Baltimore, MD, USA. USA. July 29th – July 31, 2011.
Reporter(s): Kouichi Kimura
Being this was my first time at a con without someone else accompanying me, my attempts to sit down and really take in every single thing the con had to offer were kind of put to the wayside and it was more about taking in the con experience as a whole.
The autograph lines were a bit crazy this year, and in this reporter’s opinion the staff could have handled them in a better fashion. I actually stepped in and helped a gofer get things under control at the Bosch autograph line while at the same time desperately pleading my case to get in.
If you were at Otakon and missed Johnny Yong Bosch’s panel… you should be kicking yourselves. Some of the stories that were told, like the one where he accidentally gave a homeless woman some quarters by launching them in her face, made it one of the most hilarious panels I have ever gone to. Not to mention that I was in cosplay as MMPR Black and got noticed immediately upon walking into the room by Mr. Bosch. To cap it all off, he sang answers to questions asked by the audience. It truly was an experience.
As usual, Otakon has plenty of spots for you to get snapped in a quick photo and a huge dealer’s room to spend tons of money in. The food area, tucked away in the corner, was a great place to stop, grab a snack, and continue going without having to walk around too much. I was also pleasantly surprised by how fast the food lines moved. Bring cash before you head out the door though, as there is one ATM inside the con and the closest after that is across the street from the con’s main doors at the end of the block.
The last piece of advice I can give the rest of you still interested in Otakon (and you should be), is to make your hotel reservations early. The longer you wait, the farther you will have to walk. As of today (November 11, 2011), hotel reservations are already up! The closest hotels are the Hyatt and the Hilton, both 0.15 miles away from the con, though with the Hilton, you can take a skywalk andnot even have to walk outside!
Overall, Otakon is still a great experience for both seasoned and first-time con-goers. The tickets are inexpensive, there is a lot to see and do (panels, game room, anime playing constantly, it never ends!), and lots of things to buy! I will definitely be making a return trip to Baltimore, MD next year and plan on having even more fun.