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

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…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

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…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

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…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.

 

 

Naruto Shippuden (FINALLY!) comes to an end with Episode #500; Boruto Anime to Premeire April 5

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10 years after Naruto Shippuden premeired, the final Episode aired on March 23, 2017. It is now truly the end of an era. Combined with the first Naruto Anime series, the franchise spanned nearly 650 episodes combined. A smash hit on both sides of the Pacific, Naruto burst onto the scene back in 2003 first in Japan and then came to the U.S. in 2004. With the stable of memorable characters, it goes without saying Naruto/Naruto Shippuden has more than earned its spot on the Top 10 List of Greatest Anime Of All Time.

While Naruto introduced the main and support characters and most of the recurring characters, Shippuden provided the backstory and the history of the Naruto Universe. The first part of the series opened with Naruto returning after training with Jiraiya for 3 years. He reunites with Sakura, who are joined by the socially awkward Sai. Former Anbu Yamato is appointed temporary leader of the reformed Team 7, which renewed its goal of finding the missing Sasuke Uchiha. The missing former member of Team 7 joined forces with Orochimaru to gain the power he would need to slay the man responsible for wiping out his clan: His brother Itachi, who had since joined the Akatsuki. The Akatsuki is a shadowy organization made up of powerful rogue ninja. Their goal is the capture all of the tailed beasts for a much larger and more sinister purpose.

Shippuden reveals the previously unknown story of Naruto’s origins and Kakashi’s past: Naruto’s father is actually the 4th Hokage, Minato Namikaze (which you should know if you read my blog post featuring him). Naruto’s mother Kushina Uzumaki comes from a clan that specializes in sealing and restraining chakra. She was chosen to be the Jinchuruki of Kurama, the Nine-Taled beast before Naruto. On the night Naruto was born, a mysterious man attacked the village. His goal: Release Kurama and unleash his power on the village, which he does for a time. With Kushina severely weakened from giving birth and having Kurama ripped out of her, Minato is left with no choice but to make their newborn son Naruto the next Jinchuruki. He seals half of Kurama’s power in Naruto and takes the other half with him to the grave.

The man responsible is later revealed to be Obito Uchiha, a former member of Minato’s first squad and one of Kakashi’s teammates. In a cruel twist of fate, Obito in revealed to have been manipulated to bringing Madara Uchiha back to life. That ended up being necessary along with assembling The Tailed Beasts to summon the world-ending Ten-Tailed Beast, which Madara summoned once before. This was all part of a much larger plan to bring back Kaguya, the Mother of Chakra who had been sealed away many eras ago. In the end, only Naruto and Sasuke’s combined powers are able to not only withstand her God-like power but ultimately reseal her and this time forever. With the world safe, Sasuke challenges Naruto to one final duel to decide who is the greatest and most powerful Shinobi in the world.

While it would be fair to say the series truly ended with Naruto and Sasuke’s final duel, the episodes that followed both provided closure for several memorable characters and ended with the wedding of Naruto and Hinata. Sasuke left the village to atone for his past crimes and manages to solve an intricate mystery involving exploding zombies. Shikamaru, on the other hand breaks up a town of cultists looking to end the peace the world is now enjoying. The last 7 episodes, which clearly take place after the events of The Last: Naruto The Movie focus on the village’s wedding plans for Naruto and Hinata.

…All this said, those waiting for the Dub will probably not see it until 2019 or 2020. It will take some time to say the least.

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The finale ended with confirmation Naruto’s son Boruto is getting his own Anime series. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations will premeire on Crunchyroll on April 5.

There are serious questions regarding Naruto’s status that may force a retcon of the storyline. This is a massive spoiler for those who don’t know but at some point in Boruto, Naruto is killed. Then it’s revealed Naruto isn’t really dead. Or something? Like I said, Naruto’s actual status in terms of Boruto is unknown since the Manga is apparently being rewritten to make things more clear. According to several insiders, the orignally planned death of Naruto is being retconned entirely because of the confusion around it. As for why I’m being vague, I haven’t read the Boruto Manga myself.

Not yet, anyway. I just wanted to finish watching Naruto Shippuden first. Now that I have, I’ll get started reading some Boruto on my iPad ^_^

Before I forget: Boruto and Sarada (Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter) are both playable characters in Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PC, PS4 and Xbox One).

I recently registered for Anime Boston 2017; Crunchyroll Subscription extended through May

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Just when I’d made peace with missing Anime Boston this year, I make enough cash to register for AB2017 ^_^

Coming up with the money wasn’t easy. While it is true I am still unemployed I’ve been doing odd jobs for the last few weeks. I made enough money to register for the convention last week. I registered online Monday afternoon. I had a bit of extra motivation to go to AB2017: Johnny Bosch Young will be one of the North American Guests this year.

Johnny Yong Bosch

…Yes, THAT one.

The same JBY who played Adam Park on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (2nd Black Ranger in MMPR, Green Ranger in Zeo and 1st Green Ranger in Turbo). The same JBY who voiced Ichigo from Bleach, Yukio Okumora from Blue Exorcist, Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass and many other Anime and Video Game characters. He’s provided the English vocals to many iconic Anime characters over the last 15 years. Just look him up online for the full list of characters he is credited to.

Moving on, this will also be the first time since my 2nd year attending Anime Boston I will not be a panelist. As I announced last year at Anime Boston, I will be taking a break from running panels this year and probably next year at least.  Having had the privilage of running multiple panels at AB for five straight years, I have a greater appreciation for the work that goes into the convention each year. Believe it or not, my unemployment situation and registering for AB after the panel application deadline were both non-factors. I decided on this a year ago. I plan to just enjoy the convention this year and take my time.

I’m also really looking forward to not having to bring my laptop with me AT ALL this year, too: I bought a bluetooh keyboard for my iPad last week so…yeah. No need to bring my laptop this year! For those who are wondering, aside from the panels I used my laptop for internet use, charging my phone + 3DS (I have 2) + Vita (which I also have 2 of) + my iPad. I bought a portable battery two years ago. Since I commute two and from the con each day, That alone should cover all of my needs. Charging all my toys including the laptop takes at least an hour to 90 minutes. I’d have to find an outlet in the hallways o the Hynes each day to fully charge everything. I’ll have both my portable battery and my JBL Charge with me so I won’t be tethered to a wall ^_^

Last year was the first time I made the effort to watch Anime at AB since I had Crunchyroll Premium at the time. I plan to sample new anime this year, too. It certainly helps the viewing rooms are all Super Air Conditioned =O

Speaking of Crunchyroll…
https://i2.wp.com/static.ak.crunchyroll.com/i/beta/about/crunchyroll_logo_vertical.png
…When I got my 3-month sub last Fall, the first thing I did was get started catching up on Anime I started around this time last year. I finished Kuroko’s Basketball, Sailor Moon Crystal, Gate: And so the JSDF Fought, I Couldn’t Be a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job (yes, that’s the name of an Anime LOL), Maoyu and Dr. Coto’s Clinic. I also got caught up with Naruto Shippuden, Twin Star Exorcists, Dragon Ball Super, Konosuba and Blue Exorcist.

Now that I will be able to enjoy Crunchyroll Premium through the rest of Winter, I can focus on other things. Had I known it was far cheaper to get a 3-month subscription ($20) vs. a 1-month sub ($10), I would have just done that years ago. In comparison, a 3-month WoW sub uis $41. So, yeah the choice was easy when I had to pick one to renew and one to stop. LOL.

When I’m not watching it on my Xbox or PS3, I watch Crunchyroll on my iPad or one of my Vitas on the go. I plan to watch some Anime when I got to pre-registration for AB2017 =O

 

Aurabolt’s Best of Anime Picks 2016

I’ve done this with video games for the last few years so now I’ve decided to do it with Anime. I will be using some of the categories Crunchyroll is using for their Anime Awards.

Before I continue, here are the rules that I used when I put this together:

  1. Anime from Crunchyroll, Toonami or Anime I purchased (digital or physical) are eligable.
  2. Anime still in progress (last episode has not aired) is not eligable for Anime of the Year.
  3. Anime I saw at any time in 2016 is eligable for all categories even if it was originally released or started airing prior to 2016.
  4. Both Dubs and Subs are eligable for ALL categories.

…That’s it.

I took a look at Crunchyroll’s picks. I was bothered by the overlap even though I knew they were all basically industry picks. Their picks leave out other noteworthy anime from even being mentioned. It’s the same 4 to 5 Anime in every category.

REALLY? Not cool, man.

Yes, I am criticizing this year’s picks. If THAT’S the “best” CR can come up with this year, they’re even further out of touch with viewers than I’ve been hearing. Yeah, I get it’s just marketing but WAY more anime than the same 4 to 5 were released this year.

Here are the categories I decided to go with in no particular order:

  • Best Anime: Overall best Anime of 2016.
  • Best Action: Overall best Action Anime of 2016.
  • Best Romance: Overall best Romance Anime of 2016.
  • Best Drama: Overall best Drama Anime of 2016.
  • Best Comedy: Overall best Comedy Anime of 2016.
  • Best Fight Scene: Overall Best Fight Sequence.
  • Best Romantic Scene: Overall best PG-13 romantic sequence.
  • Best Tear-Jerker: Best “Bring a Box of Tissue” sequence.
  • Best Plot Twist: Best “Didn’t See That Coming” moment of 2016.
  • Best Hero: Overall Best Hero/Protagonist.
  • Best Villain: Overall Best Villain/Protagonist.
  • Best Weird Character (2): Because Wierd is good. LOL. A Male and Female character will get this.
  • Best Duo: Best overall non-romantic pair.
  • Best Couple: Best romantic pair.
  • Best Team: Best group of 3 or more.
  • Best Opening
  • Best Closing
  • Best English VA (2): Because dubs deserve love. A Male and Female VA will get this.
  • Best Anime Short: Overall Best Anime with a runtime of 14 minutes or less.
  • Best AMV: Overall Best Music Video with Anime footage.
  • Best Cosplay: Overall best Cosplay from an actual person.

…Those are the categories.

Over the course of next week, I will reveal the winners of each category as well as name the runners-up for most of them, too. I’m saving Best Anime, Best AMV and Best Closing for last.  I will try to reveal all of the winners by January 1 but am fine with going into the following week if need be.

The first categories will be revealed tomorrow evening!