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Otakon 2005
Opening Ceremonies

by George Phillips,
Opening Ceremonies

Historically, conventions have strongly encouraged attendees to participate in Opening Ceremonies by stopping all other panels (and sometimes even video rooms) for the duration of the event. This allowed staff to introduce the English and Japanese guests to the regular attendee, to highlight con etiquette and to reinforce safety procedures. This year, however, Otakon minimized Opening Ceremonies by holding it in a panel room, while competing against other panels and video rooms. Also, far from being the first ‘event’ of the convention, Opening Ceremonies began late in the day.

Opening Ceremonies started with a skit highlighting anime protagonists (Tsukiyono from Weis Kreuz, Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daioh, Wolfwood from Trigun, and Raven from the American-produced Teen Titans) versus anime antagonists (Haggar from Voltron, Tatewaki Kuno from Ranma ½, Kanalee from X, and Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist) in a quiz-bowl style game. Topics ranged from con and line etiquette to “Evangeliology”. Needless to say, the Antagonists won.

Following the skit, Otakon introduced its many, many guests of honor:
Greg Ayres (Voice Actor)
Luci Christian (Voice Actress)
Justin Cook (ADR Director)
Richard Cox (Voice Actor)
Mike McFarland (Voice Actor/ADR Director)
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Voice Actress/ADR Director)
Vic Mignogna (Voice Actor)
Monica Rial (Voice Actress)
Michelle Ruff (Voice Actress)
Christian Fundin and Pontus Madsen (Artists/Writers)
Fred Gallagher (Artist/Writer)
Ben Dunn (Artist/Writer)
Yoshinori Kanemori (Character Designer)
Toshihiro Kawamoto (Character Designer)
Mitsukazu Mihara (Manga Artist)
Fred Perry (Artist/Writer)
Masao Maruyama (Producer)
Seiji Mizushima (Director)
Toshifumi Yoshida (Producer)

Additionally, Scott McNeil (Voice Actor) made a fashionably late entrance during the ceremonies.

Special musical guests included Kumiko Katō, Piano Squall, the Indigo and Puffy AmiYumi. The Indigo provided a video taped greeting for the fans.

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