Anime NYC is an anime convention that held its inaugural event in 2017. They welcomed 20,000 fans during that initial year. 2017 was deemed a complete success and expectations were very high for 2018. Could a brand new con meet those expectations? Would a brand new con be able to support itself with such a high demand for content? There were a lot of questions leading up to the 2nd year of the con. Regardless, the hype and excitement was very high. With Anime NYC’s 3rd year only days away, let’s take a look back and see how far this new con has come since its start!
Anime NYC 2018: Statistics & Facts
From their website: “Anime NYC is a creation of LeftField Media, a boutique event company made up of dedicated fans and experienced convention organizers. LeftField was founded by Greg Topalian, the original creator of New York Comic Con. Peter Tatara, behind guests, panels, and special events at the former New York Anime Festival, is Anime NYC’s Event Director.”
In 2018, Anime NYC welcomed an estimated 36,000 attendees into the Jacob Javits Convention Center. These attendees came from all over New York as well as the other 49 states, and 15 countries. This is a significant increase from 2017: estimated 20,000 attendees from over 30 states and 10 countries.
2018 also saw Anime NYC gaining more floor space in the Javits Center. This increase of space is expected to double for 2019’s event.
There are various companies than sponsor Anime NYC including: Crunchyroll, VIZ Media, ANIPLEX, Funimation, USA Animate, Kinokuniya, Bluefin/Bandai Namco, Kodansha Comics, Sentai Filmworks, Tokyo Otaku Mode, Yen Press, RightStufANIME.com, and more.
The hours for 2018’s Anime NYC went as follows:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
10 AM – Doors Open
1 PM to 7 PM – Exhibit Hall
2 PM to 9 PM – Artist Alley
10 AM to 10 PM – Panels, Screenings, and Special Events
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17
8 AM – Doors Open
10 AM to 7 PM – Exhibit Hall
11 AM to 9 PM – Artist Alley
10 AM to 10 PM – Panels, Screenings, and Special Events
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18
8 AM – Doors Open
10 AM to 5 PM – Exhibit Hall
11 AM to 5 PM – Artist Alley
10 AM to 5 PM – Panels, Screenings, and Special Events
Official cosplay meetups were added to 2018’s convention. A request page was put up so that attendees could provide input on what series they wanted to see have a meetup.
All meetups were held in the South Concourse of the Javits Center. They had areas roped off for cosplayers, and areas roped off for photographers. This was to help keep things organized. Anime NYC staff as well as security were present to assist and make sure all meetups ran smoothly.
Unofficial meetups were still allowed and still present. These were meetups that were not posted on Anime NYC’s website nor schedule. They were run by fans and did not have official photographers present. Because they were not official meetups, they could be held anywhere at the Javits Center instead of only in the South Concourse.
Those that were selected were officially put on the cosplay meetup schedule and were run by Anime NYC staff. Each meetup was an hour long and allowed fans to join cosplayers of the same series to be featured in photos from official con photographers as well as others photographers that joined in.
Organizers for each meetup had a megaphone to be able to be heard through all of the noise as well as to be able to direct cosplayers easier.
Cosplay meetups have become a staple of many large anime conventions. They are a place to find fellow cosplayers of a favorite series, and an easy way to make friends. Many magazines and blogs flock to meetups as well to find various cosplayers of the same anime in one spot.
Many more are in the works for 2019’s event, and changes have been implemented to provide an even better experience.
Events & Guests
Usually, new conventions do not have a large list of special events. They also do not have a large list of guests. Anime NYC, however, blew both of those expectations out of the water two years in a row. Some of 2018’s guests include Aimer, TRUE, Tia Ballard, Mica Burton, Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Toru Furuya, Kun Gao, Todd Haberkorn, Luna Haruna, nano, Morning Musume, Cristina Vee, Mayumi Shintani, Konomi Suzuki, Shoko Nakagawa, Max Mittelman, just to name a few.
Events included the “Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Special Event featuring Aimer.” It was a special two-hour celebration of the Fate/stay night series. The Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] film trilogy showcased the English cast of the Fate series on stage as well as an electrifying concert from Japanese songstress, Aimer.
Cast members from VIZ Media’s Sailor Moon dub joined the stage for their Sailor Moon panel on Sunday. The English and Japanese voice actors of Tuxedo Mask, Robbie Daymond and Toru Furuya, were able to answer questions and discuss together which was something that had been impossible until 2018’s convention.
Anime NYC is also home to Anisong World Matsuri. From their website, “Anisong World Matsuri’s mission is to bring Japanese pop music popularized by anime (anisong) to new audiences around the world, and it has conducted major event concerts in cities including Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Washington DC since its launch in 2016. This November, Anime NYC and Anisong World Matsuri will host the largest Japanese pop concerts in the history of New York City!” Their concert last year featured major performances from Luna Haruna, Shoko Nakagawa, Morning Musume。’18, and others for on November 16 and 17, 2018 in New York’s historic Hammerstein Ballroom.
Cosplay: For All Ages … And Pets
Most conventions and events push the idea that cosplay is for everyone. This is very true at Anime NYC. Regardless of your age, gender, skin color, body type, or even species, cosplay truly is for everyone at this event. You will find all sorts of cosplay from anime classics to mashups to tokusatsu and more. From groups of friends to families coming together, you’ll certainly find something you recognize roaming the halls of the Javits Center.
Take a look at just some of the epic cosplay we found below!
The amount of space Anime NYC was given in 2018 compared to 2017 definitely increased. That helped the increase in attendance from 20,000 to 36,000 not feel like such a change. One of the positive comments that has come from feedback about the convention is how spacious it is. There’s space to move, to walk, and to enjoy what the event has to offer without feeling squished. Since Anime NYC is expected to double in size space-wise for 2019, it’s safe to say the attendance will also surpass last year.
That isn’t to say that Anime NYC is without its flaws. Thanks to a snowstorm the Thursday prior to the event, lines were longer than usual for Friday’s opening. It caused issues obtaining autograph tickets and gaining entrance into the event. The masquerade also had its share of critiques: from running too long, to showcasing too many idol performances without any other genres having time to shine.
A positive quality to Anime NYC is their ability to take feedback, respond to it, and adjust accordingly. Event Director Peter Tatara released various social media posts discussing the feedback and how they would change things for 2019. This included changes to autograph tickets, meetups, the masquerade, and concert ticketing. This type of transparency and accountability is not seen often in the convention scene.
Check out some of the photos below to take a peek at the space provided by the Javits Center.
2019: Worth It?
Anime NYC 2019 is in 15 days. The event will run from November 15th-17th at the Javits Center. This year, Anime NYC welcomes the globally renowned Lantis Matsuri concert series to New York City for the first time! Tickets sold out almost instantly to the point that they needed to add 1,000 extra tickets for attendees.
Seeing how the event began in 2017 to what is to come, expectations are high. There could easily be close to 50,000 attendees roaming the halls in two weeks. With various screenings including the east coast premiere of Weathering With You, the bar is set high and excitement is building.
With what 2017 and 2018 have shown us, 2019 will most likely be their third success in a row. Tickets are still available at animenyc.com … be sure to keep up with Word of the Nerd’s social media that weekend for live updates.