April 19th - 22nd, 2007
Boston, Massachusetts

Convention Stats:
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Event Year: Fifth
Reported Attendance: 11,500
Theme: "Matsuri"
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Jiraiya, Naruto
Van Hohenheim, Full Metal Alchemist
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Rinoa Heartilly, Cosplay Swimsuits
Super Chibimoon, Sailor Moon
Rinoa Heartilly, Kingdom Hearts
Rinoa Heartilly, Amano Ball Artwork
Ruby of Tantalus, Final Fantasy IX
Shiva Summon, Final Fantasy VII
Tifa Lockheart, Advent Children
Sketch's Performances:
18+ Dating Game: Co-Host
Cosplay Chess: Cosplot Appearance
Shiva's Performances:
Hall Cosplay Contest
AMV Contest: "Unforgiven"
Cosplay Chess: Queen's Rook
Unforgiven AMV:
Shiva's Awards:
Best Drama, AMV Contest
Sketch's Special Activities:
Artist Alley Guest Artist
Cosplot/Cosplay Events Member
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Sketch, AB Staff, Bruce O'Bryan, Natalie, Shiva, Sketch
2007 marked the fifth anniversary of Anime Boston, and over 11,000 fans came out to celebrate with the theme, Matsuri. Hallways at the convention center were decorated like a Japanese festival and included a tree where attendees could hang handwritten notes from the branches. Programing included the Cherry Blossom Ball, which required attendees to dress in formal wear or formally-appropriate cosplay, and gave them the opportunity to attend a ballroom dance lesson prior to the event. Major guests included voice actors Laura Bailey, Greg Ayres, Tom Wayland, Travis Willingham, Troy Baker, Mike McFarland, and Emily and Robert DeJesus. Although the convention moved from the first two floors of the Hynes Convention Center to the top two to allow for more programming space, the change was not as obvious as some had feared; cosplayers and other con attendees still packed the first floor as usual, eating, taking photos, playing games, and hanging about. Although attendance has grown steadily, this year it was felt as long lines for non-masquerade events were commonplace and the Dealer's Room became downright claustrophobic with narrow aisles and heavy traffic.

Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
I arrived at the Sheraton Thursday evening, and after grabbing my badge, changed into my Rinoa swimsuit for a cosplay gathering at the Sheraton pool. We took lots of photos, played games, socialized, and it was a fantastic way to kick off the weekend. Friday morning I got into Super Sailor Chibimoon from Sailor Moon for Hall Cosplay judging. It was my first time wearing the outfit and although I was happy with the costume, the wig needed more work and i was pretty self-conscious about it. After judging I took some pics with Bruce O'Bryan who made me feel better about the whole thing and I left in a much better mood. I checked out opening ceremonies, the Dealer's Room and Artists' Alley, and also stopped by the Sailor Moon meetup, taking "family" pics with Paul and Starlightslk as Tuxedo Mask and Super Sailor Moon.

That afternoon I wore Kingdom Hearts Rinoa and had fun meeting some excellent cosplayers roaming the halls, including a Green Ranger from Power Rangers, a marvelous Link and Dark Link from The Legend of Zelda, and Michaela as a fantastic Valor Sora from Kingdom Hearts II. I also finally got to meet Natalie, who was wearing her Lady Caterina regalia from Trinity Blood. She was super nice and since we had a photoshoot planned together for Saturday it was great to get to know each other in person ahead of time. I then headed outside to the Kingdom Hearts shoot, where we had a big, lively group who acted out scenes for photos and waved at the tour buses who stopped to gawk at us.

That evening I changed into my Rinoa Amano ballroom dress for the Cherry Blossom Ball and hung out with Sketch; by the time we got in line it stretched into the adjoining lobby and we waited almost an hour to get in. Once inside I had a blast dancing; I've never tried ballroom before, so I took a "fake it 'til I make it" approach; some guys I danced with did the same while others tried very hard to perform the steps correctly. Lyddie and I tore up the floor between partners, and I even dragged a nervous SeeD uniformed Squall onto the dance floor! Later I headed to the AMV contest where they were already on the Comedy entries. The best was "No Reason", in which two Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force blow stuff up to the 1812 Overture. It was brilliant, especially after the terrorist scare earlier this year when Bostonians mistook a Mooninite publicity campaign for explosives. After the show I held onto my ballot and headed to the 18+ dating game to watch Sketch host. Halfway through the line I realized I didn't have my ID; I thought about having Sketch vouch, but decided just to go back to the hotel for it. However, my roommates were already having a party, and several shots of vodka later I didn't make it to the dating game or anywhere else.

Saturday morning I got into Ruby and went to watch the second showing of the AMV contest. I hadn't examined the ballot the night before so I was surprised to see my video was first in the Drama category, which meant it opened the contest! That saddened me a bit, as I figured most people wouldn't vote for the first video, and a lot of voters who came late would miss it entirely. The drama and action categories were very evenly matched, but Paul's video, "All Along", definitely shot to the forefront of Romance! After handing in my ballot, I had a Final Fantasy IX shoot at the Christian Science Center; everyone looked amazing, especially Crazy Flower's Queen Brahne! We might have caused a minor traffic accident crossing the street as a driver starting at Crazy Flower's costume rear ended the car in front of them. Oops. That afternoon my roommates helped me change into Shiva from Final Fantasy VII and then Bruce did an awesome shoot with me and Natalie in her Phoenix summon outfit. Afterwards Natalie and I stood in the main hall posing for two hours while a crowd took photos of us. We were soon joined by Lyddie in her FF5 Shiva and a beautiful Sorceress Edea.

Once the flashbulbs died down, we parted ways and I headed to main events for the masquerade. As an AMV editor, I got a seat in the center just a few rows back from the stage. Right before the event started, my glass materia ball rolled out of my lap and smashed into a million pieces, but luckily that was the worst part of the show. I really enjoyed some of the more unique acts, including a Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Wario playing Super Mario Bros. songs on ukuleles, and a fun medley of characters recreating the YATTA dance. The most unforgettable skit, however was "Tetris Ninjas," in which a group of ninjas...played Tetris. The concept was unbelievably simple, but with clever sound effects, larger-than-life props, and a great sense of comic timing, it was hysterical. Finally, there were a TON of dance-based performances this year, including two Princess Tutu skits and a Silent Hill nurses skit, which was especially excellent as these girls choreographed an interesting piece which used moves the characters actually performed in the game. They also stayed in character when walking on and off-stage, which creeped out half the audience. Once the performances wrapped up, they announced the AMV winners. I was practically sticking my fingers in my ears when they announced the drama category, and was beyond shocked when "Unforgiven" won. I was flabbergasted as the screens started playing my work and to accept such a big AMV award at a huge contest like Anime Boston. I was also glad to see many of the videos I voted for also won awards, as they were all quite excellent.

Sunday morning I was up bright and early and dressed as Tifa for Cosplay Chess. I was cast as the Queen's Rook on the Angst side for the Angst Vs. Sugar match, where the Sugar Side was appropriately led by Starlightslk as Sailor Moon while the Angst Side was captained by Sephygoth as Sephiroth. We had a great turnout, and I was pleasantly surprised the audience began chanting "TI-FA! TI-FA! TI-FA!" as I entered. I tried to bust a few moves before taking my square in response. There were lots of Final Fantasy VII characters for me to interact with; Kadaj and I had a lot of fun giving each other a hard time, and since Sephiroth was technically Tifa's boss as leader of the Angst side, I made sure she gave him hell about it. I made it through most of the game until I was eventually taken out by some "hired goons." We had a really great improv fight scene; the guy I began sparring with had really great reactions to any moves I threw at him, making for a really interesting, unrehearsed sequence. Tifa doesn't go down easy! Afterwards I hung out with Dymatrex and Sketch until it was time to go home. Until next year!