What is AnimEast you ask? AnimEast is the largest anime con on the east coast. Imagine thousands of anime fans, like yourselves, storming into a large Hilton hotel, each fan hungry to devour anime in mass quantities. They all hail from different cities (there were quite a few from as far and away as LA and San Francisco) and socio-economic backgrounds, but they are all joined by a connection greater than family... the love of anime (Hey, don't deny that you would sell your siblings into slavery in return for a few tapes of anime or even that greatest of treats: the advance screening of Ghost in the Shell). All the big houses were present: Pioneer, Manga Entertainment, Central Park Media, Gainax, Animeigo, Viz, and Software Sculptors, to name a few. It was one of the rare events in which the names of the large commercial anime houses were joined to share credit in print (the program book) with the large fansub houses such as NT Anime, Nexus Studios, and C-ko. Spanning three days (about sixty straight hours), AnimEast was every otaku's dream come true!
The gang (Shannon, Jerry, and James) and I finally arrived at this gala event after many, many delta turns. We bought our passes and entered the dealer room. Boy, was there a lot of stuff I'd have liked to buy, but my budget was only $30,000... if I didn't plan on going to Cornell next year. At every booth you could find the soundtracks to your favorite anime. Posters are always fun to have, but I prefer to fill my walls at home with sketches done by professional artists and the actual cels used to make my favorite animated serials - and that's why I go to cons. Of course, what anime con would be complete without three video rooms running anime 24 hours of the day (okay, so one of 'em stopped for Kitazume's presentation, but that was for a good reason: see below). The gang and I all attended an anime clubs seminar/info-session panel and discovered something fabulous: CJAS is famous! "You mean you guys are from CJAS?! Hey, I love your webpage!" was the response to who we were; that was cool. We must be doing something right... if only we could find out what it was...
One note to any of you who go to a con in the future: if there is anything, directly related to anime, strictly forbidden to be sold at the con (i.e. - SM CD's), check around anyway. Although they will not be sold on the dealer floor, you can find a place (i.e. - a private room) where it is sold; you just might find the soundtrack of Samurai Showdown at an affordable price (This isn't exactly endorsed by CJAS -Ed.).
Something that I will never forget is that I got a Darshu cel and a Genesis Survivor Gaiarth cel signed by the character designer, Hiroyuki Kitazume. Coincidentally, Kitazume also directed, character designed, and plotted (the story for) Moldiver. They are currently in my vault! Equally unforgettable was the advanced screening of Ghost in the Shell. Let me just say that animation-wise, it blows any other animated movie or series out of the water with "your average big gun" (you had to be there). All in all, it was time well spent, and although we all spent way too much money, plans are being made to attend I-con '96, which will be held on April 12-14 in Stony Brook, New York.