Hello my Gaming Dungeon readers! My name is Birttany Emmybelle Aran, but you can call me Emmy. Baka and I go pretty far back, to the days of NSider far back, and when I told him I was going to Anime Boston this summer, I promised him I'd write an article for GD. Lwelyk, APA, and Ecks are pretty cool guys too, in case you didn't know. I never honestly expected to go to an anime convention. It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea, but either we never got around to planning to go, it conflicted with someone's schedule, or we honestly just forgot about it. When I heard the Japanese Culture and Animation Club (JCAC for short) of my college annually went on a trip to Anime Boston, I made sure I paid my dues and the money for pre-registering, and got all my hours done so I could go. Thankfully, since this is the clubs main "trip", I didn't have to pay a cent for rooming. Our club booked three rooms in the Sheraton, which is conveniently attached to the Hynes Convention Center where Anime Boston is held every year, and on May 21st I arrived all ready to go. Now Anime Boston is a fairly large con, the biggest held in New England, and rather than try to break down everything that happened to me on everyday (if you really want to know, you can ask in the comment box) I'm gonna go over a list of awesome stuff, not so awesome stuff, and things I'd like to do next year that I compiled shortly after I was picked up to go home.
Noteworthy Awesome Things:People It doesn't matter where you at Anime Boston, whether it be a crowded elevator, the hotel's pool, or even the food court, it's more than likely that you are surrounded by fellow con-goers. I was in a sauna with two of my friends and these other two random guys, and we had a great talk about Star Wars. And those awkward elevator rides of silence are totally less awkward when you have about 12 people in cosplay packed in to go to the main floor. These were the greatest elevator rides of my life, and I can say I am officially a fan of talking to people on elevators after AB. Not only were the random conversations fantastical, but I got some triple sweet high fives and hugs this weekend that you wouldn't believe. I mean, where else would I ever get the chance to hug Pedobear or Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia, or Candlejack from Freakazoi To tell the truth, I'm usually super weird about talking to strangers or people I don't know. I'm shy like that, but it was a lot less awkward at AB. It is easier to be comfortable with complete strangers when you're surrounded by fellow otaku/gamers/nerds. Cosplay I never really realized how many people cosplayed for conventions, and pulled it off well. Sure, there was a great deal of poorly done cosplay and those few guys dressed as Tifa (leg hair was a dead giveaway) as well as some of the Sailor Scouts, but there were so many well done cosplays that it was ridiculous. I took well over fifty pictures of fellow cosplayers, not counting my group pictures with the Tales cosplayers. As one of the mom's I was standing next to in a line put it, "These people dressed up to get their picture taken." I cannot exaggerate how good cosplay affects the cosplay to pictures you're in ratio, which comes out to something like this:
(Quality of Cosplay)x(Popularity of Series)x(Popularity of Character)/(Number of Fans Present) x Nostalgia = Pictures Taken of You
I was dressed as Colette from Tales of Symphonia. I honestly didn't expect to be in as many pictures as I was. The first morning, a boy ran up to me, telling me how Colette was totally his favorite character in the game and how he'd hope someone would cosplay her at the con. He asked for a picture and a hug, and I politely agreed. [Editor's Note: I want a hug ;_;] After that, I was mostly just asked for pictures (with an exception of a few glomps) and it was lots of fun. Short of the long: Enjoy the cosplay some people worked hard to make before the con, be polite, and if you plan to cosplay, be prepared to pose for the camera anytime you are in costume. You might even make someone's con by doing one or the other. Events After I received my ID badge, I was approached by one of the workers at the con who handed me a lovely plastic bag with several important things inside. I peered into the bag, and the man pulled out a simple 8 by 11 sheet of printer paper with what looked like a spreadsheet. It's as if he knew this was my first con. "It's dangerous to go alone, take this," he said solemnly, handing me the sheet. I thanked him kindly and looked at the paper. It was the con's schedule of events. I totally wish the above scenario happened, but it didn't. However, the schedule is indeed your guide to learning about things you like, and a friend of mine advised I plan out my day according to events I wanted to go to so I could "further enhance the con experience." I picked a few, and man was I glad I went to every single one of them. I went to a sword demonstration, put on by a group of guys who owned a 'dojo' close to Burlington, Vermont. Not only was it entertaining (the three guys were all nerds too) but I learned some great stuff, like the four places where you can score points by hitting in Kendo, or one handed versus two handed sword combat, or how there are no tumble weeds in Japan. The guys sparred Kendo style at the end, and they gave out business cards for their 'dojo'. Awesome. The other three events I attended were two panels for voice actors Greg Ayres and Travis Willingham. I don't know much of the stuff Greg does, but I'm a decent fan of Travis, but both of these panels were the funniest things I possibly went to at the con. Greg was a really cool, and I like him a lot know especially after not knowing him. He does the voices of Onigiri in Air Gear, Koyuki in Beck, Negi in Negima, and lots of other characters in anime I've neither watched nor heard of. Greg briefly talked about himself and the things he did before moving on to questions from the audience. Someone in the crowd asked Greg to sing a song (he was in Beck and had to) and he got wicked embarrassed and said maybe at the end he would hide under the table and do it. He was a real person, just as real as any of us in the crowd, and it was really cool to see that from him. I also got to see him DJ later that night, and what an experience that was. Greg told us his first love was DJing, and that he would always stick with it, and after seeing him in that element you can tell the man loves what he does. I originally wasn't going to go to this panel, but my friends suggested I should because Greg was fabled to be wicked cool. I am glad to say Greg really is a wicked cool guy, and if I ever get to tell him so I will. Travis' panel was a tad more ridiculous. For those of you who don't know, Travis voices Roy Mustang from Full Metal Alchemist, Ace from One Piece, Takashi Morinozuka from Ouran Host Club, and countless other people. The man has a Mini Skirt Army Club and they made him this little mascot plush thing, and because of his character in Ouran Host Club, he also had some seashells. Anyway, the fangirls at this panel were slightly more annoying in the "I think my ear drums are bleeding" kind of way, but it was well worth it. Travis was in favor of a Lust x Roy pairing because "she's totally hot" and if he had to give Roy any advice it would be "Dude, give me those gloves" so he could set things on fire. He air hugged a girl because he wasn't allowed to make physical contact with us for some reason and all the girls basically stood to air hug him as well. He told the story of his first glomp where a fangirl ran to glomp him and he instinctively blocked her (Travis played football back in the day) and she went down. It was a great time, and I can't wait to see him again next year, maybe let my inner fangirl go up and ask a question. My final AB event attended was the Saturday night rave. I'm not a really big fan of techno, the only songs they played I liked were 'I Was Made to Hit in America' (from Beck, I rock the air guitar), a Zelda remix, a Mario remix, a Tetris remix, and a weird remix of the Vader theme from Star Wars. The only reason I really decided to go was for the fun of it... I mean, why not? I probably will never willingly go to a rave anywhere else, and it seemed like a cool idea at the time. The music was loud, of course, there were more people with glow sticks than I could count and only a handful of the people dancing were actually good, but I had a fun time. Even though I went back to my room at 1 am with my ears ringing. I could tell you I wish I had gone to more events, but I am perfectly content with the things I saw and the people I listened to at AB. The Dealer's Room and Artist's Alley Never ever have I ever seen so much stuff I've wanted to buy in one place at one time. The Dealer's Room is where people sell goods (plushies, t-shirts, necklaces, jackets, anything you could imagine) that you would only really find in specialty stores or on eBay. They also had lots of anime and manga for really cheap, depending on where you bought it from. Best part of the dealers room is the later it gets in the con, the better deals you'll get. On Sunday, I went back to buy a Chopper plushie for a friend of mine that says adorable things in Japanese when you press its belly. When I looked at it the previous two days, it was $20, but I purchased it for $18. Score. I know it's not the best bargain in the world, but hey, two more dollars for me to spend on food. Artist's Alley is more or less the deviantArt or etsy of the convention. Amateur artists buy a table from the convention and try to sell their art (some is actual art, some make plushies or magnets and pins and similar wares) to the con goers. The only thing I bought was a print of time skip Simon from Gurren Lagann, but there was so much other art I would have loved to buy. I went with Jess, my Art major roommate friend from school, and we spent half an hour talking with two of the artists there about doing art and Resident Evil 5 and just normal stuff. Again, it's nice to know these people who are masters of their crafts are people too.