While my trip was a positive experience, Otakon 2011 was pretty disappointing (which’d be a real problem if I was paying for the trip myself). I ask myself: would I go back next year? Even if I had to pay for it? I’m thinking no, not unless they bring over, like, Hanazawa Kana or something. But this isn’t a negative post, I think.
My Day 0 post can serve as an introduction. I’ve also posted about my haul and my karaoke performances. Here goes the daily details – please note that this post is pretty messy and long. I kept putting off writing it, but TheBigN is still doing his this late, and I read these inspiring words form ghostlightning that made me think something would be better than nothing.
This post will be very hard to read if you don’t keep this in mind: I have two younger brothers. One is 17, and one is 12. I refer to the 17yo one as ‘bro’ or ‘brother’, and I refer to the 12yo one as ‘baby bro’ or ‘baby brother’. If you do not see the word ‘baby’, then I’m not referring to the 12 yo.
Otakon is always about karaoke for me. In 2008, I performed Taiyou no Mannake e by Bivattche (Eureka Seven op 3) and SoulTaker by JAM Project (Op to The SoulTaker, my favorite anison, on accuont of JAM playing at Otakon that year). Sadly, I have no videos of those performances. In 2009, I legendarily and creepily performed Kuusou Rumba by Ootsuki Kenji to Zetsubou Shoujo-tachi (Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei op 1) which you can watch here. This year, I went all out and did three different songs, with a total of four performances, since I did one twice. I’ll be presenting them in the order they were performed, which is also a convenient gradation of EPIC scale.
I’m gonna be segmenting my Otakon coverage, partly because the thing as a whole is so massive, and partly because I want the sense of accomplishment from writing an Otakon post tonight without the incredible amount of work it’d take to do it all at once. So first up, I’ll start with the easy stuff: my haul.
Baltimore, bitches! Otakon, niggaz! Anyway so it’s the end of ‘Day 0′, and I keep waking up every 2 hours, so I figured I may as well write a post about the day and get my schedule out there to the world.
This year, my Otakon group includes only people who live with me, being my 12 year-old and 17 year-old brothers and my cousin Funeral. Sadly, No Name, who went the last 2 years, couldn’t afford to go, and Patz of Insert Disk, whom we roomed with the last two years, had obligations to his buddies.
This worked to my advantage in that we were very organized this time, and by far the most prepared we’ve ever been for Otakon. Besides clothes and food supplies, we made badges for ourselves, brought every imaginable provision (Nintendo DS, iPods, other entertainment. And a laptop for once!), burned 4 anison CDs (and Galneryus Resurrection), and I even cleaned my room, which was a disaster before yesterday. I’d learned my lesson when the last 2 years in a row, my room had been a huge mess at Otakon time, and as a result, I couldn’t put up any of my new stuff when I got back. Lesson thoroughly learned.
So we headed off on our 4-hour, 6 Mountain Dew-can journey from Virginia Beach to Baltimore, and arrived at literally the same hotel that Funeral, No Name, Patz, Baka-Raptor, and I shared in 2008 (talk about extreme nostalgia trip! Especially since in ’08 I got up at 2 AM and explored every inch of the hotel and surrounding area and still have it all fresh in my mind.)
For the past few days and the drive up here, we kept warning my baby brother that the reg line was going to be this insanely long wait through painfully beating-down heat, since we’d had a 2-hour and 4-hour wait in ’08 and ’09 respectively. This simply was not true today. We got in line rather early before it started moving, and after a couple minutes, I suddenly had to take the most violent shit of my adult life (you had to know) from eating cold Spaghettios (we of course assumed the hotel would have a microwave – it didn’t.) After 10-15 minutes of that, I came back to the line to find my brothers already almost at the door – we literally moved nonstop up through the building and got our reg in under 20 minutes total. We were in complete and utter shock – high fucking five to Otakon for somehow becoming about 8 times more efficient this year. Good fucking job!
So we got our badges (me and baby bro chose Hayate the Combat Butler, bro chose Gundam 00 because it was Gundam, Funeral chose FullMetal Alchemist even though he’s never seen any of it just because he hadn’t heard of almost anything else. (There were, in fact, 2 Hetalia badges. Axis and Allies. Which just meant less variety for the rest of us >.>)) and then headed back to the hotel. I’d have gone to hang out with people I know, but most of them are over 21 and I know they like to go drinking on Thursday night, so I figured I should just go to bed (and fat lot of good that did me!) I don’t really want to meet people in big groups anyway, since there’re always a lot of people I don’t know, and would rather run into everyone individually.
So anyway, here’s my tentative schedule (or more like, a list of events I’m interested in and when they begin and end.) If you know something I don’t (like, X panel is gay, skip it, or, Y panel rules, don’t miss it) then please tell me. And let me know where our schedules line up~ I’m putting *s next to the stuff I’m especially interested in (for mine or my baby bro’s sake).
*9:00-11:00 Otaku no Video
9:30-10:30 Japanese Mahjong (will attend if we can’t make it to OnV in time)
11:00-12:00 No plans (prolly wander around taking cosplay pics or something or just get in line for the dealer’s room)
12:00-?? Dealer’s Room (I wanna get in early to hit up Hen Da Ne ASAP)
12:00-1:30 Madhouse panel (not crazy about this after what I saw last year)
1:00-3:00 Opening Ceremony
*1:30-2:30 Vocaloids Sing! (this is for my baby bro, depending on how it is I’ll prolly go in-between this and the opening ceremony since they’re close together anyway)
3:00-?? Dealer’s Room (if anyone has better ideas, shoot.)
6:00-7:30 Funimation Industry Panel (not crazy about this either since I’ve seen enough of their damn things and I’ll find out about it all later anyway)
7:30-8:30 Evangelion: You Don’t Know Anything (sounds fun)
*8:30-9:30 Yoshida Brothers Live
9:30-11:00 No Plans
*11:00-12:00 Portrait of a Fujoshi
*11:00-1:00 Learning to Draw Yuri 18+ (will so have to run to catch the later half of this lol)
12:3-1:30 Visual Novels 18+
Then I go back and sleep~
9:00-10:00 noitaminA (we may not actually show up this early, but just in case)
10:00-11:30 Dealer’s Room
*11:30-2:00 Welcome to the Space Show (really hoping this turns out nice, if not, I’ll leave for the next one)
1:30-2:30 Years of GAINAX
*3:00-4:30 Space Show Creator’s Panel (Hopefully comprehensive enough that I can miss some of these guys on Sunday)
3:00-4:30 Masao Maruyama QnA (in case I get bored of the other one)
*5:00-6:00 Phenomology of Shinji Ikari (sounds fun)
6:00-9:00 Karaoke Round One
*9:00-10:30 Bandai After Dark
*9:30-10:30 Touhou Panel (this is the hardest scheduling conflict, though worst comes to worst, I don’t really need to know anything about Touhou, and I could just send my brothers to it)
*10:30-1:00 Karaoke Round Two (somewhere between the rounds, I’ve got 3 damn shows to put on lol)
Then I go back and sleep~
10:00-12:00 Dealer’s Room (last run~)
12:00-1:30 Koujina/Masunari/Ochikashi (will leave to see HMK, hopefully they’ll cover a lot in the space show panel)
12:30-2:00 Home Made Kazoku Live
2:00-3:00 Last rounds of the Dealer’s Room if necessary
And that concludes my Otakon 2010 schedule~
Looking forward to seeing you there!
So I didn’t watch anything that aired this year, but I still consumed a massive amount of anime, way more manga than I ever had before, and did a lot of great otaku activities. Whereas 2008 was about coming into my own as an otaku and getting more extreme, 2009 was about perfecting and exploring my otakudom so that I could gain a greater understanding for the culture and for individual works. Here were my top anime, manga, and otaku moments of 2009.
Nekocon was not something I regret, because I got to experience a small con, got to run my first panel, and got to buy what is now my favorite figure in my collection. However, I will never go again, because those are things that could happen at any con, and there’s no reason to go to anything as shitty as Nekocon ever again. In the future, I’ll stick just to cons big enough to have Japanese guests.
I didn’t manage to do daily blogging of either of my Otakon trips simply because I was so busy on those days that I never had the chance. For Nekocon, I’m not only less busy, but it’s close enough to my house that I am not staying in a hotel, so I can comfortably blog it from my home. Also, there’s the fact that there’s not a whole lot to say about this con!
I’m gunna try to go through my time at Otakon as fast as possible. There are a number of things that deserve their own posts, some of which I’m sure someone else will do better (such as someone who’s camera didn’t run out of memory during Yamakan’s QnA.) This was an extremely fun and extremely fast otakon that, while not legendary like last year’s, was still a much-needed thing in my life and unforgettable. Pics will come in a second post, later.
So my local anime con here in VA Beach is Nekokon. Last year Shin and I considered going but decided not to because it’s full of Narutards. I know this for a fact because about 50 kids from my school go a year and I know them all and not one is an experienced anime fan. A friend of mine told me he highlight for him last year was a group gathering on the roof to shout ‘Naruto sucks’ down at a crowd of Narutards. Yeah. So why am I bringing this up?
Well, it’s an anime con, so naturally it’s not like there are going to be absolutely no real anime fans or things to do there. More importantly, Patz is interested in going as well. However, I don’t think it would be worth it just to go to a con full of Narutards. There needs to be more.
So Patz and I are considering running a panel. We decided that our concept would be ‘Licensed but Forgotten’ – talking about anime that are in print and available on US DVD but that have completely evaded any audience at all. I plan to borrow a few titles I learned about through ANN’s Buried Treasures as well as some of my own favorites like Figure 17, Red Garden, and Neo Ranga and his like Gao Gai Gar and Gundam 0080. We will probably talk about around 30 shows total. This way we can get the word out about great anime people probably don’t know however are readily available even or people who only buy DVDs or only watch dubs.
Of course, there has to e a bit of work put into this first. Most if not all of the anime I’ve come up with for the list are shows I haven’t finished and I’d also like to actually own the DVDs so I can show off their buyability. Adding to that the Nekokon ticket price and con expenses, I’ve got a lot of money to save (though I was planning to job hunt today anyway.) Luckily I only live about 30-45 minutes from the Hampton Roads Convention Center so I won’t even need a hotel.