Otakon in Baltimore, Maryland is the largest anime convention on the East Coast drawing in more than 32,000 people for the three day weekend celebrating Japanese Pop Culture and everything in fandom. Many of the attendees have wonderful costumes to display for individual photo shoots, gatherings, panels, and so much more. In the visual art that is cosplay, you are never disappointed and constantly amazed by what you see.
I arrived Thursday night and began my coverage on Friday. Each day, I had a different cosplay for Otakon. Lupin III on Friday, Prince Eric on Saturday, and the Punisher on Sunday, but for the most part I was running around getting floor photos and videoing a few panels, all of which will be online soon enough.
See the first gallery here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.463285167023327.107418.277669482251564&type=1.
And everything on my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lawrencebrenner/sets/72157630862739012/with/7695198808/
Though it can be dangerous being Lupin:
The one bad thing about Friday was that my camera fell and broke, ironically while shooting Henry of American Cosplay Paradise, which is why the shots from Friday and on are a little off looking or blurry. My Kodak m580 has served me well these past few years though and I’m looking forward to upgrading.
One of the best highlights was the cosplay photographers gathering organized by Henry Wong.
Friday evening some of the best cosplay photographers of the East Coast gathered to meet up, exchange info, stories, and sometimes meet in person for the first time. Soul Crash Ron captured this gathering on top of the stairs by the Starbucks. You see Ackson, Anna, Ejen, Ger, Lawrence (me), Lawrence, Lou, and many other wonderful photographers (sorry if I did not link anyone). All of whom have fabulous photos from the convention, some of which are featured in our Best of Otakon post.
Carrie of Athena’s Wink:
Among many other friends some of whom where Funimation’s Panty and Stocking pole dancers, such as Setting Sun Cosplay.
and the always a blast Luna Razhel
I finally got to meet Victoria (Sailor Bee), our partner Crunchyroll who is even more awesome in person than she is online.
I also got to meet featured panelists Charles Dunbar and Daryl Surat (both of whom I also videoed). I also made many new friends such as Leelee, some of them where very surprised to learn that I was the creator of various identity props such as my One Piece bounty posters, which they had seen online.
Saturday I had the pleasure to shoot my Prince Eric with Bada Boom Cosplay‘s Ariel.
Saturday as always is also the busiest day and when I made the most new friends such as Foxy Kitsune who is a wonderful and fun Juliet Starling.
On Saturday, I also got to cover one of the Fairy Tail photo shoots as well as participate in a photo shoot with my friend Stella Chuu.
My day on Saturday started at 9am EST and ended at 6am EST Sunday. This was also the day I covered the majority of the panels I wanted to video which resulted in 50.9 GB of raw footage. Anime and Manga Studies: Three Decades In, Sexism in Anime and Fandom, Beyond Castles, Forests and Bath Houses: Politics and Philosophy in the Films of Studio Ghibli, Hetalia History (which I also videoed at Anime Weekend Atlanta [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq3Kr5KBmHk]), Lupin the Third: 40+ Years of Heists and Hijinks.
As I did last year I shot the costumes of the rave as I believe that rave costumes, especially adapted ones, are a form of cosplay. Here I shot some of the various forms of ravers, and some truly wonderful rave costumes. I even got to participate in the photoshoot that my friends Intraventus and Bada Boom Cosplay were doing for Intraventus‘s line of rave wings.
Sunday, I got some pictures of my friends, the creators of KO Cosplay, masters of genderbend cosplay and epic props, wigs, and hair.
Otakon is always a blast and so much fun. It is one of the events on the East Coast that should be experienced. Each year it seems to get better and better. Otakon is very cosplay friendly and there are so many places in, around, and near the convention center.
It was packed, but it never felt cramped, and everything moved with a waterbender’s skill with ebb and flow.
I am going next year, so who will we see there? Let me know!
And here is everything that I shot on my flickr (feel free to tag yourself): http://www.flickr.com/photos/lawrencebrenner/sets/72157630862739012/with/7695198808/