Today marks the end of an amazing convention weekend! Otakon 2013 was a blast, especially after two years of con-lessness for me. It was three days full of meeting awesome people, taking pictures of amazing cosplays, spending money recklessly at the dealer’s room and artist alley, and rocking out at the rave.
Friday began with a lot of waiting. Pre-registration lines were insane and snaked all around the convention center! Not surprising considering the estimated unique membership total for this year was over 34,100! For me, Friday was my cosplay day – I suited up in an Eirika cosplay from Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones and my friend was Ephraim. While at the dealer’s room, we were asked to be on the crunchyroll stream for a few minutes! I know I enjoyed my five minutes of fame, haha.
While hanging around the artist alley, a fellow Fire Emblem cosplayer told us about a photoshoot happening later that day. After going to a super-informative Makeup 101 panel, we stopped by to check it out. Cool pictures were taken and lots of fun was had.
At this point, the oppressive Baltimore heat was starting to take its toll, so I headed back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes before grabbing dinner at Edo Sushi in the Inner Harbor. Surprisingly, we didn’t have to wait for a table!
After dinner, night had begun to fall. Our group stopped for a few minutes to watch a street performer juggle fire before we split up to grab 18+ wristbands or change into rave gear. Energy was high and the bass was loud at the rave – I didn’t leave until the very end!
Getting up early the next day was tough, but I did it for the sake of a day packed with exciting panels and concerts. Lines seemed to be a consistent theme this year – the line for the Yoko Kanno concert began almost the moment the con opened its doors! After a panel on fanfiction, I went by the video game room to watch a few friends play Magic for a while (there’s been a huge resurgence of that, not sure why!).
After some lunch from a halal stand, we spend two hours waiting in line for the Home Made Kazoku and TM Revolution concert. Our seats were well worth the wait – we ended up a few rows away from the very front of the stage, and one of my friends (so jealous!) was right next to the catwalk and ended up high-fiving a few of the stars. The end of the concert culminated in a rocking collaboration between the two groups.
The second night at the rave was louder, much more crowded, and crazier. Glovers, poppers, breakdancers, shufflers, and glowstickers littered the dance floor and showcased their amazing dance moves. Spontaneous congo lines and dance circles erupted in little pockets of the rave but were quickly spotted by security, who tried to shut them down (though sometimes unsuccessfully).
On Sunday, lines for the dealer’s room and artist alley surpassed imagination. Reluctant to spend my entire con experience in line, I headed off to the AMV contest with my sister, where we watched some insane action AMVs and some hilarious comedy ones. After it was over, the lines had gotten much shorter and we picked up merchandise and art, snapping pictures of awesome cosplays when we saw them.
The Yoko Kanno concert was impossible to get into without lining up for hours and hours to get tickets, so my friends and I headed down to the live stream to check it out. Pictures, video, and audio recordings were strictly prohibited, but take my word for it, it was mind-blowing. Her music was accompanied with stunning visuals projected onto the piano, and I know I fell in love with her awesome personality and talent.
Check out some of the amazing cosplays I saw this weekend!
Taric from League of Legends!
A few of my friends sweating to death in their halo cosplays.
The aftermath of this weekend has left me broke, exhausted, and incredibly, incredibly, happy. The post-con high is rapidly fading, and I can already feel the con-withdrawal setting in. Now all I have to do is to wait until next year…
Also, there’s been news that Otakon may be moving to a new venue in D.C. sometime soon. Read the full story here!