This weekend saw the yearly Castle Point Anime Convention hosted at the Meadowlands Expo Center. This is one of the biggest Anime / Manga conventions in the New York / New Jersey area and has become a staple for many fans of the genre and cosplayers. The convention is a two day event running from April 28-29 and hosts a number of activities for anime enthusiasts. I decided to stop by on Day One to get the lay of the land.
The event runs each day from 10am-8pm, I arrived mid-afternoon getting tickets and entry to the convention was relatively quick. A ticket for myself at the door was $35, pretty pricey indeed if you are only going to attend for a brief visit but for anyone staying for a good portion of the day I have to admit it is well worth the money. It was a pretty packed venue and the majority of people in attendance were cosplayers. The convention definitely caters heavily to cosplay with related games, contests, and other events. There are a number of anime industry related activities including voice auditions and even instructional workshops for any people looking to break into the craft of voice acting. There are certain rooms which host all day running activities such as the arcade game room (which takes up a large portion of the convention floor area), karaoke, manga library and viewing rooms showing popular anime titles. There were CGC sessions for games such as Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Other large dedicated areas of the convention were for the Dealers Room and Artist's Alley. I personally did not go into the Artist's Alley because the waiting line was huge and moving extremely slow. I feel they have controlled entry into certain areas to keep some sense of order and a pleasant atmosphere unlike other larger conventions such as NYCC which are too congested and not at all enjoyable to walk around. The Dealer's Room was very nice and had a great selection of vendors and products available. If your into anime collectible figures this is a great place to check out as you can find both used and new products. As a collector I feel used finds are great especially for display pieces as I try to avoid paying full retail price for items that will just be opened anyway. I left the convention with a few bags of fun stuff for myself and the rest of the family.
The Castle Point Anime Convention will be returning to the Meadowlands Expo Center next year May 2nd and 3rd so mark your calendars and check it out. Tell them the Ragin' Geek sent you!