What to Do at Anime Boston 2015
This weekend, if your subway car happens to be packed with pink-haired Revolutionary Girl Utenas and giant-sword-brandishing Pyramid Heads, no need to reevaluate your meds.
It’s just Anime Boston, the annual convention for which more than 22,000 anime fans from all over New England swarm to Hynes Convention Center for to enjoy three days of cosplay-clad festivities. And the theme of this year’s convention is a showdown for the ages: Team Kaiju versus Team Mecha. Who will prevail—city-leveling mutant monsters or giant robot titans? Victory will be decided by the attendees—and that’ll probably be the easiest decision they will have to make this weekend.
Billing itself as the Northeast’s largest anime convention, Anime Boston packs a kajillion things to do into one three-day weekend. At any given hour of the day, you have to choose between panels, video screenings, talent appearances, dances, pageants, and concerts.
For the uninitiated, here are some highlights of what’s in store.
Not sure if you’ve heard LiSA’s music before? If you’ve seen Angel Beats!, Sword Art Online, or The Irregular at Magic High School, you’d probably recognize her from the theme songs. And now you can get a chance to experience her work in the 3-D realm. Catch this rising J-pop star at Friday’s live show.
April 3, 8 p.m., Hynes Auditorium.
There’s a whole slew of industry talent converging on Anime Boston for autograph signings, meet-and-greets, and panels. Ghost in the Shell fans should psyched that this year’s roster includes Richard Epcar, the grizzled and gravelly voice of Batou, Ghost in the Shell’s relentless cyborg cop. In addition to an afternoon autograph-signing sesh, he’s giving us a special presentation of behind-the-scenes hijinks from Lupin III and Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
April 3, 10:30 p.m., Hynes Panel C.
Late night at Anime Boston is when things get weird. The freak flag flies especially vigorously at this panel, which promises to be a “foray into the deepest, darkest depths of hentai anime and manga.” If you’re not familiar with the term “hentai,” we could explain, but you’re better off just Googling it—as long as you’re not at work.
April 4, 12:30 a.m., Hynes Panel 309.
One of the most nerve-wracking and hotly anticipated events at the convention is the anime music video contest, in which entrants attempt to dazzle the judges with their video-editing talents, competing in such categories as Action, Romance, and Comedy. Saturday’s installment is your last chance to watch before you find out the winners at the Masquerade event.
April 4, 10 a.m., Hynes Hall D.
At Anime Boston, you can’t swing a dead Meowth without hitting a cosplayer—which is one of the most celebrated aspects of this convention. Everywhere you look, you can find neon-wigged convention-goers who’ve transformed themselves into characters from the entire spectrum of geek pop culture, as well as characters that they made up entirely. If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if My Little Ponies dressed up like the cast of Sailor Moon, this would be the place to find out. Naturally, the costume competition is fierce, and cosplayers duke it out for best duds at the Masquerade.
April 4, 6 p.m., Hynes Auditorium.
Not all anime was created equal, and any fan will tell you the genre is rife with shows that no mere mortal should have to endure—for every Neon Genesis Evangelion-level masterpiece, there’s a Mars of Destruction. This panel bravely explores anime’s most execrable offerings. Anime Boston cautions: “We take no responsibility for any psychological damage or spontaneous combustion during the panel. You have been warned!”
April 4, 7 p.m., Hynes Hall D.
An event worthy of Alice in Wonderland, the Cosplay Chess match features costumed characters fighting a battle of wits that’s part scripted, part improvised. Expect a lot of villainous laughter, some not-so-subtle innuendo, and in-jokes galore.
April 5, 10 a.m., Hynes Auditorium.
If your Pocky-fueled sugar high’s worn off (not to mention your cosplay makeup) by Sunday morning, this might be a good time to wind down the convention by visiting the Dealer’s Room. Here, you can find more than 100 booths peddling manga comics, toys, videos, games, wall scrolls, and anything else your anime-loving heart desires. The Dealer’s Room is open all weekend long, but it closes earlier on Sunday. Don’t miss your chance.
April 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Hynes First Floor, Halls A and B.