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Messages - hikanteki

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1
Registration / Re: Reg Location 2017
« on: May 18, 2017, 05:12:47 PM »
In 2014 and 2015 there were no lines at Fanime.

In 2016 I heard reports of a 3 hour line, and was coming back from the airport anyway so I just stopped by Clockwork to pick up my badge.
However, they asked me if I was going for Clockwork or Fanime. Like an fool, I told them Fanime...so they gave me a Clockwork-branded badge but said I'd have to go to Fanime to pick up the program and schedule. Pure idiocy, since the point of going to Clockwork was so I wouldn't have to wait in the Fanime line to get my stuff...not to get a Clockwork badge and have to wait in the Fanime line anyway.

So due to the preposterousness of it all, I ended up taking a program and schedule anyway and they didn't stop me...but be prepared if you pick it up at CA.

Thats not true ...I've gotten everything from the clockwork reg table (2013-2014-2015-2016)...badge, schedule and program....could care less if my badge did say Fanime (besides the clockwork art is better IMO)

Yes, it is true. Maybe they told one of us the wrong thing, but I can say with 100% certainty that at CA they told me to pick up my schedule and program from Fanime.

I liked the Fanime design better last year (the clockwork one was like...a dress and mirror and only one color) but I will say that is personal preference.

2
Registration / Re: Reg Location 2017
« on: May 18, 2017, 02:10:40 PM »
In 2014 and 2015 there were no lines at Fanime.

In 2016 I heard reports of a 3 hour line, and was coming back from the airport anyway so I just stopped by Clockwork to pick up my badge.
However, they asked me if I was going for Clockwork or Fanime. Like an fool, I told them Fanime...so they gave me a Clockwork-branded badge but said I'd have to go to Fanime to pick up the program and schedule. Pure idiocy, since the point of going to Clockwork was so I wouldn't have to wait in the Fanime line to get my stuff...not to get a Clockwork badge and have to wait in the Fanime line anyway.

So due to the preposterousness of it all, I ended up taking a program and schedule anyway and they didn't stop me...but be prepared if you pick it up at CA.

3
Big Event Showcase / Re: Guests I Want For MusicFest 2017!!!
« on: March 14, 2017, 02:13:41 PM »
Denki Groove
Cornelius
Sotte Bosse

4
Big Event Showcase / Re: Guests I Want For Music Fest 2016!!
« on: May 30, 2016, 08:24:23 PM »
My 2 cents--just like I'm not really interested in seeing dub actors, I'm not really interested in seeing local bands, although I totally get that there are people who may want it. I always make an effort to go see all the Japanese bands you guys get to play every year even when they're not a genre I'm particularly into because I know the amount of work it takes to get somebody from overseas, and I appreciate the rare opportunity to get to see bands I wouldn't otherwise without going to Japan.  :D It's one of the big highlights of Fanime for me, so I'd be pretty disappointed if you went for local cover bands instead. If it's a numbers thing, I'd much rather see one or two artists from Japan instead of a bunch of local bands. And I agree with all of Ecchi ja Nai's comments/alternatives!

I agree 100%! The Japanese bands are the only reason why I make it a point to return to Fanime year after year. After 2013 Line Con I had sworn off Fanime but then reversed my decision for one reason only, which was the announcement of Home Made Kazoku (well, two reasons--them, and fixing reg.)

I'd be fine with an western J-influenced band AS AN OPENER as long as they were top notch. Lemon Drop Kick is a great example! But we don't need the bands that make the rounds at all local conventions (i.e. Akai Sky)

Alternately, I wouldn't mind seeing some indie J-Pop/J-Rock bands from Japan. It's great to see big name acts, but even if they aren't big name, it's still worth going to see a style that's hard to find in the US.

While I too would like to see the return of a two act MusicFest, I understand that's not always possible, and I'll gladly take one amazing band over none.

5
Registration / Re: Reg Line
« on: May 29, 2016, 12:55:39 AM »
This is all because of Experient pissing in the bath water - https://www.facebook.com/groups/154162557952493/permalink/1043748338993906/

Ha ha, post removed.  Maybe Experient doesn't like the direct bad PR?  The staff member who made that explanation post should be commended, not hidden away.

I couldn't get the post to come up...If it got removed, that explains it. What did it say?

6
General Convention Discussion / Re: Official Convention Feedback
« on: June 12, 2015, 11:33:42 AM »
I think everyone is asking the wrong question;  The right question  is "Is Clockwork Alchemy really a separate sister convention? or is it really just a division of FanimeCon?"  which would then explain and justify why money is budgeted for (and not funneled to it).  Perhaps there is a separation to attract the older crowd (that has a higher spending demographic than FanimeCon attendees)?" 

This is indeed a pertinent question, and it would do the organizers good to figure out what they want the answer to be. If it’s a separate event, then move it to a different weekend, and separate the website and marketing materials (it’s not a good use of resources to add a couple of extra glossy Clockwork pages to all 25000 Fanime program guides...nor is it a good use of resources to add 30 upside-down Fanime pages to CA program guides). If it’s a division of Fanime, then treat it like one and have all the badges be Fanime-branded, lose the dual registration system and move CA programming to the Fairmont or Mariott or one of the hotels near the convention center, since nobody who attends Fanime goes to the DoubleTree for programming. As it stands now, it’s got one foot in Fanime and one foot out, which isn’t doing Fanime (or CA, for that matter) any good.

7
General Convention Discussion / Re: Official Convention Feedback
« on: June 05, 2015, 09:49:36 AM »
Great job Fanime! I’ve gone every year since 2010 and in my opinion this was one of the best run years (about on par with 2011.) I don’t have very many complaints and they’re all minor.

Registration: No complaints here! I’m glad that Fanime stuck with whatever worked in 2014, as getting through this quickly is the single most important factor for an across-the-board enjoyable con.

Dealers Hall/Artists Alley: No complaints here either. I liked the use of the new exhibit hall for Artist’s Alley. Both the Dealers and Artists rooms had perfect spacing.

Video Rooms:
  • The Asian Films room, which was one of my favorites in the past, was not well organized. There were no descriptions of any of the movies in the program book or on the schedule outside (except in some cases what was currently playing). Also many of them this year weren’t even films, they were multiple episodes of a series. With no clue what was playing, I skipped this room entirely this year.
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was scheduled from 9P-3A. It was more like 10:30P-2A, why only half the time?

MusicFest:
  • I LOVED Back-On and kudos for starting at exactly 7 PM!
  • But, why did the program say 7-9:30? The concert only lasted until 8:15.
  • Years past have had two bands...it was a little disappointing to only see one. But I understand that it probably had to do with availability and/or budget, and I’m just glad that the one band that showed up was AWESOME!

Panels:
  • Ai Nonaka’s Q&A was awesome, but the room was way too small. I lined up half an hour ahead of time and was one of the lucky ones who barely got in...whereas all other panels I went to that weekend I could walk right in and there were plenty of seats. Why was a panel with a voice actress as obviously popular as Ai Nonaka placed in one of the smallest rooms when there were plenty of bigger rooms available? Did her agency want to guarantee a full room?

Also, I’m wondering if it isn’t time to spin off Clockwork Alchemy to a separate organization/badge system/weekend...whether it’s true or not, there’s been the impression that CA is using up Fanime’s resources. It’s been a little disconcerting to see the CA portion of the website ready WAY before Fanime on the combined website. The AnimeCons people have disqualified Fanime from the most-attended cons list due to suspecting that Fanime shares attendance with CA. In any case, it does cut into the availability of hotels.

8
General Convention Discussion / Re: Attenance Numbers
« on: June 03, 2015, 06:54:31 PM »

- People who buy badges more than once (like on Friday and then on Sunday)

This isn’t likely, as buying 2 days is more expensive than buying a weekend pass.

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- People who don't buy badges

I wouldn’t count these in the official attendance.

9
Registration / Re: 2015 Attendance Numbers
« on: May 27, 2015, 03:44:22 PM »
Does this include Clockwork Alchemy or are they counted separately?

10
General Convention Discussion / Re: Your plans for FanimeCon 2016
« on: May 26, 2015, 12:22:10 PM »
I know Fanime is always on Memorial Day Weekend, but have the dates for 2016 officially been confirmed?

11
Lets ask an honest question here

How many people actually come for the guests?

A LOT more than you think. A major Anime convention like Fanime, SakuraCon, etc could not have earned its size and stature without a consistently strong guest lineup, like it has had in 2011 and before. And as the guest department crumbles, so do other areas of the con. We're already seeing this.

I also go to ~6 cons per year (this includes both anime and general comic conventions). I block off Memorial Day weekend because despite what's happened to Fanime, I can count on it to bring very good musical guests. MusicFest seems to have been insulated from the rest of the con's problems. I originally wasn't going to go in 2014,the only reason I changed my mind was they announced Home Made Kazoku. Otherwise I'd go somewhere else. There are like 6 other anime cons going on the same weekend, and I'm increasingly tempted to go to one of those instead.

12
Serious Business / Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« on: April 24, 2015, 11:24:24 AM »
Interesting topic. I’ve been every year since 2010 and for me, it’s worth going to because I can walk or take VTA there. If I lived further away and had to travel and stay at a hotel, then it wouldn’t be worth it anymore for me.

The main reason it’s still worth it for me is MusicFest. It’s been consistently good. I like seeing bands from Japan that are virtually impossible to see elsewhere in the US. I don’t mind that the opener last year was North American because Home Made Kazoku was a HUGE deal and I just figure they put their entire budget into getting HMK. Even in 2012 when they didn’t get any major acts, they still pulled it together for a well-run MusicFest and Chiba-san was fun to watch. However, I wouldn’t be able to make plans to travel for J-Music if I don’t know it’s happening until like two weeks before the show.

The lackluster lineup of guests last year was a little disappointing for me; however, I would MUCH prefer that the con pool their resources first into organization rather than top-name guests. I can definitely enjoy a well-run con with 24 hour anime and movie screens, a great exhibition hall, and few guest panels available; however I cannot enjoy a con where I can’t get in due to the line being too long or where I have no idea where everything is going on.

The main problem IMO, and this is something that seems to span across multiple departments, is that people pulling the strings are too lazy/stubborn to do what’s best for Fanime. Yes, not announcing the guests until a month before the show is a major issue. There have been people saying the ink is dry and has been for months, so it’s mind-boggling why they wait this long. This is NOT the norm for most anime conventions (Take for instance Sac-Anime, who has pretty much their entire lineup announced six months in advance) and some people need months to prepare their guest-related cosplay or even make plans to go.

They get major props in 2014 for fixing line-con. However -- there was virtually NO mention before the show of what their plans were to make sure it didn’t happen. There was only like one hidden thread on this message board which mentioned it. A number of would-be attendees I talked to would have been willing to give them another chance in 2014 to see if they fixed it, but didn’t because Fanime gave us no reason to believe that it would be fixed. They should have posted on Facebook and Twitter their plans on improving the line and expected times to get badges, rather than announcing “expect to wait a really long time in line Thursday and Friday” which came across as petulant and turned people off. A much better approach would have been to say something like “We apologize for last year’s delay. We are instituting a new registration system that will process ___ badges in ___ seconds, at ___x faster than last year. While we cannot promise that there will be no line, we assure you that we are working to make sure that what happened in 2013 does not happen again and thank you for your understanding.” They may want to consider adding a PR department.

The defense of Fanime’s warts being attributed to “by fans, for fans” in this topic & others was seriously painful for me to read. First, a number of the other cons (i.e. AX, Otakon, Comic-Con) name-dropped as not by fans are actually non-profits, whereas Fanime’s a for-profit corporation. (For the record, I have no problem with any con being organized as for-profit or not...but don’t claim to not be what you are.) Second, being by fans for fans is NO excuse for terrible organization. Third, just because corporations may be involved doesn’t mean that they people behind the corporations aren’t fans too.

All that being said...I do like attending Fanime. I’m proud to have something like this in my backyard. If it seems harsh it’s because I want them to improve in areas where they can easily do so -- they are doing many things right, and I do NOT want to see another Bay Area con fall apart or leave (i.e. WonderCon).

13
Serious Business / Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« on: April 24, 2015, 10:57:41 AM »
For tax purposes Fanime, like every other convention, fair or event is organized as a corporation, so its misleading to imply that this is the same as a for profit corporation like AX, ComicCon or Wizard.  What 'for fans by fans' means is that we volunteer our time and while some perks are rewarded generally we spend far more time and money then the benefit.  Personally I spent around $3000 last year of my own funds to host my event.

The irony. While Fanime is organized as a corporation, 2 of the 3 you mentioned (AX and Comic-Con) are non-profits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime_Expo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Comic-Con_International

14
Live Programming and Events / Re: Guests of Honor / Autographs
« on: April 03, 2015, 02:11:40 PM »
Fanime has, since 2012, only announced their guests in May.  They usually will give you the same song and dance about how they only announce guests when the ink is dry or, my personal fave, the "their management has asked us to wait until May to announce".  While the latter excuse may work for some guests, it can't possibly apply to every guest for the past three years.  This is especially true when other cons are able to announce their guests months in advance.

It's forthese reasons that I opt to travel 3000 miles to go to Animazement instead.  When Fanime can get the same caliber of guests it had in 2011 AND announce them at least two months in advance, I'll return.

Yeah, this is, sadly, par for the course for Fanime but NOT standard for anime (or other) conventions. They normally have a pretty good guest lineup but it’s not announced until frustratingly late. (Last year’s was a little weak overall, however they scored big with HMK for Musicfest.) I’m not sure if it’s because they want to surprise us, they take that long to finalize the guests, they’re too lazy to update, or if they have some other reason.

I’m going this year because they fixed registration and I live within walking distance, and at least they have the website up (unlike last year). But if I didn’t live in the area, I would not make plans to travel to Fanime with no information available.

15
General Convention Discussion / Re: Thank You FanimeCon!
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:31:11 AM »
I agree with everyone.  Thank you Fanime, for one of the best years to date!  After hearing that registration was fixed, I zipped over and bought a Saturday badge with literally NO line.  Walking around, almost everyone seemed to be in a very good mood -- what a difference having a fast, state of the art registration system can make!  The completed convention center is gorgeous and Fanime made good use of the space.  I also liked the use of the Fairmont for panels.  I was able to find a couple new Gloomy Bears in the Dealer's Hall and had a great time seeing everyone's cosplay and watching Gurren Lagann, Sword Art Online, and Anime Hell, and most of all, the fantastic HOME MADE KAZOKU concert!  Only thing I'd suggest is please provide more, and earlier, pre-con updates next year.  Let's keep up the momentum for 2015! XD

16
Were all weekend and single day badges random? Or did the single day ones have different designs?

17
Registration / Re: KUDOS TO REGISTRATION!
« on: May 22, 2014, 05:23:13 PM »
This is great news!  If it ends up being as short the other days this weekend then I'll get a one day pass after all.

I wonder why they didn't let people beforehand know what they were planning on doing to make it go so smoothly, though!  Maybe they didn't want to get people's hopes up in case it didn't turn out.  But had we known, we would have preregistered.

18
Registration / Re: Clockwork Alchemy VS Fanime?
« on: May 21, 2014, 02:54:38 PM »
If you pick up your badge at Clockwork, can you still get a Fanime Program Guide?

19
General Convention Discussion / Re: Any more guests of honor?
« on: May 19, 2014, 12:29:47 PM »
I cannot speak for staff because I'm not involved much this year, but I can talk in generalities.

The industry thing is probably the biggest, because it affects so much else.

People in the industry are working hard, so they're busy. It means they are either booked solid and can't come, or they can come only at the last minute when it's clear they can make time for Fanime.

Fun, related fact: nearly every single year, a Big Name contacts us days to weeks before con saying they are available. By then it's too late. We could certainly scramble to make things happen, but: 1) we look disorganized making announcements too close to con, 2) we're usually out of money, meaning we have to fight and scrape for cash, and 3) theres zero marketing value at that point - i.e. the "I wish I'd heard about this earlier!" effect from attendees. Yoshiki's appearance in 2011 was one of these, and thankfully it was a great experience, but we pulled a lot of strings and had some late nights making it happen.

Relationships are key. Otakon, ACen, etc work really hard to maintain relationships. They do a good job, too, so they are trusted. This is something that can literally take a decade to build up and one year to destroy. We have had volatility in certain areas that harmed us; I know I went through several promoters with MusicFest before we got and really developed our current relationships - which are stronger than people might think! - around 5 years ago. The anime side is more hit-or-miss; we are building relationships with seiyuu and their management, but many individuals represent themselves and don't have a management layer to trust and delegate to.

Related is staff. Otakon in particular has long-standing staff that have floated around and kept some consistency in the quality in execution. Personally I did not do a good job in this respect: I handed things off and took a nice vacation, leaving the new guys and girls hanging. They've had to re-learn things I could have taught them, but didn't. Then again, I was making it up as I went along, too. Like relationships, this is also something that can take years to develop, but one bad burn-out year can ruin it.

Money. Some conventions happily raise and pay fees and move along; others, like us, are more hesitant to go down that road.

There's some inside info. I hope it explains a bit why guest relations - across many conventions - are why they are what they are.

Tony, thank you for your very detailed post about what goes on during the process of booking guests and how it has changed over the years.

One thing that jumped out at me though -- while it makes sense that some guests don't know if they can attend until a couple of weeks before the con, then how are other anime cons able to have guests lined up far ahead of time?  Take for instance SacAnime, which is over Labor Day weekend, pretty much has their entire guest lineup now and they began announcing them in January.  Granted they have mostly North American guests, who I imagine are easier to book than Japanese guests (although they've been adding some Japanese guests lately, and announcing them ahead of time) but this year Fanime still hasn't announced their guests earlier despite being mostly North American guests too.  Are they able to book earlier due to having existing relationships or contracts?

20
General Convention Discussion / Re: Any more guests of honor?
« on: May 16, 2014, 02:49:34 PM »
You have to also remember that at the end of the day it really comes down to where the guests want to go.  I would hope (and assume) that many potential guests wouldn't be swayed strictly by waving around more cash in their faces.  Have you ever attended a panel at a convention where you could clearly see that the guest didn't want to be there?  I have - puts a weird vibe in the air of the room.  Sometimes being a big convention can hurt your chances with hosting guests that would rather have smaller and more laid-back appearances as well.

Being a big convention can hurt a con's chances at getting good guests?  Sounds like another excuse...and one that isn't even true at that, as AX/Otakon/ACen are consistently the biggest North American anime conventions and consistently get very prominent guests.

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I think it's just as important, if not more so, to have guests that are enthusiastic and excited to attend a convention than to have a big name to throw up on a marquee.  Also remember, convention guests also, like, you know, have to work and live their lives and create the things that make us want to see them in person.  They can't pop around the world every weekend to show up at fan events.

However we should never be disrespectful to the guests who appear at the convention.  Don't know who they are at first glance?  Expand your horizons!

Ok, all of these I completely agree with.  I think the negative comments are directed more at Fanime's lack of organization than the guests themselves, even if they do appear on the guest threads or guest topics.  People have been frustrated and what's going around is coming around.

Those other large conventions are corporate sponsored events. Fanime is "by fans, for fans". Therein lies all the difference in the world. Of course AX and Otakon are going to get consistently big names coming out, because their contracts likely call for it as being an extension of the company sponsoring these larger conventions.

More excuses that aren't completely true.  While it's true that AX has corporate backing, it, and virtually all other anime conventions, are also still run by fans for fans.  Both the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (who runs AX) and Otakorp are nonprofit organizations.

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At the end of the day, a fraction of a % of attendees use these boards, so we have no idea how the convention attendees as a whole feel about the trend in guests of honor. If things are as terrible as they seem, surely attendance will go down. Or maybe, people still keep coming because at the end of the day it's not as important that people see huge anime celebrities, as long as they get to cosplay with their friends and have a good time.

At least, that's my opinion having attended for ~11 years.

Personally, it's not the lack of huge celebrities that drove me away; it's LineCon (which is one of the biggest problems that contributed to what's been going around currently coming around) along with the messes that multiple departments have turned into these past two years (Masquerade, B&W Ball, Website, Artist's Alley). But yes, I agree that if things are as terrible as they seem then attendance will go down.  We will see what happens.

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