On Wednesday, December 13th. The Japanese Ambassador Mikio Mori invited Peter Tatara (Anime NYC’s founder & former Event Director ) and MK Goodwin (Anime NYC’s current Event Director) to his official residence in the Upper East side of Manhattan to present them the award of Consul General. 

Ambassador Mori on the Podium during his speech

The event was held to honor Anime NYC for its important role in promoting Japanese Culture not only in New York but also the United States. As Ambassador Mikio Mori has said:

In the 1980’s as a young Consul during my first of three assignments in New York myself. I did not see Anime or Manga anywhere in the city, and actually some Japanese influences were not welcomed then at the height of U.S-Japan trade frictions…I am grateful to Anime NYC’s organizers and founders for having raised a profile on Japan’s cultural arts by uniting fans from these five boroughs, from across the country, and the world here in New York each year at this wonderful convention by presenting ample opportunity to learn more, to interact more, to explore the common interests together of the dynamic japanese cultural elements to become an even greater inseparable part of this remarkable city.” 

Ambassador Mori even went on to say that: “Anime NYC is now the largest Anime convention on the east coast of the U.S and obviously one of the biggest, largest ones in the United States as a whole. Creating unique, positive connections between the U.S and Japan on many levels.”

Ambassador Mori would then go on to commence the bestowal ceremony by saying “Through the work of Peter Tarara and MK Goodwin, has created an increased collaborative effort and enlightening the chance between the United States and Japan. Thereby deepening the bonds between the American and Japanese people. For this, it is now my sincere privilege to bestow upon Anime NYC the award of Consul General.” He would then present and bestow to Peter Tara and Mk Goodwin the award of Consule General. 


Peter Tatara (Left), Justin Flores (center), and MK Goodwin (right) with Ambassador Mori (far right) with the award of Consul General.


Peter would begin his speech shortly thereafter, reinforcing Ambassador Mori’s words of Anime NYC now being the largest Anime convention on the east coast of the U.S by saying “The event welcomes 60,000 fans from all 50 states… It does all this from three non-stop days and it can only do this because of the year-long commitments of friends, of partners, and families. Every inch of Anime NYC is covered in your fingerprints.”

Peter Tatara on the podium during his speech.

Peter would then go on to say that “We are only here today because of all that you have contributed. Each of you have added layer upon layer upon layer to what has been built.” He would then mention in his speech how he got his start in the anime industry with Central Park Media, one of the biggest Anime publishers in the past thirty years located within New York. He would then end his speech by saying that he is “Proud and thankful of the art, the culture, and the community that Anime NYC has fostered under his stewardship.” and that his “good friend, MK Goodwin, will take it forward as the new event director.” 


Shortly after Peter concluded his speech was the other guest of honor, MK Goodwin, the current event director for Anime NYC. There she is “Truly humbled and honored to accept this commendation on the behalf of Anime NYC.” She would then go on to talk about the future of Anime NYC in which the goal to build a community for fans, forge partnerships with publishers, and foster a love for Japanese pop-culture will remain unchanged going forward. The 2024 Anime NYC event is planned to be the biggest one yet with the date being moved from November to August and take up the entire main building of the Javiits Center. “This move will not only bring us warmer weather…” said MK Goodwin “But the expanded space will allow us to welcome more partners, more industry, and more of the vibrant community that defines Anime NYC. This will further strengthen the Japan to New York City connection that has always been at the heart of this event.” Running the event has given her a sense of pride and now recieving the commendation amplified that pride during her speech as it “Recognizes Peter’s original vision along with the dedication and passion of our incredible team at Left Field media.” She would then extend her sincerest gratitude to the Japanese Consulate for this prestigious honor. The recognition fuels their passion for this cultural exchange and strengthens the ties that binds their communities. 

MK Goodwin on the podium during her speech.

The final guest of honor is Justin Flores, former Content and Industry Relations manager for Anime NYC from 2017 to 2021. He was responsible for helping build the Japanese Interpreter program, schedule panels, premieres and has worked with some of the biggest publishers in the industry. He would mention in his brief speech how he knew Peter for over 17 years through a fateful encounter upon taking the train to the Central Park Media office at the time in hopes for getting an internship opportunity. In that same speech he would also talk about how Anime NYC was founded when Peter called him many years later and said “Hey Justin, I think we have an opportunity on our dream.” and all the late nights and working alongside people who are just as passionate about anime, manga, and Japanese culture as they were to make this event possible. 

Justin Flores on the Podium during his speech before the end of the event.

The night would conclude with a toast of champagne in celebration and a brief opportunity to socialize before the event was over. 

I would like to thank the Anime NYC team for the invitation to this special event and moment in Anime NYC’s history and to congratulate Peter Tatara and MK Goodwin for all of their hard work in making Anime NYC possible and bringing so many fans, industries, and special guests together for an eventful weekend this past November. Here is to the summer of 2024 and all the new memories and moments that will be had then.