This past weekend, I went out to Columbus, Ohio with Evangelion superfan (and fellow Evageek) Aaron Clark. He was there to present four panels at Ohayocon I was there to have some fun, see some friends, and take some pictures. Or, as a friend of mine dubbed it, “ChillCon.”
To view all of the pictures, check out the gallery here — and get out your 3D glasses if you have them!
This was our first time at Ohayocon, and it proved to be a pleasant experience. The Greater Columbus Convention Center turned out to be a great venue for a winter convention, as it had a large 24-hour food court that wasn’t too overpriced. Folks who were staying at the convention hotel never had to go outside all weekend, which is really good when you’re wearing a thin costume in below-freezing weather. Ohayocon not being as large as, say, Otakon, they had not reserved the entire Convention Center. Apparently the rest belonged to some kind of pre-teen cheerleading conference, which would’ve been bizarre enough on its own, but the juxtaposition was even more incredible.
Aaron did two Evangelion-related panels. It’s incredible to see how many people will come out for a discussion panel about a series that’s close to twenty years old. The new movies have helped reinvigorate the fandom as well, both here and in Japan, and there’s a lot to talk about. The nice thing about these panels is that the focus not on the unending serious debates about the series, but rather on the universe of stuff that Evangelion has created. It’s always an entertaining show.
One video that we forgot to mention was Extra Curricular Lesson with Hideaki Anno, which I highly recommend watching if you have any interest in the man behind the mecha.
As usual, I was putting on my best impression of David Tennant in Doctor Who. I think that the Doctor fits in well at anime conventions and, judging by the number of other fans that are always around, other folks think so as well. I took a look into River Song’s notebook, but it turns out that it was just a ploy to Rickroll the Doctor!
I was surprised to see so much Scott Pilgrim, but it makes sense.
Another pleasant surprise was how much good Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt cosplay there was out there. As a friend of mine pointed out, regardless of whether you like the episodes, the design and animation are just fun.
As always, there was a sizable Evangelion contingent; it almost seems to be outlasting Gurren Lagann, though the cold weather might make people avoid costumes with so much exposed skin. I think this is the first time I’ve seen such well-realized Eva units, or a pimp Gendo. You know that your series has ingrained itself into the otaku culture when people make costumes based on a parody video of that series.
She’s a “member of Kim Jong-il’s pleasure squad.” We had a good, long chat about North Korea and my travels there.
As usual, we didn’t get to see much of the city, but we did stop by the famous Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant on our way out of town. Across the street, Schmidt’s sells fudge. (That’s right, there’s a sausage buffet across the street from a fudge packers’. Keeping this blog classy.). It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the mood for some good comfort food, with a helping of Midwestern idiosyncrasy.