April 28th - May 1st, 2005
Boston, Massachusetts

Convention Stats:
Location: Hynes Convention Center
Event Year: Third
Reported Attendance: 7,500
Theme: Sports
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Lynx, Chrono Cross
Vash the Stampede, Trigun
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Rinoa Heartilly, Final Fantasy VIII
Ellone Loire, Final Fantasy VIII
Sketch's Performances:
Masquerade: Lynx Skit
Cosplay Chess: Queen's Rook
Sketch's Awards:
Best In Show, Masquerade
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Shiva (x2), Lionel Lum, AB Staff
Although only in it's third year, Anime Boston has managed to become one of the largest anime conventions in the United States, outgrowing its original location at Boston's beautiful, yet antiquated, Park Plaza Hotel during its inaugural event in 2003. After being forced to institute attendance caps in 2004, Anime Boston successfully moved to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay for this year's event. The move not only provided spacious surroundings for the weekend's events and the con's 7,500 attendees, but also showcased the potential for the convention's future growth, only taking up a portion of the full center with the ability to expand in the future. With all the new room, Anime Boston expanded its events schedule, packing in plenty of industry and fan-run panels, screenings, and contests. Popular events this year included a concert performance by Japanese vocalist Yoko Ishida, known to fans for her work in the opening themes for Ah! My Goddess and Pretear, who kicked off her North American tour at Anime Boston. Highlighting the guest list were Chrono Crusade manga artist Daisuke Moriyama and the show's English voice actors Greg Ayres, Monica Rial, and Chris Patton. Accompanying the positive changes, however, was some significant disorganization; many of the convention locations were not identified well and many of the staff were, despite their willingness to help, unsure of where things were or when certain events were taking place. Large events also tended to overlap forcing attendees to plan accordingly. Hopefully, as Anime Boston settles into its new space, both the staff and attendees will become more adept at navigating this growing convention.

Sketch and Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
As Anime Boston 2005 approached, Sketch was working hard to prepare his sophomore cosplay effort after having a wildly successful debut the previous year. This time he was going all-in: staying at the convention hotel for the full weekend, staffing an Artist Alley table for the first time, playing Vash for the convention's debut of Cosplay Chess, and competing in the masquerade as Lynx from Chrono Cross, a new costume he's been slaving over. Shiva, meanwhile, had much smaller ambitions; after two years participating in the cosplay scene online, she was just excited to finally be going to her first convention. Not ready to commit to a full weekend, Shiva instead was only going for the day on Friday, and dragging along one of her college friends who had never played a video game or watched an anime, but was willing to help Shiva check it out so she didn't have to go alone.

Thursday night checked in, got badge, chatted with PatrickD, called into their staff internet radio show. Friday morning got up early to get fully into Lynx before setting up the art table. Artist alley was in a hallway that year. Was tag teaming with Morlock, got the table near the dealer's room exit. Met up with Saki for masq judging; wandered a bit then back to art table. She was a great sport and even cosplayed with me, borrowing my Ellone costume from Final Fantasy VIII to match my Rinoa outfit. We changed into our costumes at her apartment and took the T to the Hynes. I was a bit nervous about traveling on public transit in costume, but luckily we had missed the morning commuter rush and by the time we hit the Green Line, the train was full of people chatting about the convention. I even saw my first cosplayer, a girl dressed as Lord Sesshomaru from InuYasha, whose mother was holding up the end of her fur tain on the subway.

Once we arrived at the Hynes there was a bit of confusion as to where to go to get the badges; even the security guards didn't know, even though they were the ones checking the badges. Finally, I flagged down someone with a badge, who said registration was on the second floor of the convention center you need a badge to get in to... makes sense, right? Once we found the line we only had to wait about fifteen minutes to register on site and get our badges. We then headed to the dealer's room, which was a huge area; despite the fact it was chalk full of con-goers, it did not feel the least bit crowded. There was even a guy running around as a giant can of Kung Fu! As we wandered, we got to meet some excellent cosplayers, including Kourmori who was dressed as a fantastic Samurai Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2, Sketch as an amazing Lynx from Chrono Cross, and Sephygoth, Blue Sasarai, and Astro as Sephiroth, Vincent, and Aeris from Final Fantasy VII. I also met a really cute pair of pre-teens dressed as Tidus and Rikku and talked for a while with Eternalglade and her sister Resha as Summoner and Songstress Yuna.

Later that afternoon, we were supposed to meet up with many other Final Fantasy cosplayers for a full series photo shoot, but there was a lot of confusion as to the meeting spot. I had passed a sign for it earlier, but when the shoot time came around, the sign had disappeared! The staff was also confused, and it took them about a half an hour to reorganize. Once things were straightened out, the photographer lined us all up in front of the elevators in the main hallway. There were some excellent costumes, including a Summoner Braska, a Shiva, and a Wedding Yuna. We crowded in, and the flashbulbs started going off for about 20 minutes straight! Once the shoot calmed down, my friend and I took in a few anime screenings and checked out the artwork gallery and game room before it was time to go home. The only drawback was that I didnít get to stay longer! Now that I have a taste of the convention atmosphere, I will definitely be back for the entire weekend next year, and I hope to get more involved!turday

When AA closed, had to back up table and take it back to the room. annoying. Changed, went to AMV contest. went to the game room in the sheraton. Saturday, manned table until it was time to get dressed, wandered the halls until the masquerade. sat them backstage so you could watch the show on the reverse side of the main screen. middle. performance went well, people laughed. at the end they interviewed the winners onstage best script and acting, best advanced craftsmanship. changed, hung out iwth friends Sunday packed up got into Vash for cosplay chess -talked to scott mcniel for a long time first time the con had done it. played a real chess game, ran very long nothing was pre-planned Scott mcneil was one of the players lagge dbut fun and the crowd enjoyed it. Definately will be bringing it back next year. invented by metrocon in 2004, packed up aa, went home