May 31, 2024

During this special time, we are fortunate to be able to enjoy several of the major annual events related to anime, manga, comics, and pop culture. In this context, today we will talk about one of the biggest events of its kind, characterized not only by celebrating and providing a place for our taste for anime, manga, etc., but also by being specifically oriented towards the pop culture of Japan. Indeed, we are talking about Anime Expo.

As we told you in the headline, Anime Expo 2024 will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 4th to 7th, which means VERY SOON!!… And, among so many events of this kind, as we mentioned just a couple of days ago, the gigantic San Diego Comic-Con, you might wonder what makes Anime Expo so special? Sure, it’s an excellent question, and this article is specifically to talk about just that, so get comfortable, and let us tell you why you shouldn’t miss this fantastic event.

The Largest Japanese Pop Culture Event in North America

Anime Expo, originally known as “ANIME CON,” was first organized by the anime club of UC Berkeley, Cal Animage Alpha, in 1991. This inaugural event took place at the Red Lion Inn in San Jose, California, from July 3rd to 6th, 1992. Since then, Anime Expo has become the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America, evolving significantly in size and scope over the years.

From its modest beginnings, Anime Expo has changed locations several times to accommodate its growing attendance. In 1994, it moved to Southern California and since 2008, it has been held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Over the years, it has featured numerous guests of honor from the anime industry and has been the stage for major announcements and global premieres, underscoring its importance as a key event in the entertainment industry.

A Bit of Anime Expo History

Over the years, Anime Expo has been the stage for numerous significant historical events, notable announcements, and celebrity appearances. Here are some of the most significant moments:

World Premieres and Major Announcements:

  • In 2023, Anime Expo was the chosen venue for the world premiere of the second season of “Oshi no Ko” and for the announcement of new series like “The Dreaming Boy is a Realist“.
  • During the Crunchyroll panel in 2023, never-before-seen trailers were revealed and new anime titles such as “Solo Leveling” and “A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special” were announced, scheduled for release in future seasons.

Collaborations and Special Projects:

  • In 2022, the 10-year anniversary panel of Studio Trigger announced the long-awaited continuation of “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt“. This announcement was one of the most impactful and celebrated by fans.

Concerts and Musical Performances:

  • The Anime Expo 2023 included standout musical performances such as the “Shin Megami Tensei 30th Live: Band of Shadows” concert and the “AX Summer Fest” with renowned Japanese bands like Cö shu Nie and mili.

Celebrities and Notable Figures:

  • Celebrities like Yoshitaka Amano, an influential artist in modern pop culture, and Shaquille O’Neal under his alias DJ Diesel, were present in 2023, underscoring the event’s diversity and cultural reach.

These examples highlight the role of Anime Expo as a significant platform for announcements and premieres in the entertainment industry, as well as a meeting point for celebrities and influential artists. Every year, the event continues to offer memorable moments and launches that capture the global audience’s attention.

What Can We Expect at Anime Expo 2024?

Well, glad you asked! For this year’s edition of Anime Expo, several important presences are confirmed, as well as events that will surely be of your interest. Here are some details:

Confirmed Special Guests

  • Ai Furihata – Known for her role as Ruby Kurosawa in Love Live! Sunshine!!.
  • Akari Kito – Voice of Nezuko Kamado in Demon Slayer.
  • Akira Shimizu – President of A-1 Pictures Inc. and CloverWorks Inc.
  • Ayako Kawasumi – Known for portraying Saber in the Fate series.
  • Hiroki Nanami and Mikio Toki – Distinguished for their work in the Takarazuka Revue and Edo-style kite manufacturing, respectively.
  • Katsura Hashino – Director and producer at ATLUS, known for his work on the Persona series.
  • Nakaba Suzuki, Ryoko Kui, and Shigenori Soejima – Respected in the manga and video game design industries.
  • Shoji Kawamori – Animation director and mecha creator, known for his work on the Macross franchise.
  • Toshihiro Kondo – President of Nihon Falcom, known for his work on The Legend of Heroes series.

Activities and Events

  • Concerts: Include the NIJISANJI EN Summer Jam and the Welcome to Wonder Wander World concert by ChroNoiR.
  • Industry Panels: Aniplex of America will join with A-1 Pictures for a panel on upcoming projects.
  • Masquerade & WCS USA Finals: A highlight event for cosplayers and costume designers.
  • Themed Cafés: Various sessions at the Maid Cafe and Butler Cafe, including versions for all ages and others for adults over 18.

Anime Expo will also offer over 800 hours of programming including panels, workshops, and exhibits. This is just a glimpse of what you can enjoy at the event, with many more activities and details to be announced as the date approaches.

Whenever you have the opportunity and can take advantage of it, we are sure that Anime Expo 2024 will be (as it has been for many years) one of those events that you should not miss for the world! And while we’re at it, why not stop by the comments and tell us what you think? Whether you’ve attended in the past, or not yet, surely you have something to tell us, right? You know otaku, we’ll be reading! 😉

Images Source: Anime Expo® Official Page, Reddit