Anime Boston 2016: Wrap

If I wrote this post with a list of microcontent…

“Anime Boston 2016: I Learned How to Hedge Value in Yet-to-Air Anime by Buying Chara Goods Before Seeing the Character” – Where I describe how I bought this $20 Cospa XXL shirt (which are the unicorns of Japanese anime chara merch) from Crunchyroll, featuring Nico…Niyama. Heh. And only then I watched Kiznaiver a day later (while wearing said shirt, BTW), and found out that she’s a Kuno Misaki character.

“Anime Boston 2016: How To Karaoke All Night Long” – Where I describe how Joysound on PS4 is a lot of fun, until it prevents people from sleeping, and yet it doesn’t.

“Anime Boston 2016: Bag Checking a 25000-sized Con Suck Major Butts” – Where I just gripe about Anime Boston’s ails from Hynes being all politically ass-wiping of itself at the expense of con-goers. Boston being its chilly and rainy self (nearly freezing temperatures at times) also did not help when bag check lines often extended outdoors.

“Anime Boston 2016: Eventers Edition” – In which I talk about meeting people from Overseas, and how KR fans flew to Boston to see Sasaki Jun, plus this dude from Tokyo, and running into some local (big tall white) guy who went to Symphogear and YuiKaori. Actually listening him describing YuiKaori was kind of LOLs, for a first-timer. Oh, there may be a big thing going on for AX this year if you like anison.

“Anime Boston 2016: The West Discovers nano.RIPE’s Sasaki Jun Has a Schtik, Will Run With” – In which I describe how nano.RIPE’s leader is a nerd and is hilarious. But it would just be an embedded tweet along with a description of how Julia is his girlfriend.

Okay, I think you get the idea.

Surf & Turf

Anime Boston this year marks my first return after taking last year off. And that was because I felt like staying home to nurse from my Japan trip last year, so I ended up watching AJ streams all weekend. I guess let’s put in one more title: I Watched Maybe Six Hours of Anime Japan Niconamas at Anime Boston 2016. And this is not even counting the non-AJ event being simulcasted to Sakuracon and Anime Boston for Kiznaiver’s premiere. I love how CR is doing this next step, simulcasting a Japanese event at god-awful US hours, and still seeing a turnout. The natural thing for an eventer to think is “will we get concerts simulcasted if it coincides with a CR-related IP and a con pretty please with cherry on top” and so I will enjoy this delusion for a bit. OK done.

I already thought-dumped Kiznaiver in the last post so I won’t get into it, but I failed to mention explicitly that ACP had cosplayers at the event which now is linked in that pic up top. Ain’t it cool…GJ Henry.

The CR tie-ins were nice, I got into the dealers room really early on Friday and got everything more or less done. Jhouserock handled ALIPro and nano.RIPE but they screwed up nano’s stock, as one of the boxes they were suppose to be shipped was missing. This means all the nano.RIPE goods sold out in the first few hours of the con. Luckily they had a copy of Lime Tree (ED for Saijaku no Bahamut) there and it’s the one CD I wanted, as it came with the DVD on their 5th anniversary live where they covered Praline and Ryuseigun.

Even without the ML tie-ins, I would love to see nano.RIPE if as much as a throwback rock band that brings that “Spitz” sound full time to the anime I watched. It’s the kind of music that works best in the live format, and in that sense nano.RIPE actually was a little disappointing–they didn’t sound all that harder or more notable in the live, and it doesn’t add much beyond the human elements, versus their studio recordings. Still, they are great fun when you got a nice seat and pumping fists into the air for it. Kimiko does all the stuff you expect her to do for this kind of music, and it really brings a context to the sound this band makes.

Their ML tie-ins feature the group as the production of the song. Basically Sasaki writes the two songs, and Kimiko writes the lyrics for them. The rest of the band all play for the studio recording, and arrangement–they are for all practical purposes nano.RIPE songs, with just Julia’s vocals. Recently they added one more song to the ML discography with Airu (Aisle), where in the manga it’s a song Julia wrote for Tsubaki. Details are on the JP IM@S wiki if you care.

During the nano.RIPE Q&A session, we asked a bunch of questions, and since I don’t remember them all I will just paraphrase somewhat.

  • The bassist and drummer both take pretty common musician queues as young rockers, from Aerosmith to even Marvin Gaye. On the Japan side there’s B’z and Spitz for Kimiko, which comes as no surprise.
  • Kimiko’s high pitched voice did come up one time, through self-admission. The question was does she feel self conscious about her voice because the fan asking the question is dealing with this problem, so her answer was kind of charming. Basically it comes down to Kimiko meeting her fans who encouraged her and now that she likes her voice, as at first it was embarrassing to hear herself.
  • Repeatedly, Sasaki would say he is an otaku. He would introduce himself as guitarist and otaku. He seems like a low-presence guy and Kimiko mentioned that even the AB staff would mistaken her as the leader of the band when it’s really him. He would also jokingly say he is often teased/bullied by the band members.
  • I asked a question about writing for Million Live. Kimiko said that she’d write the songs as it fits the situation, which is pretty standard. Sasaki said well because Julia is my girlfriend I write her songs with love. This prompted Kimiko to ask “aren’t you a producer?” in which Sasaki Jun would deadpan the girlfriend thing again. Too bad I couldn’t follow up.
  • One of the questions from the crowd was that where other than US and Japan, would they like to visit. We got answers from all over but Sasaki would say he’s a hikkikomori and would rather stay in his room. He even plugged Ikebukuro, which is near where he lives, as the place to go for otaku instead of just going to Akiba.
  • There was a similar question as to where to have a live show, and Sasaki Jun again said he’d love to have a show at his place because he doesn’t like to go out, it would fit maybe 10 people!

Anyways, people were kind of all fairly light-hearted but serious. Except Sasaki, who is just a goof the whole time.

I didn’t pay that much attention during the Ali Project panel later in the day, besides that it was fairly straightforward and is as you would expect. Arika is generally kind and graceful. It’s times like this you realize how old Arikasama really is, what are her artistic influences and stuff. Really both low-fi yet high-flung.


I should also paraphrase the Kiznaiver seiyuu panel after the premiere. There was a MC, Kaji-kun and Hibiku. Hibiku wore this sweater + one piece short skirt combination with black leggings, which makes her look a lot younger for some reason. Probably due to the color coordination

The interpreting happened in real time, one man interpreter and one woman interpreter talked over the Japanese audio. Also, I didn’t sleep much, so I can’t say with all that much certainty about this recollection. Anyway, see below notes (my thoughts in []):

  • As of the premiere the afureko was as far as the climatic part of the series. [1 cour after all?]
  • At first the script didn’t give away much of the rest of the development. [Just like KLK kinda.] Playing somewhat of an antagonist in the first 2 episodes, Hibiku had to trust her directors and come up with what she has to do without knowing much about her character, and it is only later in the recording that she “gets” her character as more of the story is revealed.
  • The usual fun and laid back afureko atmosphere. [So NOT like KLK LOL.] There’s a lot of sync between the Kiznaiver seiyuu so maybe the story is rubbing off? The anecdote was one day Hibiku(?) brought some bread to the recording and it made people bring food to the recording next time. At one point Hibiku and Kaji-kun went to the conbini during recording?
  • The story is a bit of a page turner as both seiyuu look forward to each installment they would get in the script during the recording process.
  • Both are also happy now that they can start talking about the show instead of keeping it totally secret. [It also seems in general you can spoil this show easy.]
  • Both seem to say that by episode 3 a lot of stuff gets explained, at least specifically Hibiku’s character. Until then she really didn’t know what’s going on with Shinonono.
  • At one point early in the panel there was a brief outage. We saw that Hibiku and Kaji-kun were doing a real-time video wave to those of us watching the live stream, but then the feed died. On stage was a laptop that has a camera streaming back to Japan and it was showing the feed on the other end, and we saw Hibiku and Kaiji on it waving at us, so we waved back at them. I doubt they can see much but it’s something. Right after this the feed restored, but time-lagged about 30 seconds, so we saw what happened during the outage and how Hibiku waved at it from a different angle on their end. Anyway.
  • A note about the sneak preview eps 1-2–there were no OP/ED and there was no credit. [So no, I didn’t see your name, Helios…]

What else? Sit back and watch I guess.

The rest of the con is fairly same-y. This is my first anime con in 2016, so it always feels a little fresh walking down a crowded hallway full of cosplayers. Anime Boston 2016 didn’t miss a beat from 2014. If there was anything different it was the lines for some of the guest autograph sessions–they’re all pretty manageable. Waka had maybe a dozen visitors only, but that’s Sunday 10AM for ya.

A friend won the JHouseRock banner giveaway, so that’s something that worked out for him. I think this is partly because there were only so many nano.RIPE CDs to be sold…

The most visible and vexing problem with AB this year was the same thing as every year since the Bombing: bag checks. This time they added metal detectors which slowed things down even more. Can’t truly blame them for this, because it’s the “terrorists” that caused all this, but this is purely politics. A bomb going off inside the Sheraton, which required no such checks, would do just as much damage. Or the very crowded area right inside/outside the convention center before the checkpoints (because of the lines generated by said checkpoints). It adds about 20+ minutes entering the center if you had a bag during the early parts of the day. Friday morning was 25 minutes from the street level entrance by my count. By Sunday the lines were pretty okay, but it definitely was bad peak hours and I avoided the Hynes all Saturday. There was a back door entrance where only a bag check was performed, and drops you into the Artist Alley directly, for about a couple minutes of waiting, but they shut it down on Saturday. And according to AB, there’s nothing they could do about this.

Otherwise, pre-reg, auctions, concerts, panels, dealer room stuff…all pretty good. The buppan for Love Live qualifier goods were nuts as they split up stock into 3 days’ worth, so as a result things sold out quick. There was also not much that you can’t get online, so you might not be missing much besides the booth itself.


I took this shot first thing when the dealer room opened on Friday, so not much crowd. Thanks Crunchyroll! Too bad I was also in a hurry.


Man if they did this for CG it would be GLORIOUS.


This is a shot of a part of the BookWalker booth. It is quite neat, these sketches.

I didn’t bother with a loot shot but man, Waka, at this rate I’ll have a wall of Waka sketches. Especially if I make it out to Hawaii.

I got my ML stuff signed by nano.RIPE. During the ALI PROJ show the dancers threw out paper fans at the crowd and I got one, so I got that signed by Arikasama.

PS. Food

We stayed at the Marriott Copley Place. It is $$$. We ate out at a family-style seafood place Saturday night as seen in the top pic. Nothing really to write home about besides its expensive Boston price. I take that back, the menu items were reasonably priced, except for what’s good. I even held back on the eats. But after 2 beers the bill was like, an Eli sweatsuit, so that’s kind of silly for a normal dinner. One of our crew celebrated his 40th birthday, so there was no reason hold back. At least that skewer of shrimp was really good. Would I come back? Probably, if the mood strikes; after all this wasn’t even my first time to this Summer Shack.

I heard CR gave out bagels at the live viewing. Since I missed out, I just had some Dunkin’s after Kiznaiver. The Starbucks by the Marriott was never that crowded (and I avoided it when it was) so that was my go-to coffee source. I also had like 4 hotel coffees, I guess if you brew them housekeeping at least brings you fresh ones next time. I sure could use coffee at this con. I still remember half-asleep while watching the Fate nama and my brain was like, “Wait, isn’t this just like Kizu…zzz.”

On Friday, we went to a Thai takeout place down Boylston. It was legit and unfortunately rushed because we went half an hour before it closed. The rest of the time we did pretty humble, eating supermarket food for breakfast and got a burger delivered from 5 Napkins (great burger, but $20+ a pop?) thanks to a friend who went to get some. Oh, we had CPK for lunch Friday, but that was not really a photogenic thing. The worst meal was what we had on Sunday at the P.F. Changs. Never again I guess. Since the food court area was OOC inside the mall, there were some stands selling food, which I would have liked to try but couldn’t due to time constraints.

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