A short list of just a few of the reasons that Anime Boston is my favorite anime convention:
- Great panels: Charles Dunbar and Kat Paige’s Kill la Kill panel convinced me to give the show a second chance by arguing that it’s readable as a criticism of State Shinto and the resurgence of nationalism in contemporary Japan. Kat’s panel on tricksters and Charles’ panel on Studio Ghibli were also great. I finally got to see the Geek Family’s panel about happy and silly shows, and it was as good as I hoped and full of things I’d never heard of. Other highlights included the latest versions of the perennial Craziest Mecha Moments and Bad Anime, Bad (I can now say that I have seen all of the train wreck that is Garzey’s Wing), and a couple of panels by people I don’t know, one on music in anime and the other on visual storytelling in Miyazaki films, both of which were fascinating new perspectives given my usual focus on the verbal.
- Great panel audiences: Anime Boston continues to have the best and most interesting audiences of any convention I go to. The questions I got during both Postmodern Anime and Analyzing Anime were solid, interesting, and occasionally challenging, and Latin Latin Madoka More Latin resulted in two separate multi-hour conversations with attendees, the first about epiphenomenology, qualia, and theory of consciousness, and the second about Buddhism. The latter has already significantly altered my perception of what’s going on in the last three episodes of the series and Rebellion.
- Ego boosts: I was asked for an interview, invited to speak at another convention (which will take some negotiating, since it can only happen if they pay at least hotel cost), and, best of all, asked if I taught a class anywhere.
So yeah, hung out with friends, recharged, and generally had an excellent time that has rejuvenated my seriously flagging convention mojo.