I visited Montreal partly on a whim but also because this Otakuthon thing has gotten to a point where it’s worth figuring out. Last year when Angela visited I almost pulled the trigger on a last-minute trip too, but because their anison concert is always on Friday that made the trip a lot less worthwhile. This year the main attraction for me is seeing Tanaka Atsuko, who was there mostly for Saturday and Sunday, so that worked.
It’s worth noting visiting Montreal is also something I wanted to do now that all the Canadian Ps I met are repping their respective geographic locales. The more I find out about the city the more I wanted to check it out. Granted having two days to do a con (if even 2 days, more like 1.5 days) is already tight, leaving me maybe just a few hours to explore the rest of the city, it was a nice experience. The joke about MTL being a cheaper and cleaner Paris for Americans is now a real truism.
I don’t have much to say about Tanaka. She’s by all means a decorated veteran seiyuu by this point, although it might not be conservative to say that. In person, she is a lot more down to earth but very practiced and pro. I guess that comes with her background as someone who transited into the seiyuu scene from the business world. At the same time, even if she is rather senior compared to the average female seiyuu in business, she started her career during the era when seiyuu are seiyuu, and not just actors in general. Well, it is what it is. This cool oneechan is still very oneechan-ish.
It’s safe to say the bulk of her characters are a staple to certain types of stories, films and anime, so they’re popular over out west. If a seiyuu has made it because of a super-popular character, Tanaka has it in the Major. People love Ghost in the Shell. I guess you don’t need me to tell you this, but these taken-for-granted assumptions rear their head in a very visible way in situations like this.
Loot-wise, I got a few things autographed. The lucky get was Tanemura Arina’s autograph on a shikishi. I so did not deserve it, but it was what it was. Obata line was pretty hellish so I was glad I did not have to deal with it.
Overall, the con was fairly well-organized. The location downtown had a lot to offer in terms of stuff to see, places to eat, and since the con center is on top of the Metro it’s easy to get around as well. That part of Montreal is also fairly walkable.
I flew into MTL early Saturday to find myself in a mostly-empty airport. I took the 747 bus to downtown, and walked a bit. After dropping off my stuff in the hotel I went on a eating trip. It took most of my morning and made me a tad late to the autograph session for Tanaka, causing me to be cut from the line. I end up chatting with this guy who Kuro enabled into going… Well.
A script of Stand Alone Complex episode 1 signed by the voice of Major Kusanagi, Atsuko Tanaka…I'm in disbelief. pic.twitter.com/R0BRySX3yr
— Maestrotaku (@TheYTSports) August 7, 2016
At any rate, I ate some poutine, a MTL-style bagel, and the smoked meats sandwich at Schwartz’s. All well-recommended things to do as both visitor and local. Would totally go do the same again.
Otakuthon sure is a good con pic.twitter.com/QSGd803OjC
— omo@Otakon (@omonomono) August 6, 2016
Of course, all of this is possible only because of friends that were at Otakuthon, who were giving me the important details and hooking me up with last-minute requests. Plus just being fun to hang with. Thank you all, cheers and see you maybe next time.
PS. On the way back from MTL there were more goods to be had. I carpooled back and picked up a few things at the duty-free store. Found out about Buenos, and ice cider (as opposed to ice wine). There’s also this small-town brewery upstate NY that we stopped for dinner, worth checking out.