Photo from CG Magazine
By Diamond Bridges
Get ready New York anime fans. A new convention is in town! Anime Expo is currently one of the most popular conventions known in the anime community that takes place in California. However, not everyone can fly out to LA.
Anime NYC is New York City’s first anime based convention. Yes, there is New York Comic Con, but recently anime fans are upset with the decreasing in anime related sections of the convention. But now there is nothing to worry about!
Anime NYC 2017 was hosted in New York’s largest convention center, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. It was a weekend event, where wall-to-wall anime fans and geeks alike gathered for eventful days full of panels, screenings and awesome merch. Tickets were reasonably priced compared to going to popular conventions that have large followings. Not including the tax, single day and weekend tickets were within the range of $40-60, while special VIP passes were more pricey at $275.
This was not my first anime convention, so I had some expectations for this convention. I only bought the Saturday ticket (because I am a broke college student), so I can only base my opinions on that day. I believe that Saturday was one of the busiest days since it is the weekend and not many people work or have school, which is another reason why I bought a Saturday ticket. Just saying the convention center was packed would be an understatement. Despite Javits being a large center, it was hard to walk due to the crowds of people. Then again, what convention is not like that? The atmosphere was amazing. I did not personally experience anything negative as far as in customer service or rude people in general. Everyone was helpful and very positive, which is one of the keys to having a great convention experience.
For me, the highlight of my Anime NYC experience was definitely the artist alley. An “artist alley” is where local and national artists can sell prints, keychains, buttons and more of either their artwork or fanart. Pro tip for new convention goers: $100 is definitely not enough for spending money. I would have to say that I spent 98 percent of my money at artist alley. Honestly, it was well spent because these artists were so great and talented.
Unfortunately, I did not get to go to many panels because of either time conflicts with other panels I attended or it was not a panel of my interest. Since I only attended for one day, it was very important for me to plan out my day, so I got a chance to experience a little bit of everything.
The panels I visited were the Official Sailor Moon Panel, Blerd is the Word: Diversity Means You and Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Official Panel. The Sailor Moon panel was fun for me because I am HUGE fangirl of the Sailor Moon franchise since I was a toddler. To see the actual Japanese singer, Yoko Ishida, who sang the original Sailor Moon theme song was an exciting experience. Blerd is the Word: Diversity Means You discussed the topics of diversity within the anime community and the struggle of black nerds growing up while dealing with racism and social exclusion. Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Official Panel allowed fans to meet the English voice actors for the show as well as the Japanese producer Masakazu Ogawa.
Overall, I think Anime NYC did a great job for its first year. I am glad that I was a part of that experience. There are a few hiccups that could be better but its small issues that can solve itself through time and experience. Anime NYC is already promoting their convention for next year, November 16-18, 2018, and I will definitely be there!