Anime NYC took place at Manhattan’s Javits Center. Tens of thousands of people were expected to attend the three-day anime and general nerdy convention between Nov. 17-19. Some of those people were with the U.S. military.
At least two branches of the armed forces were at Anime NYC. They weren’t there to sit in on any panels, watch screenings of new anime films, or pick up some Gundam model kits — well, not explicitly anyway — but to recruit. The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps both had booths at the convention.
Over the weekend, the elite fighting force considered the cream of the crop of the United States Armed Forces and the top-ranking U.S. intelligence agency both had “exhibition” booths inside New York City’s anime-con, a showcase of Japanese pop culture, that lasted from Friday to Sunday. Additionally, the U.S. Army appeared as an “exhibitor.” Yes, this was done unironically.
The Army has a seemingly more simple set up. A photo posted to the r/USMC subreddit by user newnoadeptness shows a cosplayer dressed as Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion hanging out the booth with some soldiers. It’s unlikely the cosplayer is with the Army.
Of the inflatable so-called “Battle Dome,” meant to mimic a gladiatorial arena like Mad Max’s Thunderdome, attendees participating in the exhibit’s interactive elements were photographed attempting push-ups and pull-ups for the Marines.
But the Marines booth at AnimeNYC had a crowd and really had people engaging and doing pull ups. So, maybe it is beneficial for them to be there lmaoooo pic.twitter.com/r4AJpqcM47
— Nyne (@nyne_tailed_fox) November 18, 2023
As for the FBI (Booth #572), whose words are “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity,” the federal law-enforcement authority “secured” space on the exhibitor floor because the investigatory agency “recognize[s] the value” of anime fans as “an intelligent, forward-thinking, and creative community,” according to what Anime NYC’s portfolio vice president MK Goodwin told the Anime News Network (ANN), “the Internet’s most trusted anime news source.” However, the FBI did not respond to a request for comment.
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