Liberty City Anime Convention Review - 3,500 people having the BEST time!

Cosplay galore! Photo Credit: Jared West Photography

 

Hello! My name is Jillian Lawler and last weekend I attended the Liberty City Anime Con. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square.   I haven’t been an anime fan for very long but I am truly dedicated.    I was first introduced to it about two years ago purely by accident on the glorious world that is the internet. I began to gradually learn more and more about it over time and have created a portfolio of anime art that I am quite proud of.  For those of you not familiar,  I turned to Google to provide an official definition: “a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children”. Basically, anime is Japanese animation. You may have also heard of the term “manga” which are Japanese comics or graphic novels.

 

Photo Credit: Unlimited Crossroads

I had a great time at the convention.  There were over 3,500 attendees.  The schedule was very organized and easy to follow and totally packed with things to do. One of the first places we [my mom, my grandmother and I] went was a Black Butler panel. (Black Butler is an extremely popular anime for those of you who have never heard of it.) This panel allowed the audience to interact with the cast of Black Butler by asking questions and talking with cosplayers dressed up as some of the characters. I was slightly disappointed because the original cosplayers never showed up, but it turned out to be not that big of a deal.

Black Butler Panel - Photo Credit: Jillian Lawler

While we were waiting, a wonderful volunteer took to a microphone and kept us all laughing and engaged. I unfortunately do not remember her name but she was awesome. In addition, there were enough Black Butler fans in the audience who were also cosplaying as Black Butler characters that they formed their own panel and served as amazing substitutes! I was really impressed with how well they were able to improvise. Here’s a picture of them:

Attendees taking over Black Butler panel - Photo Credit: Jillian Lawler

 

There was a space reserved in the hotel during the convention for vendors as well as an Artist Alley. Although I was impressed with the variety of merchandise being sold, I was disappointed in the lack of anime themed apparel. I would have loved to buy a cool t-shirt for myself. I did not leave empty-handed, however. I scored a great wall scroll and character figure. Also, all of the artists showcasing their artwork were absolutely amazing. I hope to be that good someday.

  

Artists Alley - Photo Credit: Jillian Lawler

I also attended a fan meetup. I was looking forward to this because I basically have no friends who also like anime in real life and they all just barely tolerate me when I go on about it. When I got to the meetup location though there was some minor confusion. There was a second meetup going on at the same time as the one I was there for. This made it difficult for me to finally locate the other fans who were there for the same anime I was. When we did find each other I had a great time with them. A possible solution in regards to eliminating the confusion might be to have a designated room for each meetup, especially for the ones occurring simultaneously.

 

Another cool thing was the Manga Library. The library had a pretty large selection of manga and other graphic novels to choose from, all provided by the New York Public Library (the librarians were super nice by the way.) I do think that it could have benefited from a larger room though. There seemed to be a lot of people utilizing the space throughout the day. Some were browsing, some were reading, others were passing the time in between events on their schedule. So,  as one can imagine, it got crowded rather quickly. The video rooms also got a little crowded as well, seeing as they also served as a way for people to spend their time in between events.

 

Manga Library sponsored by New York Public Library - Photo Credit: Jillian Lawler

The last thing I want to mention was the Masquerade. This was a competition that allowed all of the amazing cosplayers to get on stage and show off their awesome costumes and hard work. This event was really entertaining and the comedian who hosted it, Ian Rubin, did a great job. (And I really liked his hat.) It was really cool to see all of the costumes, all of the winners totally deserved their win. This event was super popular and the room was packed, which is a good thing but again, next year there will most likely be even more people so a bigger room would be ideal.

 

I had an awesome time at this convention. I had never been to a convention before so I didn’t know what to expect but I am so grateful I was able to go and I am already excited about next year!

 

Photo Credit: Jared West Photographyy

Another positive thing that I thought I should mention was the great location of the hotel. It was near a lot of things so it was easy to walk around outside for a bit and get something to eat if you needed a bit of fresh air during the day. I know that the convention is going to be taking place at the Marriott hotel nearby next year, so the good location will be preserved and the space will be greatly increased. My limited criticism is in reference to the amount of space and available rooms which will definitely be resolved in a larger venue next year. Anyway, congratulations to everyone who successfully made this convention awesome for everyone who went! I know that the Liberty City Anime Con will only get bigger and better with each one and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Thank you!

For more information, visit the Liberty City Anime website

 

Photos: Jillian Lawler

 

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