This weekend, thousands of fans are gathering in Baltimore to attend the largest anime con on the east coast. Otakon attacts over 29,000 members each year to the Baltimore Convention Center, and shows few signs of slowing its growth. For many, Otakon is the biggest party that they’ll attend this year. For those who follow the news, it is the beginning of the end of convention season.

Otakon is the last large convention of the year. And, as a result, publishers pull out all of the stops to deliver one last hurrah for their viewers. This weekend, we’ll see announcements, acquisitions, and reveals as each distributor tries to one-up the other. The news feeds will be ablaze with each new reveal, and social networks will explode as fans pop on to chatter about what was and wasn’t shown at the event. Photos will flow like cheap wine, and it will seem like the party is endless for that first week afterwards.

However, after the event, we’ll see everything just slow down. News will reduce itself to a trickle, conversations will calm down from their current fever pitch, and things will simply return to normal. The convention season will be over, and we’ll all begin settling in for the upcoming fall and holiday season.

I can’t help but be a bit sad about this period. To transition from a high-stress, high-energy environment to the laid back, mellow periods of the fall is always a jarring transition. One begins to crave the glitz, the glamor, and even the outright crazies that come with the average anime con. However, I also eagerly await it. The five month interval allows us to reflect, speculate, and predict about the market, the industry, and the phenomenons of the current year.