The last time I went to the New York Anime Festival (NYAF) was two years ago and I had a great time. This year was a bit of a disappointment.
The main difference is that this time it was combined with the New York Comic Con (NYCC) and occupied almost all of the Javits Center (I think last time they only used half.) The combined show seemed to be about 80% American comics and 20% anime/manga. That’s not too surprising. It’s only natural that in America there is a lot more interest in American cartoons than in the Japanese equivalent.
But it felt like a letdown for me. Before people start flaming me, let me make it clear: there is nothing wrong with American comics. It’s just a matter of personal taste; I find the Japanese stuff a lot more fun.
Attendance was massive. The place was jam-packed, to the point where I started wondering what the fire code limits for the Javits Center might be.
As you may have noticed, I like to take pictures of cosplayers at these events. That didn’t work out too well. The ratio of cosplayers to mundanes was much lower than usual, and the crowding made it unusually difficult to get a shot. There were always people in the way, or I couldn’t get close enough, or far away enough. All I can say is “Thank God for digital photography!” I took about 50 shots and got maybe 6 that were usable. If I were still using film I would be rather upset.
Photos below the fold.
(Sept 20) Various other attractions in Ueno Park. I think I managed to cover about half of it.
(Sept 20) Since my flight home left in the evening, I was left with almost a full day to kill in Tokyo. I had never been to Ueno Park, so I decided to check it out.
There are lots of interesting things in the park, but the single most popular attraction is surely the zoo. My expectations were not very high based on my previous experience with Japanese zoos, but in this case I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn’t quite measure up to one of the top-ranked American zoos (e.g. San Diego, Washington or the Bronx) but given the limited space they have available it is really pretty good.
(Sept 19) Every morning the colorful market district near the train station bustles with vendors selling the fresh produce and fresh seafood for which Hokkaido is famous.