[TMPL page.setTitle=" - Spiels: Fanime 2002"]
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Well, being that this was my first anime con, you know...EVER, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Though, since I'd been to comic con, I was relieved to see that this was a little bit smaller. Not SMALL, mind you - just smaller.

Also, since I'd been to comic con, I found it interesting that there was programming going on pretty much 24/7 at Fanime (which Lizzie tells me is basically the norm for a lot of these conventions). It was also pretty cool that the Con and the hotel were pretty much the same building. It made things a lot more fun. :)

One of the jokes was that you had to convert the starting times of every programming event into "Fanime Time", which was easy - add about an hour onto it to get the time things actually started. To be honest, it wasn't this way for everything, just a lot of the larger events. You know...like picking up your preregistration badge. That was supposed to start at 8:00 pm on thursday, and didn't end up happening until around 9:15. They said it was because they were setting up computers, but we got into the room where they had the badges, and there was nary a computer to be found. We handed over our little mailed card, they wrote our name down, and picked up our badge from out of a pile. Ah well. :)

Day 1 of the con was pretty fun. We hit up the dealer's room first thing, and I picked up this AWESOME Belldandy poster. (It's huge. Cost me $80, but I'm VERY happy with it.) I also bought action figures of Belldandy, Skuld, and Urd in their battle outfits from the movie, and a Final Fantasy X Piano Collections CD. (the only FF cd on the table that I DIDN'T have...) Lizzie got the action figures of Bell, Skuld, and Urd in their normal costumes, so between us, we have the full set. :)

Lizzie wore her Nuriko costume on Friday morning (she's an awesome cosplayer, by the way), her Naru Narusegawa costume friday afternoon (not pictured), her Kero-chan costume saturday morning (that was a fun one...we couldn't go 10 feet without someone wanting to get a picture), and her Skuld battle outfit costume on saturday afternoon.

She was complaining about her Skuld costume all day saturday, thinking it didn't look good and that no one would recognize her. Despite reassurances by myself and our friend Zach, and the fact that about 15 people asked her to pose for them, she still seems not to like it. Ah well...I think she looks hot in it. Which is a bad mental image...I mean, it's SKULD for pete's sake... And we found a belldandy in the Dealer's room, so we got a picture of the two of them together.

Oh, there's also a picture of the two of us on Fansview.com, too. She was coming down the escalator in her Kero-chan costume while I was standing behind her, and the guy took a picture. Check it out.

My mission during this con was to take pictures of all the really good Final Fantasy cosplayers. This guy as Tidus was one of the best (I saw at least 4 - one of which was female). He also cosplayed as Vash the next day, and though I didn't see him, Lizzie said he was an awesome Vash. :)

And this was the best yuna, though there were a few really good ones. There were about 6 of them there, only 2 of which were really bad. The others were awesome, but this was the best by far. You can also see a blitzball player behind her, too. :D

Now this guy just rules. Not only was he the only Wakka, but I found out the next day that he's a fan of Real Life (I was wearing my striped shirt and blue overshirt, so it was a lot easier for him to recognize me). We stood and talked with him for a bit, and he's a really nice guy. Incidentally, right after this picture was taken, he did us a favor. We had been distracted and almost missed the elevator down (which was PACKED, but i digress). We turn around and try to get to it as the doors are closing, and he sticks out his blitzball and holds the doors open. After we got in and the doors were closing again, I said "Well, at least those things are good for something, eh?" :)

Yes, people are still cosplaying as sephiroth. With good reason - sephie's the MAN. The person cosplaying Kuja, however, was not. But Kuja was feminine enough that it was probably better off as such.

I have no idea who any of these people are, but this was taken at the opening ceremonies, which actually happened at about 6:30 in the evening on Friday. It was pretty fun - they introduced all the guests, and had a great martial arts demonstration (which I didn't get a picture of).

After the ceremonies were over, I went down to say hi to Batjew, who was there, and after briefly introducing myself, Young Wang from nekobox.org tapped my shoulder and asked if I was me. (I am, for the record) Pictured here (left to right) is Young's brother Louis, his girlfriend Natsuki, and..uh...himself. It was funny, actually- we had stopped by his table a bit earlier and I had purchased an awesome white mage print that he did. He also did a lot of artwork for the con's program, so it was quite cool. And apparently, he and his friends are good fans of Real Life, which is always a good thing (though most people who know me or met me know that I find admiration rather awkward, as I'm a fan of these people myself). Young and his friends ended up being our "Con Buddies" for the rest of the con. :)

He even challenged Lizzie as Kero-Chan to a fight, himself dressing as the...uh...robot thingie from FLCL.

He then tried his hand at being Kero-chan himself. :)

So anyway, we chat with Young and he tells us that he's going to be on a webcomics panel saturday morning, along with Batjew from Penny Arcade and Dom from MegaTokyo. I, of course, wouldn't miss it for the world, so I show up saturday morning for the panel. Young grabs me and tells me I'm to be ON the panel, and I got a little bewildered, but decide it could be fun, and go sit behind the table. (If you recall, I got a bit of stage fright during the Keenspot panel at comic con, but I was actually very relaxed and laid back this time, which was nice) The room they started the panel off in was extremely tiny (only sat about 50 people), and we had people going out the door for the damned thing. Here's a picture of a few of us in the first room. (From left to right)Dom, Myself, and Batjew. Young's sitting in front of the table at this point. I think this was when someone held up a handwritten sign that said "Greg, Change your shirt!! 2 F**king years!!"

So after about 15 minutes, some guy comes in and asks is we want a bigger room, to which we reply "hell yes!", and the whole thing makes this mass migration down the hall and up the stairs to our larger home of the panel. (Incidentally, one of the staffers told us this was the biggest panel in the con...that was ego-boosting).

You can't see any of the crowd in this picture, but I'll tell you who's pictured here: (from left to right) Natsuki, The girls from Strange Candy (one of them is obscured by Natsuki, and I can't remember their names for the life of me), Dom from MT, me, Batjew from PA, and from nekobox.org, Aaron, Erin, and Young. The panel was a blast, with a lot of fun questions (most of which were directed at Dom...poor Dom...), and Young's brother Louis actually brought us pizza halfway through it (which we politely ate in front of EVERYONE). About 100 people showed up, and the panel lasted just over two hours, which ruled. Very cool.

And of course, I had to strangle the life out of Dom.

You know. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Anyway, that was about it. I mean, we hung out with Dom at Karaoke, had sushi with Young and his entourage, and wandered from anime room to anime room. I saw a few animes which I hadn't previously seen, and some Fandubs I wish I hadn't. And of course, I spent money. It was nice to meet some friendly people there to share the con with (My girlfriend and our friend Zach is nice, but the more the merrier, I say). So, yeah - the con kicked ass. That's the official statement from me. :)