Otakon 2008 Report Day 1

Unlike last year, this year I wanted to get an early start. In right as the doors opened, that was the plan and since I was already in the habit of waking up at six for work, getting up for Otakon at eight meant nothing—so I got up at 8:30, an improvement on last year’s ten o’clock wake-up call. I was in the door by nine and how very comforting it is to be in the BCC, Baltimore summers were always terrible. Got my press kit and proceeded to the El Hazard showing. It’s somewhat a tradition of mine to try and catch El Hazard screening at Otakon, then finish up the rest when I get home. I don’t know why I do it, but El Hazard just has that nostalgia aspect about it. Plus, they were showing the dub and El Hazard has such a wonderful dub.

11:00 AM

Off to panels, starting with Hiromi Matsushita and Kazuko Tadano panel. I’m not really a Sailor Moon fan, but it is impossible to deny the impact the Sailor Moon franchise has had on anime in the west, so I figured it would be an interesting panel to listen in on. Unfortunately, not many others shared in my enthusiasm for such an iconic title. The panel was sparsely populated, which is always unfortunate to see, but from the questions asked and rampant cosplay, I could tell they were quite the avid Sailor Moon fans. I wanted to leave early as the panel was quite boring for me as someone who didn’t know the show but ended up staying to the end in hopes of winning some free merchandise.

2:00 PM

Funimation panel, first of the industry panels. With the anime industry looking quite grim lately, Funimation has managed to stay above all the gloom and doom, and even managed to salvage the failings of ADV. As much as I was looking forward to this panel, I ended up having to go back to the hotel to get one of my friends into the room. So very sad…

3:00 PM-ish

I walk in a little late to the Media Blasters panel, but the representative was late so I didn’t miss much. To put it bluntly, I am slightly grumpy for missing the Funimation panel. I don’t know why, but I really enjoy industry panels and especially, the free stuff they give.

The Media Blasters panel was surprisingly more entertaining than I thought it might be. With all the attention focused on Funimation right now, the Media Blaster panel was surprisingly strong at heart, if not in the marketplace. Any signs of them feeling the alleged anime end-days were definitely not present and if anything, the panel was quite entertaining. Like the Funimation panel, I ended up having to leave early as the aforementioned friend got lost in the BCC…Convention virgins…so very sad…

~Paul Tung

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