Our con report for Otakon’s 1-day online convention. Then we discuss Brand New Animal, and some of the new shows of the summer: Gibiate, Deca-Dence, and God of High School. Plus, a check-in about Sign Yesterday for Me, Millionaire Detective, and Appare-Ranman!
There is never enough time in the day at Otakon. I decided to focus a little more on panels this year since I did not have Kate to back me up. I figured that if I concentrated a little less on guests and events I would go to more panels. What ended up happening was thanks to the Maid Cafe, Otabrew, and the general trials and tribulations of life I ended up at about as many panels as I normally attend at Otakon. Now I go to more panels than most people but I figured I would attend so many more panels this year and life decided to punish me for being cocky. Hopefully, I still give everyone a good overview of the old person otaku panels that were at this years Otakon.
I think I figured it out. Any time a convention moves you sort of have to learn the rhythms of the new venue. You spend a bit of time just learning the best places to eat, where the various panel rooms are, which entrances to use and when, plus various shortcuts, tricks, and conveniences. If you remember the labyrinth that was Baltimore Convention Center it was infamous for getting newbies lost and turned around whenever they arrived for their freshman Otakon. Also, it was easy to underestimate how long it could take to get anywhere thanks to some atrocious bottlenecks. By the final Otakon in Baltimore, I could navigate that place like the back on my hand but it took some hard knocks to get that experience.
In 2017 the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Washington D.C. were all new to me. By the end of the convention, I had a decent lay of the land but everything felt a bit awkward. In 2018 I had some experience under my belt so I had a general idea of what I was doing but I still did things utterly inefficiently. I could picture the two halves of the convention center in my head much clearer but I was still a bit ungraceful. This year I really felt like I had a good understanding of where everything was. I zipped around the convention center quite freely and even had a decent grasp of the area around the convention center.
I feel like Otakon is in that same situation this year. They have really begun to figure out the layout and how to use it effectively. I definitely got the feeling that Otakon had a better understanding of how to use the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and run a convention inside it. They were still some hiccups but overall it felt more like the convention had always been here as opposed to moving here three years ago.