I’ll come right out with it—I’m not a huge anime person… er, “otaku.” I’d never watched a lick of anything that could even remotely be considered anime until about a year and a half ago. “The Boyfriend” is hugely into pretty much anything Japanese, and at his urging, I watched a couple of series (Fate/Stay Night, Macross Frontier, some Toshokan Senso), but my love for the stuff hasn’t progressed by leaps and bounds—more like baby steps. I’m an anime novice, and Boyfriend is my trainer. You could say I’m not the most dedicated student in this particular subject.
Last year’s Anime Boston was my first ever experience in this unique world that is infinitely larger than I ever presumed it to be. I went into the con really not knowing what to expect—I was pretty blind about what I’d be encountering, and I reckon Boyfriend and his friends did that on purpose for the sake of not scaring me away. As we joked at the time, I was witness to sights I would never be able to “unsee.” But at the end of the day, I did have a lot of fun. With that in mind, I decided to give this year’s con a go.
Here’s a short view of Anime Boston 2011, from the eyes of a Saturday Day Pass n00b.
Some Things I Saw:
– Various con-goers opening and comparing their wares with childlike glee
– Various con-goers play battling in the hallways with gigantic cardboard weapons
– A dude dressed as Darkwing Duck
– A Rorschach (I don’t really understand what he has to do with this type of con, but okay)
– “Normal” people in the Prudential, looking absolutely terrified
– The very satisfying sight of Boyfriend being pummeled over and over again in Mortal Kombat 3 by yours truly in the video game room
– Lots and lots of scary nakedness
Some Things I Heard:
– “I just talked this guy into buying me this manga because I don’t have an I.D.” (How did this person actually get IN to the con, I wonder?)
– Many outcries of “Marco! … Polo!” followed by choruses of “SHUT UP” and, for some inexplicable reason, the “Buttscratcher” Family Guy meme
– The ear-piercing howls of random screaming girls
What I Bought:
– An Anime Boston “toothpick holder” (read: shot glass)
– A wicked cute chibi Ranka Lee figure for my desk that Boyfriend bought for me
– Far too much food from The Cheesecake Factory (unbelievable chicken dumplings, oh my God)
– I wanted but did not buy a pair of goggles from this nifty steampunk vendor. I don’t know why or what I would have even done with them—I just thought they looked cool. Purple lenses, hey.
– Boyfriend also tried to talk me into buying a set of replica Wonder Woman bracers and tiara for $345. Yeah, not so much.
– “Oh my gosh, dude, it’s Deadpool!”
– “That person really should not be wearing that costume.”
– “I’m hungry.”
– “Bump into me one more time and I swear I’ll kill you….”
There were a couple of things that made this year’s con a little less enjoyable, at least for me. For one thing, we didn’t go with as large a group of people as we did last year. In my view, the experience is really about who you’re sharing it with and less about the quality of the convention itself. If you’re with the right people, you can make pretty much anything fun. That’s not to say I didn’t have a good go around—just that it was different, and probably a lot more “quiet.”
That said, for what little I experienced this time, it was still a good exploit. The time was mostly spent in the dealers’ rooms and video game hall; I somehow completely missed out on the Artist Alley (which is unfortunate, because apparently there was an artist there with a totally amazing Wonder Woman print that I would have bought), the masquerade, and various other panels. I can’t say I was completely heartbroken for missing these things; our visit was just long enough to satisfy without being overwhelming. It’s hard to get fully enveloped by something that you know so little about, and more often than not, I felt completely out of place amongst the hardcore geekery. That’s a pretty rare occurrence for me. I can typically hold my geek with the best of them.
Slowly but surely, however, my venture into the world of anime gets a little deeper with each passing year. Maybe one day, Boyfriend will actually convince me to sit down and watch Cowboy Bebop, or that most holy of animes, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Maybe you’ll see me cosplaying as Rosie Stark.
Until then, I’m gearing up for the stuff that’s more suited for me: Boston Comic Con, I shall see you this Saturday.
Looking for more on Anime Boston? Check out Nerd Caliber’s great pictorials and video reviews!