So, we were able to make it to Otakon 2013! This was a first for Otakus and Geeks and boy was it AWESOME! The con, for it to be smaller than New York Comicon and some others, did prove to be more than a two person job. Registering, we were really excited to hear that we have been hooked up with some simple con swag to help make our jobs a tad bit easier! And I do mean ... only a TAD!
If you are not familiar with the anime and comic book conventions in the Baltimore area, let's share what Otakon is all about.
Ever since 1999, we've taken over a sizable chunk of Baltimore's Inner Harbor for a 3-day festival celebrating the pop culture that's brought us everything fromAstroboy to Yu-Gi-Oh, from Seven Samurai to Spirited Away.
Join thousands of your fellow fans as we descend on Baltimore to celebrate music, anime, manga, and all other facets of Asian pop culture!
Overall, the con was pretty a enjoyable experience. Though this experience is not the fullest that Otakon has provided. The con-goers made this year's Otakon into a great festival with a lot of beautiful cosplay and J-fashion. The staffers did an awesome job making you feel welcomed and answering any questions that you may have. Navigation through the convention was a little tricky sometimes, but that is due to venue's set-up, not the convention's. Aside from that, it was easy-peasy smooth sailing.
AN INTERACTIVE CON
Thursday, to open the con, was an Anime Matsuri, in which you could come in your best J-fashion or cosplay and commune with others before being swept away by a full weekend of photo-shoots, panels, and shopping. Some special touches to Otakon that set it apart from other cons were fan produced video screenings and the Ota-museum. These among other things, make the con more interactive with its fans and followers.
The fan-produced video screenings gave fans a chance to have their voices heard and creativity seen, on a larger scale. Imagine having your fan film screened by over 34,000 people! That's way better than being Tumblr famous, in my opinion. If you missed out this year but interested, there is always 2014. Be sure to check out their submission guidelines from this year to give you a running start.
The Ota-Museum is a nice and personal touch to the convention. It is a great crash course of the history of Otakon over the years. I would definitely recommend this as a "must see" for first time con-goers, especially first time Otakon con-goers. There was even a Newbies Guide available with tips to surviving Otakon.
All-in-all, I would give this Otakon 2013 presentation a solid 3.5 (out of 5) since programming and guest selection could have been a bit better. However, Otakon is in a major transition- adding Otakon Las Vegas and soon relocating from Baltimore to DC- so it is forgiveable. If you have never been and willing to travel or local to the Baltimore area, Otakon is a highly suggested con to attend. There is definitely something for everyone!
**Be sure to check out The Cosplay of Otakon of 2013 here on O&G!**