Last word

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NOW OR NEVER

For fans of Japanese animation (anime), J-rock, J-pop, or East Asian pop culture at large, there is Otakon, coming to the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend. The largest convention of its kind on the East Coast, Otakon offers nonstop screenings of anime and Asian films and a performance by Japanese chart-topping musical act TM Revolution, who makes his U.S. debut Saturday at 3 p.m.

Panel discussions with anime directors, voice actors and artists, and karaoke and costume contests are also scheduled. For children, Otakon offers face-painting, origami and headband-making, among other activities.

Otakon runs 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. A three-day pass is $50. Single-day passes are $30 Friday, $35 Saturday, and $20 Sunday. For the full Otakon schedule, see www.otakon.com. (Organizers expect 17,000 to 20,000 people to attend.)

- Christian Hettinger

COMING UP

Hoops comes to 1st Mariner Arena Wednesday as the And1 Mix Tape Tour stops in Baltimore. The event showcases playground-style basketball players as well as appearances by hip-hop artists.

An open run and expo are from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the game begins at 7:30 p.m. Open-run participants vie for a place on next year's tour and an endorsement contract.

Tickets are $15-$50 and are available through the 1st Mariner box office or Ticketmaster (call 410-481-SEAT or visit www.ticketmaster.com).

For more information, go to www.and1.com/mixtape.

NEXT WEEK IN LIVE

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