Anime Boston 2014 Short Commentary

Jotting down some thoughts on this year’s Anime Boston (in somewhat chronological order), which hopefully will also encourage me to get some posts up since it got me thinking of some cool ideas.

  • As has been a running tradition for the past 3 years, my friend form back home flew up to Boston to attend the convention with me. Rebecca also attended for the first time! It was her first anime convention so she had fun. We also cosplayed as Roy, Riza, and Armstrong (shirtless, of course) from FMA, which was a lot of fun.
  • Got a chance to (briefly) meet Flawfinder on Friday, and spent Sunday afternoon eating lunch and chatting with BokuSatchii, Shinmaru, and friends! It’s always great to put a face to a name, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet up and hang out in the future :)
  • Attended an interesting panel about fandom and convergence theory hosted by this dude which got me thinking about some stuff (it also has a fantastic bibliography). Overall, there are a lot of things I like about the ideas it put forward (especially concerning acculturation and possible “postmodernist” influences via the Internet) although I need to stew on it a while. It also led me to this article on postmodern geekdom (as portrayed in popular media) as “simulated ethnicity”, which really got me thinking about geekdom and fandom at large. Expect a post on that soon.
  • Lot of Attack on Titan cosplay around (especially housewife Levi), as well as Kill La Kill (props to the fantastic MakoJoJo cosplay by the way!). Made me think about some of the ways that cosplay relates to identity (as well as what “cosplaying” means to various people, myself included), although I shy away from the overblown academic stuff.
    • As a sidenote, I wonder whether anime fandom is becoming more “fad”-based/acquiring a new level of rabid recency over the past couple of years. The surprisingly quick demise of Sword Art Online cosplay and general panels as a whole, and the rise of Kill La Kill over Attack on Titan as a whole at the convention compared to previous ones makes me wonder.
  • Also, great (well, thought they were cool) cosplay ideas:
    • Football team Attack on Titan, with Armin as quarterback, Levi as runningback, Mikasa as wide receiver, etc. Could work equally well for most sports. I just like the idea of the cast in jerseys, and a Titan’s head as the ball.
    • Fancy suit Dragon Ball Z. I could dig the cast in suits (I’m thinking especially of Vegeta w/ mustache and Gohan with glasses).
    • Next year, I might try to do post-cauterized Roy if we do FMA again (gotta represent!). I think the iconic scene would work really well with a beaten up Armstrong (like he looks in the fight with Sloth).
    • Genderbent Death the Kid + Liz/Patty Thompson (Rebecca and me+friend, respectively) could work.
  • Interesting panel which argued that Kill La Kill really can be seen as a carnivalesque historical allegory to Meiji-era Japan, complete with overarching calls to State Shinto, Ryuuko as a symbolic oni, Satsuki as Amaterasu, and Ragyo as Western Christianity (among other things). I like the overall thrust of the argument, but the panelists’ decision to refocus in on Shinto themes after they started branching out to larger narratives didn’t sit well with me. It also brought up concerns I realized I had overlooked in my own reading of Kill La Kill: how do you get Nui to fit into all of this? I (and the panelists) completely ignored her even though she’s one of the main protagonists, and arguably MORE terrifying than Ragyo (who is just FABULOUS). I’ll have to return to that at some point in the future to see if I can find something that makes all the piece fit (even if that reading isn’t an all-encompassing vision/overarching thematic drive, which is the most likely result).
  • Saw Judging Anime by it’s Cover hosted by Rym and Scott again this year. Once again, they pretty much got the art of predicting everything about a show (at least in terms of deciding whether you should watch it or not) from the preview art down solid. Good stuff. Speaking of the new season, can you guys guess what I’m most excited for? ;)
  • Dick & Buster’s Hentai Dubbing Extravaganza was pretty solid this year. Still wish that more people who get called up realize that they are meant to be cracking a bunch of witty (or crass) jokes rather than simply imitating the original dialogue (which is funny enough by itself). Still, it’s not like I could probably think up these things on the spot, so I can’t blame many of them for being unoriginal.
  • Enjoyed the AMV contest, which invoked a lot of feelings (it was a good turnout) and made me want to check out a bunch of new shows. I also died when I saw this and this. LONG LIVE RAINBOW STALIN.

Anyways, there’s some thoughts, and hopefully some hints at upcoming posts – let me know if any part of these notes piques your interest!

One response to “Anime Boston 2014 Short Commentary

  1. Pingback: Anime Expo 2014 Commentary Part 1: Visual Novels and “Thinking” Motion | Chromatic Aberration Everywhere·

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