Opening Ceremonies by Eri Kagami
Upon entering Anime Boston on day one, there were a few panels running in the early hours. However, everyone was heading towards opening ceremonies before the bum rush to the dealers hall. Opening ceremonies celebrates Anime Boston’s annual anime celebration in New England. To kick things off, the convention chairs introduced each of the guests to come up on stage. The auditorium where opening ceremonies is held is impressive. It’s almost like a concert; as each guest goes on stage, the crowd goes wild. As each guest went on stage, the convention organizers also noted when they will have panels. Because of the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, the crowd went wild over the series’ composer, Yoko Shimomura who would have a concert on Saturday. Another treat was the reveal of merchandise – to tie in with this year’s theme, Tales of the Shogunate, Anime Boston was selling themed hapi coats at the dealers hall.
PreCure Photoshoot by Eri Kagami
I’ve been a fan of the Pretty Cure series since I lived in Boston. While I was supposed to attend as Milky Rose, I attended as a photographer. Pretty Cure is a magical girl series by Toei Animation. Aimed at young girls, Pretty Cure carries a strong girl power mantra. Each year, there is a new team of magical girls to save the world from the monsters of the day. Each “cure” in the team has an assigned color. There were an abundance of the “pink” Cure’s at this meet up. The pinks are typically the leaders. This was a fun meet up seeing all the cures together. While not as huge as the Anime Expo PreCure army from a few years ago, one thing is clear – the PreCure fandom is here to stay in Boston.
Metal Gear Gathering by Jared the Greek
One of the most enjoyable gatherings from previous years was the Metal Gear gathering hosted by East Coast Metal Gear Cosplay Union. They have a gathering on Friday and on Saturday as they did in previous years. This year I attended the Friday gathering which had a nice mix of characters. We had a Liquid Snake, Quiet, Metal Gear Rex, Solid Snake, Big Boss/Naked Snake, and Venom Snake just to name a few. Everyone had a good attitude and was having a great time posing for pictures and talking between shoots. If you are a Metal Gear cosplayer or have interest in cosplaying from the beloved series then check out the Union on Facebook and join us next year for more stealth espionage action.
Anime At War: The Second Armchair Otaku by Jared the Greek
The growing popularity of military themed anime and military-girl games it wasn’t a surprise to see a military themed panel at Anime Boston. This panel was focused on battles in various military themed series and the realism of the battles. Topics covered included Macross and how it gets more unrealistic eliminating the stakes, the drama built by limitations in the Yamato series, and the brutality of war in Votoms. It was an interesting analysis of warfare in anime and the audience joined in with their opinions as well. The scope of the panel allows for many different series to be covered and if you have an interest in combat this is a different take on the usual military panel.
Onna Bugeisha: The Woman Warriors of Japan by Eri Kagami
When Anime Boston switches up their themes, the programming becomes much more diverse and interesting. I attended this panel because I was always interested in the women samurai. The panel’s host, Haru, drew comparisons to magical girl anime and the Onna Bugeisha in the sense of ordinary, yet strong willed girls protecting their territory and having a double identity. Haru went onto historical anecdotes of times in history where women lead the charge in feudal battles. This was a very insightful panel on a subject that isn’t always explored in mainstream history. I came out learning a lot from the very astute Haru.
An Anime Composer’s Guide to Music Composition by Jared the Greek
This was the kind of panel you do not normally see at conventions. This panel featured the composer and one of the musicians for the music for Beyblade. They talked about the very tight timeline for producing music and the very limited notes given about each scene they work on. It was interesting to learn how they put the music together remotely and how easily replicable each musician is. Music composition for TV is not an easy gig, but it appears to be very rewarding knowing so many people are listing to your work. If you have any interest in music panels like this can give you a whole new appreciation for the work that goes into making music.
My Tank is Fight!! A Guide to Armored Combat in Anime by Jared the Greek
This was another military themed panel this time focused on tank combat as shown in anime. This was mostly a clip show featuring some of the more silly clips like Kenshiro beating up a tank with his fists to more series scenes from war anime. Many of the scenes were fun, but the most interesting part of the panel was clips showing the real life influences of Girls Und Panzer. It was also fun watching a clip of tanks drift racing on a test track. This was a fun way to kill some time, but it wasn’t that good of a panel. Many clips were given almost no context and the history segments were not explained well. It was a fun way to kill some time, but those seeking to learn more about tanks will learn nothing out of this panel.
Miyavi LIVE! by Eri Kagami
Miyavi has been in the J-rock scene for the past few decades. The 37 year old artist admits he’s never played this side of Boston. The high energy concert began with a few classics by the J-rock superstar. The whole crowd was pumped for their idol. I’ve attended many anime convention concerts and this was the most rockin’ concert I have attend so far. Miyavi currently resides in Los Angeles with his family. He brought his kids to Anime Boston. He really knew how to work up the crowd and work the stage with his guitar. We were treated to a few new songs from Miyavi from his upcoming album, No Sleep Until Tokyo. The crowd was full of excitement! While Anime Boston has no dance, the amount of people, glowsticks, and energy turned the auditorium up to 11. Miyavi will also be going on tour in the United States this Fall. If you have a chance to see him perform live, he really is something else on stage!
Who Cringed Last by Eri Kagami
Anime Boston has some really interesting 18+ panels! Wicked Anime hosts Who Cringed Last annually. It’s like the board game Scene It, but with adult situations. Part of the game is paying close attention to scenes from ultra violent and or lewd anime. You had to remember certain facts while enduring the gore. The selection changes up every year. A few such scenes included remembering the color of underwear as two schoolgirls were being disemboweled. Another part of the game was drawing what you think is happening. A certain scene from Goblin Slayer was playing audio only. It was up to the contestants to guess and draw what they thought was going on. My board only had the words “All The Triggers” because I didn’t think I could make a Picasso recreation of…well…you’ll just have to check out Who Cringed Last next year to find out. Highly recommend for late night shenanigans!