The New York Anime Festival lands in NYC this weekend

Scene from Vampire Hunter D
Scene from Vampire Hunter D

The New York Anime Festival comes to NYC this weekend. The con is held at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and features exclusive and extensive anime screenings, guests from America and Japan, manga, cosplay, video game competitions, live-action Japanese cinema, fashion, food, and the cultural treasures that gave birth to Japanese pop culture.

Some of the highlights of this year’s con include panels featuring Bandai Entertainment, FUNimation, a discussion of Japanese 3-D animation, Mobile Suit Gundam and Vampire Hunter D panels, as well as tons of Japanese Anime and Asian action-film screenings, including the cult classic Azumi, Death Note, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Introduced by Kevin McKeever), Excalibur Zero, Asian grindhouse flick Machine Girl (I saw this at Fangoria this year…a ‘bloody’ goodtime), Bloodhound: Vampire Gigolo, Vampire Hunter D, Sword of The Stranger, Hellsing Ultimate, Ghost Slayer Ayashi and Straight Jacket.

In addition, there will be autograph signings by some of the top names in the industry, music concerts sponsored after-parties, and enough freebies to fill a truck, and this should be well worth the price of admission.

The hours of the festival are:

  • Friday – 12 PM to 10 PM
  • Saturday – 10 AM to 10 PM
  • Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM

Find out more about the full schedule of this year’s event at

Below is a trailer for one of my personal favorite Japanese anime films, Ninja Scroll.

And here is the official press release for the festival, with even more details on the schedule of events:

The second annual New York Anime Festival (NYAF), which will take place in New York City September 26 – 28 at the Jacob K. Javits Center, boasts a wide cross-section of prominent guests from the worlds of fashion, music, food, as well as comics, fulfilling the festival’s goal of expanding beyond anime specifically to embrace many aspects of Japanese pop culture.  In its first year in 2007, the New York Anime Festival became an immediate success, playing host to thousands of fans and instantly becoming the fourth largest anime festival in the United States. 
“Our festival is like an entire world unto itself, with an enormous and dedicated fan base which literally soaks up all that we have to offer,” notes Lance Fensterman, Show Manager for NYAF.  “This year our programming will expand much further as our show promises to celebrate talent and achievement in a huge array of arenas, providing even more access and entertainment for our many fans. While our heart and soul is anime, our reality is pop culture. From cosplay to concerts, samurai swords to sushi, the New York Anime Festival is a pop cornucopia of all things Japanese!”
Some of the notable guests who will be participating in events at New York Anime Festival include:

  • Chef Masaharu Morimoto – star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America – who will be a Guest of Honor.  Chef Morimoto will attend NYAF on September 26 and will be conducting a Q&A with fans from 4pm – 5pm and a book signing from 5pm – 6pm.
  • Yoshitaka Amano, an acclaimed artist whose credits include Final Fantasy, Sandman, and Vampire Hunter D, will be a Guest of Honor. 
  • Hideyuki Kikuchi, the author of the acclaimed Vampire Hunter D novel series, will also appear as a Guest of Honor. 
  • Designers from Baby, The Stars Shine Bright – Japan’s premier Lolita fashion brand – will participate as Guests of Honor and will speak about the history and philosophy of their brand, welcome fans to their boutique, and host a Tea Party.

The New York Anime Festival, which will feature over 100 panels and screenings and will host prominent exhibitors including Bandai Entertainment, Del Rey Manga, FUNimation, Media Blasters and Yen Press, among many others, is from the creators of New York Comic Con (NYCC) which hosted more than 60,000 people when it took place at the Javits Center this past April.  New York Comic Con, which is held early in the year, is a celebration of everything in American popular culture including comics, movies, games, toys, and more.   The New York Anime Festival is the Japanese equivalent.  With anime at its center, it is essentially a celebration of everything within Japanese popular culture.  As Fensterman notes: “This is what makes our show unique and why we can so easily embrace and welcome such diverse and extraordinary guests as Chef Morimoto and Yoshitaka Amano under one roof!”
Other guests and events at NYAF include: noted voice actress Rie Tanaka, who will appear as a Guest of Honor; World Cosplay Summit will return to the NYAF stage for the second year; Karaterice and NYAF will jointly sponsor Far East To East Showcase (FETES), a night of innovative music that brings together six of the best musical artists from both the Far East and the East Coast; noted voice actor Brad Swaile, who will appear as Featured Guest; mc chris, one of the most unique, provocative and poignant voices in hip hop today, who will perform exclusively for the NYAF audience; and Tony Oliver, Kyle Herbert, and Steve Blum, the talent behind the Gurren Lagann series, who will all appear as Featured Guests.

The New York Anime Festival takes place September 26-28, 2008 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con.  The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. NYAF’s partners include Anime News Network, Bandai Entertainment, BookExpo America, Del Rey Manga, DigitalLife, Free Arts NYC, Japan Society, Karaterice, Kinokuniya Bookstore, New York Comic Con, Samurai Beat Radio, Subway Cinema,, TOKYOPOP, VIZ Pictures, and the World Cosplay Summit.  Further information can be found at