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Anime NYC 2022

The biggest anime convention on the East Coast
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Ah, New York City. It’s one of the most famous cities in the world. It also happens to have one of the largest anime conventions in North America. At just five years old, that’s quite an accomplishment. We always hear how expensive it is to live in big cities like New York City, and I imagine it must be equally as expensive to rent the Javits Center. Home to Anime NYC, this massive convention center sits on some prime riverside real estate. It takes a lot of courage to start an anime convention in one of the most expensive cities in the US. It’s a huge financial risk and there’s no guarantee that anyone will show up. If things go wrong you could find yourself in massive debt. If things go well, or well enough, you stand a good chance of becoming one of the largest anime conventions in the USA. You can also make a buck or two along the way.
On paper the math is solid. Anime NYC has the benefit of having a massive audience right at its doorstep. New York City is the largest city in the US and New York State is the third largest anime market after Texas and California. Those numbers provide an immediate potential for growth. In just five years this convention has gone from an idea on paper to one of the top ten most attended anime conventions. Showrunner LeftField Media is no stranger the fan convention industry. With such events as Rose City Comic Con, Anime Frontier, and Awesome Con, they have a proven track record of running successful conventions.
COVID wristband distribution  was moved off-site which eased congestion and delays at the convention center.
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COVID wristband distribution was moved off-site which eased congestion and delays at the convention center.

Anime NYC 2021 was infamous for having massive queues and delays getting into the building. People waited for hours outside in very cold November temperatures and they complained about it on social media. Anime NYC essentially crammed everyone through two doors while doling out COVID wristbands at the same time. That process was painfully slow and led to lax examination of vaccination cards. It was poor planning on the part of LeftField Media and it gave them a public relations black eye. It didn’t seem to keep people from coming back for 2022, however. Attendees returned this year in even larger numbers. Thankfully, LeftField seemed to have figured out how doors work because people quickly made their way inside. They also shifted COVID wristbands to an off-site location for more efficient processing. Although masks were required and LeftField promised that they would enforce the policy, this attendee saw roughly 50% compliance throughout the weekend.
A queue formed in the morning before the doors opened. This was nothing compared to 2021 when people waited for hours to enter. This line disappeared once the doors opened.
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A queue formed in the morning before the doors opened. This was nothing compared to 2021 when people waited for hours to enter. This line disappeared once the doors opened.

The lower level lobby.
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The lower level lobby.

The Javits Center

The Javits Center features an impressive glass atrium called the Crystal Palace.
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The Javits Center features an impressive glass atrium called the Crystal Palace.

The Javits Center features an impressive glass atrium rightfully called the Crystal Palace. It’s the focal point of the venue where everyone gathers before breaking off into the vendor hall and panel rooms. You might think the glass stucture would be about as insulated as a sieve, but the temperature inside was quite cozy. One of my pet peeves about large convention centers is the always ice-cube cold air conditioning. That wasn’t the case at the Javits Center.
A portion of the vendor hall.
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A portion of the vendor hall.

The vendor halls run the length of the venue. It's so large that this convention of roughly 40,000 fans didn’t even use half of the space. There's a lower level which was mostly vacant and another portion of the building called Javits North that was closed off. There’s plenty of room for growth. While I didn’t spend much time in the vendor hall, it was obvious that this convention largely centers around the vendor hall and artists alley. The show floor was crowded throughout the weekend and it felt a lot like Anime Expo or San Diego Comic-Con. The ratio of scheduled panels vs attendees is much lower than at a convention like Katsucon or Sakura-Con. Events ended around 10 PM on Friday and Saturday and no later than 4PM on Sunday. There was a visible exodus of people when the vendor hall closed and I heard they were shuffling people out on Sunday. While that’s not uncommon for this type of convention, it means there’s a distinct lack of a nightlife like DragonCon and Katsucon have.
The Bandai Namco booth featured large Gundam.
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The Bandai Namco booth featured large Gundam.

There were a number of large displays from notable anime companies such as Bandai Namco, pixiv, and Viz. While not as impressive as the booths at Anime Expo, there’s clearly an industry presence and it will continue to grow in the coming years. There’s no reason why this convention couldn’t become the number two anime convention, in size at least, right behind Anime Expo.

The Cosplayers

Cosplay is of course a big part of any anime convention. There were so many amazing cosplayers at Anime NYC and I was only able to catch a small number of them. The popular series this year seemed to be Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Seven Deadly Sins, Jujustu Kaisen, and One Piece. Taking photos and video in the convention center is a little challenging because the light streams through the glass atrium. It can be both too bright and too dark at the same time. It can also be a benefit if, like me, you love lens flare. I took advantage of it a number of times by pointing my camera right into the sunlight. Thanks to everyone I met and shot with. I hope to see you again soon!
@ka0riir0 Kiwi from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
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@ka0riir0 Kiwi from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

@jamal_johns Cyberpsycho "V" from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
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@jamal_johns Cyberpsycho "V" from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

@sminky Rebecca from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
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@sminky Rebecca from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

@monolith_costumes David from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
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@monolith_costumes David from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

@vesleskjor_cosplay Evelyn Parker from Cyberpunk 2077
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@vesleskjor_cosplay Evelyn Parker from Cyberpunk 2077

@2sad2yeet Lucy from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
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@2sad2yeet Lucy from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Attack on Titan
@uleviclean Levi
@majorshigo Mikasa
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Attack on Titan @uleviclean Levi @majorshigo Mikasa

@jinxviridis Nazuna from Call of the Night
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@jinxviridis Nazuna from Call of the Night

@maruwins Lulu from Final Fantasy X
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@maruwins Lulu from Final Fantasy X

@brolicpump Portgas D. Ace from One Piece
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@brolicpump Portgas D. Ace from One Piece

Neon Genesis Evangelion
@restemployed Asuka
@not.available.no Mari
@itsalicewithac Rei
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Neon Genesis Evangelion @restemployed Asuka @not.available.no Mari @itsalicewithac Rei

@kc_cosplay W from Arknights
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@kc_cosplay W from Arknights

@_kellybu Daki from Demon Slayer
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@_kellybu Daki from Demon Slayer

@lakota_boricua San from Princess Mononoke
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@lakota_boricua San from Princess Mononoke

@theinsanityproject Snow White from SINoALICE
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@theinsanityproject Snow White from SINoALICE

@silverr.fox Tengen Uzui from Demon Slayer
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@silverr.fox Tengen Uzui from Demon Slayer

@mcheretic Elita One - Transformers Prime version
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@mcheretic Elita One - Transformers Prime version

@juiceejuce Bomb Devil from Chainsaw Man
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@juiceejuce Bomb Devil from Chainsaw Man

@chenyikehan Utau Hoshina from Shugo Chara!
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@chenyikehan Utau Hoshina from Shugo Chara!

@faiththelessbian Elizabeth Liones from Seven Deadly Sins
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@faiththelessbian Elizabeth Liones from Seven Deadly Sins

@nijbr0 Saitama from One Punch Man
@xoxokillaquinn Harley Quinn
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@nijbr0 Saitama from One Punch Man @xoxokillaquinn Harley Quinn

@hippypotter Riddler
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@hippypotter Riddler

@2ouri Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa
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@2ouri Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa

@stickiestpurple Kamisato Ayaka from Genshin Impact
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@stickiestpurple Kamisato Ayaka from Genshin Impact

@kawaiimayhem Vampire Hunter D
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@kawaiimayhem Vampire Hunter D

@creativebaiology Iron Sailor Moon
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@creativebaiology Iron Sailor Moon

@arabella_kat Makima nurse version from Chainsaw Man
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@arabella_kat Makima nurse version from Chainsaw Man

@starrlegacyy Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog
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@starrlegacyy Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog

@giagerardi Buggy from One Piece
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@giagerardi Buggy from One Piece

@kailcarps Team Rocket from Pokemon
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@kailcarps Team Rocket from Pokemon

Shiro from Deadman Wonderland
@kikicheea
@hanaii.mae
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Shiro from Deadman Wonderland @kikicheea @hanaii.mae

Winx Club
@reel_chameleon Flora
Bloom
@abbyandrew.yt Stella
@issabrittanyyy Aisha
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Winx Club @reel_chameleon Flora Bloom @abbyandrew.yt Stella @issabrittanyyy Aisha

@1oveward Chihiro from Spirited Away
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@1oveward Chihiro from Spirited Away

@mandyangg Nel Tu from Bleach
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@mandyangg Nel Tu from Bleach

@chiikachuuu Elaine from Seven Deadly Sins
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@chiikachuuu Elaine from Seven Deadly Sins

@nnii.zzz Chisato from Lycoris Recoil
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@nnii.zzz Chisato from Lycoris Recoil

@maruwins Yennefer from The Witcher
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@maruwins Yennefer from The Witcher

@lexkuma Milim Nava from That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
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@lexkuma Milim Nava from That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime

@shio.kou Strawberry Hatsune Miku 15th anniversary
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@shio.kou Strawberry Hatsune Miku 15th anniversary

@sss_fyl Rem from Re:Zero
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@sss_fyl Rem from Re:Zero

@rotten_yams Link Royal Guard outfit from Breath of the Wild
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@rotten_yams Link Royal Guard outfit from Breath of the Wild

@faiththelessbian Goddess Elizabeth Liones from Seven Deadly Sins
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@faiththelessbian Goddess Elizabeth Liones from Seven Deadly Sins

@ur_malibare Gwen from League of Legends
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@ur_malibare Gwen from League of Legends

@notagainmaria Diane from Seven Deadly Sins
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@notagainmaria Diane from Seven Deadly Sins

@haleycosplay Elizabeth Lioness from Seven Deadly Sins
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@haleycosplay Elizabeth Lioness from Seven Deadly Sins

Shizuku Murasaki from Hunter x Hunter
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Shizuku Murasaki from Hunter x Hunter

@chiikachuuu Sabelye Pokemon
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@chiikachuuu Sabelye Pokemon

@sailorkayla Maka from Soul Eater
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@sailorkayla Maka from Soul Eater

@cupids.u Yuno Gasai from Future Diary
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@cupids.u Yuno Gasai from Future Diary

@dan0rj Roronoa Zoro from One Piece
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@dan0rj Roronoa Zoro from One Piece

@daisyrivana Misa Amane from Death Note
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@daisyrivana Misa Amane from Death Note

Neon Genesis Evangelion x Joker
@astruhfiz Joker Asuka
@g1n1nab1n Joker Rei
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Neon Genesis Evangelion x Joker @astruhfiz Joker Asuka @g1n1nab1n Joker Rei

@the_annakin Sukuna from Jujutsu Kaisen
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@the_annakin Sukuna from Jujutsu Kaisen

@iamkaylagreen homage to magical anime girls
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@iamkaylagreen homage to magical anime girls

@keahcosplay Sailor Moon
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@keahcosplay Sailor Moon

@lucyaureliawoodrow Haruko Haruhara from FLCL
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@lucyaureliawoodrow Haruko Haruhara from FLCL

@maruwins Terra Branford from Final Fantasy 6
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@maruwins Terra Branford from Final Fantasy 6

Re:Zero
@rat_with_wig Ram
@usagi_island Rem
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Re:Zero @rat_with_wig Ram @usagi_island Rem

@milo_cospl Gaara from Naruto
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@milo_cospl Gaara from Naruto

@camsc0rd Sephiroth from Final Fantasy
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@camsc0rd Sephiroth from Final Fantasy

@willthechamp Irwin from Attack on Titan
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@willthechamp Irwin from Attack on Titan

@nijbr0 Lio Fotia from Promare
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@nijbr0 Lio Fotia from Promare

@sparklekonplay Bakugo from My Hero Academia
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@sparklekonplay Bakugo from My Hero Academia

@conniezen Chun Li
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@conniezen Chun Li

@uusagi_yuki Girls Frontline
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@uusagi_yuki Girls Frontline

Dragonball
@mishamai Chi Chi
@neptuneexplainsitall Bulma
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Dragonball @mishamai Chi Chi @neptuneexplainsitall Bulma

@ravengriim Blair from Soul Eater
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@ravengriim Blair from Soul Eater

@lexkuma Marin Succubus from My Dress-up Darling
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@lexkuma Marin Succubus from My Dress-up Darling

@pikaswoosh Yor Forger from Spy x Family
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@pikaswoosh Yor Forger from Spy x Family

@ohdangomimi Atago from Azur Lane
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@ohdangomimi Atago from Azur Lane

@_thrillainvanilla Bowsette
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@falyn.vega Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion
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@falyn.vega Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion

@sylentcosplay Marin Black Lobelia from My Dress-up Darling
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@sylentcosplay Marin Black Lobelia from My Dress-up Darling

@vanteese Albedo from Overlord
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@vanteese Albedo from Overlord

@abbyandrew.yt Stella from Winx Club
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@abbyandrew.yt Stella from Winx Club

@ssicaryry Snow Bunny Hatsune Miku
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@ssicaryry Snow Bunny Hatsune Miku

@annalisaqiqi Chi from Chobits
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@annalisaqiqi Chi from Chobits

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