Fanime convention winds down in San Jose, California
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Each year on Memorial Day Weekend masses of Anime fans descend upon the San Jose Convention Center for FanimeCon; this year was no different. This year was the 15th year of the Convention, which started in 1994 at California State University in Hayward. It was estimated that over 16,000 people were in attendance over the 4 day course of events. While the event is called FanimeCon and was originally centered around the Anime subculture, it has become a more broad event in its run. Videos Games and Japanese culture tend to be two very popular cross overs with the world of anime.
During the weekend there were numerous events in which attendees were able to participate. Some of the most popular proved to be the panels which varied in topic from "Editing Manga", "Intro to Lolita and Fashion Show", and "How to talk to girls". Along with the panels there talks and autograph sessions with the convention's guests of honor which included: Haruko Momoi, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Ken Lally, Reuben Langdon, Patricia Ja Lee, Carl Gustav Horn, Gilles Poitras, Jonathan Osborne, Keith Burgess, Ric Meyers, and Ryan Gavigan. For those that were more action oriented, this year's FanimeCon introduced "The Dojo" which featured hourly training sessions and weapons instructions.
Cosplaying is not an uncommon occurrence for this convention's attendees. Typically, the cosplaying is based on the attendee's favorite anime or video game character. The majority of con goer's seemed to be dressed up in one form or another. Some of these people had spent the previous year making their costume and most were gladly posing for pictures. Unlike Japan, cosplaying in America is a fairly rare occurrence, thus when the costumed attendees wandered away from the convention floor, they tended to get confused looks from anyone who happened to be passing by the venue. As with most large gatherings, the attendees flood most of the local establishments during the weekend, which the businesses take in stride and with great appreciation (perhaps even more so given the current financial difficulties) for their custom.
Dealers had larger collections of Manga than can generally be found in stores.
Gothic lolita, while not originally anime based, has become popularized by such.
- Sharon Noguchi. "San Jose's FanimeCon draws thousands of fans who go character wild" — , May 24, 2009