Otakon 2007

June 20 - 22, 2007

Otakon 2007 was our very first anime convention! We really had no idea what to expect because we had never been to a con before, but it sounded fun and we wanted to go and see it for ourselves. The weekend before the convention we printed out the panel schedule and tried to plan out all that we wanted to do, although by the time we were there we found that we had nowhere near enough time to do it all! When we first walked into the Convention Center, we were completely floored by how many people there were inside. According to the official website, attendance for this year totaled 22,852 people. It was overwhelming at first, but we quickly got caught up in the excitement of it all. We took the light rail into Baltimore each day of the convention and picked up our badges on Thursday night. Our dad attended the con with us on the first day (although he arrived later than us) and we had a great time experiencing all Otakon had to offer.

The panels throughout the weekend were really fun and it was exciting to see the voice actors in person. We also loved the Dealer's Room and seeing booth after booth of anime and game merchandise. My favorite thing we did over the course of the weekend was when we attended Maki Murakami's panel and autograph session. I am a huge Gravitation fan and it was so amazing to be able to have her sign my Gravitation manga. Almost everyone we encountered at the con was really friendly and helpful, and even just talking to the other people while waiting in lines was nice (and everyone was so pleasant to each other even after waiting in a two hour line together). It was a really laid back atmosphere where you could just plop down on the ground and sit and no one would care. I still think one of my favorite memories of the weekend was just sitting in one of the restaurants in the Inner Harbor and looking over and seeing cosplayers dressed up as Kingdom Hearts or Bleach characters and just eating their food like nothing was out of the ordinary.

Memorable Moments
  • Seeing so many people on Thursday night in cosplay and with shiny silver Otakon bags
  • Seeing a Cloud Strife cosplayer in the pre-reg line (first cosplay I ever saw in person that I recognized)
  • Getting Colleen Clinkenbeard's autograph with almost no wait
  • Stumbling upon our dad in line for the Dealer's Room (he didn't know what he was in line for)
  • The Vic and Steve Show
  • Vic and Steve's "Real Fans of Genius" song about Otakon
  • Purchasing the Sims Strangerhood DVD and getting it signed
  • Maki Murakami's panel (she loved the Gravitation cosplayers, admitted the series got crazy around volume 9 because she ran out of ideas, and showed photos of her workspace and pets)
  • Meeting Maki Murakami and getting her autograph (well worth waiting in line for two and a half hours!)
  • Shopping in the Dealer's Room
  • Buying Gravitation pins, a Kumagoro plushie, doujinshi, and Last Exile figures
  • Watching an episode of Two Heart and having fans heckling some of the funny parts
  • The Elric Brothers panel
  • Risembool Ranger pizza party at Chicago Grill
Pictures (click to view larger)