Shipping up to Anime Boston
Published: Sunday, April 8, 2012
Updated: Sunday, April 8, 2012 23:04
This past weekend, anime and manga fans from all over the Northeast took over Boston at the annual Anime Boston convention.
Anime is a style of Japanese animation widely popular across the U.S., normally including vivid colors and unusual plots. Manga are Japanese graphic novels, usually read backwards, that often usually have bizarre or fantasy plots.
The Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston Hotel was flooded with people dressed head to toe as their favorite characters from various anime shows and movies. People came in with complex costumes and even large props that went along with their character.
Within the main floor of the convention, rows of booths were set up, selling merchandise that included anime posters, wigs, and even specially-colored contacts. There were also many actors hired who walked around the convention in bizarre costumes posing for pictures.
“I’ve been going to these conventions for two years,” said Derek Marotta, an 8th-semester animal science and pre-veterinary major. “I like the nature of walking around and seeing people in costume and being in a costume myself and knowing the fun of it.”
The convention ran for three days, from Friday through Sunday, but Saturday was the featured day for the convention. People in costumes crowded into the convention and were able to see the main floor but participate in special events, some of which included a masquerade, anime art galleries, live gaming and even a blood drive.
Anime Boston had special guest panels that ranged from authors of manga to composers from video game sound tracks and voice actors. There was plenty to do and tons to see at the convention, with streams of people constantly entering and leaving the area. Many onlookers who were staying at the hotel, unaware of the convention, stood off to the side, taking pictures of all the people in costumes.
Anime Boston was first held in 2003 after 18 months of planning by the New England Anime Society Inc. according to their website www.animeboston.com.
Before Anime Boston, many fans had to travel as far as Maryland in order to find a large convention that shared the love for anime. In previous years, they have had over 17,000 attendees at the convention.
“The convention is exciting and there is always something new to do,” said Matt Caschetto of Naugatuck Connecticut Community College.
The convention held strict policies in order to have things well organized. A team of staff members and security guards were stationed at every corner in order to keep things in check. There was a constant watch to make sure that convention goers had their passes at hand in order to enter the facilities. Also certain events were shut down when things did get out of hand, such as the rave or the informal dance they had when horsing around.
This year Anime Boston offered a special guidebook app for iPhones in order to better navigate the convention. Another anime convention, Connecti-con, is coming this July 13-15 in Hartford. More information can be found on their website www.connecticon.org and registration for the event has already started.