Pictures: A visitor's guide to Otakon 2011
You say you've never been to Otakon, the annual celebration of Japanese pop culture that turns the Baltimore Convention Center into an Asian fantasyland for one weekend every year? Maybe it's time to check it out -- even if it does appear a bit intimidating at first blush. "If they're thinking it's too weird for them, then that means they're curious, at least," says Otakon spokesman Victor Albisharat. "I'd say they ought to come on down, check us out." Albisharat, a pop-culture conventioneer who was just at San Diego's massive Comic-Con, has been coming to Otakon since 2003. Newbies and casual fans, he suggests, should concentrate on these five aspects of the Otakon experience.
• Otakon 2011 guide
• Your Otakon pictures: Submit them here
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1. Don't miss Saturday night's Masquerade
It's more than just a bunch of people in costumes, Albisharat assures. "You'll see a lot of people in costume over the weekend, but the Masquerade is the keynote event," Albisharat says. "You've got people coming out on the stage at 1st Mariner Arena and performing in skits they produce themselves."