Warning : picture heavy post ahead
Ezra and I LOVE attending cosplay events. The very first one we went to was the 6th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention (ToyCon) back in 2007. Kurt dressed up as Tezuka and welcomed us to the world of cosplay. Since then, we’ve attended the ToyCon every year, along with a few other events (Otaku Expo, Ozine Fest, etc.) It’s been a dream of ours to attend a cosplay event outside of the Philippines and see what the similarities and differences are. So when Kurt told us that he would take us to Fanime last May, Ezra and I could barely contain our excitement :D
Fanime takes place at the San Jose Convention Center, which is about a 6 hour drive from Los Angeles. We left Ninang’s house in the early afternoon so we would make it to San Jose by dinner. We were a little sad about having to leave so early because Ate Zsa Zsa and her family arrived from Las Vegas earlier that morning.
We wanted to stay and play with cutie MacKayla
But we knew we had to get going before it got too late. It was Memorial Day weekend so we knew traffic was going to be bad.
I got quite excited when I saw this sign because The Big Bang Theory had an episode called The Bakersfield Expedition :D Supposedly Star Trek filmed a few scenes here.
We passed by this area with lots of cows. Even with the windows closed and the air conditioner on, it was VERY STINKY~ It was so bad that Ezra, who was sleeping in the backseat, woke up just to complain about the smell.
We made it to San Jose at around 10pm (we had a couple of stops along the way). Originally we were planning on staying at a hotel but my aunt offered us her place, yay! It’s a good thing too because I heard that getting a hotel room during Fanime weekend is almost impossible unless you book weeks in advance.
The next day we were up bright and early, excited to go to the event. We don’t usually go to these things in costume (meaning we don’t dress up with a specific character in mind), but we do like dressing up.
I was a random witch girl
And Ezra dressed up as a typical anime school girl. Although she and Kurt could probably pass for an AKB48 member and her manager
Saw these signs on the way to the convention center. So excited!
Full body shot of my outfit. I’m lucky that we were staying with my aunt because I left my shoes in LA! I only realized that I forgot to pack them when we were about 3 hours away. Fortunately, my aunt is as kikay as me and she had all these boots to choose from. Most of them have really high heels so I just chose the comfiest looking one. They’re a little big on me, but I stuffed some tissue in them so they would fit better
After finding a place to park the car, we lined up to register for the event
There were lots of people there already
The line leads to this building
We thought this was the entire line and that we’d be good to go once we made it inside – WE WERE SO WRONG! We were in line for 6 excruciating hours! Some people even started calling the event “Line Con” instead of Fanime Con. One blogger/reporter described it as “a nightmare of fubar-like levels“. I’m not really sure if this is a regular occurrence for anime conventions in the US, but from the reviews I read online, Fanime is just know to have a terrible registration process. Kurt has attended a couple of anime conventions in the States before, but he’s never had to wait in line for this long.
The three of us kept staring at this window on the 2nd floor because we could see cosplayers looking down at us. We thought that they were people that already made it through registration and were mocking those of us who were still in line. Turns out this was still part of the line!
Of course, when you’re stuck in line for that long, what else is there to do but take pictures?
There were a few volunteers who made sure the line remained organized. They were people who registered the day before so they understood the pain we were going through. A volunteer cosplaying Yuki Cross (Vampire Knight) told us that she was in line for 7 hours the day before.
The dude in his underwear must have been freezing. It was pretty cold that day
After about 2 hours, we made it inside the building.
We saw this sign, and thought “Cool, we must be close”. WRONG AGAIN!
The line wrapped around the entire 2nd floor hallway
We tried to make the best of it by keeping each other entertained
I was so hungryyyyy by this point. I had very little for breakfast since I was too excited for the event T__T
Saw this half eaten chocnut on one of the pots in the hallway and though “there must be a Filipino here”. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat it, even though I was very tempted to.
We made it to the window we were looking at earlier. Our turn to look outside and make people jealous XD
Check out that line
Hello Ms. Pacman
There were photo shoots happening all over the place
Adorable little Captain America
The pink haired volunteer we saw earlier
Poor Sailor Moon was cold. Tuxedo Mask to the rescue!
Finally after about 2 more hours, we were allowed to go inside this ballroom, where Line Con continued. (I like how this one guy on Yelp described it as “Apparently Fanimecon staff heard we liked lines, so they decided to make us wait in a line for a line for a line.“)
We got tired of standing so we made ourselves comfortable on the floor. We passed the time playing Words With Friends, Icon Pop Quiz and Game of Nerds.
Saw this macho/sexeh guy there
We made friends with this guy who was in line with us. (I forgot his name though, I’m so sorry.) He came alone and after about 4 hours of having no one to talk to, he started a conversation with us.
He was really nice and friendly, and he got excited when he learned that we were from the Philippines. He told us that we were the first foreigners he met. He asked us a lot of questions about the Philippines and we gladly answered them :)
Finally, after 6 agonizing hours, we made it to the front of the line
We got the one day pass. I can’t remember how much the tickets were, but I think it was between $50 to $60 for one day. (The event lasts for 4 days)
After registration, you have to get your badge
Personalized badges, cool~ In the Philippines we usually just get a stamp on our hand XD
Got goody bags which contained the program and some brochures
Another friend we made in line. She was behind us. She came alone too, so we started talking to each other after 3 hours. She started the conversation by asking me if I made my costume. I forgot her name (I know, I’m a horrible person), but I remember her telling me that she’s from San Francisco and that this is her first anime convention. She had a friend who was already inside waiting for her.
So what was the first thing we did after getting our badges? Look for a place to eat of course! We were famished! I survived the 6-hour wait because I remembered that my aunt made me pack a small sandwich in my bag that morning after she saw how little I ate for breakfast. She knew about my hyperacidity so she told me to bring some food just in case. Thank you Mama Darling! You saved me~
The closest fast food place we found was Johnny Rockets.
The place was packed! Luckily Ezra managed to get us seats at the counter
We browsed the program guide and brochures while we ate
After we finished our meal, we walked around and tried to look for the Dealer’s Hall to see the goodies they had for sale. It was in an entirely different building, and we couldn’t figure out how to get there based on the map they gave us. We got turned around a couple of times, but we didn’t really mind. There were lots of cosplayers walking around the area and we enjoyed taking pictures of them as we looked for the building.
(At this point we wondered if we could have skipped out on the entire registration process and just waited to take pictures of the cosplayers outside since a lot of them were just wandering around the city.)
Kurt got excited when he saw the Queen’s Blade cosplayer
We came across this group of foreign cosplayers. I think they were from Taiwan. They didn’t seem to speak that much English.
Ezra found FFX-2′s Yuna
We saw some cosplayers getting coffee
Poor Magikarp got caught by this Pokemon trainer
I spotted this girl across the street and zoomed in because her costume really stood out. Not sure who she is though.
Zack. Waiting for Aeris. Or Cloud?
We saw this moogle girl while we were waiting to cross the street. I love her costume. I should try going to an event dressed like this sometime.