Otakon 2011

Mimi: Hey guys, I just came back from my first Otakon convention! There was so much to do and many amazing guests to see. I’d like to share a little bit about my exciting experience there.

After six lovely hours of driving, my friend and I arrived at Otakon around 4:00pm on Friday. By that time, I had missed a few things that I wanted to check out, like the opening ceremony, Noboru Ishiguro’s autograph session (director of Macross and LOGH), and the ANN panel. So we spent most of our time figuring out where the Dealer Room, Artist Alley, and other rooms were located, as this is a confusing, huge place, and the crowds took a while to get used to. The only event we attended that day was the CHEMISTRY concert. We waited in line for 2 hours to secure the best seats, and I was impressed with their performance. My favorite song is “Period,” the 4th opening to FMAB.

On Saturday, things got even better. We rushed over there in the morning to see the premiere of Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo (Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below). It’s an excellent movie, and there’s more to come on that in my review. I also met one of my internet friends there and watched the film with her, which made the experience even more exciting. Afterwards, Makoto Shinkai appeared to talk about the film. Then we roamed around in the Dealer Room, Artist Alley, and Art Show for quite a while. I loved this particular painting of various anime characters sitting in (and on top of) Catbus from Totoro. What a masterpiece.

The next big event I attended was Distant Worlds, music from Final Fantasy by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. I was simply blown away by the orchestra, chorus, and opera. Not only was the performance brilliant, they showed gorgeous FF video clips which were perfectly in sync with the orchestra! Plus, Nobuo Uematsu (composer of most FF music) was there. He was pressured by the conductor to sing, and after the crowd got quiet, he just whistled into the microphone. Funny guy. =P

Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

There was another big event on Saturday, the premiere of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. The crowd was a sight to behold! As much as I wanted to see it, I couldn’t because I had to get to Distant Worlds on time. It was shown again on Sunday, but I had to leave a bit earlier if I wanted to avoid traffic on my way home. Kinda sucked, but if I had to choose all over again, I’d still pick Distant Worlds. After all, we can just see the movie when it comes out next year! =)

The FMA crowd waiting to see the film…

And that’s not even all of it.

And finally, Sunday. There was an autograph session for Noboru Ishiguro’s upcoming anime, Angel ScandyS. For some reason, I thought the big man himself was going to be there. I should have known he wasn’t, considering how short the waiting line was. When I walked into the room, I heard cute happy music and saw three voice actresses sitting at the table: Orine Fukushima, Momoko Ohara, and Chiaki Shimogawa. The setup amused me, and they were extremely nice, so I got their autographs anyway. Guess I’ll have to watch Angel ScandyS when it comes out now.

Right after that, I went to the Tiger & Bunny panel, hosted by producer (and co-creator) Masayuki Ozaki and ANN’s CEO, publisher Christopher Macdonald. He had some interesting and funny things to say about the show, and I enjoyed being immersed in a crowd of  fellow fangirls screaming over Bunny! One thing the producer did not expect was for the series to attract such a large female audience. =P Details on the session can be found on ANN.

I didn’t buy much at the con, considering I went all out at Animazement in May. Got some free stuff, like a poster for the FMA film and Hetalia. I bought a fabulous Tiger & Bunny print (the very LAST one, which made a girl standing behind me pretty upset), a cute pink plushie that vibrates (I dunno what it really is lol?), two t-shirts, the latest volume of 20th Century Boys manga, and a Madoka Magica poster exclusively for Japan Tsunami Earthquake Relief. Also, I’ve seen some pretty weird cosplayers and items. Spiderman in a French maid outfit and Pikachu with aids, anyone? As for the most epic cosplay I’ve seen… -drum roll- The MORNING RESCUE men! Yes, I am still obsessed with that commercial…

Well, that’s it in a nutshell. I hardly slept at all this past weekend, and a lot of time and money was invested into this trip. It was definitely worth every penny, and I’d love to go again next year. Did anybody else go? How was your experience?

Alex: The only thing i’m jealous about is that Mimi got to watch  Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo. I’ve been waiting for it longerrrrrrr D;
And I still think she’s nuts for missing out on the FMA:B movie.

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One thought on “Otakon 2011

  1. It was awesome meeting you, Meeps! I’m glad you had just as much a great time as I did! And don’t worry, Alex. You’ll see it soon. I’m sure of it. It’ll probably come out on DVD right under our noses. LOL.

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