Anime Boston on Saturday evening meant more night time fun. While the annual rave was closed for 2013, Anime Boston had a formal charity ball (named the Spirit Ball to coincide with the Tales of the Yokai theme) offsite. It seemed a bit much to go from one end of the city down to the Boston Public Gardens area for the ballroom dance. Hopefully, 2014 will be on site. There were even more late night (im)mature events such as hentai fun dubbing and more. However, Anime Boston keeps the masquerade, or cosplay competition, as a main staple.


Masquerade Preshow by Scarlet

Masqueraders had to check in for backstage prep about an hour before seating time. I liked that the organizers thought of the performers' well being. They had healthy snacks and water all around. They even had an onsite EMT should anything go awry. Having had masquerade experience for the past several years, I thought this was a smart move on the masquerade organizers part. We were huddled backstage where we had a live feed of the show. Likewise, it was nice to chat with other contestants about craft and 90s anime.

The preshow was very unique compared to other anime conventions I attended. Anime Boston had an interactive screen. There were "Choose Your Own Adventure" scenarios. There were clips of Anime Boston guests of honor at the con. There were top 10 lists on how to travel to Anime Boston and what makes Boston so awesome. The latter was followed up with a "Sweet Caroline" sing-a-long.




Masquerade Behind the Scenes by Scarlet

From a performer's perspective, masquerade was a really tough competition. It really helps that the entries were screened beforehand and each act had to be approved by the masquerade coordinator. The show was hosted by Roadie (sic?), a ginger haired lively host who has an affinity for bacon (thankfully, the bacon jokes were kept minimal...too much would have got repetitive and would loose the luster). The show started off with the hall cosplay winners. This was the walk on section of the show. We saw some amazing costumes from Dante's Inferno, Magic Knight Rayearth, Persona, Paradise Kiss, and more. These were amazing to see up close and everyone's hard work really showed.

Following the walk ons, we had the skit portion. Highlights included skits that involved Sword Art Online, Suga Chara, Princess Tutu, Madoka, an all out fighting game tournament that involved a crossover of characters, Pokemon Snakes on a Masquerade, Legend of Zelda, Fate / Stay, and others. What was unique about this masquerade is that it allowed contestants to use video to accompany thier act. Ballet was a very common theme this year - about three skits had ballet performers. Armor and weapons were trending this year at masquerade. The Claymore group had swords twice the size of the performers.

We actually did enter masquerade. I entered in Princess Yukiko from Persona 4. Jared did the video set to a mashup of Lady Gaga and Judas Priest. The entry name was "Persona 4 in Love." I really did feel that the act was amazing.


And just some PR crisis management, this act has been confused for a Disney skit. I can see the resembelence between Aurora and Yukiko's dresses.


AMV Winners by Scarlet

Masquerade halftime highlighted the anime music videos that took home titles. We were treated to music videos that had Kero and Suppi duke it out for the last takoyaki to the Angry Birds theme. Audiences grabbed for hankies and tried to hold back tears during a Wolf Children amv. Everyone had a nostalgia bomb go off in their brain when we were entranced by a Vision of Escaflowne amv. About half the contestants for masquerade started to go on about how anime like Escaflowne is hardly around anymore. A music video incorporating scenic rural Japan from Studio Ghibli and Samurai Seven was one of my favorites of the evening. However, the best of show winner, Bleach set to the Pokemon theme, was memorable for the moment. While the Pokemon theme is a catchy tune, it's not as memorable as the other entries.

Shortly after, masquerade winners were announced. Roadie (sic?) showed up in a Boston Bruins jersey to announce the winners.


Cosplay Shenanigans by Lisa

Cosplay Shenanigans was a brand new event at Anime Boston 2013. This 18+ Gameshow was hosted in Panel Room 208 on Saturday night... and it was full of crazy cosplay shenanigans fueled by audience participation. There were panty shots, pole dancing, dirty story-telling, and more. This was definitely an 18+ event. I had the amazing opportunity to help out with this event by co-hosting, and even though I was really nervous beforehand, the event turned out to be really laidback and fun. I cosplayed Stocking Anarchy from the anime Panty and Stocking, and I was a co-host with an Alucard (Hellsing) cosplayer (the same amazing cosplayer who was also the chess master for the Cosplay Chess event on Sunday).

Personally, I am not a perverted person and I was worried about doing something awkward or not understanding any of the jokes or prompts, but my role was pretty easy since I was not a contestant and did not have to directly entertain the audience. I had fun helping by picking out participants from the audience with Alucard. It was my first time at an event like this one, and I learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. Cosplay Shenanigans was a show full of naughty improvisation prompts. For the first audience-participation round, three costumed attendees competed for cheers from the audience. The contestant with the loudest cheers moved on to the next round, similar to the Death Match. Next, two new costumed audience members were added to the competition, and the one with the most cheers after performing the prompt out of these three would move onto the next round. Each round had a different prompt, but they were all very amusing. The audience participants all did great, and I was impressed by the creativity they used on the spot for the prompts.


Origa Concert by Scarlet

While Saturday was dominated by masquerade planning and panel running, the Origa concert was a nice way to culminate the evening. Origa is best known for her vocal contributions to the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series. When Origa was announced as a guest of honor for Anime Boston, the fandom went wild. Origa's vocals are very ethereal. It's almost something out of Pure Moods - Enya meets Eletronica. The stage was cleared from masquerade and for about an hour, we were treated to Origa's original songs.

Because the rave was cancelled, this brought some of the typical people who would normally go to the rave. People brought glowticks and their raver gear. However, a gyrating couple got annoying really fast. Despite all that, the highlight of the show was when Origa sang an acapella version of "Rise." The Origa concert was a visual spectacle. Lighting and atmospheric background video really enhanced Origa's stage presence and pulled you into her world.


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