The last few years have been rough for those who attend conventions worldwide. Due to Covid-19, many conventions were cancelled or postponed as the world dealt with this impactful pandemic. There was an attempt at making conventions digital, allowing those homebound to view panels and convention events from the comfort of their own homes, but online lacked the same feeling as being at a con in person. However, as of 2021, conventions have begun to return to semi-normal. Anime NYC has returned to proper form this year and you know we here at Honey’s Anime went boots to the ground to cover as much as we could. We unfortunately couldn’t cover it all as the pandemic’s effects are still around but we tried our best and we wanted to share our experience of this wonderful return of Anime NYC!
|When it was Established||The first Anime NYC convention started in 2017!|
|Length of Event||3 days: Friday November 19th - Sunday, November 21st.|
|Location||Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, New York|
*You’ll want to nab the three day pass early as it sells out pretty fast!
|Hotels|| Since Anime NYC 2021 took place in the heart of NYC—Manhattan—there are tons of hotels to choose from but they all are affected by location, distance from the subway, and overall area of Manhattan.|
If you want the closest hotel but at the highest price—it’s a high-end hotel that is less than a quarter-mile from the Javits Center—that would be the Equinox Hotel New York.
Another less expensive choice—but with a lesser rating on sites like Expedia—is Midtown Convention Center Hotel which is also less than a quarter-mile from the convention but with a way cheaper price tag per night! There is also a POD hotel named Pod Time Square which is a bit more than a half-mile away from the Javits Center but the price is less than $100 a night! We recommend doing some research months beforehand to see what options work best! Remember, NY has plenty of transportation options, whether it be taxis or subway, so choosing a hotel miles away from the convention isn’t a bad thing if you want to save some money for anime figures and merchandise!
|Company/Event Message for Fans/Attendees|
“Anime NYC is a creation of LeftField Media, an event company made of dedicated fans and convention organizers. Anime NYC is built with tremendous support from Crunchyroll and publishers across the Japanese pop culture industry.”
What to Expect
At first glance, Anime NYC might seem like just another anime convention returning to the Big Apple. Unfortunately, with Covid-19 still looming around, there were some drastic measures taken to keep all convention goers safe and Covid-19 free.
One of the biggest changes from previous Anime NYC events was the mask mandate and vaccination proof. Before even entering the main hall for the Javits Center, all attendees of Anime NYC 2021 had to show proof of vaccination—at least one dose—to be admitted. Once proof was shown, the attendee was given an orange band that showed they were vaccinated and would be allowed entry into Anime NYC.
Regardless of vaccination status, though, Anime NYC 2021 attendees—whether press, regular ticket holders, and/or cosplayers—had to always wear a mask unless eating food or drinking. This made cosplaying a bit different than previous years—as evident from several of the cosplay pictures we took—but it didn’t stop people from enjoying all of Anime NYC 2021! There were still tons of panels like the My Hero Academia Live Concert performance and Pompo the Cinephile screenings! We also noticed a lot of cosplay-related panels that examined how to get into cosplay like the So You Want to Start Cosplay Photography even and even various cosplay contests!
Panels were a bit more difficult to get into this year as we noticed admittance was lower—maybe to avoid overcrowding—but it was still easy for those who didn’t mind waiting an hour or two for their favorite panels! Plus, there were a bunch of signings and meet-ups with various voice actors/actresses like David Matranga—voice of Shoto Todorki from My Hero Academia—and Colleen Clinkenbeard who voices Momo Yaoyorozu and Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail!
What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event
Anime NYC 2021 doesn’t need con-goers to bring anything to the event but here are some recommended items we think will make your experience a bit easier and more pleasant.
We highly recommend bringing several masks and hand sanitizer! Masks tend to break/fall apart so swapping between them while at Anime NYC is an easier alternative than asking around to see who has any. Hand sanitizer also is a great item as you might touch various figures or shake hands with friends/event-goers but you definitely might not be able to run to a restroom to wash your hands.
Bringing a backpack or messenger bag is also a highly coveted item for any convention as it allows you store water, maybe snacks, and—of course—your purchased merchandise from vendors! Just be sure to keep your bag close to avoid hitting others with it or possibly losing it!
What to Do While There/What Is Available
Anime NYC 2021 was hands down the largest version of the convention to date—they utilized more space to give con-goers more room to avoid overcrowding—and that meant plenty to do. You could attend one of the hundreds of panels that range from popular guests to various help sessions for getting deeper into the world of anime! There are also a lot of exclusive movies/events which were available like the My Hero Academia Live Concert and the early screenings of Belle and Pompo: The Cinephile to name a few. If you also wanted to nab some merchandise, there were dozens of vendors ranging from apparel to old school video games. Just make sure to budget accordingly as it is easy to spend hundreds of dollars per day on anime merchandise leaving you with little money for food or travel costs. In our opinion, you should carry at least more than a few hundred dollars but equally, there are a lot of free little items you can get if you find some newly opened vendors or anime-oriented ones.
It wouldn’t be Anime NYC without cosplay and there was a fair amount of cosplay to be found. We included some of our favorites from Dragon Ball Z, Umineko, Fire Force, FLCL, My Hero Academia and a video game cosplay, Final Fantasy 7. We did notice a lot of repeated cosplay from some current big-name anime like Demon Slayer and that was a tad silly—we ran into at least 100 Tanjiro Kamado cosplayers—but it shows how much fans love the anime! Be sure to let us know in the comments which cosplay photos you liked the most and which you wished you could have seen!
Anime NYC 2021 felt like a return to normal. Even if the convention goers were forced to abide by the new mask rules and a noticeable amount of effort was put into sanitizing various event locations, we loved being back at Anime NYC. What made us smile—as we’re sure many others felt as well—was that cosplayers weren’t afraid to return with their various outfits and costumes as well as voice actors/actresses who still showed their love to all their fans out in Anime NYC. It was tough knowing that we still are in the middle of an ongoing pandemic but Anime NYC 2021 reminded us that otaku worldwide big or small aren’t afraid to show their love for all things Japan and anime! We already heard that Anime NYC will be back in 2022 and you know we at Honey’s Anime will be attending!