The last Otakon in Baltimore indeed ended with a great bang! It was filled with many loving attendees, both old and new, happy to celebrate the con’s last year in the inner-harbor city by being a bunch of dorks. It had been three years for me since the last time I attended Otakon. I was glad to be able to go with my close anime friends from high school to see off it’s last year.
English Dub Premieres at Otakon
I had loads of fun at the convention! It was filled with many premieres, like the english dub premiere of One-Punch Man, Erased, The Asterisks Wars, and Charlotte. I only attended the Erased premiere. I thought Erased was adapted very well in English. Adult Satoru sounded deep and gravely, Airi chipper and youthful, and Kayo cold and mature. Those were the voices that stood out to me the most. Everyone else in the first two episodes also sounded like they would in english. For people who prefer to watch dubs, I would recommend watching the Erased dub when it comes out in October.
Man At Arms Panel
I also got the chance to see the Man at Arms panel during the first day of the convention. They are a popular Youtube channel where these Maryland-based blacksmiths recreate weapons from popular animes, video games, and movies. With over four million subscribers, they have made weapons from Halo, League of Legends, Bleach, Dragonball Z, etc.
As for the panel, it was mostly just talk of what they were going to be doing for their new season along with a preview of a weapon they made for an episode that has yet to air. Personally, it wasn’t quite the panel I was expecting. It was more talk and Q&A rather than the action I was expecting. For faithful fans of the channel, I’m sure they liked it, but if you were a casual viewer, it wasn’t muche. I do still highly recommend their YouTube channel to see their craftsmanship and expertise into weapon making!
Cosplay Adventures & Panels
I spent the rest of the con mostly getting autographs from guests that I’ve been dying to meet, attending the Steven Universe photoshoot, and panel hopping when I had down-time. I cosplayed Rose Quartz from Steven Universe on Saturday and because of the autograph sessions going so long, I was only able to get to the last leg of the fan-organized photoshoot at inner harbor before it ended. It was still worth it though to meet fellow fans of the show, talk and sing with them before the end of the day.
The panels I did attend were either practical or funny, like “So You Want To Work in Japan?”, “How To Get Into The Anime Industry,” and “Voice Actors After Dark”. Let’s just say the weather wasn’t the only thing that was getting hot over the con weekend. As for the educational panels, they had some great insight and tips on topics of how to get into the anime industry or the first steps of getting to work in Japan!
P.A. Works 15th Anniversary Exhibit, Shopping, & Artist Alley
One of the last things I got to do during my time at Otakon was shopping and seeing the P.A. Works 15th Anniversary Exhibit! Of course, big name companies were there like Funimation, Aniplex, Sentai Filmworks, Viz Media, Pony Canyon, etc. I obtained many freebies, like the popular Crunchyroll backpack tote with Free! Iwatobi Swim Club on the front, a fan with Sound Euphonium advertisement on the front, and two free posters of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and The Boy and The Beast! I was a very happy camper. I ended up buying was an Otakon shirt and Soma’s restaurant shirt from Food Wars in the dealer’s room.
P.A Works were a guest this year, having the CEO Kenji Horikawa, Art Director Kazuki Higashi, and Executive Producer Nobuhiro Kikuchi in attendance. They’ve made anime such as Angel Beats, Shirobako, Charlotte, and Another. They had an exhibit in the Artist Alley that showcased character sheets, cardboard standees, background art, key animation sheets, rough outline sketches, scripts, and much more. It was an amazing display of all of their work and seeing firsthand all the steps it takes to make an anime in front of you. Pictures of that exhibit are below!
Speaking of pictures, cosplays were also very on point this year. You can get an overview of who I saw in the slideshow and link below. One theme that surprisingly caught on the most were the two waifu trashcans I saw and one husbando trashcan. I still don’t approve of some of picks they chose.
Like any con, there was so much great merchandise and fan art, I wish I was able to buy more! The Artist Alley is one of my favorite parts about attending anime conventions, and this year didn’t disappoint. I met some great artists both old and new. The old being hakuku, deckitout, kata and Maya Kern and the new being blue and asunnydisposish. Trust me, if I had more money, I would’ve bought even more from all the other artists that were there.
This now concludes Otakon’s history in Baltimore, and I wish them the best in Washington D.C. Otakon stated that they are moving because the Baltimore Convention Center is getting older (rain leaked from the ceilings over the weekend) and are planning to renovate the entire building. They’ll be in Washington D.C. for about five years or so untill the renovations are finished.
To see more pictures from the P.A. Works Exhibition that aren’t in the slideshow, click here to see a more extensive picture gallery.