Pre-Event : ACParadise has been attending Fanime since 1998 and covered press for years. This year we had difficulties obtaining a badge to cover Fanimecon. When pre-registration began for 2011, we were denied press because Fanime was clamping down on badges and stopped allowing "photo-only websites in as press". This of course means Fanime Press Relations assumed that ACParadise.com is a photo-only website, which means they compare our website to something like photobucket or blogspot. It was pointed out that we don't only provide photos, we also provide video coverage of Fanime. Fanime Press mentioned that they were pressured by other "photo-only website press" complainers stating that ACParadise shouldn't get press badges. We don’t only provide videos and photos for different conventions we attend, but we advertise different events and conventions on our main announcement page before and after the event takes place. After a few days of back and forth with Fanime Press Relations, a mutually agreeable solution was decided upon. As a result of this inconvenience, ACParadise.com will issue written convention reports for Fanime to accompany photo and video coverage.
Pre-Con Day / Thursday : After arrival at the San Jose Convention Center, it was time to pick up badges. Attendee badge pick up appeared to be on time and Staff badge pick up was brisk and clean. It seems that Press and Industry badge pick up had the same problems that Staff badge pick up had last year. Press/Industry badge pick up was grossly unprepared to give out badges at their stated time. The wait was long and there were multiple delays. A broken printer was offered as an excuse. While we were waiting we noticed other people awaiting press badges that shouldn't have been able to meet the Fanime Press guidelines. It appears that Fanime was not completely thorough with their enforcement of their badge policy.
Swap Meet was the highlight of the day for Thursday. Many attendees came not only to pick up their badges but sell and buy their goods. It was quite packed for just a Thursday night and seems to just continue to grow every year. The ability to pick up your badge via Swap Meet was a positive improvement.
Friday : If you don't attend on Thursday, Friday is the best day to take coverage, locate all the areas around the convention, and checking out the Dealers Room. Attendees start strolling in early in the morning to enjoy their convention to the fullest. Swap Meet was the highlight of the night on this day as well. The turn out was more than doubled what Thursday was. It was definitely a sight worth to see.
The Arcade Machines in the game room were quite disappointing this year because they had machine issues where the games weren't properly connected to the internet (i.e. Technika). Knowing that people have to pay for every machine play, it was not really worth playing if you pay and can't get points registered via the internet. This was most likely an issue with the con center and the game room communication. The console gaming however had shown improvement with better game selection and tournaments.
Saturday : In cooperation with AKSYS Games, ACParadise held an Arcana Hearts gathering which had a great turnout. Our members worked hard on their outfits to come out just for this gathering. We had our supporting photographers come and assist in taking photos. Lionel, Jason@i360, Super no.1, and Sleepy. Many thanks to the other photographers who dropped by for photos.
For full event photos and details : http://www.acparadise.com/acp/events.php?eid=7
Aniplex of America Panel previewed the Durarara!! DVD. and they had a special appearance by Yuya Matsushita who sings the EP, "Trust Me". ACParadise staff escorted Yuya during the panel and handled the Durarara!! giveaways as the popular characters Izaya Orihara and Shizuo Heiwajima.
After the panel, Aniplex held a contest event at CrunchyRoll which provided cosplayers and live stream action for the fans.
Sunday : Cosplay Spectacular Day was definitely worth looking at, and ACParadise covers it every year. Many cosplayers practice for months to come and compete at Fanime Masquerade.
Full Official ACParadise.com Cosplay Spectacular Video Coverage : http://www.acparadise.com/acp/cons.php?cyid=3982&t=3
One of our favorite skits that night was the D.Gray Man Dance Skit by The Hungry Cosplayer, that had spectacular choreography with the popular song “Lucifer” by SHINee.
The overall experience with the Cosplay Spectacular was pretty good as usual.
Unfortunately, the planning committee at Fanime also put the Masquerade Ball at the same time as Cosplay Spectacular forced the attendees to choose only one to attend. This conflict results in lower attendance for both events. This was a recurrent theme as Fanime had multiple guests signing at the same time as well forcing attendees to choose.
Monday : Mamoru Yokota had his autograph session was early in the morning. This talented artist had a increased following after last year‘s appearance. He worked hard over the weekend for the Japan relief and we gave him our support when the con winded down.
Overall : Despite the difficulties prior to the event, the overall experience of Fanime was above average. It is always a pleasure to work along side our industry partners, Aniplex USA and AKSYS. Guest highlights for us were definitely Yuya Matsushita and Mamoru Yokota. Many attendees enjoyed the appearances of other guests as well such as Flow, Yoshiki, Tohru Furuya, GASHICON, Halko Momoi, and the rest of the full packed guest list for the year of 2011. Every convention has it’s ups and downs and Fanime is definitely no exception.
General Announcements and News regarding ACP
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