We got there fairly early to pick up our badges (they were pretty and shiny, oooo). As we approached we saw protestors. Apparently they are there every calling all the anime geeks sinners and what-not, but I didn't remember them. We started wandering a bit and checking out the awesome pocket guide (literally mini guide that had all the panel, event, and video times). Just so you know, while the con opens early most events/happenings don't start til about 2pm. Luckily the anime rooms open up around 12pm, so I was able to catch up on a couple of things I haven't seen before. We saw Onion Samurai and Charlie the Unicorn 3. Also managed a bit later to catch Tweeny Witches (F.Y.I. My friend, Julie Rei Goldstein does the voice over for Biris in Tweeny Witches: The Adventures OAV).
As soon as the Dealer's room and Artist's Alley opened up we went out to scout all the merch. Personally, I thought both we're pretty "meh." The Dealer's room was actually quite small and a lot of the merch wasn't terribly noteworthy. Plus, everyone jacks up the price at con. Having said that, I still walked away with two purchases: a Gurren Lagan messenger bag and DeathNote lanyard. And while the A.A. had more artist's than last year I just wasn't interested in buying yet another plushie, or button, or print.
Had some dinner. Came back to see the panel "Webcomics: Behind the scenes," which featured Nonsense Wars, Thunder and Lightning, and Ensuing. The panel was fairly informative, considering I know nothing about starting a webcomic. They were able to give us some practical advice on which services can be used to host (comicgenesis was mentioned), and re-iterated frequently the importance of updating your webcomic regularly. And while the panel managed to end on time, the Ouran Host Club attendees were fairly annoying busting into the room to grab seats (not a fan of those fan girls).
(NOTES: H4773r and I will be starting a webcomic later this year. So catching all the webcomic panels meant a lot to us.)
After the panel we quickly made our way over to catch R.O.D. OAV. I've seen this anime before but I really, really enjoy the story line. In fact, I purchased manga for it (volumes 1-4).
Friday night's dinner was enjoyed at Flames. Flames is a local diner that has locations downtown across from SJSU (where we went) and a second location on Hillsdale. The food here is pretty good and decently priced. I liken Flames to slightly more upscale Denny's with a bar. They also have pretty good desert menu as well. The only problem I have with the dowtown location is they have varied hours operation and it isn't posted anywhere. I have no clue what time they open and what time they close always seems to vary.
Finally we ended the evening by enjoying our favorite downtown SJ pub, O'Flaherty's. O'Flaherty's is a place we frequent every Friday. Yes, I was in full costume and didn't care. If you go, try the Mad Hatter. An interesting twist on Guiness.