Otakuthon 2014

Initially I was going to do the three part entry as I usually would do when I attend conventions, but due to the lack of activities and stuff to talk about, I had decided to wait until the end of the weekend. However, looking at the schedule now, it appears I won’t be attending anything major tomorrow and will be just going there to pick up some prints and books (since I JUST realized now that the reason why it was 10$ to buy the books there was because they weren’t counting the taxes! HUGE MONEY SAVER!!!!!)

My decision to go to the Otakuthon for the very first time was completely on the whim. (No seriously, I only booked the ticket two weeks ago) For one I was terribly bored, and ever since missing my chance to get a Fennekin plushie in New York’s Nintendo World store (the giant one at that), I’ve been craving to get one and wanted to see if I had the chance to at the local convention. But the real reasons that had motivated me to go in the first place was not for the sake of a Fennekin plushie, but because there were some SUPER AWESOME GUESTS that is SO REFRESHING compared to Anime North’s repetitive guests. (No seriously, I have been waiting for these guests for a very long time!)

So here is the guest list~

Nobuo Uematsu

I am SO BUMMED OUT that I missed out on the opportunity to have his autograph. I had arrived an hour before the opening for the session and I still failed to get the chance to because they ran out of time. There were literally, five people in front of me and I wanted to cry when I announced, “that’s it. Time to leave.” I also regret not knowing about him being at the Otakuthon earlier because he was performing there as well, and when you book two weeks before the con, OBVIOUSLY the tickets are going to be WAY SOLD OUT by then. UGHHHH, SO CLOSE YET SO FAR!!!!!!!! TT____TT
At least the guy hauling the electric piano around while playing Final Fantasy music got the signature despite the fact were were getting kicked out int he process (he was a few people behind me). Thank god for that because he was freaking good. He also had the glorious honor and opportunity to play a quick piece in front of Nobuo Uematsu.

At least I got a picture.
Even if it’s a blurry one. TT v TT;;; Without the flash, my camera has been stupid.

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Yui Ishikawa

I missed her autograph session this morning because I left late TT___TT the woes of living far away, and the Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning movie screening was my top priority… While she is supposed to have another autograph session tomorrow morning, I have heard from others that it might no longer be the case, so again, another opportunity may have very well slipped from my fingers. Supposedly her schedule changed.

Masayuki Ozaki

*FUN FACT: This is the first time he have ever attended a convention in CANADA!!!!

I for one was ecstatic to FINALLY get Masayuki Ozaki’s autograph- especially when I can’t remember whether I had an opportunity or not at Anime Boston when he was there. The only thing I had on me was my Tiger & Bunny DVD P1, but earlier during the Tiger & Bunny: new Beginning Screening Panel, he had given those who have showed up a gift of a Tiger & Bunny postcard! <3 Since he wasn’t sure where to sign on the DVD the cover, I had him sign it on the back of the postcard he had given earlier. *SOBS* THANK YOU!!!!!!! = v = He drew Tiger & Bunny onto it like he had with those with Haro (Gundam mascot) which was freaking adorable. Also got a picture with him, but again my camera was stupid so it didn’t turn out that great. Nevertheless, a picture is a picture. :3

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Neko

Supposedly (so I have been hearing from several people): The guy got lost in the city and as result he missed his autograph session. Poor guy, lost in Montreal. It is very French downtown, so asking for directions in English can put you in a pinch sometimes.

Kaname☆

If was a pleasure to have even had the opportunity to see this lovely person from afar. This is the first time I’ve met and seen such a renowned cosplayer in person, and my goodness, he pulled off Eren’s cosplay flawlessly. He had a MASSIVE line-up of over two hundred people, and even went overtime into Benyamin Nuss’s session which was supposed to go on at the same time as Masayuki Ozaki. It was quite a fun moment to see fans break down in tears of joy and excitement just of being able to meet him. Actually that’s the first time I have ever seen people’s whole body trembling in excitement that they can’t even hold their phone steady to take a picture. Since there were still at least a hundred people in line to get his autograph despite running overtime, they put those with the one-day pass as priority to get their last minute autograph and the others who have the weekend pass to come back tomorrow since Kaname☆ will be having another autograph session.

And then you have the rest of the guests…

BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT (featuring Midori-chan)
Spike Spencer
Shelley Calene-Black
Brett Weaver
Benyamin Nuss
Raj Ramayya
Arnie Roth

As for activities, interestingly enough: while my USUAL default activity is doing photography, that was not the case this time round. You see the Otakuthon is mostly indoors, inside a convention center that has pretty narrow halls for THOUSANDS of people (average number of attendees is usually only between 12 000 and 14 000, (the numbers have been gradually increasing over the years). Still for that many people, the convention is incredibly crowded and makes it very difficult to take pictures, not to mention- depending on where you are int he building, the lighting can be iffy. But I will say at the very least, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is quite a beautiful convention center. Tedious to get around, but definitely visually appealing. So with Photography out the window by default, I put my focus on the Q&A, screening and industry panels connected to the guests as well as the autograph sessions (the latter is actually something that have never been on my priority list before). I missed  Nobuo Uematsu’s Q&A session and a few autograph sessions, but there was one thing that I made sure that I absolutely succeeded in doing: attending EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of Masayuki Ozaki’s panels. He is actually hosting three, the third one will be tomorrow.

The first was Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning + Behind the Scenes Discussion: after running late and arriving just at the nick of time (according to the schedule that is), the situation unfolded of causing delay of 1 hour due to technical difficulties with the microphones. So when it was supposed to start at 10AM, it only started at 11AM- but I suppose it worked out for the better since more people showed up around then (sadly, only a dozen or less showed up, so the place was pretty empty). I am sad that we didn’t get to hear the discussion about the behind the scenes action, but given how crappy the microphone was and how I basically couldn’t hear a word from the interpreter, it wouldn’t have worked out for me anyways. *STARES AT RECORDING* Not even my phone picked it up… Although only only a few showed up, it did give us the opportunity to gather those who have cosplayed as Tiger & Bunny characters to get a picture with him, so I asked if I could have everyone together!

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The second event was the SUNRISE Industry Panel. I already knew in advance that I was going to enjoy this one since I attended the same thing at Anime Boston. If you’re a SUNRISE fan, I do encourage fans to go because it is a fun experience despite it mainly revolving around the recent and upcoming titles. Also the entire room was a Love Live! fanclub, when he featured that the room cheered at the top of their lungs- at the same level of the Gundams. Ahahaha!

Here’s a few tidbits and fun facts that might interest you:

– They know it has been a very long time, but they promise the final two episodes of Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito (Code Geass: Akito the Exiled) will be VERY epic and special. So please look forward to it.

GUNDAM Reconguista G (coming out this Fall 2014) has been worked on for 4 years!

*Screenings of episode 1 – 3 starts from August 23rd 2014 in Japan, it will officially premiere in October 2014.

Gundam The Origins I: Blue-Eyed Casval will be coming out Spring 2015

(HOT DAMN I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ONE. Except I am seriously going to have to suck up the CG pet peeve because they go even further with it and I am so sorry SUNRISE, but I can’t help but cringe. Baby steps… Baby steps… Nevertheless, it LOOKS AWESOME.)

Global Gundam Challenge

This is an event for Gundam’s 35th Anniversary! The goal is to make an 18m Gundam MOVE by collecting ideas and plans from around the world. They plan to have the idea submission plans for two sections: Real Entertainment Section, and Virtual Entertainment Section. Deadline for the primary applications is February 27, 2015
For further information, please visit: gundam-challenge.com

The third event was the autograph session as I have already mentioned in the above. Tomorrow he is expected to be hosting the final panel which will be: SUNRISE: Producing Anime in Japan. I am not entirely sure whether the same contents we have seen in the Industry panel will be used, but I will go either way just to find out. The panel will start at 11AM (*SOBS* Same time as Yu Ishikawa’s final autograph session- IF IT IS STILL ON THAT IS.)

I did have plans to attend the FUNIMATION Industry Panel (from 1PM – 2PM), but I am not entirely sure whether they will be sharing any new information regarding the license titles, so I might end up skipping that one. I will have to see if I am up to it or not.

As whole, considering that I have chosen to attend Otakuthon for the first time, I would say it’s not that bad, but it’s not the greatest either. I will say this much though: Otakuthon has come a VERY long way as it was organized and founded by Otaku Anime of Concordia University, and started off there before gradually moving to larger venues. There are definitely rooms for improvements however. My biggest pet-peeve was dealing with the chaos on the the second floor while searching for the right line to be in. Yesterday, several people and I wasted over and hour standing in the wrong line when I was trying to get in line for the Dealer Room when in fact, it turned out that I was standing in line for the Panels that goes upstairs to the 5th Floor (mind you when I tell you 2nd to 5th floor, it’s not literal, they just call it that for whatever reason). It was only until an HOUR LATER that the volunteer staff members shows up to tell people what line they are in. Okay seriously, this is an EASY FIX, why it hasn’t clicked to anyone yet- I HAVE NO IDEA, but works at EVERY OTHER CONVENTION I have been to. The answer is to: PUT UP SIGNS AND GIVE PEOPLE SIGNS. At Anime North they have this genius idea where the last person in line holds the sign saying so, this enables the ability of successful communication of passing the message to people as they step in line of WHICH LINE they are stepping to. And at every other convention, there’s a SIGN of where the entrance of the dealer room is and where the bloody is supposed to be. At the Otakuthon, it was a hot mess. While the problem was solved on Saturday (today, obviously because everything opens early and at the same time) it can still reassure people that they are not in the wrong line by having signs up (I mean seriously, even those who have been going to this con for YEARS didn’t have a clue what was going on).

To me, because I came on the whim I really had nothing to lose, mainly because I had no expectations whatsoever, especially knowing I was coming to a smaller con (that so happened to have epic guests). However unless there are guests I am interested in, I know won’t be coming back anytime soon. I definitely prefer being in a larger and more spacious environment as well as would like more variety when it comes to hunting through the dealer room (though there were some pretty good deals if I say so myself- no special anime prices though… Boo…). The artist alley and the dealer room are meshed together as one, so some artists can be at the other side of the room or smacked in the middle right next to the merchandise stalls. The dealer-room is tiny, but it is easy to get lost in and lose track of which stall or artist you want to get back to because it is kind of like a maze with so many artists squeezed inside. I recommend this convention for first timers because it’s not too overwhelming and it does give you a bit of a taste of what conventions are like. If you want something bigger and especially want to involved in photoshoots or photography somewhere in Canada, Anime North is your best bet. As per usual, I always recommend that you review what each convention is offering and whether whatever events or guests they have suits your interests.

For now, this will be the one and only entry I will be writing for this convention. Tomorrow if I have anything I would like to add, it will be added onto this post.

Below you can find and enjoy the pictures I have taken! If you plan to repost anywhere, Please credit by linking back to the entry/this blog. NO HOT-LINKING!!!!

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

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2 Responses

  1. Kurotsuki says:

    Sorry to hear that you missed the first autograph session. Hopefully you didn’t miss out on the second one. The key to success unfortunately is camping for those.
    As for Neko, he wasn’t actually lost, he was visiting the city because bad scheduling happened and he never knew he had an autograph session until we told him on twitter lol.
    and lol Love Live! fanclub at the Ozaki panel, if you stayed until the Q&A, the guy asking him about idolm@ster and getting boo’ed off by Livers was me w.

    Other than that, this was the best Otakuthon I ever attended, they’ve really come and long way and grown a lot. Of course this causes some other growing pain such as crowd control, but I’m confident that they will improve those for next year.

    • Eva says:

      Yeah I missed the second session unfortunately due to not being able to make it on time and conflicting schedules. After missing out on Nobuo Uematsu’s autograph session I decided to leave the Sunrise Q&A early (stayed for the first three questions though) so claim a spot in line (which turned out to be not that long, but hey that allowed Masayuki Ozaki to have time to draw as well! XD).

      Like the game telephone, when news are passed around vocally, the information can get exaggerated or twisted as it goes on. Nevertheless it was funny. Glad to hear that Neko wasn’t actually lost, but it sucks for both him and his fans to have missed that session.

      It’s good to hear that this was one of the stronger years, but there are definitely room for improvement. One of the things I didn’t mention on the post as regarding the third day was once again, in the same room as the Tiger & Bunny The Beginning screening, there were problems. Everyone was locked out of the room and then the projector in the back wasn’t ready so the whole thing was delayed 30 minutes. Frankly speaking I found it very frustrating when I see volunteers who may have been responsible for these duties just leisurely walking about while we have some important guests who had taken the time to travel very far and come to the convention. I don’t know if this is a common problem, but I definitely think there’s communication and organization and potentially time management that needs to be worked on in the volunteer program.

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