Otakon 2015 – Masquerade/BACK-ON mini Concert

As usual, they opened with the walk-ons which has a few surprises. The cosplay level at Otakon is definitely nothing to sneeze yet. Though Katsucon and other smaller conventions have boasted high levels of cosplay, being the largest convention on the East coast allows cosplayers to showcase their best even in the heat of August.

Then Jonathan Hawk steps on stage as host, this time cosplaying Jigen from Lupin III. He noted that as usual, comments, questions and requested posted on twitter to #Otamasq will be mentioned live. after acknowledging the wonderful sign language staff signing away at the side, he introduced the judges.

We started the performance portion of the masquerade with ‘Start Dash’ from Love Live. The group was pretty good and won for Best Overall Youth.

Sasha, ‘The Potato Girl’ from Shingeki no Kyoujin shows her skills with a double blade. Journeyman Performance winner.

‘The Fangirls Know Best’ from Drammatical Murder caters to the fans with a short skit which ended with a dance off. Winner of the ‘LDG’s Clean and Coordinated’ Award.

‘Anime Stand Up’ with Josue tries his best on the stage. I’m happy to say that the masquerades I’ve attended, I have never seen a stand up booed off of the stage. This isn’t this kind of event and convention attendees are definitely forgiving and more tolerable of acts like these. That said, it was pretty funny and we laughed.

‘Yamikoso Itsukushii’ from Sailor Moon is a live song performance by Beryl herself. Lured into the darkness is not without her reasons. Received ‘Alyssa’s Creative and Inexpensive Use of Materials’ Award and Best in Show.

‘Clarion Just Wants to Have fun’ gives a darker take on a familiar song. Sometimes we’re just like a puppet, being pulled along by our strings…. Won Best Overall Journeyman.

‘Young Master!’ from Kuroshitsuji showcases the Phantomhive servents in their daily life…serving tea, cooking and protecting the household.

‘Hatsune Miku Mix: Dear Cocoa Girls’ was a solo performance of a dance medley. She received ‘DizzyLizzy’s Most Expressive’ Award.

‘We Gonna Rock Dis’ demonstrates that girls can rock no matter their size and style. A definite fav and winner in my book. Totally surprised that they didn’t even receive a judge’s award.

‘Natsu’s Mistake’ from Fairy Tail is a hilarious turn of events in crossdressing.

‘A Dark Rabbit Has Five Nights At Freddy’s with Vocaloid’ is a hilarious mixture with something we haven’t heard or seen in a long time…Caramell Dansen. They received a ‘C-Rex’s Mother Daughter Quality Time’ Award as well as the ‘Level Up Cosplay’s Roll With It’ Award.

‘Hungry Like the Ozaru!’ from Dragon Ball Z was a well thoughtout skit from a classic series. Received ‘Sharkpuncher!’s We Spek the Language of Fists’ Award.

‘Enemy of Cocoon’ from Final Fantasy XIII is a rare interpretive dance by Lightning. Same dancer as the one from last year? Maybe. Won Best Overall Novice.

‘Moonies, Homestucks and Hunters oh mY!’ breaks the 4th wall by bringing the con to the stage and reminds attendees everywhere to be careful with cosplayers. And blue people. ‘TOA’s Hidden Sweets’ Award.

‘Dance Battle Royale’ closes the masquerade portion with their awesome dance moves. Who saids Asians can’t dance? Break dancing Yoshi FTW! A fav and a crowd pleaser.

Once the masquerade portion was over, they announced that Back On will be doing a halftime show concert. I immediately contact hei and gave her instructions to get to the arena. She missed the thursday concert so I didn’t want her to miss this one.

As press, I grabbed my badge and jumped towards the front of the stage, making sure to stay in line with the judges seats since the cameraman roamed the very front of the stage. I wondered where all the press was since besides me, there was only one other person running about the front. ^^;

Lead vocalist Kenji stood at the mic near the front and the rhythm guitarist, Gori was at the right on bass, with Shu at the left as lead guitarist and Teeda near the left between Kenji and Shu.

They went through a shortened version of their thursday concert, starting strong with STRIKE BACK. Their high energy songs kept us jumping. It is a rare treat to have a repeat like this, but hey, we’re not complaining. BACK-ON is a high end group, mainstream with strong titles on Orion Charts so it’s a rare treat to get two performances in one weekend. And we’re dancing through it all the way.

    4. Butterfly
    5. Nippon Ichi
    6. Departure

So glad that we were able to get a proper stage and arena for the band. Teeda and Kenji’s voices blend together so beautifully and this is beyond simply his raps and Kenji’s singing. You can hear it in Nippon Ichi and Butterfly, their voices harmonizing, standing out amongst their fast paced melodies. I couldn’t keep still throughout any of the Gundam Build Fighter songs, choosing to dance at my seat rather then snapping photos. The songs are just too awesome!

Staying in line with the seats still appeared to let me be in firing range of water since when Teeda threw water towards the audience. It made a wide arc…yet splashed right at me. My main focus then was my poor camera which got the blunt of the blast. XD

At one point, I found myself having to back away as the camera ran pass me. Turns out, Teeda jumped off the stage and ran down the middle aisle. As it’s a seated concert (though no one was sitting at this point obviously) there was no moshpit and we had no fear of losing the singer in the crowd.

Same as the thrusday concert, Teeda got us to dance to his beat, waving our arms, pumping our fists in the air and clapping. Unfortunately we didn’t get to hear any solo jams from Shu or Gori this time, but the music that they created together definitely filled the arena. The crowd called for more as they left the stage in a mix of smoke and cheers.

Right after the mini-concert, the organizer announced that there will be autographs held right in the arena…after the announcement of the winners. Needless to say, much of the auditorium emptied. That isn’t new considering that not many people stay for the winners. hei found me after the concert and later on, 801megane and kero found me as well. ^_^ By the end of the thing, there were only a few people in the front. ^_^

The hallcosplay awards were given first, leading with the judges awards, followed by the Coordinator award, the Youth Winner (which was an adorable Princess Mononoke), followed by the Novice, Journeyman and Craftsman awards.

The Best of Show of the weekend was an amazing Ashura from RG Veda.

The masquerade awards were given next starting with the judges awards, Best Overall Youth, Novice, Journeyman and Craftsman awards and Best in Show with Beryl’s singing stealing the show. I’m quite surprised at the limited number of entries this year, but Otakon put on a good show as usual.