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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Anime Boston 2014: The Aftermath

One of my goals for the upcoming year is to post more here.  So here is my first post for 2014: how I survived Anime Boston.

Because of how expensive the trip can get (and it got more expensive for congoers this year since they got rid of the one day passes for every day except Sunday), I only go on Saturday because that's when most of the major events happen during the week.

And, oh boy, was there a major event on Saturday.

But before I get to that -- one thing I've learned about going to Anime Boston is that, if I want to keep my sanity, only attend the stuff I really need to attend in order to write stories.  What this usually means is industry panels -- panels that are held by major distributors.  Last year, I attended panels for Sentai Filmworks, Aniplex of America, and Funimation.  This year, the only industry panel I attended was Funimation because it was scheduled back to back with Aniplex of America, which was in another building and would have required me to go through the bag check again if I had gone.  And Sentai didn't have a panel this year despite being a sponsor.

This year, most of the events that I needed to go to were in the afternoon, so it gave me some time to explore the Dealer's Room and Artist's Alley beforehand.

When I go to Anime Boston, I have an unofficial tradition that I have to get at least a DVD and a t-shirt, which started with my first year going in 2011 (I bought a Dr. Who t-shirt for my husband, and I purchased the first "Eden of the East" movie before it officially went on sale, getting it signed by voice actor J. Michael Tatum who was there that year). This was my haul for this year:

I should say, this was PART of my haul -- towards the end of the day I bought a $20 grab bag which included a Gundam toy, a manga, and a few other things.  But these were the things I bought on purpose. :-)

When I went in this year, it was with the goal of buying "Akira" here since it was on my initial Christmas list.   From watching it this weekend, I like what Funimation did with this special edition, which celebrates the movie's 25th anniversary.  They included both the 1988 English track and the re-done 2001 track as well as the Japanese track.  Plus, there's a bunch of extras related to the remastering of the film and other things that are interesting.

The t-shirt I looked around for awhile before I decided on what I wanted to get.  This one I thought was totally adorable and funny at the same time (and not black -- the three anime shirts I have on rotation for these occassions are all black).  Considering that next year's theme for AB is "Kaiju vs. Mecha," I'll definitely be wearing this next year.

And then we have the three manga I bought as part of a "Buy 1, get two free" deal.  "Excel Saga" is one I collect (I have the first seven volumes -- I thought I had eight when I bought this one, but when I went home discovered that I didn't).  "Toradora" I had heard of, but thought it might be interesting.  And "Taro and the Magic Pencil" was one that I bought for my son. Since I brought it home, he's been reading it on his own and asking me to read it to him -- for a kindergartener, he reads like a third grader.  So that might be one where I'm going to look for more of those titles when I go to cons or online.

Like I said, there was a doozy of a big event this weekend that warranted this much of a packed house:

 This was just before the premiere of the first three episodes of the "Attack on Titan" English dub, where they announced that lead character Eren Yeager would be voiced by Bryce Pappelbrook ("Sword Art Online," "Blue Exorcist"). I know some site reported on the audience singing the "Jeager!" line when it came up, but I would argue that it was the most audible of the singing -- I could hear people around me singing the entire song.

I ended up talking with the press guy who was sitting next to me, who at one point said, "Why is this show so popular? It's not Shonen Jump!" (I think he was being sarcastic), and at one point admitted to me that this was his first time seeing the show and was taking guesses as to what the Titans really were (which he was WAY off, and I didn't want to spoil it for him in case he decided to continue watching the show).  Unfortunately I didn't stay for the Q and A afterwards because I had told my stepdaughter and her friends that I would meet them at 6:30 to go home.

After watching these first three episodes in the dub, now I want to get this when it's released in June. (Just the standard edition, only because the collector's edition, as cool as it looks, is out of my price range and has too many small parts that might get lost and in the hands of a curious five year old)  Or maybe next year's Anime Boston purchase?

Overall, I had a pretty good time.  Next up: Another Anime Convention!

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