Anime Boston is a large-scale anime convention held annually in Boston, Massachusetts by the New England Anime Society. Since its humble beginnings in 2003, Anime Boston has quickly grown to become one of the largest anime conventions in the United States.
About 19,000 people came out to celebrate Anime Boston's ninth year, and the convention offered a fantastic program. The theme for 2011 was "Music," and guests included several great musical acts including Japanese metal band Girugamesh, Japanese girl band Stereopony, Nerdcore hip-hop artist MC Frontalot, Tokyo band TEN, and Taiko drumming group Odaiko New England. The con's cosplot, which played out at all main cosplay events, also reflected the theme and culminated in a rock performance by characters from musical series including FLCL and Vocaloid. The growth in attendance impacted the convention more than usual as a result of the unseasonably cold, rainy weather; almost everyone attempted to enter and exit the Hynes through its one indoor entrance, forming huge bottlenecks until security staff starting directing traffic flow halfway through the weekend. The halls were also constantly crowded with people who might otherwise have spent some of the time hanging out, taking photos, or eating outside. Finding a seat to eat during peak mealtimes was almost an impossible task. However, panels and events were comfortably seated and the wait for registration was relatively short. The masquerade filled to capacity and was broadcast live into an adjoining panel room to hold the overflow audience. Two hours before curtain, emcee Uncle Yo had to be replaced due to a personal emergency. An AB staff member, nicknamed "The Roadie," stepped up to the plate as the last minute fill-in; he did a fantastic job entertaining the crowd considering the fact he had zero experience hosting a masquerade and only about an hour's notice that he had been tapped for the job. Given the proper time to prepare, he has the potential to make an excellent emcee should he want to try hosting again.
Personal Thoughts: Sketch and I arrived at the Sheraton Thursday and got upgraded to a suite, so our roommates, EllyStar and Iceman, got their own connecting room with a pull-out double couch, TV, desk, window seat, dining table and chairs, a long counter for costume supplies and a view of Fenway Park! We had so much room, we were even able to set up an "ironing area" for costumes. Friday morning, Sketch and I celebrated the fifth anniversary of our meeting during the 2006 cosplay chess match by wearing our Vash and Tifa costumes. That afternoon I changed into Eternal Chibimoon for our Eternal Sailor Moon group. Everyone looked fantastic, and Sketch took some great photos of us in front of the fountains at the Christian Science Plaza. Unfortunately Mercury and Jupiter were running late and by the time we found them three hours later, we had lost a few of the others. It was so frustrating to have the full group in the same building but not together! We’re definitely going to regroup now that everyone has the costumes. I changed and ate the dinner Sketch had left for me in the room, then caught the end of him hosting the 18+ Dating Game. Afterwards, he and I joined the rest of the podcast crew, some friends, and some of the FUNimation people for drinks at the Sheraton bar.
Saturday Sketch and I wandered the con in our Miku and Kaito costumes from Vocaloid. We scoured the dealer’s room looking for a particular set of chibified Miku and Kaito figurines before meeting up with PatD and Jekka for lunch and then interviewing convention attendees for the podcast. I bumped into an old college roommate who was at AB chaperoning her library’s anime club, and hung out with her until heading to main events for the masquerade. After two years of competing for Best In Show, it was so relaxing NOT to be performing! “Roadie,” the fill-in emcee, did a stupendous job considering he was an 11th hour replacement and had never hosted a large show before. I give him major props for stepping up to the plate, and he was pretty good at it! The skits, however, were a flat line; nobody bombed, but nobody was a “wow” either, and even the most experienced group brought their B Game. After the show we changed to regular clothes, Sketch gave me some Advil and some cuddles for my headache, and we met up with the whole crew for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Delicious!
Sunday I just made it to Main Events before Chess began at 10am. The show moved along smoothly and I helped Sketch quick-change from Kaito into Vash and back to Kaito for the “rock concert” finale. Afterwards I met up with the girls in our room to change for our Ah, My Goddess photoshoot and Kurthy did our makeup. It felt amazing to be outside in 70-degree weather (FINALLY!) with our photographer, Benn Robbins. Since Skuld has water powers, he had me climb into the Science Center fountain, which was fine except when the wind picked up and sprayed the jets right in my face! The whole thing was a lot of fun. Afterwards I met back up with Rob, Patrick, and Elizabeth and we filmed our review segment for the podcast before heading home.