The Domain of Steven Pinnacle of Paperless Perfection

8Jun/094

Anime Boston 09

This year was the first time I really got my full share of Anime Boston. The past two years I went to the convention, I simply milled about the dealer's room and Artist's Alley, perusing the wares with the presence of mind to only pick out a few select gifts for friends. The convention was just such a big event, my natural instinct was to take it slow and enjoy the scenery.

However I had had enough of just getting my feet wet, and so this year I went to the early badge pickup in preparation for making sure I would be able to see everything I wanted to. Did it work out that way? No, because I'm a lazy bum who hates waking up at a reasonable hour. But I did mark out everything I wanted to see, and then followed that whenever I did get out of bed. (Since Anime Boston is held just a few T stops away, it didn't feel like I was wasting massive travel + hotel expenses on sleeping in.)

As with any good con, there was a variety of cosplaying, from the intricate to the overdone to the creepy to the hilarious.

The last is my requisite picture with something cute yet slightly creepy, as I had done the year prior. Apparently the Hello Kitty dude is from an anime called Hetalia: Axis Powers, but I didn't know that at the time. I had simply seen this random guy in a big Hello Kitty helmet all over the place, and finally decided that I should take a picture with him. Yes, anime conventions are the one place you can walk around in a school uniform with a giant Hello Kitty helmet and be considered awesome even if no one recognizes who you're supposed to be.

Interestingly enough, my favorite parts of the event were not anime at all. Two charismatic personalities ran an alternative roleplaying system panel (titled Beyond D&D), which was entertaining in itself but also gave my friend Elliot a few new ideas and sparks of inspiration for future campaigns.

On the second day made it a point to see the Death Note live action movie, which I approached very tentatively at first, since I'm usually not a fan of the typical over-the-top acting in Asian live action media. I was pleased to find that it was over-the-top in all the right ways, and followed the plot of the anime/manga quite faithfully even when changing elements to better suit the medium. There was plenty of enthusiasm from the crowd that watched it, which can be both a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you can actually discern the movie's dialogue over fangirl squealing.

Interestingly enough, Anime Boston also had a formal ball, dubbed the Black Orchid Ball. The dress code consisted of suits, ties and dresses, but also encompassed formal cosplay. This meant military uniforms, kimonos, princess gowns (not Sailor outfits though). What did this mean? It meant that everyone in the room would look absolutely delicious.

The other big draw of the ball was that the dancing was also formal. As in, ballroom. A part of me was like, "What, those ballroom classes finally have some application in the real world? Score!" This part of me was quite ecstatic, and as soon as I learned about the ball it became the one event I made a point to attend.

The actual ball itself was a bit of a letdown, not because there weren't enough people but because there were people. They fit within the maximum occupancy limit but it was quite overbooked considering that people were not going to be standing around the room, but instead moving around in the dance floor. Our classes at BU have 25-45 people on a basketball court and people still bump into one another; this dance floor was half the size and tried to cram in a lot more. I'm usually good with floorcraft, but I was irritatingly unable to maneuver without looking like a football player rather than a dancer.

I still enjoyed the dances I did steal, got a refresher on the dances that I already knew, and finally learned how to waltz! (It really does feel like gliding.)

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