This year marks the 25th anniversary of Anime Expo, the largest anime, manga and Japanese pop culture convention in North America. It features the very best in Japanese entertainment, music, fashion and video games.
Since its inception in 1992, Anime Expo has gone through many changes and locations over the years. The anime/manga industry had declined. The event has moved locations multiple times from Northern California to Anaheim to Long Beach to its current location, since 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Over the past few years its popularity grown and increased in size and attendance, with over 90,500 attendees last year. The growth in its attendance rivals that of San Diego Comic-Con, which was around 167,000 in 2015, and only expected to get bigger. Just last year it used every inch of the Los Angeles Convention Center for the first time, including concerts at the adjacent Club Nokia and Microsoft Theater at LA Live, and some programming at the JW Marriott.
Here are some of the scheduled events that will be happening over the weekend at Anime Expo 2016:
•Anisong World Matsuri is a series of events and music concert makes its American debut.
– Japan Super Live (7/2): Eir Aoi, JAM Project, Luna Haruna, Minami, sphere, T.M. Revolution, Yoko Ishida, DJ Kazu
– Japan Band Battle (7/3): FLOW, OLDCODEX
– ONE PUNCH MATSURI at AX (7/2): Performance with JAM Project, with guests Makoto Furukawa as Saitama, Director Shingo Natsume, and more…
– Love Live! Sunshine!! Event: Nice to Meet You, We are Aqurs! (7/2): Anju Inami as Chika Takami, Rikako Aida as Tiko Sakurauchi, Nanaka Suwa as Kanan Matsuura, Arisa Komiya as Dia Kurosawa, Kanako Takatsuki as Hanamaru Kunikida, Ai Furihata as Ruby Jurosawa
• Cowboy Bebop Jazz Cat Experience with Alice Underground and Cowboy Bebop English Voice Cast (panel)
• Sailor Moon English Voice Cast (panel and autograph session on July 3, Sailor Moon Day)
• FLCL 2 (panel and autograph session) with creator Kazuya Tsurumaki and the voice of Haruko, Mayumi Shintani
• Fashion Show (7/5) featured brands: Acryl agitt, Bunny and Black, galaxxxy, KOMACHI 2266531 Dark Lolita, with MC’s Junnyan and Danny Choo
• Special Guests include: Yoshitaka Amano, akiman, Makoto Furukawa, Kazuya Tsurumaki, and many others
• AX Masquerade is the event that cosplayers from around the world attend to perform and show off their amazing costumes
• Among nearly 400 vendors and exhibitors are VIZ, FUNimation, Crunchyroll, Capcom, BANDAI NAMCO, Sentai Filmworks, EigoMANGA, Square Enix, Loot Crate, Hulu, gumi inc., Aniplex, Copic Marker, Kodansha Comics, Good Smile Company, and many more
• Exhibit Hall is bigger this year taking over the entire South Exhibit Hall
• Artist Alley, which is also bigger, and Autograph Area have moved to Kentia Hall in the lower level of the South Hall
• Table Top Gaming remains in Kentia Hall but slightly smaller area
• Entertainment Hall which holds the Cosplay Photo Sets and Repair Center, Arcade, eGaming, Art Show and Community Stage are still located in the West Exhibit Hall
• Maid and Butler Cafe, Live Programming, Karaoke, Workshops are still located in the Concourse Meeting Rooms connecting the two halls and other various meeting rooms
I always have a great time and experience at AX every year. It’s always fun to see all the fans and cosplayers dressed up as their favorite anime characters. Some of the costumes are just so amazingly done. The programming runs all day and into the late evening, with a few of those being for ages 18+. I usually spend the entire day at AX. Most of it in the Exhibit Hall, then in the Entertainment Hall and evening programming, and maybe watch some anime.
Passes for AX 2016 are still available and on sale now at very reasonable pricing.
For more info. and updates visit www.anime-expo.org.