Anime NYC 2023 Review

Chris and I attended Anime NYC 2023 and I shared my thoughts of the convention, panels we went to, and what we are hoping to see in the years to come!

Leading up to this year’s convention was admittedly rather rough. After Anime Boston, it felt like the months were flying by and before I knew it, it was time for my first official trip to New York City. Boy howdy…

Start Spreading The News, We’re Leaving Today

Haha, I couldn’t resist. I will say this is probably the biggest convention I have attended and I tried to cover it to the best of my abilities. I will admit, when I first arrived I was rather overwhelmed and, to be honest, rather intimidated.

About Anime NYC

Anime NYC is New York City’s anime convention! A showcase of the best of Japanese pop culture in the biggest city in America, Anime NYC brings anime fans and publishers together for three days of unique exhibits, exclusive screenings, extensive panels, and appearances by some of the biggest creators in Japan. Join us for a celebration of Japanese animation, manga, and cosplay in the heart of NYC!

Anime NYC is a creation of LeftField Media, a boutique event company made up of dedicated fans and experienced convention organizers.

Established: November 2017
Location: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City
Last Year’s Attendance: 55,000 fans
Dates: November 17th – 19th, 2023
Cost To Attend:

  • Anime NYC+ Pass – $399
  • 3-Day Pass – $129
  • Friday Only Pass – $68
  • Saturday Only Pass – $73
  • Sunday Only Pass – $71

Where Did We Stay?

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York Times Square West — Double check which DoubleTree you booked because there are two in the same area. We made the mistake of going to the wrong one at first, but thankfully the correct one was only a couple of blocks over. Our room had a great view of the city. It was very clean, comfortable, and the staff were kind. I will say the room was a little cramped so if you have a lot of luggage it may be an issue, but we only had one suitcase that we tucked away.

Anime NYC 2023 Panels We Went To

IZE Press Industry Panel

Hosted by IZE Press Editors: Won Young Seo, Stephen Kim, Liz Marbach 

When: Saturday, November 18 • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Panel Description: Join Ize Press and learn what the leader in print editions of Korean comics is up to next!

Overall Thoughts: IZE editors got to talk about how they started working for the company and what titles they are in charge of working on. We also got to hear about the new title announcements of Marriage of Convenience, SSS-Class Revival Hunter, The Villainous is a Marionette, My Secretly Hot Husband, Tied to You (IZE Press’ first BL title!), and Beware the Villainess.

They also held a raffle to get a free signed copy of Omniscient Reader. The Omniscient Reader artist did a special artwork specifically for AnimeNYC. We got to see a timelapse of them drawing it, along with a special message from the author singNsong as well. As a bonus surprise, we found out that singNsong was sitting in the audience the whole time and signed 3 copies of their book on the spot to give to the winners of the raffle! At the end of the panel, everyone who attended was able to pick up a free manhwa volume of their choice from a selection!

GKIDS Industry Panel

Hosted by GKIDS Staff: Erica Chon (Director of Marketing), Lucy Rubin (Director of Publicity), Lily Newton (Creative / Production Manager), Johanna Lee (Distribution Manager), and Chance Huskey (Director of Distribution)

When: Saturday, November 18 • 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Panel Description: Join the team from GKIDS as they discuss the process of curating, marketing, and releasing animated films from around the world. Upcoming and current projects for GKIDS include Studio Ghibli’s THE BOY AND THE HERON, the Masaaki Yuasa Collector’s Set, and more.

Overall Thoughts: GKIDS is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and has acquired over 12 Oscar nominations so far. The GKIDS staff talked a bit about The Boy and The Heron and how the film took 7 years to make. They mentioned there wasn’t a deadline set, but when the pandemic happened, they were able to work quickly since they didn’t have much else to do. Otherwise, they said the film would have taken 10 years to make! The GKIDS staff made a few announcements of upcoming films coming to theaters and physical/digital releases. They announced two French films they acquired, Mars Express and Chicken for Linda. Lastly, they mentioned the Spirited Away Live on Stage Blu-ray is now available and Yuasa: Five Films box set (Mind Game, The Night Is Short, Lu Over The Wall, Inu-oh, and Ride Your Wave) will be coming out.

Yen Press Industry Panel

Hosted by Yen Press Staff

When: Saturday, November 18 • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Panel Description: Manga, light novels, and more! Join Yen Press for some exciting announcements and amazing prizes.

Overall Thoughts: We only managed to attend the last 10 minutes of this panel after getting out of the GKIDS panel. We didn’t get to see too much, unfortunately, but you can read about their upcoming releases on AniTrendz. At the end of the panel, everyone who attended was able to pick up a free manga volume of their choice from a curated selection!

Dark Horse Manga

Hosted by Carl Horn (Senior Editor of Dark Horse) & Zack Davisson (Translator/Writer)

When: Saturday, November 18 • 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Panel Description: Dark Horse Comics in Oregon is celebrating its 35th anniversary of manga publishing this year with new releases such as Shin-ichi Sakamoto’s Innocent and Gou Tanabe’s H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth, both out in November! Our many other titles from Japanese creators include Berserk, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, Cat+Gamer, Mob Psycho 100, Emanon, and Vampire Hunter D, the longest-running light novel series in English. Please come by the panel to hear about our upcoming titles, ask questions, and win free giveaways!

Overall Thoughts: Carl and Zac talked about Dark Horse’s history with manga publishing versus comics, and how they were originally marketed together instead of as separate mediums. They spoke about manga’s influence on comics, and vice versa. For instance, it was great to hear that one of the first manga titles that Dark Horse published was Godzilla in 1988! If you’re a fan of Dark Horse, it was a great panel to go to know a little history of the company and how it started!

Kodansha’s New and Upcoming Manga Revealed

Hosted by Kodansha Staff

When: Saturday, November 18 • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Panel Description: Kodansha – purveyor of some of the most exciting manga published today like Blue Lock, Attack on Titan, Shangri-La Frontier, & more – invites all manga & anime fans to a special panel presentation that will reveal new & upcoming manga debuts sure to excite fans of every genre! Join manga experts Ivan Salazar (Kodansha USA), Tomo Tran (Kodansha USA), and TJ Ferentini (Penguin Random House) for a wide-ranging chat filled with first looks of new licenses, personalized recommendations & even some giveaways. It’s a panel no manga fan can miss!

Overall Thoughts: Just like other manga industry panels, this was a great way of finding out what Kodansha titles are coming out, and what better way than by the editors who are working on them! You can check out all the announcements on the Kodansha website. Kodansha announced nearly a dozen new print & digital manga licenses, including The Spellbook Library! At the end of the panel, attendees were given a free Blue Lock QPosket Figure!

Localize this! – Secrets of Localization Revealed!

Hosted by Sara Linsley, Andrew Hodgson, David Evelyn, Jan Mitsuko Cash, Kristiina Korpus, and Zack Davisson

When: Sunday, November 19 • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Panel Description: What is the difference between translation and localization? What is “good” localization? What is “bad?” Join top localizers Sara Linsley (Dandadan), Andrew Hodgson (Steins;Gate), David Evelyn (Kaiju 8, Undead Unluck), Jan Mitsuko Cash (Choujin X), Kristiina Korpus (Until I Meet My Husband), and Zack Davisson (Devilman, Cat + Gamer) to talk localization theory and method, controversies, and answer your most burning questions–NDAs permitting!

Overall Thoughts: According to Zack, this panel was an experimental version of what he usually hosts. The panel overall was mostly an open floor for questions and answers with panelists from various positions in the manga industry, such as translator, editor, and letterer. It was a rather insightful and frank kind of panel, answering questions ranging from pay to getting a job in the industry in the most honest way possible. While there were a lot of questions about translating and editing and you can’t anticipate what folks will ask, there weren’t as many questions about lettering as I thought there would be. I am hoping for an all letterers panel because I do believe there is a ton to be discussed and to learn about!

So What Did We Think Of Anime NYC 2023?

Chris and I both throughly enjoyed ourselves! As is the case going to a convention for the first time, it is a bit awkward trying to familiarize yourself with the layout of the venue, but once we grasped where everything was, it was easy for us to get around.

Lots of Manga, Light Novel, Manhwa Publishing Company Presence

If you love the manga, light novel and book side of the fandom, this convention is the one you definitely want to attend. There was a huge presence of manga and light novel companies like Yen Press, IZE Press, Azuki, Kodansha, J-Novel Club, Denpa, and Viz Media to name a few! After a few of the panels, the panelist gave out free volumes of books to everyone, which was a nice bonus.

Great Location, Hotel, Food Options

The location of the convention is great if you wanna hit up Times Square and to some tourist stuff while in town. The hotel was stayed at was clean, next to a coffee shop, and $1 pizza slice joint which is always great! You’re in NYC, of course you will have an astronomical amount of food options available to you whether you’re dining in, doing take out, or ordering delivery!

Some drawbacks:

Although despite their huge presence at the convention, the dealer’s room seemed to be rather sparse on opportunities to purchase books, which was a bit of a let down. Yen Press had a huge booth where they were selling their titles, but the line process was rather confusing and the only chance to see what they had available to buy was if you were already in the massively long line. I managed to get into the line as soon as the doors opened on the second day, but I had to make a quick decision if I wanted to get anything because the line quickly grew and I wouldn’t have time to stand in it again. Not even Kinokuniya had much to offer, which was just as disappointing. I’m assuming they were expecting folks to buy via their physical location, but I’m hoping next year they expand the offerings at their booth.

Outside of the convention center, we and most attendees ran into the issue of scalpers and people harassing us to purchase their music. At times it seemed they were a little hostile. We learned quickly after our first encounter with them to zoom past them. Not all sure what the convention can do about it, but it is something for con goers to be aware of.

Would we recommend attending?

Absolutely! Chris and I already have plans to go back again! We had such a great time being in the city and attending the convention. Personally, we got to meet a lot of online and offline folks and got to connect with a lot of the companies there.

Things to Note:

Convention dates have shifted from being in November every year to now in August. While this is great news of not having to deal with attending a convention a week before Thanksgiving, there is the issue of this convention happening two weeks after Otakon, which may force folks to choose between the two or deal with dropping money to go to both in a short timespan. I’m hoping that there will eventually be a bigger gap between the two so folks (including ourselves) won’t have to choose, but we shall see! Our plan is to try to attend both of them if we are able to.

Check out our Anime NYC 2023 Cosplay & General Photo Gallery!

Special thank you to Anime NYC for allowing us the opportunity to cover ANYC 2023 as press! Looking forward to next year!

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About the Author

Katy Castillo

Teresa (Katy) Castillo. Owner & Editor-in-Chief of Yatta-Tachi! Hispanic. Puro 956. Queer AF. Femme. She/Her. You can find me discussing anime/manga, yelling about the importance of accessibility / inclusiveness / diversity, UX / Visual Design, and stress baking / cooking on Mastodon, Twitter, and Instagram.

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