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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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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Interview with Sakaguchi at Fanime 2016

We had the wonderful opportunity to interview voice actor Daisuke Sakaguchi at Fanime 2016!

First we like to ask about your roots: what inspired you to do voice acting?

I really wanted to participate in Gundam.

What are some modern work trends you like? Any older methods you miss?

More opportunities, being able to come to the United States. Nowadays there’s singing, doing radio, etc.

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Silicon Valley Comic Convention 2016

SVCC

Welcome to Neko’s Shiritori coverage of Silicon Valley Comic Con! Wow did SVCC start off with a bang in its debut! Just upon arrival anyone could see that parking was challenging as nearly every conceivable parking slot was occupied by attendees, industry, staff, and guests alike! It was packed with a total of 60,000 attendees!

Our major focus of the convention was to observe the overall ambience as well as cover various booths that are excited about upcoming projects. Silicon Valley definitely managed its numbers well by having staff at every entrance, as well as a wristband system that tracked every entry and exit.

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Animation on Display 2016

Gaming Room

Welcome to Neko’s Shiritori! This year Animation on Display (AOD) had moved to a new venue at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The general atmosphere was relaxed, much similar to 2015. AOD fully utilized the two floors of the convention center to distinguish the panels and autographs on the second floor from the exhibit hall and game room on the first.

The gaming room has a wide variety of games on various platforms. There we encountered speedrunning; an AOD featured segment where we had speedrunner Dolfinh running older games for the SEGA Genesis, such as Ecco the Dolphin 1 and 2. One key thing to note was how drastically different the gameplay was relative to the games we see today.

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Megadimension Neptunia VII Release

Neptune

For Neptunia’s PS4 debut and the first of many games by Idea Factory International in 2016, Megadimension Neptunia VII is out for those in the US! The game is available both retail and digitally.

As a bonus, day 1 DLC is available for free: original Japanese voiceovers, Histy’s Item Trial Set, and Histy’s Item Beginner Set. Nightwear Pack will be available at $2.75. New DLC will be released weekly, look forward to subsequent content for this game!

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