Anime NYC 2022: Wrap

It feels weird blogging about Anime NYC while attending its sister con, Anime Frontier in Fort Worth. On the other hand, AF is basically the same setup as ANYC, just much smaller…and has Gundam Aerial HG in stock.

Anime NYC comes back from its Omicron-shaded 2021 edition and is a victim of its timing, yet again. This time it’s still not its fault. Japan opened its doors in mid-October which made booking guests feasible. Record high inflation and strong US demand for entertainment in 2022 means every international act is trying to play here, resulting in a slog of perfomer visa applications. This is partly why fhana and Flow dropped out of A-Kon earlier this year, but this is also why ANYC, despite various tries and attempts (as heard from the grapevine) couldn’t really come through with much. With help from CR, the Mogra DJs made it to the US, including the once-denied-by-visa DJ Wildparty who was supposed to show up at Porter Robinson’s show earlier in October. Rock band [alexandros] was literally announced on Friday of the con with a concert on Sunday, curtesy of Bandai Namco and their huge Gundam push. There’s a video out there of them talking about their visa limbo. It is a very 2022 eventer feel for Americans.

Anime NYC 2022 is a big Gundam con. I would say a good fifth of the programs are related to it including guests, screening, and the Alexandros concert. Bannam brought two huge Gundam displays and a large Gundam Base shop, along with other Bannam stuff. It was so big that it took me a while to find where the Tensura and music stuff were sold. Mixbox had a booth as collaborated with MAL, so I guess that technically is also Bannam? Bannam brought over the producer and director to Hathaway’s Flash. I finally got to tell Murase how I feel about Witch Hunter Robin! Maybe it’s blessing in disguise it wasn’t Reina Ueda at the con. Anyways they had a big presence.

Sort of overshadowed by them are Aniplex, and Toei. It’s hard to overshadow the huge One Piece displays they had at the hall, though. Literally a giant Luffy balloon towered over everything there, with regular cosplay gatherings riding on the hot Film Red stuff that’s going on.

Aniplex did their usual best, and I thoroughly enjoyed their panels, or at least the ones I could go to. Kagura panel was a ton of fun, and you can watch it streamed still. The big Mahoyo displays though…it is a vibe, as they say. I guess I need to dust off my Switch for the holidays.

Being mostly an industry thing, ANYC let the big companies bring their stuff, and it worked out because Bannam, Aniplex and Toei are real deals and I am impressed with what they did. Gundam Base did brisk business all weekend. If you spent $500 there you could get front row Alexandros concert. I’m not sure people realizes the value of this.

Alexandros are bros through and through. Two of them are fluent in English so it helped. It’s my first time seeing them in person but these guys are chart topper rockers (and I guess played in NYC in 2018). Still wild that they came with basically 2 days of notice. We were able to coax an encore out of them so that was good.

For reasons, I actually missed out on most of the Mogra stuff. I hated it, but it can’t be helped. The show was combined with the JP DJ with this LA DJ (she’s Taiwanese?) who played basically half the time. LIO from NIOLION was there with Teddy also, who I was able to see on Sunday.

The last thread from ANYC in terms of programming was the Tensura stuff. The movie just came out in Japan and was right after ANYC. Mindaryn and RON from Stereo Dive Foundation came over to do some music from the movie. In fact, Mindaryn had to fly back on Saturday because she has a movie event literally the day after. The mini-concert at the Tensura panel was fun. RON also did a solo show the Wednesday after ANYC (literally day before Thanksgiving) which was basically the same set plus a bunch of his older stuff. RON has written a lot of anime and game music so his solo work from SDF is kind of just scratching the surface of his catalog but do check it out.

What else is there to say? The con is huge–49K plus unique warm bodies, and it’s only because they weren’t booking the entire Javitz. The lines were a non-issue this year due to the lottery system. That said the lottery system is a bit of a mess, so I hope they clean that up for 2023.

On that note, Flow said at their panel at Anime Frontier that they want to go play in NY, because they only played in NJ and toured NY during their off day (sup Anime Next). Maybe this is a sign.

As for the rest of the con, I actually spent most of the time there, despite working Friday. It was crowded, and the exhibit floor was pretty much buzzing most of the time. Since panels were lottery for a good number of them, I didn’t really try to go. I didn’t even get to see Kawasumi… and the aforementioned miss on Mogra DJ left a bad taste in my mouth because I wanted to see them (and even paid VIP..)…well it’s partly my fault, but everything was announced kind of last minute, including the schedule of when the DJs will play. I think those issues aside, ANYC was actually a good time that renergized me (even if it was at the tail end of a eventing spree). Good time with friends were spent, especially making this ANYC special as covid’s grasp on events continue to weaken.

I gave away a bunch of these Minami Saki photo books. They come with a DVD. Not sure how many people even know her at this con... Why do I have these? Someone gave them to me lol.

PS. Eats… if we take the full time from Friday to Wednesday after SDF’s concert… Went to 3 izakayas and they were all pretty good. The Henn na Hotel in Midtown has a proper izakaya inside of it, just really expensive. We went to 2 other places around Grammercy, one being a staple and another more traditional. We ended up getting “hot pot” which is just meat foudue Japanese style. It’s weird. Other spot has become a bit of my regular place with tebasaki and boozy milkshake made from nigori sake. We had late night dimsum on Wednesday after ramen for pre-show pregame. I mean what else is open at 11:30pm the day before Thanksgiving, am I right?

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