Anime Boston 2003
Introduction and Friday, April 18

by Mikhail Koulikov & Bamboo Dong,
The anime scene converged in the East Coast this past weekend for Anime Boston 2003 with astonishing success. Hosted at Boston's Park Plaza Hotel, the convention opened on Friday afternoon, April 18, to over 2,000 visitors. By mid-Saturday, it hit its maximum capacity of 4,000 attendees, limiting admittance to those who had pre-registered either through the mail or online. Convention-goers packed the hotel, speckled with brightly dressed cosplayers and excited guests ranging from infants to the elderly.

Even though this was the first year that Anime Boston was in operation, by the end of its weekend run, it was already labeled as New England's largest anime convention, and the seventh largest convention in North America, which is no minor feat. With just the location of the convention alone, this event was able to cater to a large crowd of people from surrounding areas. For many of the attendees, this event was indeed their first convention, giving an extra note to the con's tagline, “Be a part of history.”

Being the first year, it's not surprising that there were organizational problems, but thanks to the attentive staff, most of the problems were quickly and efficiently solved. Certainly, one can only expect Anime Boston 2004 to be even larger and grander, more amazing. With such a successful turnout, it's definitely well on its way to having a future as one of the country's most prestigious Anime conventions.

Friday, April 18

Friday was a day for guests, as a list of distinguished personnel poured into Logan Airport and into the Park Plaza Hotel. Among the English voice actors present were Tiffany Grant, Kirby Morrow, the cast of Gundam Wing, and others, who delighted fans with question and answer sessions and amusing anecdotes regarding their lives and careers.

Along with the various guest panels, Friday also marked the beginning of the chain of industry panels to come. First off, Manga Entertainment; representatives answered questions from the audience, but there were no new licensing announcements. Synch Point followed up with announcements of their new releases and licenses, including the Digi Charat movie and Leave it to Piyoko! As the day drew to a close, the number of visitors was tallied, and as it went beyond 2000, it was already apparent that the convention would be a success. However, nothing could prepare visitors for what followed on Saturday.

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