Finding Japan at New York Comic Con 2013 – Day 1


The 2013 New York Comic Con is in full swing, and JapanCulture•NYC was there to investigate. Since there is no longer a New York Anime Festival, we wondered if there would be any Japanese elements there. While we won’t argue that Comic Con feels as if it’s been transformed into a marketing vehicle for Hollywood, you can still find Japanese culture scattered amongst the house from The Walking Dead house and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Corvette – if you look for it.

If you pore over the schedule long enough, you’ll see Japanese-related screenings and panel discussions. Titles such as Ranma ½, Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack Movie, and the English dub world premiere of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo screened during the last two days.

Voltron and Robotech announced a crossover comic series that will be released by Dynamite Comics in late December. Both series have roots in Japan and were syndicated animated television shows in the mid-1980s. These shows introduced Japanese anime to the States, and now they are joining forces. Voltron is also celebrating its 30th anniversary with a panel on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

It’s never been easier for Westerners to consume Japanese anime, manga, and products, thanks to new startups that have booths at NYCC. is a new source for streaming anime, much in the same vein as Crunchyroll. Tokyo Otaku Mode is here to introduce Westerners to the manga-style artwork of 600 artists from Japan and around the world, and Mangapolo offers YouTube versions of manga – in English.

On the print side, the Japan Foundation hosted a panel with Representative Director and Senior Managing Director of Kadokawa Coroporation, Shinichiro Inoue, who discussed the literary genre knowns as light novels. Like young adult novels in the States, light novels have a target audience of teenagers and young professionals in their 20s, and many Japanese light novels are adapted into successful anime, manga, and video games that are popular with Americans. Kodansha Comics has a booth where fans can purchase titles such as Sailor Moon and Attack on Titan.

We have manga, and we have anime. Now we have the motion comic, thanks to Happinet Corporation, a subsidiary of Bandai, the Japanese toy and video game producer. They scan manga pages and create movies we can watch on YouTube, giving us a whole new entertainment experience.

Hatsune Miku has been a vocaloid sensation for several years now, but music producer 1st PLACE Co Ltd brings us IA (pronounced EE-ah). Vocaloid software is available for sale at the 1st PLACE booth, and you can see IA’s hologram dancing and singing. In other vocaloid news, Hiroyuki Itoh, the CEO of virtual music software company Crypton Future Media, Inc., is leading the Hatsune Miku Conference, where he’ll discuss Crypton’s plans for the newly released English-language version.

There are Japanese goods for sale at several booths, large and small. Ranging from figurines by large companies such as Bandai to Japanese stationery and cute little character pajamas from local operations such as Greeting Life America, you’re bound to find something Japanese-related at NYCC.

You just need to look for it.

Check out our pictures from Day 1 of NYCC at our Flickr page.