Anyone else going to Otakon this year? I haven't been there since like 2002. Any veteran's out there that can give me the skinny on what's hot and what's not? I remember they used to do MAT3K (Mystery anime theater 3000) which was pretty awesome. I went to Anime Expo '03, '11, '12 but it's so expensive for me to travel that far and there's so many people the lines are insane.
I do believe that MAT3K threw in the towel a while ago. I remember them having a bit at the opening ceremonies last year, as it was the 20th anniversary celebration of Otakon. BTW, Otakon is a lot more crowded and has expanded into the adjoining Baltimore Hilton (wasn't built in 2002) which alleviates some of the crowding (but the bridge to get to it is always crowded so expect delays).
In short, Otakon nowadays is pretty fun but it is much more crowded. Premieres, most autographs (unless you're dead-set on a signature, or you're going after a lesser-known Japanese guest, I'd say skip it TBH), the opening line for the Dealers' Room (this can wrap around the convention center) and select guest panels have hellish lines while everything else is tolerable. Last year I avoided the ultra-popular events (Except for the Crispin Freeman panel and the AMV contest) and Otakon almost felt empty to me as I was going where the crowds weren't lol.
Best advice is to make sure you pick up your badge on Thursday. If you wait to get it until Friday you will risk missing Friday morning events.