New York Comic Con began yesterday and is in full swing through Sunday, with panels, autograph sessions, comic book vendors, long lines, and people walking around dressed as their favorite manga and anime characters.
When NYCC absorbed New York Anime Festival earlier this year, many fans lamented that it would spell then end of the J-pop culture elements of the con. However, there are a number of Japanese anime guests as well as panels discussing Japanese manga at this year’s NYCC. Danny Choo, director of the TV show Culture Japan and the world’s most famous otaku; vocaloid voice actress Yu Asakawa; manga artist Masakazu Katsura, designer of the anime series TIGER & BUNNY; Final Fantasy illustrator Yoshitaka Amano; and josei manga (women’s comics) author Moyoco Anno are among the spotlight guests.
JapanCulture•NYC enlisted the services of Tony Yao, Production Coordinator of and writer for Samurai Beat Radio, to highlight all of the Japanese aspects of NYCC. He’ll be attending all of the relevant panels, interviewing important people (such as the aforementioned Yu Asakawa), and dissecting the future of manga. Tony won’t sleep this weekend because in addition to filing a report for JapanCulture•NYC, he’s also writing for Samurai Beat Radio and his own site, Manga Therapy. But he’s okay with that; he’s been an avid fan of Japanese pop culture since junior high.
May S. Young, the Asian Pop Culture Examiner, is also going to contribute a report. A graphic designer/art director by day and an Asian pop culture junkie on the side, May believes everyone is actually “yellow on the inside.” She’s been covering NYCC for several years and has a keen eye on the shifting trends in manga, anime, and pop culture.
We look forward to reading Tony’s and May’s reactions to NYCC. If you don’t want to wait, follow them on Twitter – Tony: @MangaTherapy, May: @ChairWomanMay – for regular updates.