Anime Boston 2013: Overall Thoughts + Some Exclusive Tidbits
Features Coverage by both Eva and Oki!
After a nightmare scenario from my computer not functioning on to accidentally breaking my precious beloved SLR camera’s lens Saturday morning and wounding up with a strep throat in the middle of all that mess I am finally getting around to posting my thoughts about Anime Boston. So as result to those unfortunate circumstances, I’m just going to lay it all out.
I’m going to start with the good part because that’s fun and more important stuff. If you’re here for pictures only, just scroll all the way to the bottom.
First thing first: I DID FIND THE ARTIST ALLEY. I bought four prints. I actually ran to Staples across down the street on Sunday to purchase a tube for 3$. I bet you anything that it was cheaper there than at the Fed Ex shop within the convention center (which wasn’t open at the time when I went to fetch it- nor did I realize sold the stuff).
It’s not much, but I’m not sure whether anyone else has threw in these tidbits (except for the titles announcements that I know ANN was already on top of) and for crying out loud I’m six days behind) but here they are.
#1) Space Brothers is still on the table to be released
I had the chance to ask David Williams (Sentai Filmswork) when I had bought Mawaru Penguindrum DVD 1 & 2 at their booth on Saturday about whether they are still planning to release Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai) as it’s been a long time since we have heard anything about it, and he has confirmed the release date is still being scheduled.
#2) Chihayafuru Manga is being considered to be licensed by Kodansha USA
NOTE: THIS IS NOT A CONFIRMATION OF ENGLISH LICENSE.
I asked the guy who was working at the booth whether they have ever considered about licensing Chihayafuru manga and he told me that a lot of people have been coming to them, asking/showing their interst for Chihayafuru and that really the only thing that they seem to be worried about is the length of the series (as it’s already 20+ volumes long). So I highly encourage fans of the series to show your support/interest to Kodansha USA, and I am sure that despite the length of the series, licensing issues or whatever it may be aside, will encourage them to perhaps try bringing it over.
#3: SUNRISE’s Director Masayuki Ozaki announces DAISUKI.net and rescued titles.
SUNRISE’s Director Masayuki Ozaki talked about some of the productions and told us about how Tiger & Bunny Movie: The Beginning is something that is in negotiations about to be licensed as well as the second film, Tiger & Bunny: The Rising will be out in Japan’s theaters on February 8th 2014. It will be an entirely brand new story that takes place after the show. (CANNOT WAIT! <3)
They also announced a release date for The Daily Lives of Highschool Boys licensed by NIS America on August 6th 2013. Phi Brain Collection 2 will be released May 28th 2013 by Sentai-Filmswork and at the same time confirmed that there will be a third season. Next is Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere 2 will be released July 2nd 2013. Binbogami ga! is legally available to stream on Hulu and FUNimation (probably only or the US since Region Protection and all that crap). Valvrave the Liberator is SUNRISE’s first collaboration with ANIPLEX (distributor), therefore will be licensed by them (god help us all with the mortifying price that they will probably come up with). Gintama the Final Movie Theatrical Release Date (in Japan) will be on July 6th 2013. The manga creator was the one who wrote the script. Love Live! info about BD will be revealed from NIS America later on.
Code Geass : Akito of the Exile Episode 2 will be released this Summer 2013. The series will be only four episodes long. They expressed hope to bring this title to North America/Internationally soon.
Finally Gundam Unicorn final episode: “Over the Rainbow” will be coming out Spring 2014. Gundam Unicorn will also be released/been rescued by Rightstuf since Bandai is no more.
They announced about a new website called DAISUKI.net is a place where they will be streaming free anime. I absolute love this idea, it’s legal and it offers HD/HQ in Japanese with English Subs. There is going to be Premium goodies as well, so what is current streaming right now is the following: Mahou Shoujo Madoka, Sword Art Online, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED HD Remaster, Mobile Suit Z Gundam, The Lupin the Third Part 2, THE PRINCE OF TENNIS OVA – THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT. And coming soon will be One Piece and many more titles.
And finally but not least, we were also told that popular titles from BANDAI will be rescued by Sentai-Filmswork and FUNimation. :D THANK GOODNESS!
#4: Sentai-Filmswork New Release Announcements
AKB0048 First Stage (Season 1) – Bilingual DVD/BD
Di Gi Charat – DVD Only
Gatchaman – DVD/BD
Godannar – DVD Only
Hakuouki Reimeiroku – DVD/BD
Campione! – DVD/BD
Kokoro Connect – DVD/BD
Anime Boston Overall Thoughts
Before I really get into it, I want to make this very clear- What I typically enjoy most about anime conventions is being a taking pictures of cosplay, I enjoy being a photographer.
So as you read in the above, my beloved SLR camera broke and I got sick- which was on Saturday and from that point on things became quite sour. I couldn’t enjoy the convention to the fullest, but it wasn’t just that.
I am going to be bluntly honest here:
It was quite frankly, disappointing.
No seriously. I flew over there, spending a fortune on the flight and shit (AIR CANADA WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU CHARGING US 25$ FOR A SINGLE CARRY-ON AND IF SOMEONE HAS A SECOND ONE THEY HAVE TO PAY FUCKING 35$ (I only had one, but still what the fuck!!! Put the two together that’s 60 fucking dollars!) I had moderate expectations as Anime North was spread out and never really had guests I particular cared about or were fans of and when I arrived on Thursday I was super pumped up about it- from seeing the type of scanning technology they had out for the Pre-Reg to make things run faster, to the big flat screens with the schedule of screenings/panels on it, the beautiful vast open space so it wouldn’t be all clusterfuck like Anime North is typically known for, but that was about it.
Here are my list of Pros and Cons.
1) The Dealer Room
Anime Boston’s Dealer room is at least, four to five times bigger than Anime North’s- there is no doubt about it- unless Anime North increased its DR’s size. And so once you have a bigger dealer room, you have more shops and selection. There were PLENTY of exclusives goods that are typically only available in Japan’s retail stores rather than online stores. One of the hottest items in the Dealers Room was the precious adorable Lama (I think it has another name) that was sold out by the end of the day on Sunday. /SOBS I SHOULDN’T HAVE WAITED THAT LONG. I WANTED ONE SO BAD!!!! IT WAS SO CUTE!!!!!!!!
Another great thing about this dealer room was that there were official stations from the license companies such as Sentai-Filmswork and FUNimation. Ironically you would find better prices for Sentai-Filmswork DVD/BD at their booth than at the other distributors! SHOCKER, I KNOW. I COULDN’T BELIEVE MYSELF. Other distributors offered 20% off the DVD/BD, but those prices… they were 69.99$ (DVD), now take that discount and it brings you to about 48$. Now I go to Sentai-Filmswork and I guess how much I paid for Mawaru Penguindrum Set 1 & 2 each? 45$ USD, I saved three dollars. It may not seem much, but to me- unless it’s a single dollar difference, it’s a money-saver. FUNimation later on Sunday threw in the sale price for example Shakugan no Shana S3 P1 for 55$. Now at first sight, yeah why would you pay 55$ for only the first half of season when Mawaru Penguindrum DVD was charge 45$? Here’s the thing, this only hit me after the convention ended: FUNimation now days typically release their series in a DVD/BD combo, and BD is as David Williams had explained during his panel is very pricey, so having both is bound to make it more exspensive, but at the same time it makes it more practical for you since if you perfer BD, you aren’t limited to a BD Player/PS3 only unless you have a BD compatible computer. I am someone who watches stuff on all sorts of screens, so DVD only or and DVD/BD combo is always my preferable choices. With that said, I do hope that Sentai-Filmswork will eventually have the opportunity to make the DVD/BD combo as well.
ANIPLEX also had a decent price for Durarara but I didn’t buy it, which was 45$ per set compared to its original price. ANIPLEX is really that one company I always dread licensing my favorite titles such as Mahou Shoujo Madoka, FATE/ZERO (that I will never in my entire life unless I win a 10-30 million dollars lottery own because it’s fucking 300$ PER SEASON.
SON OF BITCH (when I held it in my hands at booth I almost cried because I knew this would be my only time in my life I’ll ever have the chance to touch it.)
The manga deals varied on which dealer you went to. One had offers from 20% off PER COVER (excluding new releases), another had 20% after buying a certain amount of volumes (excluding new releases). The trick with saving money while getting the new release, was finding the vendor that didn’t label the volume as a new release. I did find two, and I did save money. I bought 25 mangas and one light novel along with 20% off for Tiger and Bunny DVD Set 1 (retail price 44.84$). Unfortunately I was never able to get my hands on the second half of the set since no one had received their orders for it yet (one vendor told me they ordered a bunch three weeks ago, and it still hasn’t arrived. Such a pity.
2) Big License Companies + Featuring Announcements
As far as I’m concerned, this is something that is not featured at Anime North. It is probably because it’s in Canada and all these companies originated in the USA so it makes a lot more sense that they’d most likely fly to places across the country rather than across the border. I only went to Sentai-Filmswork because it was a sour day for me and I didn’t go to FUNimation (which from what I heard didn’t particularly announce anything except for Mirai Nikki English Dub Casting) nor Kodansha USA, something I admit I wished I had gone to.
3) Special Guest: SUNRISE’s Director Masayuki Ozaki
This people, was my highlight of the entire con, it was just after I broke my camera and it lighten my day. It really did. This was the first time they’ve come to Boston and this was my first time at Japanese Guest panel so it was pretty exciting. They also featured VALVRAVE in a separate screening later in the evening (which was screened on BD AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH IT ON THE BIG SCREEN OH MY GODDDDDD- GOD DAMN IT DON’T MAKE IT PRICEY ANIPLEX OTHERWISE I WILL CUT YOU!!!!!!!!!)
4) More practical access for those who are physically handicap or injured/stuck in wheelchairs
I can only say this based off my observation of having seen two or four people in wheel-chairs and with all elevators available and very wide spaces and doors, that’s something that I don’t feel that Anime North has. Like, if you think about it; Anime North is mostly outdoors- photoshoot wise at least. It is also extremely spread out and you do require to walk outside in order to access different builds such as Doubletree Hotel or the Toronto Convention center that is across it to Hilton Hotel down the street (about a 5-10 minutes walk) to attend different panels and such.
1) They were surprisingly not that many cosplayers.
There isn’t anyone to blame here, that’s just how it turned out to be. I was shocked. Even my roommates remarked the same thing as most of them have been to this convention before. It’s kind of too bad, but I don’t think it had too much of a negative effect on the convention or anything since there were plenty of great cosplayers and some majestic ones that would blow your mind.
2) Very Little to Do
Okay this particular problem varies between people. When one goes to a convention, they usually know what their goal is and what they plan to do for most of the time; be it shopping in the dealers room/artist alley, going to guest panels, licensing announcements, screenings, fan panels where fans discuss, etc…
But when I looked at the schedule, I was baffled at how few there were that actually caught my interest. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do when my main mission of being a photographer at the convention doing a coverage on it no longer an option? That’s the problem, when you lose one thing, and you can’t seem to find something else to enjoy. I don’t know, the whole convention felt different, maybe it was the size of the place, maybe it was the panels and activities maybe it was the fact there were actually not that many cosplayers or the fact the food is ridiculously expensive (Sheraton why fuck do you not have a mini fridge in your suites? Do you have any idea how much money I could have saved on leftovers?
Fucking Panda Express I swear to god they give you too much shit and you’re forced to throw it out because it’s left out for too long) or that the weather was crappy not that it impacted the convention because it is all indoors… but anyways the point is- it didn’t click for me. It’s either large-space conventions are not my thing, or it just didn’t meet up to my personal ‘standards’. Can I also complain how they don’t even bother to make a photoshoot schedule? Like, I heard from Oki that it’s all organized on the convention’s forums but I mean- it doesn’t hurt to have an official schedule like Anime North does… What about the photographers who don’t follow/knew about those forums like myself ? Point made.
Finally to wrap this up,
The one thing that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did.
I was locked out of my room at the time since I didn’t have a key and my roomates were at another event so I wounded up going to Michiko to Hatchin English Dub panel. Much to my surprise, it was phenomenal, one of the best English Dubs I have heard in a LONG TIME. MONIKA RIAL NAILED IT AS MICHIKO! I couldn’t believe it, I was so pleased with the overall dub after watching four episodes. She and Christopher Bevins talked about it, answered questions and even did a face-call with Hatchin’s voice actress Jad Saxton so that she could be part of it too. It was fun. :D
Would I go to Anime Boston again?
No, personally it’s not worth my time and money to fly all the way over there. There were some quirks to this convention that would make it worth it to return, but I’m sure I can find an even better selection of those very things and more perhaps at a convention maybe along the Pacific Coast.
I know I have to turn some of the pictures, but I am really, really sick right now with a strep throat and my priority was to get this post out ASAP. You will probably notice a quality difference between the pictures I had taken with my SLR camera and my iphone 4S. Enjoy. (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE THEM)
Oki’s Super Kawaii Follow up post
Alright everyone, as I too went to the con, I thought I’d add my post so you’d get the down low on the stuff Eva missed. I am ALSO sick, which has never happened to me at a con before, but here’s my two cents.
Anime Boston is a huge convention. One of the best parts of the con is the storyline- I personally follow it every year. Anime Boston has a really entertaining staff in the form of their Seto Kaiba cosplayer / totally not the same guy playing Ash Ketchum. Seriously. It’s not him. This guy always knows how to make an entertaining event and whenever things get dull he makes it interesting by listening to the audience. I personally argued with him about the dance off and voted for more dancing. Who the hell doesn’t want to see a dance off between Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter, Kyubey, and Lightening? Of course it’s always fun to yell and scream more than the dancing, but the AB staff should pick better contestants if they want us to scream. Popular characters in good cosplay make for a much more fun event, and this years death match paled in comparison to last years. Not to mention the staff kind of dropped the ball on who should be on team Youkai and team Living. Aizen is a spirit! That makes him evil! Hell, Alucard is technically more alive than Aizen. As he has…a living body.
I think my biggest complaint this year was the Dealers Room and Artist Alley were just left with something to be desired. The Dealers room had okay content but not enough variety, many times ending up in the same types of booths everywhere. And as usual, the nice folks who couldn’t get into Artist Alley making a booth in Dealers Room. That always frustrates me. And the Artist Alley? They need more people next time. It felt so empty because of all the space and it basically was a disappointment. Normally I commission maybe one thing and buy tons more. This year I bought a few last minute purchases and had to commission to get anything I wanted.
Probably the most valid complaint Eva has is stuff to do. Normally Anime Boston is so jam packed, and this year it DID have plenty to do-…all at the same time. There were many times during the con I had to ditch two or more events I wanted to go to for another and then HOURS where I did nothing. Panels that reappeared were hosted by other people and hosted poorly at that, the 18+ Court Cases being purposefully vulgar just for the sake of it, and not funny half the time. AB has plenty to do normally, and I think the staff needs to schedule better next year. It would be way better to have to run to panels out of sheer lack of time than to do what I did this year and walk around a disappointing artist alley for several several hours while waiting for one of the two things I was going to do that day. It’s fine to have conflicting fun things to do, as long as you hold up the dealers room and artist alley as a very fun thing.
However, in the defense of the schedule, I will say that if you’re looking for autographs and anime premieres- Anime Boston was freakin fantastic this year. Eva explicitly hates dubs and so did not even bother to go to Fate/Zero, and I was in a practice, but my friends who did go were entirely happy and excited about it. I had another friend who I barely saw until we went to the Storyline panels because she was busy getting autographs. Eva and I don’t usually have people we want to see like that, so of course for us the con felt lacking. But I know a lot of people who ended up being entirely pleased and excited by the guest list. Also, I was super pissed to miss the concert on Friday because of AMVs. Dissappointeeeed
Ultimately though, AB did end up being good again this year! Again, I had a ton of things I wanted to do before the schedule came out only to find they completely conflicted with each other. SOBS. I am sick now so of course I’m having a hard time going OH EM GEE that was fun!!!! But normally with AB, you’re looking forward to a really good staffer experience(sans lines, come on guys emphasize the masq ticket thing dont just put it in a book) and an emphasis on events. I think it should be noted Cosplay Chess was interrupted by a girl having a seizure, to which the EMT immediately helped her. It was really sweet seeing everyone come together and unite in the face of someone in trouble. If you attend the storyline events and the AMVs then you will have a good time at AB every year, even though AIZEN IS
TOTALLY A SPIRIT
COME THE FUCK ON ANIME BOSTON
AIZEN IS LITERALLY A GHOST
HOW DID YOU MISS THE MEMO
oh sorry, I guess I got a little angry
I live about four hours away from Boston and so I can clearly tell you- I will be back next year. I don’t know if I’ll be a press member, but I WILL be posting about it. As a cosplayer it’s hard to get as many pictures as Eva does, but Anime Boston is my yearly convention event and this year did not change that. There is always room to improve and AB ended up being a lot of fun. If you’re looking for an east cost con experience and you want a friendly cosplay environment, a fun schedule, and even on bad years a dealers room that makes your brain explode from stuff overload- go to Anime Boston.
Also just saying they should totally bring in YOSHITAKA AMANO i’m going to keep saying this until they pull a NYCC and bring someone SOMEONE who worked on FFIX to this con. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN BUT I CAN DREAM COME ON BOSTON PULL THE BIG TIMERS
GO TO BOSTON JUST TO SEE THE GLORIOUS SETO KAIBA COSPLAYER AND HIS TOTALLY NOT COUNTERPART PLAY CHESS WITH ALUCARD WHILE AIZEN FORGETS HIS OWN CONTINUITY. Protip guys: Kyubey needs his revenge. Come on. HE GOT BITCH ENDED LAST YEAR, BRING HIM BACK WITH WITCHES AND SHIT COME OAAAAN. also cosplayers GLORIOUS COSPLAYERS
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