Otakon 2013 – a con in review

Otakon wasn’t playing around with their 20th Anniversary celebration. They’ve been doing this for so long, they might as well make it as big as possible right? From August 9-11, attendees took over the Baltimore Convention Center, Hilton, 1st Mariner Arena AND the Inner Harbor for a weekend of Japanime music, cosplay, games and fashion. There was no doubt how awesome it was going to be when the guests were revealed. One by one. Week after week. From Japan, nine directors, producers and editors including legendary director Watanabe Shinichiro-san of Cowboy Bebop fame, Sword Art Online animator Kawakami Tetsuya-san, Yoimuri Producer Michihiko Suwa-san, two novelists, Fushimi Tsukasa-sensei and Kurosaki Kaoru-sensei and returnee author Sakurai Takamasa-sensei. Four musical groups, including ever popular Home Made Kazoku, the prominent TM Revolution, the ethereal Ishikawa Chikai-san and a rare visit from world famous composer and pianist, Kanno Yoko-san. Stateside, we have returnee author Peter S. Beagle and nine voice actors and ADR directors including Fairy Tail’s Natsu Todd Haberkorn, Naruto’s title character Maile Flanagan and up and coming VAs Jad Saxton and Micah Solusod promoting Shinkai Makoto-san’s Wolf Children. Give or take a few guests that I may have missed. How can so much awesomeness be under one roof? The better question is…how can one survive such a weekend? One thing we know for sure, this will be one birthday party that Baltimore will not soon forget!
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Otakon 2013 – Opening Ceremonies

Japan is a culture that enjoys the new while celebrating the old. For a Japanime con like Otakon, it is natural that we’ll have a bit of ‘tradition’ at the party amongst the new anime, manga, game and music. With their roots in Okinawa, Maryland’s own Chin Hamaya Culture Center graced us with a shishimai aka. lion dance, a fan dance and taiko drumming with a gangnam style twist. To the cheers of the crowd, the dances are truly a mixing of cultures, old and new with young teens of various ethnic backgrounds and age, coming together for fun and love for the art.
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Otakon 2013 – T.M.Revolution Q&A

While we waited, they were testing the audio of what we latered confirmed to be the extended PV of ‘Preserved Roses’. Since they were stalling for time, the MC began by showing off signed posters of ‘Preserved Roses’ and introducing the Otakon special release cd of ‘Geisha Boy’. The MC fired up the crowd by…reading the track list of the cd. That’s gotta be fun!
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Otakon 2013 – Masquerade and Otaku Idol

The MC was dressed as Kusanagi Izumo…but by his opening spiel revealed that he forgot his wig. ^^; The hallcosplay contest went underway which is interesting (since it usually comes up afterwards.) There were tons of the usual dance skits, but the stories behind the dances were great. Dancing to revive Voltron? Definitely the best. Too bad that they didn’t win best in show. <.<; It was the judging of the skits that I raised an eyebrow at…but I'm not the judge. I enjoyed the masquerade thoroughly.
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Convention report: Comic Con San Diego 2013

Zombie Nation: From Folklore to Modern Frenzy
By E.R. Vernor
Published By: Schiffer Publishing LTD, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4450-3
Review copy sent by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

The popularity of zombies has yet to wane, as seen by the recent debut of the movie “World War Z”, based upon the book by Max Brooks. Brooks also wrote “The Zombie Survival Guide”, a tongue-in-cheek survival manual for those who believe the Zombie Apocalypse will soon be upon us. But “Zombie Nation” is a serious, non-fiction book about zombies in legend, literature, movies and TV. I found it to be as entertaining as Brooks’ book, though not as funny.
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