Even though this convention has been since 1994, this was my first trip to Otakon. Known as the biggest anime convention on the east coast, it was hosted at the Baltimore Convention Center, located just near the Inner Harbor (Tourist Trap) and next to Camden Yards. This location was great because it gave plenty of space for events, videos, and panels; but it also sucked because I couldn't get a hotel room anywhere near the convention (I was able to get one about three miles away at a Holiday Inn Express. . . Oh well). Another negative was the raping I got from parking in the downtown area, nuff said. Luckily there was plenty to eat outside the convention center, a contrast to other conventions I've been too where eateries were miles away.
Because of traffic around Washington, D.C., I made it to Otakon at little after 4pm. After a speedy run-through the Pre-Register Line (Three Minutes, Hell Yea!!!), I made my quick walk around the convention floor and then quickly to the Dealer's Room. I must say, the Dealer's Room was huge, with plenty of room to move around and load-up on goodies. I was able to get some Chobits Mangas and various goodies, not to mention all the free stuff I got from various booths like Bandai, Newtype, and ADV/SunCoast. Friday Evening was spent mostly at various panels, the dance, and a walk around the city of Baltimore.
At 2pm, the dealer's room closed, at which point most people (including myself) prepare to go back home now. I didn't stick around for the Con Feedback at 3pm, opting to have a late lunch/early dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Finally, I left the city of Baltimore little after 4pm, taking with me the booty from the dealer's room, pictures of cosplayers, and memories that I'll probably forget by the next convention (luckily, I wrote this lovely con report to remember it by).
This year's best of show at Otakon was: The Three-Headed Metal-looking Dragon (does it have a name?). The most common Costume themes at Otakon were: DiGi Charat, Final Fantasy, Hellsing, and Ranma ½. Surprisingly, it was a very good convention and hope I might be able to go to it again in the coming years. Oddly though, I didn't spend as much money inside the convention as I did outside the convention (parking, dining, and novelty gifts), but I guess that's Baltimore for you.
Which finally brings me to the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Good: Dealer's room, all the free stuff, Artist Alley, ParaPara, Dance, Music Videos and Count Dracula eating a hamburger (you had to have been there). The Bad: Parking, Generic High School Prom, Open Mic Karaoke (it's always bad) and the Sum of All Fears. The Ugly: the two escalators, at the exit of the Dealer's room, that were not used and that freak band, Saturday night, that wondered around and played electronic crap (must be industrial music).
Well, that's it for my Con Report, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me by either ICQ, AOL IM, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to checkout these websites from Otakon: A Fans View and Anime on DVD. Next Anime Convention coming up is Anime Weekend Atlanta 8, hope to see ya'll there.
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