August 9 - August 11, 2013
This year marked the 20th year of Otakon! We decided to stay at the Marriott this year instead of the Hilton. It isn't connected to the convention center, but the amount of money we saved more than made up for it, and we actually preferred this hotel over the Hilton. The ice machine worked, we got the amount of beds we had booked (unlike last year at the Hilton), and we just liked the overall feel of the place. On Thursday badge pickup we got caught in the rain and ended up eating at Johnny Rockets instead of the Pizza Uno (where we always like to eat) because it had a two hour wait. It started the con weekend a little off because we were cold, wet, everywhere was packed, and dinner wasn't so great. For some reason, this year the convention center seemed utterly packed. There were some hallways where the crowds came to a complete stop and it was just a nightmare when some people started pushing their way through everyone. In those instances, it did seem like the con staff took it seriously and made an immediate effort to get things moving and to keep it from getting backed up again. But it was just very disconcerting to see some of the huge crowds in some sections when we had not noticed anything like that in the past.
For some reason this con experience just felt off to us until we re-entered the BCC on Saturday night after dinner. We couldn't place the reason - whether it was the crowds, the weather, the lack of anime-related merchandise available that we were interested in, us, or just the overall vibe, but it just felt different. We both agreed that on Saturday night was the first time at the con that we felt the energy that we usually experience at Otakon. However, we had a great time at Crispin Freeman's two panels and we loved brining Sebby in his Kumagoro cosplay outfit.
- The "Welcome to Otakon" packet that we got at check-in at the Marriott
- Badges from Free!
- Sebby's new cosplay as Kumagoro from Gravitation
- Breakfast in the Hilton
- Crispin Freeman Q&A's - he is so well spoken and manages the flow of the panel very well (and he even sang opera at the request of a fan)
- Vic Mignogna Q&A
- Tomokazu Seki panel
- Crispin Freeman's mythology panel
- Merchandise - Hetalia wallscroll, Cloud Strife figures, Doctor Who and Power Ranger cards, Tiger and Bunny Kotetsu figure
- An International Game of Telephone panel (it was a nice compliment to the Crispin Freeman panel)
- Lunch on the way home from the con