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Report and Notes

Anime Next in 2008 was much like it has been for the past few years, and this is a good thing. With around eight-thousand attendees, the Meadowlands Expo Center is a very appropriate venue. The Expo Center itself is mainly one large hall with cloth subdivisions between a staging area, a Dealer's Hall, and the main events room. Make no mistake, this is an expansive hall, and none of the main areas here are small. The staging area, by far the smallest of the three, had more than enough room for bleachers. There were probably around fifty dealers present, and the main events room had room for a few thousand attendees along with a large stage and two huge projection screens.

Not to stop there, the Expo center also held the artist's alley, panel rooms, and registration. On top of all this, several adjacent hotels' convention space was used for convention functions. Though slightly spread out, nothing was more than a few minutes away, including the Meadowlands' large selection of restaurants and other services. The overall effect was to leave plenty of room for everbody, and no part of the convention seemed crowded. (Though waiting in lines for the big events -- cosplay and concert -- had people in line up close to one another.)

Anime Next has a number of well planned events and panels, though much of the draw is the location and timing. Though during the day the temperature rises a bit, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the convention are the outdoor areas. With the many food and entertainment options around, Anime Next often feels more like a resort than a convention in particular.

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