Last weekend was Otakon weekend in Batlimore, and, for the 10th year in a row, I attended the convention. After having some time to recover from the convention, write reports for another web site, and return to work, here's my report on Otakon 2010:
-Outside of the mess when it first started, I felt the "bar code" system way of handling pre-reg was a very great idea for Otakon to utilize. By the time the line started moving, the "bar code" line that was wrapping around the Convention Center when the Otakon staff were working on the problem disappeared within minutes, and there was hardly any lines when it came to waiting inside. It was so quick that I now kinda regret not packing a swimsuit with me so that way I can go swimming on Thursday (since I had a lot of time after picking up my badge).
-When it comes to cosplay, I kinda felt that the most popular choice wasn't Final Fantasy, Bleach, or Naruto. Instead, the popular choice IMO had to be the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, as I saw a number of people dressed up as Finn during the convention. Heck, there were so many Finn cosplayers that I couldn't help yelling out, "What time is it?" whenever I saw one.
-To me, if there's one thing that needed improvement, it was definitely scheduling. For starters, I ended up missing both the Funimation and Bandai panels (two panels that I wanted to attend) because they were scheduled at the same time as events related to the "higher priority" AMV Contest (i.e. the Friday showing of the contest and Iron Editor, which is where the winners are announced). Also, it appears that Otakon still hasn't learned its lesson when it comes to scheduling the Game Show, as both the Show itself and the Qualification Quiz were on Friday (missed the quiz, but was able to catch the Game Show). Finally, despite the fact that it was scheduled to open at 8:30 AM, the staff at the Balitmore Convention Center decided not to officially open the doors until 9:00 AM on Friday and Saturday.
-Given how I've started doing convention loot reports for myanimeshelf.com (beginning with Katsucon earlier in the year), rather than talk about what I got at the Otakon Dealers' Room here, here's a link
to a detailed report about everything that I picked up at the Dealers' Room last weekend.
-The AMV Contest was a good one this year. For me the best category in this year's contest was Upbeat, as almost all the videos were great IMO (the only one that I wasn't impressed with was the one that actually won the category, which used the ED to Haruhi and the OP to Lucky Star). There were also some interesting artistic videos in the form of a Death Note video set to "The Poet and the Pendulum" and the video "The Legendary City Nara". As for the Best in Show (which involves Lelouche making people do the Burger Dance), I had to download that video (and put it on my iPod Touch) once I went on animemusicvideos.org to post the winners on their message board.
-When it came to the Art Show, there were a few pieces that I definitely liked. Among the pieces that I like include a "sprite" version of Morrigan from Darkstalkers, a picture showcasing a day in the life of Link from the Legend of Zelda (which involves being chased by chickens and having to hear a fairy yell, "Hey, listen!" over and over), and a picture featuring American from Hetalia alongside Ronald McDonald and the Burger King.\
-When it came to Friday night, the main event for me was the sneak peek of some of the videos that will be in the upcoming AMV Hell 5. Due to the fact that the video isn't slated to officially premiere until September (most likely around Anime Weekend Atlanta, which was where the longer AMV Hell videos premiered), I'm unsure as to whether or not I should mention some of the funnier videos IMO. However, I can say that I'm definitely looking forward to download the finished project when it comes out next month (or whenever the download comes out).
-Once again, another convention decided to show Strike Witches during the daytime hours of Saturday (as I mentioned in my Katsucon report, I'm concerned showing Strike Witches in a period of "general audiences" programming, as the show's fourth episode has a bath scene where the nipples of the various female characters are visible). Sometimes, I wonder if the people in charge of programming even view the titles that are planned to be shown at the convention before coming up with the schedule (after all, last year, Otakon ended up cancelling a panel about the coolest deaths in anime due to it being too intense for the afternoon time slot it was scheduled for).
-As I mentioned in the Otakon thread, some idiot decided to pull the fire alarm at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday afternoon, with me waiting for the Hetalia dub premiere to start when it went off. After being made to leave the convention center, I waited out this situation by returning to my hotel room (with me dropping off some items that I picked up at the Dealers' Room). Luckily, I was able to watch the dub premiere of Hetalia after I was allowed to return to the convention center (and was able to confirm the infamous "Jew" joke when someone asked about it). As for who pulled the alarm, I don't know who did it, but I did write "BCC Fire Alarm Puller" on someone cosplaying as the Death Note.
-Outside of the Hetalia dub premiere and the fan-produced titles (AMV's and fan-parodies), the only real program I saw in the video room during the convention was Inazuman, a bizarre live-action superhero show from Japan. With a hero who has the ability to reverse time (aka the film), a "Monster of the Week" that uses crucifixes as a weapon (me a la Rita from Power Rangers: "Magic cross, make my monster grow!"), and a end theme song where the lyrics "Chest Chest Chest" is repeated a few times, it's no surprise I had watching it a la MST3K. Of course, that's just part of the "Japanese superhero" weirdness I saw at the convention, as after Inazuman, I watched a video featuring an Ultraman version of the "Scatman" song.
-Proof that I'm already getting ready for next year's Otakon: Otakon 2010 wasn't even over, and I'd already booked a room at the Holiday Inn for next year's convention on Saturday Night.
Finally, to wrap up this report, here's my pictures of various cosplay and some of the items that I bought at this year's Otakon. This time around, I'm doing something different, as I'm providing both my usual Photobucket link as well as a Facebook link (so that you can comment on the pictures if you have a Facebook account).