Anime Boston was quickly coming to a close. 700 people were checking out on Sunday from the Marriott at Copley. It certainly was a busy weekend, but it was not over yet. We checked out our luggage earlier in the morning to avoid the morning rush. There was still much left to do in so little time.


Dealers Hall by Scarlet

The dealers hall took up two medium sized exhibit spaces. Everything was convieniently on the first floor. It was a really huge size for the 25,000+ attendee convention. However, it meant less overcrowding and more breathing room to browse around. I liked the variety of products. My Lolita friends were happy to find h.Naoto clothes and cute stationary sets. As an Idolm@ster fangirl, I found plenty of mini figures to add to my collection.

There were walls of manga from New England Comics and another local comic book store. Because Boston has dozens of comic book stores across the metropolitan area, it made sense to have walls of manga. I also found the Kodansha booth that was tucked right at the front of the dealers hall. I ended up picking up the rest of the Attack on Titan volumes that were out.

There were even a few industry booths such as Aniplex and Funimation. Both of them had cosplayers from respective series they were promoting. Discotech media also had a booth where they were selling older titles that have recently lost licenses and old prints of anime - a lot of them from the Funimation value pack brand.

There was a lot of things to look at in the dealers hall. I wish I could have taken more things with me home. I was happy to see old and new Sailor Moon merchindise. Someone was selling the UFO catcher plushies for 10 times the price they sold for back in the 90s. Someone was also selling Sailor Moon mugs. Great variety this year and always a must-see for any Anime Boston attendee.


I Heart the 90s: Shoujo Edition by Scarlet

The second panel I ran was the I Heart the 90s: Shoujo Edition panel. The idea was based off a joke podcast episode of the Bizarro Files where everyone recorded like it's 1995. This was the first run for I Heart the 90s. We had almost a full room, which was not bad at all for a Sunday. Luckily, we were eqipped with wi-fi so it was easy to show the opening animation and hear the opening themes to classic shoujo anime from the 1990s.

The panel was divded into four categories - magical girl, romantic comedy, slice of life with magic, and the darker regions of shoujo world. We were very well recieved by everyone in the audience. When we still had some time left over, we took requests for openings. Requests included "I Want to Learn Magic," "Pretty Sammy," and "Princess Yucie."



Cosplay Chess by Lisa

To be honest, this was my first time attending a Cosplay Chess event (and it was also my first time being a chess piece for a Chess Match). Ash from Pokemon and Alucard from Hellsing were the chess players controlling the cosplayer chess pieces. Ash was the leader of Team Life, while Alucard was the leader of Team Spirit; they both sat at a table with a real chess board in front of the stage. As Enma Ai, the Hell Girl, I was a pawn for Team Spirit and was defeated early on in the game. I was happy to be backstage for most of the game though; after all, this gave me the chance to watch the spectacular event in its entirety.

Before the actual chess game began, each chess piece was introduced onto the black-and-white chess board on stage. Team Life had characters like Ultimate Madoka, Rin Okumura, Lightning, and Link while Team Spirit had characters like Charlotte the Dessert Witch, Soul, Grell Sutcliff, and Haku. The chess game was an exciting event with the following and more: colorful chess pieces engaging in combat with dramatic background music playing on stage, Team SITCAS (Sit in the Corner and Sulk) moping on the side and occasionally interacting with the characters in the game, a cute screen on stage with a projection of the chess board and the chess pieces as well as the fights as they occur, and a cursed red chess board tile. When the always-lost Ryoga (Ranma 1/2) touched the red chess board tile, zombies ("dead" chess pieces) came back on stage to devour him. There was also a pause in the Chess Match when one of the audience members had a medical emergency. I was impressed by the way the cosplayers on stage handled this interruption and how the audience reacted. Thankfully, the audience member was fine and the game resumed its course. References to the Cosplot as well as to other main events were made throughout the game, and I thought these were a cute touch.

At the end of the game... well, I don't want to spoil the conclusion of the game. If you would like to watch the Cosplay Chess Match for yourselves, you can watch the complete event here. You can find Chess Match photos from the official AnimeBoston photo gallery here.



Dealers Hall Tear Down by Scarlet

Everything must come to an end. While I'm no stranger to seeing the dealer's room pack up and move out, it is still a bittersweet end to an awesome weekend. What was once a bustling marketplace for otaku was coming to a close. I helped out Epic Cosplay tear down their booth. Every piece had to packed. It was really interesting to see the walls of manga being packed into boxes and the shelves being dismantled. Everything had to be packed into boxes in due time. The dealers hall staff wasted no effort collecting chairs and tables. They were taking down the draperies. Other major booths had to hire a forklift to dismantle their set up. Many of the dealers were local to the eastern seaboard. However, because Epic Cosplay is based on the west coast, we had to make sure that everything met a certain weight so it could be checked in without any extra fees for weight.

Once everything was settled, we had our usual post-con dinner at Snappy Sushi. I showed a friend around Copley Square - the Boston marathon memorial, library, Old South, etc as we made our way to Newbury Street. It was a very eventful and tiring weekend, but we would do it all over again if we had the chance.


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