The first ever Anime NYC convention took place this past weekend from November 17-19, 2017 in New York, NY. Despite being the largest city in America, it's kind of surprising that there has been a void in terms of anime conventions in New York City for so long (and no, the New York Comic Con's Anime Festival doesn't count). The con boasted of strong support from all of the anime industry giants in North America and also brought over a number of guests from Japan as well. For its first outing, Anime NYC was a resounding success and I look forward to seeing how it grows in the upcoming years.
Anime NYC was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, however the con did not rent out the entire convention center. In fact, Anime NYC was mostly contained to what they refer to as the "crystal palace" wing of the Javits Center, with the majority of the Javits left unused. This means that Anime NYC has great potential for growth from its estimated 20,000-member attendance this year. Despite being its first year, Anime NYC is already a major player in the North America convention circuit.
Here are some photos taken around the convention:
The convention was jammed packed with featured events. Some of the highlights included Sailor Moon Day which consisted of 11 English voice actors from the show, Anime Diva Night with singers TRUE, Yoko Ishida, and Chihiro Yonekura, panels and concerts of Gundam Thunderbolt and Iron-Blooded Orphans, and the premier screening of the live-action film of Fullmetal Alchemist. Lining the exhibit hall were four autograph booths featuring Overwatch voice actors Charlet Chung (D.Va), Jonny Cruz (Lucio), Lucie Pohl (Mercy), and Gaku Space (Genji). Of course there were also the usual industry panels, fan panels, and Masquerade contest. There was definitely something there for everyone.
Overall the con was run pretty well. There were some delays here and there but were within expected range. Of course, there are some things that they could improve upon as well. As awesome as it was that they had so much industry support and Japanese guests, there weren't as many fan panels and events. I'm hoping that as they continue to expand the convention and rent out more of the Javits center that they'll have more panel rooms available (besides the Main Events stage, they only had 3 panel rooms). Which leads me to the next point that almost none of the voice actor guests that they invited had any individual Q&A panels or autograph signings as they were only there for the group/industry events. This is kind of a bummer for fans that may be interested in seeing a particular voice actor but not really getting a chance to outside of the sponsored group events. And finally, despite the fact that New York is known as the "city that never sleeps", almost all of the shops within the convention center seemed to be closed by 6pm. The food trucks are gone even before then, making the convention center rather dead by an early time.
Gripes aside, this inaugural Anime NYC was a smashing success and I definitely look forward to coming back again for future years.
Click here to check out my Facebook photography page where I uploaded the photos that I took from the Fate Series cosplay photoshoot at the Aniplex booth on Saturday.
Click here to check out my YouTube channel where I uploaded the videos I recorded from the Meet the Anime Diva Night Stars panel, the Sailor Moon Panel, the Fate/Grand Order localization panel, the Gundam: Iron-blooded Orphans panel, and the Masquerade ULTRA DELUXE contest.