Eight years ago, I applied as a member of the press to Anime Boston and was promptly rejected. I was a graduate student and, at the time, Anime Boston didn’t accept student members of the press.
Shortly after tweeting about the missed opportunity, then-Marketing Director Tuan Pham asked me if I’d still like to report on Anime Boston, but in a different way than I’d imagined. I immediately accepted. And after that, I never really left. Today I consider Anime Boston my home convention. Even though it’s a plane ride away from where I actually live, it’s the con that’s closest to my heart.
Since 2010 I’ve been volunteering at the con almost every year on Blog Staff. The fact that there even is a blog staff at Anime Boston is a bit unusual, but I feel like we do meaningful work. You can check the blog to get summaries of panels you missed, or see the Masquerade winner list, or find out how much the priciest item went for at the Charity Auction. If you couldn’t go to Anime Boston at all, it’s a digest of how the weekend went. We publish one post a week most of the year, and at the con, we publish 12 posts a day. Anything I write for Anime Boston has my signature on it.
This year is no different. When I’m not posing in a unicorn mask, I’ll be writing nonstop about the con, with a focus on inclusive topics. Anime Boston was one of the first conventions to have gender-neutral bathrooms and “other” as a gender option for attendees, and there’s always a priority on diverse panel programming no matter what the yearly theme is. I’m glad our blog lives on Tumblr, which seems to have a userbase that is especially enthusiastic about this kind of content.
Annual programming aside, this year’s theme is “To The Stars” AKA space, so John and I will be giving our panel on Gundam antagonist Char Aznable, titled “He Is A Char: A Tribute To Gundam’s Most Famous Masked Man” in the program guide. It’s all the way at the end of Sunday since we’re working throughout the con.
Whether you’ll be in Boston or not, I hope you take a look at the blog. I’m going to be pouring my heart into it from Thursday through Monday, so that’s where you’ll hear from me for the rest of the week.
Conventions are incredible. I’ve been watching this one grow for almost a decade. Amazingly, in that time, the median age has barely budged, so each year I get to see kids who were my age when I discovered Anime Boston enjoying it, maybe for the first time. I’m glad to be a part of making their experience great.