First of all, I have to apologize for how late this article is appearing; I became very sick after the convention and recovery has been slow between my day job and other personal commitments. My name is Jack, better known as StarCreator to some. I was invited here to share my opinions and experiences at New York Anime Fest 2010.
NYAF 2010 was definitely very unique, in that the parent company decided to combine it with their other, larger event, New York Comic Con. The difference this made was massive; in the span of a single year, NYAF went from being a small con focused almost exclusively on industry and their musical guests, to a behemoth of a convention encompassing everything from video game demonstrations to independent comic artists, with what was left of NYAF literally under their feet. The difference is so large, that even though I have been attending anime conventions for the better part of 11 years, the most similar convention to NYAF 2010 I have attended was actually PAX East last year – which makes sense, knowing both conventions are run by the same exhibitions company.
Overall, I’m still not quite sure what to think of the convention. The two events definitely did not meld together well, and getting around was quite difficult due to the sheer number of attendees crammed into relatively small paths. The show floor itself, at its worst, was nearly unnavigable; I’m told there were a few dealers selling anime goods in a corner, but I was never able to wade in that far. In the end, I only made it to about half the number of events in the convention I had intended, as dealing with the large crowd was exhausting and most of New York’s better food options brought me far from the convention center.
While there were some non-anime events that were quite enjoyable, such as seeing some really good StarCraft II matches at the Intel Extreme Masters tournament, I think that as an anime con goer, NYAF was better off when it wasn’t shoehorned into a much larger event. I still had a great time, but it was in large part due to the company I kept throughout the weekend rather than the events at the convention itself.
In the next part of my NYAF impressions, I’ll take a closer look at the specific events I attended.