako Radisson unlike previous years, but the staff utilized the tiny programming room for the outdoor performances (USA Musume, Cosplay Contest, etc).
Perhaps it is best for JTAF to stay in the September time frame to avoid the crazy San Francisco winter weather. The event was also too close to the holiday travel season. I literally had to catch a plane to LAX on Sunday.
Despite the weather, I can say I had a pretty mellow time. It was a small, yet relaxing way to end the 2005 con season. Tom and I made the best of what was given to us. Our thanks goes to the staff for pulling through and still making JTAF possible. We enjoyed Mr. Wendell's MC-ing at the cosplay contest, but Tom and I agree that our favorite JTAF event had to the be mochi pounding ceremony. What other anime convention can give you that? It was educational, entertaining, and interactive.
I really love Japan Town, not for it's the epicenter for Japanese popular culture, but for it's restaurants. Over the Bridge's blend of Euro-Japanese cuisine enthralls my taste buds. Masako introduced me to Over the Bridge a few years back, and ever since, I've been patronizing the tiny restaurant ever since. I highly reccomend Sapporo for it's yaki soba and California rolls. Yes, California rolls may not count as authentic sushi, but the crab meat is lovely.
Enough rambling about food. If JTAF had any lessons to teach, it is to have a Plan B. This does not apply to the convention itself, but to cosplayers. Tom and I had to change cosplay plans. There was no way I was going to wear Karen Kasumi during the rainstorm. You never really know what you're going to run into and what some act of some deity is going to bring onto something.
Like any convention, it was great to see my Bay Area friends one last time before I would leave for Los Angeles for the holidays. Thanks for being there! I was really happy to see Satoru at the event too! (way to represent SoCal!) Of course, tons of thanks goes to my significant other, Tom. Thanks for putting up with me! Thanks to everyone who made JTAF possible, whether you be a photographer, a staffer, or a friend.
Happy Birthday Michi! Happy Birthday Di!
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