Well, I might as well start writing some of this down before I forget. Besides, even though it’s 2:30AM I don’t feel that sleepy, so maybe this’ll help with that too. Yeah, maybe I should be thinking about heading straight to bed, but I need to do a mind-dump to be rested mentally as well! And I got a really decent amount of sleep last night too, so that’s good.
Anyways, Fanime has been turning out much, much different than I expected it to. And I think pretty much all of the changes have been for the better.
So, the story starts a long long time ago–I preregistered for Fanime a while back, knowing that prices would continue to go up as the date of the convention drew closer. This was all fine and dandy, but I had made a critical mistake–I only planned on attending for one day, and I had completely forgotten that one-day on-site registration is always cheaper than preregistration (and gets you a much shorter line, to boot! Weird, isn’t it?). I asked them if I could refund and change my mind but they said no (I didn’t expect them to, but I figured I might as well try asking).
So oh well. I had a pass for the entire con, but I still only planned on staying for one day. Last time I spent one day and that was about right as well. Last year I basically just spent a crapload of money at dealer’s hall, attended one panel on visual novels (didn’t learn anything new), and played a bunch of tetris (and a little IIDX as well). That’s about it. The main thing was shopping, really–I picked up a lucky star wall scroll, a naruto shippuden wall scroll (i shouldn’t have bought that one…but it’s okay because it features the naruto girls, and it balances out the fact that i have another wall scroll of just the guys), a kirby plushie (very very good buy, the quality is probably better than every other similar-looking kirby plushie i’ve seen), and 10 pencil boards.
Okay, back to this year. So this year I planned on shopping as well…but I wanted to go on Friday so I could catch the Swap meet, which I was really looking forward to because I found that the dealer’s hall was always too much mainstream shonen stuff/etc. So I wanted some stuff from some of the more obscure series that I like (Nanoha!!! Kanon! Clannad! etc). Aside from that, I planned on spending most of the day playing TGM with Kitaru (one of the norcal folks from tetrisconcept.net, very cool guy).
Con week hits and I mention it in conversation to my friend Yun…she asks if I’m cosplaying and I say no; I don’t really have anything ready anyways haha. I think I said that I would want to cosplay a girl though, and then she gets really excited and says I totally should. She even gives me a skirt to wear, hahahaha. (haven’t worn it yet; plan on doing that wednesday! We’ll see how that turns out) She didn’t have anything else though, really–no sailor fuku or anything, so…well it wasn’t really an outfit. Okay, so now I’m getting these last-minute crossplay urges and a group of anime peoples who I know of/email with happens to all be doing this Touhou crossplay group thing. So one thing leads to another and the next thing I know I’m in on it and apologizing to them for being so last-minute.
I must mention that I’m really not a huge Touhou fan–out of the group I’m probably the least well-versed in Touhou fandom. Then again they’re all pretty heavy on anime lore in general anyhow. I’m starting to get into Touhou a little more seriously, but only in terms of actual gameplay (still working on Perfect Cherry Blossom every now and then). Anyhow if I were a bigger Touhou fan I probably would have gotten in on this earlier…but I’m not.
I ended up browsing through a character list (so many T_T) trying to pick out some character that looked really cutesy. And I settled on Lily White! She totally fits the criteria–just look at her! <3 She's actually a midboss, not a full-fledged boss (somewhat fitting due to the fact that I'm a last-minute addition to the crew). And she…celebrates the arrival of spring, with a shower of bullets. Tee hee~
Okay, so at this point I’ve decided on cosplaying and left that in the hands of my friends. But I’m still worrying about some other things. See I was also planning on making it to the dance–something I hadn’t done last year. Didn’t -quite- know what to expect from it, but I figured it was most definitely electronic music (though I feared it would be really cheesy) and a =prime= opportunity to just go and do some glowsticking. As an added plus I heard on glowsticking.com that some other gs.c members might be there (one or two who I might have seen before at a gs.c meetup), so that was looking cool as well.
Right, but the problem was that I didn’t have a hotel room or anything, and wasn’t planning on having a car there either (was going to be dropped off by someone or other), so…I didn’t have anywhere I could stash my stuff while I went to the dance. Alright, so I ask Russ (who’s organizing the Touhou group) if maybe I could stash my stuff in his room, and he says that’s fine. Ok, problem solved! And he offers to give me a ride too, since he’s got room in his car. Neat!
Thursday night was a mess. I forgot what I did during the day (I was either sleeping or working), but I had to deal with in-house draw, which took awhile, and then worked on EE282 with my group until like 5:30AM. ouch. So that was painful. REALLY bad timing, especially considering the fact that I had just gotten a minor sore throat. Oh no!
But Friday morning came and I managed to start the day off right! Took a shower, ate a pop tart, then biked over to tressider to withdraw some extra cash (I already had enough probably, but didn’t want to run out like last time!), then came back, had Andrea do a little makeup for me, and then met Kotaro and Russ and we headed over.
Helped Russ bring some stuff up to the hotel room…I think it was around this point when I realized it might be a good idea just to stay the night in their room, since Russ said they had extra space. I was probably going to be pooped from the dance anyways, so might as well sleep at the hotel and go back to Stanford the next day.
My costume wasn’t ready at this point. =( Oh well. Me and Kotaro waited around in the preregistration line for badges for awhile, and then grabbed a quick lunch at Iguanas (this mexican place that I remembered from the TGM meetup we had at SJSU). Kotaro kept talking about hilarious adventures he had been having in this rogue-like game called Elona (or something) where you could do all sorts of funny stuff. Like nuking the capital city.
And then I was off to the dealer’s hall! And, therein lied my first major surprise of the day–I spent a grand total of maybe like $20 in there, which was amazing! I just kept on telling myself not to buy things unless I really wanted them, and…well, I guess it worked! I saw a nanoha charm and nanoha pin at one of the shops though, so that was an INSTANT buy (I was so sad they didn’t have Fate T_T). And I think I bought one card captor sakura pencil board. And that’s it! Well, I planned on spending more at the swap meet anyways. But that didn’t start until 8 at night, so I had plenty of time…
Alright, so at this point I went over to the gaming hall and there wasn’t much going on. I ran into Kitaru at one point and said hi but we didn’t play TGM until later. I think next I just ended up heading to the Artist’s Alley. I remember not really buying anything at all last year, but there was this really nice Lucky Star print that I got this year, so that was cool. There was also this site selling beaded pixel art, which was super super amazing, and I would have bought a bunch right then and there, but they said they had free shipping and I saw that their catalog was a lot larger than what they had there, so I wanted to look at their website instead. Unfortunately I seem to have forgotten their name…but they have my email, so maybe they’ll send me something, I hope. Or I could just go find them again if they’re still there tomorrow.
Alright, I think after that I went back up to the room (which I had a key to–again since people had cancelled), dropped off my loot, and picked up a pair of glowsticks. Some guy on the gs.c forums had said they’d be glowsticking in this hall at like 5:00PM, so I was going to see if I could go meet him. Unfortunately he totally didn’t show at all, though I did run into another random glowstringer and said hi.
Ok, so much for that 9_9. Went back to my room and called Kitaru to bring his laptop. Brought my stick down and we played some death VS mode, which was fun–the first match, I screwed up a lot but then ended up getting a field swap item, hahahaha. Then we played some doubles mode and cleared it on our 3rd or so try! Whoohoo!~ Granted this isn’t my first ever doubles clear (me and David managed it about a week ago but didn’t save the record and the input file was broked) but it was still really good. After that they were setting up to play TF2 so I left.
I think at this point I needed dinner. Also I randomly saw the battle outside the front entrance between the rubik’s cube and the tetris blocks, which was hilarious, haha. Anyways, I remember wanting to eat something quick–like grab fast food and eat while walking back–because I needed to make it to the swap meet at 8. The swap meet actually went until like 1:00 AM, but I wanted to make it through there quickly because there was someone else who suggested on the gs.c forums that people meet at 8:45PM to head over to the dance. Right, so anyways I walked down the street looking for food…and…totally DID NOT find any suitable food place at all. I saw a couple of really fancy restaurants, and like a coffee shop. Argh! I must have walked down a completely different way than before when me and Kotaro ate lunch–damn my sense of direction. Okay, so I high-tailed it back to the con (taking note of the crazy religious people talking about god and sinners), and asked the info desk “where can I has food quick OMGZ!?” and the guy there (somewhat rudely I might add) simply slapped a map with food locations down in front of me. Okay, so I took that, found that the McDonald’s I was looking for was way too far away at this point, and luckily found this place in the Mariott which was right next door and got a hot dog and some water. Yay.
Alright, then I headed to the swap meet. Oh man, it was fun…there wasn’t a whole crapload of stuff everywhere that I wanted, but there were definitely things here and there. And there was a surprising amount of Sanrio/Hello Kitty stuff selling for very very cheap prices. I think the first or second thing I bought, in fact, was a really nice hello kitty shoulder bag that went for $6! SIX DOLLARS! At a Sanrio store I’m sure it would have been $20, possibly even more. Madness! So that was an instant buy; and very helpful too–I put all the other stuff I bought inside of it =P
Okay, made it back to the room with my loot, got “equipped” for the dance, and headed to the meet spot. 10 minutes later…I gave up. Okay, gs.c people suck at this. Oh well. Went back to the room, rested for a little bit, and headed to the dance. Russ warned me about lines, but there…wasn’t one. Guess it was too early in the night (it was like 9:00PM; the dance goes until 4:00AM). Oh well. Went in, and man, the music was great! Nowhere NEAR as cheesy as I thought it might be. It probably wasn’t -ideal-, but it was pretty damn enjoyable. Warmed up a bit, stepped into the middle of the room. Cracked a pair of aqua ultras, and just DANCED.
It was pretty amazing. The place wasn’t crowded at all, so there weren’t that many people. I think people noticed me but didn’t really do anything else other than notice. So I didn’t really draw a crowd or anything…which was slightly unexpected (hey, I was pretty confident of my abilities), but at the time I decided that I didn’t care at all. Because I was dancing, and the music was great, and…ahhh…it was quite an experience. I felt…it was almost as if I was the only person in the world, and I was just dancing. It was almost -magical-. I was doing -good- too–pulling off some moves that I made myself smile with.
Took a break for some water…there were some other people there with glowsticks but they didn’t know how to do -anything-. They either did thousands of figure eights (yeech), or just spun it around in a circle on a string (not even a basic weave!). I did see some guy in a corner doing a basic weave and I said hi–borrowed his strings and did some stringing of my own, which was fun. I didn’t see him after that though, which made me sad. =( There was also this guy who was photoning–with gloves and lights on each hand. Was pretty sick, although I was somewhat disappointed because I like conjuring a little better (i think it’s called conjuring? When you like, put lights into your mouth and pull it out of your ear, and do mindgames like that, etc). There was also this weird girl with a togepi on her hand who was like whoooo party party…but was also slightly awkward. 9_9
Took another break…I was pretty tired at this point. Decided to call Russ and see if he wanted to come see me dance. He said sure, so I waited for him (was still resting; I was pretty out of breath still). Okay, so he showed up, and I went back in. My aquas were really faded now, but I had a pair of orange cylaume ultras ready–that’s right, THE ultras. Walked into the middle of the room, which was now a lot more crowded than before (but still not that crowded…it was still relatively early I guess, haha). Waited till an opportune time in the music, cracked the sticks, and went wild. A few people turned their heads at first, then started staring–then a circle instantly formed around me. Haha, that’s the great thing about these sticks–you just go anywhere, crack them, and people crowd around you instantly if you’re any good. So I danced in the big circle for a bit, which was fun. I didn’t pull off the power moves that I wanted to–didn’t get my double toss/catches, but oh well. That was good fun. After that I think there was some other guy who did freehand glowsticking and he wasn’t actually terrible! I could tell he had some other dancing because of the way his feet moved–damn, I always see that in other people and wish I had that, because my feet definitely don’t move that way. I’ll get there someday, maybe. Okay, then there was this guy who was INSANE at pop-locking, I mean holy shit, this kid was crazy! I mean I haven’t seen enough poppers to =really= know, but I knew this guy was damn good. His hits were hard, he did all sorts of stuff–he had the attitude and the flair, he did tuts, he even did a splits move. Oh man, it was great.
Alright, so I was pretty much done after that. Yeah, I could have danced more, but I was pretty tired and didn’t want Russ to just hang around awkwardly. My sticks were fading anyways and I thought it would be rude to just step into the middle of the circle again (didn’t want to be an attention hog). Okay, so we left and I headed to the swap meet to make another, more detailed run of it. More people were selling at this point, so it took a lot longer. And I’m really glad I came through this second time–got some really good deals! Picked up a card captor sakura wall scroll for $10, and a set of three posters (2 naruto, 1 chobits) for only $5! o_o. And some other miscellaneous cute stuff–a Hello Kitty purse for $2!!! Madness!!! Guess I ended up spending a bit more than I thought I did, which is unfortunate. But I don’t think I really regret any of the purchases. Nope! And I still spent less than last year, so that’s good too.
Okay, after that I got in touch with Erica and met up with her. Yay!!! <3~ She was cosplaying with her friend who I can't seem to recall the name of (sorry!). She had this super super adorable wig with twintails–ahh, so cute! So we hung out for awhile and did random things like explore "secret areas" of the convention center. Haha. She had to run off to go staff at the info desk (at 12:30AM!? crazy…) and I went back to my room.
Was a bit hungry, but couldn’t find the leftover pizza that I had seen earlier. Oh well. So I just had some of the instant ramen instead. Somebody was sleeping in the room, so I just brought it outside to eat. There was this pair of girls that walked by and one of them was like “hallway cup-o-noodles~…” haha. I also had cherry coke, which is like the best soda ever (okay, maybe cherry 7up, but it’s been like 9 years since I’ve had one of those. hot damn. What ever happened to cherry 7up? DAMN!). And shrimp chips, yum (yay msg).
Okay, then it was beddytime for me.
Morning! I didn’t wake up that early, so I got a very decent amount of sleep. Had to open the door for Xavier, and then figured I should get my costume from him since he said it would be ready. Of course, “get” turned out somehow becoming “get into”…so I got dressed as lily white. Uhm, whee! I was totally like “durrrr” at this point–I was like, wait I want food…wait I need to use the toilet…wait…I need to figure out when I’m going home…ahhhhhhh. Well I decided lunch could wait. And the group was all dressed and decided that they would head out into the con. So I tagged along with them, of course! And it was a blast–people loved us, haha. There were a few occassions where we had to stand there for like 5 minutes while people took pictures. We were just that awesome. So fun! And so fun to try out girly poses~ We ran into Russ later (he had still been sleeping when we left) and wandered around the con some more. Etc. Random: I saw someone who had a printout of the Uboa face from Yume Nikki and I was like OMG! and took a picture. That was amazingly awesome. There was also this one really really cute Sakura from CCS that I should have taken a picture with. Oh well. Oh, also one of they guys from our group dressed as Nanoha. SO AWESOME!
Right, so after awhile we got hungry. We were going to walk somewhere for lunch, but we got super-indecisive. And we ended up just going back to our rooms *facepalm*. People…ate more cup noodles. YAY. lol. I had half a slice of the leftover pizza, and called the parents to drive me to stanford. And today has been a day of workingworking to catch up on stuff. And also to make up for the fact that I’m going to spend tomorrow at Fanime too! And thus continues the theme of unplanned pleasant surprises at this year’s Fanime. Anyways, I’m off to bed now. Tomorrow’s going to be more cosplaying–we’re having the Touhou cosplay meetup, so that should be super fun. I might even get to see Belinda Hu if I’m lucky, ah!