Anime Expo

Anime Expo
Photo: anime-expo.org
Anime Expo, also known as AX, is an American anime convention held every summer in Los Angeles, California. It is organized by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), a non-profit organization working to promote the arts that are related to Japanese animation. The convention is traditionally held on the first weekend of July and lasts for four days, typically coinciding with the 4th of July celebration.

The first Anime Expo was held on July 3, 1992 in Northern California. It was a kind of successor to AnimeCon, an anime convention held in San Jose, California in 1991. In 1994, Anime Expo relocated to Southern California where it has been held every year since. Over the years, it has grown to become the largest anime convention in North America, surpassing Otakon (a major anime convention held in Baltimore, Maryland).

Anime Expo attracts over 100,000 anime and Japanese popular culture fans thanks to the many notable industry guests, including those from Japan. Every edition of Anime Con has featured anime creators, manga artists, produces, screenwriters, voice actors (seiyū), musicians, and cosplayers. Previous guests include voice actors Junichi Suwabe, Masakazu Morita and Ron Rubin, producer Yuuichi Fukushima, founder and president of P.A.Works Kenji Horikawa, and many others.

Anime Expo offers a rich and diverse program divided into several sections: Anime/Manga, Contests, Cosplay, Culture, Gaming, Music, and Shopping. It features an impressive array of events and activities including AMV competition, AMV theater, industry panels, manga lounge, premiers & screenings, dance battles, game shows, comedy showdowns, masquerade, tabletop gaming, cosplay gatherings and photo sets, art show, fashion show, game shows, maid cafe, workshops, arcade, entertainment hall, concerts, karaoke, and more.

Like most other fan conventions, Anime Expo has a large shopping area. It includes Exhibit Hall with nearly 400 exhibitors and vendors offering all kinds of merchandise and Artist Alley where semi-professional and amateur artists showcase their work. The convention also hosts a charity auction.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation has organized two spin-off conventions outside California. Anime Expo New York was held in 2002 and Anime Expo Tokyo took place in 2004. The SPJA also took over the Anime Conji convention in San Diego in 2012 and managed it until the convention’s cancellation in 2016.

Anime Expo

Photo: pinguino k



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