Archive for the ‘Anime Boston’ Tag

Anime Boston 2016 Full Recap   Leave a comment

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Up to now, I did each day in a separate post. AB2016 was more of a blur for me mostly because of how I decided to use my time at the convention and the fact that I was a panelist for the 5th year in a row. This was my first time doing the convention with no budget. The only reason I was able to get through the weekend is because I commuted from home. I can’t imagine I would have been able to get through the weekend if I was in a hotel room because of the added expenses that comes with that. I digress. My financial problems aside, overall I had a pleasant experience.

Anyone who was there and/or followed the goings-on via the Anime Boston Social Facebook Group–which by the way is run and maintained by congoers, NOT the convention itself–was quickly made aware of the lines to get into the Hynes, which were an unfortunate side effect from the increased security presence in the Hynes Convention Center. For those who didn’t know, there was an incident at the Hynes last summer involving a mass shooting plot. Due to this and the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, security was stepped up for Anime Boston 2016.

Before I continue, the rest of this recap will be broken up into several categories. Those who are familiar with my Video Game Blog know when I review things, I rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. The same will be done for each category I score below.

Line Flow – 4/10

Easily issue #1 at AB2016. It was atrocious. I heard two particular horror stories that struck a nerve from two folks who gave their experience at the Convention Feedback on Sunday after Closing Ceremonies. For those who don’t know, Convention Feedback is held after Closing Ceremonies in room 208 from 4:00PM to 5:00PM. The heads of all of Anime Boston’s departments, the chair and vice chair are there to listen to your feedback and answer any questions you may have. I’m giving this its own section so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Back to this though: Unlike years’ past, the line problems were exclusively around getting into the con. AB’s had a crapton of bad luck in recent years with the security subcontractors the Hynes hires. This year was possibly the worst yet. I followed the goings-on via Facebook on my cellphone. It was painfully clear most of the security detail didn’t want to be there. After the Prudential Center as usual made noise about the mall entrance to the Hynes being so backed up it became a fire hazard, AB Staff closed the entrance at intervals and moved everyone to the Boylston st. Entrance.

The root cause of the problem, of course was the security checkpoints. For many, it took them 30 minutes minimum to get into the Hynes. It goes without saying those who got in avoided leaving the Hynes unless they had to in order to avoid the line that oftentimes wrapped around the side of the building. I want to again stress the root cause of the lines is the security checkpoints which Anime Boston has no control over.

Unfortunately, they will remain until enough people decide they don’t want to live like that anymore. You will need to contact State Lawmakers and the Hynes and let them know how much the security checkpoints effected your ability to enjoy the convention. Increased security has become the norm since 9/11 but the problem is it’s never lowered once raised. If you don’t speak out, the powers that be see no reason to lower them. That’s the trick, actually.

Here’s some food for thought for those who don’t see this as a “problem”: I have attended the Boston Marathon in the 3 years since the bombing in 2013. Boston Police has security checkpoints all over Copley Square, which is the finish line. As you can probably guess, hundreds of thousands of spectators converge at the finish line–easily much more than Anime Boston’s 25,000 to 30,000 attendees each year–to watch the runners finish the race.

How long does it take to pass through security? 5 minutes max. No metal detectors. No one yelling at you. They check your bag, wand you and you’re on your way in 30 seconds tops. Same city. Same area. Different mindset. I posed the question on Anime Boston’s forums a short time ago to see if changing who does security would help.

Dining Options – 4/10

…For those who didn’t know, the Prudential Center’s food court was closed in the summer of 2015 and was replaced with an Eataly, which is a hybrid Supermarket and Restaurant. Still under construction at the time, this slashed the dinining options for congoers, the majority of whom were either on a budget or like me had no food budget (LOL). This is actually outside Anime Boston’s juristiction but I felt the need to mention it anyway as a Boston native myself.

 

Video Selections – 8/10

As in years past, AB2016 offered a mix of mainstream dubbed anime, mainstream subbed anime and new anime of both types being introduced at the con. All courtesy of the industry of course. One Punch Man was a huge draw of course. Most of the anime, I’d say most Congoers had at least heard of overall. It was nice to see Summer Wars, Angel Beats, Ouran High School Host Club, Spice & Wolf and The Last: Naruto the Movie among the featured anime. I say that because I own ALL of them ^_^

My Panels – 7/10

I decided to mark my 5th staight year as a panelist by doing two panels I’ve done before. One was of course my Clannad panel. The other was my Persona 4 Panel, which I also did at AB2014. Attendance at both was pretty good. Unike AB2015 there were no delays with the start times (WOOT!) and even better, no major technical problems (LOL!). Steam randomly decided to do an update when I did a demonstration of the Clannad VN on my laptop. One lucky Congoer got to play the first 15 minutes of the Clannad VN =O

…Fortunately, I had planned to do my Q&A at the same time so it was a minor delay. It was my 5th and likely final time doing my Clannad panel at Anime Boston. Now that the Clannad VN has (FINALLY!) been released in North America, I felt it was a good time to retire the panel. Even though most of the friends I made because of Clannad have since moved on to other fandoms, it will always be my favorite Anime of all time.

My Persona 4 panel is why I rated this secfion a 7/10: I ended up having to change a few things on the fly. I DID allow two Congoers to sample Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4: Dancing All Night during my Q&A session (As a reminder, I have two Vitas). I also gave away my Persona Arcana deck at the end of the panel. I consider myself lucky even though I had an hour I only used 45 minutes. I feel like with my Persona panel I did a bit too much improvising. In comparison, when I did my Clannad panel the next morning I was feeling extremely comfortable.

Dealer’s Room – N/A

As I mentioned at the top I was broke going into AB2016 so I basically avoided the dealer’s room like The Plague. The one time I remember setting foot in there was for a pre-arranged item swap with a friend of mine working one of the booths. I did chat with the owner of Comicopia for a few minutes on Sunday now that I’m thinking about it.

Convention Feedback – 10/10

Convention organizers did not shy away from the widely reported horror stories involving Line Flow and the Security Firm hired to handle security for the weekend. It goes without saying it took up almost all of the alotted time. AB was in full-on damage control, which when you think about it was pretty unfair since they have no control over the security checkpoints. I was impressed but unsurprised the feedback session had a large turnout. Most of those who provided feedback either shared their experience in what’s been dubbed LineCon 2.0.

Huge props to event organizers on a job well done. They knew going in what the main topic was going to be and they handled the criticism like professionals. On that note, it’s worth pointing out NONE of AB staff are paid including the department heads. It’s all a labor of love ^_^

 

Overall – 8/10

Despite the bottleneck at the security checkpoints things went pretty well. Despite being broke, I had a good time. Of course, being broke meant I had no reason to leave the Hynes until I was ready to go home. I didn’t mind not being able to go in the Dealer’s Room but I DID mind not having the money to buy food. Never again. LOL.
…And there you have it.

Ironically, I posted this 5 days before AB2017. I seriously forgot about it due to problems in my personal life before, during and since AB2016. As it happens, for a while I faced the reality I would not make it to AB2017. Then I got my tax return ^_^

This year I have a little bit of money so I’ll be able to eat, travel and do a little shopping in the Dealer’s Room. I actually entertained getting a hotel room for Saturday night but in the end I have decided not to. Instead, I’ll take a cab from Forest Hills Saturday night like I’ve done in the past. It also helps my birthday is the Thursday of pre-registration so…yeah. LOL.

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Aurabolt’s Folly: The Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Games   Leave a comment

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Pok%C3%A9mon_Trading_Card_Game_logo.svg/2000px-Pok%C3%A9mon_Trading_Card_Game_logo.svg.png

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…I considered posting this on both my Anime and Game Blogs but I decided to post it on this one instead as a cautionary tale. Given this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the release of the Pokemon Trading Card Game, it feels fitting.

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To start, Trading Cards have been around for some time though until about 30 years ago, they were strictly Sports Cards. Then Magic the Gathering came along. It wrote the book on how to make a successful trading card game. They are to the Trading Card Game industry what Everquest is to MMORPGs. Like World of Warcraft, only the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Games were able to emulate the success of the original. They were both introduced at the right time: When Anime and Video Games were becoming mainstream in North America.

Pokemon Red and Blue came to the U.S. in 1995. The Pokemon Trading Card Game (henceforth “Pokemon TCG” for short) was released the following year. What was originally intended to be just a means of marketing the Pokemon brand in the U.S. quickly become the biggest schoolyard sensation in America for almost a decade.

THIS is the original rare card kids spent hundreds on card packs to find:

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Those lucky enough get one were revered as heroes to their friends and had a virtually unstoppable deck. It wasn’t until I played the Game Boy Color Pokemon TCG game in 2001 I fully understood WHY the elusive Stage 2 Card was so sought after: Its Pokemon Power (see above). As long as you didn’t run out of Energy Cards, Charizard was unstoppable. No one other Pokemon Card except the equally rare Chansey (120 HP) could take one attack from it and live. This has long since become widely accepted but to keep the game balanced, Wizards of the Coast (The manufacturer for the card game from 1995 to about 2002) intentionally did not make a large amount of Charizard Cards to encourage people to keep buying card packs hoping to get one.

…I consider myself lucky I was late to get in on the TCG bandwagon. I was in high school at the time and was more a collector than someone who was competatively playing against others. The rare cards I was looking for were promo cards that came with video games and movies. At my peak, I had close to 800 Pokemon Cards. This goes without saying but the reason the first Pokemon movie still stands and the highest-grossing Pokemon movie ever is because of the promo Mew card given to moviegoers with every ticket purchase. It made the news a month after the movie’s release: Folks would buy a ticket just for the card but skip the movie. Said extra cards would then be resold. I saw alot on eBay.

There was little kids wouldn’t do to get their hands on rare cards. Myself included. This is the first time I’m sharing this publicly but I stole 30 cards from a friend at a summer camp when I was 16 and yes, I got away with it. Not saying I’m proud of myself as I realized after I’d done it that I was taking the TCG way too seriously.

As for how I did it without ever getting found out, I did it like a professional: While everyone was swimming, I went in the locker room and took the cards out the kids’ binders (we were around the same age but I was the oldest). To deflect suspicion since I knew everyone would’ve (rightly) assumed it was me, I took my rarest cards out of my own binder and hid them. Naturally, the kids I ripped off assumed mine were stolen, too. Of course, I never brought any of my cards back to camp after that!

I’ll give Nintendo credit where it’s due: The Pokemon TCG was a damned good hustle. I spent somewhere between $200 to $300 on Pokemon cards from when I started in 1998 to about 2003. I retired for good in 2004 and gave away all of my Pokemon Cards to a student at a school where I worked in 2007. Best decison ever. Looking back now, I knew I was in too deep when I decided to steal cards from others. Never again.

 

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…This brings me to the TCG giant of the last decade, Yu-Gi-Oh!

Holy crap. I’ll be real with you: I was hooked from day one. I’ll give Konami and Upper Deck credit where its due: They took the forumula the Pokemon TCG had been using and all but perfected it. The Anime starring Yugi Motou and his alter ego Pharaoh Atem (whose true name wasn’t actually revealed until the original  series’ finale) was used to sell the cards unlike Pokemon.

The cards featured in every episode of the Anime? You could actually get them yourself. Not only that, they worked exactly as shown in the Anime–minus the special effects, of course–and they were nowhere near as rare.

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Seto Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes White Dragon anf Yugi Motou’s Dark Magician. They are the most iconic cards even today yet Konami took the high road with both cards: They were rare in on TV show but in reality, they were obscenely common. One huge difference structure decks for the Pokemon and Yugioh TCGs have is while you only got one holofoil card in Pokemon, with Yugioh you got 3.

The iconic Yugi and Kaiba decks were upgraded a few years later to include powerful cards Yugi and Kaiba gained in the Anime. Even though the Anime series and the card game are not as big as they once were, no cards are more synonymous with Yugioh than these 5:

 

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…Exodia the Forbidden One. Like the Holo Chatizard card, Konami and Upper Deck intentionally made The Exodia set in limited quantities for the sake of game balance. Given you automatically win simply by having all 5 cards in your hand, it only makes sense. LOL.

Moving on, unlike the Pokemon TCG I got into the Yugioh TCG specifically for dueling. Unlike with Pokemon, I got early and spent alot early. I’ll be straight with you: I spent $1200 on Yugioh Cards from 2002 2009. It stands as the most money I’ve ever spent on one hobby. World of Warcraft came close at $950 including expansions, paid services and other premium content such as mounts and pets. The difference is with Yugioh it was in a small amount of time but with WoW, it’s been nearly a decade in comparison.

At one time, I owned close to 500 Yugioh cards. The difference is almost all of them were used to make 4o to 60-card decks for dueling. I had a different deck for different themes. The funny thing is after I graduated from high school, it actually became harder for me to simply find people to duel against. My younger brother played off and on at the time. Sometimes when I picked him up from school, we’d walk to the library and play against folks there. And I was good. I did alot of trash talking and had the skills to back it up. Never did tournaments since they never came to Boston but after about 3 years, duels against me were quick when they ended in my favor.

I think it was around mid-2007 when I decided to quit the Yugioh TCG cold turkey. By then, I’d spent close to $500 on Yugioh cards off eBay alone so…yeah. By the way yes, I did own all 3 of the Egyptian God Cards too. Any card I wanted, I bought off eBay. Most I ever spent? $105 to buy the Exodia cards.

Looking back at how much of my monthly budget I was spending on both TCGs that I probably should have spent on other things was why I decided to quit cold turkey. Well, that and the value we collectors had placed on the  Trading Cards. Like fools, the majority of us truly believed the longer we held on to the cards, the more they’d be worth later. In reality, it was the exact opposite. We should have sold the cards when they were still considered valuable. The longer we held on to them, the less valuable they became. A fitting irony!

During my last semester at a community college, one of my classmates appraised the 100 or so remaining Yugioh Cards I showed him at the time to be worth a bit under $1000. I sold them at Anime Boston in 2010 and only got $10 for all of them. I honestly didn’t care as it was fitting and what I deserved given I’d been motivated by greed. It was a hard lesson but an important one I learned: Trading Card Games are a massive time and money pit and if you’re not careful, you might not be able to get out on your own.

The only TCG worth dealing with is Magic The Gathering but as I said already, I’m done with Trading Card Games period. Before folks ask no, I don’t have any more Yugioh or Pokemon Cards. I gave them all away years ago. The interesting thing is it also effected my viewpoint on physical video games, too. I used to buy and sell video games alot during the last decade. After I quit TCGs, I now only buy video games for keeps. I figure if I’m going to spend money on a hobby, it should be on something I know I’ll enjoy for years to come.

 

My work envirmentment has taken me back to a very dark place   Leave a comment

…That’s the long and short of it.

Not a day has gone by since the first full week of school that I haven’t regretted my decision to return to BPS. I should never have come back. This blog post flies in the face of something I said in this blog post back in September but right now, I need to vent.

Since the post I linked to above, things have gotten far worse at work for me. Without breaking confidentiality, I was in a classroom environment where I had no chance of feeling successful from the very beginning. I mean in the area of classroom management. I wasn’t even given a chance in short. Both my classroom partner and the principal made it clear to me it wasn’t my fault but the feelings of failure are still there. They were both very angry about the disrespect the class gave me on a daily basis since the first week of school. The principal even asked them why they felt it was ok to not listen to me and none of them could answer. It was just ok as far as they cared. Unsurprisingly, things have begun to improve since I was transitioned out of the class three weeks ago.

Which brings me to last week. As of last week, I have been reassigned to a first grade class for the rest of my time at the school. I say “my time” since I definitely won’t finish this year. I was pushed past my breaking point at the end of September. I tried resigning but due to the loss of family support on the matter, those plans were rescinded last week. I have literally been told by my immediate family to not quit and wait it out. Not the smartest thing to say to someone who’s professed to them they have nothing to live for.

Then there’s my recent hospitalization.

I was dealing with severe stomach pain last Wednesday and left work sick. I actually met with a therapist on the way to the hospital and he reminded me stress can make you sick. About two hours later, I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t move. I was released two days later. The prognosis was a bacterial infection in my stomach and intestines.

This brings me to last night. I spoke to the principal last night over the phone about something work-related that I won’t share here. During the course of the conversation, she laid out why I was being moved to a first grade class, citing my issues working in 4th grade and the needs of my new class. A reshuffling of the deck, nothing I didn’t already know. The matter I talked to the principal about last night presented itself several times today. Like last week, I handed said matter professionally. It’s what I do. The principal mentioned to me towards the end of our conversation last night that she would like to meet with me and my new partner at some point tomorrow. We will certainly have a number of things to discuss tomorrow.

One thing most who do not work in education do not care about is how hard it is. You see, hear and experience alot of things you can’t even speak about due to student confidentiality and depending on what your area of expertise is, you take what you know to the grave. More than a few situations I’ve been in myself come to mind on that note. It is extremely stressful work and due to the influence of politics, it’s become even harder in recent years.

…Yet, folks want me to “wait it out”.

If I didn’t already know going AWOL with BPS wasn’t an option, I’d have done it already. So, as far as I care I only have two options left and both of them have an unpleasant outcome. I am literally trapped in a situation I can’t get out of on my own through normal means. Both options I just mentioned are unpleasant though as of right now, both are imminent for me. As I said before, I’ve gone back to a very dark place and I have nothing to live for. I’ve been much more vague about saying this on this blog up to now because I knew I could handle it on my own. Now I can’t, my family knows I can’t and as I said at the top, I needed to vent. I figure I’m allowed to make one post like this a year. I’m using it now.

My living situation sucks and my working situation is just as bad. I need an intervention.

As soon as possible.

AB2015 Days 2 and 3 Recap: The Show of Shows   Leave a comment

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!

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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:

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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 😄

AB2015 Day 1 Recap: Back to Back Action!   Leave a comment

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…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?

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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.

33 Days until Anime Boston 2015!   Leave a comment

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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 ^_^

AB2014: Days 2 and 3: Awesome Sauce!   Leave a comment

IMG_0611

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

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