Highlights from Fresno’s Ani-Jam 2014

So if you’ve been following my blog (and you should!) then you’ve heard all about Fresno’s premiere nerd-tastic convention – Ani-Jam! Weeeeell my friends, Ani-Jam 2014 has come and gone, and I am here to share some of my favorite highlights from this years gathering!
If you were at the con and you see yourself in any of these photos, feel free to grab a copy for yourself and share! Just leave a comment below and give me a little shout out.
So! Let the highlights begin!
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First off, this was my daughters 4th geeky convention! Not bad for an 11 month old, no? I hadn’t planned to have Tessa cosplay to Ani-Jam, but then my sister Jessica babysat the day before the convention, and when we all loaded into the car on Saturday, I somehow ended up with two fanbots all ready for a Steam Powered Giraffe concert! Don’t they look dapper?!

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Ani-Jam kicked off with Day Zer0, an exclusive formal ball / dance (complete with dance lessons!) for those who pre-registered for Ani-Jam. With fun old fashioned flair, it was a great start to a great weekend!

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Look at those excited faces eager for the vendor hall to open! With the usual anime madness and geeky swag, the vendor hall was the place to be to pick up some them appropriate booty. (Speaking of, I STILL can’t find my sexy anime dakimakura pillow. Why do they only make them for guys?! Is it asking too much for an Inuyasha or Kyo pillow? IS IT?!?!)

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We had some great musical artists this year at Ani-Jame.. one of the crowd favorites was Chii Sakurabi, the state-side famous J-POP singer and recording artist from Tokyo, Japan. She’s known for her high-energy songs and kawaii Lolita fashion. WERK IT GURL! (That so was not lolita speak. I fail.)
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Akai Sky, the original American J-Rock band, returned to Ani-Jam once again this year for not one, but TWO appearances! Inspired by Japanese pop melody and heavy alternative American Rock, this band fuses English and Japanese lyrics in their catchy, original songs.

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Now this guy, Raj Ramayya, is freaking cool. Wish I’d read his bio prior to, ya know, watching him perform and then blogging about it. Raj has been featured as a guest singer and composer with several distinguished artists ranging from Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Wolfs Rain) Tatsuya Oe, Chris Mosdell and a host of others, he has produced and collaborated on over 26 albums released internationally. If this dude comes back next year, I’MA BE ALL UP ONS!

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Seriously, check out this line-up of guests.. LOTS of voice acting talent this year at Ani-Jam! We had… *deep breath*… Jessica Calvello, Jad Saxton, Greg Ayres, David Vincent, Chris Cason and Samantha Inoue-Hart. I was going to list their “best known for” voice acting gigs, but then I thought, ya know, I’d like to finish this blog post sometime tonight. (Watching anime and blogging is HARD.)

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And then of course… there was RAMUNE CHUGGING!! This two day challenge is always a crowd pleaser. And no one threw up this year! (I think…)

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Our main act and guests of honor Steam Powered Giraffe rocked the house on Saturday night. With a line wrapping around the building and a packed shoulder to shoulder concert, they were a hit. I loved checking out all the fanbots in the crowd. I never knew there was such a steampunky crowd in the Central Valley!
Those are some of the main highlights… now here’s some various snapshots from throughout the weekend. Enjoy!