Friday, August 23, 2013

Otakon 2013 Photoblog


It's slightly ironic that I go to an anime convention this year, as I haven't really been watching anime at all over the last few months.

Well, my not watching much anime has really been more of a time and budget problem than anything else. I could just say I'm tired of all the moe stuff that's taken over the anime industry (and I am), but honestly there are still a few shows coming out that I'm interested in. I just haven't had the time to stream or download them.

Since late last year there have been quite a few movies and shows on Blu-Ray I've wanted, but I've had just about no money to buy them. Almost all of those Blu-Rays though have been of shows I watched on TV years ago -- the last anime shows I really liked.

The streams and discs were very much on-display at Otakon this year, so I guess going was sort of a chance to step back into that hobby.

One of the tentpoles of conventions like Otakon is typically a dealer's room where you waste your money useless-but-awesome things. This year my focus was kept mostly on Blu-Rays, but unfortunately decided to undercut pretty much every sale and deal Otakon had this year with its own anime sale at the same time.

While Otakon dealers had some Blu-Rays 20 percent off, Amazon was slicing those prices in half (and still are as of this writing). I'm not saying Amazon did this on purpose in its apparent crusade to kill retail, but it has been known to compete directly with Steam deals and such, and pretty much the entirety of Black Friday last year for me took place on Amazon. The point is, Amazon successfully discouraged me from buying hardly anything at Otakon (and while writing this I ordered Black Lagoon Roberta's Blood Trail).

The watching of anime might be another issue though. Over the last couple of years I have been able brush aside the moe and high school drama to find a handful of shows I'd like to watch, but haven't gotten around to trying them out. Some of Otakon's screenings kick started this a bit.

Actually, one show I watched at the con was the first three episodes of the original Patlabor OVA miniseries of which I'd been eyeing the Blu-Ray. Now I know I want to get it once my finances are in order. If you don't know what Patlabor is, it's kind of a semi-realistic giant robot show mixed with a cop show. Well, it's more accurate to call it a cop drama with giant robots. The series is pretty lighthearted but the movies (which I highly recommend) are a bit more serious.

The one thing going to Otakon really sold me on though was Attack on Titan. Maybe all I had to do was spend a weekend away from my computer and consoles in order to have time to finally look at it, but I think I'm going to try to find the time to marathon this show in the coming weekes. Might even finally sign up for a 30-day Crunchyroll premium trial.

Like some of my favorite anime, Titan does a great job of balancing entertaining, developed characters with a bleak but unique setting. I guess it's the next popular shounen action series because half the cosplayers at Otakon were dressed up as characters from this show. If I had to compare it to anything I'd probably pick Fullmetal Alchemist, both in terms of tone and even the setting.

Of course whether or not I can actually follow through with hopping back onto anime depends almost entirely on my money. We'll see as summer draws to a close and we enter the fall release season for both anime and games.
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