Otakon, the convention concentrating on Anime and comics, took place at the Baltimore convention center on July 27 – 29 to celebrate all things anime and manga.
Over 30,000 fans descended on Baltimore City for three days to pay tribute to all things Japanese, cosplay (costume play), and buy from the vendors. This annual festival is the biggest among manga fans, and regularly attracts big names in anime voice actors, manga publishers, and anime artists. The name Otakon comes from the Japanese term Otaku. Cosplay Outfits
In Japan, the word Otaku is an insult, synonymous with a geek or social awkward person. Otaku is described as “someone with a Manga or anime obsession, an obsession so acute they do not even leave their house.” The convention also has panels (one titled “Pokeholics Anonymous”), screenings of anime films, and video game tournaments. In the vendor hall you could buy almost every concervable manga and anime, plus cosplay wear, swords, Japanese items, corsets, among many other items.
The convention even tried to reach into the Korean pop (K-pop) culture this year by having popular K-pop group VIXX play at the convention. This year was also the second year that Otakon extended their festivities by holding a a free to public Matsuri on Thursday before Otakon. The Matsuri is an Asian themed festival that featured a traditional Okinawan taiko drum group, a Japanese style goth band, food, and Local Anime Clubs and the Japanese Embassy.