by Dylan Bautista
This year, FanimeCon is celebrating their 22nd year. Will Warriner, Chairman of FanimeCon 2016, said, “FanimeCon has always been By Fans, For Fans, and while the Fans have changed and evolved, so has FanimeCon. Our goal is to continue to grow and adapt along with the Fans who have made FanimeCon what it is today.” Since it is the very first convention I ever went to, Fanime was an unforgettable experience. There was a plethora of things to do. Visitors can go to the Fanimaid Café, Manga Lounge, Dealers’ Hall, Artist Alley, and Gaming Hall. I spent most of my time in the Dealers’ Hall and Artist Alley, where I scrambled to find favorite anime merchandise to buy. Visitors could also take part in various events, such as the FanimeCon Game show, where there is a multitude of different kinds of games, and Speed Dating. Freshman Jamie Soriano, who also went to Fanime for the first time this year, commented on her experience. “It was the most incredible experience in my life. There were so many amazing cosplayers and great artists there at the con. Everyone there was so friendly and open to taking photos”
In the Dealers’ Hall, where a visitor can find most of your favorite anime merchandise, there are many shops to purchase items from. Visitors can buy merchandise such as clothing, pins, wigs, plushes, figures, scrolls, nendroids, and more. This is also the best place to find some people cosplaying as characters from gaming, shows, and anime. I managed to find many people cosplaying as various characters from all sorts of media. There was Roxas and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts (I found Sora outside the convention), Mermaid Woman from Spongebob Squarepants, Deadpool, Umaru from Himouto: Umaru-Chan, Soldier 76 from Overwatch, Terra, Beast Girl, and Raven from Teen Titans, Mario, Lucina from Fire Emblem, Ryuko, Mako, Satsuki, Nonon, and Ragyo from Kill la Kill, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, a Fluttershy couple from My Little Pony, Pikachu from Pokemon, Goku from Dragon Ball Z, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Saitama from One Punch Man, and many more! A tip for when you are in the Dealers’ Hall: if you find something you really want to buy, look around for another store that has it. You may be able to find the same exact thing for an even lower price. I found a Ryuko figure from Kill la Kill that was on sale for $100, but I managed to find one that was $40. What a bargain! I bought some chibi art, pins, an Umaru plush, and the Ryuko Figure. Junior Raymond Lau, who has gone to Fanime for 4 years and described his experience in the Dealer’s Hall this year, said “I would describe it as interesting because there are a lot of different things to buy from a lot of different vendors”
Meanwhile, in the Artist Alley, where a visitor can find a variety of artwork from various artists. Visitors can also encounter some cosplayers here as well. Artists sell stuff such as prints, frames, pins, postcards, and many more. In the Artist Alley was art from Fire Emblem, Overwatch, Pokemon, Sword Art Online, Deadpool, Dragon Ball Z, Kill la Kill, One Punch Man, and many more. If visitors happen to like their art, you can even pick up their business card. Junior Randy Lau, who has gone to Fanime for 4 years now, commented about his experience in the Artist Alley. “It was so nice to see so many different styles of art. Everyone has such a different approach on art. It makes me feel ecstatic. I wanted to buy as many prints and I still do! This year’s Artist Alley was better than last year because I spent mostly all my time at the Dealer’s Hall. I never really got the chance to go and exhibit the Artist Alley. I’m so glad I got to really and thoroughly look at each stand’s artwork this year. Overall, I say this year was the best Fanime for me!”
The Gamers’ Hall is where visitors can play video games against and with others, and play in the Arcade. They can play games such as Dance Dance Revolution, CS:GO, and Super Smash Bros: Melee. People can also play card games such as Yu-gi-oh and board games.
For me, Fanime was an amazing experience. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and making tons of memories. Warriner also said, “This year we have experienced many changes. They say once you hit 21, it’s all downhill from there; For us, this year was a time for us to reach out and explore new ideas and revitalize old ones. We looked at some of the major issues and concerns of our modern world, and set in motion programs that will keep FanimeCon safe and fun for years to come. We hope that we can all continue to evolve together, and keep making FanimeCon a Safe Haven for years to come.” I hope to return back to Fanime next year for my 2nd year going. I look forward to buying more merchandise, meeting more cosplays, and making more memories. Until then,” I hope to return back to Fanime next year for my 2nd year going. I look forward to buying more merchandise, meeting more cosplays, and making more memories. Until then, sayonara!