I got to venture out to Otakon this year and had a blast. Come check out some of the exciting things I saw!
Con Artist Sushma goes to Panels
I don’t generally attend many panels. Two years ago when I went to Otakon, I was excited to wander into what I imagined were “professionally made panels” as compared to what my friends and I run at Genericon. It turns out many of them are fan pandering nonsense where people have created very “meh” Powerpoints and probably ran through their discussion one time (maybe…) before getting up to speak. I won’t fault anyone for it because putting together a panel is stressful and time consuming, and I was expecting a lot. It was only inevitable that I would come out disappointed.
I Love the 90’s: Anime Edition
This year I decided to try again because who can resist a panel about the 90’s!!!! The 90’s were an amazing time to be a kid so it only makes sense that Anime from the 90’s were awesome. The presenter took us through a video clip filled tour of fantastic and ground breaking shows that came out in each successive year from 1990-1999. Many of my favorites and other shows I’ve heard are great showed up. I have placed a list of as many as I can remember below:
- Big O
- Detective Conan
- Cowboy Bebop
- Detective Conan
- Gundam Wing
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Nadia The Secret of Blue Water
- Outlaw Star
- Revolutionary Girl Utena
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Pizza Cats
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Vision of Escaflowne
What are some of your favorite shows from the 90’s?! Leave a comment!
Sailor Moon Official Panel
If you haven’t figured it out from reading my “About” section, I freaking love Sailor Moon. It was my gateway into anime and it serves as an awesome show for young women (and heck, even men) everywhere. I threw in that () statement because there were quite a few men who were totally proud to show up to the panel. More power to you gentleman. I have to say…there’s just something about getting a bunch of people in the room singing “Moonlight Densetsu” that sets off all the nostalgia feels. The panel was mostly Viz talking about the new voice actors and actresses that are going to be dubbing the older version of Sailor Moon, and trying to get everyone excited about Sailor Moon Crystal. It was a little weird to see Crystal promoted since it just wrapped up Season 2 (Black Moon Arc). The panel brought out Sandy Fox and Lauren Landa who will be voicing Chibiusa and Michiru Kaiou (Sailor Neptune) respectively. It was adorable to see Lauren’s reactions in the panel. She’s such a fangirl for the show and I think the audience fed off her energy a lot. There was trivia and some fun facts thrown around but I think the whole panel was worth it for two things. The first was just being surrounded by a bunch of people who were really excited about Sailor Moon. The second occurred during the Q&A section. A man stood up and thanked Lauren, Sandy, and Viz for bringing a Sailor Moon dub because he started watching it with his daughter when there were only subtitles. In lieu of this he would act out all the voices for her. It was adorable and definitely made my day.
The Worst Anime of All Time
As a fellow Bad Anime Panel maker I was excited to attend this panel. It was especially fun because the host was someone who was much older and therefore could dig into the bowels of the Anime Kingdom to find some golden shows. The presentation brought out some great stuff but some of it dragged out a little too long. A clip or two from a show is just the right amount of funny. The presenter showed clips that were pretty long and one show dragged out for what seemed like forever. I sat there going, “MOVE ON MAN! You are wasting the whole hour on this!” Regardless, it all ended up being fine quality garbage. One show called “Nora” was particularly exciting because it didn’t have any in-between animation done for it before it released. This made the whole thing looked like stop-go animation and of course…all the motions and dialogue was awesomely bad. There was also a clip of a dance sequence that occurred in the show and I wish I had that clip because it is endlessly entertaining. Thank goodness for awesomely bad anime!
I never even try to venture into the AMVs for the real deal because I’d have to wait in a monstrous line or get there 3 hours early (and probably STILL stand in line). The AMV encore is that thing that everyone wanders in and out of and it’s really relaxed because the voting is already done. I saw a lot of good AMVs and a couple that I was really impressed by. I had a question from a friend of mine asking “I wonder if Japan is into AMVs or if it’s an American thing that we developed and get all excited about?”. I can’t say I know the answer but I’d lean towards it being an American thing. I don’t see us as Americans making music videos about our cartoons (I’m discounting My Little Pony because there is a whole psychological CULTURE around that puppy), and since Anime is Japan’s standard cartoon it might follow the same idea.
Con Artist Sushma Observes Cosplay
Who was my favorite cosplayer?!
FREAKING MISS FRIZZLE!!!
Con Artist Sushma Buys Swag
Who goes to the con and doesn’t come back somewhat guilty that they bought too much swag!
Con Artist Sushma Gets Laura Bailey’s Autograph
I went on a quest to get Laura Bailey’s autograph this year. With the help of my fellow Con Artist Scott, I now have a Rachel Robinson (I love you Fang!!!) signed copy of Final Fantasy XIII. Laura Bailey plays FFXIII-2’s titular character Serah Farron and so I was excited to have two of my games in the trilogy signed by voice actresses. I now only need my Lightning Returns box signed. Someday Ali Hillis….someday…..
One would think that by showing up, like a good con-law abiding citizen, to the autograph session an hour early would get me a spot in line. That one doing the thinking would be beaten with a stick for being so wrong. As usual, Otakon gave in to the mob that must have lined up “heaven only knows how early” and I, along with several other people, were locked out. It looked like the end but as I stood there trying to negotiate with the Otakon staff, the Guest Coordinator walked by and tried to help manage the crowd. Using the power of my extreme Asian Persuasion I learned that Laura and her husband Travis WIllingham were going to be at the Dealer’s Room on Sunday at 2 PM. SCORE!
~ +1 Day ~
I arrived an hour early to the autograph signing in the Dealer’s Room. The staff crammed us into a tight snaking line so we wouldn’t block traffic through the area. I was finally here! I could SEE Laura and Travis at their table and I was totally going to get my game cover signed! I was six people away from being signed when……
The Dealer’s Room was set to close for the convention and Laura/Travis had to be moved upstairs into the main convention area. DAMN IT!!!! SOOOOO CLOSE!!!
It took well over 30 mins for us to move in a single file line like eager quails and get to the tiny, tucked away room where they were hiding Laura and Travis. By this point, I was starving, irritated and had waited in line for well over 1.5 hours for this damn autograph. I had half a mind to just walk out of the joint. Did I finally get my autograph?!
DAMN STRAIGHT I DID!!! It cost me $10 (seriously Otakon…what the heck?!) but I got it!!
Did you attend Otakon?! Drop us a comment!