Fanime 2017 Review

It’s convention time of year again!

Fanime 2017 was perhaps the smoothest convention we had encountered to date, from seamless registration processes to the wide variety of things to do in the San Jose Convention Center area. Although there were slight line issues for certain events, that would have more to do with the large quantity of attendees fitting in a small area. We do have to emphasize though that Fanime is generally as good as an attendee’s attitude will make it out to be. Having an idea of what to look for will definitely help, and if not, the environment of the convention center gives sufficient breathing room and open space to browse at your pace.

We were unable to acquire an interview with Kanae Ito, though certainly had a good time covering her panel. Tidbits from her panel included being unfamiliar with the virtual YouTuber Kizuna Ai, wishing she herself were taller, seeing Amu from from Shugo Chara resembling her the most, and which voice actors she likes hanging out with. She voices a large number of different characters across many anime and games which is what she loves most about being a voice actor.

In regards to fan panels, we highly recommend attending any that has a topic description that piques your interest. The strongest aspect is perhaps the more relaxed environment that isn’t strictly industry.

As usual, we put a high emphasis on seeing the evolution on the Artist Alley. Fanime continues to use a jury system, which while we do not know the criterion, does make it a selection progress that doesn’t give a first come first serve benefit. Different years we see different faces, and recently has the Grand Ballroom been consistently the location for the artists to show their wares. General consensus among the people we checked with for feedback stated that the quality is quite high. We’ve had the luxury to interview a select few artists ranging from up and coming to seasoned artists from other countries who flew in just for Fanime for the first time. If you are one that likes art, this is absolutely the place to be. It can be easy to spend hours just browsing at your leisure.

Aside from artist alley, two other major halls include the dealer’s room and the game room. The dealer’s room uses the same opening times as the artist alley and is very merchandise focused. The game room is a bit more unique for Fanime, as the space has consistently been used as a very good hangout place featuring board games, arcade games, and PC games alike. Dedication sections are used for tournaments, and there’s plenty of seating to accommodate for everyone. Normally after the halls close, this ends up being a prime place to go to, since only concerts and night panels remain.

Scheduling for Fanime is no easy feat, as it goes for the entire memorial weekend. That means up to four days where hotel availability is lower and prices higher. Day 0, which is mostly used for pre-registration as well as the swap meet comes at a time before the convention even begins. Certain food places will have significantly longer lines during the course of the convention. Regardless, the time is spent on your own adventuring as the flow is good whether you go in and out of the con, attend panels and concerts, or hang out at hotels. There’s plenty to do!

Anyone from the Northern California region is definitely recommended to attend Fanime as it has an excellent mix of size and fun things to do. Food choices are within a few blocks of walking distance. There are sufficient numbers of parking structures to accommodate the number of attendees in full, and the location is close enough to multiple highways to give people the room to move around the area. For those that come by car, we’ve encountered several that drive here from places as far as Washington state or Arizona.

With that said, do exercise caution and go with an open mind. Fanime is good to plan in advance, since getting information beforehand needs to be sought for. It can be easy to get overwhelmed from the potential line sizes, lack of communication, and strict guidelines. Do understand that despite flaws that exist, Fanime has largely done an excellent job providing attendees with a good convention experience. A strength we would say would definitely be the relaxing atmosphere in this convention. Rarely do you see a convention with responsive staff, satisfied attendees, artists, industry and guests all around. It’s quite the spot to go for Memorial weekend.

See you in Fanime 2018.

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Sekai Project Announcements

We’re back with the latest announcements from Sekai Project during their panels at Sakura-Con and Anime Boston! First up we have Studio Shimapan’s Mahou Arms. Mahou Arms is a hack-and-slash game where you lead three magical girls into battle against aliens, where they can transform, fight, and get their clothes ripped apart. There are also opportunities to build your relationships and even go on dates! The project is currently in early development but you can stay up-to-date by supporting their Patreon.

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Silicon Valley Comic Convention 2017

Welcome to Neko’s Shiritori coverage of Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017! After its huge debut in 2016, we returned once again to see SVCC’s sophomore performance! With how many people attended last year, SVCC adapted well in using the entire park space of San Jose north of the convention center, as well as using Glasshouse to showcase some new technology!

Just when we thought the San Jose Convention Center was at maximum capacity, SVCC found a way to accommodate everyone while still using their technology to keep lines in order. The wristband system that tracked every entry and exit was used again this year and we expect to see this each and every time thereafter.

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Recent Visual Novel Releases

This week marks the release of three visual novels on Steam; Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-, A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk, and SeaBed. All of these are available with a 10% discount for the first week until 4th January 2018.

Hoshimemo

Hoshizora no Memoria is a romantic visual novel from Favorite. After their mother passes away, Kogasaka You and Chinami move to live with their aunt back in Hibarigasaki where they once lived. Before he moved to the city, You made friends with a girl on an observatory lookout where he spent his time every day. The girl made him promise that they would get married once You returned to Hibarigasaki after finding out that he would be moving.

After returning, he joins the astronomy club at school, starts working at the local cafe and finds that the lookout has been fenced-off. There he discovers a scythe-wielding girl named Mare who looks strangely like his childhood friend. Who is she really, and will You find the girl he made the promise with?

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SeaBed Review

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A one-off kinetic novel project from doujin circle Paleontology Soft, SeaBed is the tale of childhood friends turned lovers, Mizuno Sachiko and Takako, who have now been separated by some strange circumstance that neither can recall. Enter Narasaki Hibiki, the friendly neighborhood psychiatrist (and also another childhood friend of Sachiko’s) who takes it upon herself to bring some clarity to the situation. Together but also separately, all three go about their daily lives in the heyday of the late 1980s as they inch closer to finding out just what happened.

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Lionheart Released!

Lionheart

Shiisanmei’s fantasy RPG, Lionheart, has been released on Steam by Fruitbat Factory! Lionheart tells the travels of Leon Lionheart and his party as they explore the magical labyrinth ‘Libra Corridor’ and meet new allies. His father was once also an adventurer, who travelled alongside the former mercenary Orsin. With the nun Emma and Justicar Maria Sinkirk who later joins their party, what will they find in the dungeon?

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Neko Navy Review

Zetsuna’s back, this time with Neko Navy! Development was done by DeathMofuMofu and crew, and Fruitbat Factory took care of the English release.

It’s a band of flying cats versus “soothing enemies,” ranging from planes to pills to sausage ropes and all sorts of things to shoot and blow up. There’s three difficulty levels – Easy, Hard, and DEATH – so pick the one suited to your bullet hell game ability and proceed to let the fur fly.

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