First Ever Senshi Matsuri in New York City!
After New York Anime Fest was gobbled up alive by New York Comic Con, it is nice to see a small event focused on a specific fandom that was pulled together by real fans instead of some corporate machine. Senshi Matsuri, hosted on Usagi’s birthday (June 30th) brought together over 200 Moonies under the roof of the tiny event hall in the Amsterdamn Houses next to Lincoln Center. It wasn’t overcrowded and it was far from empty - the perfect combination because I really can’t stand the sweaty and rude crowds that plague most big conventions.
Senshi Matsuri 2013 opened up with Twinkle Twinkle Sailor Stars presented by Lilith Oya:
After which was followed by a Senshi Fashion Show by Lil Hevn. Unfortunately the participants walked by so quickly I couldn’t get any individual shots.
The fashion show was followed by Uncle Yo’s standup geek comedy routine. For any readers who are unfamilar with him - he is basically a normal person making normal jokes. No, actually his humor is quite topical - if you don’t play video games, watch anime, or engage in other ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ activities I don’t think you’ll understand anything he’s talking about. Today he poked fun at Big Bang Theory (a show I happen to like) and how it’s a very poor representation of geek culture but allows ‘outsiders’ to claim they understand us because they laugh at us from a safe distance. Of course he was funnier and I’m just going all English degree on a comedy routine.
His comedy act was followed by an event titled, “So You Wanna Be a Starlight” where some brave moonies took to the stage to show off their skills. Various acts involved singing and dancing.
The event wrapped up with one last performance and a cosplay contest.
The panels were engaging and well thought (descriptions taken from Senshi Matsuri 2013 agenda):
Sailor Moon & Feminism: It’s no secret that Sailor Moon is all about “girl power”— but just how much does this beloved anime measure up to feminist ideals? This panel looks how Sailor Moon deals with female empowerment, LGBTQ issues, body image, and more!”
Sailor Moon Cosplay 101: Lilith Oya brings you info and DIY tips on making the perfect Senshi Cosplays.
Basic Guide to a Magical Girl’s Wardrobe: There is no question that the gifted have a specific style, this is also true for the heroines of manga * anime.
Overall, I am happy with how the event turned out. I really do hope the turnout this year will allow the event to continue on next year and perhaps outgrow the small event center so it can find a home at the Hilton on 57th street or another very nice place suitable for a small convention. There are a few things that I would change for next year - but hopefully the crew who made this event happen will send out a survey asking for suggestions and comments. As I stated previously, it is really nice to go to an event that is truly about the fandom and not about lining the pockets of huge corporations.