My Anime Boston experience
Three weeks ago, I embarked on a journey to Boston with my younger brother and our cousin by my side. It wasn’t just any old day trip to Boston. Oh no, no. It was the long-awaited return of the infamous Anime Boston!
It seemed like fate when something told me four days before the event to go to the convention website. It was the last day to pre-register for a weekend pass. I didn’t even know if my brother or cousin wanted to go, but I did everything I could to buy us three passes. I danced around my house for an hour when I saw the confirmation email.
I’m sorry for all of you who don’t have a clue as to what I am talking about. If I start to explain what anime and manga are, my nerd rant will go on for days. I‘m exaggerating, but you get my drift. Let’s just say I went to a convention and had a blast amongst my own people.
I’m a seasoned AB-goer, but this was the first convention my brother and cousin have ever been to. You could probably imagine the culture shock as they walked into that convention center to see all those costumes and shenanigans. It was exactly how I remembered except I think they buffed up security a bit more or maybe I just have a terrible memory. The two disappointments I had were 1) There was no dance this year. My friends and I called it the rave. It was just a crazy huge dance party that lasted all night. We all wore tutus and glow sticks. It’s just something you need to experience at least once; 2) I couldn’t go to the only 18+ panel hosted by my favorite voice actor. Both my cousin and brother are only 16.
When my friends and I all went as teenagers, I don’t remember having a hard time getting to and fro. We also had a hotel back then. This year, I think I chopped off at least 20 years of my life from stress. When I first made these plans to take everyone by train, I didn’t really put it together that I would be the adult of the group. For whatever reason, I thought we could all navigate our way there together. Boy, was I wrong.
Long story short, we got off at the wrong station. We had to take two subways in order to get back. Of course, we got on the subway going the opposite direction so we had to get onto yet another subway going the right direction. I have an Irish temper, so you can imagine my fury being in a strange city I haven’t visited in almost four years, and being totally and completely lost. Whenever I asked for help from my traveling companions I got a lot of blank stares.
When we got on the last subway, I knew we were going the right way when I started to see people in wigs. We actually followed this one girl and we weren’t even discreet about it.
When we finally made it to the convention center I was ready to go home. The second day was a thousand times better. I could actually enjoy myself. It must be an Anime Boston curse because every year, I get some sort of cold. I didn’t even plan on going this year until the very last minute and I still had a cold.
My cousin and I spent most of our money in the Artist Alley. We bought all kinds of handmade jewelry. My brother spent his in the Dealer’s Room. I think he bought more T-shirts than he knows what to do with.
We also spent a lot of our time waiting in line and taking random pictures of people walking by. If you are a people-watcher like me, then you’d have been in heaven. There was so much to look at. I couldn’t help but come home after that weekend and reminisce about the times when I went with my friends. Those were the best times (not saying I didn’t have fun this time). I’ll never forget the very first time I tried going. It was 2008. My friend and I didn’t pre-register so we ended up standing in the registration line for more than six hours. We never made it in. We gave up and went home. We did get to walk around in the mall part of the convention center a little bit but we couldn’t do anything without a badge.
I bumped into one of the girls I used to go with while I was there this year. She’d taken her younger sister to her first convention as well. It’s like we’re passing on the tradition. I saw a lot of people there I know and I also missed a lot too. We were in the same place at the same time but never crossed paths
My friends and I are all a little bit older now and some of us don’t talk as much as I would like, but the memories we made together are still very near and dear to my heart. I’m glad I could share this experience with my family and hopefully I can make the trip again next year