(aka Matt Williams)
Everlasting Otakon Report.
Ok, so I was trying to remember everything
that happened last weekend,
but it was all so exciting that I can’t remember everything, but I’m gonna try.
So, last weekend I headed down to Baltimore, Maryland for the anime
extravaganza known to all Otaku as ‘Otakon.’ Every Otaku looks forward
to this moment every year. They pack in their tiny cars, not having showered
in days, they drive to their overpriced Hotels and Motels and they cram into
rooms so tiny they have to sleep like Cattle. To finally, FINALLY make it to their
destination…the Baltimore Convention Center. Now, mind you not all Otaku are
like that, but that is indeed a bad stereotype. No one was really like this,
everyone was wonderful. I went of course as my own flagship character,
the Crimson Christian, no one would know who I was, but I figured I
would do it for some publicity. I was waiting for people to ask if I was
Alucard or Vash, but that only happened once. The weekend was
exciting to say the very least so let’s get into it.
First, I arrived with my friend Jason (Harlock) and his mother at the
Merriot across the street from the Convention Center on Friday at about noon.
We got to the Convention and had to stand in line for the Pre-registered
attendees, and let me say that the registration line was shorter. We were
all the way in back of the outside of the Convention Center, however, this
meant very little to any of us, because after coming such a long wait,
another wait wouldn’t kill us. Besides, the line itself moved quite fast.
We were in line for maybe a half hour, not even that. In that
time I met a decent amount of people and cos-players. I met one group
who wanted me to see them on Saturday because they would be dressed
as Lodoss characters so I was excited about that. Now I saw a ton of
Alucards’, (great costumes, every one of them. You should have seen the
Alucard custom guns they made) a lot of Vashs, (They looked great as well.
I have no clue as to how they made their outfits.) Wolfwoods’ galore, (The Crosses were
amazing, but I’ll get into that in alittle bit.) Ceres Victorias’, (Some really
nice Hal canon cannons, I’ll talk about those in a bit too.) a Slayers group
that was good with the outfits but sorry, they were not the kind of people who
should have cos-played as the Slayers, a few Yugis’ from ‘Yugioh.’ One kid made
a Millennium item, I mean he cut and carved it out of wood. That was all until we got inside.
We got inside right and I dropped to my knees. I have seen the Promised
Land. At first I thought, ‘I’ve died and gone to Japan.’ So many costumes,
so much to do. I think Jason was a bit embarrassed cause at this point h had
been there, done that. I saw Some ‘Gundam Wing’ boys. I saw an awesome
Trowa for one. I saw the entire Rockman EXE cast cos-played. I found Kenshins’
galore. Some Kourus’ and Yahikos’. A decent amount of Sanosukes’. Lupin
gangs, but only one had a Fujiko…ahhh Fujiko…anyway..We had ‘Devil may Cry’
characters, we had Knives and Legato from ‘Trigun.’ We had a Bumblebee from
‘Transformers.’ When I asked her if she could transform, she said she could
but she needed a friend to help her. Now this was only Friday, and I was giving
out books too, remember? So when I was leaving the Hotel for the first time,
I gave a set to an Inu Yasha that was waiting there
and she was excited causenow she had something to read and…..say it with me…
FOR FREE! OH YEAH! I FORGOT! THERE WERE A BILLION
INU YASHAS’ AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
against the series but couldn’t we find another character to dress as?
Now when we were in line, there were guys handing out flyers for
their webcomics and of course I said ‘Do you guys like comics’ They
were surprised and a little mad that I published my stuff, but from one
artist to another it was cool. I was happy. Yeah, basically from then on
anyone who I took a picture of got some free stuff. There were Sailor Senshi,
some really..cough cough good ones…then there were…well….some….guys
…in Sailor outfits..run RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!! So, Jason wanted to watch
anime, but I wanted to see the Dealer’s room, I mean I came all that way and I
didn’t want to sit down and since I wasn’t sure where everything was as
of yet, Jason was a little peeved and had to show me around but when I
saw the Dealer’s room…my GOD! Take BJ’s and have all anime. There was a
‘Pioneer’ booth,’ there was a ‘Bandai’ booth, a ‘CPM Manga’ booth, an ‘ADV’
booth and they were giving away a car. Then there were all the Dealers. I spent a
lot of time there and then I was also looking for a friend of mine named Lena who
said she would see me there. I was literally leaving, looking at some of the stuff I had
bought wondering how I would find her and then I literally bumped into her.
Turns out she knew someone in the ‘Artist’s Alley.’ I went and met her and
bought something from her and gave her some of my works. She seemed a bit
surprised. I’m not sure if she was just humoring me or not, but honestly I’m like
that so whatever. She seemed happy to get my stuff. I also bought a comic from some
dealers a seat down from her and they asked me if I wanted it autographed and I said
‘Could you make it out to the Crimson Christian?’ And they said ‘YOU’RE the Crimson
Christian. I’ve heard of your work.’ I was like ‘WHAT? No offense, but…how?’
They told me that some girl they were in the registration line with said that they should
look at my work and they would know me if they saw me and she was looking
for me. Now, I knew one of Jim’s friends was going to the Con, but I didn’t know her.
I’ve never met her. They said her name was Carolyn and I was like ‘Wow! She’s
looking for me.’ I didn’t know if they misunderstood and she was talking about Jim’s work
that had me in it or if Jim had actually shown her my stuff. Either way, I stayed in costume in case
she found me, but I was so excited to have someone recognize me and to have someone I’ve never
met be looking for me like that. I gave them copies of my books and they were really excited. I must
say that the art in the Art room was so good, I almost felt embarrassed because it was so good,
I almost felt like the stuff that myself and my friends had done was worthless compared to this tuff
and my friends stuff was good. So at this point, I handed out just about all of my books and my friend
Pat’s. I gave copies to Lena and all of her friends. I gave one to an Alexander Anderson whom
I got a nice picture of WHICH DIDN’T COME OUT DAMMIT! All in all, everyone was happy
to get stuff. I’m sorry I’m going all over the place, but I’m trying to remember everything as I’m
typing here. Oh, there was a kid dressed as a berserker EVA which I got an awesome picture
of. Ok..let’s see..what else happened on the first day…..Wait..paragraph change here.
I checked out the Game room with Lena and yet again like the art and dealer’s rooms,
they were the size of a super market. Televisions everywhere. so many games. A movie
screen with StreetFighter II on it. Even better Halo on a movie screen. I’m no gamer but
ahhhhhhhhhhhh drooling. They had DDR..THANK GOD! But, with soft pads, you would think
they could get hard ones with all the other stuff they had. The lines were immense, so I decided
not to show them why I could kick all their asses at DDR…heh maybe..but there were like five
big screen tvs just for DDR. They even had ‘Para Para Paradise.’ I had actually never seen it
before this. I had played something before where you used your hands, but this was so much
cooler. I’m not gonna explain it, go look it up on the net somewhere. After that I got together with
Jason and grabbed a bite to eat and then went back. (After playing with my cool stuff and listening
to my ‘T.M.Revolution’ cd and my ‘Puffy Amiyumi’ cd which had the well known single..chuckle.
.the ‘Teen Titans’ theme…..ha ha ha! I love that song…it’s so cool..that was why I bought it.) I
met up with Lena and her friend and went and saw the ‘Animatrix,’ which I have to say on an
omniplex sized screen with surround sound, I was almost really scared cause it had me on the
edge of my seat!! After that as good as the movie was, I’ll never watch the first two animated
stories ever again..I was that scared, and I watch the ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ OVAs while eating breakfast.
Ok, now I promised I would talk about
the great props by some of the cos-players, but hold
on just for a little while longer. Now Saturday was literally, T.M.Revolution day. I got up and
spent a nice morning watching music videos. The category was ‘love’ which was cool except
that to be honest I wanted to get back to watch one of the other categories but by the time I got
back, they were re-playing the love category..ahhhh! So, then after seeing Lena and meeting up
with Jason, we waited for the opening of the TMR panel and we got right up front, which was cool.
There were more TMR fans than I thought ever existed in America. Of course wasn’t he like one
of the top five in Japan? I dunno..I’m a moron! So, anyway, Takanori Nishikawa (TMR) comes
out in a white kimono and man was he nice. It was kind of funny how he only knew like five words
in english. You know, ‘HI, BYE, THANK YOU,’ wait..that was only four……uh..well we had fans
dressed like people from his videos and people who were singing his songs like crazy before he came
out while they were playing his new American release. They had us ask questions and his translator
would tell him in Japanese and he would answer. It was fun seeing him read some things in english
too. I had someone ask him (because I was shy…awww..) ‘What are your favorite American
bands?’ He said that he saw ‘Evanescence’ in Japan and was going to a ‘Linkin Park’
concert after the Con. He loved everyone. I mean he was really excited to be there and when
we would ask if he would stay in the US or not, he said ‘only if you will all let me stay.’ Dman.
.cheap pops work every time. I found out that he was a character at the end of Kenshin AND
Gundam Seed, which was cool. The Scorpion guy from one of the last arcs of Kenshin, (I can’t
remember his name) and Miguel I think from Gundam Seed. Many photo ops were had, they
held a trivia game and if you got a question right, you would go onstage and get your picture
taken with him and get a prize from him. Th questions were easy until the end, but one person
messed up, I knew the answer and I WAS TOO SCARED TO RAISE MY HAND! I THOUGHT
I WOULD LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT! Let that be a lesson, even if you are wrong, at least you know
you tried cause what if you got it right?
The Concert was next, that was where
the people whom I had met the day before showed up in their
Lodoss outfits. Damn, the Ashram and Parn even had their signature swords. They FREAKING
MADE THEM! The Soul Crusher rocked! Then we had a kick ass Orson, Deedlit, Pirotess and Slayn,
and dude! Pirotess wasn’t wearing a bra…uh..I missed that when I took the pic and when I was talking
with her..I must be like..a gentleman in person and a pervert when I’m away from said party. anyway,
you can look at the pics and see what I mean. Ok, the TMR concert was being taped for a DVD release
and there were two big trons. So Jason and myself got on the left side and we were pretty close to the
stage and we had aisle seats, which was perfect. So on the Trons were flashing pictures of all the characters
from Series TMR has sung the openings or endings to. Of course either Kenshin or Gundam Seed. So,
before the concert started, they zoomed over the crowd and they stopped on me and Jason for
like a minute..and I went nuts considering I took up like half the screen so if you see CC on a
TMR concert DVD, don’t be surprised. We even saw another guy we knew from Saratoga who
was there on business..shh..if I told you, then I would have to kill you…hush hush….He was excited
to see us and he took our picture and then he went to his seat. So the opening act was Kristina Sa…
yeah, I’ve never heard of her either. But, then again, I’m an idiot, and she was mad good….
and HOT…and Asian…..and..Asian..land..did I mention she was Asian..and ironically..born in Canada..
surprising, no? Man was she hot! She said at one point that she had a surprise for us and then came
back in this really hot cut off shirt. We gave the usual cheers…you know the really obscene ones…
well.I didn’t..the guys behind me did…I’m a gentleman..but when TMR was delayed I started a chant
of ‘TMR, TMR..’ and the Otakon staff started to get angry cause they thought a riot would start…tee hee
..they’ll never know it was me….although..the getting everyone riled up by clapping and jumping up and
down might have given it away. At one point a Link was getting everyone on the left side to do the wave
cause it was annoying and we looked pretty funny doing it and we kept doing it over and over and over
and over and over and over and over and over again, and it got to the point where the Link was doing it
like a drill instructor saying ‘YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT…READY? ONE..TWO..THREE..’
and of course the other sections were doing it too, and the Otakon staff was getting a laugh out of it.
At one point after the Link said the above line five thousand times, the staff member said..’OK, JUST
BECAUSE THIS IS SOOO *%$#ING ANNOYING, ONE…TWO…THREE…’ So we did it again.
Now after the other sides started doing it, myself and the Link started saying how the Left side was so much
better than the other sides and we made the ‘loser’ L on our foreheads and I started jumping up and down
chanting ‘LEFT SIDE RULES! LEFT SIDE RULES!’ And, the whole left side started chanting with me.
This happened several times…now why am I getting so in depth about things so stupid? Because I can and
I went and you didn’t so I’m giving you all the skinny…then……..HE came on…
The crowd went ballistic. You ever say
J-rock bands suck…screw you man! This show rocked…since
it was live..my God! The hardcore electric guitars in this show…ahhhh! You couldn’t hear yourself think
. We even had one of the kids dressed as a character from one of his music videos run around the aisles
with a sign she made and that got on camera. TMR played his hits from the new cd, but the best part at
that time was when we saw Kenshin on the screen and ‘Heart of Sword’ began to play. Everyone sang
along. At one point, a press member started taping me for some reason for like five minutes. My head
still hurts, I’ve never head banged more than this concert and that INCLUDES OZZFEST! I went nuts,
and was dancing so crazy, that was probably why, but anyway, I got people on my side really clapping
and was trying to start more chants but to no avail, but Nishikawa was rocking on the guitar! He did the
Gundam Seed song, ‘Invoke,’ and scenes from ‘Gundam Seed’ started playing. The crowd didn’t stop
moving ever! This was a once in a lifetime experience. He may never be back because of his busy schedule.
And we got to see it for basically the registration price and it was in a small arena for a big act like TMR..
maybe 10,000 people? He did every song from his cd ‘Coordinate,’ and then after he left, people were
chanting for more. This guy was a sight to see. I mean, you may never get another chance because he is a
foreign act, so I consider myself lucky to have seen him. But,…then he came back on and did another set.
He even did ‘Heart of Sword’ again. He got the fans to really sing this time, but by that time I had left to
get in line for the TMR autograph session, which was lucky for me cause the line was already pretty long.
We all waited for awhile of course cause
the concert had to still get out first. Sooooooo many people
lined up. I patiently waited for him to sign my cd booklet, and I wanted him to make it out to me so
I had to write it down on a piece of paper and have him sign it that way..still he was pretty good with some
english writing. The guy this time looked like a Japanese Michael Jackson. I gave him my cd and he was like
‘MAAT, hi how are you maat.’ So he was really cool and was having a good time, he signed it and I shook his hand and said ‘Arigato,’ and he went really enthusiastic on me and was like ‘DOOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASU!’ That made
me quite happy. He was so nice, giving hugs to all the girls…especially the cute ones…clever bastard! Man,
I wanted to just stay and talk with him…even if he had no clue what I was saying. He just seemed like a guy
who you could hang and have a good time with.
Ok, Saturday for Cos-playing I saw a
Makoto Shishio with a Sojiro, a Scwartz Bruder, a GODZILLA,
the Cheat, Aya from Weib Kreuz, Sanzo from Saiyuki, a giant Pikachu, a giant Kuro chan, an over
weight bearded Sailor Mars…yeah.I know..eva unit 05, Seele members, they were in the black boxes
with ‘sound only’ on the side with the number, Lilith, Hulk Hogan on Friday, I loved it, but why Hulk Hogan
at Otakon? Then again, why not? Spider man on Saturday with a battle ravaged Kenshin, Gene Starwind, Melfina,
Milly, Meryl, Elie, Haru, and last but not least………………………..STRONG BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked
him how he types with boxing gloves on and he replied: ‘How do you type with boxing gloves on? How do you type
with boxing gloves on? All the time! Then he posed with a ‘double deuce action.’ There was an Inceredible Hulk
in the works and Godzilla was near the main DJ area taking on any challenger.
Again I apologize that this is not in
real good order, but to remember everything in order for this was
sooo hard considering everything that was happening. Let’s see for weapons we had various Wolfwood
crosses which was cool because these babies were made from everything from cardboard boxes to
carpet to actual wood to plastic. One kid indeed carried around a giant wooden Cross on his back.
There were female Wolfwoods’ too, and one of them even had a portable Church which she wanted folks to write
on the side of. You could actually put it on your head. A hollow wooden church..soo cool..I wrote that I want to kill
anyone who considers me a Woldwood/Alucard hybrid and signed it with the CC official logo and everything..
I also gave her a comic..damn..did I already say that…see..I’m so exhausted I don’t even wanna go back and
re read what I’ve already written. Ceras Victoria, a decent amount of sexy females were dressed as her and
one girl made a Hal canon cannon out of metal..YES, METAL! One girl whom
I had my picture taken with made one out of household supplies and a super soaker and damn, was it cool! I
even got to hold it for one of the pictures. Oh, did I mention the giant Cool Aid man was there? Tee hee…It was
especially fun if you were sort of board because then you could just walk the halls and see all the wonderful
costumes. These kids all busted their humps to make some of these and I applaud every last one of you.
I also noticed as I walked by that people who ran out of spending money were singing their favorite anime
songs and people were throwing them cash…I asked them, ‘DUDE! If I do that, will I get paid?’ seeing the
mountain of one dollar bills underneath these two girls and they said ‘probably.’ So remember kids, for next
year, if you run out of cash, panhandling is the way to go..(cough) illegal. In the main DJ area where I think
an actual station was broadcasting just anime music and J-pop, they had Para Para dancers every now and
then, folks doing martial arts to the music, kids break dancing but that wasn’t the only area to dance. Yes,
there was a Rave on Friday and Saturday. I wasn’t sure weather to go in or not, but I noticed they were being
really tight security wise. They would not allow book bags inside. I went in and it was all techno and while my
trusty break dancing move of the worm, the smoothest one there is, mind you, would have served me well,
I was so tired and so amazed at the talent in there, I quickly left and I was lucky I did cause it was shut down
like twenty minutes later because they found drugs…tsk..tsk..
I also saw some awesome fan parodies.
See, I’m a huge fan of ‘This is Otakudom.’ It was a fandub
done to every anime around and it make Gendo Ikari look like a film maker doing a documentary on
Otaku. Mind you the Otaku were the cast from ‘Fushigi Yuugi.’ It even had film previews.You know the classic ‘Fight Club’ to ‘Pokemon,’ and ‘Dragon Ball Z’ to ‘X Men.’ Well here the parodies were really something special. I
got to see ‘Trigunic Park.’ ‘Trigun’ to ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Tinfins’ (Yes the ‘Sealab’ movie preview)
done to ‘Evangelion,’ and Gendo was Captain Murphy. ‘Holy Crap!’ Then, we see the ‘Nerv’ HQ front door…….quiet………………quiet…………………………………………………….quiet………
……………………………………….we are waiting for something…………………………………
…..Auqaman walks out…we all know what it is before it starts and sure enough…he does his little
dance in FRONT OF NERV HQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO AUQAMAN! We
all went ballistic. Then we were treated to Mystery Science Theater action with the most deserving movie
to be poked at……’X’ the movie. There were so many funny references, and whenever a Strongbad
reference is made, the entire crowd would say it with them. Like if they did the SB techno, the fans would
sing along. My favorite line they used was taken from the anime music video of Van Halen’s ‘Right Now,’
‘Right Now, Tokyo Tower is having another bad day.’
After getting my laughs there, I went
to see Lena and we had an ‘interesting’ time at the……………..
uh…………….Hentai history exhibit….yeah..I know…hee hee….believe it or not..I did not go for those
reasons. I actually learned a lot about Japanese laws concerning those things and how it started and how
to draw anatomy..and that when you cannot get a television to work to show examples of hentai every
male just about in the audience leaves…what does that say about us guys? It was pretty funny, but I won’t
go into detail, you wanna know, you can email me email@example.com so there. After that I went
to the same theater ‘Animatrix’ was being shown at and there were a good maybe 5 thousand people there..I’m
roughly assuming. Now, I swear everyone there must have been just as big fans as myself because they were all
talking right along with it. At the end, when they had the ‘Army of Darkness’ Trailer with the Cast of ‘Fushigi
Yuugi,’ I was going nuts when the crowd was saying in unison, ‘Ok, you primitive screw heads, listen up!
THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK!” They said it all together. It almost brought a tear of pride to my eye.
They even chanted the magical words (I hope I spell them right. Say it with me..)
‘KLATA VEROTTA NICKCOUGH!’
((This is Pat, Though I would correct Matt here by saying its KLATU. hehe ))
After all that fun I took off for the
Hotel and after many random trips to the Dealer’s room,
I got some stuff for my friends as well as myself. ADV was throwing shirts to whoever could chant ‘ADV’
the loudest and jump the highest. Well, if anyone knows about being a total buffoon, it’s me. I got one
shirt one day after fighting some body for one, then later I came back and got one, then another and
bolted like a Bat out of Hell, cause the crowd was getting mad that I had two that time. Although I did
go back and get my picture taken with two ‘busty’ models that ADV had showing off the car they were
giving away and I felt bad cause every time I tried to talk to them, my face went down to something
else. Basically size small school girl uniform on like twenty five year old women. Then CPM gave away
a free shirt and I caught that, then some old ‘Gunbuster’ videos, and basically after seeing all the free sample
manga and bags and stuff from some of these vendors, I grabbed my bag and started shoveling free dvds
and comics and stuff in there and took off. Hee hee I got posters to series I’ve never even heard of.
Sunday morning, I walk over to the Bandai
booth and stand in line for a good hour to get my
friend, Pat a ‘With Hunter Robin’ shirt. You had to sit through a promotional piece which kicked
butt! They talked about what made them and they showed clips from ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and
‘Vision of Escaflowne.’ And they made it look all old and grainy, then they showed us the future.
‘Gundam Zeta,’ Witch Hunter Robin,’ and some others but I won’t list anymore cause I’m trying to
get this done really quite fast…WHY CAN’T I STOP TYPING?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then
I ran into the Dealer who was interested in my books and gave him one of my personal copies and another
person standing next to him was interested and wanted some, so we all exchanged emails. Oh, I forgot
to mention, I exchanged emails with a few people which was good for me. I had some pics with one
Alucard and Ceras (coincidentally, the one who let me pose with the cannon) and gave Alucard my book
and I was so happy that they were nice enough to wait for me to get pictures of them, they got one of my
personal copies and he seemd to like from ‘one Hellsing fan to another’ as he put it. Damn! I really need
to make sure I have enough next year. Hard to believe that my book raised demand. Five people can turn
into one hundred, it all just takes time. I got some real good deals in the Dealer’s room on Sunday. Since
these guys come from all over the US, they do not want to bring the stuff they have back with them so
they lower the prices and they will let you haggle with them, so I got some good deals. There was not
much to do but I will say that the people were not as abundant on Sunday. Everything was pretty much
winding down. I did watch some later eps of ‘Hajime no Ippo.’ An awesome boxing anime Pat
showed me a while back. As I went to leave I was stunned at one group of girls who were playing
themes from anime shows on recorders. They played a Kenshin theme and everyone stopped and listened.
I went back to the Hotel after the Con
ended, watching from my Hotel window all the Otaku go
to the darkness from whence they came. Back under their rocks for another year. Like the
Groundhog coming out to see his shadow. I felt a bad saddened that this magical time was
over. By the time We left, it was Monday and everyone else had already left. We got on the plane
and I was back by four o’clock. Goodbye Baltimore. Goodbye Otakon. I shall return next year
with more goodies and all will know the name of the Crimson Christian…Now if only I had
enough patience to use the right grammar for this, we would be all set.
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