List of Known Freebies at New York Comic Con | NYCC2018

A list compiled by Reddit and personal finds of freebies at NYCC this year.

In no particular order or booth numbers because that is essentially how the con rolled this year…

SyFy Fan Lounge (up the escalator in the circular area. You know you’re there when you see crayons and coloring books randomly, spot overworked slightly demure staff and a line wrapping in a circle like some great angry serpent) – free t-shirts also may find the elusive bags here.

Heather Bus (towards the right hand side of the Geico booth if you’re standing in a wrap-around line. Literally a gratified yellow school bus) – Go inside the bus and a bunch of Heathers’ in character will take your photo on a bus seat, and then tell you if you tag it on social media they “might give you something…or whatever.” Upon exiting you get a nifty Heathers pin promoting the reboot.

Geico (Just look towards the Javits Center ceiling to see the judgmental reptile staring at you with glee in anticipation of your personal info. Which by the way, say something to the effect of “I only have my badge, not my license” and staff will waive scanning your ID.) – You get a big blue bag out of it that holds a good amount of weight. Go into the semi-sturdy van set up before leaving and play a game to win different prizes. I got a Geico plushie with a different cape than last year. I think playing the memory game on the screens also give prizes, but I’ve never seen anyone win that yet. Don’t forget to get some hand sanitizer on the way out. There is also a 360 photo/video booth before exit you might want to pop in.

Fandom – You get a cute little pin with their logo on it.

Crunchyroll – A huge pit filled with some sort of bananacat animal plushies. You put shoe covers on your sneakers, hand your cell phone to one of the staff and literally just flop down into the pool of stuffed goodies. You receive some sort of card and red wrapper for partaking. I’ve heard inside the wrapper was an enamel pin. I was in line for this but the person I attended the con with kept incessantly going on about the amount of germs at the con and how I already felt ill, so I skipped out a few moments later.

Outlander/American Gods (towards the green entrance con-goers with tickets were funneled through.  It is outside of the convention center with an American cowboy get up.) – Show the Starz app on your cell phone and I believe you also may have to go through some inside store to get the goodies.  American Gods give out t-shirts, character buttons and you can take a photo. Outlander gives out a tote bag, and reportedly a perfume vial along with “a personalized leather luggage tag.” The line was a bit long when I arrived and I was still fruitlessly searching for a program booklet, so I skipped this altogether.

Stranger Things – Can receive a replica of Mike’s bike when signing up for a Hawkins Library Card. In addition to a few other little gifts.

Sideshow – Stop by the booth and ask for a card. Go to the smaller comic book vendors and receive stamps from each. Return back to Sideshow and receive a free Marvel Thanos pin that is engraved with ‘NYCC 2018’ and its booth’s namesake. Try to complete this task early if possible.

Loot Crate – Pay with a MasterCard and get a go at their UFO catcher….They may draw you in under the false pretense of scanning your badge to enter a raffle and then ask “have you used your MasterCard today at our booth? If so, you can play our claw machine to try and win mediocre prizes!” Unbridled fun for the masses!

Good Omens – Take an elevator and after a bit receive an enamel pin and a “Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter” book for your time.

Mood Fabrics – These folks are giving out a little booklet with cosplay patterns and some information. You can scan your badge and be entered into a drawing for a sewing machine to…you know, finally complete all of those backlist cosplay costume ideas.

DC Universe – Receive a gift bag with Titan pins, comics promoting Aquaman, Shazam and Titans. May have to sign up for the service trial to receive these, just remember to cancel before the week is out unless you want to be billed.

Adding onto DC Universe, I received a set of four pins in plastic near the Publishing area but I can’t remember from whom.

Marvel – You may have to fill something out on social media to receive a box with pins, character figures and two masks. Can enter a drawing to win an xbox.

Square Enix/KH3 Demo – Tickets are given out each morning when the convention floor ends, so get there early. After the demo receive a themed popsocket with the logo. Apparently, they are also giving these to people who are in the right place at the right time, so don’t be afraid to ask about it!

YuGiOh – Take a photo and be a part of a children’s card game for all of eternity.

Imgur – Free pins at their booth.

Overwatch – Cosplayers allegedly can wait in a shorter line. The special pin is the Reinhardt character. Can you tell I don’t know much about the game?

She-Ra – A huge statue towards the concourse of the Javits Center. When I passed by I just seen people taking photos with prop swords, and someone asked about freebies but the staff said they were out. Apparently, you can get a headband and a set of buttons. Not sure if the statue and the ‘She-Ra experience’ are two different things. Again had no clue of the layout because of no show program and didn’t want to eat my battery life using the website. Or app.

Penguin Random House – Giving away items associated with the promotion of Anne Rice’s newest book (Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat). Pins, posters, a cool red feather pen, and some other goodies were available. Basically just travel along all of their different offset booths (graphics, etc) and grab posters and chat with the delightful staff. They are also giving out full on free signed books in drawings every few hours, be sure to check out their booth early to see what’s going on for the day.

Chevrolet – No detailed license scanning this year, thankfully. Complete a survey and have a choice of a few goodies including blue or silver drawstring backpacks that high schoolers wear on field trips and t-shirts.

SmartyPants Vitamins – T-shirts for winners of a quick game, vitamins for all who want them. Towards the entrance of the convention center.

Stranger Comics – Free comics if you follow their social media. Not sure which series or issues.

Rilakkuma (Pop up shop just on the cusp of Artist Alley.) Walk through the cutesy little alcove and the staff can take your picture if you are alone. It was really nice that they tried keeping the stragglers moving in a polite manner so everyone had the chance for nice photos. –  Receive a cool deco pen for your time.

Kodansha – Sign up for the newsletter beforehand (I literally just showed them an email from a week ago) and receive a character pin. I believe they also had posters.

Oni Press – Pins and posters. If the pins are not out just ask one of the staff and they should have some, as they were tucked away until I said something.  Really nice people working that booth.

In general, everyone was really nice that I encountered.

Dark Horse – The elusive yellow bags. Get there early, because they do go super-fast and you will be haunted every time you see someone go by with one in tow.

Viz Media – Posters, manga sampler, fighting a stampede.

GKIDS – Posters and little character pins. I also think you could get a special Mirai film promotion poster with a purchase.

Vertical Comics – Posters and a very cool shojo manga sampler.

Note: Remember to try your best to go to booths with free bags as early in your con day as possible. They usually run out within ten minutes in some cases (looking at you, Dark Horse…three years running and I still haven’t secured a new bag).

Check out the Reddit thread here and add your freebie haul to the list! Also be sure to check your favorite exhibitor’s actual website or social media for more info on possible exclusives!

Did you get a good haul? How was your con? Are you excited for next year? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more convention news! NYCC and AFNYCC con reviews coming soon!

Nyanko-sensei, the Maneki-Neko | The Youkai of Anime | Natsume Yuujinchou

Kicking off the #YokaiSpiritSunday series on the official first day of fall, today we will take a look at Nyanko Sensei from Natsume’s Book of Friends!

Of late I’ve found myself writing a lot about yokai, or Japanese spirits. I have always had an interest in them, and read books pertaining to all types of ghosts and supernatural phenomena.

Years ago when the last local Borders Bookstore went out of business, I stocked up on a hodgepodge of encyclopedia on mythical creatures and universal folklores. Since I spoke of strange things so often, a friend in high school gifted me a book on youkai one year. I tried channeling this passion into the now-defunct YouTube channel I often reference in older posts. It was not doing well, and since I loved the channel so much I didn’t want to also see a series I put my heart into go down.

So it’s been here, in my head and heart for about five years. More ideas are stored here as well, ideas I would like to share on this blog. Eventually, I’d like this WordPress to be more than a blog, more than a website, more than a well-known name. I want it to be a community, a tangible place where people can feel safe. A place where people can discover that there is more substance in anime then they previously believed. People, especially Westerners, have this cognitive tendency to associate animation with childhood. They truly don’t believe animation is just another medium to explore stories, themes, and cultural consensus. In film school, I tried my best to cover animated films or shovel in a bit of discourse on why they matter. It was appreciated, which is one positive thing I can say about my ‘liberal’ compadres and professors.

This series will explore yokai, their history, and prevalence in a series. Japan is a land where spirituality is prized over religion, and Shintoism is viewed more as tradition than a bind. The tradition of visiting temples on the New Year, adding yuzu fruit to baths during the Winter Solstice, Jizo statues and local shrines so old that no one remembers its origin story.

These beliefs are shown in anime, either in the literal sense or the symbolic metaphysical. I am not Japanese, nor will I ever be. I do not attempt to be Japanese, I merely love the richness of the culture and accept the good and the bad. I try to be objective in my writing, and I will try to do so as this series goes on. I am an American at heart and although there will be some things I will never understand, that does not mean that we cannot try – together.

So I bring to you all, a new series to the blog that is near and dear to my heart: The Youkai of Anime series.

This time, we will take a look at Nyanko-sensei from the anime Natsume Yuujinchou, or Natsume’s Book of Friends. I will be rewatching all six seasons of the series and writing about the various yokai (and yurei) in each episode. Naturally, this will take a while. I don’t want to spam any one subject on In Asian Spaces, so it will be updated most likely each Sunday. I will also cover other shows, mixing them in so that one show or one subject is not the central focus.

Think of this as a yokai catalog, detailing folklore spirits in Japanese anime.

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Series Name: Natsume Yuujincho [夏目友人帳]

Number of Seasons: Six

Season 1 Original Air Date: July 8th – September 30th 2008

Manga: Yes (ongoing)

OVA/Movies: Yes

Related Media: Hotarubi no Mori E [蛍火の杜へ] or Into the Forest of Fireflies Light

Character Name: Nyanko-sensei

Yokai Name: Maneki-Neko [招き猫]

Association: “The Lucky Cat” “The Beckoning Cat” “The Waving Cat”

Episode of Appearance: Episode 1, Natsume Yuujinchou (S1)

Description: A plump, reservedly “ugly” calico cat with stumpy legs and beady eyes. Red markings on his cheeks that hint at his true ‘majestic’ form.

In episode one of the series, Natsume is being chased by a spirit. He runs into a shrine and passes onto purified sacred grounds. Accidentally knocking over a lucky cat statue, he releases Madara from his long imprisonment. As of season six of the anime, we have yet to find out who sealed Nyanko sensei.

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Are you all familiar with the tales of the maneki-neko?

A maneki neko, is usually a calico cat figure holding a koban in one paw with the other outstretched. A koban was a form of Japanese currency in the Edo, or Tokugawa Period (1603-1868). Edo was the former name of what we know today as Tokyo.

There is a lot of debate on whether the mankei neko is Chinese or Japanese in origin, which I cannot fully say. I came across a few articles that speculated the relationship of the figures to sex work and hinted at a changed or hidden meaning. Then again, theories exist on whether or not Spirited Away is about the sex industry, so anything could be interpreted as such. Meaning this is not to deny that it may have existed, this post simply won’t discuss that possibility any further.

The Legends

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During the Edo period, a lord of a surrounding district took shelter under a tree. A cat from afar beckoned him into a nearby temple. Upon leaving, the tree was struck by lightning. Thinking it was a divine act, the lord decided to patron the temple in gratitude.

It is a good time to note that riches historically were tied to how much rice one had. I remember a favorite Japanese teacher explaining a great way to remember the word for rich person. お金持ち(おかねもち)takes the words 金(かね)(o)kane, which is gold and 餠(もち)mochi, for sticky rice. The “o” is used to denote honor or show respect, making it sound less harsh.

Therefore, a person who has a lot of rice becomes a wealthy person in Japanese society. One koku of rice was thought to be the amount needed to feed one person for a year in this society. One koku in terms of currency was thought to hold equivalency to one ryô and in turn, one koban.

Another legend states that a feline beckoned wandering samurai into an adjacent temple. The group dwelled in the haven until the end of a storm. Long after, one samurai continued to frequent the temple and offered patronage. He revealed himself to be feudal lord Naotaka Li, the temple in question Gotokuji in Tokyo, Japan.  Li donated crops and rice fields to the struggling monk who dwelled there.

This temple’s lucky cats differ in appearance than the rest in that they have a bib-like collar and bell in place of koban. The site reportedly has a high count of deceased neko buried on the premises.

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I have read further legends that combine these two stories to some degree. One even suggests the cat was a Japanese deity in disguise – Bodhisattva Kannon, a goddess of mercy. The common factor seems to be a temple near ruin that is saved by a chance encounter with a wealthy benefactor.

Aside from this information, there doesn’t seem to be much else on the English speaking side of the web. The same archaic books, ukiyo-e, and sculptures are referenced and offered up as evidence but never a true…definitive answer as to how this begun.

When I do travel to Japan next spring, I will be sure to visit the Gotokuji shrine. It seems like a good place to buy maneki neko in Tokyo, given the legends surrounding it. I’ll even write on an Ema board, or wish board to pray to the benevolent spirits.

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Despite his initial shady nature, I’d like to think Madara is Natsume’s lucky cat. Throughout the series, he serves as a protector and ‘teacher’ or sensei.

“The association between karma and merit is highly significant for my discussion of the Japanese notion of luck. During my fieldwork I was frequently told that misfortune could be averted by taking appropriate spiritual precautions. One way in which this can be achieved is through establishing a relationship with certain deities.” – Inge Maria Daniels, Anthropologist.

Note: Anthropology has a problematic historic association with eugenics. However, I found this textual quote of interest pertaining to this discussion.

Given the tone of the series, (in my own interpretation) Natsume Takashi is slowly paid back good karma in the form of friendships and as an orphan, his family’s history.  Instead of running from or fighting spirits he encounters, Natsume would rather try and speak to them first. With Nyanko-sensei’s instruction, he learns to protect himself and engages youkai only when necessary. Sensei could be interpreted as his special protection deity, particularly considering Madara’s true yokai identity.

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Next week we will discuss Madara/Nyanko sensei and his true form.

(It is really majestic!)

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out another ongoing series, such as NEET in Anime. I have a few more shows in mind to draw from, but tell me about any series I should definitely cover! At me on Twitter and use the hashtag #YokaiSpiritSunday!

If this post got you interested in the series, feel free to check out Natsume’s Book of Friends, Vol. 1 and Natsume’s Book of Friends Seasons 1 & 2 Standard Edition by using these links. It supports the series and also helps out the site at no additional cost to yourself!

Are you a fan of Natsume Yuujinchou? Which anime series will you watch during the fall season? Do you think sensei isめっちゃかわいい?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to follow our growing community on Twitter, Reddit, WordPress and Instagram!

[Quote on karma sourced from “Scooping, Ranking, Beckoning Luck: Luck, Agency and the Interdependence of people and Things in Japan” by Inge Maria Daniels.]

One More AFNYCC 2018 Update Before the Con| New York Comic Con

Ugh.

I know what you are all thinking

“In Asian Spaces, are you really writing about the doomed Anime Expo x NYCC Collab that is AFNYCC 2018? Even when you specifically said you would not in your last post until convention time?”

Yes, I absolutely am. As a concerned citizen who has made up their mind to no longer attend NYCC after this year, I may as well give it my all on critiquing this hastily-thrown together sham of a festival.

So, I am not sure about everyone else, but I am subscribed to Comic Con’s newsletter. I am not sure if the Anime Festival has its own newsletter yet. Aside from emails begging me to purchase a Thursday ticket or raising awareness about pre-festival events to attend I really haven’t received much concerning AFNYCC. I haven’t even received my ticket yet.

Except…one email I opened which detailed the lineup…that I hope will actualize more talent as we creep closer to October.

Aside from lamenting the delay of my Book 3 Earth Kingdom Korra ‘Alone’ cosplay once again (it seems to be a yearly ritual at this point), I am still kind of ticked off that I was never able to contact New York Comic Con’s support team concerning the ticket glitch I received when purchasing for Saturday. I just cannot seem to get through to the email address, and I feel deep within me that Sunday might be a wasteland in terms of worthwhile events and activities.

Anime Guests of Honor for the Main Con include:

NYCC 2018 Anime Guest of Honor

Kawamoto Toshihiro, Nobumoto Keiko, Yamane Kimitoshi and Sato Dai for a Cowboy Bebop panel on Thursday.

This should come as no surprise, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie rescreened in movie theatres this summer and the 20-year-old classic series has garnered contemporary buzz once again.

NYCC 2018 Anime Guest of Honor 2

We then have Nozawa Masako and Nagamine Tatsuya for a Friday Dragon Ball Super: Broly panel. I am not a personal DBZ fan (could never get into it and heard various nerd debates about characters growing up. This also applies to Yu Yu Hakusho) but I recognize its importance and it should be a treat for the fans.

I have no problem with this lineup, even if it is a bit thin.

Other guests at the main con include a handful of combined English Dub voice actors for My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball, Naruto, Boruto, and Sailor Moon. The author of Radiant will also be in attendance, to presumably discuss the October premiering anime adaptation of his work.

As of right now, this is the lineup for announced guests.

Turning our attention to Anime Fest @ NYCC….our Guests of Honor for Friday are as followed:

Kawamoto Toshihiro, Nobumoto Keiko, Yamane Kimitoshi and Sato Dai.

Yes, this is the Main Con’s Thursday lineup a day later. I understand that since the talent is still here from Japan they could make another appearance, but as this is literally the same as the main con…it offers no value to a purchased AFNYCC ticket.

Again, it is early and the festival could end up being a lot of fun.

Let’s continue to look at the other Anime Guests, shall we?

A few VA’s for Overwatch, tired but seemingly obligatory appearances by Rooster Teeth for RWBY & gen:LOCK, More VA by way of The Dragon Prince, a reprise of Boruto, Sailor Moon and Radiant.

Something of personal interest is the appearance of VA and production staff for Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Jack De Sena (Sokka), Giancarlo Volpe (Writer/Director) and Aaron Ehasz (Head Writer/Exec Producer/Fellow Zutara Shipper).

Janet Varney (Korra, LOK) and Grey DeLisle (Azula, ATLA) will be holding separate autograph sessions.

This has to be said: I do not care that it has been over ten years. I still support and ship Zutara in the deepest crevices of my heart.

It didn’t happen in ATLA or American Dragon: Jake Long, but one of these days Dante Basco and Mae Whitman will have lead characters who end up together. Even if it takes an eternity.

I am rooting for them!

Aaron Ehasz and Elizabeth Welch Ehasz deserve more credit concerning the success of the original show. Not to bring up age-old resentment and bitterness, but they really were great in steering the story down its most…’natural’ paths concerning characters and their motives.

These expressed opinions arose from years of being extremely active on Tumblr and hearing stories directly from production on their accounts, offsite blogs and fandom gossip that proved true over the years.

Actually, I may now check out The Dragon Prince on Netflix because of Ehasz and Volpe’s involvement.

Aside from this Saturday silver lining that I most likely will not see, it doesn’t seem that there will be an abundance of unique guests attending the festivities.

Just one more interesting tidbit before wrapping this post up, I urge all attending to keep checking out the Anime Fest at NYCC homepage via the comic con website.

NYCC 2018 Anime Fest Access

As of right now, there are three offsite venue panels your pass gives you access to. If you have a valid AFNYCC Friday badge, you can attend the DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender panel that is accessible to NYCC attendees with that day’s pass. In similar fashion, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is on Friday and RWBY & gen:LOCK Mega have a panel on Sunday.

I don’t remember seeing this in an email, but I simply could have missed this information.

In conclusion, as if I’m writing some sort of thesis paper, Anime Fest is looking quite grim.

Hopefully, the quality of the creators, guests and industry panels make up for this.

NYCC 2018 the party starts soon

Also, I am really still upset about my Sunday ticket but I’ll be damned if I try to contact the Con again.

Signing off on this topic, you’ll hear more about this from me in sixteen days when the convention starts.

Are you attending the Anime Festival? What enjoyable anime conventions have you attended in the past? Any recommendations for guests you would like to see? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us on WordPress and email to receive updates in the future regarding this topic!

Anime NYC Responds to NYCC x Anime Expo Collab | Anime Fest@ NYCC 2018

If you haven’t already heard, New York Comic Con recently did something extremely messy. After a pre-sale event months ago and the literal night before the general sale of tickets, the con decided it was the best time to announce a new anime festival in collaboration with AX Con in LA. I wrote a short article that detailed why this was a problem and why it is most likely the last straw for many fans – myself included. To add insult to injury, in their newsletter today NYCC announced high profile Black Panther guest Danai Gurira. The actress will be doing photo ops and autograph sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Underneath the announcement in a bold highlighted white is a plea to purchase the remaining Sunday badges still available.

Naturally, I rolled my eyes at this.

I half-heartedly hope something interesting happens on the Friday I purchased a ticket for. I know Jason Momoa will be in attendance but I believe on another day. I’m a really big fan of his works, especially Sundance TV’s The Red Road and Netflix’s Frontier.

I did not specifically plan to go on his day because sometimes conflicts arise and celebrities and guests pull out last minute. Also, in past years’ experience there seemed to be a theme of having anime talent on this chosen day – for whatever reason.

I am subscribed to the Anime NYC newsletter and it’s always a treat to open it. The con has partnered with many local Japanese establishments and organizations around New York and the newsletter is always filled with fun events to attend. Today’s email in particular detailed some con news and a header link teasing “So What Does Anime NYC Think of Anime Fest @ NYCC?”

Clicking on the link brings you to a very thoughtful Facebook post written by Peter Tatara, the Event Director for the con. Paraphrasing – Tatara mentions his love for and experience within the anime community and how much the con meant to him. He continues to talk about the attention the convention received anticipating its inauguration last year stating:

“We got a lot of attention around NYC, across the US, and as far away as Tokyo. It seems we got New York Comic Con and Anime Expo’s attention, too, and I’m pretty shocked about Anime Fest @ NYCC x Anime Expo. But I’m not going to comment on their motives. They’re plain to see.”

Tatara ends by thanking the community for their support and states that “Anime NYC’s goal remains the same…to support the anime industry, and build a festival focused on its fans.”

You can read the entire post on FB here and purchase tickets to Anime NYC from their official website here.

Which reminds me, speaking of tickets…

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I tweeted about the glitch I encountered buying AFNYCC 2018 Saturday tickets. I received an error message from what I assume to be New York Comic Con’s servers. I then received a full denial and decided to re-submit the email and I am now experiencing the same dilemma once more. Either someone has DDoS’d their servers – or they really have sunken deeper unto another circle of hell.

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The official website shows that the availability for the anime fest event is wide open, but simply the pre-sale tickets are sold out. Which again, begs the question of why there was no option to pick general priced tickets in the first place instead of having to repeat the virtual queue process once more. I refuse to purchase another ticket, especially since I should receive the advertised discount I believed to be guaranteed for supporting the con – but honestly, it’s a moot point. I’m completely over it.

As I mentioned in my last post, I hope NYCC 2018 and AFNYCC 18 will be worth all of the trouble they have caused the dedicated fans. I think this topic has now run its course, and unless something ridiculous happens – like legitimately ridiculous and not just eye-roll worthy ridiculous – I will not update on this topic until the conventions roll around simultaneously in October.

Which cons do you plan on attending in the fall? Do you enjoy attending anime-related events around New York City? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more updates on con news!

 

Everything You Need To Know About AFNYCC 2018 | Anime Expo x NYCC Collab

Increasing each year it has felt more like a chore than tradition to attend NYCC. It’s something I attend with a family member and I occasionally cosplay at the tiny events that anticipated the con’s arrival.

As I have gone on a small tangent – which I completely scrapped from this blog post – I was stationed eagerly in the virtual queue for an hour and a half this morning. I used my presale link intended to purchase tickets.

I already have one Friday NYCC ticket and thought to buy a Saturday NYCC ticket during the general sale. Then late last night, “Anime Fest” was announced. I read the email, sighed, and went to bed.

This morning I decided to give it a go – scraping my idea for a Saturday ticket and deciding to try out the Anime Festival; hence my current situation as I typed a three-page rant.

Why didn’t they advertise this sooner? Why couldn’t I have purchased the tickets along with my original NYCC tickets back in practically May?

Here are the facts we know so far:

  • NYCC Literally forgot that they had New York Anime Festival – which ran from 2007 – 2011.

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After it ended, the anime merchandise was regaled to the upper right corner of the convention center – the polar opposite direction of Artist Alley. You had to weed through Chinese vendors with bootleg merchandise (I remember a lady selling a knock-off Nyanko Sensei plushie for $40) and cycle between the cosplay booths, cutesy Japanese character inspired plushies, and the same three booths that sold T-shirts and wall scrolls of the same characters for varying prices.

  • Want to plan out who you will see during Anime Fest? Too bad, regular con rules apply. Meaning, you won’t know jack until closer to the con. You are expected to pay upfront and just cross your fingers something cool happens on the day of your choosing.

 

  • Did I mention these events are concurrent? Either choose to attend comic con (like some of us who already purchased tickets) or choose AF. Will there still be events and vendors related to Japanese Culture in the regular convention? Who knows, it’s a mystery.
  • Can you purchase a 3-day or 4-day ticket to both events? No. Can you purchase a 3-day or 4-day ticket for NYCC? No. Since the renovations that one year in the Jacob K. Javits Center during the con, NYCC has decided to do away with those money saving options. Then last year, as many of you may remember, the prices were upped for funsies. Still no scheduled guest announcements sooner, however, just pay and wait.
  • Wait, so In Asian Spaces, you say that the Anime Festival event is away from the Javits Center? Well, where is that event being held? NYCC has events spaced out to different ventures, it couldn’t be that far – right?

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Oh, you sweet summer child.
  • But…there will at least be a free shuttle bus for the ticket holders’ right?? Right?? Pier 94 is at least a twenty-minute walk. What if you cosplay a difficult character? You’d have to walk back and forth between both events on the same day!? Clearly, they wouldn’t do that – right?? Oh, you sweet summer child.
  • Wait a minute…you said NYAF was unceremoniously bumped off back in 2011 and has almost but dissolved since 2012 – aside from fandom remnants and bones thrown by high profile anime culture guests such as Danny Choo and Naruto Creator Masashi Kishimoto. Anime NYC premiered last year and was a smash hit. Do you think Anime Expo teamed up with New York Comic Con to try to dwindle their sales and carve back out a market they never really catered to in the first place? Hmmmm….

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  • Well, at least there’s fan verification – right? Surely we’ll all get our tickets in a timely fashion? Wait, what? In Asian Spaces – you say you waited an hour and a half in the virtual queue and had a fabled 75% sold out Saturday Anime Fest ticket only to add it to your cart and have the website tell you it was sold out? And you have receipts?

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Amazing!

  • Then you found out it was a possible glitch?

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  • So if I have a NYCC ticket and want to refund it for simply AFNYCC – can I do that? –Good question

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So at least as of right now…yes. Subject to change. High probability this information is subject to change.

  • Should I attend other smaller anime conventions around NYC such as Liberty City Anime Con, Anime NYC or even AnimeNEXT in Atlantic City, NJ? – Sure, why not? Be liberal with your hard earned spending money and shop around, since con loyalty gets you nowhere once a con gets too big for itself and decides you are expendable – even if you’ve been attending for seven years faithfully. #noanimedlc – too much?

Regardless, this was a disappointing experience that is all too often now becoming synonymous with New York Comic Con. I hope that when fall rolls around, the convention will have been worth all of this trouble. I also hope the con realizes that its competitors will win out because they have heart – something they haven’t had in years.

Are you attending any conventions this year? Let us know in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us on WordPress, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram for more news and updates revolving around Japanese Culture and conventions!

Catch a Screening of Kiki’s Delivery Service in NYC FOR FREE!

If you were wondering where to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service this summer, look no further!

Hello Friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve written about anime, but I just found out about a free event and would love to share the details with you. The Paley Center for Media (in conjunction with Anime NYC and GKIDS) is holding “An Anime Afternoon” on Saturday, August 4th. The center will have a screening of Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service with the option of watching the film dubbed or subbed in the original Japanese language. There is a limit of four tickets per person and they are ABSOLUTELY FREE!

For those of you who may not know, Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyubin, 魔女の宅急便 ) is a 1989 Studio Ghibli film that follows a young witch who leaves home and settles in a seaside town for a year as part of her magical training. Kiki, along with her black cat Jiji, initially have a rough time being alone but they gradually make friends and gain confidence within themselves. It’s a great film and may actually be my favorite.

When I was younger, I’d often watch the film along with Spirited Away each time it rained outside.  There was no particular reason why, I just thought it was comforting to sit in front of the TV and daydream about far off places and adventures.

I’ve signed up for a pair of tickets, as I feel the need to be reminded that venturing off alone isn’t so scary. It’s something exciting and can lead to change.

The Paley Center’s website seems to detail a day of events centered around arts, crafts, and contests surrounding its sponsors.

The tickets are currently available, so if you plan to be in New York in early August and would like to catch a film and have a good time: here’s your chance.

I’m a very big fan of Shinkai Makoto, who happens to draw inspiration from Miyazaki. His ode to the director, Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below, is one of my personal favorites. (Kimi no Na Wa was also amazing! One of his new top films!) I may also be drawn to Shinkai’s work because he seems to be a fellow tetsudo fan, or lover of trains. Although, ‘railfan’ may be a more common usage…

Have you been attending Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 these past few months? Princess Mononoke is the next upcoming film that will be shown July 22-25th in select theatres. I’ve never actually seen the film, but I think I should watch it. I’ve heard it’s an anime movie with themes similar to the aforementioned.

Has anyone seen that film? What is your favorite animated film in general? Leave your thoughts in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more anime related news!

Character Log: Yonebayashi, Saiko | NEET in Anime

A new installment in the NEET in Anime series, I’d like to create a log to keep track of characters in various series. This time we’ll take a look at Tokyo Ghoul:re character Saiko Yonebayashi.

A NEET could be defined as a young person between the ages of 15-29 who is Not in Education, Employment or Training. The age range can go high as the mid-thirties in some studies. Social anxiety, lack of ambition, depression, and exhaustion are all conditions which could factor into one’s decision to choose the ‘NEET lifestyle’. Sometimes these individuals hold a part-time employment status for income (with the intention to save up before quitting), but often times they are supported by relatives or immediate family members.

Family members support the individuals because it is often viewed as a failure on their own part. There is still a strong stigma associated with mental health care in Japan and as a result, it may be thought of as less embarrassing to hide away ‘the problem’. This is not the case for every situation, but many seem to encapsulate this cultural undertone.

Outliers are frequently associated to hikikomori, or those who shut themselves in. Women are more likely to become NEETs than men. Despite gender, however, they are often referred to as ‘jobless youth’ or the ‘non-labor force’.

Although they enjoy a degree of self-imposed isolation, this is not to the degree of hikikomori. Regional Youth Support Stations along with New Start’s Rental Sisters and Brothers are a few solutions the Japanese government has employed to combat the epidemic.

(Personal opinion: Although as a millennial with an eternal pile of student loan debt, I can to my own degree, understand the desire to withdraw from society.)

saiko yedited

Name: Yonebayashi Saiko [米林 才子]

Age: 19

Show: Tokyo Ghoul: re

First Appearance: Episode one

Manga: TG:re Chapter one

Employment Status: No, Education, Employment or Training

Affiliation: CCG Quinx Squad

Description: A chunky girl with blue hair set in long pigtails. She appears to be shorter than most of her peer group. Frequently in what looks like loungewear.

Details of Note: As of episode three, Yonebayashi seems to enjoy playing video games, oversleeping and eating a variety of snacks. She is self-conscious of her weight and seems to have formed a close relationship with Haise Sasaki. Although a bit anxious, Yonebayashi does not seem to have a problem leaving her room and interacting with strangers. This is evidenced by her willingness to dance while on an undercover mission during the Nutcracker auction arc.  As for the oversleeping and overeating, they may be signs of depression and lack of control. Overindulgence in hobbies could also signal this.

Then again, I am no psychologist. I am a chunky girl who eats too many snacks, overindulges in her hobbies and recently racked up 70 hours in four days of starting a new save file in Stardew Valley. So the pot may indeed, be calling the kettle black here.

(will update as the anime series progresses)