Anime Boston Report
Hynes Convention Center
April 22-24, 2011
DAY 01: Friday
The first thing of any anime convention is the registration, and Anime Boston was no different. Upon entering the Hynes, guests found themselves in a terrific atmosphere. It was big, clean, had three floors with much to look at, and an awesome view of Boston. The days attended were Friday and Sunday this year.
As guests streamed into the large entrance hall, there was a surprising number already in cosplay. Not to mention pretty decent ones at that. Many were pulled to the side for some photo shooting. Everyone there seemed to already be having fun.
At Opening Ceremonies Andrea Finnin, the Chairman of the convention spoke. Gifts were thrown into the crowd, so even though some guests didn’t get great seats, they still got something out of it. There were announcements on some of the recent events in Japan: the passing of a few producers and VAs, the earthquakes/tsunami that took place the month before, and the events they were holding to help out in the relief effort (ie- the blood drive [hosted by the 501st!!], charity auctions, etc.)
Next was the introduction of the Guests of Honor. Anime Boston had a good line-up, and all of the guests were enthusiastic. Among the musical guests was the all-girl band Stereopony, better known among most for the OPs/EDs in such anime as Bleach, Darker Than Black, and Gundam 00. Among the VAs were Sean Schemmel, AKA the voice of Goku, and Greg Ayres, better known as Koyuki in Beck or Yamazaki from N.H.K. A full guest list is included at the end of this article.
All guests got ‘swag bags’ that included a map and schedule. This was good, because with all of the halls, and escalators, and rooms, it would be easy for someone to get lost.
In the dealers room, many seemed overwhelmed. They might have never seen so many anime/game related merchandise, all in the same room. Those that had been to an anime convention before might not have been surprised, and would know to wait until Sunday to make their purchases, as some dealers frequently have items marked 50% off. Make sure you ask the vendors specifically though, as the item you might have your eye on could very well be gone by the end of the weekend, and might not even be discounted then.
All the walking guests must do can be hard on the legs and feet, but the perfect place to take a break was in any of the rooms where panels were hosted. There guests could sit through talks about the history of anime/otaku, or the VA panels and listen to them talk about their lives and how they came to be voice actors. These panels were not only educational, but entertaining as well.
The VAs all had a good sense of humor, and were very approachable. One of the things Michael Tatum talked about was how he was “scouted” to be a VA by one of his friends. He shared how his friend kept pushing and pushing for him to audition, up to the point where he was “threatened” to do it “or else”. He finally went for the audition. The recording session ended up taking 4 hours. Here Tatum thought he was failing miserably as he was being instructed on how to project his voice. After the recording was finally over, Tatum asked his friend “Does it usually take this long for auditions, or am I just that bad?” His friend responded with “Oh no, it usually takes about 15 minutes, you scored the job in the first 5, and they now finished dubbing the first 6 episodes. Congratulations, you’re now a voice actor!”. The panels allowed a lot of insight for fans in how their favorite shows are put together.
DAY 03: Sunday
The last day of the Anime Boston 2011 had come. There was an hour gap between the opening and the main event, which gave time for everyone to mingle, and for lots of cosplay pictures. Cosplay Chess was one of the most popular events, and this year’s theme was magic vs science.
The first contestant playing for Team Magic was none other than Link (The Legend of Zelda), accompanied by the infamous ‘annoying fairy’, Navi “Hey! Hey listen!”. And playing for team science, the oh so well known scientist, Pokémon’s, Professor Oak! Seated across from each other they called the cosplayers who represented each chess piece to come out onto the battlefield. Among the characters of team magic were Sebastian Michaelis(Kuroshitsuji), Vivi Orunitia(Final Fantasy), and playing as king, England of Hetalia. As for team science, a few of their Chess Pieces were Edward Elric(Fullmetal Alchemist), Little Sister(Bioshock), and playing as King, America also of Hetalia. It was a fierce battle of brains and brawn…plus anime and game references/memes galore. Every time a piece was captured, the corresponding cosplayers would act out the battle. The end result being team science as the victors (of course). It was entertaining, to say the least.
Not as many panels were open on Sunday as there were on Friday or Saturday, but there was still plenty to do.
And so began the beginning of the end. The time for the closing ceremonies had come. Anime Boston staff did a decent job wrapping things up. All of the guests were called on stage for the farewell, and credit was given to all of the people working behind the scenes. The staff credits were then displayed on the screen while playing Portal – Victims of Science – The Device Has Been Modified. The hosts tried to convince the guests that it was all over, but no one bought it. They still had the results of the AMV contests left. They showed the winning AMV’s to the crowd’s delight, and after they were done, it was time to head home.
There were so many things for guests to see and do, that any single person could go for a week, and still not see it all. This anime convention is one that makes you want to keep coming back.
-All hail Britannia!!-
As promised, the full guest line-up.
Voice Acting Guests
* Brina Palencia
* Christopher Ayres
* Greg Ayres
* J. Michael Tatum
* Richard Epcar
* Sean Schemmel
* Spike Spencer
* Trina Nishimura
* Studio Capsule – Robert and Emily DeJesus
* Jonathan Klein – CANCELLED
* Tom Wayland
* Mari Iijima
* MC Frontalot
* Odaiko New England