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Otakon 2005

Author Frank Patz

Otakon 2005

Japanese anime is BIG. HUGE!! You do not understand. I say this because I knew it was popular, but I found out this past weekend that I didn't know JACK!

When I first heard of the Otakon, a Japanese Anime convention held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore Maryland, I thought it would be a small gathering of Anime fans, having a good time with people who shared the same interests. Boy was I wrong!

This Convention is almost as big as the San Diego Comic Con!! The convention totally takes over what is know as the Baltimore " Inner Harbor" area and they were sold out of tickets for the weekend before the first day!! If you didn't buy your tickets in advance, you didn't go to this show. This is unheard of as far as Conventions go Otakon is one of the largest and most popular Conventions that celebrates the Western fandom of Japanese animation and culture. Every year fans pack the Baltimore Convention Center for this show and they are growing year by year.

When you first walk in, it is almost overwhelming. The registration booths were completely empty and I was wondering why. I did arrive kind of early, so I attributed the emptiness to that. That's when the Convention staff told me that they had been sold out for a while now and had no more tickets to sell. That's pretty amazing! I am glad I was pre-registered!

The main floor is FULL of fans in costumes. There are more fans in costume here than in any convention I have ever been to. From Trigun to Battle of the Planets, they were all here and they were all VERY well made! These fans had put a lot of time and effort into these costumes and it showed! As you can see, I was very impressed by the fans and their creations. Their passion for this medium showed in their creativity.

The show itself is fun. They have an artist alley that is full of some great artists and some interesting up and comers. There are tons of movies going on in different rooms showing new and vintage anime. Cosplay (Costume Play) is very big with these fans as well. Cosplay is when they put on costumes and act out scenes from their favorite movies, or television shows. Panels, a huge video gaming room (with contests) , all kinds of workshops, and a great costume contest make this one of the most entertaining shows I have been to in a while. At night Otokon throws a "rave party" where everyone goes and dances the night away. (It ends at 2 in the morning)

The vendor room is also HUGE! (My favorite part of any con) Here they had all types of vendors with all types of anime, gashapon, video games, music, and anything Japanese. I had a great time in here and spent a lot of money as well. I found things I usually could only find in Tokyo!

If you are a fan of Japanese anime or just want to go to a very entertaining Con, this show is for you. I highly recommend it as I had a great time, but if you do decide to go, remember to book your hotel WAY in advance because while there are many hotels right outside the convention center, they all were sold out WEEKS in advance. Again, anime is HUGE and here to stay. Eternal Collector will definitely be at their future shows. We hope to see you there as well.

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by Frank