End of the Week (Otakon) Explosion #12
It's the end of the week explosion! Holy. Crap. Last week Seacord, Kevin from Comics Alliance and I went to like the second-biggest anime convention in the country – a little something called Otakon 2007. Situated in lovely Baltimore, Maryland this show is...well...almost impossible to describe. We were there as part of a work release program stemming from that little "drinky, drinky, crashy, crashy" incident we had with the school bus at that Arby's near the Baltimore bus station when we were trying to score...uh, we were trying to score points in a scavenger hunt. So anyway, here is our rundown of the madness. We were supposed to take pictures for the site, but we forgot to bring the photographer so we had to use Kevin's camera phone.
Q: The three of us have seen some pretty crazy things in our lives...comic conventions, wrestling matches with exploding rings, exploding cars, the inside of jail cells...but level with me...the stuff that goes on at anime cons really tops everything doesn't it?
Kevin: Otakon melted my face. It took me a few days to adjust to having conversations with people not dressed like Naruto characters. The total amount of weaponry in the hall is amazing. It's like a 10,000 square foot version of Microchip's van from the Punisher comic.
Q: That said, what were your top-three best/worst sights at Otakon this year?
3. The effort and time people put into some wonderful costumes
2. The excitement that was displayed by 14 year-olds for hardcore anime porn
1. Me wishing I had never been born because of 3 and 2
3. Voice actors – I mean really? These people dub over OTHER PEOPLE'S voices – I did that to my sister's wedding video and people didn't want my autograph....
2. Guys dressed as school girls – it's not OK on Halloween so what makes you think it's OK at a convention center?
1. Anime fans sitting on the floor of a filthy convention center like a bunch of hippies.
1: A dude dressed like "King Hippo" from Mike Tyson's Punch Out.
2: Seacord's new additions to his knife collection. I mean, seriously, how many people have you met who "keep running out of throwing knives."
3: A poster for something called an "Octopus Show."
Q: Now we learned something interesting this year - there is a form of anime pornography called "yaoi." For legal reasons, we can't really comment on this subculture that seems to be overtaking tentacle sex and video games where you pee on people as the most popular form of "hentai" on the market. But we can comment on the problem with the name. We were mistaken at first and thought "yaoi" was pronounced "yayo" and so Seacord ran over to the booth...Seacord, fill us in on what was going on there...
Seacord: False advertising that's what. I go over there because of comments like "This will blow your mind." "This is pure yaoi straight from Japan." "You'll be numb for a week." So of course knowing that my next "test" isn't for a week or so I make a beeline for the booth thinking "SWEEET...goodbye sleep, hello Otakon Rockstar goodness 2k7." I sit down and the guy is like get ready to blow your mind, so I take out a couple bucks and ask him how much....and he says we can talk price after I get a "taste". My heart is already racing and then it happens. A tv blinks on and I'm thinking this is bold to make an infomercial for your product but hey this is the future of the business right. No...no no no. What blinks on the screen can only be described as...well, not what I was expecting and nothing that would cause a "buzz" in any way shape or form. It was porn. And you're thinking, what are you complaining about, right? Wrong. Wrong. Let's just say I kept waiting for the girls to come in and not one showed up. That's all I'll say, I'm trying to forget it. If I ever have kids and I find this stuff in their room I'm gonna freak out and yell "Why can't you be normal and smoke pot like other kids?".
Q: After that incident, Kevin was insistent that "yaoi" was short for "Maui Wowy" so he went over to ask what they were selling...Kevin, why don't you explain...
Kevin : I've already explained everything to the Baltimore City Police Department and Seacord's parole officer, who now says he's got his "eye on me".
Q: So, readers are dying to know what's the better anime con purchase: Japanese video games or knives/swords/daggers?
Kevin: Japanese video games! The DS is a magic machine that shoots joy directly into my old withered heart. How is the guy who invented a Gundam/Voltron turn-based strategy game not the President of Planet Earth?
Seacord: I don't speak Japanese but I've had to go to the emergency room 5 times because of the purchase of some pretty kick ass knives and swords. Don't worry "Knifey and Stabby" it's not your fault, I blame the 3 week old meatloaf. I'm gonna defer to Kevin as I'm sure he still has all ten fingers...what, that makes you better than me?
Q: What's the over/under on the number of years before Dateline NBC does an episode of "To Catch A Predator" at one of these shows?
Kevin: 5,042. It's a combination of the number of years before it happens (1) and the number of sex offense convictions (5,041).
Seacord: Ever heard of shooting fish in a barrel? I think Dateline prefers a challenge. Though kids, if someone ever walks up to you looking the better side of 40 and asks you if you have a myspace page, is dressed like Sailor Moon or Rainbow Brite, turn, run, and keep going, cause if you stop I can guarantee that question will come up again. The only time it's OK is if they show you their "Official" undercover anime police badge, then it's safe. That's right, I'm like Jason Bourne, James Bond and Comic Guy from the Simpsons rolled into one. Too good to be true? You be the judge.
Q: I think it's also important to relate the story about the guy who was going around conning kids out of their money. This guy was really preying on the weak and vulnerable at this show. How much money did he get from you Seacord? And Kevin, you gave him your Social Security number?
Kevin: Actually, I gave him Chris "The Manga Guardsman" Sutton's Social Security number. He said it was "strictly for personal use" so I figure everything will be cool.
Seacord: Are we talking about that guy I stabbed? Because after I gave that one dude $20, I stabbed him and took the rest of his money. Wait...we're not posting this part, right?
Q: There was also quite a bit of dancing at this show. I think we watched those kids do the same dance routine for over three hours. Then Kevin bought the DVD with the song on it. How's that working out for you, bro?
Kevin: I pulled a hammy trying to do the splits at the end of the Hare Yukai dance.
Q: Any other last thoughts before we end this one?
Kevin: Never leave breakfast burritos in a comic book store parking lot. They will not be there when you get back. Oh, and if you're taking the over/under on age, the answer is almost always "under".
Seacord: Seriously. We're not putting that stabbing thing up for people to read, right? Oh, and how worthless were the Wonder Twins? Wha
t was the point of them and their stupid monkey anyway? Superman can't handle this monster so I'll just turn into a bucket of water and BAM, the day is saved. They suck. Anyway, can't wait for next year.