I feel like I’ve been spoiled in a way by having Otakon as my first ever convention. Not to the point that I can’t enjoy smaller conventions, but in terms of the “experience” of it all. While Katsucon was fun, there weren’t as many things that I wanted to do there activity or panel-wise, not as many people that I knew were going and could hang out with (though I still missed some, sadly), and so on. So, while I paid for and could have spent the whole weekend at the convention, I only went on Friday and Saturday, which still made for a fulfilling Katsucon for me and should make for a short post here. And thanks to a recently acquired cellphone, I managed to get some pretty poor quality pics of the event and of some cosplay that I found interesting and that I could work up courage to ask the wearers to take pictures, which was much easier said than done. But on to the post~
So on Friday after classes (the rare days that end at noon are wonderful, BTW), I caught the Metro down to Crystal City station. As always, I tagged along with people who looked like they’re going to an anime convention (harder than it looks :P), taking the shuttle to the hotel where the convention was set for this year. Getting there, it looked like there was a short line of people for admission, where from my memories of Otaku USA last year made me assume that the registration table was pretty close to the entrance. I suddenly remembered that I went on a Saturday to that convention, as the line at this current point in time swung and twisted around the first floor interior once I got in. All in all, it took about 2 and a half hours in a line for both prereg and at-doors for me to finally get my pass, while my good college friend shows that as the day went on, the line became even longer. I was a little unnecessarily miffed that even though I preregged, the at-door line was quicker to get through, but what can you do?
Once inside, I had nothing much to do, since the person I was supposed to meet was still in transit once I got my badge. So I walked through the featured guests area (I really do need to work on being too shy to drop by a table and say hey to these people, who took time to come to the convention partly to greet fellow con goers) and then to the Merchant’s Room, which had a decent amount of stuff I was interested in, and I spent the rest of my short day there. As I left, the line was longer at the entrance then when I was there, and which made meeting my friend and an acquaintance of his in that line a little bittersweet since we couldn’t do anything at that time.
Traveling on Saturday was a little fun, since rail service in between my route shut down some stations along the way, making the trip to and fro a little longer as buses shuttled between those stations. This made me miss one panel that I was interested in, so when I arrived at the hotel, my day started how it ended, in the Merchant’s Room. I managed to grab some more stuff and chatted it up with one of the staffers for the Hendane booth. That was all thanks to a post-it note covering unmentionables on a body pillow cover containing words uttered by said staff member in a video about some random guys watching the Touhou anime checking for English subtitle accuracy (funny the way things can connect us in this world :3). Afterwards, I met up with my friend and his acquaintance, and had some nice lunch at a nearby Chili’s, then went back to the convention to browse around for a bit. However, our meeting and catching up was short-lived, as I had plans to head to FUNimation’s panel as the main event that I’d come to the convention for.
It has been two weeks, so my memories of the panel are fuzzy, but I do remember that the company’s going stronger than ever despite the pains taken with the current economic woes. And that they still have a lot of sets and series planned for release and re-release during the year (like Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple, Shigurui in bloody and bone-breaking Blu-ray no less, Love Hina, and so on…), which is good for people who need to see proof that the US anime industry still lives on. And as for the licenses announced during the panel, I was pretty psyched about the Bamboo Blade license and was pleased with the Tower of Druaga license, though disappointed about being one of like three people who cheered for the shows. Blassreiter has received overall favorable reviews, so I might partake of that in the future, and I fought hard not to laugh out loud (disrupting the audience and panel isn’t good) at the Dragonaut license. Granted, I’ve only heard about how bad the show was and haven’t seen it for myself, so I’m not giving the show a fair shot for myself. Damned if I watched it before other shows on my backlog and beyond, though. All in all (I’m sure an English teacher is cringing somewhere), the panel was well worth attending to me.
After that, besides one last trip through the Merchant’s Room and a quick perusal through the Gaming Room, that was about it for my Katsucon 15 experience. I felt like I already got what I needed from Friday and Saturday, so going on Sunday wouldn’t have done anything for me. If there was one thing I learned from this trip, it was probably to start expanding my curiosity a little bit more. There wasn’t a lot of panels or events that grabbed my attention at the convention, but that doesn’t mean that I should have just ignored everything else, especially if I got bored roaming around. And I need to work on overcoming my shyness a little more, as it still feels too awkward for me to even go up to a guest and just shake their hand and greet them, or to ask a cosplayer if I can take a picture of their efforts. I feel like I should be more in my anime comfort zone at an anime convention than anywhere else, but I find once again that I still need to open up more for this to occur. While Katsucon was a fun experience, it could have been better if I tried harder. But enough about that. Here’s some badly pixelated loot.