I'd already gone through the schedules I'd printed from the Web site the day before, so I'd had some ideas of what I wanted to see and do, though a lot of them were flexible. The first thing sixteenbynine and I did was get in line for the dealer's room, about two hours before its opening at noon. I don't mind this because it means getting a quick exposure to this year's costumes and memes while sitting, chatting, and getting covered in Melancholy stickers by cute French-Canadian girls. (My Hellsing badge is now coated with them.) It's also nice to browse the dealer room when it's relatively empty, and we went scrounging for the $5 manga tables. There I purchased volumes 11 and 12 of Claymore, though I still need volumes 5 through 10. I was also looking for a new hand bag, something smaller than the monster backpack I tend to lug around, so I visited a table that sold all sorts of bags. Unable to decide between a grey, canvas, shoulder bag with the Laughing Man logo and a bright, blue, light, S.O.S. Brigade sack, I bought them both and put the sack in the shoulder bag. We snagged some free DVDs and fliers, and I picked up both Ergo Proxy soundtracks and a Rebuild of Evangelion art book.
Having realized I spent about 20 minutes too long in the dealer room, I ran to find the exit and charge toward Edo Sushi for breakfast, this being the only place in the area at which I'm capable of digesting the food. My dealer-room lag left me a few minutes late for the Funimation industry panel, so I was stuck outside the room until the last 15 minutes. The Otakon staff have gotten strict about enforcing room occupancy limits for legal and fire-hazard reasons, so no one's allowed to enter a full room until someone else leaves. There wasn't much to see at that point but a very long list of titles they'd rescued from companies like A.D. Vision and Geneon, which they rushed past the screen without giving any real detail. I stuck around the next panel, though, which was a Media Blasters Q&A.
Merideth Mulroney was running the panel, and she's just a lot of fun. She talked a lot about all the work they've been doing on Voltron, Golion, and Seirei no Moribito. (Golion she described as Voltron directed by Quentin Tarantino.) Seirei no Moribito, or Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, was announced by Geneon last year, before they were shut down by Dentsu. It's an awesome, allegorical, fantasy story directed by Kenji Kamiyama, the writer-director of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex; and it features a soundtrack by Kenji Kawai, the composer for Ringu and the Ghost in the Shell movies, amongst many other things. I was excited to hear the series should be airing on Cartoon Network. Apart from this, Merideth announced that Media Blasters is producing an animated version of Flesh for the Beast, one of their growing list of gore flicks like Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police. It is to be directed by Hideki Takayama, famous for Urotsukidōji or Legend of the Overfiend. For the live-action Voltron movie, by the way, they are hoping to get Ryuhei Kitamura, the director of hits such as Versus, though he's officially unattached.
While I'd thought about attending the life-drawing panel to get some drawing practice, instead I floated around bumping into people. I saw actingbunny, dancinglights, and others whose LiveJournal accounts I don't know. I had to split off to meet tim_dodge's brother and give him a key to the apartment, so he had a place in the area to stay. After a couple hours of chatting, running around, and generally nothing in particular, I attended two Web comic panels before dinner. They were blissfully better than previous years and actually lent some insight. (I will never forgive a certain representative of Comics Genesis who commandeered a panel to pimp the shoddy site.) I especially enjoyed the Women in Webcomics panel, headed by Jennie Breeden of The Devil's Panties, Gina Biggs of Red String, Robin Edwards of Cardboard Angel, and, er, possibly this person? In any case, it was a good panel and much more organized, useful, and inspirational than the Collaborating a Webcomic panel just before it.
The rest of the night was dinner and the disappointment of missing every video I'd wanted to see from schedule changes. On the plus side, I got to spend some time in the hotel lobby chatting with M33K, who is a fun and interesting person, while we let sixteenbynine crash. As full as this day was, the next would only prove more interesting.