Attendees Go All-Out at Anime Boston

They spend days—sometimes even years—getting ready for the annual event at the Hynes Convention Center.

Did you see someone dressed up like a Pokémon character walking near the Hynes Convention Center on Friday? Or perhaps you caught a glimpse of a robot riding the MBTA? Maybe you saw a person dressed up like Sailor Moon, Captain America, or donning a giant cathead, covering their face, instead.

Pay no mind—those are just some of the 15,000 attendees of the annual Anime Boston Convention that’s been taking place in the Back Bay for more than a decade. Each year, an eclectic crowd of people converge on Boylston Street and crowd Hynes and accompanying Sheraton Hotel to take part in the three-day cartoon, cosplay, and anime festival. They meet up and share stories, spend thousands of dollars on merchandise, and show off their costumes to the swelling crowds as they attend dances and seminars about all things anime.

We swung through to the Convention Center to get a quick peek at what some people were wearing this year as many of them spend hours or even days—in some cases months and years—designing their attire and perfecting their look for the event. (Side note: it gets really sweaty in those costumes, and there are rules crafted by event organizers demanding attendees to shower at least once a day.)

Below, some photos from this year’s event, and there are additional photos of past conventions on the official Anime Boston website. They have images of a collection of characters dating back to 2003, when it all started here in Boston with the inaugural gathering.

Anime Boston 2

Names: Kevin MacNeil and Angelica Lewis
Characters: Morgan from “Dark Stalkers,” and, obviously, a Storm Trooper
How long it took to make the costumes: “It took me about a year to put this together,” Lewis said. “For him it didn’t take long.”


Anime Boston 1

Name: Thomas Daley
Character: Ichigo from “Bleach”
How long it took to make: “It was only like a couple of weeks, really.”


Anime Boston 6

Name: Tielo Vargas
Character: None
How long it took to make: “I actually dress like this everyday, so it’s not for this convention. I’m sort of an icon on campus—I go to Lesley University.”


Anime Boston 7

Names: Tathlin Wheeler and Joe Morel
Characters: The Ice Queen from “Adventure Time,” and Ice Luigi from “Super Marios Bros”
How long it took: “Mine took two weeks to make,” said Wheeler. Morel said his took two days, and was a “warm up” day for his next costume.


Anime Boston 8

Name: Chris Cote
Character: Master Roshi, from “Dragon Ball Z”
How long it took: “I made the shirt and in shell in just a couple of days. Maybe a week tops for the whole thing.”


Anime Boston 3

Names: Joe Lapinski and Rena Lapinski
Characters: Captain America and Mrs. Marvel
How long it took: “He made mine and it took about a week,” said Rena. Joe’s was a bit more technical, however, and took around two years “on and off.”


Anime Boston 4

Names: Christopher Hopkins and Tiffany Easterwood
Characters: Sebastian and Grell Sutcliff, from “Black Butler”
How long it took: “It was only four days,” said Easterwood. Hopkins’s took a week.


Anime Boston 5

Names: Abby Plante, Ashley Tilton, and Sabrina Newman
Characters: Nyu, from “Elfen Lied,” and Spirit Albarn and Franken-Stein, both from “Soul Eater”
How long it took: The times varied, but the elaborate costume on the right “took two months to put together,” said Newman.


Anime Boston 9

Name: Lisa Phan
Character: Toro
How long it took: “It was only about a month to put it together,” she said.


Anime Boston 10

Name: C.J. Gugliotto
Character: Lysandre from one of the “Pokémon” story lines
How long it took: “I want to say something like 10 hours, just for the hair alone. So the whole thing? Maybe 20 hours.”