PAX East staff member dies from COVID-19 four weeks before Anime Boston 2022

PAX East Returns in April with Full Vaccination Requirements and Mandatory  Masking - IGN

Anime Boston 2022 - Saturday | Meetup

 

Gamespot shared the tragic news Tuesday afternoon.

PAX East took place in the Boston Convention Center in Boston last weekend. Although the event required all attendees and staff to be vaccinated, to that point Massachusetts and Boston had recently ended their mask mandates. Both the Boston Convention Center where PAX East is held and the Hynes Convention Center where Anime Boston is held are state property managed by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA). This is one of the situations where one death is too many. That much goes without saying to say the least.

I decided to pass on going to Anime Boston this year and likely next year in part due to these concerns. It’s easy to forget in general, conventions are a breeding ground for viral outbreaks because you have hundreds and thousands of people in enclosed spaces. I last attended AB2018 on that note. The larger reason I am not attending Anime Boston is simply because I don’t have the money right now and need to prioritize things.

That aside, I am sure the folks who manage Anime Boston will work with Hynes staff as well as the Sheraton Hotel which also hosts some events to mitigate the risks of the convention becoming another super spreader event as much as possible. Like PAX East did last month, Anime Boston does have a vaccine mandate for all attendees and staff and this was announced in October. According to what I’ve been reading on Anime Boston’s official forums, they decided to go with a mask mandate despite relaxed posturing at the local, state and federal levels on masking guidelines.

The only time you can be maskless is when you’re eating/drinking. You need to keep it on even if you’re a solo panelist like I typically was because then convention staff would have an increased risk of getting infected while cleaning the stage and microphones after you finish. Since you’re using a microphone, your voice will carry just fine with a mask on. All you have to do is slow down and properly endunciate to be heard and understood.

In closing, Anime Boston is taking the situation VERY seriously and more so after they were forced to cancel in 2020 and 2021. For those who don’t know, 100% of all Anime Boston staff and board members are not paid for what they do. Anime Boston’s parent company the New England Anime Society (NEAS) is a 501.3(c) Nonprofit. Everyone who works behind the scenes is doing it because they believe in what they’re doing first and they want the convention to be a success second. Not just for attendees but also for the staff who will be on the ground as well.

I will be watching things from a distance this year and possibly next year but I’m sure Anime Boston’s attendance this year will much lower than attendees are used to. Since 2012, Anime Boston’s attendance has exceeded 20k. Its peak was in 2017 when the attendance reached 27k. I’m sure Anime Boston staff are expecting attendance to be closer to its early years when it peaked around 10k. I would be very surprised if attendance exceeds 10k nevermind 15k this year and likely next year.

COVID-19 aside, it’s also true the entrance fee has also been increasing in recent years. When I first started going back in 2010, a weekend pass was $50. This year, it’s $95 if you preregister and $105 at the door. I did consider just getting a Sunday pass–and I am considering that for next year–but right now I can’t justify spending the $50 or $60 to be there for basically 5 and a half hours (closing Ceremonies starts at 3PM and lasts an hour). Not this year at least.

 

 

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Future Blog Plans

First things first, I want to repeat what I said at the end of my previous article. Please consider supporting me financially via the PayPal Links above and below. If you’re sharing my articles on Twitter and other platforms, please ask your people to consider giving me financial support as well. I do all this for free but the financial support would be greatly appreciated.

 

This is one of my first blogs and since it’s been a while, I figure I would take the time to explain the direction I plan to move with this blog moving forward. One thing I plan to continue is give analysis of various Anime and Asian Dramas I watch. I also plan to continue giving an analyis of various Dramas and Webtoons I read. Of course, I’ll also talk about Anime Boston as I have been for almost 10 years now.

Something I’ve noticably been making an effort to do more of is delve into current events in Japan outside Pop Culture. I have also been expanding things outside strictly Japan especially when I talk about Manwa (Korean Manga) and Manhua (Chinese Manga), more so because of their increased international popularity in recent years.

It goes without saying Japan won the Cultural War it declared on the West in the Mid to late 90s. Western Cultures scoffed at what they viewed to be a “niche” subculture in the early 2000s but by the early 2010s, it really started to take off. Now, it’s more or less considered mainstream. To say Western society is obsessed with Japanese and Asian/Pacific Culture(s) now goes without saying. A lot of that has to do with the fact let’s be honest, Western Moral Values have become virtually non-existent over the last 20 years. Of course, much of that is because of our own doing–violence, sexual immorality, profanity and crime glorified in our entertainment–so the results of that on our society shouldn’t surprise anyone.

People are looking for decent entertainment that has a lot of the good morals that used to be be all over TV’s first few decades. Until about 30 years ago, parents in America didn’t need to worry about what their kids watched on TV. Obviously, now parents do and then some. I’ll spare you the history lesson but basically, people are just tired of the garbage that is today’s American TV. This is also what makes Asian Programming in general so attractive to Western Audiences. People are seeing things in the vein of what they saw when they were young or in the case of younger viewers, they’re seeing something wholesome.

China and to a lesser extent Korea are known for producing Period dramas alongside Dramas set in the modern age. The Period dramas set in the past give Western audiences a look into life in either country’s history even when there are historical inaccuracies or a hard lean into Fantasy elements. After all, Anicent China was the home of both Buddhism and Confucianism though there are also elements of Taoism as well.

Most of the modern shows I watch highlight the cultural struggles in China and Korea with the influences of Capitalism and other Western influences with established longtime cultural values. When the 2018 American movie Bohemian Rhapsody was released in China, the Chinese government agreed to allow the movie to be shown in the country but there was a catch: The movie had to be edited to remove references to the lead character being Bisexual. The Chinese government does censor international movies, literature and TV shows not just on moral grounds but for political reasons. Of course, the will also censor anything that mocks or goes against or threatens Chinese cultural beliefs as a whole. Yes, really.

While just the idea of government censorship is enough to trigger well…everyone in the U.S., you won’t find a lot of people who oppose the idea of the American Media Industry getting cleaned up. The problem is the industry has made it clear it has no interest or will to police itself so…yeah. I’ll stop there since it’s a topic for another blog though.

All that said, I am WELL aware of the Sexually Explicit and graphic violence in some Japanese Anime and Manga. I hate it personally and more so when I feel a lot of it is unncessary. I also hate the fact Sexually Lewd content in particular has seeped into video games from Japanese developers being localized in the West. Why do they do it? Because in Japan, those types of games are deliberately marketed to adults. Same for “Girls/Boys Love” Ecchi and Harem genre games.

Don’t even get me started on charcters regardless of medium featured that are physically “child-like” but are actually 18+ AND teenagers under 18 with exaggerated physical proportions being put in sexually suggestive situations or scenes. All that said, the Japanese goverment finally stepped in a few years ago and more so because of Anime like Higehiro where unfortunately concerns someone would try to replicate what they see depicted actually did. This was never a concern for Japanese society in the past but that was before so much of their mass media was as saturated with Sexual Content as it is now.

What I was pleasantly surprised to learn in recent years is there are people on both sides of the Pacific who are basically saying “Enough. All this [Fan Service] isn’t necessary”. It’s commonly known as Fan Service which in Anime/Manga is almost always females being sexually suggestive or Lewd, usually in an over the top or deliberate way. Those in Japan are tired of being stereotyped over it first and its not as socially accepted in Japan as people might think second. Even more so these days. Those outside Japan are pushing back hard against those who oppose content makers who edit out or change sexually explicit content. When you’re older, you realize “less is more” anyways.

 

Moving on. I snuck this in at the end of the last article but I set up a Discord Server! I started using Discord for the first time ever this year and I see it as a potential alternative to some social media platforms. I have Discord on my iPad as well so I’ll be able to follow conversations anytime and anywhere. I’ll add more channels to the server over time as well so it’s not a bad idea to drop in at least.

 

Things You Probably Didn't Know About Instant Ramen Noodles

Instant Pot Ramen Noodles | Gluten Free Ramen Noodles - Confessions of a Fit Foodie

 

I do plan to add a section for Japanese Foods with complete recipes.

Instant Ramen and Cup Ramen have been around for over 50 years but did you know you can and it’s reccommended you spice it up to look like it does in Anime? Instant Ramen and Cup Ramen imfamously got a bad reputation in the late 1990s to mid-2000s in the U.S. but that changed after the Naruto Manga and later Anime were released. Anime Fans in particular began to realize they were mostly eating it wrong their whole lives: The Flavor packet was for the broth BUT it was assumed you would add the protein and veggies yourself. If this isn’t a reason to learn how to cook, I don’t know what is!

I’ll add a new section for Japanese foods before the end of this year. Of that you can be certain. I’ll announce in posts when content is added as well, don’t worry. I won’t just post recipes but more importantly, how you can make certain things without access to an Asian Grocery Store like Super 88. Most Supermarkets in the U.S. do have an aisle or two lined with Sauces, Spices, Seasonings and other Asian ingredients or food products. Those will cover everything I plan to feature over time but if live near an Asian Grocery store, you can ask staff about specifics.

If you’ve never seen the Produce section of your local supermarket, most do sell Daikon–it’s a type of Radish for those who don’t know–as well as Shitake Mushrooms as well as Leeks (Green Onions). If you want Kobe Beef, you would have to go to either go to an Asian grocery store or a Butcher Shop though it won’t be cheap. Alternatively, you can use other cuts of beef instead. Oh and I won’t just feature Japanese food. I also plan to feature foods from South Korea, The Philippines and China to name a few places.

I also plan to add a section for the Idol Industry in Japan and South Korea as a whole to explain some things many of those outside South Korea and Japan may not understand culturally. The Western World knows who BTS is now but until very recently, they were only known in South Korea. The Dark Side of K-Pop and J-Pop Fandoms is touched on in other media but I’m gonna make a section to show folks what could have been the U.S. Pop Scene about 25 years ago. I feel it’s important for folks to be aware at least.

 

…Whew.

Yeah, I know this is quite a lot of big things I have planned moving forward. Your continued support will be greatly appreciated moving forward. Really, I mean it. Thank you ^_^

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal by clicking here. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I now have a Discord Server! You can find it here. My Discord name is mraurabolt.

Here’s some recent Anime that I reccommend would make decent intros to the Medium

The best anime of 2019 - The Verge

 

When I say “recent”, I mean they were released in the last 2 to 3 years. Weather you’re new to the world of anime or you have someone you want to bring in, it can be pretty overwhelming picking one. The first thing you want to keep in mind either way when picking you “entry” anime is keeping personal preferences in mind. You or your friend don’t have to like something just because others do or because it’s super popular (or “mainstream”).

There is literally an anime for everyone and even with the 2 to 3 year limit I put on this list, it’s not too hard to name some. Before I continue, as usual I am only going to reccommend Anime I have seen myself. All of these Anime are on Crunchyroll which is free but if you want to watch new episodes the same day they become available in Japan (Free users have to wait an extra week) and watch episodes without ads (You have 2 or 3 rounds of Ads per episode to sit through on the Free version), you’ll want to get a subscription.

 

Ok here’s my list. Bold means the anime season is ongoing as of this writing. Bold Italics means the Anime is ongoing AND new. If you see Italics, that means a new season is planned or has been announced. Whatever is plain text either aired in its entirety or there are no known plans for a new season to my knowledge as of this writing.

 

  • The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!
  • Fena: Pirate Princess
  • Fruits Basket (2019-2021 version)
  • Dr. Stone
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
  • I’m Standing on A Thousand Lives
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai
  • Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You
  • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
  • Rent a Girlfriend
  • Ahiru no Sora
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • Persona 5: The Animation
  • If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat A Demon Lord
  • Somali and the Forest Spirit
  • The Rising of The Shield Hero
  • Remake Our Life!
  • 86: Eighty-Six

 

Most of these are critically acclaimed by anime fans for various reasons. I tell everyone this but don’t feel like you have to binge watch one anime before moving on to another. Feel free to jump around between a few if you want. The only listed Anime I have not actually seen yet is Tokyo Revengers and that’s because I’m planning to watch the whole season or series when it finshes, whichever happens first.

I went with a list of Anime that covers a range of genres. There’s a bit of everything in short. Take your time and just dive right into whatever looks interesting to you. Like Sports? Ahiru no Sora (Basketball) would be a good one. Slice of Life? Rent a Girlfriend is a pretty good pick. Want Isekai? I’m partial to The Rising of the Shield Hero and That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime. Are you feelng Hungry? Get fed with Food Wars. Want something based on a video game? Persona 5’s is pretty faithful to the source material. Want to see a new type of Shonen? Dr. Stone is not only good but educational. Slice of Life? Fruits Basket. Needing Adventure? You can’t go wrong with Fena: Pirate Princess.

 

I can go on and on but…yeah. There are other anime that came out over the last 2 to 3 years of course. These are just the ones I personally reccommend. It doesn’t mean some of the others aren’t decent though. These are just my picks.

 

 

 

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Anime Boston 2021 Officially Cancelled

I opened my Inbox today to find this email from the New England Anime Society, which is the parent company for Anime Boston. Here it is in full:

Notice of Cancellation

We at Anime Boston and the New England Anime Society (NEAS) have been closely monitoring the status of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on events of our size. Although the recent developments with vaccines is fantastic news, the governor’s order prohibiting larger gatherings is still in effect. With less than two months until the scheduled dates for Anime Boston 2021, it is extremely unlikely the ban will be lifted before then. As such, we unfortunately have no choice but to cancel Anime Boston 2021.

Our executive board has reviewed the possibilities of postponing the 2021 convention for later in the year or hosting an online version of Anime Boston. After careful consideration, we have decided it would not be feasible to do either at this time. We are a completely volunteer organization and all of the preparation is done on our personal time. Reorganizing the convention for later this year would be extremely difficult to achieve especially with the added uncertainty.

For our pre-registered members who had 2020 memberships transferred to 2021, by default we will be transitioning your memberships to Anime Boston 2022, set for May 27 – 29, 2022. Anime Boston is operated by the non-profit New England Anime Society (NEAS) and all revenue goes back into the operational costs of our convention and NEAS. Members who allow us to transition their membership to 2022 help us remain financially stable and cover expenses we already incurred for 2020 and 2021.

We understand that not everyone is certain if they will be able to attend Anime Boston 2022. Anyone who would prefer to be refunded for their Anime Boston 2020/2021 membership, please contact Registration Customer Service. Please include your full name and the email address used when registering. Please allow at least three to four weeks for processing of refund requests, based on the volume of requests. Please also note that refunds will be delivered by mail because it has been more than one year since the card transaction. This means that there will be a further delay between processing on our end and the refund getting back to you. A request for refund must be submitted by March 14th, 2021. Any memberships without a refund request will be transferred to Anime Boston 2022.

Hotel reservations made directly through a hotel must be cancelled through the hotel’s website or at their phone number. Reservations made via a third party vendor should be cancelled through the same vendor. Please refer to your reservation confirmation for refund information for direct hotel or third party bookings; Anime Boston is unable to intervene in these circumstances.

Participants of the 2020/2021 Artists’ Alley who have already been confirmed and completed their registration will be migrated to the 2022 Artists’ Alley. Similarly, for our exhibitors in the 2020/2021 Dealers’ Room, we will be migrating all who completed their registration to the 2022 Dealers’ Room.

Participants of Anime Boston 2020/2021 programming, such as the Masquerade, Cosplay Games, Idol Showcase, AMV Contest, panels, contests, and other events will be contacted in the upcoming weeks by their event coordinators.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we worked to figure out a new path for Anime Boston 2021. Though we had considered cancellation earlier, we had certain contractual and financial obligations that made it difficult for us to cancel on our own before a certain time frame without jeopardizing the convention long term.

We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy, and we encourage everyone to do their part in getting a vaccine when it is available to you. We hope to see you at a better time at the next Anime Boston, May 27 – 29, 2022.

 

At least this time they let people know more than a month out. As noted, red tape prevented them from officially cancelling AB2020 and AB2021 until certain conditions were met. Like last year, they ruled out postponing the convention to later this year–even in a virtual format–because their staff is 100% volunteer including their executive board. They do all the planning and preparation on their personal time.

Hopefully the third time will be the charm next year. As noted, Governor Baker’s ban on large gatherings is still in place due to the Pandemic. I don’t see that changing until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available first and there is a huge drop in transmission second. Hopefully both of these conditions will be met by this coming Fall.

For those who may be wondering, the local pro sports teams have been playing with no fans in attendance last summer (and excluding the NBA Bubble in Orlando of course). As for the Japan Boston Festival–usually held in August–we will have to wait and see. If the current restrictions are still in plance by mid-June, that’s likely to mean it won’t happen either. I do follow news on that and if anything comes up later this year, I will provide an update.

 

 

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Breaking News: Anime Boston 2020 Cancelled

Image result for Anime Boston 2020

…No, this is not a hoax.

Here’s the Full Statement from their website.

Here it is in full for those who want to be saved a click:

As you may be aware, Governor Charlie Baker recently announced a ban on all gatherings of 250 people or more in Massachusetts. This ban is set with no current end date, until the governor announces otherwise. With Anime Boston 2020 scheduled for less than four weeks from now, it is highly likely this ban will still be in place. Given the uncertainty around these new circumstances, we have no choice but to cancel Anime Boston 2020.

Our executive board has reviewed the possibilities of postponing the 2020 convention for later in the year. After careful consideration, we have decided it would not be feasible to reschedule Anime Boston 2020 and meet the same high standards you have come to expect from us. We are a completely volunteer organization and all of the preparation is done in our personal time. Retooling the convention for later this year would be extremely difficult to achieve, given the need to coordinate the availability of the Hynes Convention Center, Sheraton Boston hotel, other hotels, guests, and exhibitors. One of the possible options we were given was in December, which would take away preparation time for Anime Boston 2021 and cause it to suffer in quality as well.

For our pre-registered members, by default we will be transitioning your memberships to Anime Boston 2021, set for April 2–4, 2021. Anime Boston is operated by the non-profit New England Anime Society (NEAS) and all revenue goes back into the operational costs of our convention and NEAS. Members who allow us to transition their membership to 2021 help us remain financially stable and cover expenses we already incurred for 2020.

We are aware some members who transition to 2021 will have paid more for their 2020 membership than the early bird rate for 2021. To compensate, we will be offering a coupon for the Anime Boston 2021 Merch Booth, located in the Dealers’ Room. The coupon will be valued at $5, $10, or $15, depending on the difference between what the member paid for 2020 and our starting rate for 2021 memberships. It will be usable toward any purchase at the Anime Boston merch booth, including T-shirts, pins, hoodies, and more.

We understand that not everyone is certain they will be able to attend Anime Boston 2021. Anyone who would prefer to be refunded for their Anime Boston 2020 membership, please contact Registration Customer Service. Please include your full name and the email address used when registering. Please allow at least three to four weeks for processing of refund requests, based on the volume of requests.

Our partner hotels have been made aware of the cancellation. Rooms reserved through the booking portal on the animeboston.com website can be canceled by emailing animeboston@experient-inc.com or calling 800-967-8852 (847-996-5832 internationally). Reservations in these official room blocks can be cancelled for a full refund if done by 48 to 72 hours before the start of the reservation, depending on the hotel.

Reservations made directly through a hotel must be cancelled through the hotel’s website or at their phone number. Reservations made via a third party vendor should be cancelled through the same vendor. Please refer to your reservation confirmation for refund information for direct hotel or third party bookings; Anime Boston is unable to intervene in these circumstances.

Participants of the 2020 Artists’ Alley who have already been confirmed and completed their registration will be migrated to the 2021 Artists’ Alley. Artists who have canceled their confirmed space for 2020 on March 1, 2020 or later will be added back to the Artists’ Alley list for 2021. Some wait-listed artists who were recently added to the Artists’ Alley to fill canceled spaces may be put back at the top of the waitlist. Artists who already paid for their Artists’ Alley space and memberships will be refunded.

Similarly, for our exhibitors in the 2020 Dealers’ Room, we will be migrating all who completed their registration to the 2021 Dealers’ Room. Any exhibitor who canceled their confirmed space for 2020 on March 1, 2020 or later will be added back to the Dealers’ Room list for 2021. Some wait-listed exhibitors who were recently added to the Dealers’ Room to fill canceled spaces may be put back at the top of the waitlist. Payments already made for the 2020 Dealers’ Room will be refunded.

Participants of Anime Boston 2020 programming, such as the Masquerade, Cosplay Games, Idol Showcase, AMV Contest, panels, contests, Community Row, and other events will be contacted in the upcoming weeks by their event coordinators. All cosplay gatherings and photo shoot reservations will be canceled and require rescheduling for 2021.

We know that the last few weeks have been a trying time for all of us. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding while we worked to figure out a new path for Anime Boston 2020. Although we had considered cancellation earlier, as it stood, we had certain contractual and financial obligations that made it difficult for us to cancel this event on our own without bankrupting and jeopardizing the convention long term. The governor’s most recent declaration has nullified these contractual obligations.

Anime Boston is a labor of love for all involved. This convention was started by people who love anime and love Boston. We are a local event and we owe our success to all of you and to our dedicated volunteer staff.

We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. And we certainly hope to see you at the next Anime Boston, April 2–4, 2021.

 

…I hope everyone can appreciate how serious the world is taking COVID-19. I was considering going on the Sunday of the convention only myself before COVID-19 because a Pandemic. Just yesterday I decided to pass on going entirely.

Anime Boston is the largest Anime Convention in the northeast U.S. and is run by the New England Anime Society (NEAS), which is a non-profit organization. Even though Governor Baker’s announcement prevents them from going bankrupt, they will still be taking a financial hit simply by cancelling this year. So will many local businesses who rely on the revenue from attendees who go to the annual convention. As you read, they considered postponing it to later this year but that simply wasn’t feasable as it would have cut into planning for AB2021. There are a lot of details they have to factor whatever is decided and those were considered before they made the call to cancel.

I do think cancelling AB2020 now was the right decision all things considered. It allows organizers to focus on planning for 2020 and they can even retain what would have been this year’s theme for next year: Bento Boston. All they’ll have to do is change the dates for everything from 2020 to 2021 and that shouldn’t be very costly. One of the vendors I like to go to at Anime Boston–Comicopia–is in Boston so I will probably pay them a visit during what would have been Anime Boston weekend.

There are some uncertain times to say the least. I’ll say this on all my blogs as many times as I need to for those who believe reactions and responses to COVID-19 are being “exaggerated”:

  1. It takes 5 to 14 days for sympthoms to show themselves. Meaning you could be infected and not even know it for at least a week.
  2. It’s highly contaigous. It can survive on surfaces for up to 12 hours and on the hands for 5 to 12 minutes. It’s commonly transmitted via droplets and vapor from an infected person.
  3. Even if you, a healthy person will recover you should you be infected that’s not the problem: You could unknowingly give it to someone who either has a compromised immune system, someone who is elderly or a child and is far more likely to die from it.

 

…Everyone needs to keep calm, stay safe and don’t be careless or wreckless. The whole world has been affected by COVID-19. So far, 46 of the 50 states have confirmed COVID-19 cases. Massachusetts has 138 confirmed cases as of this writing. It jumped by 15 from yesterday.

The good news is streaming services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, Viz Media and Viki are all running normally so folks can still get their fix ^_^

 

 

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I’m leaning heavily toward skipping Anime Boston 2019 due to financial reasons

Anime Boston Banner

 

…Whew.

It’s not a decision I make lightly as I consider it a 3-day vacation when I started going. I have gone every year since 2010 and I was a panelist from 2012 to 2016. Speaking of AB2016. It was the last time I was in this position. I had just enough money to pay to go but no budget for anything including food the whole weekend. I still went because I was a panelist that year and knew I would get the registration fee refunded a few months later. I was on a longterm unpaid leave of absence from work at that time and ended up resigning later that year. The following two years, I had the two largest budgets ever for Anime Boston. I bought 8 Anime sets in 2017 and that is a record I doubt I’ll approach again anytime soon. Last year I bought two anime but it was the first time ever I actually bought mega popular anime when they were current at the time: Yuri!!! On Ice and Your Name.

This year, I can safely say I can come up with the money to go to AB2019 but the loss of my laptop last November means I will not be able to be a panelist this year. I wasn’t a panelist at AB2017 and AB2018 but my large budget both years offset that. Not so much this year. Even though the annual convention is something I’ve looked forward to every year since 2010, I just can’t justify going this year knowing I both have no budget while there and I will not be a panelist.

Comicopia, which I buy Manga from every year during the convention is a few blocks away in Kenmore Square. I will miss the super discount they have the last day of the convention but I’ve been to the actual store several times and know the owner, Matt. I will definitely drop by to try to get some more new volumes of Manga I currently own. I’m currently on track to make Attack on Titan the fourth Manga series I get every volume of. I have the complete sets for Death Note, Code Geass and Fullmetal Alchemist currently. I also have the complete DVD set for Death Note and the complete Blu Ray set for Code Geass. So…yeah.

Hopefully, things will be better for me financially next year. More pressing priorities demand I pass on going this year more or less.

 

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Vic Mignogna is beginning to pay the price for his arrogance

Image result for Vic Mignogna

 

…I do feel like at this point, it’s safe to say we may be seeing the beginning of the end of Vic Mignogna’s professional career as an actor and voice actor.

 

Anime News Network’s January 30 article (a new window will open) sums up the situation better than I ever could and I urge you to read it if you haven’t yet. As noted in the article, they like everyone else was hesitant to run the story simply because of the man involved: Legendary English voice actor Vic Mignogna. Above are pics of him with 8 of his most known roles. He voiced Broly in the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie as well.

It’s pretty obvious from reading the article much care was taken by the author to keep their emotions in check and not appear to favor one side over the other. Clearly it was a story that they had been working on for years at least with the sources vetted for accuracy. While most of the allegations come from congoers and all of them come years after the fact, some have come from fellow voice actors as well. The allegations come from men as well as women.

Anime News Network provided an update here in which it was announced Vic has been removed from RWBY. The article also notes Vic’s appearances at 13 convention appearances were cancelled but he is still booked for five. Over the years, more and more conventions have been quietly blacklisting him because of the unsolicited inappropriate physical contact alleged by congoers backed by witnesses.

 

Speaking of conventions. I made a thread on Anime Boston’s forums last week requesting comment. Chris O’Donnell, who is Anime Boston’s Director of Public Relations responded shortly after I made the thread:

Mr. Mignonga has not been a Guest of Honor at Anime Boston since 2006. None of the reported allegations, as far as we are aware, occurred at Anime Boston. As such, we have no comment regarding these reports at this time.”

For reasons that should be obvious, he is not at liberty to say any more than that. Anime Boston does have actual experience in the area of invited Guests of Honor being the subject of allegations like this. A few years ago, longtime convention guest and voice actor Tom Wayland sexually assaulted a female convention staff member. The incident reportedly happened in the Sheraton Hotel, which is one of the venues used by the convention and it happened during the weekend-long event. He was a convention favorite alongside fellow longtime guest Greg Ayers and often brought his kids with him to the convention.

The New England Anime Society (NEAS), which is the parent company of Anime Boston banned him for life and the victim took him to court. That was the incident that made congoers realize they needed to be mindful of inappropriate conduct not just from other congoers or members of the public but people from the industry as well. NEAS set the standard for how all conventions should approach allegations involving people from the industry and public figures. You certainly don’t ignore or silence those who come forward.

Getting back to Vic’s indescretions. He did put out a public statement on January 21 which Anime News Network included in the first link from above and it is mostly in reaction to a Twitter thread from January 16. Here it is in full:

Most of it is the usual victim blaming and “They just want to ruin me” drivel you would come to expect from a public figure. In response to the allegations of inappropriate physical contact with Congoers and fellow industry members, he basically waves it off as “That’s how I interact with my family” and that’s the problem. You’re not meeting with family. You are meeting with members of the general public. Yes they’re fans of your work but that doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want. He does say at the end he will change how he interacts from now on because of how much attention it’s been getting lately first and more likely his bottom line is being effected second. He let the fame go to his head in short.

This past weekend, Vic issued a public statement at a convention and was likely in reaction to the ANN article:

This should have come 10+ years ago.

For those who don’t know, he was approached about the allegations MANY TIMES by people in the industry. Fellow voice actress Monica Rial mentioned via Twitter she confronted him about it twice and complained to others higher up and she was silenced. Why was her voice, those involved and many others silenced or ignored?

Because it’s Vic Mignogna that’s why.

It’s clear in the video he finally got it and owns up to how he made so many people feel for almost 20 years. I don’t doubt the sincerity in the video at all and it’s clear he knows he hurt alot of people and let a lot of people down. I just hope he knows there is no one thing he could do that would make everything right.

I doubt everyone will forgive him but seeing as he did finally own it and apologized, his longtime fan club the Risembool Rangers needs to follow his lead and apologize for their part in helping to surpress the voices of those who spoke up over the years. Blind faith is no faith at all. No one is perfect and he has shown remorse for how he made others feel. His willingness do that shows me he is truly sorry. The thing those who insist on defending him no matter what need to prepare themselves for is more coming forward as well as civil lawsuits against him. Most likely he will settle as many of them out of court as possible. No one is perfect and when the people we look up to make mistakes, they should be held accountable. More so when they’re public figures.

It is important to know that there are no winners in a situation like this.

Vic’s reputation is permanently tarnished, alot of people who violated and many more people were silenced. Hopefully everyone involved can find peace. I don’t think this will destroy Vic professionally and more so now that he’s publicly apologized and owned it. I do think he should cancel his 5 remaining convention appearances for the year and take some time away from voice work though. He can make a comeback but first he should step away for a bit.

 

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Anime Boston 2018 in the books, looking to return as a panelist next year!

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…After taking a two year hiatus, I am looking to make my return as a panelist one year sooner than I originally planned. The theme for Anime Boston 2019 being Shogun & Samurai is the clincher. I can’t pass up on the opportunity. I will debut all new panels as well.

Here’s what I have in mind:

 

  • The Real Warriors of Samurai (120 Minutes): A look at the video game series Samurai Warriors, the real people portrayed and lessons to be learned from Japan’s Warring States Period.
  • Christianity’s History in Japan (60 Minutes): Like most authoritorian governments today, the introduction of Christianity in Feudal Japan was met with fierce resistence and outlawed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. The Underground Christians in Japan–later known as the Hidden Christians–would keep their faith a closely guarded secret until after World War II. Come and learn how that has effected renewed efforts to bring Christianity to The Land of the Rising Sun.
  • Of Swords and Hip Hop (60 Minutes): We take a look at the marriage of Hip Hop and Anime in Samurai Champloo.
  • Riding the Rails in Boston and Japan (90 Minutes): One of the many things Boston and Japan have in common is their shared reliance on their transit systems. Take a look at the similarities and differences with transit systems.
  • Remember The Name Kuroko (60 Minutes): Basketball’s exploding popularity in Japan is explored alongside the mega hit Anime Kuroko’s Basketball.

…And you know what? ALL of them could be slotted next year.

More so given I want do ALL of them in the same weekend and will barring the untimely death of my laptop.

 

 

 

So glad I switched to a 12-month Crunchyroll Premium Subscription

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…One of the last things I did before my savings ran out last summer year was set aside $60 to get a 12-month Crunchyroll subscription. For those who may have been wondering why the my Anime reviews just fell off, this is why: I’ve been binge watching ALOT of Anime, mostly new titles. Almost half of what I’ve seen so far has been dubbed or will get be getting dubbed. Crunchyroll’s partnership with Funimation actually speeds up the localization process so…yeah.

For those who may not be aware, Black Clover and and Dragon Ball Super are being simulcast in both the U.S. and Japan. Attack on Titan Season 2 had been simulcast last year. What I mean in this case is episodes that have already aired in Japan are being dubbed and are airing in English on both Adult Swim and Funimation. To give a more specific example: Dragon Ball Super is at the end of the Universal Survival Saga now but in the U.S., the Goku Black Saga recently began. With Black Clover, the spacing is closer as it was with Attack on Titan. I’d say a 4 to 6 episode difference in the case of Black Clover. Attack on Titan Season had 2 actually been dubbed in its entirety before it aired in the U.S. and Japan. I know because I saw the season premiere at Anime Boston last year and heard it straight from Funimation and Crunchyroll’s reps.

In the case of DBS, the dub came almost 2 years after its premiere in Japan. By then, the Universal Survival Saga was about to begin. To promote the series in the West, the first two sagas were released as the standalone movies Battle of Gods and Resurrection F. Beerus and Whis are introduced for the first time and Freeza, who plays a significant role in the Universal Survival Saga is reintroduced.

Getting back to Crunchyroll. Unlike Funimation, CR doesn’t focus on pushing a few Anime to promote the Medium and their service. Those of us with a Premium or Premium+ account can watch new episodes as they air in Japan or right after they finish airing over there. The reason is because of the licensing deal Crunchyroll has with Japan TV and other networks. Those with a Free Account have to wait a week or more after the fact to see a new episode plus they have commercial interruptions. The comercial pay for the content so Free Accounts can see it at all. Those of us with a Premium Account or higher can watch commercial free as well as an HD. Crunchyroll is on demand but they also air new content in real time as it airs in Japan or becomes available. Not that different from WWE Network in that way.

Let’s see…I have watched over 20 new anime series since this time last year. I have also watched 8 live action dramas, which Crunchyroll seems to be moving away from in favor of focusing on Anime. A shame as the dramas I have seen were pretty memorable. Most are actually live action adaptations of existing Manga or anime such as Tokyo Love Kiss, Dr. Coto’s Clinic and GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka. I’m assuming the reason there hasn’t been any new Dramas added in almost 2 years is due to licensing but I hope this changes.

I have watched both My Hero Academia and Shokugeki No Soma as well. Currently waiting for them the continue over the next two months.

Anime Boston 2017 Day 1 Done: So much Anime!

…I’ve been home for about an hour now and man am I exhausted. LOL. I got to the Hynes around 11AM but decided to eat at a nearby restaurant before going inside. I went in the Boylston St. entrance just as the Dealer’s Room opened.

I walked out with the following Anime on DVD and Blu Ray:

  • Fruits Basket
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
  • Cowboy Beebop
  • GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Angelic Layer
  • Michiko and Hatchin (Blu-Ray)
  • Attack on Titan Junion High*

* Got it on Sunday of the Convention

 

…It is the most Anime I have ever bought in one day physical or digital. I got a deal on all of them too. Oh and yes, I’ve seen all of them before either via Netflix (Fruits Basket and Angelic Layer), Toonami/Adult Swim (Michiko and Hatchin,  Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Cowboy Beebop) or Crunchyroll (GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka). Speaking of, I also bought the Boruto movie digital via iTunes and no, I haven’t seen it before.

Oh, speaking of Boruto: Congoers can buy the first Volume of the Manga in the Dealer’s Room. What makes it a big deal: It doesn’t hit store shelves until May. I asked a friend of mine working one of the booths selling Manga and he told me the dealers apparently received advance shipments of Boruto were given permission to sell them at conventions ahead of the official release. I also bought Volumes 18 through 20 of Attack of Titan and the first four volumes of One Punch Man. I plan to buy the other 6 available volumes on Sunday when they will be discounted further than they currently are at my go-to vendor. Other than that and maybe getting a few more volumes of Persona 3 and Persona 4, I doubt I’ll start any new Manga series this weekend (LOL!).

One other thing before I forget: I got Attack on Titan and Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm for the PS4 yesterday. When I finish the main story of each game, I will post my review of them on this blog since they’re based on Anime.