Last I was at Otakon, as I've told you, Otakon kinda blew. A combination of scheduling mishaps, hotel room drama, and outright bad luck made me one enraged camper for the duration of my stay. Preparing for the con this past week, I was genuinely spooked that something-- perhaps everything-- about Otakon would, for some greater cosmic reason, go terribly wrong. This year, Otakon was the exact reverse. Everything went completely great. Even random chance went great. This is the best time I have ever had at an anime convention, and save another visit from JAM, I highly doubt that anything will ever top it for me.
Honestly, I did very little at the con that wasn't related to either the concert or the autograph session, so don't expect a really detailed look at, uh, anything that wasn't that. These posts are going to be split into days, with a separate post for the concert itself. Thursday counts as a day, but only because so much happened on Friday.
On Thursday, after getting in, we immediately got going to the pre-reg line: not because we wanted to sit on it so ridiculously early, but because we wanted to look at it.
Let me sort this out for you: on Thursday, a lot of people-- including my usual group-- show up to check into their hotel rooms and avoid wasting precious convention time on the Friday lines by picking up their con badge at the convention center. At 5 PM, Otakon opens to quickly process registrations and send people on their way. This goes on until 11PM: unless you actually arrive after 11, you will receive your convention badge after a minimal wait and without fuss. Anyway, a lot of con-goers can't live without arbitrary waits, so they simply line up outside the convention center in the morning. It's completely beyond my understanding, but there it is, and there I was taking pictures of it. Also, some Haruhi dance.
We didn't go back to the con center until minutes before badge pickup closed: rather, we walked around Baltimore, did some touristy shit, got lost, and ate dinner at a pretty good Indian place. As a total aside, there was a Hang Pilot machine at the ESPNZone and I'd never seen one of those before. I took pictures, but I refused to pay the arcade's minimum five-dollar charge for a game card. Daytona was like two bucks! They can fuck off and die! We also killed some time at the nearby Barnes and Noble, where the manga aisle was starting to look (and smell, frankly) just like a real anime convention. When we were done at the restaurant, we realized that we'd gotten it into our heads that pre-reg closed at 11 instead of 10, and that we were very wrong. Desperate taxi calls and a run into the con center against heckling yells and angry staffers followed. If you've seen the Friday line at Otakon, then I think you understand. I'd have done anything to avoid that shit. We got our badges. I got the one with Kimba on it.
After that, we got back to the Renaissance. I wouldn't mention it, except we recieved a very unpleasant surprise from security around 10:30 that night, and I'd like to make a public service announcement for all of you. There was a very loud room diagonally across from us that was drawing complaints from people on the floor: you could hear them any time you were in their immediate area and they didn't let up all weekend, so I'm entirely sure that they were the noise problem. However, it was my buddies and I-- with our TV off and sitting in bed talking at regular conversational volume about anime-- who got a "shoot first, ask questions later" visit from hotel security. They quickly assumed us guilty and got right to the business of grilling the guy who answered the door and threatening to kick the four of us out of the hotel. I realize that people gotta sleep, and I consider people's peace and quiet an inalienable right. However, this is absolutely the wrong way to treat your customers, especially customers who didn't do anything. This was actually followed by a more invasive and threatening visit on Friday night, if you can believe it, complete with a big guy in a uniform staring us down menacingly. So if you go to Otakon next year, do yourself a favor and don't get a room at the Renaissance. We won't, that's for sure.