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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Otakon 2012: It just keeps getting better
Posted by Kaitou Ace in News Articles July 30, 2012 at 04:54:20 PM



Otakon 2012 Photo Gallery



Another year passes, and another Otakon just ended as well. I’ve been attending Otakon (as press anyway) since 2005 now, and it is interesting to see how the convention has changed through the years. Is it still good? Am I longing for the glory of Otakon’s past? Missing some ethereal quality that is no longer there?




In a word, no. The con is the biggest east coast anime convention for a reason, and I feel it is staying strong. The only thing I may reminisce for are the people I used to attend it with. Sadly the people I used to hang out with at Otakon no longer attend. Be it a waning interest in anime, or simple scheduling issues, pretty much everyone who made up my original Otakon posse is no longer here. But while the crowds keep changing, the convention itself is still going strong. Panels are always interesting, I attended one discussing the prevailing philosophy behind Ghibli movies, and how they all tie in together. It was a wonderful presentation, and I enjoy this sort of search for the meaning discussion, especially when it comes to anime.
I also have to note, that regarding panels, Otakon keeps things firmly in the anime side of things. The only non-anime panel was one about Avatar (The Nickelodeon franchise, not the 3D blue-cat-people movie). While at other anime cons you can find Doctor Who, Homestuck, My Little Pony and others represented at panels, Otakon is pretty much Japanese culture and gaming. And I can’t complain, despite liking two out of the three listed, this is an anime convention after all.

Cosplay-wise, some amazing pieces as usual. Unlike in years past, where a single show would be over-represented by the costumes, this year no single series stood out. I did see a resurgence of Sailor Moon cosplay, possibly in anticipation of the new series. After all, this is likely the last Otakon where your classic BSSM costume won’t be compared to however the new character designs look.

Other shows that stood out were Madoka, The Avengers were out in force, certainly owing to the Joss Whedon directed movie, Persona 4 (and a bit of 3) is something I was quite happy to see represented as well. The usual shounen standbys of Bleach, Naruto and One Piece were out in force as well. While I didn’t see anywhere near as many Homestuck trolls as were present at Katsucon, the amount of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cosplay was at least as large, if not larger.

The Masquerade: As always, I made sure to attend the Otakon Masquerade, where cosplayers put on skits, be they funny, romantic or dramatic, in a heroic attempt to entertain the crowd of thousands. There was one proposal during the event, which is always nice to see. I think every other masquerade has one of these happen, where a fake skit is practiced, and then interrupted as one of the participants gets down on one knee. Very touching to see, and the crowd certainly applauded well for it.

Another fun bit is there were a couple of skits with their own musicians on stage, including one that had an original song. Also there were no less than three classically trained ballerinas performing their own skits. I have never quite seen someone shufflin’ on pointe before, and it works surprisingly well. There was also an amazingly well choreographed martial arts skit with four each of Dan and Chun Li.
All in all, another great Otakon, and I am already looking forward to next year.
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