15 August 2014

otakon 2014 review - with our powers combined

I'm a professional. (Actually, Phi from Virtue's Last Reward is.)

For now, this is Kit.

Since Charles is at In-CON-ceivable this weekend, he'll be adding his part later! Which is sad, because honestly: we worked well this convention. The Kill la Kill panel? Went amazingly. The Spirits, Wheels, and Borrowed Gods panel? Same.

Here's the rundown of Otakon 2014!

  • Kit: italicized entry text
  • Charles: bold entry text

Wednesday: Arrivals

Arrived. This time I was using a rolling suitcase, but I still managed to pull a few muscles. Also, the Mount Vernon area in Baltimore is familiar to me, so I got to play guide with the local transit (hint: the Charm City Circulator buses are free, if you're within range of it).

Thursday: Cats and Memories

Switching hotels for main convention, but before that, went to Tribeca Coffee Roasters (Facebook link). I found them last year and Charles and I explicitly wanted to go back there again, even just once. They make excellent, smooth coffee on premises, a wonderful location, and even make bubble tea.

I wanted to work on panels, but I ended up doing my Baltimore habit: visiting cats. So, by Tribeca is a pet supply shop, which contracts space out to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care city shelter. I loved visiting the shop to say hello to any cats that might be there: so I went while we were across the street, and just so happened that a volunteer from BARCS was cleaning out cages and needed someone to hold a kitten. (There were two kittens and two older cats, so ages varied.) 

I think we were there for an hour or so, just playing with the cats and talking with the volunteer. To whoever was working that day, I salute you. And if you still have money from the convention, dear attendees, try donating to BARCS or your local shelter. My own Bruja was from BARCS, so I have a soft spot with helping them.

The rest of my day? Working on finishing up my Utena and Madoka panel.

I did get my badge later this evening, and unfortunately hit the midst of the problems with badges: even with panelist right to skip the main registration line, I waited for an hour in a special needs line with an escort from Panel Operations. I was more afraid of falling / stumbling than not getting my badge, and it did get sorted: the staff at the booth I was in line for were trying their best to get chairs for those who needed them, and so on. But once I got my badge, everything went smoothly: I got my badge, got my two ribbons, and all was well. 

However, signing a W-9 for tax information purposes (for panelists) was new this year, and I'm glad to have done this Thursday.

Everything was all right.

Friday: Otakon, 1st day

Woke up early and went to Introduction to Researching Manga and Anime. The necessity of having signed that W-9 for panelists came back and hit this panel; due to traffic and registration, one of the panel hosts ran into the panel late, and had to arrange signing everything before they could present - even when they were right there. That being said, it didn't seem to disrupt the panel much. The wall of text slides, however, could have used some improvement; but I'm glad people (and not just me) showed up for this panel!

The Kill la Kill and the Transformation of Japan panel was one of the best ones we've given, easily. We first gave this panel together at Anime Boston, and now with improved presentation skills and better practice, this easily has been either the best version of it, or tied for the best.

Also, bowing to Satsuki Kiryuin's English voice actor previous to our panel? Just made it better. Bow to your Student Council President!


Saturday: Otakon, 2nd day

I gave the Utena and Madoka: Heroism and Journeys: the Movie panel (haha, and need to change the title eventually).

A few people commented that they saw my Utena and Madoka panel last year, which focused on the respective series, and so wanted to go this time. I wanted to make this panel more fitting to the films, and if possible, better than the panel I did last year: my efforts ending Thursday night succeeded. Panel 6 wasn't full, but this was also a 10am Saturday panel; I hope to give it again at a future con, only improved. But then again, I want to improve all of my panels! If you saw this panel, please let me know what you thought!

I also helped with Spirits, Wheels, and Borrowed Gods - a panel on Japanese sacred cultures. But then again, I could speak on Japanese sacred cultures for hours. (And have.)

Sunday: Otakon, final day

Due to technical difficulties with my phone, I actually didn't see any of the convention Sunday. I did however roam the Inner Harbor area, as well as Harbor East, and it was a good way to unwind after a long convention.   

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