OK, so I got myself ready for Fanime! They had a schedule up and ready at the site! Oh, boy! All I have to do is print it off……all I have to do is print it off…..all I have to do is…what the hell is wrong with this damn thing? They had a pocket schedule, so you knew when was when, but I could not get the flarping thing to print! I needed a special program, at a special website to print it off, but I kept blowing it. Why won’t you damn print? Am I that big of a Luddite? Or am I an anime dad and needing the daughter to do this? Uh…I had to have the daughter do this.
The plan was very simple: we’d leave here at 7 am or so for the 45 minute drive, getting to the venue at 8 am, as that is when the Registration Line opened. Now, since the first events didn’t start until 10 am, in case things took longer, we’d be prepared for that. The first part went well, as the daughter got her badge in about 30 minutes. Perhaps it was a madhouse on Day #0, as I could see the huge set-up for folks, and we avoided all that, even though there was a large amount of people. They fed through tidily; good job. Mine did not go as well. Aside from coming in as Press, I had the devil’s time finding the ProReg (Professional Registration) room. When I did find it, I was rather curtly told that they wouldn’t be open until 10 am. As Press, I do not expect to be treated better than regular people, but I should’t be treated worse.
When they finally got the door open, I heard one of the staff telling another Press type that they have problems with the Press Pass, as some people get the badge and never produce a lick of work. They would like to see the fruits of their efforts. Makes sense to me, but I found it odd that none of the other explained HOW I get to them whatever I do to them. And what if they don’t like what I have to say? If I am honest, you can only grind your teeth. Well, I got my badge a tad late and I scampered up to the rooms. So, there are seven video offerings at 10 am. What to see? Well, it was easy, as three of them were not ready to go. Two were futzing with making sure the image size fit the screen and one could not get started at all. Isn’t that was YOUR day #0 is for? Making sure we don’t have these kind of glitches at go time? I did see a lovely screen shot of Half Dome.
I started off with “Ranma ½”. I mean, the plot is very simple, if you are aware of it, but these were later episodes, which were nice to see, and there is talk of a rerelease of them in marvelous remastering. It’s just that I missed something newer, also owing to the title. The schwdule did not always make a difference between episodes and movie and I thought “The Princess and the Pilot” was a mistranslation of “The Pilot’s Love Song”. Nope, completely different, so I didn’t see the whole thing, but I will track it down and review it. So, I was worried that the logistical problems from two years ago were still here.
It got a bit worse as it rolled towards noon. One personal problem I had it that a lot of the shows that were being offered (“Your Lie in April”, “Great Teacher Onizuka”, “Log Horizon”, “Baccano!”) I had already seen. They did have “The Irresponsible Captain Tylor” and this was a personal hunt for me. I gave this show as an answer to a quiz and won the box set of….”Emma”. It was odd, as they were giving away “Tylor”, but not for that. But that viewing room had problems and launched early, so when I got there, I got the tag end of Episode 1, so I didn’t see HOW Tylor got the position. It is an older-style show and the plot is that Tylor is a goofball deluxe and he ‘wins’ by sheer luck, not due to anything else.
More glitches arose, as some venues were getting moved about and others weren’t, but the hotel staff where it was taking place wasn’t too sure on things. I almost missed out on the VIZ Media panel, where I learned that “Ranma ½” is going to be a huge multi-disk, multi-pack release. Good, it deserves it. I caught parts of it on the internet and the quality was pfffffft! But VIZ was more pointed towards manga, so they got “Tokyo Ghoul”, “Maid-sama” (As a two-in-one release) and “Ultraman”. Don’t get me wrong, I like manga, but I prefer anime.
I missed on a panel I wanted to see “Anime (and manga) for Parents”, as I had to secure the hotel room. That is about three miles away and the shuttle, which only takes about 15 minutes to get there, takes about 20 minutes to show up, so I missed the “Eccentric Family” as well. That is a hunt down for me during the year. I caught some random Abridged Series episodes and that was a lesson in production values. One show might have been funny (“Fast Food Freedom Fighters”), but I could not hear what they were saying. We had the “Yu-Gi-Oh” movie example, and that was crisp and clean, no caffeine. I also ran across “Hayate the Combat Butler” as a normal offering and that bears a closer (first season) watching.
There were two late-evening things I was not ready for and both revolved around hentai. Yes, you are aware of my aversion to hentai, so why would I go to a hentai venue? When it openly bills itself as “Bad Hentai”, well, you have to see it. The first thing is that the sheer amount of people that took in the venue. At no other time (except for the casino) did I have to wait in line and this was jam-packed into a tiny room (sorry, no ‘packing’ jokes here). I was concerned I wouldn’t get in. So, a real underestimation as to how many people wanted to see this. I flashed my press pass and asked if I could basically get cuts to get into the room. Nope; I’m in line like everyone else. I know at AX, I saw Press people go in ahead of most folks, but not here, so I struck out. In fact, after 9 pm, when all the 16+ and 18+ shows come out, the lines were tremendous for Cosplay Swimsuit Contest and Let’s Play on Ero and Yaoi Con, plus the every-popular Hot Hentai Nights.
Feeling bereft, I waited in line for Casino Night. Now, Fanime! is 21 and to celebrate, they held a light casino where you were spotted $100 in chips and you played to get a special commemorative chip. Believe it or not, easier said than done, as I ended up doubling my stake! (But in Vegas? Forget it!) Actually, this was the most fun all day, as my daughter played right along side of me. I do not know what was more scary: when I got three 21s in a row (and two of them Blackjack) or that me and my daughter got Blackjack on the same hand. It was a nice end to the evening when things went wrong on both sides of the fence.
The staff finally did get things pointed in the right direction and I slowly felt better about things. At least I was better than other folks. When I took the shuttle bus back the second time, I heard people talking about getting to the venue just now (that was at 5 pm) and going their tickets ASAP. Man, you lost about 3/4th of the day. Makes my problems seem a bit petty. Well, here’s to a better Day #2