On Day 1 (Friday), there were long lines for the general public to get into Anime NYC. This was due to staff needing to check everyone’s vaccination. Once your COVID-19 vaccination was checked and confirmed, staff gave you an orange wristband. As a member of the press, there was a separate entrance for press, guests, dealers, etc. that I could use. There were no lines at this entrance and it was very easy to get checked, get in, and get out when needed.
For Friday, I cosplayed as Maki from Love Live! in her idolized qipao outfit. I attended the Love Live! meetup, which was at 4pm in Area 1. Anime NYC had sectioned off a specific section upstairs in the Javits Center (Area 1 and Area 2) to be used for official cosplay/fandom meetups. This meetup was much smaller than I expected! Before the pandemic, whenever I went to a Love Live! meetup, there were always lots of cosplayers and lots of fans in attendance. This one was one of the smallest fandom meetups I’ve been to. It was still fun, although I was surprised by the size!
After the meetup, I decided to eat dinner at the convention center since I had the My Hero Academia concert to attend at 8pm. To get food, I went to the Go! Go! Curry! booth located in the Exhibit Hall. There was a very long line for the food, but I figured it would be faster to eat in the con versus leaving and coming back. The food at the booth was much more expensive than going to an actual Go! Go! Curry! location, but the food was consistent with what I’d expect. Portions are smaller for the price, but they taste delicious! I also had a Moshi sparkling yuzu drink, which was a perfect match for the curry. The booth was also running a giveaway, so I entered it! (Fun Fact: after the con, I won the grand prize from the giveaway!)
The My Hero Academia concert was an epic main event. Composer Yuki Hayashi was a special guest, and this event was a collaboration among Anime NYC, Funimation, soundtrec, and SOHO Live. It was also co-organized with the Consulate General of Japan in New York. With rock band members and orchestra members, the musical team did an amazing job bringing the music of My Hero Academia to life! Toward the end of the concert, AmaLee made a surprise appearance to bring her vocals to the stage alongside the musicians. This was epic! The concert energy was super fun and everyone stayed safe (masks were required among all attendees).
On Day 2 of the con, staff implemented new line systems to try to avoid “LineCon” happening again. There were different lines now for people with.both badge and vaccination bracelet, people with badge and without vaccination bracelet, and people without both. There were members of staff outside to direct traffic and the email that staff sent out explained everything thoroughly. Day 2’s lines were much more manageable, and I commend the staff on working fast to resolve the line issues from Day 1!
Saturday was my FGO (Fate) day! I cosplayed the 4th anniversary China version of Saber (Artoria in a qipao). I didn’t plan to wear qipao-inspired cosplays 2 days in a row, but it just happened! It was really cold outside, but I did brave a shoot with Mashu outdoors near the convention center (which meant wearing my coat any time I wasn’t actively taking a photo). If you’re looking for a good photoshoot spot outside of the Javits Center, there’s a park across the street that’s great for photos!
At 2:30pm, I attended the Fate official meetup in Area 1. This was a huge contrast from the Love Live! one — there were so many people!! It was the biggest meetup I attended during the weekend. With so many cosplayers and fans in one space, it was difficult to hear the organizer, so I think I missed going up to have photos taken several times. It was still fun though, and I got to meet some other FGO fans!
After the meetup, I changed to a different FGO cosplay: Jeanne d’arc Alter: Berserker version. I wandered around the main lobby and lower level areas of the con, and had some hall shots taken as well as some quick photoshoots. One of the quick shoots was actually in the Exhibit Hall — they had a FGO booth, and you could pose with the motorcycle! I was pleased to see that the booth staff sanitized the motorcycle after each person posed and took photos.
For dinner, we decided to go to K-town and grab K-BBQ! With Anime NYC being in NYC, you are in close quarters with tons of great restaurants in Manhattan. If you’re at this con and have time to dine outside of the Javits, I definitely recommend trying a local restaurant!
At 10:30pm, my brother Kevin and I went to the Otakus with Attitude Anime NYC after party. This event took place at Oppa Bistro, and there was great music! Fun fusion of pop, hip-hop, and anime theme songs. We didn’t want to stay up too late, so we left the event by midnight. For any Anime NYC party people who like staying out late, this event went on until 3am.
On Day 3, the final day, I cosplayed as Asuka (racing version) from Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the morning, I made my first merchandise purchases of the weekend: Daiya no Ace merch (I got plushies of Eijun, Tojo, and Kanemaru!), and a Hatsune Miku print (Shaohua figure version). My friend Jaimee and I had a photoshoot with Butter and then with Gene, and we attended the Evangelion meetup at 3pm in Area 1. This meetup was medium sized — bigger than the Love Live! one, but smaller than the FGO one.
After the meetup, I went to the Swap Meet in Panel 5 at 4pm. This was a space where attendees can bring items to swap (or sell). I didn’t swap or sell anything, but it was a cool idea. I hope in the future, they advertise the swap meet more and get a bigger space so more people can come and swap! Everything at the con ended at 5pm, so after the Swap Meet, everything was wrapping up. If you left the convention after 5pm, you weren’t allowed back into the Javits. I made the mistake of exiting the building, and then I couldn’t get back inside. Keep that in mind on Day 3!
All in all, Anime NYC was a fantastic con and I can’t wait to go back in 2022. See you at the next con!