Has it been nearly a week already? Since I said good bye to Boston? Well it was last weekend I made it to Boston, on my first solo Anime Diet press coverage for my first Anime Boston. Anime Boston seems to have a very robust number this year in terms of attendance in a final count of 19,136 people.
It was quite convenient to stay at the Sheraton, as pictured above, since the hotel connected directly to the Hynes Convention Center, where the convention was. (3 floors of it) There was also a very convenient food court. So this year armed with my Droid. I used The Conventionist as a schedule tracker, my iPad to take notes. I was pretty set. There was also the convention’s own Con Chowdah which is a blog of the convention. Also with Twitter and #animeboston, there was plenty of chatting. Oh did I mention that one of the best things was how free and wi-fi friendly the Hynes was? Very convenient!
Unofficial news that are going around is that next year it is going to probably be even more epic around this time of the year. PAX East is going to be held the same weekend as Anime Boston, and FYI, PAX East is a gaming convention that has really huge numbers and gamers going for it. But that’s all next year for the East Coast and possibly West Coast people to think about.
So a recap to the posts I have done in regards to Anime Boston. There is also going to be some explanations to what photos I included on the Flickr page.
With conventions, other than social or main events, there’s always the fan panels that can be well attended or not as well attended. I happened to make it a point to attend as much panels that I know panelists from, since I believe they would have something interesting to say. Friday became a day of panel hopping as I had to leave a panel to cover to concert. At events such as a convention, things get scheduled to the point where people had to pick and choose between panels to attend.
Friday (Before you guys end up reading how I attended three panels hosted by Alex Leavitt, let’s just say that I am pretty interested by what he had covered from NYCC, so I ended with going to his entire Friday panel schedule.)
Fanthropologies: Participation in Anime Fandom – as an academic panel on the study of fan culture. This panel was by Alex Leavitt, Charles Dunbar, and Jennifer Fu. This was a very interesting panel to a pretty large and packed room. The panelists gave a very interesting discussion on academic/anthropological area on studying fan culture. What books to read…Who/What make it tick, and how Fandom can be considered a religious experience (annual trek, reverence for fans etc.)
Anime Intro & Ending Themes: This was hosted by Alex Leavitt to a full house, as what the image above is like. Also the picture for this is my photo shot of Alex taking a picture of the audience. Since I am an immense fan of anime openings and endings. I definitely included this into my schedule of panels. With time constraints, Alex only showed samples. Some of the openings was also visually noisy with one side the actual anime, and on the same screen’s opposite side, there was a possible humorous clip playing alongside. I asked Alex about this afterward, and he did cite fair usage for not incurring copy infringement possibilities. Definitely many of the clips shown were of a classic variety as Alex discussed trends and similarities. There weren’t as much dubbed intros as I had imagined there would be, but seeing the Vision of Escaflowne opening definitely reminded me of when I started on my own road of appreciating anime intros and endings. While I never watched the anime, just hearing the anime opening was a good thing. Cutey Honey openings were always a cool thing to look at, same opening song – but variations as remakes were done.
Experts on Fan Controversy: Hosted by Alex Leavitt with expert panelists from – Chris Beveridge, Ed Chavez, Jennifer Fu , Clarissa Graffeo of AWO Podcast and Ada Palmer. This was an intelligent and well thought out panel, with comments on fan controversies such as the piracy issue, or the aspects of dub vs. subs. As soon as there would be video or audio from that panel, this part will be updated. I ended up leaving this panel early to rush over to Mari Iijima’s Concert.
Remembering Satoshi Kon: With Daryl Surat of AWO Pdcast and Evan Minto of Ani Gamers, this was a panel on remembering the work history and inspirations for the late and great Satoshi Kon. I mentioned to Evan afterward how I didn’t understand the reference point of the dubbed Gundam joke. Overall this panel was a good one. Daryl did mention that because there were way too much to cover of Kon’s life, that they didn’t get into as much of discussing the fantastic music that Kon used. But I always found it to be an interesting point to see that he occasionally refers back to his past works, especially toward his last several movies. This panel mentions a point on the Dream Machine to never be completed, because even though there are notes that Kon left behind, the genius who is behind the movies is no longer here to complete it.
“What is Super-Flat”: Where Anime fits in Post-Modern Culture: Panelists were Sam Kusek and Eric Shorey of Damage->MP, and they had an interesting presentation on how society, culture, and art has become quite two-dimensional, where humans and objects had reached a point where it was not meant to be a reality anymore. Hello Kitty, or Haruki Murakami artwork examples were mentioned as examples of what post modernism artwork looks like.
Dead Like Us: Shinigami, Death Lore and Japanese Media: Hosted by Charles Dunbar, this was a full room where it became a standing room panel. Charles spent the time he had, explaining and talking about the background and folklore of different Shinigami or youkai, how media portrayed them, and what was Japanese death culture. He basically had to run through points pretty fast, but it was a pretty interesting 101 perspective on what is considered to be folklore and superstition for a culture.
Con Horror Stories: This followed straight after Dead Like Us, and was run by Eric Stehmer of toonzone.net and Charles Dunbar. Since there was once again no more room, somehow I found myself on the panelist side of things, looking down on the packed room. I did make a position on what possible con horror stories I had, but yes the more experienced ones on con horrors were the hosts, so this was an interesting turn of events. To avoid experiencing con horror is to know con survival.
The Visions of Akira Kurosawa: I randomly found myself in this panel pretty early in the morning. In spite of how much I like Japanese entertainment, I never seen an Akira Kurosawa movie in its entirety, with the exception of Tora, Tora Tora (as what I researched later to also be a Kurosawa work). It seem like the audience in this panel was also on the same boat as I was. So the gist of this panel was to go and rent to see Rashomon and The Seven Samurai if possible.
From East to West: the Superheroes of Japan & America: This was a panel that was run by Sam Kusek, Ken Haley, and Michael Ferreira. This panel introduced the audience to superheros in comics/anime or Sentai for both American and Japanese cultures. Eventually the panel quickly past, and Sam ended the panel with asking the audience to run to the front of the room, to ask questions, and gain give away gifts.
So it looks like I attended about eight and a half fan panels in three days. I definitely enjoyed attending these panels, and while they weren’t done by well known people, but they are done by panelists that enjoyed a specific aspect of anime, that would get their panels completed. I am sure if you have gone to anime conventions then this is just one of the many activities that you could have done.
I believe that after this entry, I may have one to two more entries about Anime Boston up my sleeve. Also do be sure to check out Anime Diet’s Flickr for more images from this convention.
Yesterday was the official Friday of Anime Boston, and Mari Iijima was a Friday guest, alongside other things I happen to see and do at this convention. Check out my twitter if you’re curious. But as this moment, I have time to update Mari’s concert set list. She was great to share it. Since I have a special interest in Mari as a guest, she was the guest I attended a majority of panels for yesterday. During the convention, I made a request to her guest relation for her set list, so I was definitely please to see that Mari had also uploaded it to her facebook, so if there are people getting into her music, definitely check her out. Mari keeps contact with her fans via facebook, and her website.
Mari Iijima is a trained pianist, who is a singer/songwriter. Early on her music career, she was chosen among thousands to play Lynn Minmay for the original Macross in the 1980s. Here is her set list from the concert:
Oh England My Lionheart (Kate Bush Cover)
Goodbye My Love (New Song)
*Do You Remember Love
Stop Crying Your Heart Out (Oasis Cover)
*During all her appearances at the convention, Mari was a very personal, gracious, and frank singer, who created memories for those who saw her on this side of the coast. During the concert, Mari either stood or played on a piano and kept up a steady stream of conversation for her feelings about these songs. She did mention before performing, Do You Remember Love, that there is difficulty on singing this particular song that is a continuing fan favorite. So her performance of this was sung with participation from the audience, and her rendition of the song this time around was definitely different. Definitely was a performance to not miss.
I will be heading to Anime Boston this upcoming weekend, and their convention this year is on Music. So what better way to put a focus on a convention and their music guests? This is a listing of the Japanese or Japanese inspired acts that is playing this weekend.
Mari Iijima: the lovely voice of Lynn Minmay from the original Macross in the 1980’s. Sad to say that Macross was her only anime, but Iijima is still a fantastic voice. She is a very accomplished singer, still producing music, and who has entered her music for award consideration for the Grammy. She has settled into living in North America, and her website is here, where she blogs, and share news of her music.
Stereopony: a three member female band from Okinawa. If you are fans of Darker Than Black, Bleach orTegami Bachi Reverse, then this is the fantastic group that had provided openings and endings for the anime. This is their second appearance in the United States, since they have previously appeared at Anime Next the previous year.
girugamesh: Fans of metal rock and visual kei, be ready to scream real loud! Anime Boston is girugamesh first American stop this year, as they have kicked off an East Coast City tour, with later concert dates planned in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City. They have successfully performed at sold out venues in Europe, and Japan. This is not their first American appearance though.
Ten: As an alternative rock band, Ten has relocated to New York, but is a rock band, with an instrument you definitely thought can’t be used in a rock setting, a koto or a Japanese classical string instrument.
Odaiko New England: If you are interested in taiko drumming, then this is the group to see. Though they are a regional band, the music and instrument they play is definitely infused with the Japanese spirit!