The Idols of Anime by Jared the Greek
This was a historical overview of the history of Japanese idols and anime. It began looking at the origins in the 70s and how music themed shows developed toward the 90s when everything was much more focused on popular voice actors. Then the panel moved into the 2000s with some of the prototype series and of course the big titles of recent years. It was a good panel that brought up some lesser known idol series and discussed the history that very few anime fans know. It was also a fun panel as some of the spectators brought their glowsticks to dance along with the music clips that were played during the panel.
Downloading Japan by Jared the Greek
This was a different type of educational panel as it looked at online resources to learn Japanese or prepare for a trip to Japan. The panel began by looking at how our cultures first interacted and how things moved to a more global connection via the Internet. The sites like The Japan Foundation and NHK World before going into phone apps and youtube channels. This panel was packed with information and should be attended by all those who want to start learning more about the amazing culture of Japan. Panels like Downloading Japan are one of the things that help set Anime Boston apart from other anime conventions.
Universal Famicom: No Translation Required by Jared the Greek
This was a panel for an classic games enthusiast as it looked at a plethora of classic Famicom games that can be played by anyone (as long as you have access to a Famicom). The panel was so jam packed that it went for two sessions with a short break in-between them. The games ranged from platormers like Gimmick to adventure games like Legend of Valkyrie. Puzzle games were a popular topic with titles like Otocky, PuzSlot, and Wits. This was a great way to discover new titles that never made it to the US. The best part of this panel was that footage from each game was shown so you could tell which games would appeal to you more.
Moonlight Masquerade by Eri Kagami
A few months before the convention, Viz announced a Sailor Moon cosplay contest. This would be separate from Cosplay Games and the traditional masquerade. This would be all Sailor Moon hyping up the release of Sailor Moon SuperS, the fourth season in the animated series. 400 moonies applied to be in this contest. Only 30 were selected to enter. Prizes went out to the best groups, best original designs, best manga inspiration, and more. The grand prize would be a $3,000 check and a trip to Anime Expo in July. The event was ran by cosplay veterans, Jez Roth, Tristine Citrine, and Cow Butt Crunchies. In other words, these cosplay veterans knew a thing or two in running a proper cosplay show!
The highlights of the contest included an Art Nouveau Princess Serenity, Witches Five, all generations of Sailor Moon, Sailor Cosmos, Eternal Sailor Moon, a Princess Serenity that totally crocheted her costume, etc. The level of talent in this cosplay contest was mesmerizing! While the judges convened, we were treated to two episodes of Sailor Moon SuperS. One was a recap episode that backtracked all events up to the end of season three and the other was Uranus and Neptune facing a Monster of the Day. Even though all 30 of us were competing for the grand prize, we all bonded over these two episodes – making injokes, cheering for our favorite sailor guardian – it was a warm fuzzy feeling to share this with hardcore moonies.
The grand prizes went to a Witches Five group who won $1,000 in cash money and various Viz Media treats. One of the contestants said it pretty much made up for all of the costume expenses. The final prize went to Queen Nehelenia, she took home $3,000 and the trip for two to Anime Expo. It’s uncertain if this will return to Anime Boston, or any other anime con in the future. However, I’m always willing to support official Sailor Moon events for Moonies.