Anime Boston 2014: Wrap

This is the JUST BE FRIENDS: Multiple Camera Angles editions version of Anime Boston 2014 recap.

The mightiest of blades

I think it’s all about expectations. Anime Boston is a familiar creature to me at this point. I recognize its staffers. One of them even recognize me! So it’s all about adjusting the chemistry, the makeup.

This is also the most laid back Anime Boston I’ve had as far as I can remember. Probably because I managed to spend hours at the con Sunday without going to a single thing, as I was doing press events. It worked out really well, I didn’t really have a conflict besides having to skip Funimation’s panel in order to make it to Asakawa’s press panel, and skipping the JAM Project public panel for Asakawa’s press panel, and making the decision between covering Aniplex versus Kodansha and FUNi. That might sound a lot, now that I’ve typed it out, but it’s pretty tame for the average con at this size.

The other laid back thing is the line con aspect. I was in six real lines all weekend, and none of them were over 2 hours. It’s probably more if you count the line to get into the Hynes from the Sheraton entrance due to bag check, but it’s not bad at all. Actually the bag check is probably the single most terrible thing about Anime Boston. The Sheraton is basically an extension of the con, and putting a bag check there suck major donkey testicles. The line was really bad during peak hours Friday and Saturday, and also early Friday when everyone’s going inside. Of course you can “hax” by walking from the street entrance of the Hynes, but that’s like a 10-minute detour. Walking from Sheraton to a point of interest in Hynes should only means you have to navigate the crowded central hallway that acts as the dealer’s room release valve and the central cosplay photoshoot location. It’s already a major pain in the butt. But now there’s a bag check on top. That bag check line was also causing issues in the mall, because the line squeezed into cosplay gatherings in the mall (you probably shouldn’t do this in the hallways), so it was one of those compounding problems.

OK, done whining. The autograph lines were pretty well done, although sorting out who’s line goes where just 30 minutes before starting can be an exercise at squeezing human frosting out of a narrow funnel. Otherwise I never really had to wait much for anything. The JAM Project ticket situation was a ruse given how they had so many tickets leftover, and the concert line up schedule didn’t overlap with anything as both shows were pretty late in the day–you can line up 2 hours before the show time. Everything was more or less close to or on time.

JAM Project, the full thing, with their original band, is great and awesome and this is the first time I’ve seen them like this. The last two times they were gimped either because Fukuyama wasn’t here or they didn’t have a band. What can I say… It was great this time around. I had a blast, I think JAM Pro had a blast; we were the hardest wotas but I think there are some super passionate East Coast fans that will handily beat us where it counts.

But you know I’m in for Makkun and hearing Mask in person was OMGZOMG.

The press panels I attended were all really good actually. Other than JAM’s, it’s actually all substantive and heartful. It’s wonderful to hear these guys talk. Hopefully I can find time to organize it and write it up…and get them approved. Really? [Update: they kind of went back on this.]

The JP guests. Dai Sato made a K-ON dig which I felt compelled to whip out the Kuukikei and Sekaikei terms. He plugged Enjoe Tou. I think he’s definitely a trendy dude that keeps taps on where the industry is going.

Yuko Minaguchi. I was pretty much skipping over her stuff at Animazement last year but I got to hear her study abroad story this time. It’s really sweet. Also got some more big picture life story stuff.

Asakawa Yuu is her pleasant, fun-loving self. It’s great when she knows enough English to get all those quirks across. I went to her press panel and this happened, so I felt obligated to link to as many copies as possible. Top one is mine, next one is Kuro-chan’s:

I think I’ve had enough.

I basically didn’t go to any fan panels. Nothing really jumps out, although I would’ve loved to attend a few, like the Key Sounds one, or drop by the Touhou one, or the Vocaloid one that ran on Sunday right by where Press work areas were. I only have 24 hours of time to do things at any given day after all. That said I think we paced ourselves pretty easily and since I didn’t even care for the autograph sessions (actually the only one possibly was Dai Sato but I didn’t even go) it was a really stress-free con, other than press work and scheduling situations about that.

For other jolly JAM CON details check out Kuro-chan’s write-up. He’s got a knack for this. Seeing a bunch of kids who were there and met via the JAM Project FB fan page was kind of funny and refreshing at the same time.

What can I say about Anime Boston? It’s a smooth and chill con with a few issues, but which mid-large con doesn’t have issues? I’m just glad my emotional engagement levels are low enough that AB turned out to be a very chill experience, and yet there’s enough epic/hot blooded/once a lifetime moments at this con to make it well worth the effort.

FOOD & LOOT:

Didn’t go gourmet this time other than Thursday night dinner. We went to this place called Salty Pig. It’s kind of a foodie joint and serves foodie food. However it’s the “L.O.V.E.N.I.K.U” variety of foodie joint, so we all had some kind of processed meat. They serve three sorts of food: fermented food platters (like 3+ types of European cured pork, a chicken liver paste, etc) that couples with cheese, toasted breads and nuts and what have you; fancy brick oven-style pizza; meat samplers like Israeli lamb roasts in offal stew or a combination of several pork parts. There is also a healthy list of beers and spirits. I would recommend it except it’s definitely best for the pizza–you’d be surprised. The platters are also interesting. The samplers are not as much but still really solid. Problem is the serving size is on the small side, at least what I ordered. We finished Thursday night off with a round of B. Good, although only a couple of us got burgers.

Legal Seafood is kind of boring. Probably won’t go there again unless there is no choice. Went to KPC once and it was expected. Went to Cheesecake Factory and it was expected, tho that was more due to convenience; hard to get food at 11:30pm. Also ran into JAM Project there LOL. Wagamama is good food, just offensive to my Asian-born palate and twice a weekend might be once too many.

There’s a Fogo right around the corner from our hotel (Copley Square Hotel), but we opted against it since the concert both days happens after dinner, and you probably don’t want to Fogo before a JAM Project concert for health reasons.

LOOT…since I haven’t really unpacked there’s no pic. I only went to the dealer’s room once and only bought JAM Project goods. Their messenger bag is cool. The jacket is cool but I don’t fit in it. Still spent a bunch of money but that bag should work well with my WUG can badges. You can take a look at the goods list here, just realize only maybe 40% of the total was available at Anime Boston. Yeah we get to buy leftover tour merch hurrah.

Check out the other posts for the full story, and stay classy Boston!


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