Otakon 2007 report

So this thing called Otakon happened, and I figured it’d be good to go to, so I did. It was pretty fun. Better than previous years, probably because I wasn’t stuck in the trenches and actually got to walk around and have some fun. This was my fourth year there (and sixth convention ever) so by now the shinny glow of being surrounded by anime and its fans has worn away, and I’ve began to approach each of these events with a very cynical attitude. Another thing which has happened as a result of this is that I don’t remember cons that well at all (I could only remember my first few cons event by event.) Now they just come off as giant blurs. I can pick out key points though, which is what I intend to do here!

Thursday is where everything began. Met up with the MTF dudes I was staying with, then went to the forum dinner. It was quite nice. Decent food and good place. Got a lot of socializing done. I am impressed with myself. After that we all slept like meat in a freezer because it was SO FUCKING COLD in the room.

Stuff happened on Friday. I met up with my IRL friends for a bit, bought a ton of porn in the dealer’s room (thanks, Hendane!) and got Teh Mamiko’s and Morio Asaka’s autographs. So I guess that’s good stuff. After some fucking around with various people, mostly MTF folk, we went to the Geneon After Dark panel where we asked dumb questions. Aaron Clark (of Evamonkey fame?) was in charge of giving the mic to people and was being a dick and not giving it to me. After a while he stopped being a total penis and gave me the mic. Before that in the same room was Otaku Idol, which destroyed my ears. I walked in with Magusman figuring we could chill here until the Geneon After Dark panel started, but that turned out to be a horrible idea. Magus was lazy and didn’t want to move, so we were treated to the likes of soccer moms in kimonos singing Gundam Seed insert songs in bad Japanese.

Saturday, as always, was the meaty day with all the good stuff happening. This day also involved more trips to the dealers room to pick up porn, artbooks and free things. The best part of the day was most probably seeing Byousoku 5cm, Makoto Shinkai’s new eye sex fest. I may write a whole post on it, so for now I’ll just say it was very pretty but lacked some substance, and I felt the editing was a bit lacking. Sometime after that, at the expense of missing the Madhouse classic, Bobby’s Girl, we had dinner at Chipotle. After dinner it was pretty solid conning. Went to the Geneon inudstry panel, which was a little lame since it was just them playing trailers and not announcing anything new. Following the Geneon panel was 4chan. The line was probably more entertaining than the panel itself. I’m sure the /b/tards loved it, but all the jokes are so lost on me. It actually kinda made me wanna read 4chan though. Once 4chan was done, I caught the tail end of some nerdy Gundam panel, waiting for Aaron’s Eva panel to start. I felt Aaron’s panel was better this year, because he focused more on humour than lecturing you on the show. While unorganized, it was good stuff. Gives me hope for a CCS panel I’m trying to get started with Link. Aaron’s panel ended at about 2am, so by that time we had to head out.

Nothing happened on Sunday. I’m serious. It’s just kinda depressing getting on the DC metro and being the only one with tons of anime shit though. Well, I did get a nice Dan Kim sketch. In general he’s a nice guy, too. Wish I could have spoken to him longer.

Moving away from the vague summary of events, I’ll go on to talking about the people I met. (note: this section will mention people you’ve never heard of but I’ll talk about them like you do.) Most of the people I ran into were people I already knew from the internet, and I got to interact with them to various degrees. I’m a bit saddened that I didn’t spend much time with my IRL friends much. We only ever met in the mornings for about an hour or two before going off to do other things. I’ll have to ask them about their time at some point. I mostly hung with MTF people, since I was staying with them. Out of those people I mostly hung with the guys in my room (omo, magusman), and Link. Met up with some dudes from the Bebop Board briefly, and spoke with astrage (of welcome datacomp) and SDS for what was probably less than 30 seconds. I also met blogger Randall Fitzgerald, ex-blogger Os and saw Ten for about three seconds before the Geneon panel. I of course ran into Aaron Clark at various points throughout the con, and always made sure to mock him in front of his friends. I also talked to a number of industry people. Mostly the Geneon guys. They are good people.

As far as loot goes, this con treated me very well. Pics follow.

Pictured (bought stuff)

  • 3 CCS doujins
  • 2 Tsukuyomi doujins
  • 2 Haruhi doujins
  • 1 Gurren Lagann doujin
  • 1 Lucky Star doujin
  • 1 Hayate no Gotoku/Black Cat doujin
  • 1 Eva doujin
  • Dan Kim poster
  • Misato trading figure
  • Max Factory Mikuru
  • Cheerio! 2 CCS artbook
  • Tsukuyomi wallscroll

Pictured (free stuff)

  • Creased AMG poster from ADV booth (because they suck at providing bags and rubber bands, unlike Mr.Kim, who is quite good at it.)
  • Somewhat creased Haruhi mini poster
  • Dan Kim sketch
  • Kamichu pencil board I already have
  • Girls Bravo pencil board I probably have
  • Jigoku Shoujo thing
  • Karin postcard
  • GITS:SAC wallscroll that an MTF guy gave to me because he didn’t want it (he won it at the gameshow)
  • Toro figure from HLJ because I professed my never dying love for them.
  • DLsite calendar (came free after filling out a survey)

Not pictured

  • More free Geneon crap
  • Some DLsite stuff
  • Precious memories~~~

More pics follow.

Paranoia Agent signed by teh Mamiko, and CCS artbook signed by Asaka.

Tsukuyomi wallscroll

GITS:SAC wallscroll

All in all, I had a good time. I suppose the con itself was merely alright, but it’s great hanging with people who you don’t normally see. I also like the presence of people like DLsite there, too. I doubt how much that stuff will catch on here, but I like that they’re trying. Even if they don’t get popular, there will always be a good small section of fans who appreciate them. So yeah, Otakon 2007 was good. Wanna go again next year.

OTHER STUFF IN THE WORKS: crappy Otakon sketch comic, podcasts of Friday and Saturday and pictures being posted up at some point. Probably after I quit my job and go back to school.