Horizontally striped tights, furry animal-ear headbands, and sorcerer’s cloaks were out in full force in the Back Bay this past weekend as Boston hosted the annual Anime Boston Convention. This convention is billed as New England’s largest annual celebration of Japanese animation, comics, and pop culture. Activities started early in the morning and went until after midnight, and included a karaoke stage, game shows, anime industry panel discussions, Cosplay role-playing/fashion showing/contests, artists showing and selling their work, the Starlight Ball dance, a blood drive, and a hentai music video contest (for those over 18 years of age).
I stumbled upon it quite by accident while out for a walk, although I’d heard about it earlier in the week. During a conversation outside the Hynes Convention Center with a young man who works in a D.C. area anime shop, I learned the cost of an admission ticket was $60. As curious as I was about what was going on inside the convention center doors, I decided to pass on that in exchange for hanging around in front of the main entrance. There was plenty going on. (You can click on any of these photos to enlarge them.)
When I first began photographing the attendees I was content to go for candid shots. It wasn’t until another photographer came along and started asking costumed anime fans, “Would you mind posing for me?” that I realized how much these kids loved to pose. (Being 51 years of age, I think I’ve earned the right to call late teen and 20-somethings “kids.”) Once I became more conspicuous about my photo-taking, “Want me to pose for you?” was the question I heard most.
Eventually leaving my spot outside the convention center’s front entrance, I wandered up to the sunny outdoor plaza that fronts the Prudential Center’s food court, where I found a large assortment of anime lovers and a few particularly sweet scenes.
As I strolled away down Boylston Street, I passed this lovely princess stationed outside the Gucci shop with an undisclosed number of attendants underneath her skirt.
All photographs © copyright Paula Ogier.