Anime Boston was alright

Let’s get this out of the way first: I was completely let down by Anime Boston this year, but it’s more or less my fault. I seem to always forget that the previous outings at this con have been less-than-stellar, so I don’t know why I thought this time would be any different. Perhaps it’s because people spoke highly of last year’s event, or because I was excited about my panel. Anyway, it wasn’t a bad con at all. It was just… mellow.

I suppose I assumed AB would be the kind of party NYAF was. NYAF was actually a worse con that AB, but it had some high-level guests and a lot of people I knew in attendance. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed hanging out with kransom, astrange and omo, who were both my roommates (staying in my awful apartment where the cold water wasn’t working for one night) and my con companions for most of the con. I also enjoyed seeing some other familiar faces from certain BBSs, and exchanged a few words with my friends at the MIT anime club.

But that punch NYAF had just wasn’t there. Socially, it was one of those things where I bounced around between many different groups of friends, but there wasn’t one big mass of people who all knew each other very well, like at NYAF. I was also somewhat tired. Speaking of social things, I exchanged words with the AWO crew for something on the order of two seconds, but other than that, interaction with that realm of fandom was mostly wrought with awkward stares. It’s like they think I’m creepy, or something! One guy kept insisting that I provoke a certain annoying internet personalty into being more annoying. This is a lie.

As far as actual con stuff went, it was alright. They had Uematsu, but I didn’t really care about him since I don’t play video games. His panel was actual fairly interesting regardless, though. Other panels ranged in quality, but were generally well done. I actually learned some things, which is a rarity. I specifically went to panels run by people I knew to some degree, whether it was through knowing them as internet personalities, or knowing them personally. The more educational panels put on by the AWO crew were quite interesting, but the humour ones lacked power. One could say, anime no chikara. I attended some panels put on by Alex Leavitt who I’ve spoken with in the past, and I took away a few things from his presentations. A friend of mine from MIT put on a nice Doraemon panel, which I surprisingly took a lot away from. Seeing someone who actually knows Doraemon in the flesh and talking about it was illuminating. I mean, that just doesn’t happen in America… knowing about Doraemon. Maybe I just don’t know enough Asians.

Ed Chavez of Vertical, Inc. put on some really good panels. The industry one he did for his company was good because along with announcing titles, he provided very juicy explanations as to why he personally liked each title. I had never been to one of his talks before, so it was neat to see him speak about manga, even if it was only in bite-sized chunks. He also ran a question and answer panel about manga, which consisted of him shooting questions at other panelists, them giving their take on the issue, and Ed expanding upon it. While the format was a little un-polished, I took a lot away from it since I don’t know anything about manga. Also, Ed’s just a cool dude.

Speaking of panels, my own panel went off better than I thought it would, but it could stand to be improved greatly. I hope it gets approved for Otakon, because I’m already thinking of ways to make it better.

As it’s plain to see from this report, this was Panel Con. Specifically Fan Panel Con. I’ve never really done Fan Panel Con. The kind of con I like is one part fan panels, one part guests, and one part social interaction with a sprinkle of Dealers Room on the side. While these panels were pretty good, the proportions were too off. I get tired of sitting down and listening to people after too long. I want to get things signed and shoot questions at famous anime people! Basically, there needed to be more guests I cared about. Like, I don’t know… Shinbo. But that’s just kind of selfish, I suppose.

Anyway, not a bad con. Just lacked chikara. You know, the chikara of anime. Anime no chikara.

Oh hey, I also spent some money at the con! More than I spent at NYAF, but I still spent under 100 dollars. After being in Japan, the prices in the Dealers Room do nothing but provoke a small chuckle from me. That said, I bough these two things while chuckling.

(Not even going to talk about wealth of con nonsense present there, since I’ve simply grown numb to that.)