FanimeCon 2009

by Evan Miller,

When: May 22-25, 2009
Where: San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, California
2008 Attendance: 14,926




FanimeCon was first held on the campus of CSU-Hayward in 1994, making it one of the oldest anime conventions in the country. When it started, the convention was less of a "con" and more of a gathering of local anime clubs. However, the convention grew quickly, almost doubling its attendance each year. Fanime 1997 saw the arrival of the convention's first Japanese guest of honor, Studio Gainax's Hiroyuki Yamaga (who has been a guest of honor at every Fanime Con since then, including this year). The convention was held on the campuses of San Francisco Bay Area universities until 1998, when growth necessitated the need for a bigger venue. The con moved to the San Jose Wyndham in 1999, after which the convention moved to the Santa Clara Convention Center for it's first four day convention in 2000. Unfortunately, the four day format for the con was unsuccessful, and after a few lackluster reviews from critics and fans, the convention scaled back to a three-day format in 2001. The convention stayed in Santa Clara until 2003. The following year brought a few major changes: a move from the suburbs to downtown San Jose and the McEnery Convention Center, and the decision that the convention would be held on Memorial Day weekend every year (previously, the convention was held as early as February and as late as June). Since then, the convention has continued to cement its status as the largest anime convention in Northern California, bringing in over 14,000 attendees over four days in 2008.

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