I recently checked out AniMiniCon Soho event at the Soho Digital Art Gallery this past weekend. Unfortunately, I could not make it to Otakon, so I decided to stop by this little event to see how it will turn out. Upon entering the gallery on Friday night, I immediately saw the gallery representations of Tokyo. I also saw the cute plates of food served. The basement was the dealers’ room, where a few dealers were selling accessories and clothes. More importantly, I saw the Soho Host Club. They were handing out roses to the ladies at the event. The men dressed pretty snazzy and were talking to people for most of the night.
Friday night had a screening and a cosplay contest, where contestants showed off their stuff and also performed skits for everyone. There weren’t too many special outfits, but some of the skits were pretty hilarious. All in all, it was an event that was tailored for fun. The atmosphere felt very intimate. Everyone looked like they had a great time there, which the organizers did a good job ensuring.
I returned to the event this past Sunday to check out the Lolita Tea Party they had. All I can say was that the turnout was HUGE. A lot of girls came in lolita outfits & drinking tea. Visual-kei music videos were also shown to the delight of the fans. I tried the tea myself and it was actually pretty good. (Thank you, Harney & Sons!) It was nice to see everyone sitting at tables like a tea party, conversing and drinking. Another anime screening took place and we all saw episodes of the popular anime series, Ouran Host Club. People started to dance and it was pretty lively.
Honestly, the event was a success. The demand is there and a lot of kids that couldn’t make it to Otakon had a really fun time. If the event wasn’t on Otakon weekend, I think the numbers would have been even bigger. Last year, I went to an anime event at a art gallery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Only me and a few of my friends showed up. They didn’t bother to do much marketing for the event & didn’t have any anime industry contacts. It was a disaster. AniMiniCon Soho was the antithesis to that. You can have an anime-related event at an art gallery with the right folks, support, etc.
Much credit goes to Kim, Alexandria, the Soho Host Club, and all other parties involved, for taking a chance and winning big. I’m interested to see whether this will lead to more small anime events around the NYC area. With the anime/manga industry in a state of contemplation, multiple small events can keep the spirit of anime/manga going.