The best anime convention on the east coast has come and gone for another year. Anime Boston sailed in over the past weekend, and delivered a lot of really good anime series I’m going to have to finish watching. With the exception of a few hiccups, the staff that runs the convention has created another top notch experience for all involved.
As per usual Anime Boston opened up their pre-registration badge pick up the day before the convention starts on Thursday, allowing us to grab our badges quickly and move on. Badge pickup this year was even faster than last year which almost seems impossible. There was zero wait, despite the hundreds and hundreds of people I could see coming in and out for their badges. I’ve said it last year, and I’ll say it again, the only way it could ever be smoother is if they mailed the badges out ahead of time.
Throughout the weekend I wandered the show floor seeing a lot of great cosplay. Nerd-Base will hopefully share its cosplay photos later this week. One thing that I kept seeing repeatedly were Attack on Titan cosplayers. I only tried to take one photo of Survey Corps members, but somehow I had at least 4 of them in the background of my photos without me trying. Attack on Titan was definitely big this year. Dragon Ball Z has continue to get bigger and bigger again at conventions for cosplay. This year I had even seen a few female Goku’s which I had never seen in conventions past, even when Dragon Ball was bigger.
Unfortunately due to a prior engagement I was unable to attend the con festivities on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday made the experience well worth it. Saturday I started the day by watching Moon Phase, presented by Funimation. The animation for Moon Phase decent, and modern, but the dub ruined the overall experience. Moon Phase is about a photographer that runs into a vampire while investigating a castle. The vampire turns the photographer into his servant to help fight against other dark forces that reside in the castle. The premise sounded kind of interesting, but the show seemed a bit too weird for my taste. It seemed to take itself too seriously without actually having real substance to it. Moon Phase is available to stream subtitled via Netflix, and the first 4 episodes are available dubbed, and subbed on Hulu.
I attempted to get the sound of the bad dub out of my ear canal by wandering the corridors, having teenagers yell Marco Polo at the top of their lungs. I don’t know how this tradition has continued in the anime convention scene. I know it’s been happening for probably a solid 10 years and it’s still going strong. After getting my senses back, and meeting up with Dave, I ran into the first snafu of the convention. The convention uses the Guidebook app to update the schedule in the event that a schedule change occurs. For some unfortunate reason my schedule didn’t update, leaving me to believe that Robotics;Notes was going to start at noon, but it had been changed to start at 11:15. Dave and I walked into the start of the 3rd episode which had us confused for a bit. Robotics;Notes is part of the Science Adventure trilogy made by 5pb, the same team that did Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. Robotics;Notes from the little we were able to see, looked like an animated Robot Wars series, where people build little robots to compete against each other. Since I enjoyed Steins;Gate so much I definitely recommend checking out Robotics;Notes. All 22 episodes of Robotics;Notes is available to stream subtitled via Hulu. Hulu also carries the first 4 episodes dubbed.
After realizing our flub, Dave and I left Robotics;Notes after watching the 3rd episode and went to check out The Daily Lives of High School Boys, It’s hard to explain the plot to this show if there is one. Its a slice of life comedy about 3 boys that attend an all boy high school. They do the dumbest things that are guaranteed to make you laugh. It’s whacky in the same vain as Ranma 1/2 or Cromartie High School. Unfortunately the room it was being shown in, was not conducive to watching a subtitled anime. The screen was way too low to properly read subtitles in a room that full. This anime would have been better suited in a larger room with a higher screen. All 12 episodes of The Daily Lives of High School Boys are available to stream subtitled via Hulu.
After the laughter, and lunch, we went into check out Oreshura, presented by Aniplex. Oreshura is about a high school boy named Eita, that’s disillusioned with the notion of love. A new girl that every guy wants to date transfers into Eita’s class and blackmails Eita into a relationship. Oreshura is a 13 episode series that looks like it has a lot of potential. Oreshura is streaming with subtitles on both Hulu and Crunchyroll.
I knew full well that Oreshura was a series that I was going to continue with, so we decided to try something that we weren’t too sure of. Hansaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow was is about a girl working at an Inn in Japan. It’s a slice of life story, but unlike The Daily Lives of High School Boys, it wasn’t that funny. It had its moments, but in the end I can’t recommend it. Granted I only caught one episode of this show, I think it was enough to know that it just isn’t for me. The series is highly rated on various websites, so don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself, and let me know what you thought. Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow is available to watch subtitled at Hulu and Crunchyroll.
Later we stepped into a series just called K. K is about a boy that gets in the middle of a war between different factions with psychic powers. Each faction is led by a king that gives his faction members their abilities. Beyond that the series is kind of hard to describe. It was interesting, but I can’t actually say I enjoyed it. It started off fairly interesting, and then proceeded to get weirder and weirder. It felt like they didn’t know where to draw the line between taking things seriously and turning it into a comedy. It didn’t help that it was poorly dubbed either. Perhaps a subtitled version of the show would have helped. All 13 episodes of K are available to stream on Hulu.
After K, we stopped into Toradora!, which I’m not going to go into much detail because it’s a bit of an older title now, but it’s worth seeing, if you haven’t. Toradora! reminds me of Ranma ½ in a lot of ways. If you haven’t seen it you should definitely check it out on either Hulu, or Crunchyroll. Unlike Toradora! You should avoid Accel World at all costs. This was one of the worst dubs I’ve heard in a while. The story was also pretty poor in my opinion. Accel World is about a bullied kid at school that gets invited to into a new virtual world by one of the most popular girls in school. The premise sounded interesting, but it all turned to crap. The main problem is that I never felt bad for the bullied kid. He actually seemed like a bit of a douche. I’m kind of glad he was getting bullied. The full subbed series is available at Hulu. Hulu also has the first 4 episodes dubbed.
While I had a really good Saturday at Anime Boston, Sunday didn’t start off so hot. I went to see The Garden of Words, the one title that I can’t currently stream via Hulu, Crunchyroll or Netflix, and it was cancelled due to technical difficulties. I waited in the room for the staff to get the difficulties resolved for a good 45 minutes, but it never worked out. The Garden of Words is created by the same people that made 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, so I was fairly confident that I was going to enjoy this film. The Garden of Words is available to stream via The Anime Network.
Later I decided to check out a bit of the Attack on Titan dub which I was actually impressed with. Aside from Armin, I think everyone else’s voice was pretty good. Mikasa’s voice might sounded a little too old, but I could live with it. All in all it isn’t a bad way to watch the show. I’m sure anyone reading this has heard of Attack on Titan, but just in case, the series is set in a world where humanity has been driven into a walled off city by giant mutated humans called titans. For over a hundred years humans have lived peacefully in their walled off city until one day a giant titan comes and kicks a massive hole in the wall. Now humanity has to figure out a way to defend itself and survive against the giant humans attacking them. Attack on Titan is available to stream via Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Netflix.
Finally the final thing I watched this year was Sword Art Online, which is set in our not too distant future, where people play MMO games in a virtual reality world with headset and all. At the launch of the newest game, the creator of the game traps all 10,000 players into the virtual universe for an unknown reason. The only way to leave the game is to beat level 100. If you die in the game, you die in real life. If you are unplugged from the game, you will die in real life. The only way to escape is to win. Sword Art Online was a really good way to finish off the con. After I finish off one or 2 other anime, this is next on my list to watch. It is available to stream from Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Netflix.
Anime Boston 2015 has already been announced for April 3rd through the 5th at the Hynes Convention center (the same place it has been for the past 10 years). I hope to see you all there next year!