April 2nd - 5th, 2015
Boston, Massachusetts

Convention Stats:
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Event Year: Thirteenth
Reported Attendance: 26,475
Theme: "Kaiju vs. Mecha"
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Miroku, InuYasha
Jiraiya, Naruto
Captain Steiner, Final Fantasy IX
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Sango, InuYasha
Summoner Ginnem, Final Fantasy X
Summoner Belgemine, Final Fantasy X
Madoka Kaname, Madoka Magica
Tomoyo Daidoji, Tsubasa
Ruby of Tantalus, Final Fantasy IX
Rosette Christopher, Chrono Crusade
Sketch's Performances:
Cosplay Deathmatch: Miroku
18+ Dating Game: Co-host
Cosplay Chess: Player
Shiva's Special Activities:
Masquerade: Performance Judge
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Amiephotos (x3), AB Staff (x2), Shiva
Anime Boston celebrated thirteen years in 2015 with the theme "Kaiju vs. Mecha," pitting fans of giant city-destroying robots against those rooting for giant city-destroying monsters. Attendance passed 26,000 this year, which at times, especially on Saturday, led to some congesting entering and exiting the Hynes Convention Center. However once away from the crowded main hallway, there was plenty of room to spread out. Fitting with the Mecha/Kaiju theme, the signature guests of the weekend were Akira Takarada and Haruo Nakajima from Japan's long-running series of Godzilla films. Both signed autographs and posed for photos all weekend; Mr. Takarada also offered hand written calligraphy of Godzilla’s name in kanji as a memento. Other guests included voice actresses Cherami Leigh and Cassandra Lee Morris, and Japanese singer LiSA, who performed to a packed house Friday night. The only downside to the weekend was Prudential Mall security, who made some unreasonable rules regarding foot traffic that made navigating the area surrounding the convention unnecessarily difficult.

Sketch and Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
We headed to the con Friday morning with Sketch dressed in his brand new Miroku from InuYasha and Shiva in her new Summoner Belgemine from Final Fantasy X. Sketch headed off to assist with the Cosplay Deathmatch while Shiva dropped off the newly finished Summer Ginnem costume for Cimerone to borrow for a photoshoot that afternoon. Shiva then wandered the convention on her own for the morning, something she haven’t done in a long time and found it a refreshing experience. After a summoner shoot with Gale and Cimerone by Amie of Photography by Amie E, Shiva headed to the Deathmatch in time to catch Sketch and the Alchemists hamming it up for the crowd!

Shiva changed into Madoka Kaname for the evening and met up for a full cast shoot with Ellystar, Akane Saotome, Cimerone, and Gale while Sketch changed into Jiraiya and headed off to co-host the 18+ Dating Game. Shiva and the crew hit up the AMV Contest after dinner; she hadn't been to the AMVs at Anime Boston in years and really enjoyed watching them with such a huge crowd. Her favorite video for the night was "Awake to the Sky," which used clips from several films by Studio Ghibli and the music from How to Train Your Dragon; the combination of which was absolutely magical.

Saturday we got into Sango and Miroku from InuYasha so we could finally cosplay them together. Ellystar put red makeup on her hand and slapped Sketch in the face to make a handprint mark, which was as realistic looking as it was hilarious. The three of us headed out to wander the con, and eventually went to take some photos near the trees inside the mall. On the way back, Pru security had blocked foot traffic approaching the Hynes entrance from the mall and forced everyone to EXIT THE BUILDING, walk past the Christian Science Center towards the Sheraton and then climb two flights of stairs to get back in...a few feet from where the mall hallway loop would have placed us. WTF. Luckily it wasn’t raining, but it was windy and not only did our wigs blow all over the place but Shiva almost took flight with her boomerang. We could appreciate traffic flow control but just making the hallway loop one-way would have solved that; there did not seem to be any reasonable cause to force us all into the street. What about people in wheelchairs or who were otherwise unable to manage the stairs?

That afternoon Shiva changed into Rosette from Chrono Crusade to judge the masquerade; Sketch had a staff badge so he escorted Scarlet to main events and Ellystar was competing in the craftsmanship portion of the competition, so we all made our way downstairs early. Shiva was excited for her first go at judging performance at Anime Boston; we had both judged masquerades at smaller conventions many times before, but it was a different feeling to not only judge such a huge show but one where we had competed often ourselves. It was a unique experience to be sitting on the other side of the table, enjoying a front row seat to the performances when we were so used to being on stage. There was a lot of murmurs among the contestants that most of the entries this year were in the master's division and therefore competition would be tough. We were skeptical, however; we knew from past experience that the division categories may accurately reflect craftsmanship - it is typical to see fancier, cleaner costumes from the master's level - but when it came to performance, it's a crap shoot.

The show opened with Kiarrens' exhibition skit using “A Whole New World” from Aladdin with characters from Howl’s Moving Castle. It was entertaining, made wonderful use of set pieces and the screen, and was a great way to start the show! However, what followed was a slew of skits which were extremely difficult to follow, making judging tough. A breath of fresh air was the journeyman entry “Magical Girl 101,” a simple skit which had Eriol from Card Captor Sakura teaching Sakura how to be a magical girl. The premise was straight-forward and the dialog had the audience laughing out loud. Another highlight was a Master’s skit which featured beautiful live singing, and the second-to-last skit, which was a group of novices, came on as the Sailor Senshi and woke up the crowd with a lip-synched, choreographed dance to "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. Although their ability to do the moves varied widely from person to person, their stage presence was fantastic, especially the Chibi Moon, who got everyone singing and clapping along to her original rap. What really pushed it over the edge was that they had a music video on the big screen in the background that was so well done it was hard to decide which to watch. The final skit was a master’s skit which turned into a real-life marriage proposal at the end, which was a nice way to wrap up the show. The judges made their decisions in under 20 minutes and danced on stage to the final AMV before all of the awards were announced. Despite all the chatter about the masters-heavy masquerade, the best two skits were a novice and a journeyman group, with the Spice Girl Senshi snagging Best in Show and Magical Girl 101 getting Best Performance.

Sunday we got up early to load the car before the elevators clogged up; Sketch headed off to Cosplay Chess for the morning while Scarlet finally got to wear the Ginnem costume we'd all made together and walk around with Shiva as Belgemine. Sketch rejoined after chess wrapped up, and took some awesome photos of Belgemine and Ginnem across the street with the church looking like Reniem Temple in the background. After photos we changed and headed over to Wagamama for a well-deserved late lunch, another successful AB behind us!