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Unread 08-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #46
MoeLover
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Felt like I should put my two cents in since I was at work when I saw this.

Basically, you took the negative aspects of something and immediately assume that it is a terrible con? But you've never been to see if these things are true for yourself? That's something I don't understand. Yes, the line for both reg's was a tad rowdy but what can you do with a con this size? Push everyone into a single file line with cattle prods? Please. Security was really pushy about badges this year and while yes, it was a pain in the butt sometimes, it really did cut down the people coming in without badges in my opinion. Now my only complaint this year was the guy doing security for the auction in the AA. Never have I had my balls busted so bad about how my camera is placed.
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Unread 08-09-2012, 10:35 PM   #47
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I can understand what you mean, original poster.

I was treated poorly and even taken to "con jail" due to a misunderstanding, where they treated me even worse. But eventually everything was made right and they had more or less redeemed themselves in my eyes. I understand they were stressed and just trying to do their jobs, so it's all good I guess. I'm not one to hold grudges.

It is crazy expensive, I know. But if I have the means I would keep going back. I always end up having a fun time. (I've only been twice, but still.)
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Unread 08-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #48
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I've been going to Otakon for ten years, every year since 2003, but the only problem I've ever had with it is that I wish they would go back to capping the attendance. It's become really hard to get to where you want to go without being late even if you leave reasonably early, the lines for some panels and events (especially registration) are obscene to the point of being ridiculous...and things like these are the building blocks for a very unhappy staff who are in charge of our health and safety, both convention center staff and con staff alike. I liked it better back in 2006 when the attendance cap was 25,000. It was still crowded, but it was a normal crowded rather than the overbearing one I've seen every year since.

I know I just said that was my only problem, but I forgot one: the musical guests. Maybe it's just my tastes are changing, but the bands they've had the past couple of years just bored me to tears. I miss TM Revolution, L'Arc-en-Ciel, The Indigo, Puffy Ami Yumi, Nana Kitade, Mucc, Yoshiki, The Underneath, and my all-time favorite MarBell...it feels like the bands lately are one's I've never even heard of or just aren't as intriguing and exciting as past guests. But that could just be me, I don't know.

I can't say much about the artist alley, since I never go there. Well, I go in for a few minutes or so and look around, maybe buy a cute crochet animal (this one girl has been there for the past few years selling them and I love them to bits), but I don't linger there long. So I can't really speak much on that.

Anyway, despite the above, I've always had fun at Otakon. The staff members I've seen have always been reasonable and kind, I've never seen anything bad happen...so I'll keep going every single year until the day I don't like anime anymore (unlikely).
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Unread 08-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #49
minasatsumi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DespairedPheonix View Post
Maybe some day. but honestly the trip is too far for me. It's a lot of money for me, and it's not worth it anymore. Staff/hotel problems aside, I prefer smaller conventions.
Same, and I felt like running back and forth across the building for different panels may not be worth it.
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Unread 08-10-2012, 05:08 PM   #50
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If you think the staff at Otakon are rude, you should come down to A-kon in Dallas Texas. You will NEVER have that thought EVER AGAIN.

Otakon is the best convention I have EVER attended in MY LIFE. the lines are NOT BAD for registration, NOT BAD AT ALL. I had to wait 2 and a half hours in REGULAR registration at A-kon in 2011. That was HORRIFIC. I waited maybe 10-15 max in line to pre-reg at Otakon, that is not bad at all, that is freaking FANTASTIC. The staff was NOTHING but nice this last year, I didn't have a single problem with a single person. Yes, it's crowded, but that's one of the things I LOVE about Otakon, it's HUMONGOUS and you get to meet soo many fantastic and amazing people.

In short, I think most of the people who are commenting in here, are going to be FOR Otakon, and not against like I'm sure you're hoping. I'll continue to go back over and over and over until the con doesn't exist anymore. It's my most FAVORITE con, I'd sacrifice doing pretty much anything ALL YEAR just to get to go.
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Unread 08-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by ShiroChaan View Post
Personally, I have never been and never intend to go.
You know, I've heard some pretty goddamn horrific crap about AX being one of the most miserable cons you can attend every year and I'd still go if given the chance. Miserable people bitch louder than happy ones. I hear gripes about EVERY con (except Katsucon, which I am suspecting at this point is some kind of Cyborg conversion facility).

I've enjoyed every year I've gone. Yes, I have my gripes about certain things (none of them being things you mentioned and I will not list them as to avoid inciting drama), but I still have a blast either way. People get stressed and scream at each other and pin the blame all on one thing or another and who knows what else. Instead of bashing a con you've never been to on a forum, achieving nothing, why not actually check it out with some friends and see if you like it?
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Unread 08-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by ShiroChaan View Post
Personally, I have never been and never intend to go. I have heard too many horror stories to have any desire to attend a convention where I'm going to be sheparded around by security and staff to that degree. So how can others that inhabit the same internet I do read the same stories I have and still feel the need to give the con their money?
Because people with a gripe are usually the ones that go on and make posts. And sometimes, just sometimes, those people place the blame where it shouldn't be placed. Prime example: my friend and I were heading to the Jason David Frank photo op on Friday. Now, just before the photo op, he was doing an autograph session. Many people went and stood in line for it. Of course, since there was such a huge crowd, it's reasonable to expect that he won't be able to sign an autograph for everyone, but when announcing this to the crowd, you'd think someone killed their dog. "Amateurs! Last year it was Johnny Yong Bosch, now this," a man in a Squirtle costume screamed at the top of his lungs as stormed out. Others plowed through rope that marked the line, pushing the posts over and cursing the staff which made the announcement.

You've gotta look at the numbers: roughly 32,000 people attended Otakon this year. People go onto their blogs, facebooks, or forums to vent. They don't necessarily represent everyone (especially since it's been a steadily claiming number every year) Plus, I bet that a number that do complain still plan to go next year. Just cuz they had one problem isn't going to stop them from having fun at Otakon 2013.

What I'm getting at is don't judge a con because a few people on an internet forum hate it or like it. Judge it for yourself
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Unread 08-11-2012, 12:46 AM   #53
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I love otakon! I have been going for 4 years now and I look forward to it as soon as it ends xD I guess I don't really mind the staff because I'm from Baltimore and I'm used to it by now ^_^
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Unread 08-11-2012, 07:46 AM   #54
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I figure I should say something about this. Seeing as this is my 8th Otakon I've been to.

To answer the question 'Why?':
I've got friends all around the states and its hard enough to meet up as it is. The people you're with makes your experience fun, if you avoid the bad stuff and keep in your mind "Yea, this could be fun!" then YES it WILL be fun. Meeting new people, seeing old friends, meet up with current friends. It really depends on who you're with that could help make Otakon more pleasant. Just because there are trolololol people on the internet saying horror stories and saying its a bad con means you should cross it off your list before you go? That doesn't seem like a very good reason NOT to at least GO and experience it for yourself. Other people have stories, good and bad. Seems to me that you've only heard the bad side. Don't knock it till you try it. I've only encountered a few issues this year and that was

1.) Registration cost. Holy BALLS was it pretty expensive. I'm sure there are plenty of other conventions that exceed that amount as well but good lord. Watching that price jump from $50 (06) to $70 (12) was kiiiiinda....wow @_@.

2.) Each year the panels seems to get less interesting. I was kinda disappointed in the lack of panel activities this year that piqued my interest.

3.) Crowds. So. Many. People. x'D, but then again its 32k+ people in one building so its not that difficult to weave around them. (That is unless you have large breakable wings/props...THEN its a little difficult)

I've had no problems with the staff as of YET. Most of the ones I encountered were pretty nice and understanding. Also due to the fact that I kinda learned how they work by now but there are also those who are power-tripping cause they're just a bunch of asses who volunteered just for the power of telling people "HEY, MOVE D<." Honestly, if it was staff problems, I've had more problems with Katsucon's staff back in 09 where you stood in one place for not even a second and there were staff yelling at you to move and gtfo. Probably didn't help that it was so CLUSTERED that year. They've redeemed themselves now as far as I can tell.

As for the artist alley....well I can't really say much since I never ran a table to begin with.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:05 PM   #55
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It's the first convention I ever went to, and despite going completely on a whim, I thought it was fucking awesome. It's also how I got into cosplay and everything that came with it, so I have a special place reserved for it.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 02:59 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daynapapaya View Post
I've been going to Otakon for ten years, every year since 2003, but the only problem I've ever had with it is that I wish they would go back to capping the attendance. It's become really hard to get to where you want to go without being late even if you leave reasonably early, the lines for some panels and events (especially registration) are obscene to the point of being ridiculous...and things like these are the building blocks for a very unhappy staff who are in charge of our health and safety, both convention center staff and con staff alike. I liked it better back in 2006 when the attendance cap was 25,000. It was still crowded, but it was a normal crowded rather than the overbearing one I've seen every year since.

I know I just said that was my only problem, but I forgot one: the musical guests. Maybe it's just my tastes are changing, but the bands they've had the past couple of years just bored me to tears. I miss TM Revolution, L'Arc-en-Ciel, The Indigo, Puffy Ami Yumi, Nana Kitade, Mucc, Yoshiki, The Underneath, and my all-time favorite MarBell...it feels like the bands lately are one's I've never even heard of or just aren't as intriguing and exciting as past guests. But that could just be me, I don't know.

I can't say much about the artist alley, since I never go there. Well, I go in for a few minutes or so and look around, maybe buy a cute crochet animal (this one girl has been there for the past few years selling them and I love them to bits), but I don't linger there long. So I can't really speak much on that.

Anyway, despite the above, I've always had fun at Otakon. The staff members I've seen have always been reasonable and kind, I've never seen anything bad happen...so I'll keep going every single year until the day I don't like anime anymore (unlikely).
I agree with you so much about the first points.
This was my 11th Otakon and it was best when we were below 28k people.
I would hate having to rush to pre-reg like you do with hotels nowadays but I think putting in an attendance cap might be necessary. It's so crowded that everyone is getting stepped on in the narrow hallways and you have to plan every panel you want to go to hours in advanced so you can go sit and wait.

I've said this in the past and I'll say it again, back in the early-mid 2000s we had MAJOR major musical guests and manga-ka at Ota for less than half the cost of the con today. The con and it's ticket price have grown exponentially in size yet each year we have a less and less impressive guest list. It's one of the only cons of it's size that doesn't give a cash prize or actual trophy/award for the masq either. Ota likes to compare itself to other large cons like AX or D*con but it doesn't provide anything like the same value those cons do.
Each year things becomes more of a hassle, less impressive and more crowded all while charging more and more.

It makes no sense, financially, as to why they need to charge so much more for so much less. I guess they need the money to pay for a hundred extra staff to check badges for people leaving the dealers room/panels and make sure it's as difficult as possible to move around the building.

I don't know what happened to the AA. I do most of my shopping there actually because I haven't been really into anime in 4-5 years (I only read like 4 manga + Gundam and old stuff anymore) and they tend to have western comic stuff or video game related stuff.

Wasn't it that there used to be an 18+ section of the AA? That's no longer allowed? I mean, okay, I'll be honest and I know this will piss people off but I really dislike yaoi. I don't care what other people like or draw or fap to, but I really don't like seeing it out all over the place. I don't see any at Ota anymore, so I'm guessing the reason people are mad is because there's no more 18+ section and people aren't allowed to have it openly displayed at their booths, though I did see some in books, which I'm fine with, I'm the one who went prying through your stuff.

Honestly, that's just them trying to be a family friendly con. Hentai is all packed away in the dealers room too. I don't know why there's no 18+ section anymore since that seemed to be a good way to keep that stuff separate but I mean, beyond just the children, I'm 23 and I really don't like seeing my favorite characters getting anally violated while I'm trying to buy buttons, so, I'm totally okay with that.

Also, this is a major matter of contention in the con-community in general but Otakon is one of the cons really sticking to it's guns about NO Western stuff allowed (although they made crazy exceptions for MLP in the AMV contests and stuff, so, good job with the hypocrisy there guys). The anime industry is really suffering. It has been now for years. This is partially legislation making it harder/more expensive to produce since the mayor of Tokyo and a bunch of other politicians hate the NEETS and attribute the anime industry to their existence and growing numbers. It's also partially just that in a lot of ways the things that drew a lot of us to anime (giant robots, cool fight scenes and a hint of garbled philosophy) are being rapidly replaced with more kinda cookie-cutter slice-of-life series which are cheaper to make.

Hell, Inafune (the creator of Rock/Megaman) said straight up that the Japanese gaming industry has become stagnant,uninspired and close to dead, before Capcom fired him for being honest.

We're seeing a major influx of people coming to comics, table top pnp gaming and western video gaming. In the last year, I've noticed an explosion of people at my LCS, people who were anime fans who want to get into comics from Avengers or New 52.

So, while all this decay is happening in anime, the comics industry is booming (okay, it's not changed much). Companies like Image (Walking Dead, Chew, Invincible) are exploding in popularity along with Marvel's movie universe, New 52, Nolan's Batman trilogy and the soon to be DC movieverse (Lets go JLA movie!).

A lot of cons are adapting and becoming general "nerdy media" cons. For example, I'm going to Matsuricon in Ohio in 2 weeks and their mascots this year are all dressed as Marvel and DC characters. What a pleasant surprise to see this anime character dressed as Nightwing and Scarlet Witch, for me.

Otakon will not budge though and I think that is driving people away. It's driving me away.
I've always been a sci-fi and comic nerd so I've always been all over the place at conventions but I think I'm done with anime cons like Ota that refuse to adapt, or at least going to phase them out.

It's a really snobby attitude a lot of the time too, like people don't want us there as if people can't be fans of western media and eastern media at the same time.
So, cons like Ota with an elitist attitude towards anything western (Unless they happen to personally like it, like MLP) are quickly getting crossed off my attendance list.

So, I had a lot of fun but this might be one of my last Otas.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 01:25 AM   #57
Kiba the Levite
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I kind of want to throw my two cents for what its worth into this thread, and something if I had the opportunity to talk to the people who run Otakon I would say.

I'm kind of up in the air about going to Otakon in 2013, I hear good things and bad things about Otakon now. Otakon is always near and dear to my heart because it was the first con I ever went to before I knew a thing about cosplay and conventions in general. It was also the first time I ever traveled alone on a plane and met someone I met on the internet before Myspace and Facebook came into the public back in 2006.

I went in 2006, 2007 and the last time was in 2009, and each time was amazing. With the price of the pre-reg going up yearly, and I remember paying the 50$ back in 2006 and then questioning the increase in price in 2009, it makes me wonder is it really worth it?? I go to conventions in Florida my home state, even the biggest conventions we have like Megacon and Metrocon, they've never raised the price on us and those cons are smaller and I have the same amount of fun at them as I do at Otakon. The staff doesn't harass us and the artist alley isn't what I hear about Otakon now like what they did this year.

I don't get Otakon now, it's gotten bigger but it seems like part of it has gotten worse and part of it they just don't seem to care. I miss going to this convention because every time I go part of me feels better when I come back to Florida, but if things continue the way they are from what I read I guess I should look elsewhere.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 01:26 AM   #58
Kiba the Levite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Twilight View Post
I can understand what you mean, original poster.

I was treated poorly and even taken to "con jail" due to a misunderstanding, where they treated me even worse. But eventually everything was made right and they had more or less redeemed themselves in my eyes. I understand they were stressed and just trying to do their jobs, so it's all good I guess. I'm not one to hold grudges.

It is crazy expensive, I know. But if I have the means I would keep going back. I always end up having a fun time. (I've only been twice, but still.)
I just finished putting my reply but..... CON JAIL?!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Otakon, WHAT THE HELL!!!!
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Unread 08-14-2012, 12:01 PM   #59
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I agree with you so much about the first points.
It's one of the only cons of it's size that doesn't give a cash prize or actual trophy/award for the masq either.
It is true that the Masquerade doesn't award a cash prize, but we have and will continue to award trophies for our Best in Show and Best in Division winners.

We also upgraded our trophy designs this year to a custom Hiroko-chan acrylic. They were carted out onto the stage for the awards presentations, so hopefully you saw them if your were there. In addition, starting this year, each individual in the Best in Show group receives their own trophy.

Best in Show winners receive free memberships to next year's Otakon as well.

As for comparisons to other cons, from the Masquerade standpoint at least, we see ourselves as being able to co-exist, rather than competition. We have fellow Masquerade coordinators abound in our show, including judges, participants, and even our audio playback operator.

We also make a particular emphasis on the experience of all our participants, rather than focusing all our resources on just our winners. Each skit receives a DVD of their performance, as seen on the projection screens at the 1st Mariner Arena, free of charge. Admittedly those take longer to go out than I prefer, but hopefully we can make some progress on that particular one this year.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #60
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I just love how everyone is complaining about how Otakon is run,

1) The Staff isn't payed for none of them end of discussion

2) As far as I know I have never heard any senior staff person say they are just like SDCC/AX and DragonCon all of those Cons have something called a Trade Show which helps bring in guest, Otakorp made the decision long time ago not to have trade shows.

3) Otakorp has stated a few years ago that they will not have an attendance cap

4) Some of you need to understand this very simple idea Otakon is ran by Otakorp which is 501c3 educational non-profit there bylaws are very strict on what they can and can't do. I suggest all of you go and read them they are on the Otakon Website.

5) As for the whole 18+ stuff every con has now started to have both artist and dealers either hide or not bring them. Reason being the average age group right now for Con-Goers is 15-17.

6) As for everyone complaining about the whole $5 dollar increase in this years pass get over it please it's not like they raised by $20-30 like other Big Cons have.
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