Otakon 2007 Wrap-Up

Mental alacrity rarely follows with a post-convention state of mind. But still, the tenacious otaku must continue on! Who else is going to tell you the little stuffs that happened when reality crashes with surreality in a massive geek party?

TL;DR warning!

But this year’s Otakon was definitely, on the whole, more enjoyable than the last. On a personal level it was a little better being able to coordinate all my friends so I got to see them all, over the weekend. It was especially fun Saturday night when we just hung out and made a fool of ourselves at the Otacafe and be unchained by the conventional event schedules.

That reminded me…who were the AMV winners?

Anyways. As much as there’s so much to say, I’ll get some of the more personal and event-oriented stuff out in this post. You can laugh at my lack of loot this year, but I think I’m at the point in leveling this “convention attendee” that loots are rarely about value and often more about memories.

For start, this Otakon is actually the least organized Otakon that…I have ever been. Or at least one of the worst. And they don’t even have an excuse like AX did this year–there’s probably less people than the two previous Otakon, and they were all at the same location. Ah well, for someone like me that’s not a real problem because I know when the panels I want to go start ;)

But I did miss the Eminence panel this way; they were on Saturday and this was before I found out how awesome they were, so it wasn’t on my itinerary although I did want to check it out. I haven’t talked and hung out with my Aussie anime music friends in a while (years?) and I guess this is a big development I’m missing out on. Well, as long as your friend at the panel is taking notes and reporting back! (By the way, now that I’m looking up Eminence like crazy on the intarweb, Hiroaki Yura is pretty cool–read this older ANN interview. He really knows his stuff. And I mean it in an otaku way.)

The one Korean-run self-help by-the-pound buffet place stayed opened on Saturday. It was good! They’re not open late enough for dinner but you can get a solid, cheap meal in by 2pm. Or two meals if you’re early enough.

The Tir Na Nog meet on Thursday night was pretty decent. The venue was definitely worth paying more for, and even if the prices was a tad on the high side I don’t think we could’ve gotten away with anything less for what we’ve had there. Definitely doing this next year.

Edgar’s, however, is not really too hot for a location to drink and stuff IMO. It certain doesn’t serve anything I really wanna drink except random beers.

Friday was pretty much by-the-books generally speaking. In fact, it went very well except for the hotel lacking hot water in the morning. Ugh. In retrospect it was fun because I can just do stuff on my own without having to have people tag along or vice versa. I enjoyed Geneon After Dark, again, and so did my lolicon compatriots… The lack of free loot, however, was sort of disturbing. I hit the dealer’s room all three days and scored basically nothing free. What the? I guess that’s for not going to the panel much.

Speaking of panels the Mamiko Noto panel was the highlight, and hopefully I’ll devote a whole blog post to both Friday and Saturday panels.

The Otakon disorganization continued to boggle me for Friday and into Saturday with the weird autographing ticket fail? I guess they stopped doing it after realizing it’s sort of unnecessary save for some of the most popular guests. Seki’s lines were mad and long so I opted out for all his programming. I know he’s a good guy and he is a lot of fun but I’ve had my shot at it at AX, plus I think all his fangirls can use one less competition. On that note, I skipped a lot of the industry people panels this year. I’m not sure why, but probably because they seem uninteresting at a glance but I know they are very interesting people to hit up for answers on substantive anime questions. I guess I didn’t have the time for everything I wanted to do anyways.

The hotel hot water problem really hit me on Saturday and basically caused me to be late to Mamiko Noto’s panel, but I still caught most of it. Afterwards, there were food to be had and friends to meet up with. I feel sorry for the Random Black Guy but I think he wasn’t so random! Anyways, met some friends, shopped some (there were like 3 pieces of Marimite merch in the entire dealer room or something–well, save for doujinshi). Went LOL at the Marimite cosplay group…

Anyways. There were fun to be had, dealers and artist gallery to be looked (wow, how much did that Saber garage kit go for in the end?), and burrito to be eaten. Chipotle rocks the house…too bad it’s a tad far. We went to it twice; once Friday and then Saturday (as a group).

Saturday night is actually best captured by the screening of 5cm.

After that it was a lot of free-for-all stuff. A friend got kicked out of the con because he violated the sign rule at otakon. It was a sign with some pokemon porn on it, amongst other nasty stuff. I guess they were in the 4chan line when it happened? The infamous 4chan panel sucked this year compared to the previous, so I heard. Anyways, there were karaoke–SKILL and Prism again. Friday night I sneaked in Gravitation.

Sunday was pretty much just packing, more cold showers, and Eminence. I have to say that show was glorious, again. The lead violinist, Hiroaki Yura, is a total Akiba-type! Except he’s also one of those prodigious violin concerto types who’s just a mere 25 years old (I think). He spilled some inside info about Yasunori Mitsuda and the early days of SquareSoft, as well as some juicy things about Sakimoto and buying some blatant otaku goods the dealer room had–even if it isn’t what Sakimoto actually said on stage! LOL. Go go bilingual musicians~

After that, it was some last minute buying in the dealer’s and a frenzy farewell.

And lots of blogging; which I was going to do anyways.

Loots…I picked up the single-releases of Diamond Dust Drops (just vols 1-2) as a last-ditch attempt to get Mamiko Noto to sign something. Really didn’t bring enough stuff (but hey I have something to shake in Lawson’s face now! kek) to get signed. Melody of Oblivion is yet another minor role for her. Picked up Eureka 7 soundtrack 1 only because I kept going to Bandai’s booth since a friend was working there this year. Blew a large chunk on Eminence’s last CD, Passion. On top of the con shirt, the two volumes of manga, two bags (for presents), and the two trade figures (should’ve gotten a box of that FA4 stuff!), it felt like a very light loot year.

Overall this Otakon was a lot of fun. It has definitely reached a point where I know what I want to do, and have enough resources, friends, people I know, and information to enjoy it despite what may happen in the negative. Of course I think we owe Otakon thanks for bringing some awesome guests over and just throwing this party like the veteran con organization that they are.

Last of all, there’s just one picture I want to share. Hopefully more on this Wednesday.

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