Hello geek nation! Mithrandiel here, having awoken from a long slumber to bring you live coverage from Fanime, the west coast’s second largest anime convention! I will be providing coverage through Sunday afternoon, providing pictures, reflections and news updates whenever possible. Since this marks Fanime’s 20th anniversary, I’m hopeful that there will be some exciting developments over the next few days. Watch this space!
12:45 PM: having landed at San Jose airport about 20 minutes prior, I was preparing myself for what fans have dubbed “LineCon”. Last year was particularly bad as fans waited 6-10 hours for badges after a series of registration SNAFUS.
This year, however, could not be more different. Registration lines are clearly marked, and as one vice chair mentioned, processes approximately 3600 people an hour. As I stand in front of the convention center there are numerous attendees wandering around dazed and confused, holding flats of water and board games as they anticipated a multi-hour ordeal. Things are definitely off to a great start!
3:15 PM: The registration line remains nearly non-existent at what is typically a peak time for pickup –
7:00 PM – Swap meet registration is well underway as eager buyers and sellers line up for one of Fanime’s most beloved traditions. Every year on day 0 and day 1 of Fanime, attendees sell their used goods ranging from anime wall scrolls to super nintendos and anything else nerdy that you can imagine. As it’s the only opportunity to purchase items on day 0, it’s an exceedingly popular event.
More coverage forthcoming as the selling begins in earnest shortly.
8:30 PM – Buyers were let in approximately 15 minutes ago and already there’s a full house! Swap Meet
9:30 – The stream of buyers has been consistent, as the line still wraps around the block of the San Jose National Civic Theater. Staff members believe that with the highly efficient registration system taking effect this year, more and more attendees are shifting to swap meet as opposed to staying in the registration line until approximately 10 PM. This year the venue shifted across the street and there was concern that people wouldn’t attend in such volume. The sheer size of the line seems to have crushed that concern.
11:30 PM – The line finally reached its end. Swap meet will be closing up within half an hour after seeing thousands of Fanime attendees, and will be opening up shop again tomorrow.
12:00 AM – Wandering through the empty convention center, which was renovated within the last year.
Day 0 has been a huge success for Fanime, but tomorrow the real fun starts!