Otakon 2014

August 8 - August 10, 2014

We've been going to Otakon for several years now, and while the overall vibe was better than 2013, it was probably our least favorite so far due to issues outside the convention (our very ill pet) and also within the convention (the horrible line on Thursday night). The convention weekend started off badly, as I had spent the previous night at the emergency vet with our sick baby guinea pig, Bianca, who had been diagnosed with pneumonia. We didn't want to leave her but our mom was going to take care of her so we could go to the con. When we arrived in the city we were really surprised at the massive line for badge pick-up. It was so frustrating spending hours in the line not knowing what the hold ups were and watching the hours tick by as we got closer and closer to the cut-off time. There was no communication from the staffers, and when we finally got inside the lobby, the line was cut-off maybe 20 or so people behind us and everyone outside was told to leave. It was actually scary for a few moments when everyone was turned away because of the anger of the crowd and the amount of people there. We were all so frustrated and tired from the stress of the line, and after spending another half hour in line inside the building, they gave us passes to skip the line the following morning. If we hadn't gotten those passes, I seriously wonder if we would have just called it quits on the whole weekend and went back home.

Another annoyance this year was that there was no printed schedule in the bags since we always rely on that. We were able to pick one up at the info desk, but they warned that they were only printed in limited quantity. And on top of that, the new badge design took away the badge choice we used to have, the coating caused the permanent marker to rub off and stain my shirt, and Jen's badge broke from the lanyard and had to be taped together. However, despite all the issues, we were happy to note that this year felt more like Otakon than the previous year. We also really enjoyed the ninja and wrestling panels that we saw. This year our mom made Sebby the cutest cosplay outfit - an Iwatobi tracksuit from the anime Free. She made the outfit and I made the cap, and we had a lot of fun taking photos of him and making him tulle skirts in Ota-chan. The overall weekend had a somewhat subdued feeling for us, and when we got picked up on Sunday we learned our guinea pig had passed overnight. It was a very sad ending to the weekend.

Memorable Moments
  • The skip the line passes we received on Thursday worked on Friday morning
  • Sebby's cosplay
  • Crafts in Ota-chan
  • Ninja panel presented by the Anime World Order podcast
  • Sunao Katabuchi panel
  • Dealer's Room merchandise - Free! figures (including the inner tube set we'd been wanting), Tiger and Bunny Keith figure, Cloud Strife action figure
  • Artist's Alley merchandise - Free! prints and pins, Big Wind Up print, Hetalia print, hand-knitted Totoro hat for Sebby
  • Dinner at Pizza Uno in the Inner Harbor
  • Stephanie Sheh panel
  • Saori Hayami panel
  • Dante Basco panel (Rufio!)
  • Beautiful weather on Saturday night for dinner
  • Wrestling panel
Pictures (click to view larger)