Sharing a Love of Ponies at FanimeCon 2011

This year was only my second year attending FanimeCon, a popular anime convention held every year in San Jose. It should come as no surprise that many Bronies out there are also anime fans, so I guess it was only natural that I’d meet a few at this year’s convention. This year, however, some fans decided to take it above and beyond and try out this whole “meetup” idea that many Bronies have been attempting lately.The meetup was started as a facebook group by fellow EqD/Ponychan poster Grez the Lizard Lord after a conversation the two of us had carried out in one of my Google Documents. He figured it would be a great way to pass the time during one of the slower parts of the convention. I and my room mates were among the first to be invited into the facebook group.

I have to admit, the facebook group seemed a little lackluster. There wasn’t a lot of response and only a few people actually posted saying they would be there. I expected three or four people other than my friends to show up.

Well, I was wrong.

It was still a modest group, only about fifteen people, but the whole thing was a ton of fun. We met out in front of the convention center at the edge of the fountains, and handshakes and greetings were exchanged. I was happy to see a diverse group of people, both in age and gender. Right away someone suggested we start playing songs. One fan had brought his laptop and speakers, and we all started singing along to “Winter Wrap Up,” “Giggle at the Ghostie,” and the MLP:FiM theme song. Even those of us like myself who have less-than-desirable singing abilities raised our voices and sang loud and proud, drawing odd looks from some of the passerby.

This turned out to be a great idea (thank you, whoever started it) because we managed to pick up a few bronies walking around outside the convention who hadn’t heard about the meetup.

We moved inside to the lobby where it was a little quieter, and my friend SlaveofIceTea (in his infinite wisdom) decided to start the whole thing AA meeting-style. We all formed up in a circle, gave our names, admitted to being a brony (or as he called it, “came out of the stable”), and named our favorite characters. After each of us finished, clapping and cheering abounded from the group. It was awesome, not just because we were all meeting new people, but because the clapping and cheering drew some even funnier reactions from anime fans passing by. I almost felt like we were trolling FanimeCon.

Unfortunately, this year we didn’t have very much planned for the meetup, so after about a half-hour we had finished with our little group circle and people started to break off and start their own conversations. I got to meet some pretty cool bronies. Let me just give some quick shout outs to a few of the fans there.

There were a few artists around, including 0r0ch1, and a couple of drawfriends from /pic. My room mate/artist friend Syggie managed to make it (photos are courtesy of his camera). Fanfiction author Ebon Mane was there. Much to my fan-squealing delight, Eurobeat Brony also made an appearance. He was there, signing shirts and talking about music. Fyeahspikethedragon, a blogger from tumblr was there as well. You guys should definitely check out her Spike based blog, giving love to a very under appreciated character. It’s relatively new and needs more viewers!

At the beginning of the meetup we took a picture of those of us who showed up!

BRONIES!!!

Argh, I know I’ve forgotten some people too, so if you were there, speak up in the comments section! I super derped and didn’t bring anything to write with so I couldn’t get all your EqD/Ponychan usernames and I know a lot of you didn’t get in the picture (sorry!).

One Pinkie Pie showed up a little late. Oh well.

Well, it was quite sad, but after about forty-five minutes the meetup came to its inevitable close. People started breaking off to enjoy the various festivities FanimeCon had to offer, saying their goodbyes and vowing to meet up again next year. After the meetup, I decided to hang out with Grez for a bit and we talked about doing this again next year.

So if you attend FanimeCon every year, and you are a Brony, heads up! We plan to have a meetup next year, and the next, and the next, for as long as MLP and FanimeCon are going! Hopefully next time we’ll have a better plan for what to do, as well as advertise it a little more (I’m sure Sethisto over at EqD would love to help us out). And for those of you who were there, thank’s for showing up and sharing your love of MLP with us!

See you again next year.

-Ben Sims
(mbulsht)

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Email me at mbulsht@gmail.com
Pictures were used with permission. If you would like a picture of yourself to be removed for personal reasons, please email me.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Sharing a Love of Ponies at FanimeCon 2011

  1. Scorch_Mechanic

    I’m the guy in the middle with the hat and Fluttershy t-shirt.
    FYI, I took a quick camera pan of the circle with everypony in it with my iPod, but I’m not going to share it because I know some of the bronies don’t want their faces publicized.

  2. Josh

    hey hey, WakaWaka here (a.k.a. the guy with the horse mask and poster).

    The brony meetup certainly made the day far more than 20% cooler. I’m not a huge fan of anime (only seen about ~15 series from front to back, all under 30 episodes) but it was tons of fun regardless. Can’t wait to do it again next year, maybe I’ll have a less-freaky looking costume this time around 😉

  3. I made the “MLP FiM” shirt I was wearing specifically for the convention, and I’m glad I did! I met numerous bronies over the course of the weekend – several of them were actually dealers!

    The meetup definitely made this year’s Fanime especially enjoyable!

    PS. Nyerpy is my username on various sites (EqD, Ponychan, Tumblr, etc.)

  4. Random Ninja

    I wish I was more informed or I would have gone. I was the Wall-e with the MLPfim buttons. I hope to see you guys at further gatherings. I’ll be doing a spike costume. Is there a MLP costume group? Is the Pinkie pie or Fluttershy starting one up?

    • mbulsht

      We plan on doing another meetup next year. Unfortunately this year was very disorganized and we didn’t advertise the event properly. To my knowledge, there is no official gathering of MLP cosplayers, but there were quite a few people in costume there at fanime, many of whom do not appear in the picture.

      Hopefully next year we’ll be better prepared.

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