I recently had the joy of attending my first anime convention over this past weekend. The local anime club had a trip to FanimeCon in San Jose, California. I'm kinda glad my first con was a major one, not some dinkly small-time convention like New Mexico has. Regardless, I was VERY busy.
The first thing I noticed when I got to the con was the cosplayers. They were there, and in VERY large numbers. That made, of course, for some good photos. I think I'll post a gallery to Flickr, because there's just too many to post in this article. Other highlights included the Dealer's Room, Artist's Alley, and the Viz Media Panel. Being my first con, I had no sense of budget when I got to the Dealer's Room, and I ended up spending upwards of $300 on various goods, all of which miraculously fit in my suitcase.
What can $300 get you at an anime convention? Well, it got me 6 figures, 3 artbooks, 2 CDs, 2 novels, a Railgun towel, and a few T-shirts. Pretty damn good haul, if you ask me. I think I'll have a better sense of budgeting at my next con, whenever that is. Because there is absolutely no reason to spend $300 across 3 days.
My real fight was the all-nighter on Day 2. I napped all afternoon on Day 2, in order to be well-rested for an all-night excursion that included nocturnal cosplayers, Index II, and, my real goal, the Dirty Pair screening at 6 AM on Day 3. In retrospect, that was probably a bad idea. I screwed up my sleep schedule really badly, and there was no one to talk to or take photos of from 2:30 AM to 5:00 AM. The only place to really go for that timeframe was the yaoi and hentai screenings.
The Viz Media panel was very unique. The marketing director went over what's going to be released over the next 8 months or so. Every so often, there was a prize break, in which the Viz intern draws a raffle ticket for random crap that I really didn't need at that point anyway. Among the announcements, none of which jumped out at me, was a 25th Anniversary marketing campaign, which will have a special site of its own. Another major announcement is that Viz will be streaming the Reborn! anime, which is currently on Crunchyroll. During the Q&A session, a fan asked about the Monster anime DVD set, which was answered with a firm "no plans to continue it" response. Overall, it was a fun and unique experience. I'm just disappointed that I missed the Aniplex panel. Ah, well.
Really, my only complaint was the lack of a printed schedule, which made it REALLY difficult to plan each day. Other than that, it was an amazing convention that I would definitely go to again. The weather was a bit cool, but that was a non-issue. The hotel I was at had a shuttle to the con, and the train stops right outside the convention center. Now, I better get to work on my Ika Musume cosplay outfit for next year.
By the way, the photos I took are here.