FANIME 2019 - California Dreamin
Another Memorial Day has come and gone and with it the tradition of Fanime - San Jose, California’s largest anime convention. It has been a staple for me to attend this con every May, with what has become one of my favorite cons. Fanime is a step above other conventions with its unique con space layout, it’s distinctly California vibes and array of areas to do photography in every direction. Fanime brings about the start of the summer con season and it certainly starts with a bang, bringing a wide range of cosplayers as well as well known photographers from Socal. This marks my 6th year in a row attending and with each year comes slight changes, both good and bad.
This year was the first year that boast a rather strict badge policy with every time you re-enter requiring both sides of your badge to be inspected. As well as even sometimes having them quiz you with the spelling of your name as well as providing a photo ID. This lead to a fair amount of badges being taken from attendees. There was also a few issues with the placement of some of the theater panels. Being as some were a 10 min shuttle ride away just to attend. This no doubt affected the turn out for these events since it was such a hassle to even get there. But outside of some other minor hiccups I feel this year was a great overall time and at Fanime I can say the word of the weekend was “dance, dance, dance.”
If dancing is what you like then Fanime is the Con for you, with a wide variety of ways to shake your tail feather. There was a black and white ball, bringing the dress code up a notch as con goers put on their finest cosplays/ formal wear to attend an elegant night of dancing and fun. Not your cup of tea? That is ok - The nightly rave went from 7pm- 4am. Providing two different rooms with different music in each and having a rotation of DJs to get your legs moving. If you are badgeless but still want to have some fun just outside the con center there is always a selection of makeshift dance circles with music blaring from every direction.
I was able to see, as well as buy some things from the huge swap meet that was next to the con. The swap meet had everything from amazing art to awesome nostalgia. From N64, GameCubes, and even Super Nintendos. There was so much it was hard to focus on one thing. As wide as a football field, it was hard to avoid all the goodies to buy if one strikes your fancy.
This year’s Artist Alley was a step above as there was so many amazing artist to browse through. This was one of the best Artist Alley I have ever seen. Ranging from key chains to posters and even custom painted magic cards. There was something for everyone and everything was amazing. Supporting these artist is one of the best ways to show them you appreciate the art they make. I was not able to leave empty handed (not for lack of trying) but I could not say no to all the amazing art that was on display.
The events were plentiful this year and it’s great to have something for everyone to have a good time. From a Karaoke contest, a Game show, and an FMV Contest (FanimeCon Music Videos, their take on AMVs). The game room which boast a wide selection of PC, Console, and a huge range of arcade games is also open till the wee hours of the morning. Fanime is really a 24 hour con. One of my personal highlights was the party in the park. DJs, projectors, drinking, and dancing… who needs a room when we have a park and beautiful California weather? I have to say that Fanime always provides some of the best memories for me.
Con for me is about my con family, friends I barely get to see and creating art with some amazing talent. I look forward to next year when I can see some of my best friends and have another weekend of laughter, good food and fond memories. Until Next year fam.