[6] [Feature] [slider-top-big] [Feature]

CPAC 2015: Castle Point Anime Convention (Convention Review)

| No comment

You’ve seen the reviews, you’ve seen the photos, and yes F Stands For was at Castle Point Anime Convention 2015. It marked the very first time that F Stands For attended the event and definitely will not be the last. So, what’s up with Castle Point Anime Con (CPAC) you say?

Castle Point Anime Convention is created and organized by the members of the Stevens Anime Club and held on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. It aims to promote anime, manga, and Japanese culture as well as providing a fun experience for attendees.

The anime industry has slowed down in recent years (in the U.S. at least) compared to the late '90s, early '00s when it was huge in mainstream media such video stores and on TV. So, it’s great to see a dedicated Anime convention and with it being so close to the New York Tri-State area. It just goes to show that even though the media is not as mainstream as it used to, it still has passionate fans and that the industry is still alive and well. But, enough about that and lets move on to the meaty side of things.

Let’s start with the location, seeing it was our first time in the area and in the convention, the venue was great. It's accessible to several public transportation. A lot of the attendees I met came from New York via Subway and Path Train. For those that drive like us, parking is quite hard to come by not unless you come early since the areas around the institute are mostly residential. However, hope is not lost since the event was being held on a Sunday, so garage parking around the proximity had reasonable prices. In our case we paid $13.50 for an 8 hour stay. I’d say it’s worth it to pay a small amount than risking a hefty fine if you get towed.

The venue, yet being a school campus was very accommodating to all convention attendees. It was not difficult to navigate one building to another where other events are happening. The buildings had clear visible signs, convention staffs were available all around for information and of course all attendees got a convention package that included a map along with schedules of events. So, how were the events and panels?

Several panels and events were going on during the convention and for the most part it was great. There are of course crevices such as with the early “Anime Trivia” event at the Pierre Building. The event was running late as scheduled and the presenter/host was not as organized as I hoped. The trivia contest was planned to have 6 rounds of competition but was only able to get 3 rounds since the room needed to be prepared for the next event. Meanwhile, “Cosplay Photography by Cosplayers” panel was a much more pleasant experience. The presenter/host, Dark Alchemy and Celsius conducted the panel with an agenda on hand and allowed enough time for Q&A, which is a must in this kind of panels. Meanwhile, other panels and events had to be rescheduled for a later time and moved to another room/or building.  This was definitely more than a little inconvenient especially if you planned your day full of activities like most con-goers do. The overall experience in the panels are dependent on the presenter and how it's organized, therefore, it was a hit and missed but some were cut above the rest. From what I’ve seen and heard the Cosplay Runway, Ian Rubin, +2 Comedy Stand Up, Psychology of Anime, and Insight into the Manga Industry was a big hit with the attendees.

As for the attendees, everyone I met were all friendly. I never met or seen anyone that showed hostility or ill will towards another. As per my observation, everyone, even in the most crowded areas were cooperative and abided with the convention policies. You can definitely feel that the attendees are there to have a good time, be with individuals that share the same interest, and experience what the convention had to offer.

For anyone who does Cosplay or take Cosplay Photos, CPAC is a great place to be. Several buildings and the open campus field looks great as a photo backdrop. A variety of Video Programming was also present for everyone to enjoy the anime medium, showcasing a line up that ranged from old to new and from serious to silly. Lets not forget the opportunity to meet and hear from special guests such as Monica Rial, Mike Pollock, Ian Rubin and Jamie Marchi. The CPAC staff brought their A-Game with superb organization overall and for bringing a lot of elements to the event.

Overall, despite some disappointing panels, I truly enjoyed the convention and not a thought of regret came up from attending and for half the price of a standard Comic convention, how can someone not check it out? However, I wished they allowed photography in certain areas such as in the Schaefer Center that holds the Artists Alley and Dealers Room. Nonetheless, it’s understandable that CPAC wanted the foot traffic to go smoothly. So, I made up for it by taking multitude of Cosplay photos and by mingling with other attendees on the campus field. So, if you’re a fan of anime, manga, videogame, cosplay and Japanese culture, curious or just looking to change things up from your Comic convention scene, Castle Point Anime Convention (CPAC) is worth checking out and experience an otaku-themed Sunday getaway. F Stand For will definitely be back next year so hope to see there.

For more information about Castle Point Anime Convention and when is the next one, check out

BY: Jose Febrero
Share This Post :