FanimeCon 2008 was last weekend. Fanime is Northern California’s largest anime and manga convention, held every Memorial Day weekend in San Jose. Attendance is now in the 10,000+ range and significant enough to warrant the city putting up lightpost banners for the con. Browse the gallery from the last day.
Fanime grew out of the transition of anime to more mainstream audiences in the ’90s and the need to fill the San Francisco Bay Area’s needs for such a convvention. Several organizations recognized the growing interest in anime and manga in the early ’90s and organized independent conventions in the Bay Area, namely AnimeCon and Anime America. There were some other anime conventions prior to these elsewhere in the States, but I’ll just talk about what I know. I missed AnimeCon and the first Anime America conventions but went to AnimeCon’s spiritual follow on Anime Expo in 1993. The t-shirt that year was pretty cool with the Silent Mobius inspired logo on the front and various SD characters on the back. Unfortunately, the Bay Area didn’t seem to be able to handle two 1,000+ person attendance anime conventions in those days and Anime Expo moved on to bigger and better things as the country’s premier anime convention down in the L.A. area. Anime America continued along until it’s demise after 1996. As a side note, for that last convention I tried to be a correspondent for the fledgling AniMecca site but like many of my activities, I didn’t get too far beyond my initial report, but that’s a story for another day.
Anyways, the move of Anime Expo to So-Cal and the end of Anime America opened the door for Fanime’s club oriented gatherings to grow over the course of the decade.
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