Well, first off as you can tell I’m back safely from Otakon. This year wasn’t the best that I’ve ever attended. So many things stood in our way of happiness but overall we did enjoy ourselves. We got to see lots of people that included new and old friends. I was proud to live a dream and once again show my props to the “race of growing Otaku”.
*For those of you gallery searchers please go to the bottom of the page for the link*
We left on Thursday a tad bit later then we would have anticipated. But, still made good timing none the less even as we stopped at Walmart. We arrived around 4:30 PM at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor and proceeded to check in. The communication was a bit lame as we had no idea where to park the car. It figured as we were almost to the front of the line for check-in when we were told to move the car because it was blocking traffic. So, we parked the car and headed back to the line once again. Once all the room shenanigans were settled and taken care of we unloaded the car. The room was quite spacious and smelled of fresh potpourri. The bathroom was divided into two main sections; sink and toilet/shower. The entertainment center that housed the TV was freaking huge and took up almost the whole wall. Overall, I think it was a really nice room. We were supposed to be joined by another roommate for the night. So, we played the waiting game. It reached around 7PM and I was getting antsy to proceed to the registration. Around 7:30 PM, we decided to head out and found that the line stretched the whole way around the BCC! It reminded me of a normal Friday that was the usual routine for us. After a 2-hour wait we reached the front of the line and registered. Both Nate and I chose the FB badge. After that we proceeded to the hotel room and waited for communication from the other room attendees. When everyone for that night surfaced we were content and finally fell to sleep.
We awoke around 11 AM and proceeded to prepare for the day of con events. Little did we know that the day of “supposed fun” was going to be a huge disappointment. Especially, after everything was all said and done and we didn’t reach the con till around 5 PM that day.
The biggest thing we had to put up with was waiting for the other group members to arrive and get into their rooms in a reasonable matter of time. After that I dressed up as Feena from Grandia and proceeded to the direction of the con. I was so nervous due to the fact that my butt was practically exposed to the “whole City of Baltimore”. But, even in my subtle embarrassment I wore it with pride. It was my dream to cosplay as my beloved heroine. Ramothhe and Sean dressed as Sue and Rapp accompanied me to the fountain where we could get good cosplay pictures. Isn’t it interesting when you pose for pictures and people crawl out of the woodwork to snap your picture? There were a lot of people getting our pictures. It felt really good that some of them knew we were from Grandia. After the photo shoot we parted ways and Nate and I proceeded to the Dealer’s Room. Along the way I encountered someone chattering that I looked like a character from Sailor Moon. It hurt to hear that but then I figured some “Otaku” just don’t have any brains.
When we arrived it was so darn packed in there. But, in my opinion there wasn’t too much things worth of interest in there. But, existing only on $150.00 for the weekend was like pulling teeth. I missed out on buying a FB wallscroll that really broke my heart. We ran into Gamer dressed as Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service. Genma was dressed as the Panda from Ranma ½. After our friendly hellos and good byes we left. We decided to head back to the hotel room for a snack. Cons make me so darn hungry and tired. I retired the Feena costume after only 2 hours. But, there is plans to wear it again later when I can make the wings to go with it.
When we were rested enough I re-dressed as Dagger from FFIX with my mythril rod. Eric and Kel accompanied us as well. That costume was so incredibly comfortable. I got a lot of attention with pictures and praise on my mythril rod. We headed to Dealer’s Room that closed five minutes there after. So, we proceeded to Artist Alley where Kieran said he and Jay were dressed as Quatre and Trowa. When we arrived Gamer and Genma were there also. We sneaked over to where Kirean was and glomped him. It’s so good to see your friends in a melting pot of never-ending people. We had all decided to go to MAT3K for the night. Kel stayed behind because Eric got lost somewhere between there and the Dealer’s Room. We waited awhile and headed up to the line from Hell. The staffers were a bit annoying this year as they bellowed commands like drill sergeants in the army. When the line finally started to move we rejoiced. The show was awesome and the anime they used was just plain lame. But over all I think the best quotes were, “Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter tree and the number telephone pole”. I think we laughed our asses off that night. After the showing we retired back to the hotel room where Eric and Kel were waiting. We decided that the night was done so we stayed back at the room for the night. Eric and Nate dived into some insane hours of “Super Smash Bros” for the Gamecube. Their little battles of Pikachu VS. Yoshi were the best. I slipped into a long peaceful sleep shortly after 2 AM I think.
We woke up around 1 PM which really shortened our day. Once again I dressed as Dagger and headed to the con accompanied by Nate, Eric, and Kel. We headed straight to the Dealer’s Room shortly after. Eric headed to the Gaming Room for his tournement of GGX2. Finally, we acquired time to actually look at the goods and wares laid out before us. But, still in my opinion there wasn’t too much there. We talked amongst one another and decided to attend the TMR concert. Once again we stood in a long line of pain and listened to the “Drill Sergeant “ staffers. When we were finally seated I rejoiced because my Feet were killing me. The crowd went bonkers when the show started. First was a J-pop singer named Kristine Sa who everyone really didn’t care about but I may have been hearing things. Her music wasn't bad as she sang in both English and J-pop. After her opening songs came the big honored guest T.M. Revolution. He was so much shorter than I would ever had imagined. He wore a kimono I think and his hair was styled so differently. Overall, the concert rocked. It was fun hearing songs from Kenshin and Gundam Seed. He gave a reprise of “Heart and Sword” after he was beckoned to appear back out on stage. It was indeed a fantastic event!
After the concert we headed back to the hotel room to eat dinner. Kel stayed behind and waited for Eric. We got ourselves around and headed back to the con. We were on a mission to find Kieran and Jay at the Gaming tournament dressed as Ayame and Momiji from FB. We had fun taking to Kieran. He made the cutest little Ayame. Jay was an adorable Momiji as well. As we sat there with Kieran we talked about things. Finally, the tournament was at hand and sadly Jay had lost just as Eric had. It’s so painful to see your friends lose at something they strive to win. We wondered around Artist Alley for awhile and visited the auction items. I fell in love with a Fan cel of Shigure from FB and decided to bid on it. Then we headed out and ran into Froggie and Koala dressed as Sango and Kohaku from Inuyasha. After we said our good byes we went back to the hotel to eat and relax. We decided to order a pizza that sounded good at the time. In my opinion after the hour and forty-five minute wait the pizza tasted like crap. Then in their error they didn’t send the cheesesticks so we waited another hour for them. I reminded myself never to order from that place ever again.
After the pizza ordeal we gathered ourselves and headed back to the con for a traditional viewing of “This is Otakudom”. The sound quality wasn’t the best I ever heard but it was somewhat tolerable. After the showing we found Kieran and Jay and gave our respectable hugs and said good byes. Then Eric, Kel, Nate and I went on the search for the illusive 2 liter of soda around 2 AM in the morning. It started to pour as soon as we started combing the streets. I’m so glad I had my cheap poncho with me. We once again stopped at that twenty-four hour deli and found 20 ounce soda bottles so it was somewhat worth it. Once again we trekked back to the hotel room for the last night of our stay. I was so darn tired and crashed pretty early. Nate and Eric once again played Super Smash Bros till the break of dawn.
The alarm went off around 8:30 PM but everyone didn’t stir until at least 10:00 AM. We didn’t get the car packed till nearly 11:00AM let alone being checked out as well. I decided to cosplay as Dagger one last time but dreaded those heels involved. We headed over to the convention in hopes of winning the Shigure cel and finding a fabulous treasure at the Dealer’s Room. We were also hoping to spot the ECCG dressed as Gundam boy Nekos as well. Nate parted to the Artist Ally and Eric, Kel, and I went to the Dealer’s room. We looked around for awhile and I decided to go back and check on Nate. He was still waiting in the Artist Ally Auction line. After awhile we found that weren't the high bidders and returned to the Dealer’s room. We bought some nice things including a Yugioh sketch of Yami. Along our searches we located Foggie as Duo and Koala as Heero from Gundam Wing. Kieran dressed, as Quatre showed up not to long after. I then decided to get my picture beside Yuki from the huge Funimation posters with FB. Not too long after I spotted Paul in his Umbreon costume with his group. I also got pictures with Kieran in his adorable Ayame costume. We walked around some more looking at things. Nate and Kel signed up for the drawing of Viz’s giveaway. We snapped pictures of cosplayers along the way, bought a few things, and headed back to the Viz video stand. Out of all the things given out Kel was the only winner of our group. After the drawing we all said our good byes as I promised Kieran we would try to visit him again before the year officially ended. Our little group then said our farewells to the con and left for good. We had offered Eric and Kel a ride to the airport so we headed down there not to soon after. Then we followed 695 N the whole way to 83 N. Then we headed home.
Over all the con wasn’t too teribbly bad but I wish things would have gone smoother in the planning and execution of weekend. I think though the most memorable thing had to come from the Baltimore Sun paper from Sat. It started our little “devotees” madness that will never be forgotten.
“At Otakon, Japanese animation films are running throughout each day. Vendors are selling action figures, dolls, and video games. But the biggest draw to the convention is the chance to socialize with fellow devotees and check out what people are wearing”.
Next year were planning a surprise for Otakon which is something I don’t usually do. Closer to the con date I will however announce the big plan... See you then ::waves::
The image above of the Sylphiel kitty was adopted at Slayers Kitty
Go here for your kawaii Slayers char as a kitty! Domo Arigato for the link Li-chan!
*****GALLERIES for 2004 COMING in AUGUST*****Otakon Cosplay Costumes