Otakon 2007 – Reflective piece – July 18-21
This entry talks back to last weekend in Baltimore, MD where the largest anime con on the east coast was held. This was my first year going and man was it an interesting experience. Everything was planned pretty much at the last minute when my friend, sophiehatter found out about the guest list. This was her first con period, while I have my experience of Anime NEXT 2006.
Wednesday Night – July18
Mid-town Manhattan suffered a man hole explosion courtesy of ConEd pipes. I worried if it would delay transportation going out of NYC.
Thursday -July 19
Started from the Port Authority, planning for the 11:30am bus, but because of so many people going to the con, was delayed until 12:00pm. Arrived at Baltimore around 4-ish pm. Caught the bus 27 heading to the convention center. Got to the convention center and was shocked at the line.. this was the first huge impression.. lines… looooong lines… it was a bit fun though. I complain up a storm, but the line moved quite fast and I snapped some pictures of cosplayers.
I actually question why would there be a huge line to get a simple badge. Then when finally got our badges, I marveled at how unimpressive the badges were. Simply because one they were too unfamiliar and two a overall game theme seeming to pervade the designs.
Then upon walking to the hotel where we were staying, we became a little lost, found the Tremont Plaza hotel after some assistant from a stranger. We waited for the group we were staying with since they have not arrived yet. Explored the nearby market, Super Fresh as a potential food location, I kept on calling it Fresh Direct, confusing the name with freshdirect.com. The place closes at 10pm, so it was a bit of a relief when everything seemingly seems to close quite early. Later that night, mapped out a quick schedule of events for the next day when we finally got into our room at the 16th floor.
Friday -July 20
Oh the thrill of the convention begins! Woke up early at around 9am to walk over to the convention center. The first thing that sophiehatter and I targeted was the Dealers room, and there was a line forming already around 349-350 for heading into the dealers room that opened at 12pm. Assume that we were at the beginning of the line and later found out we really weren’t.
Later that afternoon went to the Q&A panels of Mamiko Noto (Jigoku Shoujo, Full Metal Panic, Nodame Cantitable, Tokyo Godfather seiyuu) *_*…. and then for Tomokazu Seki (Gravitation, Full Metal Panic, Nodame Cantitable seiyuu)…. was really happy to see Mamiko Noto, she sounded so cute. Then feeling like blah for Tomokazu Seki’s panel, mainly because of the screaming fangirls. I like some of Seki’s roles as well, but for christs sakes taking 20 minutes to gush over an actor is a definite waste of time for audience members, he was very amusing though. bumped into a friend of a friend of Sophiehatter.
After all this was over, I rushed over for Mamiko Noto’s autograph and got a pencil board I brought earlier at the Dealer’s room autograph, I totally ditzed out all over her… o_< …I hope she wasn’t offended though.
Left the convention that with much purchases in terms of Yaoi manga – Love Mode (vol 5) and Level C (entire set), also T-shirt for friend, (When I brought the t-shirt – wanted to yell at the cashier to hurry up, because he was doing everything as if he was a novice and I think he was a newbie to even being a cashier). Also earlier I met Peter Payne, owner of jlist.com, from which I buy games and Japanese candy from.
Walk over a while later to Baltimore Harbor’s B&N to see the crowd waiting for HP7. It wasn’t that bad, I got my first drink of Starbucks after not even trying to venture the line at the convention center, the line with 15+ people waiting. Baltimore sucks in it’s terms of having Starbucks locations, unlike NYC, with it’s own Starbucks at nearly every corner. Oh there is Dunkin Doughnuts, McDonalds and 7-Eleven, but everything closed so early, that Sophiehatter mentioned it and we actually said it was better to live at NYC.
Saturday – July 20 – early morning of July 21
Didn’t leave as early as the day before. While Sophiehatter went to Maki Murakami’s Q&A panel, I spent time my time mostly either taking plenty of Cosplayer pics or explored the Artist alley, I was sooo in love with the drawings that they had there. Mainly because I found out that meiwren and chira-chira were there! Walked away with buying a print of this picture and this one. I love it!
Then I went to wait for two hours for Tomokazu Seki’s autograph as something to do for Sophiehatter. It was interesting, I finally got to experience a bit of what it was like to make friends and acquaintances in line. After getting autographs and pictures from Seki for Sophiehatter and her friend, went back to the dealer’s room where I spent half an hour at the Hirameki booth, contemplating on whether or not I should get more games.. this really frustrated the seller, who at the end shouted that he hoped he would never have to see me again.
Then Sophiehatter and I went back to the hotel, when she went back to the convention at 11:30pm to go to a Yaoi panel and I was trying to do my homework. She came back at around 12:30ish citing the fact that the panel was way too fangirly. Afterwards the other people in our suite came back and it ended up that Sophiehatter and I couldn’t sleep till 3am.
Sunday – July 21
Last day of the con! Well I went to listen to the panel of Ryuhei Kitamura, it was nice- he answered for me a question. Hmm… it was a very laid back day – nothing much occurring. Everything was pretty much done.. so Sophiehatter and I left.
There is my overview of events that occured at Otakon 2007. I uploaded pictures at Flickr and a video at Youtube.