Anime Boston is an annual three-day anime fan convention held in the spring in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The convention features a number of events which include a masquerade, an anime music video contest, video programming rooms, an artists' alley and art show, karaoke, game shows, video games, RPGs, and a LARP. Anime Boston was created and is run by the New England Anime Society, Inc., a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization.
The first plans for Anime Boston came along in October 2001. At that time, there was a clear need for some sort of anime event in the Boston area, but nobody had taken the initiative to hold one. There had been a couple small conventions in New England, but anime fans still had to travel to Maryland to find a fan convention with more than a few hundred people. Adam Ferraro and Patrick Delahanty started working together to gather a team to make it happen in The Hub.
A couple weeks later, Derek Guder and Tiffani Nadeau joined the team and the first real plans started to come together. Adam proceeded to get the New England Anime Society incorporated.
Other than being anime fans, the other thing that most of the convention's founders had in common was that they were all longtime readers of AnimeOnDVD. The founders wanted to maintain a good working relationship with the popular anime web site and even turned to its members when it needed to choose a name. Although the board had narrowed it down to two, there was debate over which of those two to choose. The question was presented to members of the AnimeOnDVD forums and the better choice became clear: Anime Boston.
After touring four Boston-area hotels in December 2001, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel won the bid. They not only offered the lowest room rate for attendees, but they were familiar with fan conventions from hosting Arisia for several years. Anime Boston estimated a "worst case scenario" of 600 attendees for its first year. This was nearly double the number of attendees at Mikkakan, an anime convention in New Hampshire in June 2001 which set a record attendance for New England at the time. Even if the high estimate of 1000 people showed up, they would still easily fit in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel seeing as how Arisia has been there for several years with an attendance of around 2,500.
Working with AnimeOnDVD, interest in Anime Boston began growing quickly. Large or nearby anime conventions were peppered with Anime Boston 2003 flyers, program guide ad swaps were arranged, and booth space was reserved at Otakon 2002. By the fall of 2002, Anime Boston was coming along nicely and the pre-registration numbers had surpassed Mikkakan's attendance. Talking with other anime conventions, Anime Boston's senior staff based the new attendance estimates on the advice from other conventions' years of experience. At this point, it was estimated that Anime Boston would have maybe 1,000 to 2,000 attendees by the time the convention came around in April.
In late 2002, the New England Anime Society needed to consider booking space for Anime Boston 2004. Figuring that For Anime Boston 2003 would have maybe 2,000 people at most and knowing that the Boston Park Plaza Hotel could hold more than that, a contract was signed to hold Anime Boston at the hotel for a second year.
When pre-registration for Anime Boston 2003 finally closed, there were 1,384 pre-registrants. No anime convention had ever had that kind of response in their first year. When the staff arrived at the hotel, they found thousands more wanting to attend the convention that weekend for a total attendance of 4,110 people.
Anime Boston 2004 was the only time in the convention's history when the attendance dropped. This was due to a self-imposed attendance cap put in place to avoid the overcrowding issues of the previous year.
By Anime Boston 2005, the convention had moved to the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. Since then, the convention has continued to be held at the convention center and adjoining hotels with attendance seeing steady growth to 14,339 people (or 35,224 turnstile) in 2008. That year also saw Japanese rock stars The Pillows finish up the east coast leg of their American tour at Anime Boston. In 2009, the convention saw the attendance rise to over 15,000 people for the first time, and the attendees also got to see Kalafina for their first-ever North American performance. Attendance jumped again to over 17,000 attendants in 2010, and Nobuo Uematsu made a greatly-anticipated appearance at the convention, entering in a surprise appearance with the Video Game Orchestra, a Boston based 90-piece orchestra that performs video game music with an orchestra, choir, and rock band.
|April 18–20, 2003||Boston Park Plaza Hotel|
|4,110||John Barrett, Steve Bennett, Chris Beveridge, Jerry Chu, Tristen Citrine, Ted Cole, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Tiffany Grant, Mark Hildreth, Hiroki Kanno, Mark C. MacKinnon, Jamie McGonnigal, Scott McNeil, Kirby Morrow, Kristen Nelson, Lorraine Savage, Brad Swaile, and David Williams.|
|April 9–11, 2004||Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers|
|3,656||Michael Coleman[disambiguation needed], Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Crispin Freeman, Lauren Goodnight, Hilary Haag, Carl Gustav Horn, Lex Lang, Monica Rial, David Williams, and Dave Wittenberg.|
|April 29 – May 1, 2005||Hynes Convention Center|
|7,500||Greg Ayres, Johnny Yong Bosch, Tim Buckley, Svetlana Chmakova, Emily DeJesus, Mohammad "Hawk" Haque, Dan Hess, Melissa Fahn, Yoko Ishida, David Kaye, Dave Lister, Cynthia Martinez, Scott McNeil, Daisuke Moriyama, Ananth Panagariya, Chris Patton, Monica Rial, Brianne Siddall, Michael "Mookie" Terracciano, and Dave Wittenberg.|
|May 26–28, 2006||Hynes Convention Center|
|9,354||Greg Ayres, Christopher Bevins, Steve Blum, Svetlana Chmakova, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Richard Epcar, Shuzilow.HA, Clarine Harp, Mohammad "Hawk" Haque, Jonathan Klein, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Vic Mignogna, Ananth Panagariya, Carrie Savage, Sumi Shimamoto, Mike Sinterniklaas, Michael "Mookie" Terracciano, Kari Wahlgren, Tom Wayland, and David Williams.|
|April 20–22, 2007||Hynes Convention Center|
|11,500||Greg Ayres, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Christopher Bevins, Luci Christian, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Robert DeJesus, Emily DeJesus, Yasuhiro Imagawa, Hiroshi Iwata, Bettina M. Kurkoski, Mike McFarland, Grant Moran, Junji Nishimura, Brina Palencia, Mike Sinterniklaas, Kenji Terada, Tom Wayland, David Williams, and Travis Willingham.|
|March 21–23, 2008||Hynes Convention Center|
|14,339||Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Aaron Dismuke, Todd Haberkorn, Luv and Response, MC Frontalot, The Pillows, Monica Rial, Mike Sinterniklaas, Brad Swaile, Tokyo Pinsalocks, Tom Wayland, and David Williams.|
|May 22–24, 2009||Hynes Convention Center|
|15,438||Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Bespa Kumamero, Video Game Orchestra, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Yuki Kajiura, Kalafina, Misako Rocks!, Veronica Taylor, Tom Wayland, David Williams, and Travis Willingham|
|April 2–4, 2010||Hynes Convention Center|
|17,236||Nobuo Uematsu, MyM, Carli Mosier, Chris Ayres, Chris Smith, Clarine Harp, Greg Ayres, J. Michael Tatum, Josh Grelle, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Tom Wayland, Video Game Orchestra|
|April 22–24, 2011||Hynes Convention Center|
The Mascots for Anime Boston are A-chan and B-kun. A-chan has long blue hair and she typically wears a dress. B-kun has orange hair and red eyes. Their outfits often change to match the convention's theme for the year.
- "History of Anime Boston". Anime Boston. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- The New England Anime Society, Inc. (2002-01-07). "New England Anime Society announces Anime Boston 2003". Press release. http://neanime.org/press/pr20020107.html. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
- "Anime Boston 2003 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Anime Boston 2004 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Anime Boston 2005 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Anime Boston 2006 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Anime Boston 2007 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Anime Boston 2008 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
- "Anime Boston 2009 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Anime Boston 2010 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Anime Boston 2011 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Official Anime Boston web site
- Official New England Anime Society web site, Anime Boston's parent organization