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Otakon (/ˈtəkɒn/ OH-tə-kon) is an annual three-day anime convention held during July/August. From 1999 to 2016, it took place at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland's Inner Harbor district; in 2017, it moved to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The convention focuses on East Asian popular culture (primarily anime, manga, music, and cinema) and its fandom. The name is a portmanteau derived from convention and the Japanese word otaku. Otakon is one of the longest-running anime conventions in the United States and is the fifth largest North American anime convention as of 2016.[2]

Otakon
Official Otakon Logo 2.jpg
Official Otakon logo.
Status Active
Genre Anime, East Asian popular culture
Venue Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Location(s) Washington, D.C.
Country United States
Inaugurated 1994
Attendance 29,113 in 2016[1]
Organized by Otakorp, Inc.
Filing status 501(c)(3)
Website
Otakon.com

Contents

OtakorpEdit

Otakon is run by the Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization Otakorp, Inc.[3] whose primary purpose "is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment".[4]

ProgrammingEdit

Typical Otakon programming includes:[5]

Multiple video rooms in which anime and live action East Asian films are shown on big screens throughout the convention. Fan-produced content including fan-parodies and anime music videos (AMVs) are also shown. For several years, Otakon had a dedicated 35 mm film theater, but replaced it in 2008 with an HD theater[6] to take advantage of the wider array of offerings in that format. Panels and workshops on subjects such as voice acting, how to draw manga,[7] Japanese culture, and a variety of other topics. Industry professionals announce new acquisitions, and expert guests discuss or show tricks of their trade and field questions from the audience. Many panels and workshops are conducted by fans rather than pros (ex. Create a Comic Project).[7] Cosplay and a skit-based Masquerade show, which in recent years had taken place inside the Royal Farms Arena.[5]

HistoryEdit

Event historyEdit

Dates Location Attendance (Unique Memberships) Guests Notes
July 29–31, 1994 Days Inn Penn State, State College, Pennsylvania 350[1] Robert DeJesus, Dave Fleming, Jei Fubler Harvey, Bill Mayo, Neil Nadelman, Steve Pearl, Lorraine Savage, Sue Shambaugh, and Jeff Thompson.[8]
September 1–4, 1995 Penn State Scanticon, State College, Pennsylvania 450[1] Steve Bennett, Robert DeJesus, Matt Greenfield, Teruo Kakuta, Trish Ledoux, Neil Nadelman, Toshio Okada, Steve Pearl, C. Scott Rider, Tomoko Saito, Lorraine Savage, Sue Shambaugh, Toren Smith, John Staton, Jeff Thompson, Adam Warren, and Robert Woodhead.[9] Otakon's first and only four day convention.
August 9–11, 1996 Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, Maryland 1,000[1] Steve Bennett, Robert DeJesus, Masaomi Kanzaki, Matt Lunsford, Neil Nadelman, Steve Pearl, Sue Shambaugh, Jeff Thompson, and Adam Warren.[10]
August 8–10, 1997 Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, Maryland 1,750[1] Ippongi Bang, Kuni Kimura, Matt Lunsford, and Jan Scott-Frazier.[11]
August 7–9, 1998 Hyatt Regency-Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia 2,500[1] Hiroshi Aro, Juliet Cesario, Robert DeJesus, Tiffany Grant, Scott Houle, Shoji Kawamori, Kuni Kimura, Trish Ledoux, Stuart Levy, Matt Lunsford, Tristan MacAvery, Neil Nadelman, Lisa Ortiz, Steve Pearl, Jan Scott-Frazier, Scott Simpson, John Staton, Jeff Thompson, and Amanda Winn-Lee.[12]
July 2–4, 1999 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 4,500[1] Steve Bennett, Chris Beveridge, Michael Brady, Robert DeJesus, Robert Fenelon, Crispin Freeman, Tiffany Grant, Amy Howard-Wilson, Mari Iijima, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Yoko Kanno, Kuni Kimura, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Shin Kurokawa, Rachael Lillis, Neil Nadelman, Kazuto Nakazawa, Lisa Ortiz, Steve Pearl, Fred Perry, Fred Schodt, Jan Scott-Frazier, John Staton, Jeff Thompson, Adam Warren, and Shinichiro Watanabe.[13]
August 4–6, 2000 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 7,500[1] Yoshitoshi ABe, Bôa, Steve Bennett, Chris Beveridge, Mandy Bonhomme, Robert Fenelon, Michael Granberry, Shinya Hasegawa, Scott Houle, Amy Howard-Wilson, Kunihiko Ikuhara, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Ian Kim, Neil Nadelman, Steve Pearl, Gilles Poitras, Hiroaki Sakurai, Jan Scott-Frazier, John Staton, Jeff Thompson, Yasuyuki Ueda, Adam Warren, Pamela Weidner, and Simon Yam.[14]
August 10–12, 2001 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 10,275[1] Steve Bennett, Rodney "Largo" Caston, Jo Chen, Colleen Doran, Fred Gallagher, Tiffany Grant, Scott Houle, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Ian Kim, Shin Kurokawa, Masao Maruyama, Hikaru Midorikawa, Fred Perry, Gilles Poitras, Jan Scott-Frazier, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Adam Warren, and Pamela Weidner.[15]
July 26–28, 2002 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 12,880[1] Steve Bennett, Chris Beveridge, Rodney "Largo" Caston, Fred Gallagher, Yoko Ishida, Wendee Lee, Masao Maruyama, Yutaka Minowa, Kiroyuki Morioka, Neil Nadelman, Yasuhiro Nightow, Fred Perry, TW Crew, Gilles Poitras, Tatsuo Sato, Jan Scott-Frazier, and Lianne Sentar.[16]
August 8–10, 2003 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 17,338[1] Steve Bennett, Mandy Bonhomme, Johnny Yong Bosch, Justin Cook, Julie Davis, Robert DeJesus, Brian Drummond, Fred Gallagher, Scott Houle, Yoshiaki Iwasaki, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Itsuro Kawasaki, Tsukasa Kotobuki, Pontus Madsen, Masao Maruyama, Rica Matsumoto, Dr. Susan Napier, Satoshi Nishimura, Kristine Sa, Fred Schodt, Jan Scott-Frazier, T.M.Revolution, and Pamela Weidner.[17] Otakon's 10th Anniversary Year
July 30 – August 1, 2004 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 20,899[1] angela, Matt Boyd, Siu-Tung "Tony" Ching, Luci Christian, Koge Donbo*, Richard Epcar, Christian Fundin, Mohammad "Hawk" Haque, Chuck Huber, L'Arc-en-Ciel, Pontus Madsen, Ian McConville, Yutaka Minowa, Ichiro Okouch, Ananth Panagariya, Chris Patton, Monica Rial, Chris Sabat, Tatsuo Sato, Yuzo Sato, Lianne Sentar, and Matt Thorn.[18]
August 19–21, 2005 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 22,000[1] Greg Ayres, Katie Bair, Matt Boyd, Brian Carroll, Luci Christian, Justin Cook, Richard Ian Cox, Huw "Lem" Davies, Ben Dunn, Christian Fundin, Fred Gallagher, Michael Gluck, Mohammad "Hawk" Haque, the Indigo, Yoshinori Kanemori, Kumiko Kato, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Dave Lister, Pontus Madsen, Masao Maruyama, Ian McConville, Mike McFarland, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Scott McNeil, Vic Mignogna, Mitsukazu Mihara, Seiji Mizushima, Ananth Panagariya, Fred Perry, Puffy AmiYumi, Scott Ramsoomair, Xero Reynolds, Monica Rial, Michelle Ruff, Michael "Mookie" Terracciano, and Toshifumi Yoshida.[19][20] Attendance was capped at 22,000; attendance cap reached on Saturday, August 20.[1]
August 4–6, 2006 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 22,302[1] Christine Auten, Troy Baker, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Christian Fundin, Lisa Furukawa, Fred Gallagher, Caitlin Glass, Yoshiki Hayashi, Kate Higgins, Kouta Hirano, Hirotsugu Kawasaki, Ayako Kawasumi, Nana Kitade, Yuri Lowenthal, Pontus Madsen, Masao Maruyama, Mike McFarland, Mucc, Kazuto Nakazawa, Monica Rial, Antimere Robinson, Patrick Seitz, Makoto Tateno, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[21] Attendance was capped at 25,000; attendance cap was not reached.[1]
July 20–22, 2007 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 22,852[1] AAA, Morio Asaka, Steve Blum, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Aaron Dismuke, Eminence, Christian Fundin, Fred Gallagher, Caitlin Glass, Ryuhei Kitamura, Kenji Kodama, Pontus Madsen, Vic Mignogna, Maki Murakami, Mamiko Noto, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Tomokazu Seki, Stephanie Sheh, Mike Sinterniklaas, Michihiko Suwa, and Steve Yun.[22]
August 8–10, 2008 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 26,262[1] Laura Bailey, Peter S. Beagle, DaizyStripper, Richard Epcar, Peter Fernandez, Taliesin Jaffe, JAM Project, Willow Johnson, Kyoko Kano, Mika Kano, Mela Lee, Yuri Lowenthal, MarBell, Masao Maruyama, Hiromi Matsushita, Tony Oliver, Tara Platt, Derek Stephen Prince, Mike Sinterniklaas, Ellyn Stern, Kazuko Tadano, the Underneath, and Kappei Yamaguchi.[23]
July 17–19, 2009 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 26,586[1] Becca, Crispin Freeman, Kikuko Inoue, Noboru Ishiguro, Yukio Kikukawa, Masao Maruyama, Hidenori Matsubara, Mike McFarland, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, MELL, Misako Rocks!, Tony Oliver, Fred Schodt, Naomi Tamura, VAMPS, Kanon Wakeshima, Travis Willingham, and Yutaka Yamamoto.[24]
July 30-August 1, 2010 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 29,274[1] Peter S. Beagle, Chris Bevins, Maile Flanagan, Scott Freeman, Todd Haberkorn, Clarine Harp, Yoshiki Hayashi, Naoto Hirooka, Home Made Kazoku, Amy Howard-Wilson, Masashi Ishihama, Jerry Jewell, Kanon, Hiroki Kikuta, Hiroshi Koujina, Masao Maruyama, Koji Masunari, Vic Mignogna, Yuji Mitsuya, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Takamasa Sakurai, Patrick Seitz, Stephanie Sheh, Shihori, Mike Sinterniklaas, Felipe Smith, Sugizo, J. Michael Tatum, The Yoshida Brothers, and Hiroaki Yura.[25]
July 29–31, 2011 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 29,337[1] Peter S. Beagle, Johnny Yong Bosch, Chemistry, Eyeshine, Scott Freeman, Toshihiro Fukuoka, Orine Fukushima, Noboru Ishiguro, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Masumi Kano, Roland Kelts, Kylee, Cassandra Lee, Shelby Lindley, Masao Maruyama, Mitsuba, Kazuya Murata, Momoka Ohara, Tony Oliver, Lisa Ortiz, Masayuki Ozaki, Scott Sager, Takamasa Sakurai, DJ Saolilith, Akira Sasanuma, Patrick Seitz, Stephanie Sheh, Chiaki Shimogama, Makoto Shinkai, Bob Shirohata, Sixh., Synergy, J. Michael Tatum, Nobuo Uematsu, Cristina Vee, Tom Wayland, Mari Yoshida, and Hiroaki Yura.[26]
July 27–29, 2012 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 30,785[1] Peter S. Beagle, Christine Marie Cabanos, Jason David Frank, Gashicon, Aya Hirano, Mikako Joho, Tetsuya Kakihara, Lauren Landa, Masao Maruyama, Yuuka Nanri, Trina Nishimura, Ai Nonaka, Brina Palencia, Shin Sasaki, Michael Sinterniklaas, J. Michael Tatum, Hidetaka Tenjin, Gen Urobuchi, VIXX, and Sarah Williams.[27]
August 9–11, 2013 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 34,211[1] Shingo Adachi, Peter S. Beagle, Maile Flanagan, Crispin Freeman, Tsukasa Fushimi, Todd Haberkorn, Kyle Hebert, Home Made Kazoku, Chiaki Ishikawa, Hiroyuki Kanbe, Yoko Kanno, Tetsuya Kawakami, Roland Kelts, Kaoru Kurosaki, Masao Maruyama, Mike McFarland, Vic Mignogna, Kazuma Miki, Masayuki Ozaki, Takamasa Sakurai, Jad B. Saxton, Tomokazu Seki, Micah Solusod, Michihiko Suwa, T.M.Revolution, Yuzuru Tachikawa, Cristina Vee and, Shinichiro Watanabe.[28] Otakon's 20th Anniversary Year[29]
August 8–10, 2014 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 33,929[1] Altima, Linda Ballantyne, Dante Basco, Peter S. Beagle, Christine Marie Cabanos, Robbie Daymond, Kelly Gneiting, Katie Griffin, Saori Hayami, Jiro Ishii, Shinichiro Kashiwada, Sunao Katabuchi, Carrie Keranen, Yusuke Kozaki, Wendee Lee, Masao Maruyama, Hidenori Matsubara, Erica Mendez, Tony Oliver, Stephanie Sheh, John Stocker, Ray Villard, David Vincent, Yama, Yoshiki, and Hiroaki Yura.[30] Attendance was capped at 35,000; attendance cap was not reached.[31] First time in Otakon's history that an attendance decline occurred.
July 24–26, 2015 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 26,877[1] Ei Aoki, Laura Bailey, Sandy Fox, Yuichiro Hayashi, Yasuaki Iwase, Seiji Kishi, Toru Kubo, Shizuka Kurosaki, Lauren Landa, Lex Lang, Masao Maruyama, Toshiyuki Nagano, OreSkaBand, Bryce Papenbrook, Romi Park, Chris Sabat, Takamasa Sakurai, Sean Schemmel, Shinji Takamatsu, Kaiji Tang, J. Michael Tatum, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Travis Willingham, Shuko Yokoyama,[32] and Draft King.[33] Attendance was capped at 35,000; attendance cap was not reached. Second consecutive attendance decline recorded.
August 12–14, 2016 Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland 29,113[1] Zach Aguilar, Kazuki Akane, Ilya Alekseyev, All Off, Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Aaron Dismuke, Shiro Dogu, Kasumi Fukagawa, Caitlin Glass, Kazuki Higashiji, Kenji Horikawa, Kuniko Kanawa, Yoshitaka Kawaguchi, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, Erik Scott Kimerer, Lauren Landa, Michael Liscio Jr., Yui Makino, Michi, Jason Charles Miller, Max Mittelman, Koji Morimoto, Sarah Natochenny, Muneki Ogasawara, Lisa Ortiz, Haven Paschall, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld, Stephanie Sheh, Mike Sinterniklaas, Matt Stagmer, Sonny Strait, LeSean Thomas, Alexis Tipton, Shunsuke Wada, Kazutomi Yamamoto, and Yoshiki.[34] Last year Otakon was held in Baltimore. Attendance increased by 9.3% after two consecutive years of decreasing attendance.
August 11–13, 2017 Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. 24,894[1] Ilya Alekseyev, Ei Aoki, Stella Chuu, Flow, Sandy Fox, Toshio Furukawa, Kyle Hebert, JAM Project, Shino Kakinuma, Kuniko Kanawa, Roland Kelts, Tetsuya Kinoshita, Tomoki Kyoda, Lex Lang, Masao Maruyama, Hidenori Matsubara, Takanori Matsuoka, Jamie McGonnigal, Vic Mignogna, Chris Niosi, Tony Oliver, Project BECK, Tyson Rinehart, Michelle Ruff, Frederik L. Schodt, Stephanie Sheh, Mike Sinterniklaas, The Slants, Matt Stagmer, Katsuyuki Sumizawa, T.M.Revolution, Hideyuki Tomioka, and Shimba Tsuchiya.[35][36][n 1] First year Otakon held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
August 10-12, 2018[37] Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.

LocationsEdit

 
Otakon 2011 Visit Baltimore "Customer of the Year" Award

The first Otakon was held at a Days Inn in State College, Pennsylvania in 1994; 350 people attended.[38]

BaltimoreEdit

From 1999 to 2016, Otakon was held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2011, the Baltimore city tourism agency, Visit Baltimore, gave Otakon a "Customer of the Year" award for "demonstrat[ing] ongoing commitment to Baltimore, bringing more than 27,000 attendees to the city every year, a much-anticipated event by the local community and media".[39] Otakon has been a top convention for Baltimore since 2003.[40] Otakon 2009 had an economic impact of $12.5 million in direct spending and booked over 4,500 hotel rooms. According to the Baltimore Business Journal on December 10, 2010, Otakon 2010 had 4,575 booked hotel rooms and an estimated economic impact of $15.3 million, up from $12.5 million the year before;[41] in particular it had significant impact on food vendors.[42]

Washington, DCEdit

Beginning in 2017, Otakon moved to Washington, DC, to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.[43][44]

Las VegasEdit

Since 2014 a spin-off convention also run by Otakorp has been held in January at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.[45]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Flow, JAM Project, and T.M.Revolution appeared as part of the Anisong World Matsuri event.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Otakon History: Stats Page". Otakon. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  2. ^ Delahanty, Patrick (January 2, 2017). "Largest North American Anime Conventions of 2016". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Register of Corporations, Pennsylvania Dept of State. "Business Entity: OTAKORP, Inc.". Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  4. ^ "Otakorp". www.otakorp.org. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Events: Schedule". Otakon.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  6. ^ http://otakon.com/pdf/bcc_map.pdf Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  7. ^ a b "Anime Convention ::: Advanced Media Network - Comprehensive Convention Coverage". Anime.advancedmn.com. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  8. ^ "Otakon 1994 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2015-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Otakon 1995 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  10. ^ "Otakon 1996 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  11. ^ "Otakon 1997 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  12. ^ "Otakon 1998 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  13. ^ "Otakon 1999 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Otakon 2000 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2015-08-01. 
  15. ^ "Otakon 2001 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  16. ^ "Otakon 2002 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  17. ^ "Otakon 2003 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  18. ^ "Otakon 2004 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  19. ^ Shapiro, Stephanie (August 22, 2005). "Power Puffy Girls". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  20. ^ "Otakon 2005 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  21. ^ "Otakon 2006 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  22. ^ "Otakon 2007 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  23. ^ "Otakon 2008 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  24. ^ "Otakon 2009 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  25. ^ "Otakon 2010 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  26. ^ "Otakon 2011 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  27. ^ "Otakon 2012 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  28. ^ "Otakon 2013 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  29. ^ "Otakon". JNTO. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  30. ^ "Otakon 2014 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  31. ^ "Otakon's Online-Registration Opens at 12:01AM, March 8th!". www.otakon.com. March 7, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Otakon 2015 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  33. ^ "Draft King to Play Friday Concert at Otakon 2015". Anime News Network. May 28, 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  34. ^ "Otakon 2016 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  35. ^ "Otakon 2017 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  36. ^ "Anisong World Matsuri Brings Two Amazing Concerts to Otakon". Otaku USA Magazine. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017. 
  37. ^ "Otakon 2018 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  38. ^ Du Lac, J. Freedom (August 3, 2011). "Awkward moments at Baltimore anime convention as art form comes of age". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-09-08. 
  39. ^ "History: In the News". www.otakon.com. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  40. ^ Bernstein, Rachel (2009-07-17). "Otakon convention brings thousands of Japanese anime fans to Baltimore". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-07. 
  41. ^ Proctor, Carolyn (2010-12-10). "Room to Grow". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  42. ^ Bernstein, Rachel (2010-07-30). "Otakon and soccer means big business for Baltimore". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  43. ^ Cooper, Rebecca (August 11, 2017). "With Otakon, city boosters hope to up D.C.’s creative cred". Washington Business Journal. 
  44. ^ Goldchain, Michelle (August 14, 2017). "Otakon 2017, the highlights". Curbed Washington DC. 
  45. ^ "Otakon Spin-Off Convention in Vegas Planned for January". Anime News Network. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 

External linksEdit