This past weekend DualShockers had the chance of covering it’s first major event and because of it The Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City will never be the same. The annual New York Anime Festival is a collection of “cultural treasures that gave birth to Japanese pop culture” according to the official NYAF website. In it you’ll find anything and everything Anime related. Whether it’s exclusive anime screenings, cosplay, manga, live-action Japanese cinema, or even video games, there truly is something for everyone and every audience. Although we are 1st and foremost a gaming publication and bringing our readers highlights from the World Cyber Games Final was our main priority for even visiting the NYAF, we thought it would be good to give you some insight into one of the most fun and different expos out there!
Considering that I’m not really too well versed in Anime anymore, as I somewhat grew out of the culture during my teen years (along with comics), this festival really helped to bring back a lot of great memories. Thanks to Brendan (who is now our official Anime guru here at the site) I was able to pick up on many of the new movies, shows, and trends. I wasn’t able to catch up on all the new shows and characters that I am now unfamiliar with but I do now know why they call the event a festival instead of a convention and that is because this is truly a celebration of the entire Anime culture. It’s truly incredible to see such enthusiastic people coming in from all corners of the globe to share fun times with people of common interests.
Many outsiders who are unfamiliar with Anime usually draw pre-determined conclusions of fans of Anime and the culture as a whole. Some would probably go as far as unfairly considering them social outcasts of sorts. Well I think it’s time someone (who’s not really involved with the culture, therefore without any bias) clear up the air on that notion.
The NYAF as I said earlier is a celebration of many things. One common theme spread throughout the entire show floor is love. Now I’m not too sure if this is common occurrence throughout the Anime expo community, and at first I did find it a little weird myself but at the show the most common thing you see as you make your rounds throughout the floor are people holding up signs with the words “free hugs” written on them. I was skeptical at first (partly because I’m a paranoid New Yorker) so I asked someone holding up one of the signs, to which they replied “This whole festival it’s all about spreading love.” Day 1, I was freaked out by it and giggling under my breath at some of the outlandish and elaborate Cosplay costumes. By Day 3 I was a believer and taking as many pics as possible of everyone and everything all the while debating whether or not buying a Naruto headband. I might have not been dressed like a Japanese School girl like some people there (girls and guys) but it was cool to know after talking to many of them that we all had MANY common interests, the most important being the love of great video games. It’s actually quite ironic how these people are deemed as social outcasts by many, yet I found them to be the most accepting of an outsider like myself, and for that I’m grateful. The New York Anime Festival is like Woodstock for Gamers, Nerds, and Geeks, and because of it I will probably never miss out on another one!
Stay tuned as we’ll be posting up tons of awesome pictures from the event! There are some incredible (and HOT) cosplay costumes that you do not want to miss. We also have info about our hand’s on time with PlayLogic’s Fairy Tale Fights and our eyes on time with Sega’s Bayonetta!