[ return : true ]

convention of otaku generation

8/4-6/00 | baltimore

otakon 2000 . 3 days devoted to otakunization. is that a word? does it matter? do i remember?


let me begin with this :

otakon was fun. way, way, way too much fun for my poor journalistic integrity to cope with. the prospect of seeing karekano, with subtitles, shot my plans for any sort of consistent coverage to hell.

however, i can honestly report, having sat in it way too long, that otakon had a nice video room 1. ^_^

the interesting thing there, the thing that most affected the quality of my journalistic output, was that they showed complete series. not ax-style, 'show the first tape of every series released in the u.s. in the past year', nor fanime-style, 'we like this, so we're showing it', but quite definitely otakon-style, 'we're going to show all of what we like, as long as it's only a year old'.

i exaggerate, of course, but it certainly seemed that way.

whether or not that's a good way of doing things is difficult to say. i liked it a lot, but the people i was travelling with found it difficult to see anime that they liked, since the con didn't offer a tremendous variety of series, and seemed even more limited in terms of genre.

in terms of con organization, i was floored. these people put on one of the most rational cons i have ever seen. things ran on time. program changes, while frequent, were posted and distributed efficiently. the program and pocket guide were both beautifully designed and easy-to-follow, with a lot of useful information. the ian kim and estrigious mini-comics were both excellent omake.

i liked the people i met there. not just that they were otaku, but that they cared about what they were doing and knew why they were otaku. not everyone, but all the people who stand out in my memory. going to otakon reminded me that each con has its unique personality. otakon's is one of the most effective i've ever seen.

the dealer's room was pretty good. i didn't spend much time in it, since i'm not a merchandising otaku, but there was a lot of interesting stuff. it was smaller than AX's, and i think the prices were a bit higher, but it may have been more manageable as well. certainly it didn't have to deal with what AX's this year had to.

i only saw a bit of niea 7. it looks seriously, life-threateningly stylish, but of course you knew that. it is from abe and ueda, after all. apart from that, i managed to miss those two almost completely, and i feel terrible about it. (one of my fondest memories of the con, though, is of the guy standing next to me in line saying of abe, 'wow, he really looks like a character designer!)

did manage to see the boa concert, and attend most of their panel. they put on a good show, even though they didn't start out very enthusiastic. it seemed to me that they got used to the crowd, caught on that we liked them, and played more forcefully as the concert went on. maybe that's just how i see it.

the cyber team akihabara movie was funny, even though i'd seen it before. i had never seen it directly after watching hiroaki sakurai, the director, give a speech and play the ukelele. that made a difference, somehow.

(even though i feel guilty about it, thanks for the autograph, sakurai-san!)

special mention for a movie i watched there, bio-zombie. to quote the pocket program guide : '. . . trapped in one of HK's maze-like mini-malls as it is quickly being taken over by zombies created by a chemical weapon in the form of a soft drink. . . The performances are witty and just shy of parody, the script unpredictable and clever, with some great visual gags, playful gore, and dark comedy.'

after that movie, i talked with a couple of people who delighted in listing even worse movies, each topping the other. it was truly sick. . . but that was okay. really.

i did my best to walk around and meet people, and when the convention was over, i remembered. . .

it's fun to be an otaku.


one thing i missed was the otakon song. . .

when i got back, i heard it, and my reaction was, 'what in the name of bob is this?!?'

here's the page with the lyrics :

Giant sized robots with wristwatch controllers,
Tentacled monsters that gobble up soldiers,
Demons and other dimensional beings...
These are a few of those Anime Things.

Bosoms that jiggle and please all the hentai,
Transforming Mecha with missiles a-plen-tai,
Bloodbaths and ex-plosions all in a ring,
These are a few of those Anime Things.

When the subs end
When the dubs start
When I'm feeling bored...
I think of a few of those Anime Things
And rent all I can... a-fford!

Wizards and priestesses bent on world conquest,
Secret Kung-fu schools that think their technique's best,
Evil conglomerates spread suffering,
These are a few of those Anime Things.

Shojo with eyeballs as big as a filly's,
Ninja with weapons that look rather silly,
Huge metal Mecha with cute little wings,
These are a few of those Anime things!

When the subs end
When the dubs start
When I'm feeling bored...
I think of a few of those Anime Things
And rent all I can... a-fford!

Bold ultimatums from Villains so Evil,
Innocent victims who wiggle like weasles,
Unstable Death Rays that lay waste to towns,
These are a few of those Anime Downs.

Fearless assassins who show no emotion,
Rampaging demons who cause much commotion,
Earth Defence Forces who topple like pins,
These are a few of my Anime Sins!

When the dress rips,
When the nose bleeds,
When the sparkles fly,
I simply re-wind my Dragon Pink tape
'Cause I am a mad Hen-tai!