Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New York Anime Festival 2011 - Anime Galleria

Since this is the first time I have been to the Anime Galleria I decided to browse around. Strangely enough, it was the best time to do so! On Friday the area was practically empty after 7pm, and of course, most of the artists had left for the day. Nonetheless, I was able to walk around with ease and do some photography.

The NYAF portion was identifiable with the usage of a dedicated banner near the entrance to the show floor. While riding the escalator, one encounters a set of TV screens attached to a cylinder wall surrounded by couches. Walking along the path leads one to another set of escalators, bringing you to Anime Galleria, and the anime artist alley. There were a variety of anime or manga related merchandise that ranged from original and fan art to items like pins and craft products. Not only were artists stationed here, but places such as the Japan Society and Otaku Social Network were also present.

Along the walls of the alley, there are four windows/balcony areas, one of which was occupied by Marvel. It gives a view of the show floor below. Further down towards the back there is a wide open area, with chairs and round tables, that lets in natural sunlight. Near the stage area along the glass wall there is an outdoor balcony, where one can stand upon to observe and capture the New Jersey skyline.

Although it was separated, it felt like a mini convention within comic con. It was solely for those to gather and share their love for anime and manga. This is an improvement from last year’s segregated dungeon location, which felt completely isolated from the rest of the convention. This year the ceiling had bright white lights and natural sunlight was allowed to shine upon NYAF. Because the location was closer and right above the show floor, one did not have to travel far to attend either NYAF or NYCC events. The observation balconies allowed one to admire the beauty and grandness of the show floor.

The only thing that was odd was having a panel stage mixed with a lounge area. Although it appeared that the panels were getting wide publicity, it was more likely that the panels and the stage performances were background music for those who were resting their feet or talking to their friends. This is fine as long as the panelists and performers did not mind the extra noise and knew who their actual audience members were. Nonetheless, I have to say that I am pleased to see the anime and manga side of the convention having its own nice and spacious area. I hope that NYAF will continue to have a presence at New York Comic Con.
© 2011 Linda Thai

Photography by Linda Thai

For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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