Otakon 2009: Part 2

by Linda Yau
Photographs by Linda Yau etc.

Saturday: July 18

After the excitement of Friday, I wanted to attend MELL’s press conference, but because of circumstances was not able to. Instead I waited for Naomi Tamura’s autograph session. Caught some pictures of interesting cosplays. Slight changes to Otakon this year was that there weren’t any express tickets made available to fans, so people had to wait on lines irregardless.

I did get Tamura’s autograph, and then I walked into the Dealer’s Room. There I greeted and thanked Yamila Abraham of Yaoi Press for their support for JLHLS. Then I made my way to the line to wait for Kanon Wakeshima’s concert. Now the concert was schedule for the afternoon, and there was already a very long line of fans waiting for her. Now as press, I didn’t have to wait on the fan line, since there was a press section, but getting into the feeling of the convention was something I found interesting. Lines are something to be pretty patient at. I actually played a couple of rounds of cards with other people on the line.

The lines were seated slightly earlier than schedule, and convention goers listened to an open act by geist, which was a local American visual kei band. They sang in Japanese and English, and unfortunately I couldn’t hear much of their lyrics, save for the last song. So that took some time, and then the concert for Kanon Wakeshima began. I was surprised at how cute, and doll like the singer was. I also noted in twitter, that I thought that the fashion for MELL and Kanon were similar- both ballroom Marie Antionette style gowns, with fans as props. Check out International Wota’s coverage on what happened during the concert.

Photo by Dave Wujcik/Copyright 2009 by Otakorp Inc.

This was the set list that Kanon Wakeshima sang during her concert:

Still Doll
Suna No Oshiro
Kuroi Torikago
Shinku No Fatarythm
L’spoir ~ Mahou No Akai Ito
Ennui Kibun!
Skip turn step

On the side there were two large televisions that on occasion showed anime footage of Vampire Knight. I believe that Kanon will be off for two more concerts on the West coast in the upcoming period.

I made my way after Saturday’s events with friends for dinner, and then made it back to the convention center to try and go to an 18+ panel, but because of the amount of people waiting on the line, did not go. My other friends attended the rave, while I went to call in the night.

Sunday: July 19

The last day of the con came, and while there was not as much events to attend, as con goers leave for the day. It was surprising, but Sunday one day memberships weren’t sold this year.

In the morning I was finally able to make my way to a liked aspect of any conventions for me, the Artist Alley. There I get to do in a small way of supporting artists, and indulging in my aesthetics liking of art work that I can never do, and have to commission others to do.

This is an image of the chalk art mural that was created in the Artist Alley by Eric M. Maruscak, who’s past work I have seen before at New York Anime Festival.

Toward the mid-day to early afternoon, I made my way over to listen to BECCA and Naomi Tamura’s concerts. I was slightly late for BECCA’s concert, so I wasn’t able to get into the press pit to shoot images of BECCA, but here is an Otakon official press release of BECCA.

Photo by Dave Wujcik/Copyright 2009 by Otakorp Inc.

The song list for her concert was this:

Guilty Pleasure
Make You Mad
Turn Up The Stereo
Falling Down
Perfect Me
Turn To Stone
I’m Alive!
Kickin’ & Screamin’

I was impressed by BECCA’s singing. After being discovered by Meredith Brooks, she is an American singer that became famous in Japan for her single “I’m Alive.” In this concert, I liked the Vocaloid style video footage of “Shibuya.”

There was an intermission between the concert, and during that time a showing of Madhouse’s specifically produced video for Otakon this year was made. The video premiered at the opening ceremony on Friday, and yes, it was highly amusing to see the faces of Otakon’s executive board as Star Trek spoofs go up against the Otakon mascot in an animated video.

Then Tamura’s concert began, and that was great. This was the set that she sang during her concert:

All you need is Love
Hikari to Kage wo Dakishimetamama
You mei jin
Syun ka Syuu tou
I’ll be there
Lay your hands on me, baby
Dusty Road
Yuzurenai Negai

During the show she dedicated “I’ll be there” to Jackson 5. Her background guitarist as Moy points out in his blog is a well known Japanese guitarist. More concert shots are available on Flickr.

After the concerts were over, I made my way over to get BECCA’s autograph, and then made my way to collect my bags to trek it back on the light rail to go to where the Bolt Bus was to head back to the city. This ends Otakon 2009 for me. Next convention I will be reporting from would be New York Anime Festival in September.

Next year’s Otakon convention dates are July 30 to August 1, 2010.