Anime Boston 2018 – Day 1

Alright, it’s been a long day and I want to get some sleep but here’s a quick overview on how Day 1 of Anime Boston 2018 went. I’ll try to add pictures for Day 2.

Meeting Guests & Autographs

Anime Boston dedicates an entire part of the Sheraton for guests to sign items for free. It’s great for attendees and guests but the convention staff has struggled with balancing the demand of the free autographs. This year, a new system was implemented where tickets are offered to ensure people will get autographs and a clear cutoff in attendance is established for the staff.

I’m a little mixed on this plan. The big issue is that tickets were offered really early at around 7 AM, before the convention even opens. Honestly, I got the impression that some people either didn’t know about this or couldn’t wake up early enough for it. There was also a limit on two tickets per person which can suck for those who really want to meet a ton of guests. Granted, I did show up early enough to get the tickets I did want but I think, overall, this could be better next year.

Fortunately, there were a lot more guest tables available at the Dealer’s Alley this year. I, like any person, likes free stuff but I have to admit that having those options made planning out the day a lot easier. Thanks to the guest tables, I got most of the stuff I wanted signed.

In case anyone asks, I met a lot of voice actors involved in the American anime/voice acting industry: Josh Grelle, Kaiji Tang, Rachel Robinson, Christopher Bevins, and Stephanie Sheh. I got Xenoblade Chronicles X signed by the former free, Bravely Default signed by Sheh, and I had my convention guidebook signed by Bevins (there’s a page or two for autographs). All of them were great to meet, even for just a minute or less. They really do love talking to their fans and hearing what works those people have enjoyed. Just as an example, Kaiji Tang asked me how many hours I’ve sunk into Xenoblade Chronicles X and we were comparing progresses. Another example, Stephanie Sheh asked me why I like Airy when I asked her to sign my copy of Bravely Default (it’s not that Airy is an awful character per say, it’s…well, play the game so I don’t spoil it for you).

I could go on and on but simply put, meeting these people involved in the industry has been a great part of my convention experiences. I also want to share pictures of what I got signed at some point (maybe, do a whole post on all the autographed items I’ve accumulated over the years).

Exhibits

I like spending the first day just exploring the exhibits, particularly the Artist’s Alley and Dealer’s Alley. These areas always start off so chaotic but they’re a lot of fun. I mostly went window shopping though since I was worry about autograph prices eating away my budget and windy and rainy weather are terrible conditions to be carrying a bunch of merch and art. Tomorrow I’ll be able to buy some stuff.

Some things I did notice:

  • Sentai Filmworks had some Princess Principal cosplayers promoting the show. Sadly the only representation that show is getting but I’ll take it.
  • HIDIVE notably has a booth at the Dealer’s Alley. That’s noteworthy to me since I don’t recall Daisuki or Anime Network having that kind of presence at this con. It was fairly small compared to Crunchyroll but I still take this as a sign that HIDIVE is starting to mean business now.
  • GKids also had a booth. I’ve never see them at AB before so I wonder if they’re trying to make their presence known to anime fans more.
  • I saw a lot of Darling in the FranXX art at the Artist’s Alley. I figured the aesthetic of that show would get that kind of attention but I was a little stunned. I only saw a couple of Violet Evergarden stuff and the astonishing lack of Sora yori mo Tooi Basho love feels criminal to me.

Open Your Eyes and Say Hello to ASAKA

Probably the highlight for me was ASAKA’s Q&A. I’m starting to pay attention to her work now after singing that incredibly catchy and upbeat opening theme for Yuru Camp, “Shiny Days” so I wanted to attend her panel.

Overall, I’d say that was a very chilled Q&A even by fun Q&A standards. What made it so laid back was the fact that ASAKA herself loves watching anime and cosplay. There were still a lot of questions about her career and her work but that didn’t stop her from geeking out over Gintama or Macross with her fans. I think the most amazing moment though was when ASAKA was asked what shows she grew up when she lived in America and she just name dropped Code Lyoko. Everyone got excited over that revelation, myself included. Speaking of her time in America, I have to say that her English was pretty darn good too.

Well, that concludes the Day One post. I’m hoping to go to more events for Day Two instead of waiting in line for autographs so here goes tomorrow.

Some Properties I Spotted in Cosplay:

  • ARMS
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Bob Ross (yes, I am serious)
  • Boku no Hero Academia
  • Dragon Ball
  • Durarara!
  • Fairy Tail
  • Fate/stay night [*sighs]
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
  • Fire Emblem Fates [*sighs]
  • The Flash
  • Guilty Crown
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
  • The Legend of Korra
  • Love Live!
  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica 
  • Mahoutsukai no Yome
  • Miraculous Ladybug
  • Nier Automata
  • Persona 5 
  • Pokemon
  • Pop Team Epic
  • Power Rangers
  • RWBY 
  • Sailor Moon
  • Soul Eater
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Yuri!!! on Ice
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