On-Site At Anime Boston 2011: Day Two
I arrived at the Hynes at about 8:30 a.m. for the start of Day Two of Anime Boston 2011. Unfortunately due to an error I only blame myself for I came in thinking that the next event on my planner, the Anime Music Video contest, was at nine, only to find that it was actually at ten. I killed some time wandering around and checking out the cosplayers. I've started to notice that I've seen a lot of these costumes from last year. Maybe the economy's to blame, or perhaps they worked so hard on the costumes that wearing it only once wasn't enough to merit their craftsmanship. After a few minutes of walking around aimlessly I sat myself down in line to check out the AMV show.
This was the first time I've been to an AMV contest where all the entrants were really good. The edits, synching techniques and just overall themes of the videos fit well with the anime series that were being portrayed. Favorites this year included "Dogs of War" by 3 put to Soranowoto, Drowning Pool's "Bodies" to High School of the Dead, the under-appreciated 1001 Nights put to the Beatles track "Love To You" and, yes, the popular YouTube track "What What In The Butt" synched perfectly to Ouran High School Host Club. However my pick for AMV of the Year at Anime Boston 2011 went to one from the Romance Category: Ke$ha's "Grow A Pear" to Toradora, and for me to pick this even when I despise Ke$ha shows how good of a video it was. I'm kind of surprised to have seen it in the Romance category, as it should've been placed in the Comedy section.
Following the AMV contest was another press interview, this time being with girugamesh. Along with myself and the folks from JRock Revolution we sat down with the visual kei quartet and discussed about their lives and careers. They shared us stories about life on the road, the origin of the band, which artists they grew up listening to and even shared with us some of their favorite popular and under-the-radar anime series. It was also very nice to hear them give their true thoughts on the wrongfully negative perception of the visual kei, as it's something that they -- along with many other bands -- are trying to fix. The firecracker story was also interesting, as the victim of the tale was in the room with us. (The Podcast recording of this will be coming up sometime this week or next, just as soon as I get some notes regarding translation errors from Mari Morimoto, who should be commended for her fantastic work during the interview.)
Next on the agenda was the concert put on by Odaiko New England, a taiko drum group stationed out around here. The group showcased the vast kinds of drums used in the group, each with their own unique sounds (the smallest being the shime-daiko). For the most part they featured the Nagado-daiko, which features a sound best described as a roaring thunder. Its quite a marvel at how a singular sound from these drums can be both powerful and melodious. The Led Zeppelin-inspired "Kashmir" was a nice touch.
After Odaiko New England finished up their set it was time to get ready for the Masquerade. I got my ticket early for the balcony, as you can see everything far better from above than on the floor. Unfortunately I had lost my ticket, but fortunately there was seating for press. Although it was on the floor it was in a good area where you can still see everything. The intro videos continued to entertain, thanks in part to its many mini-games and letters to the con. Finally the show was set to begin.
Hosting the show this year was the Roadie character for the Anime Boston mascots, who milked the "lift-things-up-and-put-them-down" line for what it was worth without it getting boring. This year's skit highlights included a PoKéMoN/Inception spoof, Romeo X Juliet in two minutes, a Vocaloid opera and a Powerpuff Girls parody put to an anime whose name I can't remember. The winners of the AMV contest were announced, with the Ke$ha/Toradora video winning for best Romantic video, and the Best In Show going to "King & Queens" by 30 Seconds To Mars put to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This was followed by a hilarious video with the AB mascots parodying the Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat."
After dinner I ran into Mannie of the_Stampede, and it was here where I was stuck in a conundrum: do I check out Stereopony on my own, or do I hang out with some friends for the Hentai Dubbings? Considering this was the first time all day I saw one of my closest friends I decided on the latter. My ears were kind of hurting from the screaming girls at the Masquerade, and were still recovering from the girugamesh show. Though I do enjoy stereopony, I needed a chance to hang with some buddies and enjoy the dubbings. After all I had to miss out on it last year, after promising Dick Tripwire that I would be in attendance.
This year the Dubbings had a special guest in the form of Sean "Goku" Schemmel, who despite everyone's pleas didn't do the voice in fear of losing his job (an understandable excuse). Although this site is geared towards the 18-34 crowd I cannot discuss anything regarding what happened this year. There is one thing I can say: Boom goes the dynamite.
All in all Day Two was filled with much to love. Here's hoping the final day is filled with tons of fun and pocky!