And so Otakon 2012 has come to an end. I came for Kakihara’s autograph and pretty much mission accomplished so I guess overall it was productive – except for the horrors that is my Kodak Z5120. More on that later though, let’s just start with the con report!
I decided to stay at the Hyatt this year because it connected directly to the con center. Due to this I had no issues staying at a 1AM panel (Mangagamer) and going back home without worrying that someone was going to mug or harass me. In fact due to me only really using the skywalk, I don’t think I’ve run into a single homeless bum all weekend. This is probably the first time in all the 4 times I’ve attended Otakon (2002, 2004, 2006 and 2012.) Oh I just realized I seem to only go to Otakon during the even numbered years. 😆 Due to the Hyatt also being an expensive hotel, it was pretty much weaboo free. Yes there were weaboos (and I wanted to murder one on Saturday night for talking on the phone until 2AM in the hallway) but the hotel was nice enough to send security over like 10 times to tell that stupid biatch to shut the fuck up (and also gave us a free complimentary breakfast which we didn’t think we’d have time for until our fucking train home got delayed. ﾄﾘｬ!!|┛*｀Д´|┛。・＊・┻━┻：・、。▽)
The Panels & Events
- Friday Night Fan parodies were great – particularly AMV Salad (which was basically like AMV Hell from back in the day) and the Sailor Moon parody. The Conan was okay but since I never saw the series it wants’ as funny as it was probably intended to be.
- The Mangagamer panel said they’d discuss visual novels but when I sat there seeing their new releases I quickly realized they only want to discuss eroge. I also had a feeling that if I got up in the middle of the room asking them why they won’t license otome games, all the kimootas in the room would have booed me out or told me to get back in the kitchen or whatever other gender related insult you can make. Still though, I think its really pathetic that most of their licenses are nukige. Only EF seemed like a worthy pick up to me but everything else was basically “fuck and rape some milfs and spooge all over them YEAAAAAA also this loli is like 32 years old YEAAA.” Needless to say when the Q&A started we left to go to sleep since it was like 1:30 AM by then anyway.
- Spoiler the panel was pretty funny. They didn’t actually spoil anything that I cared about and they spoiled games I’ve never heard of or will ever play so I guess it was mostly for the lulz? Though I personally found their panel at NYAF a few years back a lot funnier. I guess when they make fun of stuff I don’t know/care about, it’s not as funny. Also I guess they will never actually spoil Hellsing.
- On Saturday I had a bunch of panels that I planned to attend but somehow that all flew out the window and I pretty much spent the day running from 1 cosplay gathering to another taking photos and in between I’d be visiting the dealers room or artists alley. When I actually did want to attend a panel, they filled up so fast (aka people were too lazy to get their asses up & leave the room) that we never got to go in to begin with. I think I ended up spending my free time resting in the hotel room playing Clover Alice before going to dinner and yet another photoshoot. Due to staying up till 2Am the night before, I was dead tired and ended up going to bed at like 9:40PM completely missing out on the Saturday night fan parodies which I really wanted to see. Also I started feeling like I was catching some con flu so I chugged some airborne before falling asleep (only to be awakened by the stupid cow weaboo at 1AM and raging to security until 2AM that night.)
Dealers Room & Artist Alley
Since I stopped drawing I decided I’d go see if I can buy stuff from artists in the artist alley. I did buy a cute print of Kaito & Miku but that’s it. It feels like every table was selling mainstream/popular stuff that they thought would sell – and maybe it did to everyone but me. I was looking for either UtaPri or other otome game fanart or fanart of more niche anime like Penguindrum. Sadly all I found were people with a million buttons, Madoka, Kuroshitsuji and original stuff which was really good but – sorry I like fanart on my wall. I can’t connect to an original character no matter how beautiful your art is therefore I cannot buy it (and I really dgaf what original artist social justice pioneers think of this because this is true for most people. I know because I’ve manned artist alley tables at 3 conventions.)
Dealers room was bootleg heaven. NOT GONNA LIE. The same dealers were selling the SAME WALLSCROLLS all over the place. That means if bootleg dealer 1 was selling them for $20 the bootleg dealer 2 was selling them for like $15 only 1 table away. m9（＾Д＾）ﾌﾟｷﾞｬｰｰｰｯ I was able to find that small utapri charm for $2 cheaper 1 table away! I was even able to find a family of stuffed penguindrum penguins but since the large ones were $40 each I only ended up buying Kanba-penguin x3. My best dealers room find was of course this:
The actual pillow I got at Century21 for like $20 lmao. So no you don’t need to pay like $50 to buy one on the internet when your local bed bath & beyond/C21 probably has this in store. You just need the 19″ ~20″ by 54″~55″ inch one. This is totally someone’s fanart printed on a dakimakura but the quality is nice and it was only $60. Pretty sure the utapri bedsheets (which were fugly in my opinion) cost like $120 so screw that.
Ok I guess this is pretty much the only reason anyone is reading this post (and the only reason I’m posting this here instead of my anime blog – which nobody reads anyway lol.) So anyway Kakki was precious and adorable but his staff were a bunch of crazy nazis. At Ai Nonaka’s panel I heard she was like TAKE MY PHOTOS YO but at Kakkis the staff ran around to people going DID U TAKE PIC JUST NOW!? JFC calm down dude. Needless to say it was difficult getting photos or videos of him but you can find them floating around the web somewhere. Thanks to strategic planning I was the 4th person in line for Kakki’s autograph. One of his staff asked where I was from I guess because I had an otome game in my hand instead of like fairy tail crap like most of everyone else?? When I came up he looked at what he was about to sign and went OOH AMNESIA! I’m like yep I love otome games and I also liked Koakuma Bancho from Renai Bancho 8D!! He said thanks and then said my Japanese is pretty good lmao ε=＼＿○ﾉ ｲﾔｯﾎｰｩ！ Afterwards I said thank you to him and then he told me Thank you very much in English. I was shaking as I walked out of the room xDDDD. I didn’t go to his gundam panel mainly because Bandai’s bullshit pissed me off and I feel sorry for anyone who had to buy Gundam shit they don’t care about just to get Kakki to sign ANYTHING.
Some highlights of his panel include him singing the Cutey Honey opening and yelling out “Lucy, ore ga moetekitaaa!” (which I suggested because the girl who requested it didn’t know how to phrase it in Japanese and I’m pretty sure what she wanted to say in English was so inappropriate that I was hoping to uh…change the way things were going to make him less uncomfortable. ) He mentioned how he’s doing a live with Namikawa and he also mentioned that he prefers doing cool characters rather than hot blooded ones. He even gave an example of a cool character WHICH SOUNDED JUST LIKE SHIN FROM AMNESIA CAUSE HE WAS LIKE “Naniyatterunda baaaka” sdghklsjd xDDDD So needless to say ladies, Kakki enjoys playing sexy voices for otome games more than yelling out like a maniac in animus (｀ゝω･)vｨｪｨ. A friend of mine who was on press got to be in a group interview with him and so I asked her to ask him what he thinks about otome game fans in America. From what I understood his response was that he was really happy to know that there are fans of the games :D. I’m hoping I’ll get to see a transcript of that interview somewhere so I can get more details on his response. Anyway overall I had a good time at the panel (except the shitty staff) and I’m really glad I got a chance to go to it without sacrificing his autograph!
My Camera is a PIECE OF SHIT
I bought a Kodak Z5120 on Woot.com for $150 because it had 26x optical zoom. This was great for taking all those sniper photos from the top of the escalators but if I wanted to take photo of someone up close? CRAP CRAP CRAP. Not only that, but between photos it took like 10 seconds before it let me take the next shot. It was so bad that a few cosplayers would get obviously frustrated as I stood there going COME ON U FUCKING CAMERA I NEED TO CHANGE THE GOD DAMN SHUTTER SPEED. (ﾉ＝ﾟﾛﾟ)ﾉ ⌒┫:･’.::ﾔｯﾃﾗﾚﾙｶﾆｬｱｱｱｧｧｧｧｧ!!!! My old Canon also runs on this shitty CCD garbage but oh man it is SO MUCH FASTER and also it actually has image stabilization. Well what am I complaining about the obvious for, Kodak went bankrupt & sold their camera business for a reason. I must have been an idiot thinking that it was a good camera based on like 5 people’s reviews. Anyone who thinks this is a good camera must have switched from a polaroid or a film camera from 1996 so of course it’s “good” in comparison. But you know what my freaking cell phone takes better pics, BEHOLD:
So needless to say I’m just gonna ebay off both of the other cameras and stick to my cell phone for a while. A cell phone camera sounds so bootleg but seeing how my phone uses CMOS and both of these crap cameras use CCD there’s really no contest lmao. I’m a camera noob but thanks to the Kodak camera being so fucking terrible, I realized how much difference a camera brand/quality can really make. In an odd way I started remembering my college photography classes and pretty much spent all weekend using Manual mode because all the automodes were utter garbage. I’m not sure if I’m ready for a DSLR. They are brutally expensive and then you need to buy all the damn lenses for them and seeing how I rarely ever have an opportunity to take photos like this (the next time might be when I go to someone’s wedding in January) I don’t even know if it’s worth bothering. All I ever wanted was a point & shoot camera that didn’t weigh a ton of bricks and took decent photos in poor lighting. I guess maybe I’m just asking too much lmao ＼( ^o^)／.
- It was hot as all fuck all weekend and the BCC staff clearly don’t give 2 shits so the ventilation was god awful. It was so god awful that I had to reapply deodorant like twice a day because I felt like I was in a Sauna no matter where in the BCC I went. I don’t ever remember Otakon being this disgustingly hot. Sure there were areas fulla BO but there was always at least parts of the center that were cool enough to take a break or rest in. Nope. Not this year. Not anywhere. If I wanted to take a break, I ended up going back to my hotel room.
- Panels were only cleared for 18+. This is why I wasn’t able to attend some panels (that were fan panels not even guest panels) because people would walk in and sit in the same panel room for hours whether or not they gave a fuck about the actual panel. This means people who actually wanted to see the panel never got a chance to even go in.
- I really wish people wouldn’t cosplay at restaurants – especially hotel restaurants. Seriously dude, your fucking room is 3 floors away, put on a tshirt & shorts, eat your fucking breakfast then GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM AND PUT ON YOUR COSTUME. I don’t appreciate trying to get some fucking french toast while your stupid wings smack me in the fucking face. ｵﾘｬ-( ﾟДﾟ)ﾉ====┻┻ﾟﾛﾟ)ﾌｷﾞｬ!! Also I didn’t appreciate a bunch of DBZ reject cosplayers (or whatever the fuck they were) loitering in front of the entrance to my hotel and using the stairs as their skateboard/jump ramp. Seriously where the fuck do you think you are, go die in a fire you fucking idiots.
- THIS IS AN ANIME CONVENTION, PLEASE STOP FLOODING IT WITH ADVENTURE TIME, HOMESTUCK AND AVENGERS SHIT. Oh my god I really don’t care who is butthurt over this statement but this kind of shit belongs at New York Comic Con or something. I would have rather seen like 60 Narutos and 70 Madokas then all the Homestuck idiots I ran into. Not because homestuck cosplay is annoying (other than stupid looking) but because THEY ALL ACT LIKE FUCKING MORONS. They run around screaming like they’re high on speed and while I’m at a photo shoot trying to take pics, they’re singing It’s a small world or some shit and the guy trying to tell people where to lineup can’t even be heard. The Avengers people – there are SO MANY of them that they end up hogging most of whatever area they choose for their photoshoot so either 1. you can’t get through because it’s a wall of bystanders or 2. the other cosplayers can’t find a place to do their shoot so they are forced to go elsewhere. This means that I go to where they are scheduled to be shooting and bam they’re gone because they had to move somewhere else to do the massive Avengers mob taking up half the floor. Adventure time I didn’t even recognize until JP pointed them out to me but it’s one of those American cartoon things that I’m just like “come on dude, there’s gotta be at least an ANIME you’re into that you can bring to an anime con instead of this Adventure time thing right??” I don’t mind when once in a while you see non anime cosplay at an anime con, hell there’s anime cosplay at comic con. However it really becomes a problem when it’s so many of them and then it gets to the point where ANIME cosplay becomes a rarity, what the fuck honestly. And yes I have the right to complain about this because I wanted to take so many group shots/individual cosplayers and the lack of anime cosplayers (and i’m sorry gijinka pikachus don’t count) + my camera being a piece of cow dung pretty much the cherry on top of this shitcake. (#ﾟ｀Дﾟ) P.S. What the hell is up with Kora? That was pretty huge too and I know absolutely nothing about it but I let it slide because it’s at least trying to be anime style. I guess at least I’m happy I managed to find some otome game cosplayers (all like 10 of you) so props to you boys & girls for keeping the spirit alive!!
- The GuideBook app this year was the best thing ever. In the past every year the paper schedule would be out of date the moment you got to the con. It was useless and shit would change and you’d never know until you get there only to find out the event’s not there anymore. This year though they had multiple info tables with an updated schedule as well as a live updated schedule via the guidebook app. This is probably the best thing Otakon has done in the last 10 years.
Anyway was it worth going? I’d say so. Usually Saturdays at anime cons are the peak day but for some reason (probably thanks to Kakki) the peak day for me was on Friday. It also helped that Friday morning I decided to visit the Baltimore Aquarium and see some fishies & monkeys before going to the con to line up and run to more photo shoots.
Oh well, mission accomplished. Hopefully no anime cons will be calling anymore male seiyuus I care about anytime soon because I think I need a long break before I trek off to another happy fun time in 105F. And now have some cosplay photos and gander at Kodak’s “QUALITY”.