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After the number increased during the pandemic, New York City's otaku (a slang term for avid fans of Japanese anime and manga) came to the Javits Center for a conference on weekends, reflecting the growing popularity of the genre.
On Saturday morning, eager fans dressed in mech suits, kimonos and animal ear costumes, gathered around the convention center for anime New York, a three-day anime party sponsored by Crunchyroll, the company claims to be the largest in the world The mantle of anime streaming platforms.
"Something happened during the pandemic-I'm not sure what it was-but the anime has just taken off. It has been popular among the niche population, but it sells out every day. It's too wild!" William Champion said , He is a fan, he made a black gas mask similar to Bain to dress up as All for One, a disturbing villain from the popular anime superhero series "My Hero Academia".
Many fans told amNY that they participated in the animation conference for the first time, or con for short. After being inspired by the increasing popularity of their preferred media and mainstream cultural acceptance in the streaming era, they participated in the animation conference for the first time.
The pandemic provides a lot of time for fans to design beautiful cosplay, which is a word and concept of handmade costumes that originated in Japan in the 1980s. The halls of Javits are crowded with fans who come to exchange and display their costumes, which usually involve making complex accessories such as chainsaw hands, plasticine tentacles or custom armor sets.
Stash Williams, an experienced cosplayer, sews a robe for her Yokai Au costume. A photo taken by Max Parrott. A cosplayer shows off massively produced photos of tentacles. A large robot costume on stilts taken by Max Parrott attracted a series of selfie photos of participants. Filmed by cosplay veteran Max Parrott Arro Wright, and found inspiration from a character named Rabbit Miruko. Photography: Max Parrott Vic Maya traveled from Connecticut and dressed like a "chainsaw man" in his first anime show Like a hero" Photo by Max Parrott
In addition to being the first large-scale animation rally held in New York since the pandemic, the event also gave fans an in-depth understanding of the industry. The speeches included panel discussions with famous voice actors, previews of new episodes, and about the future. Business of internal dialogue.
Importantly, it also attracted hundreds of artist booths to the exhibition hall. These booths sold original animation prints, toys, plush doll keychains, and even some suggestive video game fan art, within two hours of opening. sold out.
Justin Leach, an American animator and CEO of Qubic Productions, said that animation has reached a new level of global popularity. Qubic Productions is a new independent animation production company and sponsor of the conference. .
"There are companies like Netflix, Disney + and HBOMax - they all started investing in these projects, so I think creators will have more opportunities," Leach said, adding that most anime studios in Japan are Booked potential projects for the next few years.
George Hilton, the founder of Blerd Con, took the lead in discussing black nerd culture. Photography: Max Parrott. A group of cosplayers dressed as villains in the anime series "My Hero Academia." Photography: Max Parrott Joe Buruschkin, right, dressed as the 8th Division Anime Series " The captain in Bleach, with Vegeta Sayan in Dragon Ball Z, photo by Max Parrott
Leach, who has been working for a Japanese animation company since the late 1990s, told the audience how he was able to start a production company that aims to launch independent animation projects by cooperating with the senior Japanese animators he met during his work. Anime like "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence".
The companies participating in the conference vary in size, from aggressive newcomers like Leach's to the genre's streaming media giant and the conference's banner sponsor Crunchyroll.
Crunchyroll was recently acquired by Sony for nearly $1.2 billion, which shows that corporate players have regarded animation as an important asset in the streaming war.
In a company introduction, Crunchyroll announced some new shows, such as "Shenmue", which is a martial arts series based on the frenzied video games of the early 2000s; "Teen Freaks" tells a group of superpowers in the apocalyptic future The story of the young hero detailed its global business status with more than 5 million subscribers and 120 million registered users in more than 200 countries.
But the popularity of animation not only gives the bigwigs a chance.
Grave Weaver, one of hundreds of independent artists peddling prints at a booth in the exhibition hall, said she was happy to return to the scam to sell her products.
"It's like the first gust of [cons] is on again. I'm here just to meet the fans and everything has been great so far," said Weaver who flew out of her home in California.
Weaver wrote a gothic anime webcomic called "I am a Grim Reaper", which was collected by a platform called Web Tune, which brings together anime manga. As an independent content creator, she produces a new story every week and displays it on the platform. In return, she is paid based on a revenue sharing model based on the number of paid subscribers.
"Once you use Web Tune originals, it's easy to get followers," said Weaver, whose followers have soared to 1.5 million subscribers during the pandemic.