Anime NYC 2017: Concerts

hisui_icon_4040_round I was not exactly sure what to expect with the first Anime NYC. As it had no history I was not sure what would be the parts of the convention that would stand out more than others. Some conventions are known for their in-depth panels, others are cosplay or AMV hubs, while some have really high-profile guests. I’m a little hesitant to mark this as the defining feature of the convention for years to come I will say that Anime NYC had an amazingly strong musical lineup out of the gate. When I first saw the musical guests I thought they were good for a first-year convention but nothing out of the ordinary. In retrospect, they might have been the most important parts of the convention.

narutaki_icon_4040_round For some of us, concerts are a fun and enjoyable part of a con. For some others, the musical guests are the reason they are at the convention. I land more in the former category, sometimes I don’t even go to the concerts and sometimes they end up the highlight of con. Before the weekend of the Anime NYC, I wasn’t sure if I’d be attending the Sunday concert but now I’m very glad I did.

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Anime NYC 2017: Panels

hisui_icon_4040_round Anime NYC did an excellent job of running a tight ship appropriate to a first-year convention. They had enough content to get people in the door but not so much that anything felt empty. That had its benefits and flaws. It was very nice to see all the panels and events getting a healthy attendance. At the same time, Anime NYC had only 3 panels rooms and the main events hall. There feels far more sparse in comparison to Otakon and AnimeNEXT which are the bigger northeast anime conventions known for their panel content. Even small conventions like Castle Point Anime Convention and Genericon have a larger amount of paneling. Considering how often we state that New York City is a wheat thresher of anime conventions it makes sense for Anime NYC to be a bit conservative with their debut schedule. It just meant that there were fewer panels than we might normally be used to.

One odd thing that broke the accepted norms more than anything else: 45-minute panels. They had the very useful 15-minute buffers between panels that a lot of the conventions do but 1-hour panels are sort of the unwritten standard. So much so that I know Kate and I always plan our panels to be an hour-long by default. I don’t remember any panels being super rushed so it did not seem to be a major problem. I think it was helped by the fact that I went to a lot of industry panels at Anime NYC and those tend to be highly modular. If you cut 15 minutes off of one of them you just lose some Q&A time.

I went to several industry panels but I’m not going to talk about most of them. Most of the important information out of them is available from any good anime new site. I have two exceptions to that rule. One is mostly just because it was so odd and the other because it is Type-Moon related.

narutaki_icon_4040_round The first AnimeNYC struck a good balance of panels for the number of attendees. There was always something to see, but I didn’t feel like I was constantly missing out.

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Anime NYC 2017: General Impressions

hisui_icon_4040_round NYC is like a famous wild west gunslinger when it comes to anime conventions. Everyone knows if they can beat the top dog they are guaranteed to be famous. So many organizations have challenged the Jesse James of cities and just as many have been defeated. Big Apple Anime Fest, New York Anime Festival, and Waku Waku NYC all sleep in anime convention Boot Hill but the dream still lives on for others. Many fans continue to hope that New York City could have regularly occurring anime centered convention. While New York Comic Con often has an anime and manga guest or two alongside some anime panels it is merely a bit of spice in a much larger hodgepodge. Despite some unique difficulties, NYC would make the perfect location for an anime convention. The trick is figuring out how to make it work.

Anime NYC is the latest event to try to make its claim in the Big Apple. It has a decent pedigree which makes it a strong contender. Much of the staff that worked on the convention were former staff from New York Comic Con so they have a good idea of how to run a nerdy event in the city. I mentioned they have a good bunch of postmortems to see what has and has not worked before now. Plus the area around the Jacob Javits is slowly getting more accessible.

It was high noon at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Was Anime NYC quick enough on the draw to defeat Gotham or will it die with its boots on like so many other conventions before it?

narutaki_icon_4040_round In its first year, AnimeNYC welcomed over 20,000 fans. That was an incredible feat for a first-year con. The experienced showrunners correctly predicted that an anime-focused con was still wanted here in the New York City. And plans are already underway for 2018. Continue reading