At least one anime enthusiast got more than she bargained for at a Downtown convention last weekend when her partner in Japanimation proposed to her.
Ronald Gonzalez and Jecibel Rodriguez were volunteering at New York University–Polytechnic’s annual anime festival SpringFestNY where they met three years ago and, from the moment they walked into the cafeteria on Saturday, Rodriguez knew something was up.
“I thought something was wrong with him,” she said.
Gonzalez popped the question in a crowded cafeteria, surrounded by costumed superheroes and villains, sitting at the very table where he and Rodriguez first laid eyes on each other.
“I wanted it to be at the exact location,” Gonzalez said. “I thought it would be special.”
It all clicked for Rodriguez when her beau dropped down to one knee.
“I was like, ‘Oh! That’s what’s happening,’ ” she said.
A friend surreptitiously caught the whole thing on video.
“It was absolutely beautiful,” said Adam Edwards, who helped organize the anime festival and also distracted Rodriguez while her soon-to-be fiance got ready to pop the big question. “It was a magical experience.”
Rodriguez thought that matrimony was somewhere on the horizon, but did not know how quickly it was approaching.
“I knew it was going to happen soon, but I didn’t know when,” she said.
Gonzalez, on the other hand, did not count his eggs before they hatched.
“I didn’t expect her to say yes,” he said.
When Rodriguez accepted the ring, the room erupted into cheers and chants of “Yes!”
The rest of SpringFestNY, which was held at MetroTech Center on March 16 and 17, went equally well, said Gregory Fisher, who helped organize the event.
“Most people are saying it’s the best we’ve ever done,” he said.
The festival was the school’s 10th and included live music, vendors, and panel discussions all centered around Japanese animation and culture.
There was also a so-called “Cosplay Masquerade” where contestants were judged on the creativity of their costumes and how convincingly they played the part of characters from the world of comics, niche and mainstream, as well as a soda-drinking contest.