By Erica Friedman

AnimeNYC is just ahead and, despite the name, there’s a lot for manga fans to look forward to.

AnimeNYC 2017 reported about 20,000 attendees and they are projecting approximately 30,000 this year, which would be significant growth in any market except, perhaps, New York City, where New York Comic con breaks six figures regularly and local event AnimeNEXT is roughly a similar size in the more suburbanite-friendly Atlantic City Convention Center. Well-established super-events Otakon and Anime Boston dominate the anime/manga playground on the East Coast, with equally large attendance at their events for years.

So what can fans of anime and manga expect this year that will set AnimeNYC apart?

Leftfield Media is taking a page out of super-event Otakon’s playbook for this year and hosting a massive multi-media event, focusing on both premier screenings from a number of Japanese studios Sunrise (Mobile Suit Gundam NT) and Pony Canyon (Kase-san and Morning Glories), and American licensors Funimation, Viz and Crunchyroll. In addition, AnimeNYC will play host to the Anisong World Matsuri finals, a global anime song event, which will include performances by Morning Musume and Shoko Nakagawa.

AnimeNYC is also holding the Gunpla (Gundam figurine models) Builder’s World Cup and “Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Special Event sponsored by a Crunchyroll, Aniplex of America, and Sony Music Entertainment Japan. And for foodies there’s the Ramen Summit.

Manga fans won’t be disappointed, with industry panels by Kodansha USA, Vertical Publishing, Viz Media and Yen Press. Denpa Books, the newest kid on the manga publishing block will be making its first appearance, as well as bringing Guest artists Range Murata, who will be doing a live drawing session.

Less fan-panel focused than the apparently hastily-assembled AnimeFest @NYCC, AnimeNYC will have a metric ton of industry panels and multitude of guests for fans of anime, manga and music.

AnimeNYC will take place at Javits Convention Center Friday, November 16-Sunday < November 18, 2018.