Anime Boston: cosplay and community
Going up the escalator in the Hynes Convention Center, I find myself staring at the hilt of a shark sword, a man dressed as Kisame from Naruto Shippuden. Behind me, is Dio from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. Every nook and cranny of the convention center was filled with roaming cosplayers, beaming with anticipation for who I can see next.
Concluding the Anime Boston Convention, spanning 3 days and throughout the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel, anime fans from all across New England further came to experience one of the largest anime events Boston has to offer.
During the active hours of Anime Boston, from as early as 7:30 AM to nearly 2 AM, the venue flourishes with an endless sea of possibilities for fans to experience what the community and organizers have brought together. Such events include but are not limited to the dozens of creator panels, movie watch parties, various cultural aspects of Japanese culture, and much more.
However, what visitors of the convention and even those outside get exposed to the easiest is the constant engagement between people who go to these conventions to cosplay.
Cosplayers of all ages, sex, nationalities, etc. came prepared to dress up as their favorite characters from various anime. Even then, the cosplayers are not limited to just anime, as its neighboring cultures such as video games and comics made a prominent appearance as well.
The variety of cosplays that show up in itself is impressive, but when thinking about the time, effort, and money that it took each cosplayer took to make their unique outfits is inspiring at the least. The event itself already costs around $60 to attend, and still, people brought themselves and their creations to the event. Materials and parts for cosplays are not cheap, factoring in all the wigs, weapons, and actual clothing that they either have to make or buy, cosplaying is a full commitment to bring what you love to reality.
Cosplayers go in their outfits for a multitude of reasons, but one definite thing is that cosplays bring people together, whether they are a fan of the series or not, whether they even know where your cosplay is from, the community built around these cosplays is undeniable. It may cost you $50 or upwards to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but at the end of the day being there and bringing people together under one common interest is what cosplaying is all about.