Anime Boston is an anime convention that takes places in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The convention is the 8th largest North American anime convention and was first held in April 2003.
Cathrinetta, a fellow Yattan, went to Anime Boston last weekend. Naturally, we reached out to her and asked if she wanted to share her experience going to the convention for the first time!
Why do you go to Anime Boston and how does it compare to other conventions you have attended?
This was my first year at Anime Boston, but I went because it was the closest out of state convention to my home. It helps that my husband and I really love visiting Boston in general. Other conventions I’ve been to are Genericon at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and Toracon at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. I don’t think it would be fair to compare them. Anime Boston is different from the other two by sheer size and because of its size, they’re able to invite overseas guests.
What do you love about Anime Boston?
It’s going to sound silly, but I love the variety of vendors. I was able to see and purchase items I can’t find at my local conventions. The vendor rooms took up two huge connected rooms in the Hynes Convention Center, and the Artist Alley was another room. It’s great to see so many cosplays, and it’s exciting when you see characters from shows you love. It’s hard to describe but it’s really exciting. I was talking to a woman inside the Barnes & Nobles bookstore who didn’t know anything about the convention or cosplay, but she was really glad to see all the creativity. She was telling me that the world needs more imagination for the future of society and the hobby of cosplay is great because it shows those characteristics just like other arts.
Do you cosplay? If not, but want to, who would you cosplay as and why?
I have never cosplayed but I really admire those who do. I quilt as one of my hobbies, which helps me understand the amount of effort it can require. If I was going to cosplay, I would love to cosplay as Utena from Shoujo Kukemei Utena. I’ve been a huge fan of the show since probably 2003, when I started watching anime on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. I found the anime through watching AMVs which combine two of my passions, music and anime. The show had a lot of beautiful art and the story was interesting. I was really curious what the show was about and when I started watching it I fell in love with the symbolism, repetitive art themes, and music.
Traditionally, most people cosplay as Utena the Prince, but I would want to cosplay as the Rose Bride version of Utena. Since I’m new to creating cosplay I would probably do something simple like Serinuma from Kiss Him, Not Me. Going to the convention reminded me that a cosplay doesn’t have to be complicated or perfect; just something fun that you love.
What panels did you go to and did you learn anything from them?
I went to several panels and wanted to go to much more, but a lot of them overlapped or were in the opposite buildings and travel time didn’t allow me to get there. The panels I went to were Japanese Composers, Beyond Bebop: Japanese Jazz, The History of Anime Opening/Closing Themes, Art of the OP, Tokyo Travel Tips for Timid Tourists, Bento 101, Funimation Industry panel, An Hour with Producer Masahiko Minami, and the Crunchyroll Spring Premier Event.
Some panels were better than others based on the host or content. I really enjoyed three of them the most, the Jazz, Tokyo Travel Tips, and Interview with Masahiko Minami (anime producer and president of studio Bones). The Jazz panel was mostly a sampling of artists to check out, and I plan to include some of the new songs in my playlist on the Eden_Hall Dubtrack.fm broadcast. A couple of names that stood out to me were Soil and Pimp Sessions, Bohemian Voodoo, and Toconoma.
I took notes at all panels but there was a lot of good basic information at the Tokyo Travel panel. I even took pictures of some of the slides. There was way too much content to share in this article, but some key points covered were about planes and trains, and which is the easiest, cheapest, most beneficial and why. The Train section included information about JR railway passes and local subways. The next section talked about where to stay, including when to book your room, costs, and size. The final section were places to eat and recommended places to visit. For instance, their Denny’s is not the same as American Denny’s, and when it comes to leaving a tip – don’t do it. They don’t have it over there.
The interview with Producer Masahiko Minami (CEO at Studio Bones) was really interesting because I’d never met anyone from the overseas industry, and I really enjoy a lot of the anime that comes out of that studio. The panel consisted of questions about his childhood, how he decided to join the industry, his jobs at Sunrise, and how Bones was formed (including a few ideas on why the studio is named Bones). Later he talked about what it means to be a producer at Bones and the team’s process for planning and producing a show. The panel wrapped up with what the studio is working on and some first-time international announcements. They also showed art from Eureka 7, which will be coming out with movies 2017-2019. Some of the artwork on display hadn’t even been shown in Japan yet!
What do you when you’re not attending Anime Boston?
When I’m not at conventions my time is split between working full time, homemaking and hobbies. My hobbies include random things related to Japanese culture, anime, quilting, crocheting, gardening, bird watching, and anything music related. I belong to a 70-piece choir that performs classical and contemporary choral pieces three times a year. I also help lead worship at my local church but most days I can be found on Eden_Hall at dubtrack.fm, hanging out with friends and playing Japanese related music.