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  1. 2 points
    I'm not sure if this is the best forum for it, so if it needs to be moved I apologize. In honor of the 25th Otakon, I propose we share how we got into anime and came into the Otakon fold. My story begins in the early 90s. A friend of mine got me into anime when he would come home from college during the holidays with copies of anime in raw Japanese. (I specifically remember Akira and Grey: Digital Target.) I was pretty much hooked from the get go, even if I didn't understand exactly what was going on in the story. Eventually I started picking up subbed tapes at the various local comic shows, (Ranma 1/2 and Project A-ko being particular favorites of mine.) which I then shared with my brother and friends. Of that group, my brother expressed the most interest in it. Then at Philcon* 1993, I came upon the usual table filled with fliers for different cons and area clubs. This particular one caught my eye. Except for what I saw at Philcon and the like, there wasn't much anime around at the time. (This was a few years before Suncoast Video carried a stock, IIRC.) I asked my brother if he wanted to go to State College for an anime con. In July he drove us to State College for our first Otakon, and we've been going ever since. * This was when it was still in Philadelphia, and when I was still going to the con.
  2. 2 points
    I actually go to the convention center for the Auto Show and this is the case . . . however it's a very different crowd and it doesn't use the same amount of space. Heck, for the first time ever, the Auto Show had exhibits on the top floor (where the masquerade is held.)
  3. 1 point
    YES ANOTHER My-HIME series fan! Great choice! Yeah the music is second to none, though I also enjoy the music in Shakugan no Shana, but I digress. Kajiura Yuki is a goddess when it comes to composing music! Her girl band Kalafina is great too! See them in concert if you can! I saw them in 2009 at Anime Boston and in 2014 I think ? at Anime Central!....
  4. 1 point
    I sort of got thrown into the world of anime, cons & cosplay all at once. My first Otakon was 2002, however I wasn't really into anime so much at the time. Back then I never really cared for DBZ, and as it was one of the only "mainstream" animes to hit the US at the time, I never really looked into much other stuff. I do remember watching some Tenchi though. I was more into gaming and my hook into it all was Final Fantasy. My best friend at the time was interested in going to Ota, so I looked into it and thought it sounded cool. So instead of easing into it all I jumped head first. Not only did we cosplay FF7 characters at our first con (I did Cid Highwind), BUT I also became a gofer (TCG no less) my first year. I was immediately hooked. I joined staff the next year and haven't looked back. Of course I was big into the Naturo & Bleach phases (cosplaying Gaara & Ishida respectively), also loved me some Hellsing (did a ghoul costume) and Full Metal Panic. Though my fav series of all time is still My-HiME & My-Otome (the music & characters.. no other has resonated internally like they did) . After those, my interest in anime started to fade. But I still appreciate it, and have found a few series that I enjoyed since (most recent being Kill la Kill). Now that I'm a bit older, I am just happy to help put on an event that the next generation can enjoy (though I'm not quite done cosplaying yet).
  5. 1 point
    I really started watching anime when I was in fourth or fifth grade (about 1998/1999). I was watching Power Rangers and such on Fox Kids when Digimon first aired. I had seen episodes of older anime before. Over the years I'd find VHS tapes of Tenchi Muyo, Sailor Moon, and DBZ at local thrift shops but Digimon was the first anime series that really got me going. Of course I was hooked on the shows that came on Toonami and Adult Swim over the years but wanted more so I used some 3rd party sites to watch some older stuff. Then, in 2011, my friends and I decided we wanted to go to an anime convention. We looked around for ones that weren't too far away and came up with Otakon. We thought there'd only be about 10k people there for some reason (which is still a big convention) but were completely shocked by how big it was! It was our first time traveling to a huge city by ourselves (we're from a small town, country area) and the first time we'd been to a huge convention center and around so many people. We had no idea how huge anime was until that point. It was like our own wonderland and we were so excited! We've been to every Otakon since as well as a few local cons that have recently sprung up where we live. Otakon also introduced me to anime sites like Crunchyroll where I could watch the latest stuff and just gorge myself in anime. We could honestly skip Otakon and go to multiple other, more local cons that seem to be growing rapidly, but Otakon was our first experience and we gladly travel 6+ hours out of our way every year to attend.
  6. 1 point
    This is gonna be my first time seeing Miku in concert. I just rolled with general admission, though. $105 more just for some merch and getting in early wasnt worth it to me.
  7. 1 point
    In case you guys haven't been following it on Facebook, here's some shots of the new combined GamePlay/Marley Bounce Party: The new location is on the lower level next to Macy's and Gold's Gym. Here's a map if you need it:
  8. 1 point
    Terrific you get to attend the Auto Show! You're right -- very different crowd and not the same amount of space. I missed the Auto show last year -- hope they use the top floor again! Hey, just saw the Auto Show's gonna be Jan 25 -- Feb 4, 2018! Sure hope you can attend! They also have a Travel and Adventure Show, Jan 20-21 -- that's a fun show too. Oops, as usual, I'm off topic. Sorry about that.
  9. 1 point
    As promised, my book. First, a bit of context. I grew up watching cartoons with the family – Old Woody Woodpecker, Warner Bros., Black & White Popeye, etc. However there was a select group that really affected me back in the day. Tobor the 8th man – which for DECADES folks though was only shown in my home – Gigantor, Astro boy and a few others (Space Ghost, Birdman, Hurceloids, Spider-Man & other superhero cartoons get their own mantle.) Of that set, my favorites were Speed Racer (convinced that’s why I love cars to this day) Marine Boy and Kimba the White Lion. At the time I didn’t know they were from Japan . . . I just knew I loved them. By the time it registered they were originally from overseas my only thought was “Oh, ok.” This continued with (U.S. names of course) Star Blazers, Robotech and the like. I always loved animation, but I didn’t really have (at the time) a predilection for Anime. In the early 1990s I was working at a comic store. One regular Jeff – who’s knickname was Ryoga (foreshadowing) – was the treasurer of the UMD Anime society – AKA the Gamera Fan Club. He told me he had some things he wanted to share and he lent me a video tape. I meant to watch it but life was busy. It was a couple weeks later and he kept asking. Finally, one night when I got home from a new release day, I was dead tired. I said to myself “let me just put this in for a few minutes and give it a shot so I can tell him I did try.” That was about midnight. I had to force myself to stop the tape at 4:00 AM because I was laughing so hard I’d woken up my house mates. It was Ranma ½. Sweet buttermilk, that changed my whole life. I began looking for anything with big eyes and a small mouth and reading it, buying it and/or watching it. This included things I loved (Silent Mobius) and things that made me shudder (Angel Cop – dubbed) and the wonders of going to Suncoast and trying to figure out why subbed cost more than dubbed (LETTERS AREN’T CHEAP! #NonDeFilms.) But all the while, I loved the new world I’d discovered. it was a new joy and passion Then a pair of friends – Kobe and Sabertooth – told me they were going to this fan convention based on Anime. Adam Warren was going to be there and I loved his Dark Horse Bubblegum Crisis work. I jumped on Charlotte and rode to Hunt Valley – and that was my first Otakon in 1997. This was my first fan convention of any kind. I’d been going to the Auto Show since 1982, but that’s an industry event. This was the first time when I was at a convention where there were like minded individuals who were all into the same thing I was into. I remember one friend being excited about trading Saber Marionettes J for Escaflowne. On day two I did my first cosplay – the dead boyfriend of Priss from BGC (I was dressed in my black motorcycle leathers which happened to look like the image of him from the video Aseo Touchdown) and that weekend, I began a tradition. When I met Adam Warren, I didn’t have a copy of a comic to ask him to sign. So I asked him to sign my helmet. It was the first signature of many. I retired the helmet dozens of signatures later, culminating w/ T.M. Revolution. It’s one of my prized possessions. I had such a great time at my first Otakon that I became hooked. I saw Mononoke Hime in a DC theatre that had a column in the middle *just* to help Anime become more mainstream. We watched Sailor Moon at 6:00 AM *just* in the hope Anime would become normal & fun for the public. Went to Crystal City and put my bike in costumer. Went to Baltimore and had a blast every year – including an auction where I won a drawing of Priss. Went to DC and had possibly the best time in a couple-few decades. I’ve been every year since then and – while some years are better than others – I’ve never been disappointed. Now my child has been to every Otakon since she was a one year old. I love the fact I get to pass on my Ota-passion to a new generation of the family. The Raptor thinks it’s all both fun and normal. And that was our goal all along. TL;DR - Grew up w/ cartoons; a buddy got me into the new wave of anime; went in 1997 and have been to Otakon every year.
  10. 1 point
    I was there last year as well. The hotel staff friendliness reminded me how the Day's Inn staff were back in Baltimore.
  11. 1 point
    I will say this, if you want to save some money try signing up to the e-mail lists of something like Spot Hero or Parking Panda. They will send out discount codes every once in a while in which you can use for the parking garages. The place I parked at was only 40 dollars for 3 nights when normally it would be $60 thanks to the coupon. Normally, 9 out of 10 times, I would just junk the e-mails since right now my next time I'm going to DC will be in Spring but it saved me 20 dollars when I did need it.
  12. 1 point
    The faerie is going to make a musical guest request: "Fhana". I think that band would be perfect to have over for the 25th con.
  13. 1 point
    I just wanted to chime in. Like many, I was checking every day after Otakon . . . but then checked less frequently. It got down to once per week. I happened to check the forums yesterday and BAZINGA! Found out the block was open. Went into full (metal) panic. I was able to get a room, and I want to thank Otakon for some of the things explained in the previous posts which I believe kept the traditional hoarding of rooms under some control. I also feel they did the right thing by opening up what room they could in the Marriott – even though I missed that hotel – to have more members stay there. Rest assured I will be checking periodically for openings in other hotels. Was this perfect? No. Are there improvements that could be made? Certainly. Are people upset because they couldn’t get a given number of rooms/beds at her/his preferred hotel? Definitely. However that happens every year. I’ve been in that group multiple times so I understand completely. I just want to thank Otakon for what they’ve done and tried to do. I’m looking forward to attending this year as I have every year since 1997. I do hope everyone who needs a room is able to find one.
  14. 1 point
    Was there no way to divvy up staff rooms between singles and doubles so that attendees could have a chance at the doubles? Or were there just that many staff rooms moved to the Renaissance? I can only speak for myself, but I looked at the calendar and saw immediately why you didn't give us two weeks: because it would land squarely in the middle of holidays. But again speaking for myself as a suggestion going forward, I think the better option would have been to just wait until January. We've already waited this long, some of us quite patient without nagging you guys too much, so to suddenly have all that patience essentially wasted because you rushed to get the block open was like a slap in the face. Even if it's not Christmas week, people are already distracted with holiday prep; people are already away from their computers. Saying "We're opening the first ____ of January" would have given people plenty of time to find out, to schedule themselves time at a computer, and would have been past any holiday distractions. Having already waited months, I personally would've preferred just waiting an additional few weeks so I could be ready rather than what actually happened, which was seeing they were open by sheer chance and then rushing to grab something. It was not a pleasant experience. If you're open to feedback, then mine is that should these circumstances happen again, choose to give us the proper notice rather than rush to get things out. We waited this long, we can wait a little longer. Plus, it gives you guys more flexibility in your schedules around the holidays as well.
  15. 1 point
    I was a lucky one and I was able to book a room under noncon rates for Otakon 2018's dates at the Marriott Marquis, but I want to try and book a conrate room and then cancel the one I booked initially. Wish me luck guys!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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