This past weekend the Hynes Convention Center once again hosted Anime Boston, one of the city’s largest events which draws thousands upon thousands of attendees each year. This year was marked by last month’s tragic events with heightened security including bag checks at every entrance and strict regulation of cosplay props. Despite this, the atmosphere was one of celebration and fun.
As always throngs of cosplayers crowded the Hynes as well as the surrounding area to the surprise and bemusement of locals. Catgirls, stormtroopers, and Marios swarmed the Food Court of the Prudential Center Mall as the heavy rainfall limited options to find food. Packed panel rooms forced convention staff to shoo away attendees lining up for the next event throughout the weekend.
One of the highlights of Anime Boston this year was the world premiere of the English dub of the popular anime series Sword Art Online. Director Tomohiko Ito and producer Shinichiro Kashiwada appeared on several panels as did American voice actors Cherami Leigh and Bryce Papenbrook, who respectively play lead characters Asuna and Kirito. A standing-room-only panel on Saturday evening treated AB con-goers to the first look at episode 1 and 2 in English. Also announced was the exciting news that the series will begin airing on Toonami in August. Through an interpreter, Ito and Kashiwada fielded questions from the audience the first naturally being,” When can we expect Season Two?” They deferred to say that while they are currently attached to other projects, they hope to produce a second season in the near future. When asked if they could at least do an OVA series, Kashiwada replied, “If we’re going to do it we might as well get a whoe series out of it.”
The plot of Sword Art Online follows a group of gamers trapped in an immersive MMORPG where if they lose their hit points they die in real life. Based on a light novel by Reki Kawahara the first season covered the first two iterations of SAO.