James: Wow, I can't believe it's been just 2 months since Otakon.
Eddie: Yeah, all the fun we had those 3 days in Baltimore sure seem distant. What did you like best?
James: I think I had the most fun because of all the people who came with us. Anime East last spring was a lot bigger than Otakon, with more events, more panels, and a bigger dealers' room. But I had more fun at Otakon because a lot more of my friends came, and we were able to more effectively take advantage of what was offered. Plus, all the X stuff that was there was a real bonus!
Eddie: Yeah, you with your X stuff. Anyway, let's see... as I remember, we had 13 people in all. I didn't go to Anime East, so I can't really compare the two cons, but I generally like the "cozy" atmosphere of a smaller con like Otakon. And it's not like Otakon was really lacking anything big. I mean, the anime alone that we were able to watch was a treat. They showed Ghost in the Shell, Tenchi Muyo in Love, Escaflowne 1-4, Key 1-3, and many, many more.
James: Oh, without getting into details, Anime East had really good layout, and despite being big, it felt "cozy" as well, since all the main attractions (the dealers' room, the panel rooms, the ballroom, the main viewing room) surrounded a central area. The biggest things missing from Otakon that were present at Anime East were a large dealer presence and a large commercial presence, with many companies having large booths or taking out entire rooms (like Pioneer) and showing a lot of commercial pre-release videos. But I guess the advantage at Otakon was that we could see almost everything without really tiring ourselves out. Of course, getting shafted on volunteering made me a little sore...
Eddie: And don't forget getting shafted on our Fushigi Yuugi music video entry. But we wouldn't have won the music video contest anyway, so I'm not that upset. Remember the Ranma music video to the song "I Wanna Be" starring Ryouga? That was great. As for the dealers' room, with the exception of the Animeigo booth, where they were constantly showing the dub of Oh My Goddess! (or Ah! My Goddess, if you prefer), I have to agree with you that there wasn't much of a commercial presence. But I did pick up some neat things, like that awesome pencil sketch of Kyoko.
James: Yeah, there were a lot of cool stuff in the dealers' room. The big Evangelion resin models were really cool but way too expensive. The events were entertaining, too. CosPlay was quite entertaining, especially since four people from our group went in costume. The game show was also a lot of fun. The panels were also interesting, especially the FanAc and the fan subtitling panel.
Eddie: What did you get out of the subtitling panel? And don't get me started on the FanAc panel and the game show. To me, that one guy who ran them both was so annoying that it made these 2 my least favorite Otakon experiences. Hey, did you go into the game room at all? I was too busy at the dealers' room.
James: You didn't like Jeff? But he had a lot of cool things to say, albeit he was a little pushy. At the subbing panel, I met a bunch of guys from Ohio State (same club as the Anipike) who were interested in Macintosh subtitling. We're going to get together and write a cool program. Are you also saying that you didn't like the game show? But it was so much fun doing the wave and cheering Lillian on. I did go to the game room twice, and they had a bunch of cool games there, almost all of them fighting games. The Gundam Wing fighting game was there, and it had huge sprites. They also had this hilarious fighting game where all the characters were high school students, all of whom were either ultra-cool guys or ultra-cute girls. For instance, they had a baseball guy who fought with a bat, they had this cheerleader girl who beat people up with pompoms, etc... It was pretty funny to watch.
Eddie: Interesting... No, I did not like Jeff. The game show was OK, but the one thing I really didn't like about it was that it was so arbitrary. Rules were bent so easily. And why the heck did they have a whole category each, filled with stupid questions, for 2 of the guests of honor, Neil Nadelman and Robert DeJesus? Cheering Lillian on was fun, but don't get me started on the wave. But anyway, I'm being too negative here. As I said before, lots of cool anime were shown. I think maybe my favorite was Tenchi Muyo in Love, even though it was dubbed. What was yours, James?
James: Well, I thought that the dub of Tenchi Muyo in Love was horrible. I sat through the whole thing, and the music, art, and story were fine, but I didn't like the English voices at all. I think the best things that I saw were Key the Metal Idol and Oz. And about those stupid questions, that was part of the fun. The show was supposed to be silly and provide entertainment for the audience. Who won or lost was irrelevant. Sorta like that new game show on TV, Big Deal.
Eddie: Well, like I said, the game show was OK; just not one of my favorite Otakon events. You didn't like the dub of Tenchi Muyo in Love? That's interesting; the overwhelming majority of people who I've heard talk about it say that this dub is one of the best. I myself haven't seen too many dubs, so I can't really judge, but I have to say that I liked this dub. The only voices I really couldn't stand were Aeka's and Washu's. I couldn't get used to Aeka's British accent and Washu's disinterested tone. I thought the other voices were above average, and I especially liked Kiyone's and Achika's (although no one can match Megumi Hayashibara's Achika). Yeah, Key was pretty good, too, but I didn't get to watch enough of Oz to give an opinion about it.
James: Geez, you love Megumi Hayashibara just like Lawrence is obsessed with Chisa Yokoyama. I do feel sorry for Masaomi Kanzaki, the main guest of honor, since his panel was at the same time as the Tenchi movie. I guess there were just not as many Xenon fans as there were Tenchi fans. I personally regret not going to karaoke on one of the two nights they had it. That was one of the most fun things that I did at Anime East, but apparently, we were otherwise occupied both nights while at Otakon. Oh, which badge did you choose at registration?
Eddie: Yeah, karaoke would have been... interesting. We should've went to Newtype Animation's room party, too. Supposedly, they showed Bakuretsu Hunter 3 and 4 after episodes 1 and 2 were shown in one of the video rooms. And maybe we could have set up a subtitling correspondence with them. As for my badge, I wore the Belldandy one. What about you?
James: I got the Vampire Princess Miyu one. I believe that Newtype Animation's room party occurred at the same time as something important that we had to go to, but I can't recall. They were also supposed to show Yawara there, which would have been cool. Don't get me started about correspondence with Newtype. Let's just say that I'll have to work on making my ego much bigger before I'll consider seriously negotiating with them. Have we missed anything important about the con? We seem to have covered a lot of things...
Eddie: Yeah, I think that's about it, without going into further detail. All in all, it was a fun experience. I'm looking forward to Otakon '97 and, whenever it makes its debut, the much-anticipated Far East Expo.