Another Fanime has come and gone. For many, Fanime starts off the summer convention season. Anime Expo is only around the corner with Comic Con tailing two weeks later. The two aforementioned events are often criticized for losing touch with their fanbase. Fanime Con, “by fans for fans,” has never given up on their simple mission statement. Fanime had that fan friendly feel Anime Expo once had. This was a cosplay friendly convention with plenty of gatherings (organized by the lovely B Saphire) and plenty of nice photo spots for glamour shoots.

My favorite part about Fanime was the Black and White Ballroom Dance. I have been to many anime convention ballroom dances before (Anime Expo, Anime Central, Sakura Con) and Fanime does it right. The music selection (with the exception of metal “Macarena”) fits perfectly for a ballroom dance. The atmosphere is romantic and elegant. I am very happy that dress code is enforced. At Anime Expo, one can get away with wearing a skimpy raver cat girl outfit. I wish I had stuck around for the lessons, but with such a busy schedule, I was not able to. I was glad they offered lessons on a daily basis. The lessons make it worth the price of admission to Fanime, considering lessons go for $10 an hour, at least from my experience. However, there could be room for improvement. I have heard accounts of people losing items (glasses, badge, etc) at the ballroom dance. Perhaps a coat check would be a good idea.

There was plenty of miscommunication in the Fanimaid department. I went ahead to reserve a timeslot, but the maids claimed they did not take reservations. According to Tom’s Fanimaid report, he was able to make a reservation (video documentation). Then again, several of the maids I ran into during the convention seemed very stuck up. True, the use of Japanese is cute for the first ten seconds, but as a native English speaker, I would like clear directions and information in regards to the Fanimaid Café. I also attended Fanimaid Live at Stage Zero. While the idea was cute, a few of the maids did not look like they wanted to be there. If anything, the least they could have done was to look like they were having a good time. One of the principles of stage presence is to smile. We want to see our Fanimaids happy!

In addition, I wish I had time to make it to the doll gatherings. I loved the doll meet ups last year. The Bay Area doll community is very relaxed and very welcoming. However, I can understand that I cannot be at two places at the same time. Sherry (Custom House Choa) would have loved to meet new dolls!

It was great that the Dojo events were held in a separate room this year. Aside from the ballroom dance, it is great that Fanime has much more than anime to offer. I stopped by the Asian Film room for a little bit.

I really liked the services the Hilton offered like the complimentary lemon water offered to hotel guests on day one. However, my biggest gripe with the hotels (Marriot and Hilton) was the fact that they did not offer shuttle service to the airport. Many people travel from out of town for Fanime. I was quite shocked to find out there was no service to the airport. Taxi service was offered, but $20 to San Jose airport seemed like highway robbery to me. At least Sakura Con’s shuttle price of $11 one way to the airport seemed reasonable enough.

A slight complaint, but I thought I would bring this up anyway. We were requested by Rob Miles to submit video for Stage Zero content. I did so on the first day while hunting down for Sean Barber, the head of Stage Zero. However, I have not heard of any account of any of the Fanime music videos we created played at Stage Zero. With all due to respect to Stage Zero, if you want a favor from someone, follow through with it. Even when I submitted my video in person to Mr. Barber, he did not have that family friendly vibe that other Stage Zero staffers had. I found it difficult to believe that Mr. Barber was head of Stage Zero. It made more sense that Mr. Wendell was the one calling the shots.

Overall, I had a great time making great memories with friends. I have to thank Stan for putting me up for one night in the Marriot as well as transporting my swap meet goods and laptop. In addition, I would like to thank Jared for the Hilton room and coming up to Fanime. I was rather happy to show someone who originally had a bad impression of Fanime my side of the convention I had a great time with the various cosplay groups I did photos with – Sailor Moon, Baccano!, and Card Captor Sakura. Like any other convention, it is the group of people you are with that make the convention experience worthwhile. Making up your own fun and entertainment as it goes is the way to go.

I have been attending Fanime for the past seven years and there is no way I am going to stop attending, even if I do settle on the Eastern seaboard. If I were to pick one California convention that I hold dear to my heart, it would be Fanime. I was happy they listened to my feedback and made events that I loved going to even better than before. I was very happy to see my Bay Area buddies - friends I can only see once a year now that I live in the Los Angeles area.

To those I have met, got to know better, and spent quality time with - you guys are my Fanime memories!

Many thanks to the Scarlet Rhapsody press team for all their hard work to cover Fanime. This is where we started. Happy one year anniversary to Stan and Deb for being part of our team!

Thank you to everyone at Fanime for making this one of the best convention experiences ever! Fanime never fails to deliver and rest assured, we will be back for 2010.

If you would like to stay in contact with me my email is v @ I can also be followed on Twitter and on Facebook.

See you at Anime Expo or Sac Anime August! (or both!)

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