Arriving at the Atlantic City Convention Center is the 14th Annual AnimeNEXT Convention from Friday, June 10th to Sunday, June 12th! The Geek Initiative team will be present to capture all the happenings around the event and posting live throughout the weekend.

“AnimeNEXT is the largest independently organized anime convention in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The convention features Japanese creators of anime and manga, voice actors from anime series, Japanese musical acts, artists, vendors and exhibits, panels, workshops, and gaming. Events all focus on aspects of anime, manga, and Japanese culture. With the popularity of anime and manga growing in the 1990’s and 2000’s, anime conventions have seen positive growth in their attendance; AnimeNEXT is no exception.” AnimeNEXT is organized by Universal Animation and has been in operation since 2002.

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The Convention Center is 486,600 square feet of exhibit space, in which AnimeNEXT will only use a small portion to obtain for further growth. Parking is available at the convention center for fifteen dollars per day (worth it). In addition, here are some other areas of interest if the lot is full. Currently, the convention is contracted for the next five years (2016 to 2020). According to a press release through the convention center’s website, it is estimated that AnimeNEXT will bring in at least three-million dollars in economic prosperity for the local economy and an estimation of 15,000 attendees!

Since it’s commencement, AnimeNEXT has resided in Somerset, New Jersey where attendees were scattered across hotels and were “busting at the seams” within 116,000 square feet of space. AnimeNEXT was not considered to be any-ole convention for geeks though. Giving the impression of a “home-base,” many of the current attendees have stated that they loved the Somerset location because of the small-indie feel to it. Another issue is that cosplayers don’t want to get sand in their costumes. Some have sworn off attending, but according to news releases, the numbers beg to differ.

What Those Expect to See at This Year’s Convention
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This year’s guest list is impeccable! The convention is almost here and the list is ever-growing. Top guests to see include Todd Haberkorn (Natsu from Fairy Tail), Helen McCarthy (writer, The Anime Encyclopedia), Daryl Surat, TRIGGER, Uncle Yo, Erica Mendez (Ryuko Matio from KILL la KILL), Richard Epcar (various), Akitaro Daichi, Mike Toole, Rei Hiroe (Black Lagoon), and more.

Events included at this year’s convention include the Masquerade, various panels and workshops, World Cosplay Summit, LARP, karaoke, Hall Cosplay Contest, and others.

Because of the new move and location, admission prices have increased slightly from it’s previous years to accommodate costs.

Tell us what you think about this year’s AnimeNEXT! Do you think it will be successful or prove that “size” doesn’t matter?

For all updates and information, visit www.animenext.org.

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