March 30th - April 2nd, 2017
Boston, Massachusetts

Convention Stats:
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Event Year: Fifteenth
Reported Attendance: 25,848
Theme: "1980s Retro"
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Captain Steiner, Final Fantasy IX
Takashi Shirogane, Voltron
Lynx, Chrono Cross
Prince Crescendo, Eternal Sonata
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Rei Hino, Sailor Moon
General Beatrix, Final Fantasy IX
Chibiusa Tsukino, Sailor Moon
Princess Serenade, Eternal Sonata
Riddel Viper, Chrono Cross
Summoner Yuna, Final Fantasy X
Summoner Ginnem, Final Fantasy X
Summoner Belgemine, Final Fantasy X
Our Special Activities:
Masquerade: Performance Judges
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Shiva, Amiephotos, Shiva, AB Staff
Anime Boston chose "Retro" as their theme for their fifteenth year, celebrating old-school gaming, anime, and 1980s pop culture. Mascots A-Chan and B-Kun rocked classic '80s outfits complete with Walkman cassette players, acid-washed jeans, and plenty of neon, while the hallway decor included side-scroller backdrops and pixelated graphics. Fitting with the theme, many panels focused on anime of the past, including "Forgotten Classics and Overlooked Gems," and "Classic Anime: They Don't Make it Like They Used To." Popular events included Funimation's dubbed debut of My Hero Academia’s second season, a talk with One Punch Man's director Shingo Natame and English voice actor Robbie Daymond. The convention also learned from the security missteps in 2016 and vastly stepped up their coordination with the Hynes; while the same strict requirements were in place, the lines moved quickly through the metal detectors and bag checks and the security personnel were polite and easy-going.

Shiva and Sketch's Weekend Breakdown:
We drove to Anime Boston late Thursday afternoon after putting the finishing touches on Shiva's Beatrix wig; after settling in we met up with the crew for dinner at Wagamama, chocolate crepes at Eataly and drinks at the Sheraton bar. We took the opportunity of having all our friends in one place to tell everyone Shiva was pregnant with our first child, which was met with a round of hugs from our friends and Shiva ordering a Shirley Temple "straight up!" from the server. Having everyone know up front took the pressure off of us having to hide it the way we did at Katsucon, which was nice.

We were up bright and early Friday to get into our Final Fantasy IX costumes for a photoshoot with Amie across the street at the Christian Science Center. After our shoot it was just starting to drizzle outside, so we ran inside and entered the Hynes right through the front door without issue. We had been worried we would hit the security bottlenecks we did last year, and were beyond grateful that both the Hynes and AB staff had addressed whatever issues caused the delays and we walked right in in less than a minute. We enjoyed exploring the dealer's room and artists alley, and then wandering the halls checking out all of the great retro cosplay. We ran into both versions of Canti from FLCL, a Kenshin Himura, a Crash Bandicoot, and even a Speed Racer! It was also rewarding to have quite a few people be excited to see our FFIX cosplays after spending the last month revamping them.

That evening we changed into comfier costumes; Sketch wore Shiro from Voltron while Shiva got into Princess Chibiusa and met up with the rest of the crew for dinner. We checked out Anime Unscripted and the AMV contest; our favorite AMVs included "Timeless," which was a retrospective of all the most popular anime over the history of the genre, and a sweet romance video set to "The Creationist," using footage from a short anime film we'd never seen but wanted to after seeing the video. After the AMVs Shiva called it quits for the night - making a human is hard! The rest of us went to the game room dressed as the full crew from Voltron and had a blast playing virtual dance games and simulated taiko drumming. We missed the sightings of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, however, even though pics of him walking through the Sheraton and past fellow cosplayers were quickly going viral online. There's nothing quite like unwittingly sharing a hotel with a con!

Saturday morning we wore our Eternal Sonata costumes for a bit before changing into Lynx and Riddel for the rest of the day. It was absolutely pouring out on Saturday, so the con was more crowded than normal and we even did our afternoon photoshoot indoors. Luckily, the traffic at the entrances kept moving, and we went through the line quickly. We were excited to wear Chrono Cross costumes for the retro theme, and we even had a few people recognize us! Sketch changed out of Lynx before we reported to main events for masquerade judging, however, since it was too uncomfortable to say in all night. We were happy to be judging with Katy and Rhea this year as we all worked well together discussing the performances. The show opened with Roadie and Mario as co-emcees, and Mario sang the "Otaku Anthem," which was the lyrics from the Sailor Moon opening set to the tune of the "Star Spangled Banner," before getting straight to the contestants.

The masquerade entries were difficult to judge this year; there weren't a lot of them, and the upper levels especially had very few entries. Most glaringly, almost none had entered craftsmanship judging, which meant very few could even be considered for Best In Show. Back in day when we were competing, masquerade entrants didn't have a choice; if you wanted to compete with a skit, you HAD to also be judged for craftsmanship. That rule was dropped in order to encourage more novices to enter the competition, but the flip side to that was there were slim pickings for many of the categories. The show wasn't without its highlights, however; one group did a hilarious take on Princess Peach and Bowser called "Just Peachy," and another group did a serious, yet beautiful, skit from Princess Monoke. There was also a fun and well-done exhibition dance performance by the Flash Step Dance Crew with a Pokémon theme. After the show we ordered pizza and picked up cheesecake for the room, and had a blast hanging out with friends and playing video games for the night.

Sunday morning, Shiva, Scarlet, and Chinako got into their FFX summoners for Summoner Sunday, and looked like very colorful Easter Eggs walking the halls. We took some fun photos of them summoning a cutout of Totoro in the hallway and running through the side-scroller backdrops. Eventually we changed back into regular clothes before grabbing a late lunch and saying our goodbyes.