It’s tough going to an Anime convention for a single day especially one as large as Anime Boston. Describing the experience, the rush, the thrill of walking into a giant hall filled with people who you know you could connect with that, in fact, you are connecting with due to the fact that you are in the same place at the same time. It’s overwhelming and almost impossible to absorb during a single day. It maybe impossible to come to terms with if you had the entire weekend!
Here are my highlights from the convention:
The main reason why I wanted to go to Anime Boston this year was to met the composer for the first ten Final Fantasy games Nobuo Uematsu . But I think it was clear that the Anime Boston organizers completely underestimated how large a draw the musician would bring. I waited in line for an hour and ten minutes before the staff finally came by and told everyone still waiting in line, and there was probably a hundred people in front of me, that there was no chance of getting an autograph. Disappointed and angry from waiting in line for so long with no result I moved on to the dealer’s room.
Later when attempting to get into the Uematsu Q&A I made the same mistake and arrived much too late. The line was far too long and one of the staff told me that I’d probably not get in. Fail.
Character design panel
I sat in on this panel, actually meant for artists, on character creation. The panelist did a good job of describing the main differences between Japanese and Western character design and then showed slides detailing what factors make up a good character design and what makes up a boring, ordinary character design.
Most Masquerade’s at conventions are fairly dull but the quality of the Anime Boston Masquerade was outstanding. The hosts were hilarious, the skits were creative and well executed, and the sound quality and visibility was great. They hit a home run with this event, one that I normally prefer to avoid. Out of Time Productions should have the entire show up on their Youtube channel soon if not already.
Funimation Industry Panel
Finally made it to a Funimation panel. It was fun to see the people behind the largest licencing company in the United States, get the trailers, and be on hand for the announcements. Unfortunately all the announced shows were fairly obvious. Chobits had to be rescued since that was a big money maker for Pioneer (Geneon), Spice and Wolf Season 2 was a given, and if they weren’t going to get the Eden of the East movies there was no point in releasing the series.
They also announced that they have acquired the music rights to the Eden of the East opening theme. I didn’t even know that was a problem and it highlighted my ignorance of the licensing process.
Don’t be like me. I was completely unprepared for the size of this convention and lacked the skills needed to get around and make it to the panels and events that I really wanted to do. Plan ahead if you are going to any big convention. Read the schedule before you go, show up early to panels you want to see, and most importantly go all three days. The artists gallery and dealers room require so much time, especially if you are as crazy as I am, that you end up missing out on a lot. Friday should be Dealer’s room day because it’s a much slower day than Saturday and all the dealers will be fully stocked. Don’t hesitate if you really want something, like the Yoko body pillow I missed out on, because it will be gone. Remember, there are 17,000 people just like you who will swoop in and take it away.
Now to the best part of any convention: Merch!
I went nuts in the Dealer’s Room. Overwhelmed is the only word I can use to describe how I felt when I walked into the massive hall that held the seemingly endless number of vendors. Jumping from booth to booth I was absolutely frozen when I reached for my wallet. How could I buy something at this booth when there might be something I want MORE three booths down? It was incredible. Being the most indecisive person in the world I spent hours in the dealers room looking for figures, checking prices, and trying to talk myself into spending $110 on a Toradora figure.
In the end I did walk away with some merch but no, not the $110 figure I lusted after.
Alicia from Valkyria Chronicles.
Probably the best PS3 game before the release of Final Fantasy XIII Valkyria Chronicles is a fantastic experience and the games heroine makes a fantastic figure for sitting next to the game console.
Minorin with a flower out of her head
The cheaper alternative to the $110 Taiga figure is this adorable little Minorin. But she still didn’t come cheap at $15. How could I resist that smile, though?
Tenchi mini figures
This is probably the only Washu and Kagato figures I’m ever going to find so I had to pick them up at a cheap $10.
The artist alley was just as overwhelming as the Dealers room. There was all types of art from prints to key chains and custom made plushies. The aisles were so crowded that it was difficult to move. IT was good to see some independent artists get to sell their work.
Kefka and Terra
Being a very Final Fantasy heavy year so far how could I miss this piece featuring the series greatest hero being tormented by the series greatest villain?
Karen from Code Geass looking very hot and very awesome.
Moe Kallen and Mio
This artist basically turns any anime character into a moe character. Mio and Karen were among my favorites but I was also very tempted by her Asuka.
I never take as many pictures as I want. After a few hours I’m normally weighted down by too many bads to handle my Camera. Here are some cosplay highlights:
The event was a blast and highly recommended. Now that Anime Boston is the sixth largest Anime convention in the country, and growing every year, they will continue to get top guests and put on an amazing show. I suggest going for the entire weekend if you can as one day is no where near enough time to see and experience everything. Hell, one day isn’t enough to see the entire dealers room in full. The convention is well organized, the venue is next to a ton of hotels and inside a mall (cheap food is not far away), and the fans involved do a great job to put on many fantastic panels and a perfectly executed Masquerade. I look forward to next year.