A Completely Made Up Story About Anime Boston 2013

I'm watching you Shaughnessy.

Grainy image of Boston Globe writer? Grainy image of Boston Globe writer

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since, “Son, don’t go to anime conventions. They just drain your money and prevent you from having the advantages that you should have over others.”

And so it was that I set foot in the terminal at Logan International Airport on a sunny Thursday morning. My mission was clear, try to find a guy who looked like he had endured a bus ride from Reno to San Francisco then a flight to New York and then to Boston without sleeping. No small task considering how many people do that, it must be in the tens. Anyway, in a flannel shirt, this driver of carts greeted me and we went to claim my luggage. Baggage claim is always a strange experience every time I’ve come across it. It’s not the unusually shaped bags or anything, its the fact that random people seem compelled to intervene and keep the luggage moving smoothly around the mechanical loop. It’s not like anything is going to break.

A bus to a train station, a conversation with a creepy old dude obsessed with a hockey game from 7 years ago (We won, get over it), a couple of trains and a short walk later, we arrived at a shady hotel. The overworked staff let us check our bags because the third member of our party was still in the middle of attempting to break an historic record. So off we went to Five Guys where I told stories of my brief period of writing for a college newspaper while sitting directly across from a clipped story written by the rival campus rag. Also, there was a scene from Jormungand set in a Five Guys, but you probably knew that already. A couple hours of messing around with fat pigeons who were going aggro at each other and imagining a fountain swallowing the parents of the eager man guarding it and our party grew to three.

Since he booked the room and all, it’s worth mentioning that he also drives carts, but neither of them was that Irish bloke everyone associates with cart driving, or Lelouch. Since he insisted on it, he will be referred to as Dr. Gonzo. An ironic name considering the relative lack of drugs and booze in the rest of the story, but that’s what he wanted. After checking in to our room, I glanced around at what we would be spending the next 4 days and 3 nights in. Artwork removed from the walls? Check. Ceiling plastered over from a massive water leak? Check. Cramped bathroom that smells of cat urine? Check. A solid 2-star hotel this was.

At Trader Joe's Copyright is Optional

Clever Marketing Here, but that’s only the 2nd worst unofficial anime character use I’ve seen in person.

The fourth member of our party arrived later, with a basketball and tons of hairspray in bag. As I’m trying to withhold identities here, there’s really no sufficient way I can identify this person without giving away their identity, so you in the audience will have to figure out who I’m referring to. That’s how I challenge my readers.

Off we went to the real hotel to collect the badges for the convention all while laughing at people who camp out on day 0 for hours when just a couple of hours later we were in and out within 5 minutes, those suckers. We were joined by a vowel-less writer from that aniblog tournament winning blog thing everyone forgot about from last year. We went to a restaurant where I was conquered by a calzone as large as my head. It was a disgraceful defeat as the other two who had ordered the same thing finished them.

A terrible sleep followed a night of watching the Bruins lose. A good thing I had brought my pillow too, so I could sleep on something that didn’t feel like a sheet wrapped around unclean balls from a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit. I had my own breakfast, then when that wasn’t adequate I was dragged to the Prudential Center where we could enjoy it’s finest Mexican specialty restaurant, Qdoba. Dr. Gonzo wanted a pale imitation of his native food as well. Their strongest salsa left me yearning for the Mexican restaurants of home, which actually tried to put flavor in their salsas, but it filled me up nonetheless.

Capitalism, ho! *cries*

To put it roughly, they want the annual per capita GDP of Liberia for the cost of Oreimo on Bluray

And so it was off to the convention proper, where after passing through some really half-assed security the group went to the mecha gone bad panel. It was really just typical terribad moments from the genre, nothing entirely special apart from the Gurren Lagann clip as it actually aired in the US. Mmm, Quizno’s. We also ran into multi-site podcaster and Idolm@ster fact checker, oh what do I call him here, FC, for Fuck Comcast, since it screwed up appearance on FAP.

After that was a split up was a trip to the dealer’s room. The very place my father had once warned me about. It just sucked up my wallet’s contents with these 4 inch tall figurines proving too much to resist. However I was able to negotiate the prices down using a technique I learned from a trip to a games convention in March. Find flaws in the packaging that you don’t care about and try to knock some bucks off. It secured me 3 things that would just spend their days silently staring back at their owner with the names of Shiori, Kanon and Charlotte. Oh well, money going away from me. It wouldn’t be the last time.

Later the bad touch panel duo joined our now 6-person party at the hotel. The rest of the day passed in a bit of a blur as I was feeling kind of odd. It was well enough that I was capable of handling the bar food and overpriced brews that I ordered there and also stalked Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy, who was plugging his book on a man who couldn’t find a baseball stadium he lived mere blocks from. There was conversation of dubs that had been lost to time, accounting tricks to somehow get a profit, Sword Art Online being set to be the most popular piece of fiction on the planet and of wishing of having the money to fly off to Brazil next summer. Still have to qualify for that one first, though. Also someone spent actual currency buying Love Love, that poor man. Then there was the visual-kei band, whose mixture of guitar riffs from the early-80s got tiresome quickly, and people sat down at their new stuff.

After another terrible night of sleep, it was a cold day in Boston Saturday. This was convenient as I was also developing a sinus infection. Really? Thanks, Boston weather. Not much to say about this day until the afternoon. I ditched everyone and did what I considered to be the proper thing, watching the Champions League final. I couldn’t miss the hipster’s team of choice fall to a noble 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich. Poor Dortmund, about to have their team torn apart. Regardless the lack of a way of cooling a liquid dictated that I drank a 6-pack over the course of the match.

It really exists in Jormungand.

Something like a Five Guys, right?

Later, I met with the group and we recorded a podcast that was abruptly ended by [entire section removed for references to an unhappy event that revolves around someone else having too much to drink (No, not me.)] Back to the Five Guys for more food and then it was off to the bad touch duo’s panel on bad touching. It was informative I suppose, but then I was fully feverish at this point. Back to the hotel and then to sleep where apparently a 3 hour drinking session was commencing in the hotel lobby and in the bathroom to our particular room. The back of the toilet proved to be the only useful part of the room as it turned out in the end as it was able to cool cheap wine well enough.

The final day brought me face-to-face with 2 particular quandaries. Was the final visit to the dealers room going to ruin me and is my local walk-in clinic open on holidays? Those answers were as Yozora, Yukimura and ugh, Cecilia proved yes and yes. The rest of the day was spent trying to survive the trek back to the train platform, then the transfer to the other train and the good byes to everyone who I had met on this journey. Finally, I made it to the airport 4 hours and 5 minutes before my flight was supposed to leave. If you know anything about TSA rules, you would realize that’s 5 minutes too early.

How to kill that much time? I suppose that was the reason why I brought my Vita. They do exist in the wild, really. And I still needed some food and there was a place that had a turkey and brie on flatbread sandwich. Why does this exist? It should have been too niche to be a thing. Finally, it was on to the plane where I would be pursuing the Triple Crown on my Vita before pain aplenty on landing. If you’ve ever flown with sinus issues, you’d know what I mean.

No, I did not buy this.

Among the most insane convention purchases ever?

So some lessons I learned from this trip. Consumerism is destroying modern society, conventions like this are increasingly becoming places for old men (no, not really old except for the cool old dude at the bad touch panel) and the weather in Boston typically sucks. This convention is in March next year, so nor’easter it is. Physical media as far as anime goes seems to be waning as streaming seems to be the only way to get consistent revenue. Which means what is left is overpriced trash series, overpriced mediocrity that was being promoted like hell and overpriced crap that was meant to be exclusive. As for the illness, I was able to see a doctor and get some medication. Also, mall food court food in general sucks beyond a single meal. Enduring it 3 days in a row ruined my stomach, as well as the burgers and fries and sodas. I should just buy normal food. Next time I guess.

Special thanks to: Dr. Gonzo and the Other Non-Irish Driver of Carts, Unnamed Roommate, The Bad Touch Duo, Vowel-less Writer, Podcaster A, The Girl Whose Panel I Missed on Saturday Because of the Football, The Popee Cosplayer Who Gave Out LoGH trading cards, that Texas-based Entertainment Company Who Gave Out Free Stuff, that Japanese Company that has no Idea how Markets Work (the consumerism part above) and you readers who remarkably put up with the stuff I post year-after-year.

LMT’s Best of 2012

I think they got some things reversed here.

I think they got some things reversed here.

After yesterday’s rather absurd end-of-year ranking based solely on week-to-week viewing, I thought it may be best to provide a real ranking of the series that finished in the year 2012. Rather than just settle for just a simple top 10, I went over the top and just went for all 37 I completed this year. The first 27 of these will just be short descriptions of why I did, or did not like a particular series. After that, there’s a bit more detail. I hope you enjoy this, and feel free to let me know how wrong/right I was about the anime that aired in 2012 in the comments. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 20

Didn't that manual appear in another post recently?

Didn’t that manual appear in another post recently?

It was the last week of the year for new shows, and for me to wonder what to do about Christmas gifts like this. As I contemplate heading to the gift returns section of the store from where it was purchased, I’ll leave you with a 2-part post here. The first is the normal recap stuff. It was a really light week with several shows taking a break, so that will be relatively brief. Second will be the full year-long weekly average of every series from 2012. That part will be rather perplexing, even by my standard of taste. Tomorrow, I will give my real top 10 for the year. So consider this one the end result of short-termism. Continue reading

12 Days of Something II: 12 Moments of Anime

So this 12 Days thing is running near a close, so I thought I would actually do something most people do with this sort of topic, actually write about 12 moments in anime that occurred this year. I know, really original, right? So I’ll try to avoid some stuff I’ve gone on-and-on about over the course of this series of posts and limit myself to one thing per month. Can I pull it off? Find out below.

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The Return of the Recap 19

No, you haven't wandered into a lost edition of Metafap

No, you haven’t wandered into a lost edition of Metafap

Now it is almost the holidays, and that means stuff like preparing my body for the amount of alcohol that will be ingested come Tuesday and then having to recover for work on the Wednesday. Oh how I wished we celebrated Boxing Day here. Alright, the family isn’t that bad, but for dramatic effect I had to put it that way.

So for the anime this week (that is what you read it/find the images in GIS for, right?), the season is just about to wrap up. That doesn’t mean a lot for several of the shows that I am watching now, but I did ultimately finish off four shows.

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The Return of the Recap 18

Hopefully shopping for the holidays doesn't go as bad as this particular trip

Hopefully shopping for the holidays doesn’t go as bad as this particular trip

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I have been trying to finish things off as far as the usual stuff. Buying gifts for people (which I can do well), then wrapping them (which I can’t do so well) is a surprisingly normal thing to do. Now as far as the shows that have been airing, it’s been pretty much the same. Conclusions are approaching, so the final twists and turns are being written. And there was plenty of that this week.

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The Return of the Recap 17

Finally, the epic battle everyone has been waiting for this season

Finally, the epic battle everyone has been waiting for this season

I’m going to give this space just another chance as my last entry seemed to be uninteresting to pretty much everyone. At least I know one person read it in the middle of the famous /sp/ Sunday football call, but that’s about it. Then again, I once again have to point out that no one actually reads this part, so I’ll move on to the week’s content as that is what you really want.

So on the docket this week is a bunch of shows that performed better than expected, however, come the end of the week and terribad I realized just how bad some of the stuff that aired this year really was. So all-in-all, it was really a mixed bag for the week.

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The Return of the Recap 16

What greeted me Tuesday morning...also we use such weeb team names.

What greeted me Tuesday morning…also we use such weeb team names.

This week began on a rather low note. I lost to Kevo by the aggregate distance of 2.6 yards. 237.74 centimeters of crushing fantasy football defeat in the SCCSAV fantasy football league. No matter, I’m probably making the playoffs and he isn’t. There were some other conversations of note if you follow me on twitter, but I’d rather not use this space to talk about it here. Those are for the terrible anniversary posts after all.

So what’s on the agenda this week. Among other things, there’s a great episode that probably ruins a series, comedies failing at getting serious and a good episode of something I almost dropped. Plus the terribad had time-traveling Nazis. Who would not want to see that? Trust me you don’t. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 15

If this doesn’t bring as much joy to your life as it did mine on Thursday, you have a heart of ice.

There were all sorts of wacky tales that were told over the family table on Thanksgiving. The sorts of re-imagining of the modern world that would make all sorts of amazing fictional dystopian tales. Unfortunately, these were all told to each other unironically . Sometimes you just have to sit back and realize there are some battles that aren’t worth fighting. Especially when you have to see the same group in 5 weeks for more Amazing Tales Without Irony.

So what’s on the docket this week? For the most part a typical week. The terribad entry happens to be one of those early works that made it to the west in an era when anything was considered good if it was on TV. The erratic availability of Seitokai no Ichizon means that it returns this week after having last week off. And I probably completely miss the point on Chu2koi again.

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The Return of the Recap 14

To endure some of the shows that I watch requires Koko-esque drinking ability.

Beginning one’s Christmas shopping is probably a good idea for those who actually celebrate or are condemned to go to a celebration at some point in the next 6 weeks. For the most part, it’s been a week of trying to cram in those unfortunate Secret Santa series that I will be writing on around the holiday. It could be worse I suppose, but I’m judging that entirely by a writer for another blog go off on streams of obscenities as they watch another episode of Sword Art Online. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 13

Unlike a certain other show, the blood being sprayed on another character actually had impact here.

What a way to kick off year five of this adventure with a recap of what I have watched over the last week. Without having to watch 50 odd episodes, I can actually provide a little more detail than I did last time. That doesn’t mean there is little on my plate, however, so I haven’t been compelled to catch up on anything I dropped earlier. As far as the real life stuff that this space is known for, I’m in a bit of a transition career-wise, but I still have the time to engage in experimental cooking in my spare time. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 12

Football Manager 2013 is out. As if I didn’t already have enough distractions

Well that was a particularly long time off from this blog, probably the longest since I was averaging erm, 2 views a day. Personally I needed a bit of a break from real life as there’s lots of change going on there. So off I went to that country that is most famous for being the setting for the K-On movie, and some other more minor contributions in the last 1000 years. But enough about that, this is the column about what I watched in the last week. And it’s a lot, so let’s just get started.
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The Return of the Recap 11

Please don’t move your hand Hibito

This will be the last one of these for a few weeks. I’m taking a real vacation for once, though that doesn’t mean I’m going to be quitting to pursue other ventures. I’m nowhere near good enough for that. Anyway, nothing really about the week passed. It would only be a long story of tear-filled disappointment and crushed dreams. Another action packed week as far as cramming stuff in. Also, I waffled massively on some of the shows I said I dropped last week. I can’t get a grip on this season either.

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The Fall 2012 Season in Outlandish Predictions

It’s that time of year again to bust out the charts to see what exactly there is to watch for the coming season. As I have meticulously tracked this, the fall season is the lowest rated of all when it comes to my own rankings. Needless to say, the notion that the spring and fall seasons are the best does not apply to me. So in an effort to spice things up and maybe laugh in the unlikely event these actually happen, I present predictions that should not happen this season for each show.

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