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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Anime Boston: A Fun Time for All

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A group of fans went to Anime Boston, cosplaying as characters from the anime Black Butler.

From March 25 to March 27, the Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Hotel in Boston hosted the thirteenth annual Anime Boston convention. The convention is centered around anime, or Japanese animation and comic style.
This year, Anime Boston’s security was heavier than previous years. Ever since the Boston Marathon bombing, bag checks were put into place. This year, security stepped up the game by adding metal detectors to the process. Because of the procedural changes, the lines to get into the convention were much longer than usual, in both size and in length of wait time. To make matters more difficult, the weekend’s weather was rather wet and gloomy.
However, the weather did little to dampen the mood once inside the convention area. Most attendees dressed up in costumes of characters from some form of pop culture, not just anime. Dressing up in costume is more commonly known as “cosplay,” which is a combination of the words “costume” and “play.” A lot of cosplayers (people in cosplay) wore cosplays of characters from an anime. However, cosplaying from an anime is not mandatory. There were many Disney princesses, a few Marvel and DC superheroes, several Welcome to Night Vale characters, at least two Cartmans and an injured Kenny.
Each year, Anime Boston incorporates a theme for the event that dictates decor and sometimes the way people design their costumes. This year’s theme was Field Day. Some cosplayers took this into account and some of their cosplays included characters from sports-themed anime. The convention staff also put backdrops in some of the hallways, including photos of swimming pools, track fields, and a bike path. The path image was complete with a stationary bike cosplayers could pose on for photos.
Anime Boston includes a room called Artists’ Alley. In Artists’ Alley, artists from all over the country (and sometimes the world) sit in stands and sell their artwork. The majority of the artwork displayed is fan art of anime and various popular television shows. Some artists displayed and sold artwork of their own original characters as well as their original comic books. 
In Artists’ Alley it is possible to buy prints of different sizes, pins, charms, key chains, stuffed animals, pencil cases, comic books, hats, scarfs, and so on. Artists also gave out business cards and accepted commissions from con-goers for custom-made art.
Beyond enjoying the decor and the booths, there were many events and panels for con-goers to attend. On Friday of the convention weekend, Anime Boston hosted a spectacular formal ball. The ball is set up as a charity event and this year all of the proceeds from the four dollar tickets went to the Central New England chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Because the ball is formal, the dress code was very strict. Cosplayers were allowed as long as they followed the dress code.
The ball went from five in the evening until nine at night. There were two entry times: 5 pm and 7 pm. At the second entry time, a small orchestra arrived to play classical music. Before that, a DJ played covers of anime theme songs that sounded like tangos, waltzes, swings and rumbas.
As the fun weekend of costumes, art, music, and dancing wrapped up on Easter Sunday, many cosplayers could be spotted getting festive wearing bunny ears and carrying plastic Easter eggs. Although the specifics of the convention change from year to year, Anime Boston is a great way to enjoy your favorite shows and comics with like-minded people.