"Hurry Up and Wait." That's how I would best describe my experience at my first Anime Boston. I scheduled several photoshoots with some amazing lady photographers - Nenita, Marmalade Sky, and Harmony Cloud. I competed in masquerade. I ran two panels. All at once, still providing Anime Boston coverage. It was an exhausting, yet exhillarating weekend. For this 20-something veteran otaku, it was amazing how I could keep up with everything at this three day affair. There was so much to do in so little time.

I've always heard good things about Anime Boston. Since I moved to New England from California, the people have always raved how awesome this con was. I figured that Anime Boston was the main convention attraction for many New England cosplayers. As I was reading up on 2012 Anime Boston reports, it was hailed as the best geek gathering in the Northeast. After my experience this year, I believe it 100%. Anime Boston has everything you could expect from an anime convention and more.

The fan vibe was pretty chill. People were very approachable. It was nice to sit down and talk to someone at the cafe area. I had a good conversation with a Tsubassa Sakura cosplayer during my downtime. Cosplayers were all about the fun. Unlike other conventions I attended this year, cosplayers were very much engaged in events. They were not removed by private professional photoshoots, but rather, were very approachable for photos. Staff members were really fun to talk to. I met some staff members who were involved in the late 90s aspiring voice actor community. I met staff members who loved Sailor Moon as much I as I did. It truly felt like an event by fans for fans.

Programming was what I can expect from an anime convention. Panels were on topic. I liked that Anime Boston has a panel rating system before they approve panels. There were plenty of fan panels I wanted to check out, but again, so little time. There was even a Les Miserables anime panel. I was also surprised to see Mizzies (Les Miz fans) march around the con. If I were my 12 year old self (obsessed with the 10th anniversary cast recording!), I would have joined in their crusade. There were panels that satisfied old school fans - crazy mecha moments, growing old with fandom, and manime (manly anime). I wish I could have checked out more events. There was a great listing this year.

The cosplay masquerade event was very well run. I only regret showing up late for judging because the crowd for security was moving really slow (people were stopping for cosplay photos). The staff was very accomodating. I liked that the staff was emotionally supportive and got everyone's nerves to calm down before we went on stage. I've competed in many masquerades on the west coast, Anime Boston has the most love and care for their performers. The winners were really awesome - the competition was really tight. However, it was an honor performing with everyone on Saturday night.

Anime Boston loves to really theme it up. I was joking on the Boston Bastard Brigade podcast that next year should be a magical girl theme. This year was tales of the yokai. I thought it was a nice touch to make 2013 unique from other years. They really go all out and it's nice to see the love and care the Anime Boston staff puts into the con. Not only they make it great for cosplayers, but for all otakus.

There weren't many flaws from this year's Anime Boston that was the fault of the con. We did have plenty of tourists that were giving us the awkward looks at the Prudential mall. While going through security wasn't too bad, Saturday was the worst since people had lost the concept of personal space. The Hynes can be confusing to navigate and find rooms though. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the con center if it's your first time. However, if we are invited to do the Sailor Moon panel again, we would love to request a larger room. Panels A would be an ideal situation.

Overall, I enjoyed Anime Boston. August will mark my one year anniversary of finally settling down in the Commonwealth. It's going to be hard letting go of Anime Expo as my "home con," but I'm ready to call Anime Boston my home con now. Everyone has been very caring - that's more than I can expect from the otaku community. I went to my first cosplay gathering unsure if I was going to fit in because I enjoyed 90s shoujo anime and enjoy to cosplay from smaller fandoms. However, thank you New England otakus for making my first Anime Boston a memorable one. Many thanks to Kitty for the lodgings. Thanks to our new east coast crew for Scarlet Rhapsody; Ashley and Lisa. Welcome to the Haus of Scarlet. Until then, the next stop is Anime Expo and hopefully, Connecticon.

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