By Justin Guillou / December 20th, 2017
We recently attended Anime NYC. Created by LeftField media and powered by Crunchyroll, this convention was a hell of a time. It took place over at the Javits Center right in Manhattan which should be familiar to those of you who have attended events such as New York Comic Con. Of course the convention didn’t take up the whole venue, but only a fraction of it. This made for a much more tame and calmer convention experience than the ones I am typically used to at this venue. That being said, don’t think for a second that it being “tame” made for a less interesting event. The staff made great use of the space allotted to them and the turnout was surprisingly high.
Being powered by Crunchyroll meant that a respectable number of guests attended the event. A large amount of voice actors from Overwatch, Haikyuu!!!, Sailor Moon Crystal and Mob Psycho 100 were there doing panels and signings, and that is just scratching the surface. I was truly impressed with the amount of voice talent that was present at the event. They even had New York City’s first Ramen Summit featuring Ivan Orkin, known for opening Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop which was right down the street from the event. Anime NYC also featured a wide variety of panels, including How to Take a Selfie, Short & Sweet: RPGs Worth Your Time, Cosplay Armor Basics, and finally industry ones for Crunchyroll, Kodansha comics, Sentai Filmworks, Aniplex, Funimation, and Viz Media. In other words, you were bound to find an event that was of interest.
The Vendors’ room was really great and the sellers had pretty much anything you could want to satisfy your anime needs. Do you want Totoro-inspired rice balls? They got you covered. Are you looking for Manga or DVDs? Plenty of people would set you up with a deal. Better yet, are you looking for a “Scandalous” Doujinshi of your favorite video game or anime character? Ask and you shall receive. Some of the more recognizable retailers present included Mangagamer, Bluefin and Kinokuniya. If you are familiar with any of those retailers, then you know exactly what kind of merchandise you can find at this event. Of course, Funimation and Aniplex were also there selling various goods from series that they have licensed. There were also a lot of freebies such as manga samplers and posters being given out so it was very unlikely that you would leave here empty-handed.
If you were coming to Anime NYC looking for video games, your options were fairly slim as not many vendors were selling them. These included VideoGamesNewYork along with a booth that sold reproduction cases and games. If you wanted to try your luck and skills, they also had a set of “UFO Catcher” crane games for you to play. These drew a surprisingly big crowd as many people tried their luck to win some cool looking figures and plushies. The Artists Alley was also impressively big. However, I think next time they may want a different location for it. Due to the layout, it was easy to miss all the booths towards the back as they kind of got hidden by some of the walls and other booths in the way.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable convention. The fact that it is also their first time doing it just makes it all the more impressive. People in the New York and New Jersey area have had a fairly large selection of anime and video game conventions lately, so the competition is fierce and everyone has their favorite events. But if our time at Anime NYC is anything to go by, this convention will hold its own and is looking to become an event I will look forward to in coming years.
UPDATE: Tickets for the 2018 convention can be purchased now!
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