(Head Geek’s Note: This post was provided by Friend of the Blog Jose Gomez. Part 1 of his report can be found here.)
First thing we did is stop by McDonald’s for some breakfast. The good thing about conventions is it gives all businesses a nice boost. The bad thing is when you’re trying to order a McGriddle, a ton of people show up and now you feel like you’re in a sardine can. What’s even worse is they already ran out of McGriddles. AT 10 IN THE MORNING!! I settled for an egg McMuffin and my wife and her niece each got the breakfast platter. We decided to do a panel at 2 p.m., so we went back to the convention and decided to hang out at the Table Top area and play Cards Against Humanity.
We got so into the game that we almost lost track of time, so we had to hurry to the panel. The line wasn’t too big by the time we got there, but just as the panel was starting, the room filled up. Oh yeah, something I forgot to mention in part 1 is that some of these panels are 18-plus. You must show a government-issued I.D. in order to attend an 18+ panel. And if you happen to forget it or lose it, even if you look as old as Gandalf, tough bananas, you won’t be allowed in the panel no matter what.
The panel was called Cult Movies With Unnecessary Commentary, where the whole point is to watch some clips of various cult movies and MST3K them. There were some quips here and there, but I think people were just enjoying watching the clips and laughing at them. Some of the movies shown included Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rubber (about a sentient tire…..seriously!), Kung Pow, Sharknado, Ghost Shark, White Chicks, and The Jerk (“my special purpose!”).
We decide to do a little window shopping and then head for lunch. We went to Whataburger, which was just down the road from the convention.
With our bellies full, we went back to the convention and to a panel called Bad Fanfiction Readings. As the name suggests, the panelists read off horrible (but funny) fan fictions. One in particular, about Jesus and Hitler being “close” actually had a few people walk up and leave (in fairness, the panelists did warn us about some of the stories they would tell).
After that, the only other panel we got to before the rave was a burlesque show where people dress up as various characters and proceed to dance and remove articles of clothing until the performers are down to their undies. We figured it was going to be a popular panel so we stood in line about an hour before the panel started. And good thing we did, as not long after we showed up the line started to fill up quickly. This too ended up being packed.
So as I mentioned, this panel had burlesque dancers dressed as various characters and they strip off their clothes (didn’t realize Goku could dance). I didn’t take any pictures of the performance, as everyone and their mother was jumping up and down hootin’ and hollerin’. I’ve been to a burlesque show before and it was fun so this was no different.
After the panel, my wife and I decided to head to the Hyatt Ballroom for the rave while her niece went with her friend to the Marriot Hotel for another panel before they meet up with us. Saturday happened to be my birthday so we stopped by at the hotel bar to grab a couple of drinks. Happy birthday to me!
We went to the rave, and the ballroom was MASSIVE! The con actually has other bands playing in the ballroom throughout the day, but obviously everyone is waiting for the rave at the end of the evening. It’s actually pretty fun, everyone clearly enjoying themselves. It’s an all age’s thing (I’ve seen some kids start a congo line, which is cool) so obviously there was no alcohol. Even though I’m pretty sure at least some people came in a little tipsy, no one acted the fool and it was just an all-around great rest of the evening
The rave lasted until 4 a.m. but we actually left around 2:30 so we could get picked up. I may have mentioned something about a hotel in Part 1 of this review. Last year when we did all three days, we stayed at La Quinta Hotel, which was down the street from the convention, due to the fact that the con would run until 4am on the first two days. Instead of having to wait for somebody to pick us up, we can just head to the hotel and maybe pick up some food along the way. While it wasn’t too bad, me, my wife and her niece agreed that from here on out, we get a hotel room whenever we do 3 days at a Con.
On the third day we decided to bring along my wife’s youngest niece with us. She has been getting into anime and comics thanks to her older sister, and the past couple of years we’ve been bringing her to a few cons with us. Sunday tends to be a bit more laid back so a lot of people tend to just spend Sunday going to vendors and buy stuff, which is what we decide to do. Throughout the convention, the local blood bank set up shop so that people can donate (I forget the exact number but it was a pretty good turn out). My blood type is O+, and since I’m a universal donor they always call me to see if I can donate. I do make an effort to stop by and give blood.
After that we pretty much spent the rest of the day just walking around and checking out all the vendors. Closing ceremonies started around 6 p.m., so we all stopped by one of the bigger rooms where it took place. It’s nothing too fancy, just everyone from the staff to the guests to the guy that runs the con himself simply saying thanks and how much of a good time it was. It’s at this time where they reveal next year’s theme, which is…..
What’s cool is that the next two years will be spent on my birthday weekend, so what better way to spend it than going to an anime convention.
Overall, San Japan is (and always has been) a great experience. While Alamo City Comic Con is the bigger con here in town, I gotta say this one is the most fun. It’s the one convention I look forward to the most every year, and anybody who is in town should check it out. You will not be disappointed