Prior to Anime Boston, I've been seeing a lot of ill sentiment towards Anime Boston. "The security / staff doesn't know what they're doing" and "the programming has been going downhill." I never had a problem with Anime Boston las year. This is my second year attending the con. No con is ever perfect - even a con with 10 years under their belt has some kinks they need to work out. However, Anime Boston still ranks as one of my top conventions I've ever been to.

First of all, this con has an A-list guest line up. I was really impressed when the con announced JAM Project. Even some of my west coast colleagues wanted to save up to check out JAM Project. This even got some people who felt jaded about anime cons to buy a weekend badge. JAM Project has some of the biggest names in anime soundtracks from the 1990s - Macross 7, One Piece, Utena, Dragonball, Slayers, etc. - all in one super group. I wanted to stick around for the solo concert, but it was too late in the evening. Should Anime Boston book another popular music act from Japan, I'll definately consider getting a hotel close to the con.

Not only Anime Boston had JAM Project, but some of the Sailor Moon voice actors from both the dub and the original. It was nice to see members of the cast all in one place. Just seeing how both casts interacted with each other affirms that yes, you can enjoy both dubs. It was really nice to see the cast discuss all of the behind the scenes work. I really appreciate it when conventions invite guests that mean a lot to my fandoms.

In terms of programming, I always enjoyed how Anime Boston goes all out with their theme. I always enjoy the effort put into decorations and all the media behind it. This con has turned me into a fan of A-chan and B-kun. They are like the local celebrities - they symbolize something we all know and love. I also enjoyed the series of shorts leading up to the con where it showed the mini adventures of A-chan and B-kun. I also enjoyed the music video, "Cool as AB." You can tell that the creative team behind theming has a ton of fun creating this story for Anime Boston's annual theme. This also shows how into the staff is - the staff generally has a positive attitude and they really do want to be there to put on a good show.

There was an article that critiqued AB's lack of non-anime programming. Last I checked, Anime Boston's missiong statement is that it is very concentrated to Japanese and anime fandom. " Hussie was nowhere to be found. Although he was arguably the biggest name at Anime Boston this year, he wasn't actually an official guest of the con." I digress considering that JAM Project and all the Sailor Moon voice actors still hold a pretty stable legacy spanning over 20 years.

The only real problems I had were typical con problems that oftentimes cannot be helped. I wished the schedule came out a little earlier. I like to plan out photoshoots and those slots get filled fast. I like to know what's going on with guests so I can plan my day accordingly. I know this caused some people on my news feed to be impatient. Crowds are always going to be a problem at any large cons; I got annoyed when people would walk fast and slow down, but that's something out of the con's control. I did feel some panels got repetitive - even as a Sailor Moon panelist, I felt kinda bad when I heard that one of the critiques was "too many Sailor Moon fan panels!" Yet, I do keep the panel to be very specific (ie: what it was like for an anime to be brought over to the US in the 90s) rather than a general Sailor Moon panel. I wanted to check out more events, but due to the crowds and time commitments, it was really hard to hit up every event. One day, I'll finally see Cosplay Chess and Death Match at Anime Boston.

Overall, I did enjoy Anime Boston 2014. It was really bittersweet sticking around for closing ceremonies. I started to question why the main auditorium was being filled to capacity. Truth was, no one wanted to leave. This was like everyone's second home. There was a closing credits listing everyone on staff with clips of events that happened throughout the weekend. We all saw this together - the weekend we all shared was coming to an end. It was a very emotional closing ceremonies. By the end, we wanted to give the con chair a hug because we had a great experience and truly, this staff cares about anime and their fans.

Many thanks to the Anime Boston staff for putting on a good show. Additional shoutouts to my college buddies Brain Age Guy and Bart. More shoutouts to photographers I've worked with - SuperV, ChezPhoto, and Harmony. Thank you to everyone I had met and talked with - you guys make Anime Boston what it is - my big otaku family from Boston and the event that I look forward to every year. It's been days since Anime Boston 2014 had passed, but here's to 2015. I'm already making cosplay plans.

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