Undoubtedly this was the year that Anime NYC felt like it was just a few steps away from being the East Coast version of Anime Expo. Now before anyone on the West Coast is offended I will say that there is still a distinct gap between Anime NYC and Anime Expo. But it is also worth noting that Expo has been running for 27 years and this is only Anime NYC’s third year. This year proved that if Anime NYC continues for a few more years the gap between the two could easily all but vanish. The number of guests, premieres, and exclusives makes it feel like what you would think a professional convention in NYC would be.
And therein is the rub. Anime NYC felt like it was a growing professional convention in the heart of NYC. For better and for worse. It is not a case where the general quality of the convention has suffered. It is all just a matter of scale. Whenever a convention gets big enough it tends to get quite a few perks and a similar number of problems that are just inherent with the size. The thing is these benefits and flaws tend to slowly grow. Anime NYC has had a rather rapid period of growth over the last three years and so each year it has skipped ahead in the development chart as well.
How you feel about this is very much dependent on what you expect out of a convention and what is a deal-breaker for you.