Artist Alley by Eri Kagami
Artist Alley is always a huge draw for Anime Boston. Because 2019 is the year of Kingdom Hearts, there were many booths that sold Kingdom Hearts charms and keychains. I ended up buying the sea salt trio in Disneyland teacups. I also found a few Azur Lane and Fate related keychains as well. Prints, charms, necklaces, bookmarks, plushes, buttons, etc were common items found at Anime Boston’s Artist Alley. If I had to guess the top fandoms seen, it would be Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts, Fate, Love Live, Sailor Moon, etc. There was even a section where one can place bids on special edition pieces made by artists participating in the artist alley. Artist Alley can get congested. However, it it does stay open until the evening. I usually explore Artist Alley during the later part of the afternoon so I can see everything and make decisions on what to buy.
Dealers Hall by Eri Kagami
The dealers hall is also a main draw of Anime Boston. This is where you can buy official fandom merchandise from manga, plushes, dvd’s, artbooks, charms, keychains, and more. The dealers hall also had a plethora of Lolita style clothes and ita bags. Some booths even had exclusive Anime Boston enamel pins for those who enjoy collecting pins.There were even booths that sold hard to find posters and figures from the 90s. It was nice to see vintage anime collectibles among the tchotchkes of newer stuff. There were industry booths that had freebies and standees to take selfies with. I spent some time looking at the row of conventions advertising their upcoming shows. The dealers hall is also where you can get your autographs signed. While the dealers hall does get a bit crowded, the rows are spread far enough where it’s easily walkable.
The Wild World of Gundam Merchandise by Jared the Greek
This panel was a fun way to start the morning as it covered the crazy amount of products made based on the Gundam franchise. The panel covered clothes, model kits, and toys, but the real meat of the panel came in the form of strange products. This included Gundam lamps, food, carpets, and furniture. This was in addition to GunPla kits based around Pepsi, UniQlo, and McDonalds. One of the best things they showed off was the Haro Roomba. This was a fun panel and it was great seeing all the odd things based on the Gundam franchise.
Superheroes vs. Shounen Comics by Jared the Greek
This panel was run by a group of indie comic creators who took both major genres and compare them. This went into the benefits of both media and the disadvantages of both as well. There was on consensus as to what was the better genre, but it was interesting hearing everyone’s thoughts on art style and the versatility of shounen comics. This was a fun panel, but it also felt like a waste of time. It didn’t feel like anyone learned anything new and the comparison has been such a common subject online that this group didn’t add anything to the argument on either side. This was a competent panel, but there are better ways to spend your last day at Anime Boston.
The Music of Kingdom Hearts by Eri Kagami
This panel was presented by a current student at Berklee College. This student talked about the importance of background music in video games and how it’s done. We focused on the Kingdom Hearts fandom first and why everyone loves it. The student talked about the different themes used in the Kingdom Hearts music and how they intersect together. He pulled out his software to show how themes can intersect with one another. I was originally expecting this panel to be run by Yoko Shimomura, but having it done from a perspective of a fan who has studied video game music in-depth was insightful.
Lolita 201: Beyond the Basics by Eri Kagami
Part of Anime Boston’s Lolita programming track, this Lolita panel encouraged how to take your coords, or themed outfits, one step beyond. The presentation was hosted by the Boston Lolita Society. They discussed how to build your basics and theme around your basics. They emphasized on slowly, but surely building up your collection with accessories and pieces to make your coord go over the top (OTT). They discussed different genres of Lolita fashion from gothic, classic, and sweet. They also talked about how to level up your make up game. More importantly they also talked about how to search for inspiration online via Youtube tutorials and instagram hashtags. They emphasized that at times “Lolita” gets mixed in with styles associated by the book by Nabokov. The panel was useful in providing different ways your can up your frill game and navigating inspiration through social media.
Closing Ceremonies by Eri Kagami
It’s always bittersweet anytime we attend Closing Ceremonies at Anime Boston. Closing ceremonies is always well attended. People are here to see the amv winners and to see what next year’s theme will be. My friends and I were guessing what next year’s theme would be. I guessed Heroes in wake of the popularity for My Hero Academia. As it turns out, A-chan and B-kun revealed that Anime Boston 2020’s theme would be food themed. We’re looking forward to this because we have lot of food related cosplays we would like to show off. The guests of honor came on stage to say farewell for now. And then…Anime Boston 2019 rolled out their ending credits.
But! As us nerds have learned, one does not simply leave during the closing credits. The anime music video winners played right after the credits. The winners circle was very strong this year. We had a Revue Starlight set to the Greatest Show, a mash up of different anime set to a Muppets cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, a drama video set to Grave of the Fireflies that legit made me cry, Madoka set to Pink Elephants on Parade, and more As our after party tradition, we went to the Pour House for dinner topping off another amazing year of Anime Boston.