Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two Cons, One City - Anime Boston 2012

AnimeBoston 2012
If you ever go to Ithaca, NY you'll notice the maps will include Cornell University and Ithaca College.  Everyone is familiar with Cornell and its Ivy-League prestige, and Ithaca College is also a great school -- in its own right.  You really can't compare the two just like you couldn't really compare AnimeBoston and PAX East

Thanks to an unusual case of double booking, both cons took place Easter weekend. A few people were actually concerned about whether one would overtake the other.  In my opinion, it only benefited by bringing in more people to a great city. Especially when they catered to entirely different crowds (one being anime/cosplay and the gaming) with a slight amount of intermixing.
Very from our hotel.
I often tell people I'm originally from Boston, often because it comes up when my phone number is still a Massachusetts number.  Ironically living in Queens leads to further confusion.  Going to Boston was kind of returning home, even though I was a tourist this time around.

Omni Parker House
Taking advantage of PAX, I stayed at the Omni Parker House. Not only is it a historic landmark but it's rumored to be haunted as well!  It was very also convenient that the hotel was within walking distance from the subway. An ideal spot for touristy adventures.

Gilded elevators.
Before picking my badge I decided to visit a few places I often did in my childhood.  This often mean walking around the Commons, and visiting Harvard Square.

Cherry Blossoms in bloom at the Commons
The Indie's Mall.
Local tea and coffee shop.
Airbrush Street Artist.
Not much has really change, except that it felt very much like a college town.  The Garage used to be an old haunt because it was one of the few places that sold anime and Japanese merchandise straight from Japan.  Now with the industry nonexistent and merchandise found regularly in what little entertainment stores there are left.

Thai for lunch.
The other reason was to reconnect with an old college friend.  9Tastes was a popular Thai place with a naturally busy lunch turnover with students and the like.

Green Line Subway Station. Very different from NYC.
One interesting thing I found while riding the "T" was that whether you were young or old or not into anime, you new what AnimeBoston.  Probably because during the convention is when anime fans tend to over run the Prudential Center/Hynes Convention Center to an unhealthy and annoying degree.

This was my first year being press and an attendee in a long while.  I went to three panels I most wanted to see, and the rest of the convention was mostly catching memorable moments. 

Hsien-Ko and Lillith
Digimon and Adventure seemed to be the top cosplay.
A Seraphic Trio.
Casual Cosplay of Double-H from Mawaru Penguindrum
Convention Rotunda
Road Kamelot from D. Grayman
Scene was very fitting.
Disney characters were also very popular.
I think I'm one of the few that actually watched this show.
Rin from Fate/Stay Night

Eva Unit 01
Plumber Peach
I commend this person for pulling this cosplay off.
Apocalypse was the convention's theme this year.
Ophanim's booth in Artist Alley
One of many courtesy signs.
Booth that air a live feed from PaxEast/
Mint from h. Naoto was a guest talking about his new line MintNeko.  Like sixh, the line that Mint collaborates with Ibi, MintNeko is inspired by music.  I had seen both of them at Otakon last year and my memory was of Mint dancing with one of his cat bags. I was very curious as to why he was a solo guest, but understood afterwards.

With MintNeko he can concentrate on the more stylist aesthestics, whereas Ibi is supposedly more conceptual.  Unfortunately, while Mint's panel was large it was also largely empty. Whether it was because it was tucked away in the Sheraton or people simply didn't know, I may never know the reason.
A Very Genki Portrait.
Sakurai Takamasa was another guest in a reasonable sized panel room in the Hynes. If anyone is reading this, he was a guest promoting soft power and learning about international anime fans. Which to him are no different than any other fan of Japanese culture, no matter where they are from.  He had a slideshow of a selection of places he had been to.  At the end he showed a trailer of Okami Kodomo No Ame To Yuki directed by Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Girl Who Lept Through Time), and gave away a poster. However his simple question of who likes Natsuki (?), but the entire audience was stumped and he solved this problem by playing Jan-Ken-Pon.

The Lolita Fashion Show was a big highlight of the con for attendees and Lolitas. The line stretched from end to end of the convention floor. To be frank, I've actually never really been to a Lolita 101 panel, however the girls giving the panel covered it very well. Especially when it was just the two of them and about a good hundred or so of fans.  I did try to take a few shots of the fashion show, but I felt that the models walked a bit too fast. However the sixH fashion show was scheduled at a similar time, and it was safe to assume that most of the participants wanted to try to catch the other show going out.

Overall I had a great time and if I had the opportunity will go again.  Especially if it gave me the chance to take photos like the ones above again.

Did you go to AnimeBoston? What did you think compared to previous years?

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