During the weekend of March 30-April 1st, I attended a convention at the Hynes Convention center known as Anime Boston. It’s an event that’s basically become an annual event for me and I do enjoy going to it. Whether it’s for catching up with friends offline or just enjoying the atmosphere, it’s pretty fun.
Starting on Thursday, I picked up my badge and then went to Wagamama later that night for a dinner with some of the other panelists. I kinda wallflower’d during it, not really sure what to say, but just being included was great in itself. And, I got to sit next to Mike Toole of all people so, hey, gotta count that.
Before I get into the real meat of this post, I just wish to make asides in that: Geta sandals are terrible. Maybe I just need more practice but, having to hold ono a railing for dear life everytime I wanted to go up and down stairs or escalators or being unable to go beyond .5 mph got a tad annoying.
Also, I was neither Kikyo nor Kagome! I know I had a shrine maiden outfit on and a black wig so pieces fit the description (and one person did clarify it was due to the outfit) but I was Luka from Steins;Gate on Friday and Sunday. I don’t even like Inuyasha that much, haha. Props to the one person on Sunday who recognized me and took a picture, you did brighten my mood.
With that all said.. let’s dive into this.
So, around 8am Friday morning, I left for the Hynes and started my morning by going to some panels named Before You Build: A Guide to Smarter Cosplay Design and Foundations in Worldbuilding …or that’s what I would’ve said and done if the panelist for FoW had actually shown up haha. A con staff member tried to fill in and I laud his efforts but I ended up leaving out of disinterest.
After puttering around for about an hour, I ended up returning to room 311 for a panel named A Visual History of Mecha. This one ironically ended up not having visuals for one reason or another but I thought the panelist — seems he goes by Professor Otaku — had enough of a presence that he was able to carry it by himself and it ended up pretty darn entertaining. The dumping on “Darling in the FranXXX” was well appreciated, btw. Its new name is “Darling in the *vomit sfx*”, this is official!
By then, it was 11:30 and I stopped by the Hynes cafeteria to get an early lunch. While there, I texted a friend (Alex/@Sentaibandicoot, for the curious) to ask where he was and we met up at the line for Kazuki Yao’s panel or Feeling SUUUPPPEEERR with Kazuki Yao. Said panel was a blast and Mr. Yao played up a lot of the atmosphere. At one point, he started acting like he was walking right out the door after he came in or putting on a more feminine sounding voice when someone asked him how he would’ve voiced Nami had Toei not swapped the VAs during One Piece’s body swap moment.
One story I found interesting was that when he played Doctor Z in Akibaranger, he had broken his hand so during a scene where he has to eat some food, Yao used a fake hand to get the silverware to work right. I definitely didn’t catch that during my last viewing so if I ever get to rewatching the show, it’ll be something I’ll keep an eye out for.
After that, we went to the Dealer’s room where I bought the first two Light Novels for Spice and Wolf. After becoming a fan of the anime, I’ve been meaning to start reading these and so I jumped on it. I also picked up a deck of tarot cards at the Artist Alley, each one styled after the Confidants of Persona 5. I considered it at first for the Chihaya Mifune card but you couldn’t buy them separately so I just got a whole deck. It’s okay with me, though. More for my money, haha.
Eventually, Alex headed back to his hotel room so I hung around, once again by myself. After taking some time to charge my phone, it was 5:30pm and I saw Sailor Moon: Moonlight Masquerade on the schedule. With really nothing better to do, I walked over.
Once I got there, well, you know how I said earlier about those sandals being awful? At one point, a con staff member was making a polite suggestion for me to slow down since she said she knows how troublesome they can be. I was glad for the concern and I tried half-joking back with “Oh, you have no idea” but misjudged this speedbump in the floor while doing so and I nearly fell due to my foot losing its grip on the sandal. Thankfully, nothing serious happened since I managed to stop myself from moving on my other foot. My only real reaction at the time being “Haha… ha, speaking of”.
I then sat down and there was some odd rendition of Renai Circulation (like, it sounded kinda squeakier than Kana Hanazawa’s version) playing which was quickly rendered moot by a rendition of caressin’ Pegasus Fantasy playing. I’d say someone should make a version of Sailor Moon where Usagi goes Cosmo on her enemies but that’s pretty much Precure 5 so we good. Or Happiness Charge I suppose if you take Blue as Athena and the Cures as his sain– okay, I’m digressing too much. Back on track.
The panel started with an MST3K-esque safety video then a dub trailer for Sailor Moon SuperS came on. After that was the fashion show and 2 specials for SuperS were debuted ahead of the physical release date.
The fashion show was enjoyable, seeing all the different costumes the contestants put together and hearing their personal stories behind them. The SuperS specials that aired, though? Yeah, that’s when I stop being as nice. The two that aired were named An Elegant Metamorphosis? Crybaby Usagi’s Growth Diary and Haruka and Michiru, Again! The Ghostly Puppet Show — the first one being predictably a recap episode. My interest as such ran rather low but I did get a laugh at the part where the characters are dumping on Usagi and she goes “This is why I don’t like doing recap episodes!”. There’s also something satisfying about hearing Jupiter tell someone to “Go to Hell!”.
The 2nd one focused on the two Inner Guardians at some mansion with some plot of Dead Moon puppet taking over some ventriloquist. Now I could rant at how the special played its hand too early and some mystery whodunnit would’ve been way more interesting, I could rant over the audience members who kept screaming during it but, no… you know what ticked me off?
There’s a point near the end where Michiru is facing the Dead Moon “duo” and Haruka is trapped on the wall and the scene basically plays out like this: “I am Sailor Neptune and I attacked this bottle you claimed was a “Shadow Stealing Bottle” that’ll summon shadow zombies and it turned out you were lying but I didn’t know that but I attacked anyway because “A world without Haruka is a world I don’t want, badass quote!!!” but if I was wrong then we’d all be dead but that doesn’t matter!!”………
Now, the whole “Bluff your way to make the enemy look bad” is a tried trope but usually, it’s done with some flair to show the hero sticking it to the villain. Michiru just sidesteps the whole deal and files her whole reasoning under how much she cares for Haruka. There’s nothing given to allow me to ignore that she very nearly set shadow zombies on the rest of the world’s 50 million people – in the words of the possessed ventriloquist: “What kind of hero are you?!”.
It’s horrid writing that doesn’t endear me to Neptune at all, or to Uranus for that matter since it makes her look stupider too for caring about Neptune. Just go jump into a volcano, you two. Hotaru can get better parents.
The rest of the masquerade went well, though. It was fun to watch which cosplayers got awards and show support for them. A time after too, I happened to see the cosplayers of Sailor Galaxia and Prince Diamond in the hallway and told them I thought they looked and were amazing on stage. Good deed for the weekend.
The masquerade events done, I tried going to a Crunchyroll panel but that ended quicker and earlier than I expected so I went over to this panel named Dawn of an Era: The History of the Gundam Universe. Unfortunately, I missed out on just about all of the UC-era material and it ended before he finished but I wouldn’t mind seeing it again under better circumstances. I am also clearly still not over Mu and Natarle’s moment at the end of Seed, blank you Destiny for trying to relive that with half-baked methods. By then, it was about 8pm and nothing had interested me enough to hang around later so I went home.
Hitting back at the Hynes on Saturday, my sis and I first stopped by registration since she forgot her ID on Thursday. She went as Henrietta from Gunslinger Girl and I went as Jose to match her. Well first, I had to hurry back to our apartment because I was so focused on her getting her badge that I forgot mine; thanks to a round-trip taxi, I was able to get it and back quickly enough. Once back together, we took care of the above and with that, we headed to Au Bon Pain for breakfast and headed into the con. My sister’s not really the type to sit and wait during panels so we only went to a few while she was there but we did go to one named The World(s) of Leiji Matsumoto. I enjoyed it well enough though, I don’t think I’ll ever watch Planet Robot Danguard Ace.
At about 1pm, we went for lunch at this restaurant named Whiskies. The food was good and if I wasn’t to walking around the con for X number of hours later, I would’ve taken it with me to finish later but, ah well. I do still wonder a little what was up with the waiter we had, though. I got up to paying with no problem then he just vanished and I had to flag down another waiter to help us out. It was weird.
Well whatever, we paid and then returned to the Sheraton for the panel with Mary McGlynn. We were a bit late but it didn’t seem like we missed anything major since it was mostly just Q&A. A lot of questions about voice acting, directing and D&D, haha.
At one point, someone asked if she’s seen the live-action and I kinda mentally braced; thankfully, nothing gruesome happened since she was pretty cool about it saying that she really liked the half she saw of it wishing she could’ve finished it and likely would do so on a bigger screen next time. She also said she was happy people went to watch the film since it brought titles like Ghost in the Shell back into public conversation – if people were to go “I didn’t like that film” or vice-versa then the series was there for them to check out if they so wished. And that she didn’t see ScarJo as “taking her role” since that Major was different than her Major, using Batman as an example since one could look at it just the same.
After going to a panel with a voice actor named Brandon McInnis (I wasn’t too familiar with him prior to then but he seemed like a cool enough guy), my sister left for the day and I went back to the Dealer’s Room determined to get Kazuki Yao’s autograph. Thankfully, he was there and I handed him my Shout Factory Kakuranger set for him to sign. He signed the insert after I paid and the staff member asked if I wanted to take a picture with him. Naturally, I couldn’t pass the chance up.
With that taken care of, I walked around and hit up this booth with some good taste in music — the choices being both OPs for Gundam X and the Op/Ed to 08th MS Team– I wasn’t gonna want to leave if they kept playing good mecha stuff like that. I bought set 1 of Gundam X and Garo: Red Requiem. It was either that for Garo or the anime but I wanted to get one of the Toku so I went for RR. Maybe it’ll change my opinion of the franchise, the jury’s still out right now.
At about 7pm, I was curious about a panel named Lesser Known Magical Girls: Hidden Gems and the Should be Hidden. Walking in and seeing a GoPuri image on the panelist (Ninapedia)’s desktop… I just nodded and thought “This will be a good panel”. She played Homare attempting to gain her Mirai Crystal and Cure Chocolat transforming before it started. The panel was set up as her listing a few magical girls shows she thought were good to great but didn’t do too well in the grand sales scheme of things, some that were bad to god-awful and then some more good ones. Some notable ones being: do watch Splash Star and Flip Flappers and stay far, far away from Uta Kata and Wizard Barristers.
Ninapedia ended the panel by mentioning that she and a group are working on an unofficial Precure fanbook. I plan to support it and if you wish to as well, details of such can be found both here and here.
We now hit Sunday and nothing related to the con but, it just reminded me that local MBTA-related commuting is awful on Sundays. The buses take up to an hour instead of 30/45 mins and the trains chose to be extra bunk too for some reason. I did shave some time off though by taking the next Green Line train to Hynes and walking over and then using the Boylston St. entrance to enter.
Once inside, I made my last trip to the Dealer’s room and bought a poster of Gunslinger Girl. Why yes, I do now have that plus a wallscroll of the title; if you’re surprised by that, you don’t know me too well. My love for that title knows no bounds. I considered a Lynn Minmay one as well but it was more than I was comfortable with being base priced at $99 so I passed.
After grabbing lunch, I went over to the Sheraton to start my panel. Unfortunately, I hardly got anyone (about 7-8 at the start that dwindled down to 3 by the end) but I blame that more on the timeslot and that mine was accepted rather last-minute. I feel like my panel went well, though. I managed to fit my whole powerpoint and clips in having 10 mins at the end for Q&A.
Among the Q&A, one person said that since he started with HappinessCharge and liked it, where would be best for him to go next? I suggested Precure 5 and Heartcatch since HapCha felt the closest to them. Someone else also asked how I’d feel if a company like Viz or Funi were to release subbed DVDs/BDs for Precure and I replied stating that I’d be there day 1. (I mean really, people go on and on about how Glitter Force should’ve brought the toys over or made a toyline and I’ve always just wanted physical show media I didn’t have to pay out the nose for. The two BDs I do have are neat and all but, man, imagine what Shout or some other company could do).
Once that ended, it was 2:30 and the con was beginning to close up so I took one last walk around and left for the year.
In short, is there stuff I wish I could’ve done differently? Maybe but I can’t think of any right at the moment. Did I enjoy myself? Sure, definitely. Will I be back next year? You betcha.
To full-circle and close this out, I’ll leave this letter from the Con Chair here. Because in the end, this is what it’s all about.