Posted on 20th Jan, 2019 in Uncategorised
I don't normally write about the conventions I go to but someone won't stop bothering me about it. So with 30 minutes until they're supposed to read this live on stream I'm writing it all down now.Go West Young Weebs
A good friend of mine, Sunday, is really big on collecting autographs from those in the NA anime industry. It's not unusual for him to attend more conventions than there months in the year, so it's not usual for him to hit convention in the middle of the country as well. Other other hand, I typically do about half as many and am limited to the East Coast since it's very easy to get around here. (As a NYer, I have no drivers license since there's nowhere to park anyway.) However, this year I didn't want to go to Katsucon as I've traditionally done for ages. Katsu is great for seeing friends and cosplaying, but their programming isn't as strong as I'd like. So I let Sunday talk me in to going out to Ohio because Ohayocon has a rather interesting piece of programming I've never seen at an anime convention, a roast. Every year they pick one of their American guests and the other guests roast them. Sounds promising so let's do it!
Unfortunately, because Sunday is such an avid autograph collector, he had to ensure we arrived at the convention as soon as they opened. That left us with only 1 option, a red-eye flight from New York's La Guardia to Columbus,Ohio. After a full day at work, I came home, packed, and took a 40 minute nap. Then I hopped on my bike to go get Sunday. I left at 3:00 AM and was not a happy camper. When I arrived he was asleep, so after waking him, we grabbed a Lyft to the airport. Despite the government shutdown, we breezed through security and got on a small plane with only 20 other people.Ohayogozaimasu, Ohio~
Upon landing in Ohio, I realized that it was colder than NY and we were too early to check in, so we headed to the convention center early for breakfast and to kill some time. While there I accidentally started an inter-state dispute. You see… I'm very very much from New York and there are certain sacred traditions that I carry with me everywhere I go. One of those traditions is to honor the great cuisine of my hometown, and unfortunately a lack of sleep caused me to go off with some deadass facts at the sight of my breakfast.
I have very high standards when it comes to breakfast. A proper bacon, egg and cheese should be on a roll or bagel and the cheese must be melty. After killing sometime on that, we finally checked in and I took a nap. When I woke up, I was surprised to find that the the convention center staff saw my tweet and had offered to rectify the situation. I was taken aback by that level of customer service, since I'm used to working with convention centers where you can be an event organizer reporting a serious concern and the staff will still tell you get lost. I was also mortified because I was just sleepy and hangry, and I let the whole internet see that. They've definitely got my apologies and respect for putting up with me.The Convention Center
The convention center was one of the I've ever been in. It was very modern looking and spacious. Even though there were a lot of attendees (far more than I expected), there was always ample room to navigate. The convention center staff were also super friendly and helpful. I'm still impressed about how on top of the "Bacon, Egg and Cheese" incident they were.Ohayocon
Ohayocon's programming was on point. There was always something scheduled, and they had a whopping total of 13 panel rooms and 2 main events rooms. Picking what I wanted to do was a little daunting at times but I was never lacking choices. They also had a surprising number of cool Japanese and American industry guests. Also, despite the size of the convention, the atmosphere was very intimate. One of the recurring themes of the weekend, was me walking in to any random room and Nabeshin (of Excel Saga fame) popping up from right behind me several minutes later.
Overall, I'd consider Ohayocon a pretty impressive anime convention. I have never been farther west than DC for anything before, so it was my first time in Ohio. However, they have an impressive facility, a very well organized convention and good breweries nearby. I'd definitely recommend giving this convention a try.Lessons Learned
If there's one thing I've learned, opening the convention season immediately after the holidays is rough. I never have enough time to get everything done since I'm still playing catch up from things I missed due to the Christmas and New Year festivities. I don't think I'd want to start my paneling season in January again, but I definitely would consider returning to Ohayocon as a regular attendee. Fortunately I've got no more conventions for me until Spring hits.