I had SUCH A FANTASTIC TIME at Otakon! It’s one of the top five largest anime conventions in America! I thought it was the largest, but upon Googling, I found that it’s beaten by Anime Expo and a few other…UNIMPORTANT ONES.
You see, I went to Otakon in high school with my group of friends! Special thing 1: It was my first time in my life having more than one friend at a time, so doing group activities was the best thing ever. Special thing 2: Flying from Massachusetts to Baltimore Maryland was my first time flying by myself. Special thing 3: I made and wore a Chichiri necklace. 4: I felt like I belonged, when anime wasn’t popular. I was shy to admit liking Dragon Ball Z. I was shy to wear my one Dragon Ball Z T shirt. The only place to get posters was in China Town.
This pic is from 2000. I was 17 years old!
The second year we went, I took a road trip with my friends, driven by Mrs. Bailey, which was my first road trip without my parents.
I never went again because I just didn’t have the time nor money.
Then, one lady who followed me as a fan invited me to be a guest and do a demo at Otakon Las Vegas! It’s a smaller convention, and I asked if Serena could help me. It happened and was great, on a small scale. Then I got invited to THE BIG ONE in Washington DC, which was pretty much what I had gone to, except it outgrew the Baltimore Convention Center it was at years ago!
SO this means 18 years later, I got to be a guest! They flew me and Serena out, and we put on a demo, accepted volunteers to try the moves we taught, and then we sparred hard, all while wearing Vegeta and Goku clothes. WHICH IS THE COOLEST THING. Most people in my gym don’t understand how COOL it is! But everybody at the convention did!
THEY ARE OUR PEOPLE! hahaha Before I was a fighter, I was an Otaku, which means “obsessed with anime.” “Cosplay” means “costume play” and is a Japanese made-up word which has entered our vocabulary.
The demos were a great success!
People gave us great feedback. Everybody was really into it. We had tons of volunteers, tons of questions, and fight fans with really intelligent questions, comments and heckling when we sparred. lol
Before and after our demos and panels, I walked around in my Naruto Kyubi Nine-tails mode costume.
I had people asking to take my picture, just because of my costume, not because I was a fighter. Hah! That was new. A few people did a double take and were like, “Wait…. are you Roxanne Modafferi? IN COSPLAY?!? OMG” hah that was great!
I saw this guy dressed up as Naruto Berserker mode. HE HAD TAILS. And hair. I went up to him and said, “Hi! Can I get a picture with you?”. He looked at me, his eyes opened wide, and he said, “AWWW SH*T!” He was just as happy to get a pic with me! (because of my costume) We just geeked out together and it was fantastic. He was telling me about making his costume and all.
I decided ahead of time that I would go and get as many fangirly pics as I could. This meant running after people. They literally passed me, I looked at Serena, and we literally sprinted up behind them. Haha I chased Obito and Madara, Kuzco, Alex Armstrong, Vash the Stampeed, and the Dino.
We spotted two guys in dino suits randomly battling, and people made room and took pictures. Normal.
Some guy dressed up in a SPiderman suit started attacking a guy in a Vemon suit. Everyone made room and took pictures. Hey, cool! Normal stuff. 😀 I LOVED IT!!!
Nikki and Lydia made sure we got where we needed to go on time, and even treated us to sushi! You guys treated us so well. Thank you! I’m so glad to have made friends with you along the way! 😀
I didn’t really see any other panels, shows, or things. I was very interested in the anime music videos, but they were all at inconvenient times. :/ Bummer. That was the only thing I really wanted to see. I didn’t know any of the other guests. Oh, we saw a Distant Worlds concert! They play the music for Final Fantasy. THAT WAS SPECTACULAR! I have a bunch of Final Fantasy songs on my computer and iPod and I never even played the game. They are just so beautiful!
The actual trip there was long and tiring, but the event was great. 🙂 We got home Sunday night! Thank you, Otakon, for having us!
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