Monthly Archives: August 2014

Otakon 2014: Prep Notes

A fellow wota has one nice schedule that he was sharing with people on his social network attending Otakon. It sort of sums up my feeling about Otakon this year.

Despite being located a 3-hour drive away from home, Otakon is my home con in that I feel at home there. I am familiar with it. The con is run, for the past decade plus, by the same group of people. For better or worse, it brings a strong continuity and a sense of familiarity to the convention that I’ve been attending since I was way younger. And I’ve met all kind of people via Otakon as an offkai. Don’t offkai at cons, they say, but that’s only because it misses the fact that America is huge-large and it’s in this context of physical reality shaping cultural sensibilities that one can have a home con at all. It doesn’t seem like a strange concept, but it makes you wonder how do Tokyoites feel about the events that happen year-round in the city, versus some countryside hick and the few events they have locally.

Enough about that. My seventeenth-to-be Otakon is shaping up to be a chill weekend. A major programming track called “Yoshiki” is largely off my schedule due to non-interest. I guess I could splurge for his MSG show with the rest of the X-Japan crew if I must, but I just can’t spare the energy–attention span–to mark and process it. There are just too much else going on that I can barely keep up with.

For once, Otakon is going to be focused on hanging out. There is still plenty of logistical challenges that face the fans following the GOH tracks I follow, plus the usual ones that almost everyone has to deal with. So let’s see. Like how to score some time to eat dinner on Friday.

Back meme

Baltimore RW week begins last week and continues into the next. This means some good deals for people who want to eat a little more upscale.

There is a possibility that panel tickets will be in play this year for autograph sessions, which applies mainly for ALTIMA and Hayami Saori. ALTIMA might have an autograph session after their concert, it’s not certain and it may not be likely. There are not much in terms of changes in how Otakon is suppose to do autographs (and the fact that you can find out well before the con is a huge plus for Otakon and how it works the thing), but they are using a new space this year, in the Hyatt. We’ll see how that turns out. More info here.

Opening ceremony might be worth going to just to catch Ojou/Sats/Motsu before her show during the day. Hayamin supposedly has a rough schedule and might only be at the con in a meaningful sense on Saturday. Gotta play that by ear.

I’m a big sucker for Mai Mai Miracle, and I think Katabuchi can do it…as in, become a popular anime filmmaker. The question is how. He is going to talk about his new film at Otakon and I might even make it to the first panel where he’s going to talk about it. There’s an art exhibition, which hopefully I can catch at some point during the weekend. One last thing, his birthday is on Sunday, 8/10.

Matsubara-san is also a cool bro. I just hope I can make his programs without issues, at least he has a bunch of them. Play by ear. It’s a bit like Katabuchi, I met both of them before so the urgency is less about attending their programing, over the people I didn’t. It’s times like this that makes me feel a weekend for Otakon is just too short.

The Baltimore Ravens and SF Giants play a pre-season game on Thursday. I know one guy who’s going to see it. I also know I will do my best to avoid all that traffic. Sport-wise, the St. Louis Cardinals are in town Friday to Sunday for a series with the Os. STL fans travel well, but probably not in large droves as Yankees fans do for¬†Baltimore. Both the Cards and Os are (birds, and) doing well so it should be a fun inter-league match.

I totally don’t have the CIA guys on my radar, but it would be nice to say hello to them.

There will be a Real Escape Game event at Otakon. I would like to try it, actually, but who knows if timing would work. Presumably you just sign up for a session?

Peelander-Z will be at the Otakon Matsuri. That’s a free show on Thursday.

Aniplex has a Game Show… And they’re giving away some freebie at Hayamin’s panel. Usually Aniplex guests will do an autograph session for their booth, but it doesn’t sound like that’s happening. Well, who knows.

ALTIMA has only one full studio album on their discography, so it’s easy to guess what they will perform at the show. It probably won’t be too far from what they did in Europe. The question is which songs they will cover, and if we’ll get lucky with any of Maon’s (or even motsu or Sats’s) discography. I’m okay with the KOTOKO songs Sats wrote, if they choose to do those.

A particular P is trying to get a bunch of notes for Hayamin. Not sure how he will collect it but it will make a nice memento, I hope.

Meanwhile I still can’t quite find my copy of Love Plus+, so I can’t import my latest save…don’t really want to start over. I’ll probably still get my game box signed, though. I have all those.

I hope I can wrap up all that I have to do before I take off, and that looks to be a list that gets long each time I glance at it. Sigh.

Otakon is doing info desk duty using social media this year–there’s a SMS line, twitter and a ticketing system?

So, as you can see, even in such a laid back Otakon schedule-wise in terms of priority, it’s still conflict hell full of strife and programing inefficiencies.