Here’s the deal.
All vitals are on their website here.
There are a lot of details about Kakihara’s autograph session, the best thing to do is read Loy’s post. The key takeaway is that for both of his sessions, there will be no more than 1 hour or 100 autographs, although in times past the autograph staffers have powers to make a plea and if the guest’s management is nice enough, the autographing will extend to accommodate as reasonably possible. The booth Kakki session is with Bandai and require a purchased item for a ticket, which probably limits you to just Gundam related items for autograph. (You can find more details about that if you read the same thread.)
For everyone else, expect the usual treatment. To spell it out– be ready 90 to 75 minutes before the con autograph session time. Session will last for an hour. Same location as last year. Most likely not ticketed. Contact autograph staffer at location for specifics. For booth deals, consult specific booths for their location and time, but most likely the English-language dudes as well as Aipon, Butch, and Kakki (as mentioned before).
Bandai Visual has outed some guests and autograph session details besides what Loy has posted publicly. That includes a Sasaki Shin autograph session at their booth Friday at 6pm,with Sinterniklaas. Sinterniklaas also will have a session Sunday at 11. I’m going to assume they are signing official goods only at their booth, and will have freebies to provide if you don’t have something.
I haven’t read anything from NISA about Otakon specifically, in terms of what they have in store for the con. I guess that’ll be on their agenda hopefully before Wednesday’s out. On that note, I looked for NISA on the dealer room listing, and I didn’t see it. This probably means they won’t have a real booth, and may sell through another retailer at the con. It may also mean they will just do their ninja stuff for the two panels they have Saturday and be done with it. I don’t know, they haven’t said anything to any degree and it doesn’t look like they need to. Maybe they still will.
Aniplex is fronting the Madoka guests, and their panel time and detail can be found on their calendar/website. To summarize, there is one booth session for Nonaka at 3:30 Saturday and another booth session for Urobuchi at 5 on Saturday. Both require a ticket, which comes with purchase. And, yeah, that means you have to buy Madoka BD/DVD for Aipon and Madoka BD/DVD or Fate/Zero BD for Butch. Hah. I’m going to say that at the con, they might have more things to sell that may come with tickets, or they may be giving tickets to people who do certain things at their panels and booth shows (like they usually do). But a copy of Madoka on DVD is not ridiculously expensive.
Unfortunately, that second Aipon session lands right smack in the middle of the Maruyama panel I wanted to go to, and may cut into the Hirano panel. Bah, I might go anyway if by that time I am “satisfied.”
Funimation isn’t doing anything special that isn’t handled by the con. They are doing the usual con-special bonus item stuff, including leftover Panty Stocking stuff, but new with One Piece bonus items and something for Steins;Gate? Nothing looking very interesting. No more Fractale bonus items, I see. Which means losing that $60 plastic bag at AX kinda sucks… [Totally side note, while looking for some Lost & Found function at AX, I came across this, the guy who bought the Takeuchi sketch from Otakon 2011 (at a low price to boot). He also had the “high score” at this year’s AX auction.]
The Matsuri would be a good way to kill time. It’s located in the First Mariner Arena parking deck. I don’t know how that works, but given the ~100 degree weather you might be experiencing on Thursday, it would be more preferable than out in the open. Kind of interested in Hsu-nami but blargh.
There’s some details on the charity auction already, but hopefully it will pile on with the donations from the attending industry and guests. Will the East Cost wota gang continue their quest for full concert wardrobes? Aya Hirano probably won’t have the time to donate her sweat-drenched gear given the timing, so too bad! If a certain somebody’s mannequin had a head, he could buy, say, Aipon’s hat?
I wonder if I will have time to make it worth the while of carrying around a copy of Tanto Cuore. Speaking of maids, maybe the Maid Cafe is worth a visit, to just go and chill. It could be a more baller location, even with the $10 cover charge. Well, I’ll think about it. The karaoke room/Otacafe is always a good fallback.
Lastly, there’s going to be an Otakon…video game. I don’t even.
Personally, my schedule is not set. I have at least one commitment and probably two that I have to go to that isn’t set in stone. Most likely I will try to catch a game Thursday, get some nice dinner on Friday, hang out at the late-night panels Friday and Saturday, and hit Aya Hirano’s show. For loot, I really want at least get Butch to sign my AX loot, and get my Manabi Straight DVD set up to 3/5. I did buy the blu-ray and that shipped last night. The odds of me getting it by tomorrow is pretty slim but I should be fine without it. I would be elated to just set eyes on Nanrietta, to be honest. Autograph is a bonus.
Hope to see you there! James Shields is pitching Thursday, which means that I would have seen every one of their quality starter in the past few years, which is amazing–just how many games did I go see in the past few years? Not very many at all. But what I do not want is an extra-innings affair when it’s going to be like 99F outside. Speaking of hot and humid weather, that’s something Ichiro now has to live with, huh?
[Updated: NISA newsletter]
There will be a “special anime announcement” at NISA’s anime panel. I guess it can’t hurt to check it out. Saturday 9am! Plus the usual giveaways, I’m going to assume.