The New York Anime Festival

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39 / F / The Bronx is Cold...
Posted 7/28/09 , edited 7/28/09
Hey CR

This is one of the biggest Anime Convention's in the NYC Area so get you're tails in gear and go , i already have my weekend VIP passes .. muazzzzz ttyls...

The New York Anime Festival
September 25, 2009 - September 27, 2009

Contact: [email protected]


Contact us

About The Event
The festival will span the complete breadth of anime pop culture including exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, and sessions with the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America. The event will also explore the Japanese cultural experience with a showcase of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese cuisine, apparel, and lifestyles. The NYAF will also feature the latest in manga, toys, costumes, video games, trading card games, DVDs, music, and much more on the show floor.

Products and Services
The New York Anime Festival will feature gala cosplay masquerade, and sessions with the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America. manga, toys, costumes, video games, trading card games, DVDs, music, and much more!

Exhibition Hall is open to the public
on Friday from 1 PM to 7 PM,
Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM,
Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM.
Please note that the Exhibition Hall closes at 7:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, but panels, screenings, and special events will continue until 10:00 PM


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22 / F / Pluto
Posted 8/28/09 , edited 8/29/09
a long time ago my friend told me she was going there over the phone ( theyre twins ) luucky XD
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Posted 9/17/09 , edited 9/18/09
i will be there =D
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Posted 9/19/09 , edited 9/19/09
Not going. But I hope you all have fun. \o/
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57 / M / Philadelphia
Posted 10/17/09 , edited 12/4/09
I was there, on Saturday with this:

Go ahead, mock me if you will...I even wrote an essay about it: (WARNING: Some info may be too sensitive as there may contain TMI)

Cross playing as one of the most infamous - and inept - villains in the history of Japanese anime, the writer tells all on a trip from Philadelphia to The Big Apple wearing a semi-micro miniskirt, thigh-high boots that were too narrow at the toes and surprising the character’s original voice actress with what for her would become a jaw-dropping entrance.


Prior to the advent of the fandom of Japanese culture, the internet and celebrations of animation from the Far East known as amine, there were times when males dressed as females (and vice versa) only in certain situations. Plays by William Shakespeare, Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H, Halloween, I could go on, but let us stop there.

I myself have done the dressing as a girl part as a gag once or twice before I discovered the fun of costume playing, or “cosplay” for short, and it’s cousin, cross playing, where as one member of a sex dresses as a member of the opposite sex. For one group it’s for shock value, for another it’s for “shiggles” as Bob Saget would tell you on 1 vs. 100 when he hosted, and for the few like the infamous “Man-Faye” or “Sailor Bubba” it just happens to be there. And for some of the many of what is known as the American Okatu, cross playing as the opposite sex can be fun, and even fantastic. Most every female-to-male cross players do it for the fact that it is because of their character’s youthful male looks, commonly known in Japan as bishounen. A handful of men who are more effeminate could get away with dressing in a role meant for women, though. Cosplay, though, is not a not a new thing, or for that matter, Japanese based.

That noted pillar of knowledge known as Wikipedia states that “Western cosplay’s origins are based primarily on science fiction and historical fantasy as opposed to animation.” Those on us upon this side of the Pacific Rim tend to recreate characters from live-action series from such movie, television and other media franchises as Star Trek, Star Wars, that British phenomenon known as Doctor Who and the Harry Potter books and movies. On the other hand, Wikipedia says that cosplay as an amine or manga (Japanese graphic novel comic book) character didn’t take foot until 1978, and has become a business of its own. And with anime cons every week somewhere in the world, there are cosplayers everywhere dressing up.

Not So Humble Beginnings
Growing up and living with your mother for 48 years as I have, she would say “No” to any hare-brained ideas on costuming even at an older age. However, in August 2005, she suffered a severe stroke and because she had to have more constant care and to relieve whatever stress that would come in that time, she reluctantly agreed to allow me to do Jessie almost five years after I began cosplaying her equally inept partner in crime, James from the bumbling, comedic relief known as Team Rocket of the Japanese-coming-to-America anime series Pokémon, based on the űber popular Nintendo video game franchise and trading card game. In 2000, as I was getting into the TCG (which was run by Wizards of the Coast at that point in time), my eight-year-old nephew, John Craven Jr., dared me to dress up as a member of Team Rocket. So with little money and some scraps, I threw together a turtleneck shirt bought at a Salvation Army thrift store, some white pants, a black undershirt and gloves along with homemade boot tops and a blue wig, sewed a big red “R” on my chest and dressed up as James for the weekend event. Thankfully, Halloween was later that week, so it served as a two-for-one costume. In that costume's lifetime, I went through three shirts, three pairs of pants, three wigs and two pairs of gloves. So for Jessie, the question was “Ineptitude, is thy name frailty?”

The skirt was a scooter skirt I bought before asking permission the year before from Lane Bryant, the first wig was a short red bob from a local costume store, where I also bought a pair of long black gloves, buying flesh colored tights from Baum’s Dance wear, a flesh colored top that was given to me from a friend of a Mummers string band, modified another white turtleneck with that gigantic scarlet “R” on the front and I found a pair of bright green earrings on eBay. And then there were the boots. Long, black thigh-high boots like those Jessie wears. Searching all over for a bargain or two, I went back to eBay and bought one pair of ladies’ size 11 boots for sixty bucks. They turned out to be too narrow in the toes, but like the painful trooper that I am, I lived through it. This costume made its’ debut in July at a Pokémon Journey Across America Tenth Anniversary tour event, also in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The short red wig was later replaced by a more natural dark purple wig with silver streaks. And then came the fateful day in April of 2007 in New York City at 10 Rockefeller Center, where NBC’s Today Show and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann broadcast from, the latter after they fumigate Kathie Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb’s stench from the upstairs part of the studio.

The website was on location for the event, and proceeded to ask if they could take a picture of my dressed as I was. Little did I know what I was going to get into the next day, which by modern references, would make Little Big Horn be a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party by comparison of the internet standards. I was given so much heavy criticism of the outfit by the World Wide Web community that it like a napalm pig roast in Vietnam circa 1966, and the photo would spread to other boards and sites worldwide mocking on how not to crossplay as it were. For what it is worth at that time, the slings and arrows of internet mockery made me stronger, and even make fun of myself in the process, yet I felt it was time to do what had to be done. Get better at what you’re doing, and get yourself an Extreme Makeover: Cosplay/Crossplay Edition plan.

Internet Research, Searches and Purchasing
As Larry the Cable Guy, Dan Whitney’s Nebraska redneck alter ego would say, it was time to “Git ’R Done.” The first thing that I did was search every internet search engine known and not known to the world for research and help, with the first thing being to find a good costume supplier who can provide you with a quality product at a reasonable price. One site had the costumes for $250 each. I decided to get both Jessie and James at a lower price than that, over half of just one costume at a place called in China. James will premiere some other time.

I happen to be exactly five feet nine and a half inches tall and weigh 270 pounds...and that is usually on a good day. I have the physique of an offensive lineman on a football team with what some call a Dunlap body shape - my belly “dun lap” over my stomach - thus looking nothing like a self-made diva, save for the blue eyes that I have. So not looking like a lady, getting a new custom made costume had decided to get into some research how to look like a lady while still being a man. Since I started doing cosplay and crossplay, I have found resources by searching for secrets to the topic of cross dressing, cross playing and makeup for males who want to look like ladies without becoming a drag scary thing you do not want to become, mind you that there’s not anything wrong with that.

So to cover some affects in body shape, at first I wanted to get a corset but that turned out to be a matter of cost (over $300) and comfort. Then, I heard about an infomercial, the bastardized version of a half-hour program and a commercial to sell you products that sometimes does not work, but makes money until some Federal watchdog blows the whistle. In this case, the whistle will not be tooted at Kymaro’s New Body Shaper, which does make the body better looking and removes the front bulge redistributing the weight evenly and correcting posture. They came with a pair of matching shorts as well, and used them both to my advantage. Also bought on the wonders of the interwebs was a long burgundy wig which looks purple when the light shines off it, to reflect the current hair color via computerized colorization, a nude colored leotard along with two pairs of beige colored women’s tights, plus a padded panty to compensate for the lack of booty I have. When my costume arrived from China in two weeks time, the gloves and boot tops were as ill fitting as you could get, so I decided to break out the old, poorly fitted boots and well fitted gloves that I used with the old costume. And a mere week before the event, I had to raise the hemline on the skirt to one matching Jessie’s own somewhat micro mini skirt.

In the old costume, I was, well, pretty good. I knew after fittings that I would be better looking, even with quick fixes like the needed stuff like a sewing kit, safety pins and other 9-1-1 style help. As a matter of fact, I actually looked like the Fat Jessie in the Pokėmon Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension episode “A Lean, Mean Team Rocket Machine” after eating lots of food after they have been starving for the longest time. So if my costume was a forbearing sign or a spoiler alert, I like to think of that was fair warning from the photograph that something like that was coming, so I like to thank the ShoGoPro folks for inspiring them to make her a bit, well, bigger in that role, and serve as the inspiration for them even if they ever read the internets.

Waking Up to Make Up, and How to Get to NYAF By Drinking Soda
Fair skinned, burgundy/purple hair, blue eyes, green earrings. A makeup artist’s nightmare for someone in reality, but this is Japanese animation, where hair color is left to the imagination of the artists. Ah, thanks to the internet, and message boards at sites devoted to the cosplaying genre like or, advice comes in bunches on everything from how you should properly style that wig to the right boot size. So thanks to a member of those communities, she gave me the following advice:

“True red for lipstick looks a little too bright. Maybe go for brick red or scarlet blue red, which looks more subdued? Unless you do want something that screams 'I am', and I guess that's true red. You said that you're fair, so use pink or coral blush. Since you have blue eyes, use brown or peach to make them stand out.”

I wanted to go further, knowing I had to shave the face regularly and often, so again it was time to search and research and re-research the web. There, I learned that a screaming orange lipstick prevents five o’clock shadow among cross dressers and drag queens. So I went out and bought a 99¢ bright orange lipstick, Gillette's Fusion power razor with five blades and some other stuff like Max Factor Pan-Stick make up. I would not officially place my face in jeopardy even after learning other tricks like taping your face upward to tighten the skin and look more ladylike.

Going beyond, and knowing Halloween was going to be the debut of my new costume, I won a contest from the Coca-Cola people for some cash monies (in reality, an online credit card) because of my soda drinking. A code was embedded in every cap, and the code is used to earn points in a loyalty program, and one brand – Sprite – also sponsored a back-to-school contest where you could win up to $100 in online funds. Well, that August afternoon was my lucky day and I won a $50 gift card, and after getting the information, spent $40 on a ticket for the September 26th program day. I now knew that would be the day that the new, lean, mean Jessie costume would premiere. Transportation was taken care of shorty thereafter, with purchases of train tickets from SEPTA and New Jersey Transit, the cheaper (and sometimes longer) way to go if you don't travel on Amtrak.

The Big Day
September 26 came early with a 3:30 am wake up call for me. After getting up, a shower and shave, it was time to get down to business as it were, and on this day, business was good. Beforehand, I made up some business cards with my address and e-mail, a bit of a tradition among some cosplayers who want to swap e-mail messages with one another, borrowed from Japan. The makeup was on, the costume was getting ready to be worn, and it was time to become the character.

Stuffed bra...check. Tights...check. Body shape, leotard, tights, padded panty...check. Skirt, undershirt, top...check. Earrings, wig, gloves...triple check. I wore sneakers and socks en route to and from the event on the train and put my boots in my backpack along with my other essentials, including wallet with ID, cell phone and $30 in cash. That would become $50 thanks to my finding a $20 bill en route to the train station, where a 6:10 am arrival to Trenton was due. When I got to Trenton, and was waiting for the 6:59 am to New York City, the conductor noticed me and recognized my costume and could not get the finger on who I was. She had thought that the “R” stood for Rutgers University, the only state run university without the name of said state in it, and as the old joke goes “And for good reason: why bother to tell your friends you went to college in New Jersey?”

I was quick to correct her and tell her that is was “Rocket to-Dan”, the Japanese name for Team Rocket, and she was shocked to see a guy dressed up as a female. She even recognized the character because her children watches the anime. I traveled with another cosplayer on the train heading out of Trenton and learned my first lesson: a very short skirt is somewhat discomforting, especially on a guy, especially whilst hiding the twins so to speak. For me, tucking or a gaffe (dance belt) would be impossible, so I use two girdles or a girdle and a jockstrap. The trip was fun, and some people asked where I was going dressed like that, I said “The New York Anime Festival,” and simply stated what I was doing dressed as a woman.

We finally got to Penn Station underneath Madison Square Garden, the self-proclaimed “World’s Most Famous Arena”, and went into Duane Reade, a local drugstore chain that has been around for half a century, but now fights against the mega chains like CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite-Aids of the USA, and they're holding up. I bought one more thing to make my face more effeminate: a pair of eyelashes. At Rite-Aid, they were $2.99; Duane Reade sold them for $1.99. And people thought New York was twice as expensive. Off to the Davits Center I went, walking along the way. I met a group dressed as characters from Narutro, of as cosplayers dub them “Nartards” as they were on their way to pick up something. Many of the Okatu are cheesed off about Naruto, with an annoying catch phrase (“BELIEVE IT!”), something that would have bothered them a decade ago with Pokėmon (remember “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”?) but the the acceptance of the series and video game, even with the change in voice casting when The Pokémon Company International (then called Pokémon USA) replaced 4K!DS Entertainment when the latter allowed to let their license to lapse and allow TPCi to take over which divided the anime community.

Being there, among the largest attended NYAF event ever, I had the chance to be photographed with fellow cosplayers, including Pokémon cosplayers, including a female-to-male cross playing James who was with another Jessie and a Meowth, and for the first time in the history of the New York Anime Festival, there was a cross playing Team Rocket performing the fabled “Prepare for trouble” motto. Every time I saw one of the good guys (Ash, Brock, Misty, May or Dawn), I went into instinct and call them “twerp”, and I was “arrested” by an Officer Jenny who was with a Nurse Joy who were cousins. Unlike what would happen with the anime, this Officer Jenny was nice enough to let me free after being arrested. There were tug-of-wars with gijinka and kigurumi costumed Pikachus or Flareons, just having fun with them was part of the day.

The big moment for me was at the voice acting workshop panel. First, I met Veronica Taylor, who was the original voice of Ash in the Pokémon anime, and said “Hello, Sheep”, her character on the PBS Kids computer animated series Word World. Later, I returned to the panel after a few people left, and who should be sitting there but Rachael Lillis, Jessie’s original voice actress, and I waved, then upon looking at my costume, her jaw dropped. A floor-hitting, you-gotta-be-kidding-me Wile E. Coyote getting zipped past by the Road Runner Chuck Jones once did in “Zoom and Bored” way back in the late 1950’s. She admired it so much, I got a personalized autograph from her.

Evening came, and it was time to say good night sweet prince and princess to NYAF, as parting is such sweet sorrow, so my return trip home was fun. A couple people got my photo, and when we returned to Trenton, a couple lasses from Washington who were in Trenton on a stopover for a trip saw me and saw the “R” and said to a security guard in between Eagles and Giants territories “We’ve got a Redskins fan!” Finally coming home, I was exhausted from all of this, and got out of my costume ready to get it cleaned, and took a shower, so the next time Jessie appears will be Halloween at the annual Newtown (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) Halloween Parade and then at my house that night handing out treats to the children around the corner from some crazy (in a good way) people scaring everyone else.
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F / United States
Posted 11/19/09 , edited 11/19/09
I went to the convention on Saturday. It was great.
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57 / M / Philadelphia
Posted 12/3/09 , edited 12/4/09
Hey, takotaco, what were you dressed up as or didn't you cosplay?
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39 / F / Texas
Posted 1/20/10 , edited 1/20/10
im going to nyaf this year in october.
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31 / F
Posted 4/17/10 , edited 4/18/10
Im going 2010
may have a table *didnt mail back yet*
cosplaying yuna
*ethnic yuna*
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39 / F / New Jersey
Posted 8/25/10 , edited 8/26/10
I'll be there again this year for 2010!

I've been informed that my payment and forms for the artist alley have arrived and been accepted, but we're all waiting to hear back about where we're being placed in said artist alley.

What I DO know, however, is that our artist alley section ( NYC Anime Festivals artist alley ) is in the far back left hand corner of the show this year. It looks like we'll have a lot of space again for our stuff ( like we did last year ), lots of breathing room, but I'm wondering if people are going to give us as much business as they did last year simply because we're not closer to the entrances like we were last year?

But at least this year we won't be tempted with the smell of overly expensive convention hall food like in past years. I guess that's a plus! But we won't be close to the bathrooms... not so good when you're working with traditional mediums at your table, like inks and watercolors. The risk of bumping into people with ink and watercolor rinse water is veeeeery high.

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57 / M / Philadelphia
Posted 8/27/10 , edited 8/28/10
I won't be there in 2010, as they're merging it with Comic Con this year. Maybe in 2011.
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F / Home
Posted 9/25/10 , edited 9/26/10
Bought my 3 day pass about 2 weeks ago at a retailer.
They have the panel/event list up but I hate the way they decided to show it...
All my events I want to see are meed up. So now I have to download the cfm files & then upload them on my Gmail calender.
I'm actually volunteering pretty much all day friday. 7am till 10pm Bleh.
Gonna be a light skinned Martha Jones from Doctor Who. Wearing either a GaiaOnline AFK hat or ORLY! Hat.
I wish I could find my other costume of Toola from Origin: Spirits of the Past movie
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32 / F / Maryland, USA
Posted 10/7/10 , edited 10/7/10
CALLING ALL D.GRAY-MAN COSPLAYERS/FANS!! Please read this message from one of our organizers at regarding our photoshoot this Saturday:

From Sakakirose:
Hey everyone! :D

Okay, NYAF starts tomorrow so this is totally last minute, but I hope you all see this! Here's photo shoot information:

D.Gray-man meet up at 4:00 PM on Saturday, October 9, at registration (so everyone should be able to find us). We will move from that location about 4:15 to find somewhere better to do photos, so don't be late!

I can't wait to see you all there :D

Spread the word, people!
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28 / New York
Posted 10/29/10 , edited 10/29/10

What is Ookii Doki? RoboDee and Beetron thought that New York needed more anime/manga/ video game specific events- something that would give otaku something to do throughout the year as well as create a nice community of anime fans in NYC (and now, all over the world in our forum!) Thus, Ookii Doki was born. Join us, suggest ideas and help us grow!

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