Parachuting from the Alpha-Copter disguised as futuristic Franciscan monks, the full #TEAMJUMP crew descended in downtown San Jose for FanimeCon! Armed with cameras, prizes, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and some serious ‘tude, we snapped cosplay photos, met a ton of cool people, and rocked the SJ FAN MEET-UP! Here are the deets!
FanimeCon (or Fanime as it’s called) is the largest anime convention in Northern California. It’s held in beautiful downtown San Jose and is attended by 20,000 cosplay, anime, manga, and video game enthusiasts from all over the world. The con has a reputation as having some of the best cosplay in the country, and we saw plenty of examples to support this claim.
Although we had a ton of stuff to do, we couldn’t pass up the chance to hit the One Piece cosplay meet up! If you’ve never been to a cosplay meet-up, you really should go. It’s really fun to see the different takes on the same characters cosplayers come up with. Their dedication and imagination are extraordinary! We snapped lots of shots, did some interviews and had the entire crowd confess their love for SJ Alpha!
From there it was time for our special appearance on the Viz Media panel! The fiery Misaki Kido a.k.a. Ms. @onnabancho_0J was the moderator and moved the panel along with great finesse. Handsome #TEAMJUMP member Urian Brown busted jokes, talked up the benefits of an SJ Alpha membership (incredible, yet affordable, weekly manga, free Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, members-only content, etc), and made several Psyduck references some of the crowd got, and some did not.
From there it was time for the real action—the SJ Fan Meet-Up! Which is less like a panel, and more like a party. It started off with an Editor Showdown, where the editors of SJ Alpha discussed all manner of things like the first time they read the classic Rurouni Kenshin, their thoughts about Barrage, the new manga joining SJ Alpha, and more.
After many insightful observations and hilarious witticisms, it was time for the ever-popular cosplay contest! Each of the editors picked out their favorite SJ cosplayer from the crowd and had them come to the front of the stage. Noob #TEAMJUMP member Alexis Kirsch foolishly thought a cosplayer was Joey Wheeler from Yu-Gi-Oh!, but he was in fact Kuwabara from YuYu Hakusho! The crowd informed him of his error with light-hearted jeers. Each finalist got a round of applause from the audience, and Kuwabara won handily!
At that point the panel was winding down and it was time for the Fan Art Jam. Each SJ Fan Meet-Up, we have people draw our unofficial mascot Alpha-kun doing something different. Because we were in the famous Silicone Valley, we decided to have the crowd draw a “high-tech Alpha-kun.” Super SJ Alpha fan, Christine T. won with her incredibly detailed Alpha-kun mecha. She was so excited, she tried to lick her prize!
In the end, the panel was a blast! Everyone who came got a special bag full of cool stuff like SJ posters, a Naruto fan, print and more. SJ subscribers who brought a friend got a special prize, as did their friend. And plenty more people won prizes in the contest and trivia prize breaks. Basically, we just like to give people stuff and thank them for being an SJ Alpha member, and coming to the meet-up! And I’m pretty sure they enjoy it, too!
And that is pretty much Fanime in a nutshell!
Join the full SJ Alpha crew at our next SJ FAN MEET-UP at Anime Expo! June 29–July 02 in Los Angeles!
by Urian Brown