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RTeker

the Good, Bad, and UGLY

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RTeker    0

Good: can't think of alot of good improvements made this year at all

Bad: 4 otakon staffers checking ONE badge at ONE door (game room enterance to be blunt) Getting checked by every Staffer that was outside panel rooms checking badges. Lets face it HOW many people do you need to check badges when you have all those security guads at EACH and EVERY enterance checking badges. Seems absolutly ridiculus. was alot warmer inside the BCC this year.. And while this isn't a thing the Ota staffers can do about but I have to say this; was it just me or were ALOT of the merch in the dealers rooms higher than last year for the same stuff as last year?

Ugle: the MEME's!!!! PEOPLE, STOP yelling Marco Polo in the crowds...

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KyoKyo    14

The Good: Jason David Frank was an awesome guest. He was one of the most personable and genuine guests that I can think of. He was respectful, enthusiastic and completely engaging. Brina Palencia was equally wonderful, staying after her panel for another 20 minutes to autograph memorabilia.

The Access Control Dept- The staffer in charge at the time (Mr. Clark?) was extremely professional in dealing with the prop weapon of one of my friends. The staffers in general was courteous and helpful.

The Bad: lines, and the communication issues with some of the autograph sessions.

The Ugly: Our car broke down in the middle of Eutaw Street on Friday afternoon during rush hour. THAT was fun. Thanks to the random Army soldier who helped us push the car to the Holiday Inn parking lot.

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otakuguy    0

Well this year was really weird for me. Definetly my least favorite Otakon, but that was happening either way (I recently contracted Lyme disease, making it very hard to get around) but I thought the increase in security was very annoying, Getting checked like 5 times to go through a door, I understand their reasoning, but people still got through without badges. and there was a huge lack of group cosplays, to be honest I only saw one really good group, but that can't be changed by the staff. But hey, my worst Otakon was still the highlight of my summer, so thats the good!

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Sassadri    0

Good Con! Thank You! biggrin.png

I want to say that it was apparent that our suggestions in these forums were taken seriously. My favorite change in the last couple of years that has helped me organize my con experience is the room clears on the schedule. It saves us from walking in only to be kicked out again. Impromptu lines were taken under control quickly so that people weren't left wondering if they were in the correct line. I really appreciate it!

Now for the not so wonderful. The tape was missing in the narrow hallway leading from the Pratt Street lobby to the video and panel rooms. It was a real problem on Friday. We had to inch our way through as the flow of people heading away from the lobby reduced those of us trying to head towards it to a narrow line. People continued to stop on the middle of that narrow passage for photos and conversations. It seemed like traffic was held up every other time I had to go through there. We also noticed that, for the first time in years, there was not a noticeable staff member in or near that hallway.

<3 <3 Lotsa love for the Staffers that give their time and effort to make our con experience enjoyable. <3 <3

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Jeremytroid    0

Good: It was ---- fun. None of the content was a let down, the Persona 4 shoots on Saturday went well and I came home tired like I should. The staffers running the Dealer's Room line this morning (Sunday) were fantastic. Any staffers I did talk to were polite and friendly. Badge checks did seem overkill at times, but it never slowed the lines down.

Bad: Some line management, (Like always :P ) But the NIS America Games panel was the horrendous. The staffer managing that made some confusing breaks in the line, and the start and end were not clear. When the panel actually opened for seating, he was nowhere to be found and large groups were cutting the real front of the line. (Through no real fault of their own.) I didn't miss the panel due to this but it certainly could have been much worse.

Ugly: A Team Rocket duo were harassing some of my friends dressed as Pokemon trainers. This wasn't late either, around 3PM Saturday. I know you guys can't do anything about the BCC security since they "come with the building." A guard did ignore a fight on Saturday night for some reason and it was left up to other con goers to break it up.

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Adv1sor    0

My sincere thanks to everyone who gave up their time as staff and gophers so that we could play all weekend.

Mikako Joho was a real and unexpected treat! The best musical performance of the con in my opinion.

The only bad was the hot and humid weather. I really hope Otakon can do something about this next time around.

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Lum1n3s    49

The Good: Jason David Frank was an awesome guest. He was one of the most personable and genuine guests that I can think of. He was respectful, enthusiastic and completely engaging. Brina Palencia was equally wonderful, staying after her panel for another 20 minutes to autograph memorabilia.

The Access Control Dept- The staffer in charge at the time (Mr. Clark?) was extremely professional in dealing with the prop weapon of one of my friends. The staffers in general was courteous and helpful.

The Bad: lines, and the communication issues with some of the autograph sessions.

The Ugly: Our car broke down in the middle of Eutaw Street on Friday afternoon during rush hour. THAT was fun. Thanks to the random Army soldier who helped us push the car to the Holiday Inn parking lot.

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SanjiX    0

The Good: Everything I went to went smoothly, nothing felt delayed or I never ran into a panel that had equipment or sound issues unlike last year when nearly every panel/event I went to all had some sort of problem (ranging from delays, poor line management, sound or video issues, etc)

The Bad: God, the heat was awful this year, this is obviously something we can't control but wow, it sure was terrible. Next, the pre reg and reg line on Friday was a giant mess and both lines were strangely merged together making them the longest that I've ever seen yet. Lastly, some staff made some rather odd decisions on what to block in terms of entrances/exits. One minute, they would block a certain entrance/exit, and then a few hours later, they wouldn't. Oddly enough, the escalators were blocked (in two different areas I think) at one time as well when it seemed that there was nothing wrong with them, This was very frustrating at times.

The Ugly: The ever ongoing issue of people crowding in places due to people taking pictures and or just suddenly stopping to text or whatever resulted in a ton of people running into me. It seemed the 300 level in the middle of the bridge thing was always the worst for the picture issue. I never saw any staff here.

Other than that, this was a HUGE improvement from last year. Lines were better managed (inside) and everything seemed to work. =)

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joecrouse    0

Agree with SanjiX (and I am just as guilty as anybody but I really tried not to) Make that 300 level Bridge a no photo zone OR a video only zone (just video while passing through). Maybe something in the guide book designating no photo areas durring expected peak traffic times.

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ErinErin    2

The good: Pre-reg was quick and easy. I finally got to see Anime's Craziest Deaths. Super Art Fight was super art awesome! Also for the first time, my friends and I ventured beyond Inner Harbor to check out the other food and drink options Baltimore has to offer. While crowds in the con were bad, the crowds at the area restaurants weren't as bad as in the past.

The bad: The programming variety wasn't for me, especially Saturday. I don't think I've ever spent a convention so bored (luckily the Olympics were on). The events I did want to attend were all scheduled at the same time or the room reached capacity before I could get in. I made a point to arrive at a panel room as close to an hour early as possible but the lines were still cut off by the Otakon staff. The dealers room didn't have the variety it has had in the past (but that could be a good thing since I didn't spend a lot of money). As others have said, the buildings were very hot and stuffy this year. I was overheating for most of the day Saturday and at one point had to go back to the hotel for a few hours since I was afraid I would pass out in the hallway.

The ugly: Usually I don't have much to say here but this year one thing ticked me off. On Saturday as I was exiting the dealers' room area, a BCC security person decided to stand at the exit stairs and harass people for badge checks. I always have my badge out and visible so I normally don't complain about this sort of thing, but the way this person handled her job was completely unprofessional. First of all, why have a badge check at an exit? We all had to show our badges to get into both the building and the dealers' room, why do we need to show it to leave? Secondly, this particular person was hostile to everyone walking by. I was not expecting there to be a checkpoint at the exit so at wasn't paying attention and she grabbed me by the arm and yelled at me. I was calm and pointed out that my badge was around my neck and visible just like everyone else, but that hostle treatment left me in a bad mood.

Thanks to the Otakon staff for putting on another fun show!

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Kirarakim    5

This was my first Otakon in 2 years and I had a fantastic time. I got into everything I wanted to, got 2 autograps (including Tetsuya Kakihara's which I am so happy about), struck up some conversations with some super nice people, & got to hang out with a friend who I have not seen in 3 years. I just had an incredible time, and the Aya concert was a great way to end the con.

The only panel I personally disliked was Voice Actors after Dark. I think the whole let's force ourselves to be as raunchy as possible and curse every few seconds, came off less adult.

I've been to one of these panels in the past and I didn't remember it being this way. I guess it has to do more with the guests at the panel, but I probably won't waste my time going again.

However every other panel I went to was so much fun. Most surprising was the Gundam Unicorn panel because I am not a fan. I went to this because it was right before the Steins Gate panel but I loved that I got to see Tetsuya Kakihara there & his interaction with Michael S. was so much fun to see. I guess that kind of made up for missing his panel to get his autograph.

As for stuff Otakon is directly responsible I only have two complaints:

The Friday pre-reg line was awful. Besides having to stand in the hot sun for almost 2 hours I was afraid I was going to miss a morning panel I wanted to go to. Thankfully I didn't miss it, but Otakon really needs to work on these pre-reg lines. Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to pick up our badges on Thursday.

I expect pre-reg means fast, but the registration line was moving much quicker than the pre-reg line. Maybe you should cut off pre-reg a little earlier.

The other thing is more of a suggestion. When I was in the dealer room Friday & Saturday I missed where to donate. I then saw a booth on the Artist Alley but I was told they can't accept donations there, only in the dealer room. At that point the DR was already closed.

I was able to make a donation today but this is for a good cause, I think maybe you should make it a little more convienent to donate. Heck I would be happy to pay a little extra & donate online during registration if that would be feasible.

Anyways TLDR the con was great and my only complaints are minor.

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Jeremytroid    0

One more thing I remembered after the edit button disappeared, the inflation was insane on items in the dealer's room.

Not Otakon's fault, but in case any dealers were reading this. As an example, there was a Persona 4 art book that sold for 1,200 Yen. That's about 15 USD. They were selling it for $42.50. I get it, imports and shipping to the convention but that's insane. I know, "Just don't buy it." I didn't, it was almost universal across the dealer's room that prices were high.

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Good: I won a raffle at the MangaGamer booth for an original sketch from Dear Drops. It's really gorgeous and I'm totally stoked that I actually won a raffle for the first time in about 20 years or so. Also, I got every single autograph I came here for, two of them in extras.

Bad: As always, lines and crowds.

Ugly: Aya Hirano's autograph session after the concert. Seriously terrible planning and management. Plus I was nearly trampled. I know it can't be helped to some extent, but that was still really awful.

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SanjiX    0

Adding this one due to some of the replies above and due to me just remembering them...

When I was about to go into the pre reg line, a female cosplayer came out of nowhere and apporrached my group. She told me not to tell anyone, but that the registration line was much smaller and that it was in the front. I had nothing to lose at this point, and yep, she was very right The registration line was restarted due to the disaster that became both lines at one point, and the staff member I spoke to said they restarted due to the heat hitting on the side where everyone was standing in line. Oddly enough, a few hours later when I walked by, the line was still just as long. I'm just very curious on how such a uncommon issue happened to begin with... =S

Secondly, I forgot about this until the person that mentioned the bullying from the Team Rocket cosplayers. When I was walking back to my room at one time, I saw a bunch of non con goers (their appearance made them out to be like a bunch of jocks, maybe from the orioles game?) that was going around harassing people outside. The first time I saw him, one man when as far as to remove a sword from a person's costume (was on his back) and he ran away and made circles around the person (yes, he thankfully put the sword back on his back). The guy had no reaction, so I figured at first he knew him, but it became more apparent to me that he was just a bullying people after I saw him somewhere else screaming at people.

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Kirarakim    5

About the inflated prices in the Dealer Room I totally agree.

I actually asked a dealer why he was selling an item for so much when it could be bought from Japan for about 1/2 that price. And I saw this was pretty much the case with every item.

Even stuff I bought I am sure I could get for less, but I was careful not to pick up anything that was too expensive.

The dealer's room is fun but there isn't much of any deal's there.

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DarkCat    0

The Good: I saw some really great panels this year. With my 40th birthday a month away, I really liked "The Aging Otaku: Anime Fandom and Getting Older" and "New Anime For Older Fans". I think "Across the Stage: A view of Japanese Tradional Theater" was the best panel I've been to in years at Otakon. The two presenters knew there stuff, had a great slide show with applicable videos, lead great audience participation, and also did a great closing demonstration. Animakeup did a great panel that was really under attended. "The Changing Faces of Anime" was good as well.

The Bad: Not much personally. I luckily hit pre-reg at the perfect time avoiding the crowds and any line. I pittied Friday's line for registration suffering outside. I did miss a panel "Japanese Folklore" because it was started 15 minutes early without the guidebook being updated. The staff at the door said the change had been made the day before, luckily I made it over to "The Changing Faces of Anime"

The Ugly: The AMV constest becoming the Always Modoka Videos contest. I only saw one Modoka video that deserved to be a finalist and I voted for that one. The judges are a bit too in love with Modoka and let some less than steller videos in the contest. There should also be a cap on the number of videos per category. Also the Auction starting at 10am instead of 9am ruined a lot of plans.

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Zenigata    0

Hate to make a bad news only post. I don't mean to be a completely negative ranter - unfortunately, the nature of my problem allows no real recourse - but I've gone to eight Otakons since 2003 and this issue has only affected me starting this time around.

I am aware that the BCC isn't the world's most handicapped-accessible building. I can understand that. My wife has mobility issues stemming from a balance disorder, and this is her first year going about the BCC with a cane and a walker to get around. After what we went through, my heart goes ever outwards to people who are permanently in situations that require mobility assistance and attend Otakon. Once she's better and back to work, I'm going to find organizations that advocate for people with disabilities and start making contributions in hopes that this can help.

I have to take a second to start out by thanking the extremely helpful Otakon staffers who helped my wife with everything, from going through the special needs reg process, and from doing everything from blocking off foot traffic to allow her to enter the Dealer's Room and Art Alley to running to hold an elevator for her. Seriously, I know how hard con staff work, and I had precisely zero negative and too many positive interactions to count. Whoever's in charge of the people who check badges should make it known to their staff that we as congoers appreciate their efforts and hold those staffers in high regard.

Coming back to the bad news - while we are "stuck with" the BCC staff I intend to take a complaint in writing to whoever's in charge of them. The handicapped entrance to the Charles Street entrance (the one by the fountains) was basically closed off the entire con. For no real reason, the Sharp Street entrances were open and closed at the whim of unnoticed powers at unposted times. They turned around my wife with her walker, people with strollers, people on wheelchairs, etc. There were points in time when one or more elevators were broken, and almost always at least one of the elevators in the east building - either near Sharp or Charles - were inoperative, and the Pratt lobby entrance area elevator was down almost the entirety of Friday.

A handicapped-unfriendly building is unfortunate but one that's maintained to force people to walk outside hundred-degree heat is unconscionably cruel. I'm no lawyer, but the fact that I have to ask "isn't this an Americans with Disabilities Act requirement?" should not happen at any point in time. This is 2012, not 1972. Technical failures can be anticipated and prevented with the right amount of maintenance. The human failures, though, are examples of either cruel, lazy, or non-empowered employees.

Non-empowered in this case means that the powers that be in the BCC administration don't give their security people the keys to open doors for people who are handicapped when circumstances beyond that employee's control force an attendee to seek assistance. This is unacceptable - the BCC is most likely well aware of how decrepit their elevators are, if not in functional condition then simply by going inside and SMELLING them.

Laziness in this case simply means the employee downstairs in the Charles entrance at around 9:30 PM Friday, whose picture was taken and will be forwarded to BCC staff with the hopes of appropriate disciplinary action taken, decided she just didn't want to open the doors for my wife to get through, or for other people in wheelchairs to get through. That employee basically then watched as I helped my wife stumble up non-banister stairs to get through the entrance, and then down the Charles entrance stairs. That entire entrance is NOT handicapped-accessible, and the elevator to go up to the skywalk was closed early. A good thing for us, because we eventually tried it and it stank of urine. This employee's laziness is unacceptable - if she had the ability to assist she simply didn't care.

Cruelty I hope to rule out but given the blatant non-reaction from above, I honestly can't tell about.

In any case, I hope that Otakon can flex its muscle and acknowledge these issues, publicly bringing them to light and asking congoers to blitz the BCC with complaints. Entire organizations of disability advocates exist to ensure that people with physical and mental disabilities and handicaps can at least have the same access as a person without them - and to be honest, I hope one of them comes down hard on BCC management for what more or less amounts to blatant and brazen noncompliance. Not even allowing your own handicapped entrances to be used when the nearest applicable option is a full city block away? There's the thought of cruelty again. A real unfortunate thought but can we really rule out cruelty when the very bare compliance with federal law is all that management cares about?

Again, this is all BCC. I don't expect Otakon to wave a magic ADA-compliance wand and make all this go away. I hope that if anyone else had these same issues they'll join me in making their complaints known direct to the BCC. Otakon staffers profusely apologized on behalf of the BCC when the elevator was down on the first day. They leapt into the fray of massive exit crowds to prop open an unused door. They're the salt of the earth and hard working individuals from the bottom to the top. It's a shame that Otakon can't pay less, waive BCC security, and hire private security who at least has keys to the doors where they're posted.

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Kali    0

Good - I enjoyed the programming. A lot of cons I spend 99% of my time in the hallway just chilling, but I actually hit several panels and showings this year.

Bad - Line wrangling was really bad at points. We accidentally cut one line because we didn't even know it was there. Other times we could barely walk around a line because it was tripled up in places it shouldn't/

Ugly - Pre-reg line. WTF? We were dead stopped outside for over an hour. I know the line is slow, but there shouldn't be a dead stop for that long. It took us nearly 3 hours to get our badges and when we finally hit the booth, the lady there was freaking hunt and peck typing and looked like she had never seen a computer before.

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Get more Otakon 2012 merchandise stock plzkthx. It about ruined my day to find out the shirt AND the hoodie that I had been planning to purchase were both sold out of my size and more stock was never brought in...it has been a tradition for me to buy one every year and now I don't get to wear a new Otakon shirt...it still feels like something is majorly missing from my trip.

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Litwolf    0

The Good: Wonderful costumes as always. Met a lot of wonderful attendees. Had an amazing fun time with my friends.

The Bad: Not a lot on the schedule that caught my interest. Only two screenings I was interested in seeing (Battle Royale and Summer Wars, got into both with no trouble) and no panels at all I was interested in. So most of my con was walking the floor and wandering Artist Alley and Dealer's Room. Wish there had been panels and more screenings that sounded interesting.

The Ugly: I finally encountered Otaku Funk so bad that I had to leave a photo shoot. I've done photo shoots in the past and never had trouble with the smell. The Saturday afternoon Doctor Who photo shoot was nasty beyond belief. I had to leave after one picture because my fellow cosplayers smelled so nasty. I know it was hot as hell and we were all sweating but seriously, the Doctor would have been disappointed.

Even with the lack of interesting programming, my friends and I still had a blast.

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Tachibana    13

Good: I got all but one autograph I came for, the panels I actually got into (Madoka Magica English VA Panel, Voice Actors After Dark, Across the Stage, and Dead Like Us) were great and entertaining, and I saw a whole lot of cosplays from the various fandoms I follow... Especially Sengoku Basara, which was a treat. Also saw a Ranmaru in his Pokemon Conquest garb which was a welcome surprise. And it was my little sister's first Otakon! :3 Oh, and Aya Hirano's concert. Wasn't very interested in her until today, but now... Well I have another tab open looking for CDs of hers to buy. She's amazing, and I thank Otakon for introducing her to me.

Bad: Seemed less like Otakon and more like Anime-and-Linescon 2012. Even though this is only my second year, I know I should expect long/early cut off lines at Otakon, but all the same I think line management could be worked on to some extent. I only managed to get to about half of the panels I wanted to attend. Lines were closing early when there was still room left in rooms (see: Voice Actors After Dark, but I was luckily allowed to "wait and see") and so on. Dealer's Room prices were also surprisingly high, and the people yelling out crap like "I LOST THE GAME" and "MARCO POLO" and "RED ROBIN" and such got very old very fast. I would mind it less if it were at least original...

Oh, and while a minor complaint since I know it was probably beyond anyone's control save perhaps her management: Ai Nonaka apparently showed up late to her Saturday signing (either that or the line didn't move for over a half hour), and rather than letting the signing continue for an hour it was closed a half hour after its late start. A small hiccup.

Ugly: Ditto on Aya Hirano's after-concert signing. Went on a big rant about it in her topic in Guests Related. I didn't manage to get her autograph which was disappointing but I'd more fit that under "bad"... No, what was ugly was how poorly the line-up was held... But again, already ranted once, needn't do it again. Also, on the tangent of lines- the pre-reg line on Friday was HELLACIOUS. To my knowledge, the pre-reg line on Friday tends to run long but not too horribly long. But... my watch we were out in the sun for over 3 hours, my sister getting woozy from the heat even with the purchase and consumption of some ice cold water. We were lucky the line just then got us inside. We ended up missing two panels we wanted to see and just barely made it to the Madoka panel line.

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Litwolf    0

Had something else to add.

If you are showing something with subtitles, PLEASE tilt the projector up enough that the subtitles can be read over the heads of the audience. The Battle Royale screening on Friday night, I was only six or so rows from the front of the room. I could watch the film with no trouble but couldn't read the subtitles to save my life. I'm surprised the rest of the audience behind me didn't give up and leave because it was so impossible to read.

And yes, there was still space on the screen that the projector could have been tilted up just a few more inches. I've seen plenty of subtitled things at Otakon before and never had trouble with it like I did with Battle Royale.

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joecrouse    0

Agree with you there LItwolf. But that is something that EVERY Otakon that I have ever attended had an issue with.

There was almost a foot of space on the screen that they could have moved the image up. Completely ruined the movie. Well that an the Jackwagon back by the door that wouldn't shut the F up.

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Kirarakim    5

Oh I thought of something else: this was neither good or bad for me but I was surprised how every panel had no cameras allowed. As I said before I have not been to Otakon in 2 years so maybe things have changed but I remember being able to take photos of the guests before.

I certainly respect the wishes of the guests not to take photos, but I found it strange that the no photo thing seemed pretty universal this year.

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joecrouse    0

Tachiabana, Pick up that pre reg on thursday I picked up mine at 530 by 545 i was back in my office.

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Due to oversleeping and hotel/bus shenanigans I missed a lot of stuff I wanted to but here's my two cents.

The Good: Everyone in the AMV contest was absolutely amazing even though everyone and their mother used Madoka. I hope the spoiler warning thing stays for years to come because we really weren't expected the somersault horse thing.

The Bad: BCC staff getting on people for having the sticker on the other side of where it's supposed to be. However I did see some really nice and friendly BCC staff.

The...Odd: Half face gas masks being the same price as functional gas masks in the dealers room. This is the first time I actually came back from Otakon with some money because things were just weird.

But I had a great time this year even though the hotel stuff detracted a lot.

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FallenAngel    0

The Good: Voice Actors After Dark. But that's programing and not necessarily the mechanics of things lol. As for the staff, registration personnel on Thursday were outstanding.

The Bad: I agree 100% with ErinErin about the Security Guard at the Upstairs exit area of the Dealers room. Why would one need to show a badge to EXIT an exibit? It made absolutely no sense. I could understand IF there was indeed a door from the outside that was directly across from the dealers room (in which I would hope a guard would be stationed there instead of upstairs ) but there is no door there...only a wall. By placing that guard at an Exit, suggests the guards at the entrance are not doing their jobs.

The Ugly: Most of the convention staff were great during the majority of the event. Then there was today... After we had showed our badges upon entering, we were at the top of the first entrance steps (the steps that lead to the area in which first day registration was held) when a Staff member approached someone in our group about a piece of paper they were holding as a sign. This part is not what is ugly. THIS is: while our group was stopped, a couple of Con-goers asked two others in our group for a photo, in which they obliged. In doing so, one took off his badge and placed it in his pocket temporarily for the photo. Immediately after the staff member was done with the 'sign holder' he turned aggressions towards the other person and accosted him about his badge. Our group member attempted to explain to the staff member where the badge was and why but was interrupted by this staff member until another staff member who saw the incident came over and told the first staff member that the badge was removed for photos. Instead of cutting off people mid sentence, some Staff members need to LISTEN then SOLVE a problem, not INFLATE a situation. This was the first time this attendee has been to Otakon.

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Jeremytroid    0

Dang I just keep thinking of things...

First, there seemed to be NO line cut offs ever. A lot of the busy panels I went to had massive lines that people who had waited for 1 hour+ surely weren't able to get in. No staffers ever came by, to my knowledge, to indicate that the room would fill before we could enter.

On the subtitles issue, can't you put them on top of the screen? I've seen it done elsewhere before, though I'm not sure how uncommon this is.

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KyoKyo    14

The Good: Jason David Frank was an awesome guest. He was one of the most personable and genuine guests that I can think of. He was respectful, enthusiastic and completely engaging. Brina Palencia was equally wonderful, staying after her panel for another 20 minutes to autograph memorabilia.

The Access Control Dept- The staffer in charge at the time (Mr. Clark?) was extremely professional in dealing with the prop weapon of one of my friends. The staffers in general was courteous and helpful.

The Bad: lines, and the communication issues with some of the autograph sessions.

The Ugly: Our car broke down in the middle of Eutaw Street on Friday afternoon during rush hour. THAT was fun. Thanks to the random Army soldier who helped us push the car to the Holiday Inn parking lot.

THAT WAS YOU? OMG are you serious? I saw y'all there in front of the Holiday Inn. I wanted to help y'all out but was full atm. I even saw the Army guy walk up to y'all.

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karari    0

Good:

  • Dealer's room seamed to be kicking back into gear - Last couple years you could feel the recession with a couple open booths.

  • Aya Hirano concert/Autograph - Concert was amazing and I got an autograph to boot!

  • Anime Game Show Super Show - Best Panel I went to this year.

  • Line Management - Probably the best maintained lines I've seen in the 4 years I've been here. Normally I spot a ton of people cutting in line with no staff action. This year I could not find mine cuts.

  • Masquerade proposal - Congratulations!

  • Alpacas - Need I say more?

Bad:

  • People standing in hallways/randomly stopping - Wish staff members could be patrolling and moving people along, especially in choke points such as the bridge hallway.

  • Homeless/Harassers outside convention - The beggars need to go. Also, there was a man not from Otakon harassing some cosplayers. Came back 15 mins later and he was still there.

  • Furries.

Ugly:

  • Sanitary "equipment" littering women's bathroom floors.

  • Speaking of litter, con-goers not cleaning up after themselves. BCC is the home of Otakon and thus everyone should respect that.

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oiriot    0

I was able to make a few panels and videos as I was working a vendor spot this year but I was very much pleased with the Studio Ghibli panel on Saturday, and def loved the closing vid that was shown.

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ebichu    0

The Good: Waiting for a bit to pick up our badges on Thursday night paid off. We waited at most, a max of 5 minutes in line. Very nice! SuperArtFight being added! They are awesome and I hope the crowd they had encourages Otakon to bring them back another year. I didn't encounter one bad Otakon staff member. See below for the flip side... Love that Otakon is available through Guidebook. It's very useful to not need to carry a calendar around and the frequent updates are super convenient.

The Bad: Waiting in line for the Dealer's Room (in a sub-line because apparently the first line was cut off as always) only to get down to the entrance level and find that random con goers were allowed access from another direction without having waited. There was also a snaking portion of the line that double up to us an ended up melding into our section of the line. Just annoying considering we waited for a bit only to have them jump the line. The heat was a bit unbearable but that couldn't be helped. Our hotel ended up the same way.

The Ugly: The security at the con was ridiculous! Why overdo it so much? I agree with someone about the need to have 2-3 people check badges going into the Dealer's Room but to have 2 when you exit and then another 2 at the top of the stairs. Essentially we just needed to hold our badges up everywhere we went. I can understand the 18+ showings to ensure that everyone had a band and no one was missed but this seemed like overkill. The security guards were extremely short tempered too. I understand you may be dealing with a lot of goofy people but maybe people misunderstand what you're asking of them. Patience would have been nice.

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Fadamor    45

Re the merch prices: Items from Japan are more expensive this year because it takes more dollars to equal (say) 5,000 yen this year compared to last year. The lower the Yen is to the Dollar, the more expensive it is to import stuff from Japan - even if the prices over there have remained the same.

Now as for the stuff made in America... The price of the Yen has no bearing on it.

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The Bad: Got Rick rolled at the Geneon panel that was really a Hetalia panel :(

The Ugly: No TP on Saturday night in the Men's rooms. Had to go from the artist alley to the 3ed floor for TP! Only 2 of the stalls in the one next to the alley had TP and there was a long wait. Went th the 3ed floor and found another bathroom with a couple stalls without TP!!!

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kyoharu    0

Good: The people, the cosplays, the usual stuff that was good. The fan parodies were pretty good, or what of them I was able to see. Also loved the Abridged Panel.

Bad: Fountains didn't work this year, boo =( That sucked, but couldn't be helped I'm sure. Square-Enix panel I have to say I was very disappointed with, it wasn't especially enjoyable. Watched a few trailers and they described the games that anybody could do on their own in 10 minutes on the internet. Also unrelated, the food court in the 'mall' across the skywalk is no longer there =( That sucks, I know a ton of con people used to eat there.

Ugly: Lines. Overcapacity. Crowded. In short more and more people come every year and it actually causes problems. Let's face it, nobody wants to spend half of their convention sitting in lines. Especially only to find the thing they sat in line 1 1/2 hours for is full and they can't get in. The biggest problem was with autographs. Sure they can't be doing it all day but I find it to be a ---- move getting a ticket for a time, you come back at that time and they pretty much tell you 'tough luck'. If you're going to limit the amount of people that gets an autograph you should limit the amount of tickets you pass out for that autograph. This would at least eliminate any false hope. As much as I know people wouldn't want this solution, I think the best one is to put an attendance cap on Otakon again. Because in reality, the BCC isn't getting any bigger, yet more and more people will attend each year causing problems with overcrowding, longer lines, higher rate of disappointment, etc.

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Kirarakim    5

Re the merch prices: Items from Japan are more expensive this year because it takes more dollars to equal (say) 5,000 yen this year compared to last year. The lower the Yen is to the Dollar, the more expensive it is to import stuff from Japan - even if the prices over there have remained the same.

Now as for the stuff made in America... The price of the Yen has no bearing on it.

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TnAdct1    20

The Good:

-Thursday badge pick-up was quick (as in when I got in line, the line was short for 3:30-4:00 compared to other years).

-A Saturday schedule that kept me busy throughout the day (compared to last year), with numerous industry panels (better to have them Saturday instead of Friday IMO), Ai Nonaka autograph session, and Iron Editor.

The Bad:

-As others pointed out, there was a Madoka overkill in the AMV Contest (the only ones that I thought was decent were the PonPonPon parody and the Clint Eastwood video).

-Only one autograph session for Aya Hirano, which took place after the concert. I would have loved to have her sign my Lucky Star artbox, but I didn't want to stay long Sunday just for that.

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Litwolf    0

People talking about the crowd issues this year... actually, my group and I agreed that the con felt much less crowded this year than it has in the past three years. Yes, there were lines to panels and whatnot, that can't be helped, but I felt like there were a lot fewer people I was bumping into on the floor or in Dealer's Room or Artists Alley. That's how it seemed to us anyway.

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michira    6

Re the merch prices: Items from Japan are more expensive this year because it takes more dollars to equal (say) 5,000 yen this year compared to last year. The lower the Yen is to the Dollar, the more expensive it is to import stuff from Japan - even if the prices over there have remained the same.

Now as for the stuff made in America... The price of the Yen has no bearing on it.

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Fadamor    45

what the dealer is doing is making it easier for you to get something then they are likely to do some markup. I don't know what percentage markup they were getting from what you can get directly from japan but they are allowed some. I DO know that when I tried to subscribe to a bi-weekly magazine from japan, the subscription was $5 and the shipping was $25. PER ISSUE.

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Kirarakim    5

Okay let me give you come comparison. I got the Edward Elric Megahouse figure for $40 or $50 (and this includes shipping from Japan). I was seeing it at the con for about $100.

I understand "some mark up" but 50% mark up?

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Yeah, I hardly buy anything in the dealer room any more except for rare things that aren't easy to find any more, and those things tend to be expensive anyway due to their nature. But if you can find it online, you can probably get it cheaper there. You can argue shipping costs and exchange rates to a point, but also keep in mind that people who import things import them in bulk, so it's not like they're paying that $25 shipping fee on every single figure.

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michira    6

what the dealer is doing is making it easier for you to get something then they are likely to do some markup. I don't know what percentage markup they were getting from what you can get directly from japan but they are allowed some. I DO know that when I tried to subscribe to a bi-weekly magazine from japan, the subscription was $5 and the shipping was $25. PER ISSUE.

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zeloskun    0

The Good: Aya Hirano concert was amazing, as was the Gundam panel. Also, the 15 minute waits between panels smile.png

The Bad: I agree with comments on security/badge checks, especially since mine had the annoying habit of turning around so the badge part faced me.

The Ugly: I didn't even attempt the Aya Hirano autograph signing when it got messy with direction, I just left. It was really too bad sad.png Also, the pre-registration line Friday.

The Surprising: I was surprised at how many non-anime/non-Japan related fandoms cosplayers there were. It's not necessarily a bad or good thing, since people can dress as what they want to be, but I was just surprised. A couple of years ago, it would have been much rarer to see Marvel or Doctor Who (since MLP: FIM and Homestuck weren't out then)

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seulleiteo    0

Bad: Line management. For some major guests, the lines started long before the actual panel/performance, and though staff members were called over, no official line was ever formed and we had to arrange ourselves, which cause some conflicts. Also, some staff members were not very informed and gave us different answers to a question we had regarding room clearings. Because of this we almost had to go to the end of a very long line after waiting 3+ hours. So yeah, lines and staff.

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Fuego    0

Good: Necomimi! 3DS passes! Awesome Zelda, Valve, and Nintendo photoshoots

Bad: Excessive badge-checking, no Samus figmas in the dealer's room, Artist's Alley seemed to have less stuff and more drawings (drawings are cool and all but I enjoyed other art forms)

Ugly: Dude getting beat up Saturday, THE HEAT, le randum memes (but those are always present...)

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