Hey there. Elessar here, and this was my first year at Anime Boston. First, can someone tell me: is this a big convention? I ask because it reminded me a lot of the convention I attend the most (ConnectiCon) in size and the way it was run, but it seemed there were a lot of eyes on it this year, which is rarely the case for ConnectiCon. I wonder why that would be…Oh right, they were premiering the Attack on Titan dub at Anime Boston this year. So let’s start with talking about that.
I’m not huge into anime at this point in my life. I like it, but it’s not a large percentage of what I watch anymore. I will say though, I like Attack on Titan a lot. It seems to spend a lot of it’s time subverting or ignoring a lot of the cliches of anime. That isn’t to say it doesn’t use those tropes or cliches (if you’re looking for works without cliches or tropes, you’re probably only going to read Finnegan’s Wake and watch My Dinner With Andre), but it does do something interesting with them. I once commented that it is, to anime, what A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones as most people know it) is to fantasy, and I still think that’s an apt comparison. So, how’s the dub?
…It’s okay I guess. I should probably stress that I’m not an anime or dub expert, but as I write this it’s only been a few days since I saw the premier and I am left with basically no strong impressions. I doubt it’ll be used as an example of a horrible dub any time soon, but it’s no Cowboy Bebop either. The biggest deal, or at least the one they were hiding the most, is the casting of Bryce Papenbrook as Eren, which is appropriate as from what I could tell from the reveal he is deeply underwhelming. Maybe it’s just my exposure, but he’d probably be my least favorite part of the dub…if it weren’t for the bizarre miscasting of Annie. Maybe it’s just what I saw of her, but she might drag a large part of her subplot down. Or not, might just be my reading of it. I did really like Trina Nishimura as Mikasa though, and since Mikasa is a more vital character, it might be alright. I doubt I’ll watch it though.
Of the other panels I attended, the most fascinating I went to was a panel held by a friend-of-a-friend about gender representation. You’d expect that this would be primarily about the representation of trans people in anime and Japanese video games, and while that was involved, the meat of the panel was about cosplaying. Put simply, a lot of men cosplaying as female characters is done as a joke and that can be insulting or hurtful to actual trans people who use convention and cosplaying as a method of helping themselves understand themselves better or facilitate their coming out. I’m probably explaining it badly, as my understanding of this subject is limited, but I found it extremely informative. I’m trying to get a copy of the power point for the panel, and when/if I do I’ll see if I can post it here.
However, while the trans representation panel was the most informative and interesting, my favorite was probably one on live action adaptations of Anime that don’t suck, even if it’s just because it turned me onto the animes 20th Century Boys and Cromartie High School. Run by a good friend and fellow internet person The Guy in the Third Row, his girlfriend Liz (pictured above as Francine) and a friend of theirs who somehow finagled his way to being on Anime Boston’s staff, the panel consisted of them listing a few live action adaptations of anime they thought were interesting or worthwhile. Okay so it’s a fairly short list, to be fair, but it is enough of one to make me believe that some of the movies in question could be worth seeking out, if only because the Speed Racer movie looks freaking nuts.
On the cosplay front, it’s all typically impressive enough to make my woeful attempts at cosplay (this time limited to Stan Smith and Malcolm Reynolds) look completely awful. I will say I’m rather surprised to see how quickly some people got cosplays from The Lego Movie and Space Dandy together. I imagine I’ll be seeing more of those this summer at ConnectiCon, but the fact that they were already there mere weeks after they came out is quite something.
So that’s it for my first attempt at covering a convention, I apologize if it’s a bit short. I’ll most likely be covering this year’s ConnectiCon, where I’ll probably have more to say since I’ll have a more relevant comparison to last year’s con. Oh and I’ll probably be doing some panels there.