This year, anime and sports will collide at Anime Boston 2016 on Mar. 25 through Mar. 27. Anime Boston is an annual convention that, in addition to Japanese anime, celebrates all forms of animation and entertainment. This convention is held for one weekend, Friday through Sunday, in the spring at the Hynes Convention Center within the Prudential Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Convention goers often attend Anime Boston in costumes, or “cosplays,” of almost any character possible. Others who attend Anime Boston may be artists planning on selling their artwork in the Artist’s Alley. The rest may attend to take part in the panel discussions, anime or movie viewings, Japanese rock concerts, contests, and autographing events. Last year marked Anime Boston’s highest count of attendees surpassing 27,000, and it is only expected to grow this year.
Every year, Anime Boston has a theme to its convention; the theme determines the annual logo, the opening and closing ceremonies, and the topic of many panel discussions within the convention. For 2016, the theme is Undōkai: Sports Day.
In the recent years, a major trend in anime has been sports. Sport animes have topped the charts in popularity and elicited a high number of sports-inspired cosplays at Anime Boston 2015. From swimming, to volleyball, to basketball, anime has it covered and Anime Boston has chosen to highlight this phenomenon.
Special guests attend Anime Boston each year and often include anime directors, character designers, anime voice actors, and Japanese musicians. This year, the convention will welcome anime directors Kyohei Ishigurio and Yukiko Aikei, musicians ALI PROJECT and nano. RIPE, and a plethora of English-dubbed anime voice actors. Southern New Hampshire University’s Animation and Art Forms Club will be attending Anime Boston 2016.
Senior and club president Nikki Pius said, “For the past 6-ish years, the Animation and Art Forms club has been going [to] Anime Boston. Since our club focuses on the different animation forms and how animation differs and stays the same, Anime Boston is a great way for our club to experience a form of animation that we all love and enjoy.”
In addition to animation appreciation, Pius said, “[The club] also [goes] to Anime Boston to show how the members of the club can relate their majors back to the real world. Many students who are part of the Animation and Art Forms Club are video game majors or creative writing/ English majors.”