Anime Boston 2022: Wrap

It’s a bit unusual for me to write up these cons so long since I attended them, about a month ago. But here we are.

The COVID-induced ennui does things, I guess? But at the same time, there are plenty of good reasons to not go to cons for fun, as AX discourse showed us. That’s coming right up isn’t it? Well I am not going despite that Aniplex still came through with two big seiyuu guests…

People like Aoi Koga came into prominence in and around 2018-2019 and in a way you feel about them a certain way, as their biggest impact was during COVID. It can definitely be said of ASCA, which Sacra/Sony Music brought to Anime Boston as a guest. It is my first “normal” anisong concert since February 2020, so it felt a certain way. ASCA already performed once in Hawaii for Kawaii Kon so this is her second stop. She’s also going to Germany for AnimagiC next month, but the thing I want to state from this encounter is having that anisong experience with calls is a thing she has not had as a performer until recently because Japan still bans calls at shows.

Fake Star booth at Anime Boston

Since ASCA officially debuted in 2019, she’s not really had a solo show with calls, as this COVID-era new artist said as much. It was moving to hear the handful of us doing the calls. Well, not really sure how many people caught on in the audience during Howling, but howling at ASCA at AB’s Friday night concert was a ton of fun. It was also stirring. It’s like having old synapses firing that you forgot were there. You feel in ways you have not in some time, and yet that sensation feels new.

This is the kind of rending of emotions that I welcome in a post-COVID world, much like old friends reunited since the era of quarantines and travel bans. This is why this summer, for better or worse, travelers will be bustling, COVID counts be damned.

ASCA Panel description displayed on a hall monitor

The problem in that scenario as things play out isn’t so much just the pandemic, but that these events and organizations are also now putting on a show to record crowds, many having to weather the storm and lost much in the process. Anime Boston did probably the best job out of the 3 cons I attended this year trying to mitigate things. Overall they were well-staffed and for the most part the con ran okay. Crowding was an issue during peak Saturday, but it was still manageable if chaotic.

The autograph ticket line was set up using spare panel rooms, which meant lining up to get seated, and they handed out tickets by moving people in rows of seats. That was fun. At con badge line was basically none by the time I arrive Friday afternoon.

What was hellish was that MIT and Harvard both had graduations that Saturday, which meant hotel and flight prices went through the roof (airlines and hotel industries are part of that “events and organizations” aspect I guess) for AB’s dates. It’s bad, because those 2 (large) schools postponed their 2020 and 2021 graduations to 2022, so 3 years worth of grads walked on the same weekend. Luckily they had a batch of hotel rooms in the con block open up in April which made things a bit less painful. The drive from my home to and from the con was also pretty crazy for traffic, because other schools across CT also had graduations (did you know there are a lot of colleges in Connecticut). The NBA Playoff Conference Final was also on Friday, which adds an extra layer of logistical fun, I suppose. The Prudential Center (basketball venue) is literally the venue attached to the con upstairs. Oh, it’s Memorial Day Weekend, which is a huge travel day in the USA anyway to start. Anyways, it kind of was a terrible date to have a large fan con in Boston.

I was only at Anime Boston for about 24 hours, which is unusual for a change–had family stuff to deal with that long weekend. During that time I tried to make the best of it. I walked the Dealer’s, which was mostly just to say hi to a bunch of folks. It’s a little sparse but not too bad. I should walk the AA but I didn’t get around to it. If I had stayed until Sunday could have caught a BoSox game. Ah well, maybe next time.

PS. Not much fooding. Just a pic.

Lobster roll with fries on the side

Legal Seafood is like last resort at the venue. Both because it’s a bit pricy and it’s not that good, and it’s open when everywhere else is full. I think it’s still an okay place to take first timers to, but I’ll get the fried scallops next time.

I went to Eataly on Saturday for late lunch and that was way better and costed a bit less. I should have went to grab some groceries before I headed out of Boston. Cannolis are my sins.

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