FanimeCon 2016 Impressions
Fanimecon is the premier convention in the San Francisco Bay Area, our expectations have been raised even higher since last years con after what seemed like a perfect year for Fanime in 2015. To our surprise the positives outweighed the negatives. Fanime is still my favorite con to hang out during memorial weekend.
Guests for fanime this year included Japanese voice actors Masaya Matsukaze, Daisuke Sakaguchi and Yoshihiro Watanabe; English voice actors Christina Vee and Lisle Wilkerson; The widely popular J-pop Dance/Vocal group Da-iCE; Aicosu, the couple cosplay team of Sheila & Shylar, Sky Williams the comedic entertainer on Twitch and Youtube and finally, returning Guest of Honor Giles Poitras. I have to admit we were a little disappointed with the guest list year and only having one guest for music fest just didn’t make any sense to me.
This year, it was even easier to navigate throughout the halls as most traffic in the area was by Stage Zero. However this time around you were not allowed in the upstairs area unless you had a badge. Fanime staff were placed at each end checking badges to make sure people without a badge were not allowed into the main area. While we thought this new change would be a hassle, to our surprise traffic was quickly sent through without slow down and the area surrounded Stage Zero had much more walking space.
Artist alley stayed in the same room as the previous year. However it seemed that there was some space issues between the booths. Overall some of the isles felt a little cramped and there was not much room to walk. Our next stop was at the exhibitors hall where you can purchases some of the latest and greatest anime, manga, figures, art books, and collectibles. Over all everything did seem the same as the previous year, all though I did notice a few booths did pull out and were not present this year. The gaming hall pretty much stayed the same but we couldn’t help but wonder if they had less consoles and tvs as the previous years and it seemed they only had a smaller amount of pc stations than last year.
Panel rooms this year were held in the same place in the Fairmont hotel with some of the highlights for me being, a Q&A panel staring english voice actor Christina Vee and a panel hosted by Kick9 discussing the future of mobile gaming. To me one change that I did like this year is where they held the autograph sessions. This year they used some of the end rooms in the SJCC over where they normally hold karaoke. This was a nice change as last year you had to walk to hotels such as the Hyatt or even the Fairmont during previous years.
Unfortunately one of the biggest problems this year would have to be registration. While we hoped they would stick to the same game plan as last year, which would quickly accommodate the massive amounts of people lined up to get their badges, it seemed this year there was reports of technically difficulties and another power outage. Overall this seems there wasn’t too many issues this year and Fanime for the past few years have been able to accommodate their guests.
In summary, FanimeCon 2016 is still an improvement over the previous years, and one of the more relaxing cons throughout the year. I personally enjoyed my time during the four day convention and I am excited to see it grow.
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