As I sit here and write this piece about our time at Otakon, I am surrounded by some of my favorite things about convention. I am sitting with friends, watching a classic anime. I am still wearing a part of my cosplay and anime and science fiction memorabilia are all about. In some ways I feel as if the convention hasn’t ended (my relative proximity to Otakon doesn’t hurt this impression). However, the third day of Otakon 2016 has come and gone and with it the end of an era.
Otakon 2016 was a great time for us here at Doomtastic. We ran workshops and panels, with Kurenai Kiba Cosplay. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped to make them a success. We really enjoyed our For the love of Folklore and the Mecha: How I learned to worship the Gundam panels and hope you did as well. The collaborative workshop with Kurenai Kiba on making dressforms was lots of fun to run. We heard it was lots of fun to attend and we hope that you let us know if you have any questions, feel free to let us know 🙂
Otakon always feels like a mixture of Christmas and New Year’s to us. All the anticipation, all the excitement, all the preparation for just a few days. And then you’re waiting for it to happen all over again. Does anyone else feel that way? At least we don’t have to wait a year for another convention, even if it isn’t quite Otakon level.
We went to lots of fun panels and events, and lots of so-so panels and events. The AMV contest was a good time, and one of the better ones in recent memory. Anime Chemistry was a really fun panel, with lots of fun mention of Full Metal Alchemist and great ideas. Science in anime is always fun. Sweets in anime was a great panel, especially for us, since we love to eat geeky and nerdy delights. If you follow us at all, you probably picked up on that one. 😉 It was a really well run panel and made us super hungry! Angels in Anime was a fun panel, this panel is particularly enjoyable because the presenters regularly change the anime that they discuss so you can attend the panel multiple times. Anime in non-Anime Media was great, funny and enlightening. A member of Anime World Order podcast presented it and whew, phenomenal content.
This year’s was missing the religion expert that is usually present so lacked a little of its typical oomph, but was still enjoyable. The space opera panel was great, Winning the War on Pants runs a great many enjoyable panels and this was no different. The different points of view and interactions of the members of their group really brings a sense of reality to their panels while highlighting some of our favorite things about conventions. Spider man has a giant what? was out and out hilarious. The only panel that we attended and couldn’t really get behind fully was the 37 years of Gundam panel. This is just a universal issue with Gundam panels and not really worth mentioning. If you like panels that talk about the good and bad series in the Gundam franchise, it was worthwhile. Solid programming at Otakon 2016.
However, now that it has drawn to a close, we have to face a certain reality, the reality that we are all contemplating. Otakon is moving and while we support this move it does raise certain questions. Otakon outgrew the BCC several years ago and as a result made the shrewd decision to take advantage of Washington D.C’s larger convention space and relative proximity in order to expand the convention. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center exhibition space (2,300,000-square-feet) is twice the size of the Baltimore Convention Center exhibition space (1,225,000-square-feet). This is a necessary step in order for Otakon to meet the demands of the attendees and to continue to grow and bring new things to the convention. On the other hand, change always brings a sense of certainty about the future that unsettles many of the attendees. In addition, Washington D.C. is a more expensive city and will be interesting to see how this changes the dynamic.
Either way, we’ll be there!
Until next time, thanks for reading.