I’ve been going to Fanime since the late 90’s (way back when it was held at Foothill College and was a LOT smaller) and this is my first time posting on the forum. Though it wasn’t my favorite Fanime so far, I still had an awesome time this year. I didn’t run into many problems and I found it very enjoyable.Schedule:
My main complaint is the lack of printed schedules this year, but I know this has been mentioned 1000+ times already. The pocket guide last year was awesome and very convenient, and I think that should be implemented again. Thankfully, I studied the schedule before going and wrote down most of the events I wanted to go to with the times and locations, so I didn’t have too much of a problem. The couple times we did use the Info desk, though, they weren’t very helpful and didn’t seem to know where things were, which was a little frustrating.
I did like the mobile schedule, but since I only have an iPod Touch and not a fancy smart phone, I had to rely on WiFi (which was only available in minimal places). My boyfriend does have a Droid, so we were able to access the schedule on the days I went with him. A PDF of the schedule would be really appreciated and easier to access because it can be saved (I don’t believe there was one this year and if there was, I couldn’t find it on the website). A downloadable Fanime app for iPhone/iTouch/iPad, Droid, etc., would be awesome (preferably one where you don't need an Internet connection to view the schedule), but should be coupled with a printed schedule/pocket guide for those who don't have smart phones or other mobile devices.Dealers Room:
Yes, the dealers room was expensive, but most imported items are and I only bought one item there, anyway. I did enjoy the more diverse selection this year, however, and the selection of cosplay items (especially high-quality wigs) was nice. The lack of video games was a disappointment, though, as was the lack of CDs (which mainly my friend was disappointed about… she really missed the booth with all the J-pop and J-rock CDs and merchandise, which we couldn’t find). Other than that, I thought the selection was good. My boyfriend really loved all the Gundam and other anime models in the middle of the dealers room.Panels:
All in all, a good selection this year. The ones I went to were quite a bit of fun and not super-crowded. I really enjoyed MANime! and An Intro to Memes (though I wish it was an hour longer… there are a lot of memes to cover!). I’m guessing WOWOWTF?! Filipino Cinema was cancelled because my boyfriend and I went to the room Friday and Saturday at the scheduled time, but nobody ever showed up after waiting 15-20 minutes. It made me a bit sad because we really wanted to see it. : ( My boyfriend (who is Filipino) said they were probably running on “Filipino time,” so that’s why they were late or never showed up, haha. It was just a bummer that it was never mentioned online about being cancelled or whatnot since it would have saved us some time.Videos:
Good selection this year. We enjoyed the DBZ Abridged Series showing (although it would be nice if it was more specific on the schedule next year about the specific Abridged series that is showing, since there are several out there… it was just too vague). The music videos were fun, as always, and we found a new show we absolutely love (the Nostalgia Critic, which was so freaking hilarious!). I hope that is brought back next year. Hentai Nights was fun, too, although we didn’t stay long for it. It was VERY crowded in there Sunday night (we barely found a seat), but that’s to be expected. ID checking was very strict this year, as it should be.Rovers:
I didn’t have any issues with the Rovers this year. Actually, they seemed a lot nicer, helpful, and laid back compared to previous years, in my experience, but perhaps that’s because I didn’t dress up this year and didn’t go to any big events, so I had minimal contact with them. No problems there.Dance Room:
I didn’t enjoy having the Dance 2 room (Market) down where the food is sold on the lower level of the Hilton across from Peet’s Coffee. We usually buy food there at the restaurant once or twice each year during the con and I don’t recall it ever being that noisy. It’s been one of the few places there in previous years to have a bite to eat without a lot of disturbance and noise, so that was disappointing. The noise level was awful (very loud bass), along with the constant opening and closing of the door, so we had to take our food to the Marriot side to eat in relative silence. I don’t think we’ll be eating there again if it’s going to be held there again. One of the employees there did give us a free soda because of the noise, though, so that was nice. We usually only buy food there because of the selection and better quality (otherwise, we bring small snacks to keep us energized throughout the day so we don’t have to spend too much money on food), so the amount of noise there was very disruptive to us.Parking/Security:
Does anyone know if you can get someone from the con or hotel (like security) to escort you to your car late at night? I drive in from Benicia and usually go back to my car late at night to go home (past midnight when the events we are interested in are over) when a lot of weirdos are out. It seemed like there were more shady people than usual (ghetto, “gangsta”-looking guys in large groups taking up the whole sidewalk that made insulting comments at us, scuzzy-looking (homeless, I'm guessing) people (one of which was peeing all over a pillar in clear view), a few hookers (yes, hookers), etc., that were clearly not part of the con) hanging out a couple blocks from the convention center where we usually park and it was only my female friend and me on Saturday, so I felt a bit paranoid walking there with no other con-goers around. It honestly makes me want to carry pepper spray. Next year, I’ll try parking in the parking garages that are closer to the convention center, but since we get there relatively late in the day on the busiest days because the main events we are interested in aren't until late afternoon to evening, it’s hard to find close parking at times. For future reference, though, I’m curious if there are people who can escort you to your car at night. If not, then I think it would be a great idea to offer that as a service in future years for those who have to park further away and don’t have a group of people to go back with to the parking lot late at night to go home. It would be a huge help.
Sorry for the length of my post. All in all, I had a great time, despite those few problems. Looking forward to next year! Keep up the awesome work!