Due to prior commitments I was only able to attend one day on this year’s Otakuthon convention, unlike last year where I was around for the full 3 days. This meant that I had to be very disciplined about which panels I attended and how much time I could spend in the dealer’s room. Which I guess was better for my wallet than my comiccon experience. Yikes.
Despite being somewhat weary last year, this year I dove in enthusiastically. There’s something about the more grassroots feeling of Otakuthon that makes it especially enjoyable for me, despite not being that into anime and manga as most of the attendees. However, this year there was actually a mangaka in attendance that I knew!
Back in Vancouver, I briefly had a job writing dubbing scripts for anime based off loose English translations. One of the series I worked on was the anime adaptation of Full Moon Wo Sagashite by Arina Tanemura. I made a point of attending her panel and trying to get an autograph, but more on that later.
The first order of the day was meant to be attending the Japanese street wear fashion show with my friend Susie, but since I’d opted to pick up my pass on site I got stuck in the never ending line up of sadness and missed the first half. That being the case, I opted to spend the rest of that time trolling the dealer’s room for cosplayers and fan art and then meet up with Susie later for the World Cosplay Summit finals.
WCS was something that Susie had introduced me to last year, it’s basically the cosplay Olympics and the Canadian finals take place at Otakuthon. The cosplay on display is always jaw dropping and I consider it a must if I’m attending Otakuthon. Sadly I had to leave before the winners were announced to make sure I got a seat at the Arina Tanemura panel.
Despite rushing to the panel, I realized that this was actually the third time Tanemura-san was speaking and therefore attendance was somewhat sparse, meaning that I’d rushed for nothing. However, it give things a very intimate feeling, which was nice. I even worked up the nerve to ask her a question and got a great answer!
When I was reading Full Moon Wo Sagashite as background for the anime I noticed in one of the side panel stripes that she talked about how much she loves Kingdom Hearts, so I asked her if she still played video games and if she was interested in working on a video game. She responded that she’s too busy these days for video games, but that her work does appear in the Japanese mobile game Idolish 7 and she would love to be more involved in a game in the future (if time allows).
From there I rushed back downstairs to get in line for autographs, only to find that the line had been capped at 100 while I was asking Tanemura questions. Poop stick. This was especially disappointing since there were no photographs allowed during the panel and I really wanted to out myself as the English writer for Full Moon. Sigh.
However, this did give me a bit more time in the dealer’s room where I limited myself to smaller items and cosplay photography. I even got the chance to say hi to the Cardboard Utopia crew who were onsite showing off the latest build of Children of Zodiarcs. Game is looking great, can’t wait to see the finished project!
I was able to limit myself to this Samus print by the amazing Nikkie Stinchcombe, as well as a super-cute Sailor Mercury pinup sticker. I also grabbed a cute zine about bros and a Zubat keychain as they have become the bane of my existence in Pokemon Go. Oh, and let’s not forget the Pusheen blind box and tiny notebooks, or the CoZ pins from Jason. Sadly, my two headed kitty kaiju pin was obscured by glare, so just take my word for how totally cool it is.