Castle Point Anime Con 2022: A Modern Anime Con with a Nostalgic Vibe

Castle Point Anime 2022  took place in the New Jersey Meadowlands Exposition Center on Saturday, April 30th, through Sunday, May 1st. This con is run by college students from  the nearby Stevens Institute of Technology. 

It is CPAC’s second year at the Meadowlands and my first year attending this event overall. Although the day did start off rocky, with (somewhat) of a  stressful bus ride over and some hotel mishaps, walking on the con floor made me step back and relax. This con brought back memories of my first few years of attending events.  Between the tall black cloth dividers sorting the events and even the layout of the building itself, I felt strangely… at home. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same company who worked on this con center also built the now-defunct Garden State Exhibit Center. 

I will admit that my first impression of the con wasn’t ideal and it took time for me to finally decompress. With almost any con, there may be crowding. Except when it came to crowd control early on Friday, attendees looked confused and were crammed on the entry-way stairs  to absolute capacity. 

I put on my Gijinka Kirby cosplay and (nervously) walked over. Fortunately, the lines had calmed down by this time. I looked for any signage and did not see staffers manning both the front and back of the lines to maintain crowds. Both sides will indicate what the line is for for the purpose of streamlining traffic. I also did like the frequent inclusion of trash cans, but the placement of them felt a bit jarring. Some cans were put right in the center of condensed areas such as Artist Alley. 

Despite some logistical issues, the convention prioritized health and safety. CPAC took the  vaccine checks seriously, by snuggly attaching the wrist bands and closely examining the cards themselves. There were frequent signs about wearing masks and attendees complied. I did not see a single attendee inside of  the con center without one. The organization also improved as the event progressed. I also liked how staffers were mindful of accessibility by reminding folks to stay clear of the ramp. An ambulance parked by the con center, ready incase of any emergencies. Security and police presence were also present, but not to the extent where numbers were overwhelming. 

I stopped by the gaming room a few times on Friday  and played my usual convention mainstay: rhythm games!  I played a few rounds of Poppin’ Music and Beatstream.  Attendees also played fighting games such as Super Smash Brothers. Speaking of games…Genshin remains to be quite popular with cosplayers and the overall community! It was also common to see Nintendo Characters and idol cosplayers on the con floor. As always, I loved seeing everyone’s interpretations of characters in popculture.

One of the other highlights of CPAC was The Otaku Ongaku Concert. The vocalist’s powerful singing range, great set list of anime op covers, and overall camaraderie of the group made a wonderful show. The set list included music from Evangelion,  Ouran Highschool Host Club, Demon Slayer, and My Hero Academia. 

The venue was very convenient, with  plenty of restaurant options nearby and a Walmart in walking distance for any last-minute needs such as groceries. As for transportation, it’s also quite easy to hop on a bus from Manhattan. For future events, I strongly encourage the convention to consider additional signage and put an additional focus on directing attendees for crowd control. As mentioned, the con did take health and safety seriously and in this day and age, that’s especially important. Overall, my time at the event was brief yet enjoyable! I encourage locals to stop by, even if it’s for just a day.


A grad school student and librarian who seems to run solely on espresso and sweets, Cinnaknight has been going to conventions for about eight years. In her free time, she loves to bake, cook, as well as write!

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