It was surprising to see how big the Bandai Ent. booth was this year compared to last year. I guess you can spend it up when Funimation and Media Blasters are the only remaining competition. Ah yes… the nuances of free-market capitalism…
It has been normal procedure for the past few years to attend as many anime cons in the NJ area. Today, both sis and I were at NYAF for essentially our home con (since AnimeNext has really sucked it up in Secaucus). Once again we try our best to make the Saturday at least since going the entire weekend (and crossing the Hudson that many times) takes alot of energy for this 40hr-work-week anime fan. Here’s my report on NYAF 2008 Saturday:
After crossing the Hudson on the NJ-NY ferry, the first major event we attended was the anime blogger panel run by Hinano, JPMeyer and DS. The audience was a good mix of bloggers and non-bloggers which really helped the Q&A along. I had pictured everyone to look a certain way and I was a bit surprised when I met them in person (kinda like picturing then meeting radio personalities). It was nothing in particular. It just changed my perception a bit. I got to meet Mike from Anime Diet which was also cool.
Both sis and I went around the dealers room for the most part afterwards until anime press your luck (we ended up missing the Amano panel since we came late and the room filled up). Two things we noticed walking around. One, there was a considerable change to the layout from last year. They moved the maid cafe and the some of the artist’s alley to what used to be the major theatre setup area from last year. Where the maid cafe used to be is where they held the musical guests most of the time. That stage was open and fairly small. Most of the audience sat on the floor around in order to listen and they took up all the hall space as well.
Second, it seemed like this year wasn’t as crowded. I remember the fairly large line to get into the main entrance last year. That was non-existent this year. And while it was still fairy crowded generally, I was able to move around better. I’m a bit puzzled at this since this year it was held much earlier (in warm September compared with cold December). I guess the parents are not as willing to shell out some expendable cash in this economy . Although I still ran over some small kids (by accident of course).
Outside of the dealers room and watching the random cosplay and the cosplay stupidity that comes with it (there was a some really good cosplay this year), we attended anime press your luck which had a ton of technical bugs. I didn’t have too much of an issue with the technical issues since the host was cool. My problem was that the questions they used were waaaay tooo tough which made the spin rounds really short.
Anime press your luck was followed by the charity auction for kids art foundation. The auction was fun since it had a bunch of random stuff run by some lively English voice actors (I could only remember Brad Swaile being there). I did signed up but I never found anything particularly interesting. There was some things which got a fair bit of bidding action (like the $400+ framed Fugshigi Yuugi drawing signed by Yuu Watase and some signed Amano stuff). They made a fair bit of money for a good cause. I met up with sis in anime match game afterwards then we went home (since they just filled the world cosplay summit masquerade and didn’t let any late people in).
Overall, it was a good day (minus the overcast). My one complaint the entire day was this: WHERE THE HELL IS THE PHONE STRAP HOOK ON MY STUPID PHONE?!
I spent 20 mins trying to find the strap hook on my new Samsung Gleam phone and I can’t find it. Never again will I buy phones over the internet (even though I got this one for mad cheap).
Next convention is MangaNext 2008 which happens to be 10 mins from my house. This might be the first time where I’ll attend all weekend. Although we might miss stuff since sis has SAT testing on that Saturday (boo for the college admissions process). I will decorate my car for that event like I did for AnimeNext 2008 (only then to lose my camera and all the pictures). Yay for nearby cons.