The convention that was Otakon 2012!!!

 

Otakon. It’s the second largest anime convention in the United States. Bringing thousands upon thousands of people to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, it’s one of the most aniticipated events that anime fans, cosplayers, and ravers alike mark down on their calendars. Going into it’s 19th year, this installment of Otakon was one not to be missed by fans.

A Deadpool cosplayer carrying a life bar with him. Only at Otakon...

For first-timers attending the convention, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be awe-struck by the amount of cosplayers that attend. From video game characters, anime characters to even movie characters, the quantity – and quality, seeing how much time and dedication people put into their costumes for this event – of people dressed up will make you reach for your camera and ask for a photo. Among the mass amount this year, there were a lot of people dressed up characters from Avatar: The Legend Of Korra, The Avengers, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (I counted 6 Deadpools, including one walking around with a life bar) and One Piece. There were a lot of unique ones, including two people who were cosplaying as the Ice Cold Water Guy – a water vendor in Baltimore who became a YouTube sensation since last year.

 

Each year, Otakon brings an array of special guests, panels, and activities that people cannot wait for. Throughout the years, Otakon has hosted guests from Travis Willingham (voice actor of Roy Mustang/FullMetal Alchemist, Guile/Street Fighter IV), Vic Mignogna (voice actor of Edward Elric/FMA, Broly/DBZ) to even music legends like Nobuo Uematsu (composer of the Final Fantasy series), T.M. Revolution (J-Pop Performer) and L’arc En Ciel. This year’s guests included K-Pop boy-band VIXX who performed on Friday, Aya Hirano (Japanese VA of Suzymiya Haruhi) who performed on Sunday, J. Michael Tatum (VA of Scar/FMA and Sebastain Michaelis/Black Butlet), Masao Maruyama (Founder of Madhouse Studios) and more. But the biggest guest of the entire con was none other than Jason David Frank, martial artist and actor who is well known for his role as Tommy Oliver in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Even I can admit to being a bit hype over getting the chance of seeing the Green Ranger in person.

Because honestly, he was arguably everyone’s favorite Power Ranger.

But with everything that was going on, there were 2 rooms that were never empty throughout the convention: the game room, the dealer’s room and the artist’s alley. A warehouse space larger than the total square footage of 3 entire football fields, lined wall to wall with booths and tables selling everything fans could ever hope to see and stuff they would never think of (but desperately want), the Dealer’s Room is the one place that you’re guaranteed to go broke at. From DVD’s, manga, sword replicas, costumes, funny T-Shirts (I was a bit disappointed that they ran out of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Squirtles T-shirt), and more, you can find nearly anything in the massive space. On the other side of the hallway was the Artist Alley, a room a bit smaller than the Dealer’s Room filled with amateur artists selling their wares. From fan art to figurines, LEGO-crafted icons to robots crafted from broken game accessories, independent artists were there with one goal: to sell as much of their stuff as possible.

And if you walked around a bit, you could find the J1 Studios table, selling copies of Angel Savior, Super Bounty J1, Lime Rind, and the 3 latest remix albums from the Sound Team, each with secret tracks only available at Otakon.

The J1 Studios Table at Otakon.

There were a few downsides to Otakon, the lines being the biggest one. The lines were still long as ever, whether it was due to picking up your badges for registration, pre-registration or certain panels. And as many times as I’ve been to Otakon, it’s understandable and expected so I guess it’s a necessary evil of sorts. But besides that and a few others that I won’t mention, I can say that this was another good convention. If it is possible, I would suggest that you take the trip to Baltimore when the date is announced for next year’s convention and enjoy yourself.

But for now, check out the photo album of J1 Studios at Otakon by clicking HERE!!!