My Experiences in NYAF: 2008-2011 and Future Plans

I’ve wrote this before, but I’ll say it again. New York Anime Festival was my first convention. Unlike a lot of convention goers, I didn’t start going until I was 21. Why? Because I had no one to go with. Then a couple of friends decided to go to a convention. It was the 2008 New York Anime Festival. I only went for one day, but a lot of things happened. I made a friend and I started to wear nekomimi (cat ears). It was also the first time I’ve seen people cosplay in person. I was interested in cosplaying before, but going to that convention inspired me to actually cosplay.

The 2009 New York Anime Festival was my first convention when I went alone. It was also the first time I cosplayed (outside Halloween, when I cosplayed Vandred’s Hibiki Tokai during high school). I cosplayed Negima’s Inugami Kotarou. It was a costume that no one noticed, but I’m glad that I did it. This convention was particularly special because right after the first day, I went to see my first baseball game. Other things happened which I will not go in detail on. The next day, I went to the Makino Yui concert. Her songs were very emotional, especially Amrita, which got me a bit teary-eyed.

The next NYAF was the first one that was combined with NYCC. Unlike some people, I had no problem with the combination at that time. I mean, there was a smaller focus on anime, but there were a lot more cosplayers and a lot still happened that year. They showed The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi and Nagato Yuki’s seiyuu, Chihara Minori, was in attendance during that screening. She also had a concert the next day and just like in the Makino Yui concert the year before, one of her songs, Yasashii Boukyaku, made me cry (yes I get it, I get too emotional sometimes). Vocaloid and Crypton Future Media also made an appearance and hinted in an Miku English voice.

Before I go on to this year, I do have a bit of a disclaimer. How I felt about NYAF will most certainly be different than other people thoughts about NYAF. My mood during those two days affected how I viewed NYAF 2011. 

This year’s NYAF was after a good AnimeNEXT, a great Anime Expo, and an amazing trip to Japan. One would hope that NYAF would follow its predecessors, but it didn’t. Remember when I said I had no problem with NYAF 2010. I had big problems with NYAF 2011. The lines in Day 1 was ridiculously stupid. We were lined ouside since the area where we would usually wait was not available that day. The line wrapped around the whole convention center before it opened, forcing us to go all around the building to get to the end of the line. Then it appeared that NYAF got more screwed. The panels were nowhere near where NYAF was. Also, it appeared that there was  an even bigger focus on comics. Of course, my mood was affected at the fact that people bailed on me for two straight days. I don’t blame them, but I was still affected that. However, despite that, I clearly noticed that there was also a problem with scheduling. The biggest culprit in this was the masquerade. I do not know the details but the 8:00 masquerade did not start at time. I was in line the hour before it was supposed to start and we were placed two halls from the IGN Theater. Then after 8, we were moved to another hall that was connected to the theater, but we were still not let in. 20 minutes past and we were told 15 more minutes by NYCC staff. Then another 20 minutes past and we were told by the convention center staff 25 more minutes. As much as I wanted to check out the masquerade, I was not going to continue to wait and I left. A bad end to NYAF 2011 for me.

But basically because of this year, I have decided the following: I will not go to NYAF again unless one or more of the following conditions are met:

1. NYAF is seperated from NYCC

2. If NYAF is not seperated from NYCC, there needs to be a bigger focus on anime

3. There are particular guests that come to NYAF

4. I find people that will go with me to NYAF (and actually go)

The last condition is the biggest factor here. For a person like me that is timid, going with other people makes the experience better. Going alone is okay, but when there is no one to talk to when nothing is going on (when I say that, I mean just sitting around), then there is a problem. If you’re saying I should change, you’re right. But you’re assuming that one can change overnight.

NYAF 2011: Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji Gathering (Day 2)

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NYAF 2011: Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji Gathering, a set on Flickr.

NYAF/NYCC 2010 Pictures: Day 3

This is the last day at NYAF/NYCC 2010, again cosplaying Genis Sage. Again, I took many pictures in the holding area. In the second picture, I took a bird’s-eye view of the holding area before I actually went there. I also took pictures of cosplayers in the dealer’s room, the funniest of which was Hard Gay. In the artist gallery, I manage to see two Chrome-nyan cosplayers! The only thing that would have made things more perfect is if I had a girlfriend that would cosplay as Chrome-nyan.

NYAF/NYCC 2010 Pictures: Day 2

Here are pictures I took during the second day of NYAF/NYCC 2010, cosplaying as Tales of Symphonia’s Genis Sage. I took more pictures in the beginning at the holding area, which opened at 10 AM. I didn’t take many pictures in the dealer’s room that day; most of my pictures were from the area near the Artist Gallery, Maid Cafe, and anime panels. My biggest find of the day was Chrome Dokuro. You all know that I love Chrome-nyan, so I was so happy when I saw someone cosplaying her.

NYAF/NYCC 2010 Pictures: Day 1

Here are some pictures from the first day of NYAF/NYCC 2010, while cosplaying Negima’s Inugami Kotarou. The quality is not great, but it was the best I could do. Hopefully, I can get a better camera for next convention. The several pictures are from my walk to the Javits Center, where the convention took place. Unlike last year, this year, it took up the whole convention center. The next several pictures comes from the holding area where we were held before the doors opened at 1 PM. The rest of the pictures came from the dealer’s room and some panels.

New York Anime Festival/New York Comic Con

The first convention I ever went to was the NY Anime Festival. This was back in the day where I was hesitant to go to a convention without anyone. I went with three people for a day and I had a lot of fun. Well, the last three days were my third time in NYAF. It was also the first time I ever went the whole three days (and the first time I went to NY Comic Con, since it was combined this year).

My first day started in a train station near my house, dressed up as Negima’s Inugami Kotarou. I boarded the train and after several stops, a professor from a nearby university that was heading to the city, was asking me why I was dressed up. We ended up talking for like 45 minutes until we actually went to NY. On the way, I didn’t really notice any other cosplayers, but I did notice some people that were also going to NYAF/NYCC. When I arrived there, we waited in the holding hall before the doors opened, so I was there for like two hours, taking random pictures. By the time the doors opened, the hall was about half filled, and it was a Friday. I was walking around the dealers room when I noticed a Kanade-chan bag. I found out that bag was part of a set that came with assorted Kanade-chan stuff, so I had to buy it. Glad I passed by there right away, becuase after a few hours, they sold out of those sets (much to the envy of some people I spoke to). While walking, I noticed a big croud in one of the booths. I was wondering why there would be such a big crowd and I found out that Stan Lee was in that booth. I somehow managed to take a picture of him.

After about an hour, I went to the E wing in the first floor to hear the soothing sounds of the Shamisen. Some traditional Japanese songs were played, but also, there was some American songs played. I walked around some more after that and listened to some K-On songs. I’m a bit afraid of what will happen to these songs when K-On is dubbed. Thinking of that sends shivers through my spine. Then went to a Chihara Minori panel (for those who don’t know, she is the voice of Nagato Yuki-chan) for an hour, walked around again, and then went to a Vocaloid panel. Oh yea, before that, I went to the artist gallery and bought art of Black Rock Shooter, Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin and Kagamine Len. I think I spend more on that first day than in any other convention day. Listening in that Vocaloid panel gave me ideas. They were talking about how engineers/engineering students were inspired by Vocaloid (or music videos created with songs created in Vocaloid). Maybe I should try figuring out how to write a masters thesis and combining it with some Vocaloid stuff. I mean, Vocaloid actually does get into my field of study. How to incovportate it to something new I don’t know yet. Then I went to a showing of the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi. I mean, I watched it before, but it was much better watching it on screen. I’ve wrote this before, but I like Yuki-chan much better because of that movie. I really, really like those type of girls: extremely cute and extremely shy. After that, I went back to New Jersey for the night.

The next day was an even bigger day. I’ve cosplayed as Kotarou-kun before (and I will continue to), but this was the first time I’ve cosplayed as Tales of Symphonia’s Genis Sage. And this was a more easily recognized character than Kotarou-kun. I spent a little bit of my time in the dealers room, where I bought a Kagami figure (cosplaying as Miku) and a small Ricchan figure. Then, I went to watch a showing of a Hatsune Miku concert that occured in Japan. Yea, I know it’s weird listening to synthesised singing, but hey, I like it. The room was packed and it was standing room only. Like the Vocaloid panel yesterday, there were several Miku cosplayers. My favorite song would probably be Kagamine Len’s Migikata no Chouchou and I was happy when I heard it. I walked some more in the first floor and guess who I saw? A person that cosplayed as Chrome Dokuro!!!!!!!!!! The only thing that would have made things more perfect is if I had a girlfriend that cosplayed as Chrome-nyan. Then, I could die happy. I walked around even more, going to the Maid Cafe and watch dance offs and other stuff and then, I headed to the IGN Theater and watched the Chihara Minori concert. It was nice to hear, but it was also funny when she tried to speak English (I already noticed that the day before). I wish I stayed for the masquerade, but I was tired, so I went back to NJ for the night.

On Sunday, I ended up going with my sister. I had to pay for some of the ticket, but I’m glad that I was able to get ONE person to go to with me. It broke my 2-convention/6-day streak of going alone. Let me tell you, going along is not that great. Sure you’re free to do whatever, but after several days (two to be exact), it does get tiring. It’s also a problem when you’re cosplaying and you don’t have someone cosplaying with you (especially if they are grouped with a certain group of people and if their series is popular [I had maybe one picture taken of me as Kotarou in three conventions and in this convention, I probably got at least five pictures taken of me as Genis during the two days I was Genis]). In my case, no one cosplayed as Raine Sage (sister of Genis). I’ve had people take pictures of me, but two of those people were wondering why Raine wasn’t with me. I had to circumvent the question, saying that if they see a Raine, they should let her know about me (but know that I think about it, that Raine would probably be with a Genis already).

Back to Sunday, that was a short day for me. I was Genis-kun again, walking around the dealers room with my sister, getting more pics, buying more eared hats and ears, and even buying devil wings (Yui-nyan!!!). Then, we went downstairs for several hours, just observing the events going on, watching a weird Pokemon battle, where Team Rocket (the same Team Rocket in the Artist Gallery that wanted a picture of me the on Saturday) sneaked in and tried to steal the pokemon. I also to dance and sing for a bit and I got even more pictures of Chrome-nyan!!! Then, we left. It was sad leaving, but it was funny that I was wearing devil wings in front of a person talking about the end of the world (in the street), another person preaching, and a Catholic church (on a Sunday!). I didn’t do it on purpose, but it was still funny.

So, it’s over. Just like every other convention I’ve been to, I wish it wasn’t over. It’s always nice seeing people cosplay. But it would be nice if I could cosplay with other people.

 

Pictures: Friday, Saturday, Sunday