Greetings digital literary consumers! Or if you prefer, there is the phrase consumers of
literary digital content. But regardless of your preference, I welcome you to another edition of glorified geekery!
What I mean is that it is now time for me to review, rant, and what not about Otakon 2017. As many of you may know (or may not know if you are new), this was the first time that it was held in the nation’s capital of the US of A. The D.C. of Washington. Home of the bureaucrats, the politicians, and of the Washington National baseball team. To the basketball watchers, I will throw them a bone. Yes. Also the home of the Wizards and the Mystics. But enough about the historical/sport aspects of the capital!
To begin with, I have had the pleasure of attending Otakon from 2001 up until now with roughly a 90% attendance rate. After all, there’s nothing quite like getting into a massive crowd, congregating with people of awesomeness to the backdrop of Asian culture! No one knows what it is, but there is something about that atmosphere. Something powerful and overwhelming about it that causes some to become intoxicated by it while others silently resist it. But at any rate, what separated this Otakon from the others was that this was the first year that I could recall where it was smoothly run. I couldn’t recall a single
incident that occurred where something went awry. Well, that’s not exactly true.
There was the great flood of 2017 in the art room that occurred and no, there was no Moses involved to part it. What I mean is that one unlucky stall in the back corner of the room had the misfortune of having a stream of water constantly fall from the convention
ceiling due to a fierce passing storm. It was one of those “holy crap” moments but since
no crap was involved, it was more like “holy piss”. Except it wasn’t. It didn’t occur in
a church so it wasn’t holy. But someone felt like taking a leak on poor artist table. But I digress.
So anyways! Despite that little mishap, the whole convention on day one felt like there was enough room to accommodate everyone. That is until the second day came to pass. Sure enough, day two confirmed my worst fears: That it was a trap. As is traditional for Saturday, being that one day and three day pass holders mingle, it truly felt like the true experience finally hit home. The massive pile of bodies and odors meshing in an unholy union of bliss and agony. And yet there was still plenty of room to move, plenty of workshops to experience, and plenty of viewings to be had.
Speaking of viewings, my crew and I had the pleasure of checking out the last two of the
three live action movies of Rurouni Kenshin. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
To prove this point further, Sanosuke proved to be the crowd favorite in those films. Kudos to the actor who portrayed him. I had a pleasure of making the acquaintance
of a gentleman who informed me of all of his bad movie habits. I was a little concerned
but completely understanding of his plight. After all, a good movie draws you in and if you are drawn in, you tend to react both emotionally, verbally, and possibly physically. The excitable gentleman treated me and the audience to two of the three things during the showing of the second film. Boy, he should’ve been a stand-up comedian!
Moving onwards, we find ourselves at one of a few panels my crew attended. We did attend “Sake 101” and learned a thing or two about the sake making process (or how to be discerning alcoholics). But I forget! Anyways, back to the panel I wanted to discuss. To put it succinctly, it was called “subtitles gone wrong”. Now I will give you a moment to think about the possible worst subtitles you may of either had the pleasure or misfortune to experience.
Got one? Good! Hold onto that and compare it with what is coming in a paragraph’s time.
I will wager that mine is funnier than yours. Unless you attended the panel. I am
intentionally disqualifying the one about the boy “pleasuring himself with a fish” as that
is inherently wrong on so many levels that it counts as cheating in my book.
Anyways, the panel suffered the same mesh of bodies and smells as the second day of the con because the popularity of this panel obviously spread like wildfire. And I could see why. It got off to a bit of a standard introduction before the speaker produced the goods of some classic screenshots. But to cut my rant short, thanks to that panel, I will no longer be able to look at police people the same way again. Case in point in the following subtitle that was shown to us:
“This is the police! Come out with your pants down!”
But the craziness extends further than that. It goes as far as lazy translations
or translators that double their own work. Case in point again:
(Translator note: This is a cow and it says MOO.)”
Needless to say, I have to give a shoutout to my homie at the workshop to whom I had the pleasure of meeting during the clay modelling class held at the convention. I apologize about my antics and it was fun getting to hang out with you in the class. For those of you who don’t know, I was a misnomer…well…more like a miscasting. I am a writer cast into an art based class. You can do the math from this. What I mean is that we had to make mushrooms from clay. In the end, I made one that looked like I was trippin’ on ‘shrooms as I was making it. Ultimately, it was a true horror show. Amy, however, made art and had enough clay to make a little Charlie Brown ghost. But that was when she pointed out others in the class were making more than just the mushrooms we were making. At which point, I had realized that I was outclassed and I joked that they were just showing off. Everyone laughed, of course but I have to give kudos to the girl behind us, who just happen to have the most awesome Cthulu necklace.
But anyways, we had to dry off the glue on our mushrooms by letting them sit for a while. A rather monotonous process, to say the least. Looking for ideas, I immediately looked over to my right and observed that my bro in law held his up like a pendulum and proceeded to swing it in a slow small circle. Knowing a good idea when I see one, I did the same. But it wasn’t long before I felt that this process would take too long and it was going on close to 11 PM at the time. So I got frustrated with the process in it’s entirety. By now, I started to swing mushroom like a bola of death, making sure I had a ruler length in between my death ‘shroom and my face when swinging it with a decent speed. As a matter of fact, as fast as I was swinging it, it might as well have been a helicopter blade. But I never took off from my stationary helipad and it got the job done. Nothing bad happened either. Thankfully!
Moving on yet again to day three, which I designate as the “last chance to shop” day. While shopping the dealer’s room, it took us numerous hours just to cover one lane on day one. However, we managed to cover the whole thing by day two. Like the true pioneer explorers that we are. But what makes day three so awesome is that it is just icing on the already delicious cupcake of merchandising bliss. So that is very important for us otaku, gamers, and what have you. It was here I had to decide on a last minute grab bag of random goodies, which is something we have done at every convention. In fact, we have made it a tradition of sorts. You never know what cool, perverted, funny, cute, or strange items come in those mystical boxes that you are not allowed to see in until you pay and open them. But that is just the fun of it. Buy a box at random and pray to whatever deity you believe in that you get something cool or funny. Anyways, I happened to pass by a booth where a cool girl had to deal with a misbehaving sign for the Starbox booth, which happened to be just down the aisle from some dancing T-rexes. I kid you not. If that doesn’t make for an interesting conversation starter, I don’t know what will. Maybe a dancing T-rex that is on fire. I don’t know. But I digress yet again.
Anyways, we had an excellent conversation and eventually I bought a box of awesome goodness that did not disappoint! But at any rate, that was how the whole thing ended. My crew and I walking confidently into the sunset as if a major battle had been won. And that is all there is to it.
So I can say that this convention had been run really well for being in a new location and plenty of cool people around. All in all, a seven out of ten con cosplayers. The only hiccups we had were our phones. That was it and did not detract from the score.
PS: If you were one of the cool people I got a chance to meet, feel free to contact me here.