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Otakon suck?
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M / Maryland, USA
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Posted 8/14/14 , edited 8/14/14
I went to Otakon for the second time. It had the same amount of programming as the 2000 person Balticon, but with 15 times the people. Although the dealer room and the cosplay were awesome, I hardly had a chance to go to anything decent and left disappointed. All the good stuff was over capacity hours before. Most people were camped out of the floor most of the weekend..

I dont think ill go back. This thing has too many people compared to what is offered. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Are there smaller anime cons on the east coast that might be a better experience?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 8/14/14
I never went to Otakon and will like to go...someday.
jfd492 
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24 / M / NYC
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Posted 8/14/14 , edited 12/29/14
This was the first time there. My only problem was that I went by myself. I didn't know anybody, so it was pretty lonely. I should've tried talking to people and making friends. Also, I didn't get there early enough for a lot of the morning panels I wanted to see. Other that, I enjoyed it.
I loved the cosplay, and the dealer's room and game room were pretty cool too. Smaller than what I was used to from NYCC though
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M / Maryland
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Posted 8/14/14
Yeah there were definitely long lines for some of those panels but still had fun.

There is Anime USA in Oct. in DC. Haven't been so I can't say if it'll be a better experience or not. Thinking of going this year though.
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21 / M / Honnōji Academy
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Posted 8/14/14 , edited 12/29/14
I also just got back from my second Otakon, and I can admit to having a similar experience.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but the running joke currently for this past Otakon is nicknaming it "Linecon 2014". While waiting in line for registration we literally had people screaming that were already registered, "LINECON 2014!" and laughing then walking back into the Con. A downside and a plus to Otakon is the number of people. While it's cool to be around that many humans in one location, It is gets very disorganized at times, and while it wasn't as bad as 2013, I had some bad moments.

For instance, waiting in line for about an hour near the front where the panel was supposed to begin, only to find out that the "real" line started a few feet away from you and that it got cut off.

Most of my experience was waiting in lines, but there were some worthwhile moments.

For instance, probably the best part of my Otakon 2014 visit was getting Autographs from the Kill La Kill English cast.
The wait for the line was INSANE and it took about 3 hours, and we could only get one thing signed, but it was worth taking pictures of the cast, having them say hello to you in person, and seeing Lady Satsuki again..

Another thing that you must see at Otakon is the Dealers room. While most of the stuff around is pricey and not hard to find, you can find many exclusive items that cannot be purchased in the United States, and I myself found a rare gem that I will cherish forever.

I would encourage anyone within relative proximity to Maryland to attend, at least once if you truly enjoy Anime culture.
While it may be disappointing to miss out on panels, or be stuck in lines, Otakon provides a truly unique and personal experience for those of us that are the "Otaku generation" that you just can't get at any other con. When you are waiting in those lines you can meet truly interesting specimens of humanity that come out of their shell for 3 days to embrace society, and talking to them is an experience all in itself!

Another thing special about Otakon is the sheer amount of Cosplay. The first time I attended I was awestruck by it. There are so many different types of people and so many different things to look at that you can't see anywhere else. The atmosphere that's created by all the happy Otaku's is almost contagious. (But there is a stench to many of the cosplayers that lingers ...)

I would strongly recommend to bring friends along and not go by yourself to Otakon, it makes the experience 10x better. Unless you are really good at making friends off the spot, most of the people walking around are not friendly to the point where they will carry a conversation and tend to be on the quiet side, and the ones that do are usually super creepy. (This is an opinion)

I would also recommend to be 18 or older when you attend to the Convention to get the best experience. Most of the fun panels happen at night, and while you can be in the con if you are younger, they won't let you in to any of the good panels.

Another way to miss out on some fun is to dress like a normal human. I myself have not been in cosplay both years I have been there, and this makes you literally invisible to anyone that is not a dealer or your buddies. Otakon is unique to be a convention with such a huge emphasis on the cosplayers, and it really takes a chunk out of your experience if you don't join in on that fun. Many of the panels are for photoshoots of anime series, so if your not cosplaying, there's even less to do.

My first year I attended I had a downright horrible time, and this year I tried to do as much as I could to avoid that. While I too missed out on many cool panels due to the massive lines and cutoffs, I can truly say I had a fun time this year. Remember, what makes Otakon special is it is not a con created for the companies, but rather one created for Otaku's by the Otaku's. People are the emphasis at the convention and if you don't like people then I would recommend you don't attend!


I'm sorry you don't want to return, but good luck on your con search!
I will be returning for a 3rd year, hopefully, and would love to see some of you become Otakon Newbies next year!
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Posted 8/15/14 , edited 8/15/14
If you like smaller conventions, I suggest AnimeUSA and Katsucon! Katsucon is more of a cosplayer-directed convention, but you can still have fun as a normal attendee. And of course, I have to put in my plug for my old high school's yearly anime convention, Otakufest.

As for Otakon...the shining light is the move to DC in 2017. The new venue Washington Convention Center is a modern facility and actually has room for everyone. I'm sorry to hear Otakon didn't fulfill your expectations this year but try again in 2017? Maybe things will be better then. :>
jfd492 
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24 / M / NYC
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Posted 8/15/14


well said. i definitely agree with what you're saying.
but i thought the people were nice. i was surprised every time i bumped into someone, or someone bumped into me they apologized!
and if you guys think the crowds and lines were bad at otakon, wait until you see nycc

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21 / M / Honnōji Academy
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Posted 8/15/14 , edited 8/15/14

jfd492 wrote:



well said. i definitely agree with what you're saying.
but i thought the people were nice. i was surprised every time i bumped into someone, or someone bumped into me they apologized!
and if you guys think the crowds and lines were bad at otakon, wait until you see nycc



Haha, I wouldn't say they weren't nice, but the majority of people I met were just not the outgoing type. If I may ask, what is this New York City convention?
jfd492 
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24 / M / NYC
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Posted 8/15/14

IraGamagori wrote:


jfd492 wrote:



well said. i definitely agree with what you're saying.
but i thought the people were nice. i was surprised every time i bumped into someone, or someone bumped into me they apologized!
and if you guys think the crowds and lines were bad at otakon, wait until you see nycc



Haha, I wouldn't say they weren't nice, but the majority of people I met were just not the outgoing type. If I may ask, what is this New York City convention?


you haven't heard of it? it's like san diego comic con, but in NY. it's not just for anime though, it's video games, comics, shows etc. mostly everything nerdy/geeky.
http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/About/NYCC-Fan-FAQs/
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21 / M / Honnōji Academy
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Posted 8/15/14

jfd492 wrote:


IraGamagori wrote:


jfd492 wrote:



well said. i definitely agree with what you're saying.
but i thought the people were nice. i was surprised every time i bumped into someone, or someone bumped into me they apologized!
and if you guys think the crowds and lines were bad at otakon, wait until you see nycc



Haha, I wouldn't say they weren't nice, but the majority of people I met were just not the outgoing type. If I may ask, what is this New York City convention?


you haven't heard of it? it's like san diego comic con, but in NY. it's not just for anime though, it's video games, comics, shows etc. mostly everything nerdy/geeky.
http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/About/NYCC-Fan-FAQs/


OH! Yes, I have heard of Comic con... In fact I was just checking the site earlier today to get a one day pass, but It seems they are sold out except for Thursday? When you mentioned something in New York City, I assumed it was another Anime convention. My apologies!
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33 / M / Delaware
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Posted 8/15/14
Things have been going down hill for some years how. If you're thinking about going, don't. Save your money. Next year is their last year in Baltimore so its going to be worse. It's bad management, mis-communication, stale guests, long lines and horrible guests.
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22 / F / England
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Posted 8/18/14
I'm really sad to hear this, I've wanted to go to a big US convention for a long time now, and had really set my sights on Otakon 2015! I think I'm still going to go for it (I've not saved up this much money for nothing!!), I'm just going to hope for the best, and keep thinking "No matter what, it can't be as disastrous as London MCM", haha.
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21 / M / Honnōji Academy
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Posted 8/18/14
I would highly recommend visiting, It's definitely worth going to if you haven't yet, decide for yourself if you like it or not! If you are really from England, I suppose that would be a long trek to America, but I have met people at Otakon that have traveled as far as Japan to visit.
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F / Texas
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Posted 8/21/14
I haven't been to Otakon since 2009, but I believe that year they were somewhere around the 27-28k people. While yes it was a lot of people, it was a nice large area and I liked that I never felt bored. I've been to conventions where I get everything done within the first day and a half and just kinda roam the last day and half, and I don't really like that. Even if there is a line for the dealers room, or a panel, or something like that, I kinda like that, it helps build the anticipation of whatever you're waiting for ... plus I think it beats standing around not knowing what to do.

Granted, like I said, I haven't been since 2009, that was 5 years ago, I'm sure it's considerably larger now, so I dk how I'd feel about it now.
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53 / F
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Posted 9/15/14
I heard by rumor Otakon be moving to Washington D.C. 2016.
things have got so expensive in the inner harbor in Baltimore that I rented a hotel near BWI and rode the Light Rail into downtown Baltimore
across from the convention center. I made the mistake of not going to the 100 café this year. Hopefully I shall return there next year and not spend too much on lunch like I did this past august of this year.
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