Otakon roundup

August 12, 2008

Finally getting some time to post. Was pretty dead Sunday and yesterday. Cons are not exactly the relaxing type of vacation. I get more sleep during a regular work week O_o

Kicked off the con with Otaku no Video. It’s an Otakon tradition, and honestly there usually isn’t anything better going on at 9am on Friday. Always good for a laugh though. Also hit panels for Dubs That Time Forgot, PGSM, and JPop. Dubs That Time Forgot demonstrated another Otakon tradition — technical issues in the panel rooms.

Big event for Friday was of course the JAM Project concert. Let me start by saying I’m not a big follower of JAM Project, but I am a huge fan of Macross music, especially Fire Bomber. Seeing even one Fire Bomber song performed live by Fukuyama Yoshiki was huge for me. It was also cool to hear some other classic themes like Cha-La Head-Cha-La from DBZ (huge fun heard live) and Get My Revolution from Utena. As a toku fan, the GARO theme was really cool too. Two pictures, first the group performing Little Wing from Scrapped Princess, then Fukuyama doing Fire Bomber’s Angel Voice. Sorry for iPhone photos, I actually don’t own a camera (I know, I know, I spend all my money on anime and toku stuff…)

Day 2 we checked out panels for Anime is Serious Business, two panels on tokusatsu, and the Fansubbers and Industry panel. I actually have a pic of that monumental clash below. Actually, they were pretty cordial, and it was interesting to hear the viewpoints of the industry. They’re really not “the man”. Really the problem with lag between release in Japan and the states is legal junk and the Japanese licensors’ relucatance to change anything. The industry is trying to work out a fast, online means of distribution, however.

Big events Saturday were the main AMV contest screening and the Masquerade. Some good stuff in the AMV contest this year, though a lot of 5cm Per Second. Do I need to watch that? The Death Note shoes video was riotous. I didn’t find the masquerade overall as funny as I did last year, though the girl cosplaying Link and doing Zelda tunes on the flute was good. Was she the same one who did it last year? Also, the second act was a girl of about 13, dressed as Sakura from Naruto, and singing Utada Hikaru’s Hikari. Looking out at the 1st Mariner Arena and something to the tune of about 8 or 9,000 people, she froze up pretty bad. The crowd was sympathetic and tried to encourage her. Aren’t otaku sweet?

Sunday we checked out the Hand Drawn Animation and Maryland Language Club panels before heading off to the concerts. Daisy Stripper, MarBell and The Underneath were all good, though I like The Underneath best. MarBell’s vocalist was pretty funny though, flashing her ass at the crowd and proposing marriage to all assembled.

Overall, not a bad con this year. I think I’ll finish out with a pic of the assembled loot from this year. As I often do, I actually walked away from the con with money in my pocket still. I don’t buy anything I couldn’t easily get off the net from the comfort of my own couch. No need to fight through throngs of otaku for manga I can order right from TRSI or Amazon. I will be talking about some of this swag here after I’ve had a chance to digest it.

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