I was at a tiki bar in Los Angeles when I made the decision to go to Anime Boston. I was canceling my usual trip to Las Vegas and my tax return came back with more money than I had expected. While at the tiki bar, I felt detached from those around me. It really wasn’t a place where people knew who I was, but no one wanted to share their table or space for this adventurer themed day. A few tiki drinks in, I immediately thought, “I gotta go where everybody knows my name!” The very next day (and sobering up), I bought my tickets and booked my room for Anime Boston. I had cosplay photoshoots, met up with friends whom I haven’t seen, made new friends, and made plenty more memories with our love of anime at the core.
Anime Boston 2019 felt like a homecoming. As I boarded the Lyft to the Sheraton, I was wide awake to see familiar sights on the way – the eggshell, the Commons, the familiar buildings, and more. I may not have been born in New England, but it was the place where I was able to support my partner and I in our brownstone apartment while kicking butt at my career. There’s a certain warmth I get from Boston, even during the dead of winter. The New England anime community was very helpful in our transition in living in Boston, fostering lifetime connections. Anime Boston has a lot of meaning to us because this is our chance to see friends and share our love of fandom.
Anime Boston 2019’s theme was Tales of the Shogunate. I didn’t have much time to prepare a cosplay from this. I was originally going to do Sakura Saber, but my feelings towards Aniplex still remain bitter.I ended up wearing Maki (Love Live) in her Taishou Romance outfit. Wrong time period, but it still was a cute kimono style dress that I could wear with the backgrounds. Programming tied into the theme was strong. I liked how A-chan and B-kun frolicked around main programming events and discussed if tradition or the new school was better. I feel there’s so much to do and so much to see at Anime Boston that you are getting a lot of value for your $80 at the door weekend ticket. Considering this includes a concert by Miyavi and Yoko Shimomura, I have seen events that will charge $200+ for these types of acts.
I really liked the panels I attended. I felt I should have attended more of the historical panels by Haru. Haru is one of the best panelists I’ve ever seen in a while. I hope Anime Boston continues to bring this panelist back. His Onna Bugeisha panel was interesting and I felt I learned a lot from this guy. The main events I liked were a lot of fun. I had fun as a participant of Cosplay Lip Sync Battle. We don’t have a lot of “fun” events like that at Southern California conventions because people are too caught up with fame seeking, but joining this event introduced me to a new family. Just as I was getting jaded with the idea of “cosplay community,” the support and love from the participants is the definition of “cosplay family.” I wish I didn’t live so far away, but likewise, I’m certain I’ll be back in New England when the tide is right.
Miyavi and Yoko’s concerts were spectacular! I’ve been a fan of attending concerts at anime conventions. I wasn’t a huge Miyavi fan, but after seeing his concert, consider me a convert. I was much more familiar with his film work in Unbreakable and Kong: Skull Island. It was nice to see the “bad guy from Unbreakable” rock out. I am looking forward to his new album. Yoko Shimomura’s concert was just lovely. I am fortunate to hear her music live this year. It was nice to hear her other bodies of work from other video games. It was nice to watch this with a full house of video game nerds. I’m very happy to see the Kingdom Heart’s fandom alive and kicking.
Overall, Anime Boston 2019 was worth my tax return dollars. It’s worth it to travel to this convention. It was the first con I actually had fun at in 2019. Long Beach Comic Con and Wonder Con tend to be “work” conventions for the team. I can work and also have my own fun at Anime Boston. I had some amazing photoshoots throughout the weekend, made new friends, and excited to return for next year. I was so enamored by Anime Boston’s fandom that J and I started bringing through My Hero Academia season one the day after the con. If you’re a local to the Northeast and MidAtlanic, I highly recommend checking out Anime Boston. If you’re from the west coast or elsewhere, I highly recommend flying out to this con. It’s easy to grab a ride share from the airport and into the con and there’s a lot of places to eat near by (a Trader Joe’s is right across the street!).
Until Anime Boston 2020, see you soon again, New England!