18+ Dating Game Guest Appearance
Hall Cosplay Contest
Cosplay Chess: Shoujo Special Attack
Judges Award, Craftsmanship
Anime Boston is a large-scale anime convention held annually in Boston, Massachusetts by the New England Anime Society. Since its humble beginnings in 2003, Anime Boston has quickly grown to become one of the largest anime conventions in the United States.
2006 marked Anime Boston’s fourth year, and the convention choose “American Revolution,” as its theme, which mostly consisted of mascots A-Chan and B-Kun running around in colonial costumes. Topping the programming list were Kaiju Big Battel, cosplay band Bad Luck, and voice actor Vic Mignogna. The convention also expanded its repertoire of cosplay events to include a Hall Craftsmanship contest in addition to the masquerade, as well as arming staff members with hall award ribbons to give out at their discretion. Attendance soared to over 9,000 guests in 2006, yet the location remained spacious and the friendly nature of the staff gave the event the atmosphere of a smaller con. In addition, improved signage and well-trained volunteers made the convention simple to navigate and events ran smoothly despite the addition of several thousand people.
After my half-day experience at Anime Boston last year, I was excited to begin my first full convention weekend. I arrived at the Sheraton Thursday afternoon and headed to registration; I thought I was early, but surprisingly the line was huge and it took over 45 minutes just to get my badge. That evening I met my roommates and some Cosplay.com people for dinner, including Crazy Flower and JeiC. It was nice to put real faces to screen names! Friday morning I spent a couple of hours transforming myself into Sorceress Adel from Final Fantasy VIII for masquerade judging. I was a little nervous since I’d never had my costume judged before, but all of the judges were really impressed with my hand sewing, which was a relief. SakiB, who I had seen in her amazing Harle costume from Chrono Cross last year, was especially enthusiastic. It was so cool to have a costumer I admire appreciate my work! Afterwards I changed into my Rinoa swimsuit for the cosplay pool gathering. The Sheraton pool was beautiful, with plants, a hot tub, and a retractable roof that let in the sun and afternoon air – a very relaxing way to spend lunchtime.
That afternoon I debuted Amano Rinoa and took photos in front of the courtyard fountains which looked like Balamb Garden. I got some of the wings of the costume a little wet, but it was just water and dried quickly. I then went to Hall Cosplay judging; one of the judges really liked my costume and chased me down the hall for a photo after I had left Cosplay HQ. I wish I had more time to wear the costume, but soon enough it was evening and I had to change into my Rinoa PJs for the cosplay pajama party. The party was a blast and I was so comfortable I regretted agreeing to help out with the 18+ Dating Game, which required yet another costume. First lesson: never do more than three costumes in one day! This is what happens when you start making cosplay costumes in 2003 and don't get to go to a convention weekend until three years later - I had a lot of stuff to bring! Reluctantly I got into Tifa; myself and an Aeris cosplayer were assigned a scene with Sephiroth, who was chosen as the bachelor in the all-male round. Aeris marched up and started threatening him with his own Masamume while I told her to forget about boys and their stupid big swords, threw my gloves in Sephy's face, Aeris kissed me which I didn’t completely see coming, and the fanboys swooned. It has been one long, crazy, but super fun day.
Saturday I got into Ruby from Final Fantasy IX and wandered the con, snapping photos and checking out the dealer’s room. I then met up with fellow FF9 cosplayers for a shoot; Eternalglade’s Dagger came out awesome, we found a fantastic Vivi, and I loved Misty Eyes’ Amano outfit. That afternoon I got back into Tifa for the Advent Children gathering. We started acting out scenes and running around with the JENOVA box; Cloud and I fought Reno and Rude until Rude flung me over his shoulder and started running around with me hanging upside down and beating his back with my fists after tossing Cloud the box. That evening I had to get into Sorceress Adel again (Second lesson: never get judged on Friday for the masquerade) and finally met the other colorful Final Fantasy cosplayers who were in my walk-on: Rydia, mascot suit Moogle, Lulu, and FFX Shiva. We were set up in a cramped, curtained off area next to the stage, but at least we could watch the show on the backside of the audience's video screen. After A-Chan and B-Kun warmed up the crowd, the show kicked off with Yuna summoning Bahamut. Soon we were up; our walk-on went well, and afterwards we could enjoy the show. Highlights included a skit which pit a sewing machine cosplayer vs. a hand sewing cosplayer to the song "Dueling Banjos," and a Paradise Kiss group parodied Project Runway. My favorite, however, was a Bleach group who did a really creative dance skit in which several characters mimed playng a fighting video game while the others acted it out to music. Very cool!
After the performances were finished, we got to see the AMV winners. The Best In Show winner “Hold Me Now,” which was to anime called Princess Tutu, absolutely blew my mind. I'd never heard of the anime before, but it was about a bunch of ballerinas and the dancing was incredibly well drawn - I need to watch this! After the videos came the cosplay awards; I got a Judge's Award for my Amano Rinoa in the hall contest, which was awesome. Also, Cynthia and N1k1ta, the Moogle and Lulu cosplayers in my group, got well-deserved craftsmanship awards. After the show, Matt and I hit up the Adult Swim panel – with Matt dressed as Space Ghost – and he proceeded to enter the room down the aisle yelling, "Why did you cancel my show?!" and the panelists cracked up. Afterwards we raided the 7-11 food aisle, had a picnic dinner in the hotel lobby, and then headed to the rave to dance for the last hour. In the first ten minutes some guy was foolish enough to challenge me to a dance-off and he went down pretty quick. "And she did it in flip-flops!" one guy pointed out. The respect earned me free glow sticks from onlookers, so I spent the rest of the night hiding my newbie glow stick skills behind my mad dance skills.
Sunday I got into Tifa once again and headed to main events for Cosplay Chess. I wasn’t a piece, but my job was to harass Cloud, played by Dymatrex. I came up with the idea to interrupt Cloud with a phone call in the middle of all of his fights, and had several annoying calls prerecorded that henpecked Cloud for being late for deliveries, ignoring me, etc. However, as the match went on, I wasn’t sure how to wrap this up once I actually showed up on stage. . . until I thought “what if I ditched him for someone else?” I scanned the crowd backstage until I noticed a Vash cosplayer who had been doing a lot of improv and was popular with the crowd; more importantly, he looked like he could handle carrying me off stage. I went over and introduced myself to the guy, Sketch, who turned out to be surprisingly cute and explained my plan. He liked it, and the best part was it would all be a surprise to Cloud. I went on after Cloud failed to summon Bahamut and asked if he wanted my help. Dymetrex responded he’d rather have Aeris, which was the perfect setup and got the crowd making some appropriate Jerry Springer-esque noises. I pretended to get a call and answered, "OH, hellooooo VASH..." and the crowd went nuts. I said I wasn't busy and to come right over to get me. At that, Sketch strut on, picked me up in his arms, I planted a kiss on his cheek, and waved as Vash carried me off to a swarm of cheers. Best... exit... ever. Dymetrex came backstage laughing, “Was that your idea? That was awesome!” After it was over, Cloud and I did a little hoe-down dance to the song "Cotton-Eyed Joe” before I changed and headed home. What a blast!