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This year they had increased security due to the threats of possible shootings and bombings, which was appreciated. To see them taking our safety so seriously gave me peace of mind that recent rumors are definitely false.
The rumors I have heard of the temporary Medical Team being toxic people for starters. It would not have been an issue if the previous Medical Team had not failed to properly license themselves and provide correct documentation. Not to mention allowing a known abuser, sexual predator (whom I confirmed now is on probation for attacking one of her victims) on their staff the past year as a means to allow her to circumvent her restraining order and get access to her victim. I would rather a company that has only been accused of wrong doing who has been trying to call attention to suspicious behaviors be our Medical Team, over a group that willingly and maliciously put others in danger.
The security staff was on point and made sure everyone was safe, even going so far as to ensure a staff member who was made uncomfortable by another staff member was thoroughly accommodated. She had made accusations that were unfortunately blown out of proportion and she handled poorly, but in the end the gentleman understood her position and forgave her, as she was confused and misled by a friend that has since been removed from her life for good reason.
The Convention even gained a new department this year, an accessibility dept! And I was able to test their services a couple of times during the con. It was greatly appreciated how well they were able to function. I will be sending them some feedback for improvements though, as I did have issues with attendees sitting in front of the areas where elevators were, as well as non-handicapped people using the elevator even though they are capable of using the escalators or stairs, whereas I am not.
The Hynes, as in past years, once again failed to keep their escalators in top working order and it led to them breaking down repeatedly all weekend. Nothing new there, as it has been consistent for almost a decade. Maybe there will come a year when that doesn't occur.
Line Con happened again, with the more popular events, but line control was the best it has been in years. The Fast Pass system they have now for the people willing to pay a bit more was greatly appreciated, as well as the line jump for people with accessibility passes was also appreciated too, but they really need to put in a designated waiting area for us, and check badges to make sure only people with the correct sticker are making it in.
Another staple of the Con was the Con Cats! This year I saw two, Mango (I believe was the cutie's name) and Panda (actually managed to get the facebook for her too!). One was loose and well behaved with their owner and the other was placed in a carrier, as the owner had a walker and was concerned of accidentally running over the beauty, understandably so. BUT! They were willing to take the glorious floof out for cuddling and pictures upon request and when not waiting in line. Both owners were amazing, as were their cats. I look forward to seeing them again next year!
The panels were almost exactly the same as last year as far as programming, but the content was best by far! Loved the Masquerade skits! People really threw down this year, and it was amazing to see everyone's hard work on display! Saw some of the Death Match and Chess Match. The Shikimaru that was sitting down and did an excellent job with his Shadow Manipulation Jutsu performance was my favorite part by far! ON POINT, my dude!
I missed the After Dark Dating Game and Michael Tatum's WTF 101 this year, so was bummed about that. But he usually does it every year. Tatum is a staple of Anime Boston, just as Greg Ayres is for AniMaine, so I will have future chances to see his panel again. I had the pleasure of meeting Vincent Valentine's voice actor and got his autograph, which made me exceedingly happy. Great man, for sure! Didn't manage to get other autographs due to being under the weather later in the day and not able to get up at 6am every day.
The dealer's room was much the same content as in previous years, but Artist Alley had some awesome selections! I got a few things and had a nice but brief chat with the shy artist at YammyBonBon. It was great seeing so many wonderful artworks and being able to actually talk with the artists about their passions.
All in all, it was a great Con and I look forward to next year. Shogun and Samurai theme! I bet the cosplays will be stunning next year too!