Greetings, gentle readers!
I have returned to you after my three-day adventure at Otakon in Baltimore. Otakon is a huge (second-largest in the U.S.) convention for otakus of anime, manga and East Asian cinema. Sit back and let me tell you all about it!
Here are a few of my thoughts on Otakon. Keep in mind that this is my first anime convention PERIOD, so I had a lot to learn!
The first thing that struck me was the knowledge that I am not the most knowledgeable person about anime or manga. I mean, here I am thinking I’m almost an expert, and at least fifty costumes went by where I had NO CLUE who these people were, but others were running to take pictures of them!
Although I originally planned to cosplay for the first time, complications arose and I was unable to bring my costume. I decided to interview two young ladies about why they cosplayed.
Make sure to stop by and check out my next post to catch the interview!
In the end, I was happy I didn’t cosplay this first time. Instead, I watched other’s adventures and learned a few good tips (such as watching my wingspan and how long I would have to stand around being photographed) for my next convention.
I found the schedule and the layout of the convention center very confusing. I am normally a very good map reader, but for the first hour, I could not figure out the shape and layout of the convention well enough to use the maps. I didn’t even know what floor I was on half the time!
Eventually (after sitting in the Otakucafe listening to people singing for a while) I figured out that I was at one corner of the convention, and managed to figure out the pattern.
Along with the map, I was given an Awesome Sheet of Awesomeness that went along with a Schedule Companion. These two items were…umm…pardon my lack of eloquence here, but quite dumb. You had to guess what something was. The schedule might say something like “Cow,” and then you had to search through the companion until you found “Cow.” Why in the world would you make the companion in alphabetical order by three sections instead of in chronological order? ARGHHH!
Half the time, I would find a huge line and just ask around until I figured out what it was for. When I wasn’t hopping in lines, I sat in the anime rooms and watched anime for hours. ❤
After the anime, I happened to wander into a room that turned out to be a giant free arcade. They had everything from Dance Dance to Tekken 6. I looked up the tournaments and realized I was just about thirty minutes too late to join the Tekken 6 tournament, probably the only one out of the choices that I actually had a chance in. 😦
I plan to spend way more time in the video game section the next time I come. I was a little too shy to ask to join in, but next time, I won’t let that stop me. They also had an area where people could bring their portable games and play a few rounds with friends. I just loved the idea of this room, and next year I’m going to take charge and play a few rounds.
- Peter S. Beagle (the guy who wrote The Last Unicorn) shook my hand. I told him I loved his books and he thanked me for telling him that. I finally understand why people stand in those long lines to “meet the author”: you really feel like that author appreciates YOU. ❤
- Seeing both old cranky ladies cosplaying.
- Observing a woman dressed up as a character from Bleach pushing a stroller with her two-year-old daughter dressed up as some sort of snow princess. I wanna be that kind of mommy.
- Watching a unicorn lumber by with big ungainly hooves…she had to be supported by her friends. That is true dedication.
- Karaoke *shudders* lesson learned: we do not sound as good as we think we do when we sing those ending theme songs. 0_0
- Being ignored. I’m a fairly attractive young lady…being ignored was a very strange experience for me. I think it probably did me good (plus five experience).
- Seeing a princess Jasmine and then, an hour later, spotting an Aladdin. Who knew they’d make an appearance?