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12th September
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Last weekend we attended Sierra Nevada Anime Fans Unite – or SNAFUCon, in Reno, NV. Hosted at the Grand Sierra resort and casino, the venue provided ample room for both con shenanigans and Reno shenanigans.

The highlight of the con was definitely the arcade, with solid cabinets for DDR, Beatmania 5-key, IIDX, DJ Max Technika, numerous shoot-em-ups, and fighting games from Marvel vs Capcom 3 to Mortal Kombat. There were never terribly long lines, either, and we got a bunch of rounds in on several different games; a pretty unusual con experience for us.

Programming was excellent, with several different voice actors and cosplayers ready to give autographs and talk about their work, several awesome informational panels, including a unique panel on crossplay (which we haven’t seen at any other cons). They had some cool bands performing on the main stage, and live performances of Rock Band, some of which were better than others. The dealer’s room was a little out of the way, but the Artist’s Alley was definitely the main attraction in the regular con area, with everything from prints to cosplay supplies to some epic steampunk gear.

The dance was better than we’ve seen at many cons, with DJ Tim “Kaminari” Albertson spinning some hardcore music that really got the fans jumping. There was also some interesting late night programming, including a hentai room, a varient on the popular “anime hell” funny video collection, and a “BJ competition” which sadly none of us were able to make, though it sounded like fun.

We had a fantastic suite with a great view, but we ended up being too distracted by gambling, cigars and dinners out to get a party together. Some cons, you just gotta relax, right? Pro tip: always come out ahead by playing video blackjack at the bar – just make sure to get more drinks than you’re paying for in betting money!

For a second-year con, this was very well put together. We had a great time, and we’ll be back next year! How about you? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to join us!

8th September
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Last weekend we hit up SacAnime, one of our favorite cons of the year. Held partially outdoors at the Radisson in Sacramento, the con has a real party vibe to it. Needless to say, we got precious little sleep this weekend.

We got lucky with our room placement and had an awesome view of the main stage from our balcony. We got to watch the Matsuri festival games during the day, which included sumo wrestling, target-tossing and other carnival games. Later on we got to watch the Kendo demonstration from a dojo in Scramento. Saturday night we got the behind-the-scenes look at the Eyeshine concert, which was great.

The game room was top notch this year, with everything from Pop’n Music to Typing of the Dead. There was a Maid Cafe we didn’t have time to stop into, but which looked EGL-tastic. Team Love/Hate was out demoing their sweet cars, with Jinai and co. rocking an awesome DJ set all con long.

The Dealer’s Room was super crowded – we only managed it twice the whole con, and didn’t get to see much due to all the shoulder bumping action and conflicting appointments. Hopefully they’ll get a larger space for it next year. The Artist’s Alley felt about the same as last year; cozy, fun, and definitely in need of more ventilation.

We didn’t make it to the dance this year on either night – we were busy managing our room and checking out the Eyeshine concert. I did catch a bit of Pendulum’s “The Island” and some other electro & house music. We’ll make more effort to get there next year.

We can’t help throwing a party, and this con was no exception. We had the usual DJ & margarita fountain set up, an insider’s view of Eyeshine on te balcony, and plenty to drink & chill with inside. As usual, SacAnime had a great crowd and tons of fun people stopped by. Around 1am on Sat, though, we had to shut down to go check out another friend’s party, so sorry if you stopped by after then!

We had a blast this year, and simply can’t wait to go back next year! Fortunately, we don’t have to wait too long, since it’s happening again in January. More cons should be biannual. Or bi-winning, as Charlie Sheen would put it.

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24th August
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Last weekend we attended Ani-Jam in Fresno, CA. We had a small crew there for Sat and Sun, and managed to stir up some trouble.

It was a pretty small con, but had everything you’d expect. We poked around the Dealer’s room, checked out the Artist’s Alley just outside. Team Lovehate had cars on display right outside the hotel and a nifty DJ booth set up for their custom tunes. Curiously, there was a separate dealer’s room for card games and related merchandise, which also served as a playground for Magic and Yugioh tournaments. There were rooms showing anime, a few panels from notable voice actors (and an interesting panel on Tohou), and a small but intimate game room featuring Smash Bros, Tekken, and for a little while Guitar Hero.

The con had an amazing music lineup. Akai Sky was there from San Francisco pulling out some US JRock. We also got to hang out a bit with the guys from All Ages, who are on tour with The Pillows later this year. The con hosted a dance from 7:00-10:00pm, which featured DJ Shinai dropping some meme-inspired samples and remixes of video games.

We ended up getting a suite room with no one nearby, so a party was in order. With some help from Team Lovehate we got some speakers and a DJ rig going, and didn’t get a single complaint from the hotel. No vodka fountain this time, but we think everyone had a lot of fun.

The staff at Ani-Jam were great, and we had a great time. We’ll be going back next year.

22nd June
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Next con, now less than two weeks away, is AM2! It was a tough call deciding between Anime Expo and AM2 this year, since both conventions promise amazing guests, tons of things to do, and top-notch cosplay, but ultimately we did Anime Expo last year and this is AM2′s first year running. We’re super excited to see what they have in store – especially since all the usual con stuff doesn’t even require a badge! Let’s hope the “free con” business model catches on.

We’re booked at the Sheraton, and will be there late Friday night through Sunday afternoon. Hope to see you there! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for details. And if you end up going to Anime Expo instead, let us know how it was!

20th June
2011
written by Andrew Evans

We spent last weekend at Kintoki Con, at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. It was their first year running, and for that they did a fantastic job. There were a few small kinks (particularly with weekend pass pre-registrations) but there were a ton of activities and fun stuff to do.

We arrived on friday before the con started to get set up and check out the scene. One of the game rooms was set up, but things were pretty quiet. Saturday had a lot more going on, with three separate game rooms (one occupying the entire 15th floor), two video rooms, and plenty of celebrities to chat with. The hotel also had some great amenities such as an outdoor pool & hot tub, and balconies on the 15th floor overlooking Sacramento. The convention also hosted a cash-prize breakdancing competition which featured some incredible moves.

We threw a party Saturday night in our room, which turned out to be on a private floor, giving us an electronic bouncer gratis. We featured a margarita fountain and DJ spinning electronic music, and a glowing view of the mall across the street. Lots of cosplayers joined us after the Moon Stream show, which we heard was plagued with makeup issues from the artists, for a few drinks and some conversation. We got shut down around 1am after two visits from hotel security, and migrated to the 15th floor, where there was no alcohol, but there were DJ’s spinning pop music, fighting games, and beautiful nighttime skyline views.

Sunday was a bit more relaxed – we spent some time wandering the game rooms and talking to folks, going out to eat (though many local restaurants were closed on Sunday) and packing up to leave. Kintoki Con is small, but we think there’s a lot to it, and will definitely be going again next year. Will you be joining us?

16th June
2011
written by Andrew Evans


Glad to report the Con Crashers & Cosplay Report will be at Kintoki Con this year! Seems to be their first year running out of a hotel, so we’re really excited to see them launch and check out what they have to offer. We’ve had a great time at SacAnime and SacCon, so we’re fans of the Sacramento convention scene.

We’ll probably have a party, gathering, or shindig of some sort. Hit us up on Twitter for the most up-to-date data and where we’re at!

14th June
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Still working on the format – let us know what you’d like to hear about in the comments or on our Twitter or Facebook pages! Thanks for listening!

7th June
2011
written by Andrew Evans

This was something I heard ages ago that I thought everyone knew: the 6/2/1 con survival program. At Fanime a few weeks ago we ran into some folks who hadn’t heard of it, so I thought we could explain a bit more here. 6/2/1 helps you get through a con without missing much, feeling like crap, or stinking up the place. At its heart is a set of simple rules. Every day at a convention you must:

  • Get 6 hours of sleep
  • Eat 2 meals
  • Take 1 shower

Most people start to forget those in reverse order – showers are the first to go, then eating sufficiently, then not sleeping. Showers are critically important, and keep whatever convention you’re at from being an terrifying nerd-hole, so please people, use soap. Eating two meals a day gives you enough calories to jump around to panels, run around the halls taking pictures, and posing for photos yourself. Six hours of sleep helps keep your mood up and your mind healthy. While most people experience a sense of giddiness after about 24 hours awake, by the end of a convention you will have crashed, be in a bad mood, and generally be unpleasant company.

Stick to the 6/2/1 – you’ll have a much better con.

Suggestions? Anecdotes? More pro tips? Hit us up in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook!

2nd June
2011
written by Andrew Evans

Fanime, Norther California’s largest anime convention, was a major success this year. As usual, we avoided the panels and major con events in favor of running into people randomly, partying like rock stars, and cosplaying for the fun of it. We roomed at the Mariott, which turned out to be party central. Our room party was on the same floor / hall as two others. If you want a good night’s sleep at Fanime, check out the Fairmont hotel and not the Mariott.

Fanime this year showed a significant crack-down on policies. We had trouble establishing our press credentials due to some site / database issues, and the Fanime staff were erring on the side of not handing out press passes. While we were eventually able to get the site back up and get our badges, this was a different story than previous years where press admission has been very friendly and understanding.

Rovers were very strict this year about peace-bonding weaponry – we weren’t in the convention center for ten minutes before a coterie of four different rovers converged on our WWII Captain America to demand inspection of his gun. They must have thought he was going to start shooting right there. Then, after we were rushed to con ops to get the weapon inspected, it was rejected as “too realistic.” This was a real WWII M1-Garand rifle stock with a solid wooden dowel substituted for the barrel. It looked good, but was obviously fake. Finally, nothing with the word “police” nor anything cop-like was allowed – again, less than a ten minute response time for our unfortunate Chris Redfield cosplayer. Be very careful what kind of cosplay you wear to Fanime (if you wear one at all), and be sure to read the rules like a lawyer.

Fanime events were as great as you would expect. There was something fun to watch at all hours on Stage 0. The raves were well-done with a variety of electronic music genres. The black-and-white formal ball declined our resident waltz-master’s real, honest-to-god waltz dancing shoes because “they didn’t look real.” We missed the masquerade and concert due to some shenanigans in our hotel room, so no report there, but we heard good things. The game room was typical, with lots of paid dancing and fighting arcade games, and console, board and card games of all stripes.

We threw a party every single night at Fanime to get the word out there about our site. We had a new addition to the host team this time – a Vodka fountain we nicknamed “Farva.” Look for it at our next con party! We got shut down by hotel security on Saturday night for being too loud, after party manager Chris had to escort a stumbling bro from another party back to his room. We started up again on Sunday, though, undeterred. If you like meeting cosplayers, hosts, con managers and industry pros, definitely hit up the next Con Crasher party – follow us on Twitter for all the details!

Finally, we got to take some pictures and hand out stickers for our friends at Ani.me – if you haven’t checked out their site yet, now’s the time!

We’ll definitely be at Fanime again next year after the great time we had this year. Will you be joining us? Let us know in the comments!

28th May
2011
written by Chris Kraynik

I’ve been attending FanimeCon for twelve years straight now, both as a staffer and an attendee, and it’s been an honor to watch and help it grow.  From local guests to Studio Gainax, Fanime has kept fans entertained with a number of events and performances to please both the casual and hardcore anime fan. Today was no exception… Halko Momoi was here, and we had the pleasure of seeing DJ Helsing again as well.  He even graced the Swap Meet with his presence on Day 0, as did Jonathan Osbourne in the tabletop gaming area.

The fun continued as we enjoy Fanime’s music videos, a number of cosplay gatherings, and threw our first party of the weekend. Day 2 is here, so we’re signing off to enjoy it. We’ll see you again tomorrow for a Day 2 wrap-up… visit room 1212 if you want to meet us in person, and we’ll do a shot together if you’re of age!

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