Archive for the ‘Anime Boston’ Category
Ah, good times ^_^
Or rather, that’s what I wish I could say about Saturday night. I talked about this on the Anime Boston forums as well as Facebook but due to technical difficulties with the equipment I ended up having to cut 45 minutes worth of content from the panel. Despite the handicap, I did the panel anyway. As I told the Tech Staff in the room, the show must go on.
And it did.
I was too busy being upset with my technical problems to remember to take a picture with the two lucky winners of the Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire games I gave away during the panel. That said, I’m going to do things a little different and do a VIDEO recap of the panel later this week.
After the panel I went home, got 3 and a half hours of sleep and then was off to the Con for Panel #2. Like the night before, I went to the room 30 minutes before its start time. Unfortunately, also like the night before, there some logistical problems and we couldn’t get into the room until about 10 minutes before the panel was set to begin. By “we”, I mean me and my 4 copanelists. Distorted Genjits returned as Nagisa Furukawa only she was also joined by some mutual friends of ours. Everyone except me cosplayed someone from Clannad. We had two Tomoyas and a Kotomi in addition to Nagisa. There was also a Kyou, Fuko, Akio and Sanae cosplayer in the audience. It was AWESOME!
So, after the panel wrapped up I wandered around for a bit.
Then I went to Pokespiracies, which went from 1:45 to 2:45. Huge waste of my time. It was an exercise in stupidity. The 3-person panel focused on talking about their bizarre, nonsensical theories on various mechanics and stuff from the Pokemon Universe. The random Sylveon gag they kept pulling every 2-3 slides made no sense whatsoever and was very unfunny. I seriously hope that panel doesn’t come back next year.
After that travesty I went to Closing Ceremonies where I saw this:
All kinds of awesome ^_^
As is the tradition, the AMV Winners for the year got an encore showing after the Credits. Here’s my two favorite vids:
Repeat Stuff – Judge’s Choice
Warning: Video NSFW and not kid-friendly.
Anime 404 – Best Editing
Warning: Video NSFW and not kid-friendly.
Finally, the theme for AB2016 was also announced:
Next year’s theme will be SPORTS!
I have some ideas on panels, too. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True (90 Minutes): It WILL be back for the 5th year in a row at AB2016. As it happens, there are some sports-related stuff that takes place in the Anime. I will play some of the relevant clips next year ^_^
- Baseball: Made in America, Played in Japan (30 Minutes): A new theme-specific panel. I will talk about the huge popularity the game of baseball has in Japan. A love of the game that has been featured in various anime.
- Pokemon: 20 Years Later 2.0 (2 Hours): Not gonna lie, I thought it sucked this year. And I’m the guy who ran it. If it’s not done right, it’s better not to do it at all. Though, in my case I didn’t have a choice other than to do it with technical difficulties. It WILL be back, I will be giving away another physical copy of both Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire (unless the next gen games are announced between now and then, which I doubt) AND I will also be giving away some eShop cards next time. Look forward to it!
- Persona 4: Pursuing My True Self (60 Minutes): It was waitlisted for this year so I will resubmit the panel for next year ^_^
- Tales of Symphonia: 10 Years Later (60 Minutes): It’s the panel I submitted last year but later decided not to do. After the poor excuse for a Tales panel I attended this weekend, I’ve decided to bring it to AB2016!
- Fire Emblem in the United States: 13 years Later (60 Minutes Later): It’s been 13 years since Fire Emblem saw its first US release on the Game Boy Advance. At this panel, we take a look at all of the Fire Emblem games that were released in North America including the recently announced Fire Emblem IF.
…Six panels is ALOT, I know =O
I can see the Clannad, Pokemon and Symphonia ones getting approved no problem. The rest depending on what other folks submit. I’d like to have a repeat of last year where I had multiple panels approved but I was able to request room changes as long as the panels I swapped with each other had the same time length 😄
Whew…the one post took me 3 days to complete. Glad I put this post on a timer in advance 😄
…That’s the best way I can think of to describe Friday.
Due to technical difficulties I had with my iPod, I left home 90 minutes later than I planned to. And to add insult to injury, I was only able to get a third of the music on my iPod. The silver lining of course being I don’t do panels on Fridays. Otherwise, I’d have been in serious trouble 😄
The delay made me miss Opening Ceremonies. To me, it sets the tone for the weekend-long convention. The consolation is I did get to give my camera and bluetooth speaker a stress test. They passed with flying colors =O
Due to the weather forecast I decided not to go to the Swap Meet last night. When I got back to Hyde Park at around 9:30PM there wasn’t a cloud in the sky (LOL!). I look outside and I see sunshine and no rain. It was forecast to rain from 8:00PM Friday night to 2:00PM this afternoon. That’s ok as I was still able to get all of the Swap deals I made in advance taken care of Friday afternoon. That leaves me with ALOT LESS stuff to carry tonight to the Swap Meet I usually go to ^_^
Now let me talk about the panels I went to:
- Viz Media and Aniplex were both industry panels. The panelists talked about upcoming Anime and Manga releases. I was disappointed to get confirmation the revived Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon Crystal and Ranma 1/2 Anime Dubs were prettymuch Hulu exclusive. I asked the Viz Media panel to consider bringing them to Netflix and they dismissively said tell Netflix. I will of course but I suspect Hulu and Viz have an exclusive deal but just didn’t want to say it. I was impressed Aniplex gave Toonami a nice plug letting folks know Sword Art Online airs at 1:00AM (EST) Saturday Night/Sunday Morning. It was also announced the final 3 volumes of the Bleach Manga will be coming to the US sometime this year. Finally, there was confirmation the English DVD/Blu-Ray release of Sword Art Online II will be released as two 13-episode half seasons with the first set coming in June. I gave both panels 3 stars on the Guidebook App.
- The panel “How to Host a Good Anime Convention Panel” (In all Caps in the Guidebook App) was surprisingly good and informative. As some of you remember, I submitted an application to do a panel like this for AB2015 but it was rejected. Having attended this panel myself, he was clearly the best person for this type of panel and not just because he is a professional. While the panelist didn’t talk about anything I didn’t already know, he did pull back the curtain a little bit and talked about the aspects of running a convention like Anime Boston. I’m talking about the stuff your average congoer never thinks about and griefers never take into consideration. I gave it 5 Stars on the Guidebook App.
- Tales of Tales was a massive disappointment and it was the panel I’d been looking to seeing. The irony is the previously mentioned panel was the one I’d just come from. It was a panel of 4 people yet only 2 of them talked the whole time. I think it was nerves or lack of preparation or a combination of both. The speakers looked uncomfortable. Listen: I was sitting in the FRONT ROW no more than 3 feet away. They used microphones and I could barely hear them 80% of the time. It was a massive snoozefest for me. They definitely could’ve used their time much better. They spent the first 40 minutes going over all of the flagship Tales games. 25 of those 40 minutes was video clips they likely pulled from You Tube. I’m both mad and relieved I didn’t resubmit my planned Symphonia panel from last year. Mad because of how disappointed I was yet relieved when I think about my panel being rejected in favor of this one. I gave it 1 Star of the Guidebook App.
Oh before I forget, I finally met my artist friend in person in the Artist Alley yesterday. Remember this picture?
My friend made it for me. Click here to go to her page on Deviant Art.
So by the time you’re reading this, it’s after 6:30PM (EST). I scheduled this post to go live then as I plan to leave for Anime Boston by that time. I will do a recap of Day 2 and my Pokemon Panel as soon as I get home TONIGHT. I will post the recap for tonight’s panel on my Game Blog and my recap of the evening overall on this one. The recap for my Sunday panel and Day 3 overall will come tomorrow.
Boy, is it going to be EPIC.
I usually talk about Anime Boston on my Anime and Manga blog but I’ve decided to give everyone an overview of what my routine at Anime Boston is like. Here it is as I put it on Facebook yesterday:
I always go for the full weekend. For me, the party actually starts Thursday evening when Pre-registration opens at 4PM (WOOT!). Once you get your badge–and you will have it no more than 60 minutes max from the moment you get in line–you are free to mingle with the hundreds of fellow congoers either waiting in line or hanging out in the halls of the Sheraton or around the Pru. If you are a panelist, It’s a great opportunity to tell as many folks as you can about your panel(s). They’ll spread the word for you xD
Friday is when things officially kick off. Opening Ceremonies starts a bit before noon and it’s intentionally set so you have to wait until after Opening Ceremonies to shop ’til you drop in the Dealers’ Room. Before opening ceremonies, there are some Anime running in a couple viewing rooms to check out. The only Opening Ceremony in Boston that can hold a candle to AB’s is First Night. This is where everyone is hyped up, all the Guests of Honor are introduced and etc. After Opening Ceremonies, HAVE FUN! I tend to make a beeline for the Dealers’ Room right after Opening Ceremonies to see which vendors are back and which ones are new this year. I also tend to buy my Anime Sets and/or Video Games Friday since they’re never marked down later. I also go out of my way to ensure my Anime purchases stay under my hard cap of $100. Otherwise I’d have no money when I go back to work on Monday. Anyway after that, I eat lunch and then check out some panels until the Swap Meet. The Swap Meet puts the Stock Exchange to shame so…yeah, no way I’m missing that!
Saturday is the halfway point. Certain obligations keep me offsite until around 6PM. When I get in (after picking up dinner in the food court or Wagamama), I go staight to the Swap Meet until about 30 minutes before the panel I do is scheduled to begin. I then head to said room to set things up. That said, this will be my 4th year as a Panelist at Anime Boston (I just hope my Pokemon and Clannad Panels are not Saturday Night this year…). The past three years, the panels I did Saturday night were main event-level: They were slotted to overlap both the Masquerade and the AMV Contest. And all three years, the room was packed! I did Persona 4 in 2014 and Clannad in both 2013 and 2012. Persona 4 will be an hour again this year so I assume it will be on Saturday night. Anywho, after I wrap up my panel, sign autograph books and exchange contact info with folks I head for the AMV Contest and then the Concert. Since I don’t have a hotel room again this year, I time my exit so I’m on the second to last Orange Line train to Forest Hills a bit after midnight (LOL!). I plan to take a cab the rest of the way this year.
Sunday is when we close out the con. It’s also when I really bring it as a panelist with two additional panels, both timed for late morning and early afternoon. The second one tends to finish a bit before Closing Ceremonies. I try to get to the Hynes Sunday Morning at around 9 so I can take advantage ofNew England Comics and Comicopia’s respective blowout sales and binge on either a new Manga series I haven’t read yet or alot of new volumes of one I already have. Last year, I started on Blue Exorcist and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. After that, I then hustle to do my matinee of Panels. This year, my Clannad panel will be 90 minutes long. My new Pokemon panel will be 2 hours as well so…yeah. 3.5 hours of power! After my last panel finishes, I just go to Closing Ceremonies. It pays to stay until after the credits are done: That’s when the AMV Contest winners are revealed and you get to see them all. After Closing Ceremonies, there is one panel remaining: Convention Feedback at 4:30. It’s an opportunity for congoers to talk directly to the powers that be face to face. I highly reccommend everyone go to it if they can. Then, it’s wait until next year!
…And there you have it.
I avoid taking any personal time until after Anime Boston if I can help it. Anime Boston means I can take a vacation every year without spending alot of money. In comparison, most conventions charge nearly twice the going rate of $50-$60. Of course, it’s also true panelists get the registration fee refunded a few months later.
One point I want everyone to understand is the con isn’t just for teens, young adults or even die-hard Anime fans. I’ve seen everyone from grandparents to toddlers at Anime Boston over the years. There’s something for everyone. The thing I love about Anime Boston–which I’m sure is the reason folks come back every year–is you know you won’t be judged just for liking Anime, Manga and/or Video Games.
…That kind of thing is important when you’re over 25 ^_^
That’s the word I would use to describe Saturday and Sunday.
I’m doing both Saturday and Sunday in a single blog post for multiple reasons. The first being all I did Saturday Night was the Swap Meet and my own panel. Man, it was AWESOME! I’ll talk about it in the more detailed recap blog post but it was BOSS. I’m talking about the panel I did, mind you =D
I’ll give you the cliffnotes from Saturday night first, though:
I got to Forest Hills station only to realize I forgot my Convention Badge (WOOPS!). I hailed a cab and booked it back to my house to get it. The round trip cost me nearly half of my earnings from the night before but in my book, it was a small price to pay to both get the badge AND significantly cut my commute through Hyde Park from Forest Hills Station to my house and back to just 7 minutes total. Compare that to my usual 30 minute commute to and from work 😄
Anyway, when I got to the convention center I grabbed a sandwich from the Prudential Center’s food court and then immediately booked it to Panel A for my Persona 4 panel. I’ll go into detail in terms of what went on at the panel in a separate blog post but let’s just say a smaller room would’ve been better. I was expecting a smaller room than the one I got for this panel but since it was a replacement panel, it was out of my hands.
After the panel ended, I racked up villagers in my Bravely Default Demo on my Blue 3DS (I have the full game on my Red one) in preparation for when I get the full game on Friday from the eShop. I then headed home and got to Cleary Square just before the MBTA shut down (LOL!).
Sunday was alot busier since I had two panels to with a one hour break in between. Upon arriving, I hauled it over to room 206, which is where I did my Clannad Panel. I’ll speak more about this is the recap blog post itself but I was joined a very special guest:
Yes, Nagisa Furukawa was my co-panelist this year.
For the details on how I pulled it off, you’ll have to wait for the recap blog either tonight or Thursday evening.
After my Clannad blog, I booked it to The Dealers’ Room where I picked up the first four volumes of Blue Exorcist as well as Volume 1 of the spinoff Manga Attack of Titan Junior High, which is a spinoff of the international smash hit Attack on Titan. I also got a Yukiko Amagi (Persona 4) and a Kirito (Sword Art Online) plushie. I go them from two different vendors but in both cases they were the last ones left. After that I bought Fate/Zero DVD set, which is an Anime I saw bits and pieces of on Neon Alley recently.
I then booked it over to room Panel C to prepare for my second panel of the day. When I arrived, I was blown away to see the HUGE line outside the door that snaked down the hall. Of course, Court Records: Ace Attorney was Sunday’s main event in more ways than one. The first two sections of the room were filled and like last year, the Cosplayers came in force. Even though it was 90 minutes it was just barely enough to do everything. Come next year I’ll be looking to outdo myself for the third year in a row.
After the panel ended I went back to The Dealers’ Room where I picked up Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, a prequel to Attack on Titan that takes place 100 years before the start of the original series. I then went to Closing Ceremonies where I racked up so many Streetpasses on both of my 3DS consoles I’m surprised they didn’t break (LOL!). It was announced that the theme for Anime Boston 2015 will be Manju vs. Mecha and that it will be April 3-5, 2015.
Save the date!
All in all, it was an awesome weekend. I eagerly look forward to doing it again next year. I’ll even tell you a full year in advance which panels I will be doing at AB2015 and which ones I will not. Pending approval, of course.
- Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True WILL be back next year. Also, Nagisa will be my copanelist from now on each year I do this panel. It will also be 90 minutes next year because of some extra content I’m bringing next year including some special videos that I promise will leave none unmoved.
- Court Records: Ace Attorney will NOT be back next year since I want to make room for following panel. It will be back at AB2016 though.
- Pokemon: 20 Years Later is the special 2-hour panel I will be doing next year. I’m pulling out all the stops to make it the most must-see panel of AB2015. There will be music from the soundtracks of each gen, The PokeRap, Battles (Gens 5 and 6), Trades (Gens 5 and 6), a viewing of the very first episode of Pokemon: Indigo League and a special viewing of a scene from the world famous banned Electric Soldier Porygon episode! It will be the biggest panel I will have ever done. Bring your own 3DS!
- Tales of Symphonia: 10 Years Later is the panel I was supposed to do this year but didn’t due to my busy work schedule during the last 4 months. We will discuss the fandom, the game, the anime and so on. I will request 60 minutes for what is sure to be an interesting introspective into Tales of Symphonia.
- Persona 4: Pursuing My True Self WILL be back next year. It will be 60 minutes long just like this year but there will be a bit more of a focus on the Psychology of the Persona. Video clips will return but I will use different clips from the ones I used this year.
- Panels: Best Practices is a new 60 minute Workshop I’m planning to do next year. In the panel, we will discuss the process of applying to do a panel, planning what you’re going to do and (hopefully) running a successful panel. Much of the panel will be answering questions and feedback from the audience so if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a panelist, it’s worth checking out. Bring a pencil and notebook. You might learn something helpful ^_^
There you have it.
So to recap there will be two returning panels, two special panels and a workshop for next year. Man, it’s going to be AWESOME next year!
If you’re reading this from Facebook, I will post the recaps for my panels next over the next few days. If you were in the crowd and want to give a shout out, feel free =O
I wasn’t originally planning to include this in my recap but for the sake of being transparent, I am.
Just before Opening Ceremonies, I met a 17-year old kid and his father who had come to Anime Boston from Minneapolis for the convention. My personal policy of not hanging out with teens with intellectual disabilities or disorders outside work aside, I ended up spending most of my day playing babysitter to the kid. In reference to the Intellectual Disabilities comment the kid and his Dad let me know right off the bat he has Asberger’s Syndrome, which is on the Autism spectrum. I myself have Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is also on the Autism spectrum.
If I were 10 years yonger it wouldn’t have been a problem for me to spend the day with him but when his Dad prettymuch tried to hand him off to me, immediately the warning bells went off in my head. While I would be the first to say people with Asberger’s teach more than they learn from others, this was a situation in which it was obvious I was being used to split father and son for the day. The kid was adamant about doing things he knew his parents wouldn’t approve of (which I won’t get into since I never gave him the opportunity to do anything stupid) once his Dad left, coulsn’t make it more obvious he couldn’t wait to get away from his son.
After Opening Ceremonies, I took them to Wagamama and split with them there. More than a few times the kid’s Dad tried to take off on us, which confirmed for me I needed to avoid them at all cost. My luck was not that good: I later ran into them just inside the Bolyston Street entrance of the Hynes 90 minutes before the Swap Meet was scheduled to start. The kid’s Dad prettymuch dumped him off on me again and quickly left for their hotel in Revere.
The sweet, sweet irony is tonight I’m doing a Panel about Persona 4 and the Psychology of Persona.
Let’s just say I reverted to my 15 year old self during the times I was alone with him. Perhaps more attributed to The Good Work I’ve been doing for 10 years now, I have the ability of being able to connect with anyone regardless of the circumstances. It’s what I do. Anyway, we hung out for a while at the UNOs on Bolyston Street before heading back to the convention center. While we were at UNOs the kid opened up to me about his and his Dad’s relationship issues along with other stuff that don’t need to be disclosed over the internet. I will say it reminded me of my own struggles, especially in recent months.
When we got back to the convention center we went to the Swap Meet which is where we parted ways. Before he left, I gave him my extra Charlie Card with $6 on it so that he could get back to his hotel safely. After he left, I felt very angry most of my day had been wasted. I wasn’t angry with the kid but I was angry with his Dad.
What the fuck kind of person would willingly hand their 17 year old son with Asberger’s to a complete stranger?
Excuse my choice of words but I was that pissed off. The kid was candid about wanting to do things he knew his parents would not approve of (which again, I will not discuss since I never allowed him the opportunity to do anything stupid) even if he didn’t have Asberger’s and I made it clear to both of them I would have no part in any shenanigans. When you think about it, anything could have happened in which case the parent would have been on the hook even if the son was 21. If I run into them this evening, I’m going to let his Dad have it. If he didn’t want to spend time with him, he shouldn’t have brought him to the convention or at the very least left him with friends he knew.
Moving on, now:
That aside, I knew from the convention schedule I probably wasn’t going to see any panels of interest to me today so I spent a huge chunk of time finishing my Persona 4 Power Point.
I am pleased to say it is DONE. It will be glorious, too =D
During some downtime I headed into the Dealer’s Room to take a look around. The owner of Comicopia (their store is in Kenmore Square) told me the reason he brings so much Manga to Anime Boston is because he has more space in his booth than his entire store. Anyone who’s been to the actual store knows this is true 😄
I was THRILLED to see Game Underground was there. They were the only dealers aside from VideoGamesNewYork who were there who sold video games though. I did find Super Mario Advance 2 and Golden Sun for the Game Boy Advance, though (WOOT!) for $15 each.
At another vendor I bought Ouran High School Host Club on Blu-Ray for $40, making it the third Anime I bought on Blu Ray since I bought my PS3. The first was of course Persona 4 while Fullmetal Panic: The Second Raid was my second. Due to a low spending budget I was only able to buy one Anime this year.
Then the Swap Meet happened =O
My mantra going into the Swap Meet was “Leave with far less than I go in with”. In that regard I succeeded. I even made $75, which was twice what I knew I was going to make at the Swap Meet. Here is a picture of what I left the Swap Meet with:
…As a reminder I also made $75 after the Swap Meet with some of my leftover inventory.
Of the stuff I got, I’m only keeping the Bleach Manga, Bettlejuice DVD and Kiddy Grade DVD set. The rest will be swapped tonight along with my leftovers from yesterday and some more stuff I’m bringing today. The glove is awesome but sadly it’s too small to fit my hand so…yeah.
As for new Manga buys, I’m holding off on that until Sunday. Not just because of Comicopia’s obscene blowout deals but I’m expecting $9650 to appear in my bank account between today and tomorrow. I’ll talk more about my perspective new buys on my Anime & Manga Blog.
The Programming Guide is here.
The Dealers’ Room Listing is here.
To see my panels, scroll down to the bottom of the page. The second link will give you external links to sites of all of the vendors who will be at AB2014 this year.
Of the returning vendors I’m familiar with:
- Comicopia is great for all your Manga needs. A protip I’ve made sure to exploit for the last two years now: Save your Manga shopping for Sunday when all their stock is marked down even more than advertised. 20% off for 4 volumes becomes 40%, 40% off for 8 volumes becomes 60% and so on. On top of that an additional 10% is taken off all three days if you buy volumes in bulk from the same series. Comicopia is located in Kenmore Square, which is a 10 minute walk from Back Bay =O
- VideoGamesNewYork is a ripoff. If you want a better deal on video games, you’re better off going elsewhere. The specialize in selling Japanese imports but honestly, you can get the same stuff for less eslewhere.
- Game Underground sells retro games. I bought some Nintendo DS games from these guys at AB2013. The prices are reasonable and they have bundled deals as well.
- Crunchyroll is actually a streaming service like Netflix only they specialize in steeaming Japanese Anime (subbed) and Korean Dramas. F0r $6 a month you can stream it through Xbox 360/One, PS3/PS4, Vita, iOS and/or Android Devices.
I would reccommend bringing a bottle of Hand Sanitizer with you and using it after handling stuff so you don’t have germs on your hands for too long. Who knows how many folks picked up that display copy of Attack on Titan Volume 9, yes?
This year, the Swap Meet will be in a a larger room compared to the last few years. Since I’m not running a panel on Saturday night this year (WOOT!) I’m going to be able to go for the entire duration of the Swap Meet. The Swap Meet is a trading post in a nutshell. Folks go there with stuff to trade with other folks with stuff to trade and sell for good and/or cash. I prefer cash personally =O
It all starts this Thursday at 4:00PM. It’s gonna be awesome!