Anime NYC 2018, Day One

It’s always been the case that conventions that run Friday to Sunday tend to load the most important stuff on the second day. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it quite as bad as this year’s Anime NYC, with a total of zero things I was interested in covering today but a plethora of stuff tomorrow. As such, most of the meat of this report will be coming at you in about 24 hours or so. This is not to say Anime NYC Friday did not have lots of interesting stuff. There were panels galore, mostly for anime producers, and oodles of autograph sessions. And the crowd. Oh, very large crowd. I was impressed.

After getting my press badge, I lurked on a staircase for a while before getting up at 1 to go into the exhibition hall, where the companies and dealers were, which was scheduled to open at 1. Unfortunately, due to a promotion for Crunchyroll that allows their people earlier access, it was more like 1:30 by the time the line began to move. If I recall correctly, a similar thing happened last year. Once inside, though, everything was fine as I was able to peruse and talk to most of the publishers who are here.

One of those publishers is a new one run by a familiar face: Denpa, with fomer Vertical frontman Ed Chavez. They’ll have a panel tomorrow, but had a few of their titles available for purchase already, including Pez and Inside Mari, which I discussed in Manga the Week of. Because I am me, I also chided Ed for leaving Sakura Matou off the back cover copy of Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family (out in early 2019). One Peace books also had a booth, which was mostly dedicated to Rising of the Shield Hero and Hinamatsuri, though they also had some copies of I Hear the Sunspot. I urged them to get a Twitter account, so that I can start tagging them better in posts.

Kodansha and Vertical have had combined booths and panels over the past couple of years, and they’re also the booth at which I spent actual money, as I got a copy of the Katanagatari hardcover novel ahead of its November 27th street date (footnotes! copious footnotes explaining the wordplay!) and also the 3rd Wotakoi omnibus, due out either November 20th or 27th depending on whether you’re getting it from Amazon or not. I also picked up Pop Team Epic fuzzy mini-dice, because come on, the very idea is awesome, cute AND funny. Lastly, I dropped by Mangagamer’s booth – they have a panel tonight, which I can’t make due to a prior commitment, but honestly I was there for only one thing. Unfortunately, as I expected, Minagoroshi, the 7th Higurashi arc, is stuck in programming – fortunately its next in the queue.

Throughout the day, I was struck by the fact that everyone was not only having fun but also being nice. There was lots of cosplay, lots of pictures of cosplay, and very little of people blocking through-ways because of pictures of cosplay. Everyone was discussing anime and manga they were following now, and also what they’d followed back in middle and high school. Best of all, there were not one but TWO ball pits where people could get pictures of themselves wallowing in – one of which, which I believe is a joint promotion between Kodansha and Yen, featured little ‘slimes’ as the balls, as in That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime. It’s good to see the Dashcon ballpit being redeemed and used for good in the modern convention world.

Lastly, while I’d mentioned that most of the panels announcing new licenses are tomorrow, Seven Seas (who are not allowed to leave the West Coast or else their souls wither, I think) came out with a new light novel announcement, though the name may be familiar to anime and manga readers. Restaurant to Another World (Isekai Shokudou) is from Shufunotomosha’s Hero Bunko line, and features a restaurant that is fairly normal six days a week… but on that seventh day, it caters to a more fantasy-oriented clientele. The manga has been coming out here digitally via Crunchyroll, and I believe Crunchyroll also has the anime. Best of all, at least for me, is that the illustrations are being done by Katsumi Enami, who also draws illustrations for Baccano!.

And that’s it for today! Tonight I go out to eat at a nice Manhattan restaurant, rest my aching ankles (standing for hours on end is getting to be something I simply can’t do), and prepare for Day Two, featuring ALL THE PANELS!

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  1. Rip I can’t believe a publisher with several huge series under their belt in this day & age doesn’t have a twitter account… The minimal amount that they could do is use Hootsuite/etc to crosspost a shortened version of their releases on twitter and it allows the original creators to RT the news about the English version of their book!

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