Otakon 2015: Post Con Thoughts

Hey everyone,

Been a while since I posted, yet again. Thankfully with Anime USA coming up and the potential of doing around 10 panels (probably less) I’ll be more motivated to write articles based on what kinds of panels I’m giving. But anyway. This weekend was about Otakon, the second biggest anime con in the US. Let’s just go day by day, since that’ll probably be easier.

Thursday

Woke up and went to work. Got ready to leave early from work; it’s always a struggle knowing you’re going to a con when you have to work for a few hours beforehand. Eventually left at a little before three. Got to my friend’s house at 4:30 PM and we left for con from there.

Now the unfortunate thing about today’s story is, firstly, I realized I forgot my badge when we were in the car to the metro. Too late to turn around; I’d be hitting rush hour traffic if I went back to get it. So I called up my friends who were coming Friday morning, and thankfully they were able to bring it. The second thing is that Otakon, in all its power, managed to have technical difficulties on Thursday for the second year in a row, making it so my friend(s) could not pickup their badges on Thursday evening.

However as a slightly good note, I got to the hotel and managed to see BACK-ON live. Watching them perform Chain, Flower, Butterfly, and New World was amazing as well as seeing them do the Gundam Build Fighters OP and the Fairy Tail OP. Took some videos and pictures.

Got back to my hotel room and hung out in there until late. The first night is when I knew I was in trouble with the hotel room. I’m going to confess, I have a pretty hard time just GETTING to sleep. When I’m asleep, I only wake up if I’m uncomfortable or something. I sleep pretty heavy but it’s almost impossible for me to get to that point in unfamiliar situations. So when two roommates were talking and one was snoring, I didn’t sleep well.

Friday

Woke up Friday morning ready to start the con for real. Went down to meet my friends who had my badge – except wait a minute, one of them had dropped it on the ground. Thankfully a staff member had picked it up and that was the end of my worries for the badge. Got it and went about my day. Went to a few panels on stuff like the anime industry’s current state, went to the dealer’s hall, all that fun stuff.

Got a call later on in the evening informing me that I had to check in for my panel since I hadn’t done that yet. Every con works different regarding that stuff so I rushed to check in with Programming Ops, and filled out the paperwork I needed to in the Panelist Room, which was a sectioned off room for panelists to hang out in and drink and eat some free food/coffee. Very valuable in the morning, especially with my lack of sleep.

Hang out some more, drink a little bit, and end the night with AMV Hell 7. Those things are so much fun to watch with a lot of people; I personally think they’ve gotten funnier since 5, but that’s just me. 3 and 4 will always be “best”.

Sleep didn’t go any better. Roommates got home from the rave at like 3:00 AM and lights went out only then. Snoring continued on both sides of me. I miraculously managed to get 3 and a half or 4 hours of sleep that night. Strangely enough I wasn’t in zombie mode for the rest of the con.

Saturday

The big day. The morning of reckoning. Get up to go to con at 8:30 AM. Arrive in a line to get into the convention center, which progressed quickly. Now I’ve already told this story once or twice but it was still fun to me to experience this as I went to my panel.

I get to the room I’m running “When Subtitles Go Wrong” in (which i will be uploading to a dropbox or something soon) and I notice that there’s one girl there eating a muffin or some breakfast food. I think “Okay, I get that, eating half hour before the panel starts, that’s understandable”. So I poke my head into the room and see no staff is in there quite yet, which is fine. I look out again and see that there’s now… 4 people in line.

So I get into the room in the next two minutes thanks to staff and start setting up, in the process also realizing I forgot my power cord. Thankfully my laptop held out till the end of the panel, but damn it all if it wasn’t concerning. While setting up, I see from the right side of the room the line beginning to wrap around the hallway. I hear “If you’re in line for When Subtitles go Wrong, here is the end of the line”. And I think “Oh shit.”

As background, up until this point the biggest panel I’ve run had about 50 people in it. So when they opened the door and 400 people streamed into the room I was a little bit intimidated. Thankfully given my tired state and my general ability to brush aside anxiety when the panel is actually occurring, I was fine.

The presentation went great. People laughed, I read out some slides since not everyone could read them, and I managed to get the panel to go until 9:52 AM about. Several people watching came up and told me it was so worth it to come see the panel and that it was hilarious. I really appreciated it and unfortunately didn’t have any cards to give out, yet I managed to give them my twitter anyway.

The rest of the day went much the same as Friday, with one difference. I left at about 8:00 PM to go back to my friend’s house in Alexandria because I had made up my mind: I was NOT staying in the hotel again. I had gambled and lost the bet of a random hotel. We got back fine and although I regret not seeing a few things Saturday night, the sleep was much more important. And I slept very well.

Sunday

Over the last few days of the con, I had been almost confused as to what day it was since I have rarely done Thursday-Sunday (instead opting for Friday-Sunday). But Sunday always hits the same. You always get that feeling that it’s coming to a close.

Got to con early on with my friend and we bummed around and went to a few panels. Lots of time was spent int the dealer’s hall as it often is on Sunday. I only bought for myself an Iron Attack CD (Touhou music) and I got my friend a doujin as a gift (she returned the favor with a plushie and a keychain). Hung out until about 4:30 PM and then left with a few friends I was giving rides back home to.

Didn’t get back home till roughly 9:00 PM. It was a hell of a drive but I don’t hate driving so much so I was only a little peeved. Got back home and realized WonFes, SGDQ, LCS were all going on plus the 13 episodes of stuff I had to start watching. Back to reality.

Here’s hoping SuperSmashCon has an amazing first year. I’d go to cons all year round if I could, to avoid that post-con funk. I had tons of fun. Otakon is ALWAYS tons of fun. However next year, given the effort put in to getting a hotel room, I might focus my efforts elsewhere towards Anime Boston and/or Anime Expo. I want to meet a few twitter peoples and some other friends. I never regret going to Otakon though and I can’t wait until it moves to DC.

Thanks for reading.

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