Hey Otafans, get ready for this year’s Otakon, one of the world’s premier gatherings of otaku fandom! Hosted by the not-for-profit organization Otakorp, Inc., Otakon celebrates everything Asian pop culture, including anime, manga, music, movies, video games, and so much more. From August 10-12, this amazing annual event will be held at the one and only Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. for the second year running. With over two million square feet at its disposal, Otakon features a slew of activities for the duration of the weekend, including concerts, cosplaying, panels, celebrity guests, video screenings, arcade, tabletop and card gaming, LARP, a manga library, and so much more! Plus, shop for your favorite genre merchandise in the dealer’s hall, and find one-of-a-kind items in the artist alley.
Read on to check out just some of what Otakon has to offer!
Find Your Niche at Otakon Matsuri
The cultural celebration Otakon Matsuri is returning to the convention this year as a culture track. There are tons of activities and events happening all weekend long, so there’ll never be a dull moment! Find your favorite activities to take part in, like concerts, martial arts classes, cultural performances, workshops, games, and more. Rock out to musical guests including The NOC Collective, Kedesh Flow, and EyeQ. And check out walking pieces of art with cosplay guests Phil Mizuno and Pixelpantz.
Dance the Night Away at the Otakurave
The only thing better than a rave is an Otakurave! Friday and Saturday night, Otakon will welcome local DJs to spin every kind of music, whether it be remixed pop songs, drum and bass, anime remixes, or anything in between. If you like loud music that gets your heart pumping to the beat of the bass, a huge crowd of like-minded fans moshing together, and losing track of time while you dance the night away, then there’s no better place to be!
Experience the Lolita Lifestyle
Heavily influenced by Victorian, Edwardian, and Rococo eras, Lolita is a popular fashion substyle originating in Japan. Featuring one pieces, jumper skirts, blouses, lace, frills, ribbons, and a fine attention to detail, Lolita isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s a movement. And Otakon now has a place for these long admired fashion lovers. At the Lolita Garden, fashionistas can relax, socialize, and enjoy themselves. There are tons of activities to keep you entertained, like photo shoots, solo concertos, Lolita Bingo, and even the Lolita Swap Meet, where you bring your own Lolita items and swap them for others.
After you peruse the garden, it’s time to prepare yourself for the Lolita Fashion Show, which showcases boutique outfits modeled in different styles up on the runway. Enjoy magnificent creations from designers and models including A. Gato Designs, who provides comfortable, handmade looks in a variety of sizes and styles; MonsterEnvy, the alternative fashion and art brand specializing in Gothic, Pastel, and Classic Lolita; and Emma Devine, a freelance model from Washington, D.C. who works in a wide variety of styles.
Visit the Maid Cafe
Come and enjoy your own fairy tale experience with Otakon’s Maid Cafe. These wonderful Maids and Butlers will be ready to make any Master or Princess feel welcome. There are only 12 shows all weekend, and only 60 lucky members get to attend each performance. Get your advance tickets to guarantee your seat now!
Support Panels Made By the Fans, For the Fans
As with any convention, panels are one of the most highly-anticipated aspects of the weekend. But do you know what makes Otakon special? Fan panels make up the largest part of the programming, which means your panel ideas, knowledge, talent, time, and effort before and during the con are crucial to the event’s success, and fans can truly shape the convention in any way they want. Enjoy panels ranging from “How to get by in Japan on 40 yen a day,” to “How to drive the giant robot you just found buried in your backyard.” There’s something for everyone here, and this convention truly embodies the phrase, “For fans…by fans.”
Enjoy the Distant Worlds and A New World: Music from Final Fantasy Concerts
AWR Music Productions, LLC is proud to present the official symphony concert world-tour, Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY. Launched in conjunction with the twentieth anniversary of FINAL FANTASY, this concert tour features the music of Japanese video game composer Nobuo Uematsu and is conducted by Grammy award-winner Arnie Roth. And if one performance wasn’t enough, be sure not to miss A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY! Each of these incredible concerts offer a multimedia experience combining stirring screen images to match the soaring emotions of a symphony orchestra performing music from SQUARE ENIX’S world-renowned FINAL FANTASY video game series.
Be Part of the Interactive Experience of the Dragon Ball North American Tour
Take part in the second stop on the Dragon Ball North American Tour! Enjoy free promotional goodies at the booth, and experience the regional DBZ card tournament hosted at Otakon. Join in the Dragon Ball FighterZ video game events. Plus, don’t miss out on the exclusive second stop figures and other giveaways that are only available at each stop of the tour!
With such an immense lineup of Asian pop culture goodness in store, what are you waiting for? Register for Otakon today!
My name is Andy Zerrlaut, and I am honored to be your Convention Chairman for Otakon
2018. What a show we have in store for you all this year! We’ve got the Dragon Ball Z tour, orchestral music from Distant Worlds and A New World, tons of guests from the USA, Japan and Korea, and our own homegrown events that you’ve all come to know and love. It’s going to be a fun ride and I’m glad you’re all coming along for it. – Andy Zerrlaut, Convention Chairman, Otakon 2018