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Anime Boston 2009 Day 1: The Times They Are A Changin'

Stepping back into the Hynes. So many memories, both good and not so good. All good so far this year, starting off with a far improved registration process that had everyone flying right through. Thank you Thursday night registration. Overall the crowd this year is good without being too overwhelming, though we shall see what Saturday brings. Personally, while the day was indeed enjoyable on every level — good crowd, good friends, good food, good programing — it also feels a little…..odd.

If any of you have read any of my other convention postings you know my thoughts on how the convention scene has changed. Thankfully Anime Boston has the Sheraton hotel space back this year so the formal ball and dance spaces are there and not using up space in the Hynes Center. The whole concept of what amounts to a geek prom still kinds blows my mind, as does the sheer number of couples I see in the building. So not what I remember from the early years of my con life way way back in the long long ago of 2002. More to the point, there is plenty of space this year for all of the events and no one really has to worry about getting shut out of anything.

Events of the day kicked off with “Dubs That Time Forgot” featuring a bunch of the old old dubs of days gone by. Always interesting to see how things have changed over the years in just how a vocal track is put together. After a very pleasant lunch break FUNimation opened their convention proceedings with a set of sneak previews of upcoming dubs. No big surprises, but the dub for Murder Princess in particular looks to be very good. Aniplex, the anime production arm of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, followed FUNimation with a of set of previews of their own upcoming projects, Garden of Sinners in particular. They will be debuting the 5th part of the 7 part theatrical movie series in the US later this summer. They are starting with the 5th part due to it being the only part released so far to be of full theatrical length. The other 4 parts are all 50-60 minutes while part 5 is closer to two hours. Thankfully each part is a stand-alone story that ties into the larger whole so no one will be lost when they go to see it.

In what has sadly become a fairly regular thing, ADV had a panel with no particular news to report. It wasn’t all that long ago that ADV was the biggest anime company in the US by far, funding their own works in Japan, bringing a huge set up to every convention with a bunch of their own voice actors and a ton of announcements. These days they barely have a table in the dealer’s room staffed by Dave Williams and his company, not ADV itself. It’s an odd bit of perspective to see a company go from on top of the world with the best convention presence to barely being here at all and having their only major acquisitions of late being bits of two bankrupt companies, Geneon and Central Park Media, and Jewel BEM Hunter Lime. In better news for the company Dave did say that ADV does have a slate of work coming up for their partner, Sentai Film Works and that ADV has been exploring some new packaging options with their multi-disc sets, using a sealable ring to keep the discs from sliding around.

Following a delightful dinner with an old friend and one of her friends, the always riotous Anime Unscripted opened the evening activities quite well. For those who don’t know it’s basically “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” with anime voice actors and con staff. Maybe not as wild as some previous years, but it was all good. The evening closed with the Anime Boston Anime Music Video competition. Not the best ever, nor the worst. Maybe a bit underwhelming, but there were still some gems to be found amidst the more prosaic efforts. We also got an extended look at the next chapter of the Dead Fantasy fan-produced animation from convention favorite Monty Omm. And such is the wraps on Day One of Anime Boston 2009. For those who were here I hope you enjoyed it immensely and for those who were not I hope that you enjoyed this bit of blather on it.

To a better tomorrow!

MORE ANIME BOSTON 2009 COVERAGE:

  • Anime Boston 2009-FUNimation Licenses “Spice and Wolf”
  • Anime Boston 2009 Day 2: Marching on Boston

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