It’s morning, March 31, and the sun begins its slow ascent over the Providence skyline. The harsh static of an alarm clock blares, and your friendly neighbourhood editor rouses from a five-hour slumber. Suddenly, the welcoming embrace of a morning cup of coffee sounds pretty amazing.

As the gears begin to turn and sleep’s firm embrace finally fades away, the reality of the coming convention begins to take hold. It’s five in the morning, My team needs to be in Boston by half past eight. And, with that thought, goes the routine I’ve powered through every single year for the past one and a half decades. Equipment is checked, rechecked, and checked once more. Final packing items are verified, and materials are inspected for readiness.

All the while, though, a simple sense of marvel continued to filter through the back of my mind. It’s been fifteen years since Anime Boston began.

For one and a half decades, fans have filtered to Boston for the convention, calling it “home” for a three-day stretch. Since its early days, the convention has grown into its own vibrant community. From the jammed halls of the Park Plaza hotel, to the towering Hynes, fans have flocked to Anime Boston as their own miniature Mecca for all things otaku.

And, for fifteen years, hundreds of volunteers have put valiant efforts into Anime Boston. It’s easy to see a deep affection for the con in every member, from the security staff to the highest echelons. The team sports bloggers who travel from DC and media relations who fly in from California, all united in building an event that they can be proud of. That warm, inviting feel of a small gathering never seems to fade, nor does that genuine spark of excitement seen in the faces of fans and staff alike.

As I board that train to Boston and cradle my Kindle in my hands, I can’t help but crack a smile. Everybody, from the team to the fans, is in this together.

And, really, that’s pretty damn awesome.