Short story. Meet the Jtor staff, had a great weekend.
Below is the long version, you've been warned...
Ah Otakon, for one weekend I can go to a place and truly feel as if I have escaped reality, if not for a little while. I made it to Baltimore Thursday and hung out with some people, tasted the local delicacy, deep fried trout, and it was damn tasty. As the evening came I thought about what I would get into. For reasons best kept unexplained I wasn't exactly down with partying in the room. So I dressed down in my cozy shorts and v neck tee and walked to the con on bare feet. It was a liberating experience. I felt like an open page, ready to write my own story as I entered a different place and time altogether. The early birds were already making a makeshift line. I found a single girl sitting all alone and decided to talk to her till she stopped being interesting. Then participated in a game of volleyball using a box full of foam, till it broke apart and a stuffed Pokemon was used in its place. I watched two guys play around with wooden weapons, one a bo staff the other a bokken and waited for someone to get hurt. I bet to myself that the sword guy would take one to the dome and soon enough I was right. I should have been quicker to find a sucker to take the wager. Soon it was early morning and I decided to find my room and get some rest. The con would begin soon.
Friday came rolling in like a horse pulled wagon. I walked down to the Dunken Doughnuts for breakfast, keeping my con badge I got Thursday tucked away so I would be less likely to be bothered by the local bums. I was in the mist of eating my sandwich when a women came to my table, carrying luggage by her hand and exhaustion on her shoulders. She was lovely, a non-con goer, shapely firm figure, Abercrombie and Fitch clothes on a sexy smile, straight brown hair and soft brown eyes. She had it going on ya'll. The back of my pimp hand itched as it sensed opportunity. We talked over coffee, she was seeing friends in Baltimore and she was tired from her schooling to be a CNA.After she told me her name she said "what did you think it was? Shanequa or something?" which it wasn't at all. "I don't make asumptions about someone that I don't know, I let a person show who they are or what kind of person they are to me and go from there" I replied. All she wanted to do was rest and all I wanted to do was help her. After a while I nutted up and let her know I wanted the digits and make something happen. This girl was smart, she handed me her phone and had me put my number on it for her, she let me know that if she wanted me, she'd call me. I finally left, proud of myself, and prepared to not hear from her again.
Sadily I was correct.
I strolled on past the at-door reg line and headed in the far off entrance. It had been years since I'd been to an Otakon and my eyes were quickly transfixed as my mind recalled the shier epic scope of the event, Cosplayers everywhere and most all of them very photogenic. I took out my sleek new little photo taking gadget and went to work. Taking pictures was like a chore, but I enjoyed it much like a baker who takes pride in his wares. I was eager to make my friends back home jealous of the fact that they weren't here with me. I made it somewhat late to Vertical's panel, eager to find Brad again and Ed, and to meet Felipe. Sadly I didn't see Brad there (did you leave early Brad?) but still gave the others my hellos. Shit happened, I ate some food, That night I went to see Vampire girl vs. Frankenstein girl and laughed my ass off. I had it brought back to life and carried it with me to watch Cleavage. There's nothing like watching hentai at a convention. After failing to find a party with everyone ready to sleep I decided to sleep as well.
Round two came through like a frosty brew on Saturday. More interesting cosplay and shenanigans were abound. I tried to make a strong showing at the video game room, and thoroughly got my ass trampled on in SSFIV. I'll show em when my stick arrives in the mail and begin to practice with one. Also discovered that I like DJ Hero. Saw some anime, then watched "The Warlords" live action, never did it take longer for three people to figure out how to switch a dvd from dubbed to subbed. Thankfully it only took a poorly dubbed "you are my brother" line to drive the nail home that it had to be done. That night I watched Robo Geisha and was truly enlightened. The power of love and friendship can win over all, and turn your robotic legs into tank treads capable of climbing up skyscrapers horizontally. Finally the party was found that night outside of our rooms and on the walkway leading to the pool. My friends had brought a hookah and we partook of it forming a circle of good times, I even managed to include the friends I'd just made moments ago, and I ran to grab my rum and trip sec to make it official. Sadly I decided to retire to my quarters at around 4:30. I had a date with destiny, to meet the Staff of Jtor at Colette's Panel, or die trying.
A hot food buffet and Red Bull breakfast started my Sunday morning off right. I made it top priority to check the dealers room just in case there was anything of merit. There was a fascinating leather outfitters with some very kick ass leather fantasy style overcoats and vests that actually fit me. But most interesting was a sword stand lead by Dragonsong Forge. These guys were the real deal. They proved it by taking there worst sword off the rack and literally shave one of there business cards. I know where I'll shop for my next Katana from now on.
Finally I went back to the Hilton to catch Collete's panel. Saw Pedro there too, and looked around till I noticed more faces, first Brad, then Dale, then Ben, then Crystal, I smiled as I was going to finally meet the whole crew. The panel was informative and interesting. I'm not huge into figures but I certainly appreciate them. And have a few cheep ones on my desk at home. Afterword I kept my excitement in check as I approached the crew. One after another I called one of them out, shook there hand and embarked into my best attempt at pleasant conversations, Everybody was as awesome as I hoped, hands were shook, smiles were shared and even a few stories were told. I passed on my camera to the very helpful The Excel (who I didn't know was him at the time) and the pictures were a flowin'. My peace sign was contagious as I went though pics of everybody individually. You guys were awesome (sorry if I missed one of you guys) and I wish nothing but the best for you all. I hope to watch Jtor grow stronger and one day pierce the heavens with there articles and J-coverage. Thanks for reading.
With the recent interest in how the general public views anime (the talk about Princess Robot Bubblegum and the old anime=porn problem) I decided to ask this question.
How many of us hide our love of anime?
I used to wear clothes like this shirt proudly, and often enjoyed explaining anime to people. But now its more readily known in the general public. In my local comic shop many of the regulars there have a lot of hate for it. They don’t like the art style (big eyes) and the over-reactions (sweat-drops).
And dating, how many of us hide it from the opposite sex? Maybe you’ve started to see someone who isn’t into anime, how do you let them know?
I will admit now, perhaps now that I’m getting a little older, that anime takes a back burner on the grill of conversations now. I usually won’t let someone know that I’m into anime until I’ve gotten to know them, and I certainly don’t think of talking about it with co-workers.
I know that everyone's situation is different. But with all these variables, do you guys find yourself hiding your love of anime?