Monday, May 25, 2015

Fanime 2015 - Day 3 + Recap

Well, it's all over now...

I got to bed at around 3:30AM on Saturday night, but still managed to get up in time to refill on gas and then drive to the convention and make it on time for 10AM gatherings.  This time instead of being dumb and parking far away at Safeway I just parked inside the convention center garage itself--same price, and super convenient.

My last day at Fanime was a busy one...lots of different things going on and things to do.

Started off with another go at the Rumiko Takahashi gathering--we had a female Ranma show up, as well as Pantyhose Taro and even Shampoo (yay!).  I believe there were supposed to be one or two more Inuyasha characters but we didn't end up having them in the end *shrug*.  Once that was all over with I jumped over to the Ghibli gathering which was happening at the same time and got some photos there.

From there I went and changed into my good ol Journey cosplay again and then started navigating Dealer's Hall while I had some spare time.  Dealer's Hall was pretty quick for me this year--I think mostly because there are a lot of things that I would have been interested in in previous years that I just glanced over this time around--I didn't really care for any more wall scrolls, posters, or even pencil boards.  I had the realization as I was walking through that I've kind of hit a sort of saturation point for a lot of goods, which is a good thing because it means less spending of money xD.  I did end up picking up a Kiki and Lala head plush set for only $30, which is a very reasonable price for the size IMO, and also a fake $1,000,000 Hello Kitty bill just for fun.

I didn't get to finish though because I wanted to stop by the Haikyuu! gathering, which was...omg, a big sea of orange and black uniforms.  I took some quick photos but didn't stay, partly because I felt like it was another large gathering, didn't want to spend 100% of my con time at large gatherings, but mostly because Wendy and Kotz were at Pho 69 for lunch and I wanted to join them.

After that I went through and completed Dealer's Hall, where I ran into the Chalk Twins who were doing an ammmaaazzzing live chalk pastel painting of Princess Kaguya, ahhhhhhhh I wanted to cry when I saw it.  The pink they used for her clothes was so pretty, ahh!  They were offering it up for auction and the starting bid was at $'s a 6ftx8ft piece, I was seriously considering getting in on it, but after considering it seriously I decided that I probably shouldn't--later I checked in again and the bidding was up to $220 already so....NOPE T_T

I checked FB and twitter later and apparently there was a Kaguya-Hime cosplayer who posed for a photo with the piece, ahh!!  Too bad I didn't see her all weekend, that 's so cool!

I stopped by the (non-extended-family) Disney gathering, which again was OK but not too great, maybe just too many people, or maybe that's just a bad spot for gatherings in general?  Or maybe I just needed to have a better photo spot?  Or maybe it's because the great personalities like the Cinderella sisters and Gaston weren't there, but oh well!  I left that early and hopped over to Artist's Alley to meet that artist who apparently wanted to meet me and talk to me about my cosplay, but upon meeting her apparently she said she had already gotten a chance to meet me?  I couldn't really remember (bad with faces/names/etc) but maybe she was the one I ran into at Subway the previous night, or maybe I had run into her earlier yesterday but her message was passed along too late?  Well, I said hi to her anyways and then ran along...

Went to the Higurashi gathering too!  It was small and mostly had one group of people--my friend wasn't able to come as Rika b/c she overslept, hahaha *sweat*.  They took some nice shots, including my suggestion of them all bowing down to a Rika plushie, lol.

Then it was off to the Masquerade, where I met up with Isabelle, Christina, and Brandon to watch.  It was pretty OK this year!  There were still SNAFUs this year but despite that things still managed to roll along pretty smoothly in general, which was much different than the cluster^%#$ that happened two years ago when I went last (I missed last year, after waiting in line with Merida + Bear only to discover that the time that had been posted on the forums was wrong and it was like 1-2 hours later than I thought it was so we gave up...I also didn't feel like going to Masquerade alone).  The announcer was some voice actor who did a great job of filling up time and telling jokes--some of his material wasn't the best but at least he had jokes ready and was able to keep things moving, so that was great, much better than before, haha.  As for the performances themselves, we had a lot of walkons and not too many skits this time, which was a bit disappointing; the Rap Battle between Madoka and Sailor Moon was definitely a highlight (so good), and then there were two Studio Ghibli ones, including one that I was just loling at how ridiculous it was--a Miyazaki cosplayer and other Ghibli characters all wankin out to trap music and everything.  There were one or two other dance performances that were actually pretty nice!  I think I've been really enjoying dance performances lately (when they are good).

Oh!  Speaking of that, I also managed to catch some of the Fanimaid performance this time, between trips to the Dealer's Hall, and managed to see Amy perform, yay!~  So awesome, dancing is so cool!

After a trip back to the Dealer's Hall to check on the Kaguya painting ($220........orz) I went over to my car to put on some more clothing and then went to "K Zzang", this korean place, with Isabelle for dinner.  Bibimbap, so good and hearty after a full day at con...(though to be honest I feel like the bibimbap was somewhat lacking in either flavor or meat or veggies or something...the bibimbap at Bibimbowl near my apartment is definitely better.  Was still much appreciated though).  I was getting pretty worn out by this time and while Isabelle went to teach some social dance to a friend I mostly just sat down on the ground and zoned out to regain some energy.

After that we split off and I went to the gaming room (which by this time was one of the only things left open), where I proceeded to wait in line for the TGM3 machine to open up for like...the longest time EVER -- these two girls who presumably had played a bunch of Tetris Friends or whatever were playing a versus match and had selected clear rule instead of VS rule so instead of sending garbage to each other they just played for like 5 minutes until time ran out--they both knew how to abuse stupid world rotation to keep surviving so neither of them was topping out.  They then proceeded to split games 1 and 2 and play a 3rd, it felt like an eternity.  All I wanted to do was play my classic rule master mode @_@.  Anyways, after THAT happened, the winner stayed on the machine and complained about how they tried to figure out how to do "real vs mode" but couldn't figure it out.  I told her you just had to select the right rule, as I put in my tokens and logged into my account.  I started up a Master mode run on the 2P side and she kept on talking, then proceeded to intentionally top herself out on the 1P side, because she wanted to challenge me or something??  So it game over'd on her side, and she was like "do I have to add more coins?"  Meanwhile I'm trying to play my Master mode run..."Uh....yes, you just got a game over, so yes."  "Do you have change?"  "Um...yes, but I'm in the middle of playing right now."  By this point this girl was starting to become clearly annoying.  She ran off to get change, puts it into the machine (at which point I quickly hit the 2P start button so she can't challenge me and ruin my run)....and then she gets confused by the login screen and asks me what to do.  At this point I'm just distracted as all heck and proceed to f*ck up my run while she is on the selection between World rule and Classic rule trying to ask me "What mode do you use?"  I reply, "Uh...what rule do =I= use?  Or what rule =should you= use?"  She says "what mode do YOU use" so I tell her classic.  She starts a game, I top out after getting frustrated, and after I put in my credits she demands that I challenge her.  "Um...I kind of want to just play what, you want me to challenge you?"  Yes, she says.  You know, at this point I probably should have just said no and done another master run and ignored everything else she said, but I figured I could probably beat her in vs mode anyways and maybe that would shut her up, so I said OK and selected VS rule for both of us (was it that hard...?).  I then tried to explain Attack vs Defense vs Item preference....I actually accidentally selected Defense mode somehow even though I meant to select attack, sigh, which was a pain because that isn't what I need to top her out (she picked Attack).  Whatever.  So we're going along and playing and she's like "OOOOooohh, yes, finally.  We were trying to figure out how to get versus mode...." 9_9  So I play and you know, she's actually not too bad, she's clearing lines/tetrises and sending garbage, and for a minute I was actually worried I'd have some trouble, especially since I picked defense mode which I didn't like, but then I remembered (as it happened) that defense mode means when you clear tetrises and such you basically get a Del upper on your field, which makes it really hard to die.  I'm in the middle of wondering whether I should try staggering my garbage to throw her off when I realize she's topping out and I don't need to.  So she loses and we're into round 2 and I just stack, tetris, send an item, etc, win.  She says some crap about how she was confused/not ready and she might have said something about a rematch or something but I didn't really care, I WAS GOING TO PLAY A GAME OF MASTER MODE DAMMIT AND WOMAN YOU CAN JUST STAND AND WATCH so I started playing, make into 20G and all, make it into speeds that would impress others, etc. and all the while she is standing there sort of half watching but also looking around a lot like she is waiting or looking for something.  Part of my mind is wondering whether I should just ask her wtf she is doing, like is she just watching or what, but luckily my run goes better and I'm not so distracted this time.  She eventually leaves and That. Was. That.

On the plus side I managed to get an M2 on one of my master mode runs, which felt great--topped out at 8xx, I think probably after trying to do a triple-rotate and failing (a frequent problem for me at high speeds....need to learn to avoid those).  That might be my best Ti Master run on actual hardware to date, so that's cool.  Then I also did a Shirase run in which I tried to play a little more carefully and conservatively, and ended up hitting the Torikan and getting S5 at 500, yes!  So that felt great.  I guess I can stack better when I am really focused on it...still need more practice.  Of course, this is all using no hold, so that is also a handicap ;P

After some more texting of people to see if anyone was still around, I decided it was probably time to just head home...I was really tired and there wasn't really anything more to do at con, to be honest.  I glanced over at the dance but decided that even if there wasn't any line, I was not really in the right physical state to enjoy it at all, which is no big deal.  So I donned my mask and headed had been a good day.  I closed out with 151 plays on my TGM3 account, meaning I had spent a good $12.50 or so on TGM3 over the weekend (probably more like $13, I remember the machine ate one or two of my quarters).  I didn't get to meet up with Erica or the other Journey cosplayer again, but eh, that happens.  I was slightly disappointed I didn't have time to get more photos of my cosplay, but not that disappointed because I think I can just do a photo shoot of it some other time.


Fanime is different than events like Big Dance (minus Little Big Dance, that doesn't count) in that it's been such a different experience for me every single year.  (I guess VBall has been a little bit like that, but not to this extent)  The very first time I went I only went for one day, I didn't cosplay, and the highlight was getting to go to the Dealer's Hall and buy some nice wall scrolls and a bunch of pencil boards and such.  Then there was the year with the massive Touhou crossplay group which was completely different altogether.  Two years ago was when I debuted the Miko outfit ("Kikyo", "sort of"...), and also when I got super super excited about meeting Merida, and also seeing Wreck It Ralph cosplays, also I think that was the year when me and Kitaru established our awesome TAP Doubles record.  And last year I had a great time at the Disney gathering, etc., it was also the year of free TGM3 where I played over 100 games of TGM3 (wow), and also where we had the fun Tetris Medley competition.  Last year was also the year when I met those Merida and Bear cosplayers and hung out with them for a while, which was a fun experience!

Last year I remember having a lot of free dead time where I didn't really know quite what I should be doing, but this year was much different as my schedule was somehow just much more busy.  Probably just due to me attending more gatherings, and also getting a late late start on Friday.  The whole last-minute costume work until like 5AM definitely changed things as well, and also led to me being pretty exhausted late at night, haha.

I think one of the biggest differences this year was my costume--I worked on it a LOT and it came out really nicely in the end; I was really happy to wear it around and always pleased when people recognized it.  It's also the first costume where I was happy to just take a break here and there by just sitting around on the floor "meditating" in character.  I actually had some nice conversations with people started just because of my costume--they'd recognize it and compliment it and we'd chat a little about Journey or just about how each other's con experience was going, so that was really nice.  This year was also different in that I didn't really feel that into the cosplay gatherings (well, Steven Universe was still pretty awesome).  I can't tell whether that's because the gatherings themselves weren't as fun or because I just wasn't as into it this year, or maybe a bit of both.  I didn't go to any panels this year--I had some listed on my schedule, but felt that those would be more for if I didn't have anything else to do, rather than things I wanted to make an effort to go to.  I don't think most panels are that informative anyways--if I really want information on a subject, I can just go look for it myself (ok, maybe it's just because I don't do well with that format of learning).  But yeah, all in all, I'll probably remember this year as the year when I debuted the red cloak Journey costume.

Overall it was a great time, and I definitely felt sad as I was leaving, realizing that the next day I wouldn't be wearing my Journey cosplay, wouldn't have people recognizing it, wouldn't be able to just see random people and get excited about their costumes.  But at the same time, it was great to have some time to finally rest...I slept in until 2PM afterwards, hahaha.

So long Fanime, I'll see you again next year.

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