Castle Point Anime 2023: Go for the Con, Stay for the Friends!

Castle Point Anime 2023 took place in Secaucus, New Jersey from April 29th until April 30th in the Meadowlands Convention Center.

I went with DJ RanmaS to the event, first meeting up and then taking the conveniently located bus station together. Many fellow con attendees also took the bus in cosplay or nerdy apparel. Excited conversations began as the bus moved toward the con center–and despite the gloomy weather. 

I got settled into the hotel with Ranma and after changing into my cosplay, we walked to pre-registration. 

The registration process was very confusing, without clear signage on where to go for pre-reg or ordinary registration. Some of the lines appeared to combine, and folks huddled under rain tents confused and waiting for guidance from staff.

Part of the confusion came from the dated layout of the con center itself.

Friday was not too busy, feeling similar to  a day 0 until the evening. 

This extra space gave me a chance to hit the gaming room, run by Snow Phoenix. I got a few rounds of rhythm games in and roamed the con floor. 

The convention made some changes to the photo area, expanding it from photography backgrounds along the con center,  to a separate area that provided more options for attendees to enjoy! One big glaring issue and concern I have with Castle Point is the proximity of this event to finals for many college students. Although this may not seem like a huge issue at a first glance, I worry about the logistics of running a college-run event. Looking back, I did see that staffers seemed burnt-out and tired. 

I often wondered to myself throughout the weekend by looking at staffer’s expressions alone; how do they manage a con on top of exams? 

Stil, the convention brought some new ideas to this year’s event, such as a figure display with items donated from staffers. This idea made the collector in me happy as I looked at the pretty details of figures up close.

Much of the con was a blur of walking back and forth between the halls, browsing merchandise in search of merch from my favorite fandoms, and getting excited to play video games both at the con and in the hotel.

 I remember the fun I had with friends, more so than the con itself. I loved going to the local Walmart at 10p.m. on Friday night, staying up late watching anime, and eating delicious tater tots. 

On Sunday, I explored the con further. I came across Food Trucks and my allergies were  accommodated by really cool folks at a curry shop! (Bless you, Go Go Curry). 

I went to the Dealers’ Room and Artist Alley for some browsing of the usual con wares: typical snack booths such as ones pocky and mochi, plenty of idol merch , and classic games for sale, More cons including CPAC Anime, have offerings such as gachapon machines. 

This con is perfect for a chill weekend with friends and people who are close to Manhattan. The Meadowlands bus stop is right over by Port Authority! 

 If you’re looking for a con with different expectations, the whole nine yards, or have a far commute Castle Point may not be ideal. 

But if you have a friend to l tag along and are close to the con, come on down! 


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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