JESSE PARRINO 07-APRIL-2014 Hello everyone! This weekend I attended Castle Point Anime Con. It’s a one-day show in Hoboken up on the Castle Point College Campus. Usually these college cons are little holes in the wall that are about three rooms of people with video games and a few venders. Castle Point is a wonderful exception to that stereotype.
I attended for a few hours this Sunday. Sadly due to other commitments I was unable to stay longer and catch more of the extensive programming. There was a Maid/Host cafe, many rooms where you could view Anime, multiple gaming rooms for video and tabletop, even a dance party, and a Cosplay Repair Station were all available for the attendees. Very impressive for a $15 online ticket ($20 at door). However in spite of all the wonderful programming this con’s highest feature is the cosplay. It’s cheap and easy to get to from NYC so a good amount of the really good cosplayers from NYC and Central/Northern NJ come to this con. There’s a large field in the center where you could just sit and watch everyone interacting and that’s what really makes this convention.
At one point while just wandering I saw a group of Batman Rogues doing an improv “Battle” with a Batman they happened to find. This went on for a good 15 minutes. Things like that were happening all around the area of the con and almost made it hard to want to leave the general hang out area to go to the programming itself. While there is a police presence at this con in case something happened, they do a very good job at fostering an atmosphere where people feel comfortable doing that sort of thing.
I did also go to the video game area and the dealers area. I found the video game area to be a little cramped. Perhaps the convention is out growing the school itself as it pulls a good number of attendees. That was the only place where the crowds were a major issue. The dealers’ area was crowded but not uncomfortably so and fostered a good mix of vendors selling T-Shirts, DVDs, and assorted merch, and artists selling fan art prints and other handmade items.
If you even have the slightest interest in Anime this show is worth your time and money. The one warning I would give to someone looking to attend this convention in coming years is that there’s no on-site parking and street parking is very limited. You’re more than likely paying for parking at one of the garages that are scattered around. I ended up paying $17 for 8 hours parking. So that’s not the cons fault but it is something to be aware of if you attend the show on a limited budget. I mentally treat the cost of admission as around $30 to combine parking and badge and I still find it reasonable for all this show offers.