The Post-Otakon Overview
I didn't go to Otakon. But The Crimson Christian himself did, and he's written a review for this website. Aren't we lucky? The following lengthy report is entirely in the opinion of the writer, Matt Williams, and does not reflect the opinions and views of Evil Jim and its creator. Enjoy.
If you're coming from Evil Penguin's site, the pictures are down there.
Ok, so I was trying to remember everything that happened last weekend, but it was all so exciting that I cant remember everything, but Im gonna try. So, last weekend I headed down to Baltimore, Maryland for the anime extravaganza known to all Otaku as Otakon. Every Otaku looks forward to this moment every year. They pack in their tiny cars, not having showered in days, they drive to their overpriced Hotels and Motels and they cram into rooms so tiny they have to sleep like Cattle. To finally, FINALLY make it to their destination the Baltimore Convention Center. Now, mind you not all Otaku are like that, but that is indeed a bad stereotype. No one was really like this, everyone was wonderful. I went of course as my own flagship character, the Crimson Christian, no one would know who I was, but I figured I would do it for some publicity. I was waiting for people to ask if I was Alucard or Vash, but that only happened once. The weekend was exciting to say the very least so lets get into it.
First, I arrived with my friend Jason (Harlock) and his mother at the Merriot across the street from the Convention Center on Friday at about noon. We got to the Convention and had to stand in line for the Pre-registered attendees, and let me say that the registration line was shorter. We were all the way in back of the outside of the Convention Center, however, this meant very little to any of us, because after coming such a long wait, another wait wouldnt kill us. Besides, the line itself moved quite fast. We were in line for maybe a half hour, not even that. In that time I met a decent amount of people and cos-players. I met one group who wanted me to see them on Saturday because they would be dressed as Lodoss characters so I was excited about that. Now I saw a ton of Alucards, (great costumes, every one of them. You should have seen the Alucard custom guns they made) a lot of Vashs, (They looked great as well. I have no clue as to how they made their outfits.) Wolfwoods galore, (The Crosses were amazing, but Ill get into that in a little bit.) Ceres Victorias, (Some really nice Hal canon cannons, Ill talk about those in a bit too.) a Slayers group that was good with the outfits but sorry, they were not the kind of people who should have cos-played as the Slayers, a few Yugis from Yugioh. One kid made a Millennium item, I mean he cut and carved it out of wood. That was all until we got inside.
We got inside right and I dropped to my knees. I have seen the Promised Land. At first I thought, Ive died and gone to Japan. So many costumes, so much to do. I think Jason was a bit embarrassed cause at this point h had been there, done that. I saw Some Gundam Wing boys. I saw an awesome Trowa for one. I saw the entire Rockman EXE cast cos-played. I found Kenshins galore. Some Kourus and Yahikos. A decent amount of Sanosukes. Lupin gangs, but only one had a Fujiko ahhh Fujiko anyway..We had Devil may Cry characters, we had Knives and Legato from Trigun. We had a Bumblebee from Transformers. When I asked her if she could transform, she said she could but she needed a friend to help her. Now this was only Friday, and I was giving out books too, remember? So when I was leaving the Hotel for the first time, I gave a set to an Inu Yasha that was waiting there and she was excited cause now she had something to read and ..say it with me FOR FREE! OH YEAH! I FORGOT! THERE WERE A BILLION INU YASHAS AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing against the series but couldnt we find another character to dress as? Now when we were in line, there were guys handing out flyers for their webcomics and of course I said Do you guys like comics They were surprised and a little mad that I published my stuff, but from one artist to another it was cool. I was happy. Yeah, basically from then on anyone who I took a picture of got some free stuff. There were Sailor Senshi, some really..cough cough good ones then there were well .some .guys in Sailor outfits..run RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!! So, Jason wanted to watch anime, but I wanted to see the Dealers room, I mean I came all that way and I didnt want to sit down and since I wasnt sure where everything was as of yet, Jason was a little peeved and had to show me around but when I saw the Dealers room my GOD! Take BJs and have all anime. There was a Pioneer booth, there was a Bandai booth, a CPM Manga booth, an ADV booth and they were giving away a car. Then there were all the Dealers. I spent a lot of time there and then I was also looking for a friend of mine named Lena who said she would see me there. I was literally leaving, looking at some of the stuff I had bought wondering how I would find her and then I literally bumped into her.
Turns out she knew someone in the Artists Alley. I went and met her and bought something from her and gave her some of my works. She seemed a bit surprised. Im not sure if she was just humoring me or not, but honestly Im like that so whatever. She seemed happy to get my stuff. I also bought a comic from some dealers a seat down from her and they asked me if I wanted it autographed and I said Could you make it out to the Crimson Christian? And they said YOURE the Crimson Christian. Ive heard of your work. I was like WHAT? No offense, but how? They told me that some girl they were in the registration line with said that they should look at my work and they would know me if they saw me and she was looking for me. Now, I knew one of Jims friends was going to the Con, but I didnt know her. Ive never met her. They said her name was Carolyn and I was like Wow! Shes looking for me. I didnt know if they misunderstood and she was talking about Jims work that had me in it or if Jim had actually shown her my stuff. Either way, I stayed in costume in case she found me, but I was so excited to have someone recognize me and to have someone Ive never met be looking for me like that. I gave them copies of my books and they were really excited. I must say that the art in the Art room was so good, I almost felt embarrassed because it was so good, I almost felt like the stuff that myself and my friends had done was worthless compared to this tuff and my friends stuff was good. So at this point, I handed out just about all of my books and my friend Pats. I gave copies to Lena and all of her friends. I gave one to an Alexander Anderson whom I got a nice picture of WHICH DIDNT COME OUT DAMMIT! All in all, everyone was happy to get stuff. Im sorry Im going all over the place, but Im trying to remember everything as Im typing here. Oh, there was a kid dressed as a berserker EVA which I got an awesome picture of. Ok..lets see..what else happened on the first day ..Wait..paragraph change here.
I checked out the Game room with Lena and yet again like the art and dealers rooms, they were the size of a super market. Televisions everywhere. so many games. A movie screen with StreetFighter II on it. Even better Halo on a movie screen. Im no gamer but ahhhhhhhhhhhh drooling. They had DDR..THANK GOD! But, with soft pads, you would think they could get hard ones with all the other stuff they had. The lines were immense, so I decided not to show them why I could kick all their asses at DDR heh maybe..but there were like five big screen tvs just for DDR. They even had Para Para Paradise. I had actually never seen it before this. I had played something before where you used your hands, but this was so much cooler. Im not gonna explain it, go look it up on the net somewhere. After that I got together with Jason and grabbed a bite to eat and then went back. (After playing with my cool stuff and listening to my T.M.Revolution cd and my Puffy Amiyumi cd which had the well known single..chuckle..the Teen Titans theme ..ha ha ha! I love that song its so cool..that was why I bought it.) I met up with Lena and her friend and went and saw the Animatrix, which I have to say on an omniplex sized screen with surround sound, I was almost really scared cause it had me on the edge of my seat!! After that as good as the movie was, Ill never watch the first two animated stories ever again..I was that scared, and I watch the Rurouni Kenshin OVAs while eating breakfast.
Ok, now I promised I would talk about the great props by some of the cos-players, but hold on just for a little while longer. Now Saturday was literally, T.M.Revolution day. I got up and spent a nice morning watching music videos. The category was love which was cool except that to be honest I wanted to get back to watch one of the other categories but by the time I got back, they were re-playing the love category..ahhhh! So, then after seeing Lena and meeting up with Jason, we waited for the opening of the TMR panel and we got right up front, which was cool. There were more TMR fans than I thought ever existed in America. Of course wasnt he like one of the top five in Japan? I dunno..Im a moron! So, anyway, Takanori Nishikawa (TMR) comes out in a white kimono and man was he nice. It was kind of funny how he only knew like five words in english. You know, HI, BYE, THANK YOU, wait..that was only four uh..well we had fans dressed like people from his videos and people who were singing his songs like crazy before he came out while they were playing his new American release. They had us ask questions and his translator would tell him in Japanese and he would answer. It was fun seeing him read some things in english too. I had someone ask him (because I was shy awww..) What are your favorite American bands? He said that he saw Evanescence in Japan and was going to a Linkin Park concert after the Con. He loved everyone. I mean he was really excited to be there and when we would ask if he would stay in the US or not, he said only if you will all let me stay. Dman..cheap pops work every time. I found out that he was a character at the end of Kenshin AND Gundam Seed, which was cool. The Scorpion guy from one of the last arcs of Kenshin, (I cant remember his name) and Miguel I think from Gundam Seed. Many photo ops were had, they held a trivia game and if you got a question right, you would go onstage and get your picture taken with him and get a prize from him. Th questions were easy until the end, but one person messed up, I knew the answer and I WAS TOO SCARED TO RAISE MY HAND! I THOUGHT I WOULD LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT! Let that be a lesson, even if you are wrong, at least you know you tried cause what if you got it right?
The Concert was next, that was where the people whom I had met the day before showed up in their Lodoss outfits. Damn, the Ashram and Parn even had their signature swords. They FREAKING MADE THEM! The Soul Crusher rocked! Then we had a kick ass Orson, Deedlit, Pirotess and Slayn, and dude! Pirotess wasnt wearing a bra uh..I missed that when I took the pic and when I was talking with her..I must be like..a gentleman in person and a pervert when Im away from said party. anyway, you can look at the pics and see what I mean. Ok, the TMR concert was being taped for a DVD release and there were two big trons. So Jason and myself got on the left side and we were pretty close to the stage and we had aisle seats, which was perfect. So on the Trons were flashing pictures of all the characters from Series TMR has sung the openings or endings to. Of course either Kenshin or Gundam Seed. So, before the concert started, they zoomed over the crowd and they stopped on me and Jason for like a minute..and I went nuts considering I took up like half the screen so if you see CC on a TMR concert DVD, dont be surprised. We even saw another guy we knew from Saratoga who was there on business..shh..if I told you, then I would have to kill you hush hush .He was excited to see us and he took our picture and then he went to his seat. So the opening act was Kristina Sa yeah, Ive never heard of her either. But, then again, Im an idiot, and she was mad good .and HOT and Asian ..and..Asian..land..did I mention she was Asian..and ironically..born in Canada..surprising, no? Man was she hot! She said at one point that she had a surprise for us and then came back in this really hot cut off shirt. We gave the usual cheers you know the really obscene ones well.I didnt..the guys behind me did Im a gentleman..but when TMR was delayed I started a chant of TMR, TMR.. and the Otakon staff started to get angry cause they thought a riot would start tee hee..theyll never know it was me .although..the getting everyone riled up by clapping and jumping up and down might have given it away. At one point a Link was getting everyone on the left side to do the wave cause it was annoying and we looked pretty funny doing it and we kept doing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and it got to the point where the Link was doing it like a drill instructor saying YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT READY? ONE..TWO..THREE.. and of course the other sections were doing it too, and the Otakon staff was getting a laugh out of it. At one point after the Link said the above line five thousand times, the staff member said..OK, JUST BECAUSE THIS IS SOOO *%$#ING ANNOYING, ONE TWO THREE So we did it again. Now after the other sides started doing it, myself and the Link started saying how the Left side was so much better than the other sides and we made the loser L on our foreheads and I started jumping up and down chanting LEFT SIDE RULES! LEFT SIDE RULES! And, the whole left side started chanting with me. This happened several times now why am I getting so in depth about things so stupid? Because I can and I went and you didnt so Im giving you all the skinny then ..HE came on
The crowd went ballistic. You ever say J-rock bands suck screw you man! This show rocked since it was live..my God! The hardcore electric guitars in this show ahhhh! You couldnt hear yourself think. We even had one of the kids dressed as a character from one of his music videos run around the aisles with a sign she made and that got on camera. TMR played his hits from the new cd, but the best part at that time was when we saw Kenshin on the screen and Heart of Sword began to play. Everyone sang along. At one point, a press member started taping me for some reason for like five minutes. My head still hurts, Ive never head banged more than this concert and that INCLUDES OZZFEST! I went nuts, and was dancing so crazy, that was probably why, but anyway, I got people on my side really clapping and was trying to start more chants but to no avail, but Nishikawa was rocking on the guitar! He did the Gundam Seed song, Invoke, and scenes from Gundam Seed started playing. The crowd didnt stop moving ever! This was a once in a lifetime experience. He may never be back because of his busy schedule. And we got to see it for basically the registration price and it was in a small arena for a big act like TMR..maybe 10,000 people? He did every song from his cd Coordinate, and then after he left, people were chanting for more. This guy was a sight to see. I mean, you may never get another chance because he is a foreign act, so I consider myself lucky to have seen him. But, then he came back on and did another set. He even did Heart of Sword again. He got the fans to really sing this time, but by that time I had left to get in line for the TMR autograph session, which was lucky for me cause the line was already pretty long.
We all waited for awhile of course cause the concert had to still get out first. Sooooooo many people lined up. I patiently waited for him to sign my cd booklet, and I wanted him to make it out to me so I had to write it down on a piece of paper and have him sign it that way..still he was pretty good with some english writing. The guy this time looked like a Japanese Michael Jackson. I gave him my cd and he was like MAAT, hi how are you maat. So he was really cool and was having a good time, he signed it and I shook his hand and said Arigato, and he went really enthusiastic on me and was like DOOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASU! That made me quite happy. He was so nice, giving hugs to all the girls especially the cute ones clever bastard! Man, I wanted to just stay and talk with him even if he had no clue what I was saying. He just seemed like a guy who you could hang and have a good time with.
Ok, Saturday for Cos-playing I saw a Makoto Shishio with a Sojiro, a Scwartz Bruder, a GODZILLA, the Cheat, Aya from Weib Kreuz, Sanzo from Saiyuki, a giant Pikachu, a giant Kuro chan, an over weight bearded Sailor Mars yeah.I know..eva unit 05, Seele members, they were in the black boxes with sound only on the side with the number, Lilith, Hulk Hogan on Friday, I loved it, but why Hulk Hogan at Otakon? Then again, why not? Spider man on Saturday with a battle ravaged Kenshin, Gene Starwind, Melfina, Milly, Meryl, Elie, Haru, and last but not least ..STRONG BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked him how he types with boxing gloves on and he replied: How do you type with boxing gloves on? How do you type with boxing gloves on? All the time! Then he posed with a double deuce action. There was an Inceredible Hulk in the works and Godzilla was near the main DJ area taking on any challenger.
Again I apologize that this is not in real good order, but to remember everything in order for this was sooo hard considering everything that was happening. Lets see for weapons we had various Wolfwood crosses which was cool because these babies were made from everything from cardboard boxes to carpet to actual wood to plastic. One kid indeed carried around a giant wooden Cross on his back. There were female Wolfwoods too, and one of them even had a portable Church which she wanted folks to write on the side of. You could actually put it on your head. A hollow wooden church..soo cool..I wrote that I want to kill anyone who considers me a Woldwood/Alucard hybrid and signed it with the CC official logo and everything..I also gave her a comic..damn..did I already say that see..Im so exhausted I dont even wanna go back and re read what Ive already written. Ceras Victoria, a decent amount of sexy females were dressed as her and one girl made a Hal canon cannon out of metal..YES, METAL! One girl whom I had my picture taken with made one out of household supplies and a super soaker and damn, was it cool! I even got to hold it for one of the pictures. Oh, did I mention the giant Cool Aid man was there? Tee hee It was especially fun if you were sort of board because then you could just walk the halls and see all the wonderful costumes. These kids all busted their humps to make some of these and I applaud every last one of you.
I also noticed as I walked by that people who ran out of spending money were singing their favorite anime songs and people were throwing them cash I asked them, DUDE! If I do that, will I get paid? seeing the mountain of one dollar bills underneath these two girls and they said probably. So remember kids, for next year, if you run out of cash, panhandling is the way to go..(cough) illegal. In the main DJ area where I think an actual station was broadcasting just anime music and J-pop, they had Para Para dancers every now and then, folks doing martial arts to the music, kids break dancing but that wasnt the only area to dance. Yes, there was a Rave on Friday and Saturday. I wasnt sure weather to go in or not, but I noticed they were being really tight security wise. They would not allow book bags inside. I went in and it was all techno and while my trusty break dancing move of the worm, the smoothest one there is, mind you, would have served me well, I was so tired and so amazed at the talent in there, I quickly left and I was lucky I did cause it was shut down like twenty minutes later because they found drugs tsk..tsk..
I also saw some awesome fan parodies. See, Im a huge fan of This is Otakudom. It was a fandub done to every anime around and it make Gendo Ikari look like a film maker doing a documentary on Otaku. Mind you the Otaku were the cast from Fushigi Yuugi. It even had film previews. You know the classic Fight Club to Pokemon, and Dragon Ball Z to X Men. Well here the parodies were really something special. I got to see Trigunic Park. Trigun to Jurassic Park, Tinfins (Yes the Sealab movie preview) done to Evangelion, and Gendo was Captain Murphy. Holy Crap! Then, we see the Nerv HQ front door .quiet quiet .quiet .we are waiting for something ..Auqaman walks out we all know what it is before it starts and sure enough he does his little dance in FRONT OF NERV HQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO AUQAMAN! We all went ballistic. Then we were treated to Mystery Science Theater action with the most deserving movie to be poked at X the movie. There were so many funny references, and whenever a Strongbad reference is made, the entire crowd would say it with them. Like if they did the SB techno, the fans would sing along. My favorite line they used was taken from the anime music video of Van Halens Right Now, Right Now, Tokyo Tower is having another bad day.
After getting my laughs there, I went to see Lena and we had an interesting time at the ..uh .Hentai history exhibit .yeah..I know hee hee .believe it or not..I did not go for those reasons. I actually learned a lot about Japanese laws concerning those things and how it started and how to draw anatomy..and that when you cannot get a television to work to show examples of hentai every male just about in the audience leaves what does that say about us guys? It was pretty funny, but I wont go into detail, you wanna know, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org so there. After that I went to the same theater Animatrix was being shown at and there were a good maybe 5 thousand people there..Im roughly assuming. Now, I swear everyone there must have been just as big fans as myself because they were all talking right along with it. At the end, when they had the Army of Darkness Trailer with the Cast of Fushigi Yuugi, I was going nuts when the crowd was saying in unison, Ok, you primitive screw heads, listen up! THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK! They said it all together. It almost brought a tear of pride to my eye. They even chanted the magical words (I hope I spell them right. Say it with me..) KLATA VEROTTA NICKCOUGH!
After all that fun I took off for the Hotel and after many random trips to the Dealers room, I got some stuff for my friends as well as myself. ADV was throwing shirts to whoever could chant ADV the loudest and jump the highest. Well, if anyone knows about being a total buffoon, its me. I got one shirt one day after fighting some body for one, then later I came back and got one, then another and bolted like a Bat out of Hell, cause the crowd was getting mad that I had two that time. Although I did go back and get my picture taken with two busty models that ADV had showing off the car they were giving away and I felt bad cause every time I tried to talk to them, my face went down to something else. Basically size small school girl uniform on like twenty five year old women. Then CPM gave away a free shirt and I caught that, then some old Gunbuster videos, and basically after seeing all the free sample manga and bags and stuff from some of these vendors, I grabbed my bag and started shoveling free dvds and comics and stuff in there and took off. Hee hee I got posters to series Ive never even heard of.
Sunday morning, I walk over to the Bandai booth and stand in line for a good hour to get my friend, Pat a With Hunter Robin shirt. You had to sit through a promotional piece which kicked butt! They talked about what made them and they showed clips from Cowboy Bebop and Vision of Escaflowne. And they made it look all old and grainy, then they showed us the future. Gundam Zeta, Witch Hunter Robin, and some others but I wont list anymore cause Im trying to get this done really quite fast WHY CANT I STOP TYPING?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then I ran into the Dealer who was interested in my books and gave him one of my personal copies and another person standing next to him was interested and wanted some, so we all exchanged emails. Oh, I forgot to mention, I exchanged emails with a few people which was good for me. I had some pics with one Alucard and Ceras (coincidentally, the one who let me pose with the cannon) and gave Alucard my book and I was so happy that they were nice enough to wait for me to get pictures of them, they got one of my personal copies and he seemd to like from one Hellsing fan to another as he put it. Damn! I really need to make sure I have enough next year. Hard to believe that my book raised demand. Five people can turn into one hundred, it all just takes time. I got some real good deals in the Dealers room on Sunday. Since these guys come from all over the US, they do not want to bring the stuff they have back with them so they lower the prices and they will let you haggle with them, so I got some good deals. There was not much to do but I will say that the people were not as abundant on Sunday. Everything was pretty much winding down. I did watch some later eps of Hajime no Ippo. An awesome boxing anime Pat showed me a while back. As I went to leave I was stunned at one group of girls who were playing themes from anime shows on recorders. They played a Kenshin theme and everyone stopped and listened.
I went back to the Hotel after the Con ended, watching from my Hotel window all the Otaku go to the darkness from whence they came. Back under their rocks for another year. Like the Groundhog coming out to see his shadow. I felt a bad saddened that this magical time was over. By the time We left, it was Monday and everyone else had already left. We got on the plane and I was back by four oclock. Goodbye Baltimore. Goodbye Otakon. I shall return next year with more goodies and all will know the name of the Crimson Christian Now if only I had enough patience to use the right grammar for this, we would be all set.
Our apologies for the quality of these pictures. Hannaford does a VERY bad job developing film. Never ever go there.
Sana Chan's mom, squirrel hat and all.
CC and Alucard have a stare-down contest.
Every time you don't go to Otakon...God kills a kitten.
Racer X was also part of this picture, but thanks to some bad cropping half
his body was missing from the final pic.
Our apologies, dude. You looked great.
Alucard, CC, and Seras. That's a biiiiig gun.
And it's now in the hands of the world's most radical religious despot! And he will cast you in the name of anime!
A girl Wolfwood with her own portable confessional, and Kuroneko thrown in
for good measure. Nyow.
The confessional has many many autographs, including CC's.
A pretty good Jigen.
Eva Unit 03.
More pics on Evil Penguin's site.