It’s been a rough week so I’m dredging the bottom of the barrel, so better late than never, right? Otokan 2014, my last hurrah and anime convention before leaving to teach in Mongolia. For the uninitiated (and as an anime fan how can you not be), Otokan is a large (35,000 people) convention, for all things Japanese animation with a smattering of cartoons and science fiction. Otokan is located in the Baltimore Inner Harbor at the convention center and the attached Hilton. This is my fourth year attending Otokan and it was fantastic as always. I spent three days geeking out over all things anime. I also met up with TPS and his buddy from the Gunslinger Girl Forum. To start with, I hit up a number of panels about all things anime from the funny to the more intellectual.
Ghibli in Love– an examination of love stories in Studio Ghibli films. I highly recommend this panel for any Studio Ghibili fan I rate it 5 out of 5.
New anime for old fans– no explanation needed for this one; I give it a 4 out of 5.
Kaiju or how I learned to stop worrying and cancel the apocalypse– I can’t really rate this one, as I only caught the last few minutes but it looked like a lot of fun.
A Certain Magical Index Season 2 English dub premier– Awesome, there I said it.
Anime Rest Stop- Mechapocylpse– 4 out of 5 for slight pacing issues in my opinion.
Friday and Saturday night fan parodies– I didn’t see all of them but the ones I did were extremely funny.
Castlevania a bloodstained perspective– a look back on the good the bad and the ugly of almost 30 years of Castlevania history, 3 out of 5
Anime according to AMVs– 5 out of 5
Intro to fanfiction– 2.5 out of 5
World War II in anime– probably one of the best, if not the best, panel I attended out of the whole convention; 5 out of 5.
Bad anime bad– pretty much MST3000 for anime and hilarious; 4 out of 5.
Anime rest stop- a historical look at diversity in anime– Extremely informative and humorous. The panelists covered everything and anything regarding the topic with plenty of humor and interesting facts; 5 out of 5.
When Moe goes bad- an explanation and roasting of all things Moe. An excellent romp on one of the more disturbing aspects of current anime; 4 out of 5.
Dubs that time forgot– 2.5 out of 5
The path of Gundam- The panelist really knew his stuff but was not skilled at presenting the information, but I did get a few ideas for future Anime Science 101 posts; 2 out of 5.
Numerous photoshoots– I saw a large number of extremely well done cosplay.
Gundam, but sadly no Gundam Seed
Final Fantasy, even if I didn’t recognize the Rachel from FFVI
And surprisingly Heart Catch Pretty Cure, hey sooner or later monsters get punched in the face.
Oh, and of course, my own panel on Anime Biology. I was completely stunned at the start. I really didn’t expect to have a full room (200 people). The panel went well, and the audience was great. I think everyone learned something, and had a good time. Oh, and a thanks to my new buddies from Zenkaikon who came to see my panel.
Well, that’s about everything from Otokan that needs to be said and can be said in a single post. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, I am ready for Mongolia. I am currently chomping at the bit to meet my new students. You think I might have an anime fan or two? (FYI- It turns out I have more than just a few)