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Anime enthusiasts flocked to Javits Center in New York City over the weekend for Crunchyroll’s presentation of Anime NYC. It was by far one of the best things I’ve been to all year, and I wish I was still there now. (Alas, all good things must come to an end.)

While the convention kicked off Friday, I wasn’t able to get to Midtown until Saturday, which was Sailor Moon Day. (The best kind of day, duh.) The first thing I noticed was that the setup was a lot more chilled than Comic Con; for one thing, you could actually move around Javits with ease, which is much more than I can say for this past year’s seemingly-over-capacity NYCC. As someone who is fairly claustrophobic, this was much-appreciated. There were also prop checks outside of the Expo Hall and Artist Alley, but those seemed (while still thorough) much more relaxed than NYCC, too. Overall a very good turnout (I think everything ended up being sold out), but much more laid-back and less chaotic than what NYCC has become.

Of course, NYCC is its own beast, because it has to accommodate so many different fandoms, but that’s not to say anime and manga don’t have a massively diverse array of genres and sub-genres. Like NYCC, cosplayers turned out to rep their favorite characters and series, and the merch tables (which were admittedly my favorite part of Anime NYC) did their best to tap into all of the nerdery via plushies, apparel, props, books and DVDs. Lucky bags, which are a popular Japanese New Year’s tradition, and which are essentially mystery bags full of excess product that well exceeds the price you pay for the unknown contents, and can be super great, were also available at a lot of the shops. I didn’t buy one, but I was tempted by a few.

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Fortunately I walked away from the entire merch experience with a mostly intact wallet, but I couldn’t help myself when it came to this $5 Pikachu SARS mask:

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In addition to shopping, guests could hit up a bunch of different panels ranging from movie screenings to talks about hip-hop and anime, horror in manga and anime, homosexuality in Japan…you name it, there was probably some dedicated programming. And if anybody needed to decompress, they could dance it out in the DDR section of the video arcade:

In terms of refueling between panels, shopping, video games and selfies, the standard Javits food stalls were open for business, but you could also buy fun stuff like Totoro-themed bentos and Pocky in the Expo Hall at some of the Japanese vendors:

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I’m not really sure how this guy (who had my favorite costume, aka the Colossal Titan from Attack on Titan) got around to eating without breaking character, but A+ on the effort:

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Basically I (and, seemingly, everyone who attended) had a great time, and I really hope it gets put on again next year! Until then, a few more snaps of all the action:

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