Yikes! Has it really been that long since my last post? Sorry!
FanimeCon in San Jose, CA, is held Memorial Day weekend (May 27-30 this year) and bills itself as a con “by fans for fans”. This was the first year I went and it definitely has a much looser, laid-back feeling to it than AnimeExpo, with a much younger crowd.
With almost 20,000 attendees, it’s one of the ten largest anime cons in North America (and the largest in NorCal). Still, I’d call it a mid-sized con: less than half the size of AX but way bigger than Pacific Media Expo or Anime Los Angeles.
It’s known for it’s close relationship with Hiroyuki Yamaga, the president of Gainax, which is probably my favorite anime studio. Of course, since this was my first trip to FanimeCon, it was also Yamaga-sensei’s first time in 14 years that he couldn’t attend the con. >_<
Still, FanimeCon 2011 was pretty awesome! Got to see some friends new and old, as well as some familiar faces. I love that the hotels are connected to the convention center and everything’s so close! It was also the first time I ever broke 1000 photos at a con… or anywhere. @_@ Way too easy to take lots of (bad) photos with the Canon EOS 60D (w/ 18-135mm lens) that I “borrowed” from Best Buy.
I'm pretty much still just a newb photographer, and it was my first time handling a DSLR. In fact, I got the camera Tuesday and drove up for the con Thursday, so it was very much a “real-world” test drive. Luckily, the 60D's 18MP makes it easy to crop away and fine-tune crappiness. ^_^b
I'd also recently gotten a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 based on some decent reviews (which were unfortunately somewhat unfounded). It worked well enough as a back-up though, especially since it seemed to have a slightly wider lens — good for cosplay gatherings. ^_^ It's the first time it's gone to a con with me also. Wow, that's a lot of firsts! xD
One of the coolest things about smaller cons is the swap meet, and FanimeCon was no exception. After we arrived on Thursday we went to check it out. Wow, it was amazing! Before I even registered and got a badge (on Friday, since Registration was already closed when we arrived), I had spent more money on merchandise than I did during all of AX10! So many cool and hard-to-find things at great prices!
In fact, due to Yahoo!Japan Auctions and other Japanese e-tailers, I hardly buy anything in Exhibit Halls any more. The only thing I got in the dealer's hall was a super-awesome commission of X-Men's Psylocke from the awesome Jo Chen, who was at the Yaoi-Con booth!
I'd always wanted to watch a game of Cosplay Chess and I finally did at FanimeCon! It was kind of frantic, but pretty fun to watch. Expected more fighting, though. xD Maybe one day I'll be able to play at the board and make cosplayers do my bidding, muahahaha!
Finally got to do my very first photoshoot with my super-awesome friends Aoi Mizuno and shyot, who were cosplaying as characters from The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross. They got me up to speed on their characters (Ushio and Maora), picked the locations, and then just had at it; didn't have to do much directing at all, which was great since I had no idea what I was doing!
I also checked out Fanime's version of Masquerade, which they call the Cosplay Spectacular for some reason; made it very hard to find on the schedule! The lowlight and zoom abilities of the DSLR were decent enough to get some passable shots; seeing as how I'd never been able to get any good shots at any other Masquerade, I guess it'll do.
Went in with no expectations and it wound up being quite a fun con. Hopefully I'll be able to go again next year!
Check out the complete sets of photos via the links below; for video, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel!
Full Coverage of FanimeCon 2011: