Please excuse the following tangent. I needed to get this out of my system.
I really love meeting voice actors and asking them to sign something they’ve worked on but I’ve largely got what I’ve always wanted signed now. I’m happy. That said, I found out Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt would be guests at Anime Boston 2019 and I really did want to meet the. I really love their voice work, especially for the Persona series (Platt is superb as Elizabeth). Yoko Shimomura is also at the convention and I consider Shimomura to be one of the best video game composers of all time but because she’s so legendary, meeting her would be tough. I would know because I actually met her briefly at a signing event in AB 2015 and that was chaotic.
I did try to get an autograph ticket again this year. In case you don’t know, Anime Boston sponsors signings where the signing is free of charge. Naturally, that means everyone would want to jump in on that and for the past few years, the con has struggled to maintain this event without pissing people off. Last year, they implemented a new system where you get a ticket on a first come, first serve basis. So long as you have one of the first 100 tickets, you’re guaranteed an autograph. There’s pros and cons to this system. On one hand, this makes it very transparent over whether or not you can meet the guest and get something signed. On the other, these tickets are passed out early in the morning and even if you are a morning person, you’re still waiting in line for the possibility of a secured autograph. It just doesn’t solve the problem that well.
Anime Boston bumped the start time from 7 AM to 8 which is great. 7 is too early as most con events don’t happen until 10 (and really, who wants to wake up before 7 for an anime convention?). Still, this does mean you’ll be running into a lot more people awake to pick up tickets. I waited for almost hour and ultimately didn’t get a ticket to met Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt. Water under the bridge as I was able to meet them at the dealer’s alley but still, this whole free signing/autograph ticket system just doesn’t work. I think Anime Boston should just get rid of it entirely. Save the con goers and the on-site staff who are just doing their jobs the headaches.
Sentai Filmworks Industry Panel
This is what I ended up doing after the autograph ticket plan fell miserably. The weird thing though is that Sentai Filmworks didn’t really announce much at this panel. They announced Cutie Honey Universe and Mysteria Friends (which I somehow missed last season…) are getting dubbed but that’s kind of it. No word on upcoming Blu-ray releases or anything.
What we mostly got instead are promotions of recent HIDIVE simulcasts and giveaways. The former was pretty silly if only because the amount of cheering that happened is really indicative of how popular a certain show is. I heard a lot of cheering for Run with the Wind and Bloom Into You but when the sizzle reel got to Between the Sea and Sky, you could honestly hear the crickets chirping outside the Sheraton Hotel. I’m just glad that Revue Starlight got some moderate cheering. Nice to now I’m not one of ten people who digs that show. The giveaways were also fun, especially since they were trivia-driven such as “guess this anime character” or “guess this anime from three hints”. I appreciate that one of the hints for Pop Team Epic was middle fingers. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tara Platt Q&A
If not an autograph, a Q&A panel with a guest is always where it’s at. I’d argue they’re better since you really get to see the guest’s personality and expertise on display more than if you just met them for a minute or two. Platt did a great job leading the panel, keeping the energy alive and encouraging people to step up to the mic if they have any questions. Simply put, it was a lot of fun. The conversations that stood out to me the most was the ones pertaining to how voice acting generally happens. Stuff like home auditions, performance captures, resources, and balancing that kind of profession when you have a kid. It’s so interesting that honestly, I might go ahead and get a copy of Platt and Lowenthal’s book, Voice-Over Voice Actor.
Meeting Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt
As mentioned earlier, I was able to meet Lowenthal and Platt at the Dealer’s Alley. It was only about two minutes since the line obviously had to keep moving but both of them seemed super nice and appreciative of the fans waiting so patiently in the line. In case anyone asks, I got Persona 4 signed by Lowenthal (he voices Yosuke) and I got Xenoblade X signed by both him and Platt (they each provided a voice for the game’s Avatar). And yes, I did tell Lowenthal that Persona 4 is my favorite game of all time. Not to brag but they actually told me they’ve never seen the special edition cover of X before, let alone sign it.
It ain’t a convention experience without browsing through the alleys. I, uh, may or may not have splurged this year since I now have a full-time job which means I have more money to burn that I ever had before. Perhaps that’s a bit premature of me since it’s only Day 1 but I actually prefer getting the majority of my shopping done that day. Besides, it’s going to rain tomorrow so I don’t want to walk to the train station, carrying my waifu statues and art prints in a tote bag where rain can potentially get in.
I’d share what I bought…but I’m going to save that for Day 3 since you never know if I might splurge even more in the next two days (it has happened before).
Fruits Basket Booth
For me, this is the highlight of the Dealer’s Alley. Funimation (I think, I’m actually not sure) has a booth dedicated to the new Fruits Basket anime. In addition to the usual free posters and the standees, fans can right on a card about how happy they are to see Fruits Basket back as an anime and these cards will eventually be mailed to Natsuki Takaya herself. Naturally, I wrote one myself (though I wish I wrote something fancier on the spot…). It’s a really cool idea and it just makes me so happy to see the Fruits Basket fandom so alive right now.
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