Anime Boston 2008

Anime Boston invaded Beantown's Hynes Convention Center over Easter weekend, and just like Christians flocking to midnight mass, anime fans from all over the East Coast made their yearly trek to this nerd-Mecca.

While home in Massachusetts for Spring Break, I set out early Saturday morning, accompanied by my friend Al, to indulge in the prolific art form that is Japanese animation.

Neither of us had attended an anime convention before, and unfortunately, neither of us will be attending Anime Boston again.

Being super-negative isn't usually my bag, but taking part in Anime Boston was like waiting in line (for four hours!) to see a unicorn and then when it is your turn to finally see the mythical steed, it turns out to be a giant ugly horse.

There will never be enough space to go into detail about what went wrong, but here's a brief rundown: due to an understaffed crew, a juvenile registration system involving thousands of fans and four computers, and unprofessional organization all around, my Saturday at Anime Boston almost became the worst day of my life.

Thank God for those crazy anime fans.

I had a fantastic time at Anime Boston 2008, just as I had every year in the past that I had attended. My favorite part of the convention is always the Dealer’s Room, with the Artist’s Alley and roaming the many hallways tying in at second. The Dealer’s Room is the black hole sucking at my wallet, but I love it nonetheless. There are always great deals on books, games, art supplies, and little knick-knacks around every brightly-draped corner. This is the main reason I leave Anime Boston a little poorer than I went in, but I never regret it. Artist’s Alley is likewise full of interesting little things, and is a feast for the eyes. In addition to digital and traditional artwork, artists also sell hand-made figurines, personally drawn comic books, and costume accessories. Speaking of costumes, it is always wise to keep a charged camera in your pocket. A vast majority of the convention-goers will be dressed in costumes of their original or favorite characters from books, anime, games, and American cartoons. Wandering the hallways and the connected mall will reveal costumes both ridiculous and painstakingly crafted. Most cosplayers, as they are referred to, will gladly pose for a picture when asked, so ask! All in all, Anime Boston is a very well-rounded convention which draws people from many age groups and walks of life.

Anime Boston
March 21-23, 2008
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA
13,248 paid attendees (14,339 total)
Pre-Registration Rates: $35 by Nov 30; $40 by Dec 31; $45 by Jan 28 (mail) or Feb 18 (online)
At-Door Rates: $50 weekend; $30 Fri; $30 Sat; $25 Sun

Programming and Events:
Video Programming:
Anime Screening(s)
AMV Contest
AMV Screening(s)
Hentai Screening(s)

Panel Programming:
Guest Panels
Industry Panels
Fan Panels
Workshops

Costume Events:
Photo Suite
Hall Cosplay
Hall Cosplay Contest
Non-competitive Cosplay Event
Masquerade / Cosplay Competition

Art Programming:
Art Show & Auction
Artists' Alley

Music Programming:
Concert
Dance
Formal Dance
Karaoke

Game Programming:
Video Gaming
Collectible Card Games
Live Action Role Playing
Role Playing Games
Tabletop Games

Other Events:
Autographs (free)
Dealers' Room
Swap Meet
Charity Auction
Manga Library
Game Shows

Guests:
Christopher Ayres (Voice Actor / ADR Director, ADV Films / FUNimation Entertainment)
Greg Ayres (Voice Actor)
Colleen Clinkenbeard (Voice Actress / Director / Line Producer)
Emily DeJesus (Writer / Editor/ Manager, Studio Capsule)
Robert DeJesus (Artist / Writer / Character Designer, Studio Capsule)
Aaron Dismuke (Voice Actor, FUNimation Productions)
Todd Haberkorn (Voice Actor)
Luv and Response (Vocal Dance Troupe)
MC Frontalot (Musician)
The Pillows (J-Rock Band)
Monica Rial (Voice Actress)
Mike Sinterniklaas (Voice Actor / Director, NYAV Post)
Brad Swaile (Voice Actor, Ocean Studios)
Tokyo Pinsalocks (Band)
Tom Wayland (ADR Director, TripWire Productions)
David Williams (DVD Producer, ADV Films)