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Messages - InsaneDavid

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Big Event Showcase / Re: Guests I Want For MusicFest 2018!!!!
« on: June 16, 2017, 01:06:50 PM »
A long shot, but...

Cibo Matto

Still 50 years ahead of their time and 3 dimensions ahead of their space!  It amazes me that there are still people who don't know about this amazing band.  Their biggest mainstream exposure in the US is probably when the song "Birthday Cake" off their debut album, "Viva! La Woman" was included in Jet Set Radio Future.  They reunited in 2011 and released a third album in 2014 and continue to perform live.  From the few people I've talked with who've had the privilege of seeing them live over the years, they pour energy and sound and are unlike any other duo.  Even if they're not viable for Music Fest, if you're reading this and you are not familiar with Cibo Matto, go check them out right now.

Every time I went through a badge check the staffer would look and say "Weekend..." - Dunno where they were being so inconsistent with badge checks but I'd say it was a personnel issue at specific points as it isn't something I encountered.  I also watched facilities staff radio around looking for someone who got up to the second floor unbadged on Monday afternoon, then find and escort him out.  They were taking it very seriously.

A row of candy cabs (probably Sega Blast City as they tend to be most common) running shooters, maybe a couple running classic games, etc. would be nice as well.  I didn't attend AOD this year but I heard they had a corner with candy cabs in it - really helps to create a Japanese game center aesthetic.

The 6pm time on Friday is perfect, I think. And I loved the expanded photo order. ^^ Definitely think it should stick. <3

But maybe we can have a photo request/suggestion for dead characters? XD I'll try to remember tossing in that request for next year, if I'm not the only dead character at the gathering. :P

Yup, 6pm seems to be the best time.  Late enough for most people to be off work and checked in, yet not too late to interfere with those wanting to sell at Friday swap meet.  It's kind of a good "gathering, dinner, swap meet" little block because if you're an old school cosplayer you probably like buying older stuff at swap meet - or you have things to sell yourself.

I'll add a dead / expired / lifeless item to the photography order for next year.

Aww, looking at the photos, I'm sad that I missed it. :[ (My panel at that timeslot went well though)

Well, there's always next year! Glad it went well this year, and I hope everyone had a good time :D

Glad your panel went well!

I ran into a few people throughout the convention weekend that were at the gathering on Friday (some at other gatherings, most just out and about) and they all seemed to enjoy it.   While I would love to hit 100 attendees next year, truth of the matter is I'm super humbled that anyone shows up at all.  I really can't wait to do it again for 2018.

I was planning on bringing back some of my gaming-themed cosplays for the gathering next year (either Namco X Capcom / Dig Dug / Baraduke or Densha de Go!) but with it being the 30th anniversary of Patlabor, I see Friday at Fanime in blazing orange in my future.

Another day of people assuming we work for the convention center, assuming we work for facilities, assuming we work for the convention, assuming we are security, assuming we are parking attendants, and generally thinking we are authoritative and asking questions when they need help.  Still always happy to help out any fellow con-goers and point them in the direction of official channels for things I don't know or are beyond a question suited to ask another attendee.  Ah, but it's all fun.  They do serve as a beacon to the older fandom otaku though, which allows us to meet a lot of cool people when we wear it.

As Shigeki Arakawa says in Patlabor 2 The Movie, "Your unit's uniforms stick out like a sore thumb."
And as Kiichi Goto replies, "Yeah, and they're not the best for us middle-aged guys either."

To begin with, and I believe this to be my most important comment, THANK YOU to all Cosplay Gatherings Department staff and volunteers for the hours upon hours of time and effort you put into supporting cosplayers at FanimeCon.  Giving us a place to relax and repair, to meet other cosplayers, and giving us the ability to host cosplay gatherings.  I've said it many times before, but if it weren't for FanimeCon cosplay gatherings, I would not be a cosplayer, as the Old School Cosplay Gathering is what inspired my wife (then girlfriend) and I to do so, first in 2014.

Thankfully I didn't require use of the repair station this year but I did utilize the hangout on Friday when I couldn't find the gatherings check-in table.  I knew that the Cosplay Hangout would have the answers I needed, which it did, and I was also able to say hi and talk with you for a few minutes prior to my gathering.

If I could recommend anything for the Hangout it would be to get the supplies donation push out really early and keep it in the public mind of attendee cosplayers.  I know I often have insane coupons for craft stores that I let expire, when I should be using them to pick up essentials to donate to the Hangout (hot glue for best example).

I know there has been mention that having the Hangout in a badged area is not an ideal arrangement and simply a requirement to be able to have it.  However the additional level of cosplayer safety given with its current location is something that is appreciated as specific effort has to be made to go there.  Better signage and awareness, which you mentioned above, is really all I think it needs in addition.

Personally the entire gathering host process this year was extremely painless and smooth, dependent upon one thing - the host making themselves available to comments and concerns.  Just being on the forums or posting in a Facebook event page every couple weeks is all that really is needed to show cosplayers interested in a gathering that the host has their hands on it, and everything is moving along.  Ultimately this falls upon a gathering host.  I actually use this as an opportunity to promote my gathering on a weekly basis, although I understand the Old School Cosplay Gathering is a unique beast in this sense since it potentially covers hundreds upon hundreds of works, with different anime opening videos to get everyone psyched up for the gathering.  Over the past two years I've had attendees become inspired to come to the gathering based upon seeing a series they cosplay as featured during one of my weekly posts.

Depending on how things play out toward the end of this year and into the beginning of next, I am seriously considering applying for CGD staff.  My wife is considering the same as she's really enjoys being an unofficial photographer at our gathering but her non-Fanime schedule is traditionally way more rigid than mine.  There are a lot of changes coming up for the two of us during the back half of 2017, but it is something we would really like to do if it is a possibility.

Gatherings should be listed on Fanime.com - in the main index.  This year there was a link for it, but it would take you to a page that said there were no gatherings.  The only thing worse than the gatherings not being listed there is saying there aren't any to display - and that's exactly how it was.  I know this is more of a web team issue than CGD but I wanted to toss it out there.  It would be wonderful if this would be a link to the forum thread for each gathering, but even just mirroring over the list that is printed on the signboards to the website would be really nice.

A big thanks for keeping gatherings on the lower level in unbadged areas.  As I've heard you say, gatherings are by and for fans, regular attendees, and should be open and unrestricted.  Gatherings are also a wonderful advertising tool to get people interested in the convention and buy that badge to check out more of it.  Thanks for fighting the good fight and keeping gatherings open to all - cosplayers and spectators alike.

An additional inside gatherings area to make up for losing The Hub (which always had terrible lighting anyway) would be nice and I know this is something that CGD would like as well.  The lower protected steps area off the of the video rooms we were talking about for a bit on Sunday morning may be a good candidate, depending on viability from the higher ups.  As a general convention comment, the tables and chairs down there were a great use of that space and did wonders for a relaxation space to replace what used to be at The Hub.

Lastly, a specific nod of appreciation to you yourself, Imperial - every time we talked at the con, the first thing you would ask me was how I was doing.  With how big a convention like FanimeCon is, it is easy to forget that at the core it is really built upon the people who both host and attend it every year.  That is no truer than with Cosplay Gatherings - fandoms coming together simply to share in common interest.  I often say the spirit of anime and cosplay fandom is reflected in the massive diversity of the Old School Gathering, but the spirit of why anime conventions began is reflected nowhere stronger than in the Cosplay Gatherings Department - fans being fans together.  Thank you again.

Again, food for thought. But then again, I hated the tap'n go system the SVCC had (I cosplay at cons, don't Judge Garruk), and I have heard murmurs of that system coming for fanimecon. But hey, this is my opinion, and wanted to give some food for thought in this matter.

No no no no no no no, it's all perfect just as it is!  :)

Final Facebook Event post for 2017, mirrored here for completeness:

Hello old schoolers!  I hope everyone has decompressed from Fanime by now, is finishing up cosplay cleaning and/or repairs (I know I still am), and getting things in order for next convention - next cosplay - next vintage anime purchase.

Thank you again to everyone who attended or expressed interest in this gathering!  It means so much to me that so many of us keep this gathering alive.  Now Facebook gets kind of weird with gatherings that have already occurred, so I'm not sure how much traffic this post may get, but I want to kind of open things up to our gathering attendees...

Does anyone have any comments about the gathering or suggestions for 2018?  Both moving the gathering to 6pm and the massively expanded photo order were based upon suggestions from the previous year!

It's a long way off but for 2018 we plan on keeping the same day and time, Friday at 6pm.  Additionally we will be in an indoor location as long as it is possible.  I'm not opposed to moving the gathering to a less traffic-heavy location and have discussed such unofficially, but anything concerning that will have to be sorted out next year when Fanime 2018 is closer.

Additionally for 2018 we will be providing some sort of giveaway to ALL Old School Cosplay Gathering attendees.  Some may remember the tons of stuff I gave away in 2016 (thank you again for giving a lot of my duplicates and excess anime merchandise a good home).  I wanted something similar for 2017, but it to be gathering specific, however ran out of time.  I was thinking something along the lines of a yearly button or ribbon.

If anyone has any suggestions or comments I can be reached via PM or comment here, or a message to Mokkori Cosplay on Facebook.  I will continue to collect gathering galleries as they are posted, they can be found right here in the second post.

Thank you one more time!  I look forward to seeing everyone again on the Friday evening of FanimeCon 2018!

...which will be the 50th anime anniversary of Cyborg 009 and Gegege no Kitaro.
...the 40th anime anniversary of Space Pirate Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999.
...the 30th anime anniversary of Samurai Troopers, Mobile Police Patlabor, and GunBuster.
...the 20th anime anniversary of Card Captor Sakura, His and Her Circumstances, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Outlaw Star, and Serial Experiments Lain.

...and those are only off the top of my head!  What an anniversary year!

The only issue with a "shoppers pass" is it would essentially allow you to get to the second floor of the convention center.  That means we would need to go back to badge checks at the individual halls, and... NO, OH NO, IN THE NAME OF TEZUKA NO!

Yeah, a con badge is essentially paying to shop if dealer's / artist's is your main push.  But it's also paying to host the convention outright.  For those who live in the Bay Area, and especially in San Jose, you know the already outrageous cost of everything is getting more outrageous by the day.  But Fanime? Only around sixty bucks.

Two of my sisters came out for about half of Sunday this year, their first large scale con.  They had an awesome time.  Seeing that they can get a weekend badge for the same price they paid for Sunday, and enjoying the con as much as they did in that short time, has them already planning to attend all weekend and book housing next year.

I look at it this way.  Let's say $60.  That's a lot of money to a lot of people certainly, hell, it's a lot of money to me.  But in the grand scheme of things what is sixty dollars?  Price of a video game?  Nosebleed seats at a sporting event or concert?  A middle of the road meal in San Jose for two?  What many of us spend over the course of FanimeCon buying coffee and breakfast in the morning?  Heck, parking at our preferred lot (making up for last year when they left it at $7 all weekend) was $10 a day this year x 5 = $50.  Truth be told, the badge cost is the "small money" over the course of the weekend, or any given day really.  $60 really only looks like a lot for the con when you compare the value of early registration vs. day-of single day registration.

Fancy, smooth registration systems that allow you to enjoy the convention rather than wait in line for it?  Facilities staff taking care of fast access security so staff and volunteers can be better used elsewhere?  Those cost money, way more than manually sorting out badges or using volunteers for badge checks.  However the cost of a badge hasn't gone up.

Since I got over myself about being unfairly irritated about the otaku fandom years ago and began attending Fanime in 2012, I've said Fanime is the best value attraction for your money in the South Bay Area.  That includes the area's seasonal institutions as well as other conventions that I dearly love, such as the California Extreme Arcade and Pinball Show (which this year will be my 10th in attendance).

General Convention Discussion / Re: Pros and Cons of Fanime 2017
« on: June 04, 2017, 10:35:43 AM »
Last year I had an issue with an older gentleman checking badges (one of the con center staff) who made an inappropriate comment to me as he was checking my badge. I told the con about it (thankfully I remembered to note the time and location of the incident at the time) and was told that appropriate action was taken against the employee. I hope it wasn't the same older gentleman. If you can remember the time and location of the incident, they may be able to locate him, since touching attendees is very much inappropriate.

Ah, it really didn't irritate me enough to pay it much mind once I got to the top of the stairs.  It was Sunday sometime, at the main convention center entrance.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Pros and Cons of Fanime 2017
« on: June 03, 2017, 06:33:21 PM »
also, people checking badges are awful, i walked up with my badge in plain sight and he nearly grabbed me asking "BADGE?!?!" it was right in front of his face, maybe dont hire 90 year old staff members wtf.

Most of the facilities staff who were checking badges were great.  However, yes, there was ONE older gentleman who was an asshat.  Did the same thing, I'm holding my badge out in plain sight so he can see it easily, and he puts his hands on me.  I tell him very calmly, "Don't set your hands on me, brother" and he didn't know what to do except continue to look at my badge and move aside.  Everyone else was fine, and went as far as to complement me a couple times.

As for badge pick up, as was said, it really depended on how aware the person at the printer at your table was.  Overall I REALLY liked the self-service system and hope it comes back next year.  I'm sure if they keep it as it is and everyone is more familiar with how it will play out, then it'll be even smoother.

By any chance was this older gentleman in steampunk gear?

Nope, he was in the convention facilities stuff like most others.  Wasn't really a huge deal, but it was pretty damn unprofessional since I always wait specifically to give them a chance to verify my badge - not like I run through the gates.

New gallery added, check the second post!

I'm still working on my photos, but here's what I have up so far!

Day Zero: https://stormfalcon.smugmug.com/CosplayPhotography/FanimeCon-2017-05-25/
Day One: https://stormfalcon.smugmug.com/CosplayPhotography/FanimeCon-2017-05-26/

Thank you so much for taking photos at the Old School Cosplay Gathering! Your shots are great! Also a huge thanks for taking a picture of Jess and I at the end as I ALWAYS forget to get a couple shots of the two of us at the end of the gathering.  I love that picture!

Next year, last item on my gathering photo order, "GET A PICTURE WITH YOUR WIFE, YOU IDIOT!" lol

General Convention Discussion / Re: Pros and Cons of Fanime 2017
« on: June 01, 2017, 09:09:26 PM »
also, people checking badges are awful, i walked up with my badge in plain sight and he nearly grabbed me asking "BADGE?!?!" it was right in front of his face, maybe dont hire 90 year old staff members wtf.

Most of the facilities staff who were checking badges were great.  However, yes, there was ONE older gentleman who was an asshat.  Did the same thing, I'm holding my badge out in plain sight so he can see it easily, and he puts his hands on me.  I tell him very calmly, "Don't set your hands on me, brother" and he didn't know what to do except continue to look at my badge and move aside.  Everyone else was fine, and went as far as to complement me a couple times.

As for badge pick up, as was said, it really depended on how aware the person at the printer at your table was.  Overall I REALLY liked the self-service system and hope it comes back next year.  I'm sure if they keep it as it is and everyone is more familiar with how it will play out, then it'll be even smoother.

Registration / Re: Fan Name Issue?
« on: June 01, 2017, 08:45:24 PM »
Yup, same thing here - I'd guess whatever is supposed to be populating the e-mail that was just sent out is pointing to the wrong place to grab the data.  No issues when logging in and printing the confirmation directly so I'm not worried about it.

At least no barcode fiasco like last year!!

What was the barcode fiasco last year?

Okay, I got someone in trouble about this last year and yeah, I don't know what crawled up my ass about it because I got way out of line a few times then - but here's the basics from what I recall...

At the last minute, something like a week and a half before the convention, you could no longer log into registration and view your registration details.  Turns out that CMR wasn't going to be the registration partner in the end and another company was used instead.  Of course this was all kept quiet but eventually an employee of the new company opened his mouth on the unofficial facebook fan group.

The QR code that had been used for the previous two years was now going to be invalid, instead a barcode from the new company would be required.  If you e-mailed or called them directly they would explain this but aside from that they were completely silent.  In addition it seemed that the new company had ONE customer service person manning all phones and e-mail (unconfirmed but we all seemed to get the same person).

Like two days before Fanime they send out an e-mail with the barcode, way too late for a lot of people traveling to the convention to ever see until the absolute last minute.  Additionally it was way too late in the game to get the word out or alleviate any e-mail issues and if you needed to make a registration change you were SOL.

So when Fanime comes around a bunch of people have no idea about the change and have QR codes, so their information has to be looked up manually, this slows down registration.  The badge printing equipment is different than the previous two years (the kind that was back this year) and creates an additional assortment of problem variables.  Botched prints, information printed wrong, tons of stuff I both heard from other attendees and saw first hand myself.  Of course if you had a problem then you get to go wait in the special registration line to have it fixed - which already is overwhelmed with all the confirmation issues.  This along with a number of other technical issues meant that registration became an impossibly huge mess.  Because it was moved to a smaller space on the assumption it would be smooth as the two previous years, the chain of people in line stretched throughout the convention center.  I still feel bad for the rovers who had to police that line because they were all so overworked.

No badge issues this year.  Long live CMR!!

Makes me wonder, did anyone actually end up with @@UDF1 on their badge?

A lot of great advice so far!

For the past three years my wife and I have decided to cosplay every day of Fanime after cosplaying for a single day the year before that (2014).  We live about 10 minutes away from the convention center by freeway, so we drive in every morning.  We still head out pretty early to get a good space in our preferred lot as we pack a cooler and go eat lunch at the car Friday - Sunday and then have dinner downtown unless we leave on a day in the late evening.

The majority of our cosplays are based around reasonably standardized garments (jumpsuits, uniforms, specific civilian clothes) as those tend to be the characters we really like.  Convention planning really falls upon what props will be carried on what days.  Each morning we head to peacebonding first thing to get it out of the way, and then I'll sometimes run props back to the car to stash away, especially if we have alternate (daytime / evening) props that we switch out throughout the day, generally when we return to the car to eat lunch.

We plan on doing the most shopping and purchasing on whichever day we're wearing the most mobile cosplay.  For the past two years that's been Saturday while cosplaying as the two SV2 captains from Mobile Police Patlabor.  The cosplay is more or less a formal 1980's Japanese traffic control uniform (which the Patlabor uniforms were designed to be a near-future extension of) so it's easy to get around in and the boots are very comfortable all day.  I also made us some in-universe themed canvas tote bags with logos of the two major corporations in the series, so no matter how much stuff we buy, we still always fit completely in-universe.  I keep saying we'll retire the Patlabor uniforms for a year but I love wearing them WAY too much and we always run into the most awesome vintage anime people while wearing them, like a couple who attended AnimeCon '91 whom we met on Saturday night.

In addition to getting the majority of the "hard shopping" done in the easiest to move around in cosplay with the most minimal props, it also makes it easy to carry a camera (again, in one of those branded tote bags) and be able to have a 'normal' con day.  If there are autograph sessions we're interested in - that's the day to do them if at all possible.

Generally if there are large props involved during a day, it tends to be more low-key or we plan a specific break.  The year we did Densha de Go!, which consists of me wearing a super-deformed bullet train around my mid section, we stored everything in the car for a couple hours one afternoon after lunch and just had a 'normal' con afternoon into the evening, getting dressed again after dinner.  FYI - if you walk around con in business attire (the cosplay involves me dressed as a normal salaryman and my wife looks like a normal office lady without her JR platform conductor blazer and hat) people will ask if you are hotel staff. -_-;;

Splitting the day, as has been said previously by others, tends to work out the best for us regardless.  If you are carrying a large prop, simply putting it in your car or room for a few hours (between two meals for instance) can make a huge difference.  If you don't want to be sans props, think of smaller alternate props you can carry to free yourself up for at least part of the day.  This is also a good time for a footwear swap for a bit during the day, especially if you're going to do a couple hours worth of hall shopping.  For instance my wife changed to tennis shoes after the Sailor Moon gathering this year as we were going to take two of my sisters around the con (their first ever) and knew there would be more walking than usual.  Smart move.

Another planning tip that does well for us is quickly marking in the pocket guide ANYTHING that seems interesting, including anything reasonably interesting in the video rooms.  Of course if there's something specific we want to see or do then that takes priority, but it's nice to be able to see at a glance if there's anything coming up that we were interested in.  Once that's taken care of, we tend to play the rest of the convention fast and loose with no specific plan.  We only do one cosplay a day, so of course your mileage may vary, but these few things keep the convention what it should be - fun.

Okay, unofficial gallery is up, as well as the official Fanime gallery.  Both these are linked in the SECOND POST on the first page of this thread.

I had sooo much fun at the gathering!! ^^ Will get my pictures up soon! <3

Also hope to see everyone again next year. :) I'm sure I'll be doing another old school cosplay(if anything I'll be Aerith/Aeris next year so already got one XD )

Thank you so much for attending once again!!

The gaming theme for next year means it might be time to bring out the Densha de Go! bullet train suit again (which hasn't been to a convention since Fanime 2015) or Taizo Hori from Dig Dug (which hasn't been to Fanime since 2015 but I've worn it elsewhere since) for the 2018 Old School Cosplay Gathering.

Is the con getting bigger? It seemed smaller. It'd be interesting to see those stats!

A combination of no registration issues + perfect weather = people more up for spreading out, hanging out and mingling outside, walking around to eat in different places, going over to the park, having more outdoor photo shoots, etc.

As for the bacon hot dog vendors...there were way too many this year. I understand that you gotta make money somehow, but it was getting hard to walk through that front area on the sidewalk where they were all congregating, especially in large or delicate cosplay where you may not want to have to walk around a bunch of obstacles covered in grease. Some of the vendors were also a bit aggressive in their marketing. (Never mind that the smell of those things makes me feel a bit nauseous, but that's a personal issue I suppose)

Hahaha, I thought I was the only person who noticed how insane (har har) they were this year.  I swear, it looked like they were having some kind of street vendor cooking competition out there or something.  As for the smell, to me it smells good for about five minutes and then... yeah, bleh...  Too many years of salvaging vintage video games from flea markets, the smell of vendor cart food is forever linked to digging through dirty boxes of junk for me.

Hotel and Facilities / Re: Corner of Market and San Carlos St.
« on: May 29, 2017, 11:09:07 PM »
Just one of those quirks of that part of downtown any time there is a big event, to be honest.  Way easier to use the lightrail platform crosswalk directly in front of the convention center to get to the other side of San Carlos.  I can only imagine the mess that will be down there when they begin the Parkside Hall redevelopment project.

For those saying that this was the worst Fanime ever, the common denominator I noticed so far is alcohol and social issues. Those are you and your friends' choices for ir/responsibility, not the convention.

It's been compliments all around.
No one has blamed the con for their own personal issues... at least not yet. Dun dun dun.

Ah, you just jinxed it.

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