Anime Expo

Anime Expo, abbreviated AX, is an American anime convention held in Los Angeles, California and organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). With rare exceptions, the convention is traditionally held on the first weekend in July, which typically coincides with the 4th of July, and lasts for four days. While currently hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in the past Anime Expo has been held in other locations such as Anaheim, San Jose, New York, and Tokyo. Anime Expo is the largest North American anime convention as of 2017.[1]

Anime Expo
GenreAnime, Manga, Video games
VenueLos Angeles Convention Center
Location(s)Los Angeles, California, U.S.
CountryUnited States
InauguratedJuly 3, 1992
Attendance110,000 (2018)
Organized bySociety for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
Filing statusNon-profit
Cosplayers of Saint Seiya at Anime Expo 2016-07-01
Saint Seiya style Inner Senshi from Sailor Moon cosplayers at Anime Expo 2016
AX Models Outside
Cosplayers outside the Los Angeles Convention Center
Anime Expo South Hall Lobby 2016
Attendees gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center's South Hall during Anime Expo 2016

Events and programming

Anime Expo features many events and activities during the convention for attendees to take part in such as guest panels, table top gaming, competitions, an arcade, and concerts.

Top attractions include events such as the Masquerade cosplay contest, the Anime Music Video (AMV) competition, Battle of the Bands, and SPJA's Charity Auction. In addition, Anime Expo hosts a multitude of industry Guests of Honor (GoH), including notable music artists who often hold large concerts at AX. Anime Expo also has a large variety of focus panels, workshops, and events, some of which are fan or industry sponsored. Finally, there are also a number of film and video rooms presenting anime screenings that run all day and night.

Much like other conventions, Anime Expo also features a large scale exhibit hall where attendees can purchase a variety of products from a wide range of exhibitors. This exhibit hall also features an artist alley where attendees can purchase fan-created art work, as well as other varieties of crafts such as wigs, pins, and cosplay material.

Convention history


Cosplayers of Naruto at Anime Expo 2006-07-02
Naruto cosplayers at Anime Expo 2006

Anime Expo began as an anime and manga convention in Northern California. Many of its original staff came from Anime Con, an anime convention held in San Jose, California in 1991, and later absorbed by the SPJA in 1992. In 1994, Anime Expo made a strategic relocation to Southern California and has resided there since.[2]

The convention continues to thrive due to the growing popularity of anime and Japanese popular culture and maintains a strong draw due to the many notable Japanese guests it has been known for. It currently holds the title of North America's largest anime convention, a title which it has consistently held every year except 2003 in which its attendance was slightly edged out by east coast convention Otakon.[3] From 1,750 attendees in 1992, Anime Expo's size has increased to over 107,658 in 2017, which makes Anime Expo the largest anime and manga convention in North America.[1]

As of March 2009, Chief Executive Officer Trulee Karahashi, who had been a part of Anime Expo and the SPJA in various capacities for 11 years, left the organization.[4][5] Former Universal Studios executive Michael Lattanzio was hired as the SPJA's new CEO in September.[6][7]

In January 2010, eight members of Anime Expo's upper management team (ConCom) publicly resigned over irreconcilable disagreements over the direction of the organization set forth by the SPJA's new CEO. One significant point of contention was the new CEO's decision to refocus and restructure the SPJA's marketing efforts starting with the dismissal of a PR and marketing contractor that the organization had a close working relationship with since 2004. Additionally, two other personnel had already left for other reasons, leaving only the vice chair and two others as returning members of the previous year's team.[8]

As of September 2010, Michael Lattanzio was released from his CEO position.[9] Then SPJA Chairman of the Board Marc Perez, became acting-CEO; In August 2011 he stepped down from the Board of Directors to take over as a full-time CEO (as required by the SPJA bylaws).

In early 2012, Anime News Network reported that Anime Expo suffered a $1.2 million loss in 2010.[10] The 2011 convention saw a $100,000 profit and reduced the outstanding debt to $700,000. The article also stated that one of the creditors, IDG World Expo, will be taking over several aspects of the organization, with guest selection and programming to remain under SPJA control. Additionally, Takayuki Karahashi[11][12] has been elected to Chairman of the Board of Directors.[13]

The convention will continue to be located at the Los Angeles Convention Center through 2019.[14] In April 2016, Marc Perez left the company, with Ray Chiang becoming acting CEO of SPJA.[15]

June 30, 2017 – First Pre-Show Night was added to the Anime Expo, which included the Neon District, hosting the World Cosplay Summit U.S. Finals, and premieres.

Convention locations

Dates Location Atten. Guests
July 3–6, 1992 Red Lion Hotel
San Jose, California
1,750[16]Jerry Beck, L. Lois Buhalis, Ben Dunn, Robert Fenelon, Lea Hernandez, Seiji Horibuchi, Ken Iyadomi, Shawne Kleckner, Trish Ledoux, Carl Macek, Luke Menichelli, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Keiji Nakazawa, Robert Napton, John O'Donnell, Claude J. Pelletier, David Keith Riddick, Frederik L. Schodt, Buichi Terasawa, Jeff Thompson, Yoshiyuki Tomino, Steve Wang, Robert Woodhead, and Toshifumi Yoshida.[17]
July 2–4, 1993 Parc Oakland Hotel and
Oakland Convention Center
Oakland, California
1,693Keita Amemiya, Robert DeJesus, Doug Dlin, Robert Fenelon, Peter Goll, Kenji Goto, David Ho, Seiji Horibuchi, Leo Hourvitz, Yasuhiro Imagawa, Junco Ito, Michitaka Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Makoto Kobayashi, Steve Kyte, Trish Ledoux, Carl Macek, Helen McCarthy, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Robert Napton, Yasushi Nirasawa, Martin Oulette, Wil Overton, Claude J. Pelletier, Jeff Pidgeon, Frederik L. Schodt, Jan Scott-Frazier, Masatoshi Tahara, Takayuki Takeya, and Toshifumi Yoshida.[18]
July 1–3, 1994 Anaheim Marriott Hotel and
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
2,057Allen Hastings, Shoji Kawamori, Izumi Matsumoto, Jan Scott-Frazier, Minoru Takanashi, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[19]
June 30–July 2, 1995 Los Angeles Airport Hilton
Los Angeles, California
2,138Amy Chia, Danger Productions, Allen Hastings, Leo Hourvitz, Kazuhiko Ikeguchi, Noboru Ishiguro, Jay Miao, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Koichi Ohata, Nobuyuki Ohnishi, Jan Scott-Frazier, Ryoei Tsukimura, Satoshi Urushibara, and Kinji Yoshimoto.[20]
June 28–30, 1996 Anaheim Marriott Hotel and
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
2,918Hideaki Anno, Hiroki Hayashi, Noboru Ishiguro, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Leiji Matsumoto, Toshihiko Nishikubo, Hiromasa Ogura, Koichi Ohata, Ai Orikasa, Mamoru Oshii, Jan Scott-Frazier, Kenichi Sonoda, Yumi Takada, and Ryoei Tsukimura.[21]
July 4–6, 1997 Los Angeles Airport Hilton
Los Angeles, California
3,826Jan Scott-Frazier[22]
July 3–5, 1998 Anaheim Hilton and Towers
Anaheim, California
4,883Mika Akitaka, Akira Kamiya, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Yasuhiro Nightow, Jan Scott-Frazier, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Yuu Watase, and Takahiro Yoshimatsu.[23]
July 16–18, 1999 Anaheim Hilton and Towers
Anaheim, California
6,400Mika Akitaka, Mari Iijima, Yoko Kanno, Hiromi Matsushita, Lisa Ortiz, Gilles Poitras, and Jan Scott-Frazier.[24]
June 30–July 3, 2000 Disneyland Hotel
Anaheim, California
9,700Rika Fukami, Keiji Gotoh, Kunihiko Ikuhara, Noboru Ishiguro, Akira Kamiya, Yukio Kikukawa, Mahiro Maeda, Yutaka Minowa, Range Murata, Kazuto Nakazawa, Yasuhiro Nightow, Chiho Saito, Jan Scott-Frazier, Yuu Watase, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[25]
July 5–8, 2001 Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
13,000Hisashi Abe, Morio Asaka, Kia Asamiya, Jo Chen, Kikuko Inoue, Masayuki Kojima, Hidenori Matsubara, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Jan Scott-Frazier, Makoto Uno, and Yuu Watase.[26][27]
July 4–7, 2002 Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
15,250Jo Chen, Hiroaki Goda, Tsukasa Hojo, Kunihiko Ikuhara, Hiroaki Inoue, Yoko Ishida, Noboru Ishiguro, Masashi Ishihama, Akira Kamiya, Shoji Kawamori, Maria Kawamura, Yukio Kikukawa, Hideyuki Kurata, Koichi Mashimo, Koji Masunari, Hidenori Matsubara, Toshiharu Murata, Mamiko Noto, Puffy AmiYumi, Nobuhiro Watsuki, and Takumi Yamazaki.[28]
July 3–6, 2003 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
17,000yoshitoshi ABe, Kazuki Akane, Duel Jewel, Rebecca Forstadt, Crispin Freeman, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Mitsuru Hongo, Taliesin Jaffe, Yuki Kajiura, Yousuke Kuroda, Mahiro Maeda, Atsuko Nakajima, Liam O'Brien, Koushi Rikudo, Goro Taniguchi, Misa Watanabe, Kazuki Yao, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[29]
July 2–5, 2004 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
25,000Koichi Chigira, Kate Davis, Hiromi Hirata, Yoko Ishida, Masashi Ishihama, Shinichiro Kimura, Hideyuki Kurata, Lee Myung-jin, Wendee Lee, Michael Lindsay, Masao Maruyama, Shino Masanori, Koji Masunari, Yuji Matsukura, MIQ, Minoru Murao, Range Murata, Toshiharu Murata, Satoshi Nishimura, Kazufumi Nomura, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Yoshiyuki Okamura, Ichiro Okouchi, Kaoru Ozawa, Tadashi Ozawa, Cindy Robinson, Michelle Ruff, Katsushi Sakurabi, Soichiro Sano, Carrie Savage, Tomokazu Seki, Ren Usami, Cindy Yamauchi, and Reina Yoshimura.[30]
July 1–4, 2005 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
33,000Hunter Mackenzie Austin, Greg Ayres, JB Blanc, Johnny Yong Bosch, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Siobhan Flynn, Crispin Freeman, Ugetsu Hakua, Rachel Hirschfeld, Ryo Horikawa, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Osamu Kobayashi, Tsuneo Kobayashi, Kotoko, Sara Lahti, Wendee Lee, Range Murata, Liam O'Brien, Hiroshi Osaka, Maaya Sakamoto, Carrie Savage, Tomokazu Seki, Miho Shimogasa, J.D. Stone, Helena Taylor, Wendee Tomson, Kazue Yamamoto, and Akihito Yamashita.[31]
July 1–4, 2006 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
40,647Laura Bailey, CLAMP, Crispin Freeman, Toru Furuya, Noboru Ishiguro, Yutaka Izubuchi, Koge-Donbo, Tomoki Kyoda, Mana, Vic Mignogna, Seiji Mizushima, Hiroshi Nagahama, Atsuko Nakajima, Mick Takeuchi, and yozuca*.[32]
June 29–July 2, 2007 Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
41,671Tetsuro Araki, Michael Arias, Greg Ayres, Laura Bailey, Steven Blum, Johnny Yong Bosch, Minori Chihara, Leah Clark, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Justin Cook, Caitlin Glass, Yuko Goto, Kate Higgins, Aya Hirano, Yuuna Inamura, Eisaku Inoue, Chiaki Ishikawa, Taliesin Jaffe, Satoru Kannagi, Hideo Katsumata, Takaaki Kidani, Masaru Kitao, Mike McFarland, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Halko Momoi, Shuhei Morita, Hiroshi Nagahama, Sumire Nanohana, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Tony Oliver, Oreskaband, Kate Oxley, Takaharu Ozaki, Brina Palencia, Orion Pitts, Brandon Potter, Dai Sato, savage genius, Patrick Seitz, Stephanie Sheh, Anna Tsuchiya, Kounosuke Uda, and Travis Willingham.[33]
July 3–6, 2008 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
43,000 (warm); 103,000 (turnstile)[34][35]Yamila Abraham, Masahiro Ando, Ayane, Greg Ayres, Cameron Baity, Mike Fasolo, Fullmoon 13, GaGaalinG, David Hayter, Masamitsu Hidaka, Yoko Ishida, Jyukai, Hiromi Kato, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Kuro, LM.C, Chris Many, Jonathan Meza, Vic Mignogna, Jason Charles Miller, Jeanette Moffat, Shoko Nakagawa, Tony Oliver, le Peruggine, Riku, Tom Root, Kaeko Sakamoto, Patrick Seitz, Toshihiko Seki, Kevin Shinick, Akemi Takada, Saiko Takaki, Thee Out Mods, VelBet, and Travis Willingham.[34]
July 2–5, 2009 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
44,000 (unique); 109,000 (turnstile)[36]Tomo Asaha, Karan Ashley, auncia, Robert Axelrod, Nakia Burrise, Steve Cardenas, Northrup Davis, Daniel Ewing, Mike Fasolo, Blake Anthony Foster, Kun Gao, Douglas Goldstein, Barbara Goodson, Seth Green, Hangry & Angry, Kyle Hebert, Jason Hoffs, Ken Hoinsky, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Noriyuki Jinguji, Walter E. Jones, Takeshi Kajii, Shigeru Kitayama, Shawne Kleckner, Yun Kouga, Yousuke Kuroda, Robert Le, Patricia Ja Lee, Joshua Long, Nobuo Masuda, Monica May, Mike McFarland, Chris McKay, Breckin Meyer, Seiji Mizushima, Moi dix Mois, Toshimichi Mori, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Morning Musume, Robert Napton, Yasuhiro Nightow, Atsushi Nishigori, Satoshi Nishimura, Takashi Okazaki, Austin Osueke, Race Owen, Brina Palencia, Luis Reyes, Amy Rolle, Reggie Rolle, Tom Root, Satsuki, Justin Sevakis, Eric P. Sherman, Kevin Shinick, Dan Southworth, Catherine Sutherland, Tsunku, Roger Velasco, Cerina Vincent, Chris Violette, Kevy Vona, Kari Wahlgren, Selwyn Jaydon Ward, and Erik Weiner.[37]
July 1–4, 2010 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
46,000 (warm); 105,000 (turnstile)[38][36]Saki Aibu, AKB48, Yuu Asakawa, Beni, Johnny Yong Bosch, Danny Choo, DJ Chucky, Guhroovy, Kyle Hebert, Rei Hiroe, Yui Horie, Tomohiko Ishii, Kenji Kamiyama, Yoko Kanno, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Eri Kitamura, Katsuyuki Konishi, Robert Le, M-Project, m1dy, May'n, MELL, Vic Mignogna, Jason Charles Miller, Masakazu Morita, Megumi Nakajima, Satoru Nakamura, No+Chin, RSP, Kaeko Sakamoto, DJ Schwarzenegger, Eric P. Sherman, Sophia, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Cristina Vee, and Shinichi Watanabe.[38]
July 1–4, 2011 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
47,000 (unique); 128,000 (turnstile)[36]Takanori Aki, Tetsuro Araki, Peter S. Beagle, Hiroyuki Birukawa, Koichi Chigira, Danny Choo, Danceroid, Dig Jelly, Toshihiro Fukuoka, Toshio Furukawa, Fred Gallagher, Kentaro Hashimoto, Hiroyuki Ito, Taliesin Jaffe, Kalafina, Makoto Kobayashi, Onyx Kobayashi, Maon Kurosaki, Izumi Matsumoto, Vic Mignogna, Hatsune Miku, Jason Charles Miller, Seiji Mizushima, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Sohei Niikawa, Nirgilis, Wataru Sasaki, Miyuki Sawashiro, Takaaki Suzuki, Masayoshi Tanaka, Tune in Tokyo, Stephanie Yanez,[39] Katsuyuki Hirano, Takaki Kosaka, Kenta Sugano,[40] and Kyle Hebert.[41]
June 29–July 2, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
49,400 (unique); 130,000 (turnstile)[36][42]Animetal USA, Ei Aoki, Misako Aoki, Morio Asaka, Steven Blum, Danny Choo, Kunihiko Hamada, Ryo Horikawa, Yuki Kajiura, Hikaru Kondo, Rikiya Koyama, LiSA, Cyril Lumboy, Jamie Marchi, Joel McDonald, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Monica Rial, Tatsuo Sato, Ian Sinclair, Takuya Tsunoki,[43] Yosuke Adachi, ayami, bamboo, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Shinji Katakura, Izumi Kitta, Minami Kuribayashi, Jessica Nigri, Foo Midori, Koichiro Natsume, Aimi Terakawa, Tamiyasu Tomoe, and Kouki Yoshimune.[44]
July 4–7, 2013 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
61,000 (unique);[36][45] 161,000 (turnstile)[36]Takanori Aki, Johnny Yong Bosch, Danny Choo, Eyeshine, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Josh Grelle, Megumi Han, Kyle Hebert, Aya Ikeda, Kazuhiko Inoue, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Noizi Ito, Kaya, Vic Mignogna, Moon Stream, Sohei Niikawa, Mari Okada, Ram Rider, Chris Sabat, Makoto Shinkai, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Austin Tindle, Alexis Tipton, Eric Vale, Masaaki Yuasa,[46] Kazuhiko Inoue, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, Kazuchika Kise, Hiroaki Matsuura, Porno Graffitti, Keigo Sasaki, George Wada, and Max Watanabe.[47]
July 3–6, 2014 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
80,000 (unique); 220,000 (turnstile)[36]Eir Aoi, Linda Ballantyne, Sonya Belousova, Karen Bernstein, Danny Choo, Sean Danconia, Katie Griffin, Kyle Hebert, Keiji Inafune, Reki Kawahara, Kimura U, Mary Long, Eru Matsumoto, Vic Mignogna, Kazuma Miki, Masahiko Minami, Stephanie Morgenstern, Masakazu Morita, Toby Proctor, Susan Roman, Ron Rubin, John Stocker, Gen Urobuchi, Yutaka Yamamoto,[48] abec, Angela, Fuminori Kizaki, Ami Koshimizu, Kazuki Nakashima, Eiji Ohtsuka, Lunatic Joker, Yoshiki Sakurai, Uki Satake, SUSHIO, Eiko Tanaka, Yosuke Toba, and Ryoka Yuzuki.[49]
July 2–5, 2015 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
90,500 (unique); 260,700 (turnstile)[50]Sho Aikawa, Aimer, Dino Andrade, Mashiro Ayano, Christopher Ayres, Aza, Bosshi, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Danny Choo, Olivia Chubear, Robbie Daymond, Ben Diskin, Dustbunny, Sandy Fox, Yuichi Fukushima, Futange, Tiffany Grant, Alexander "Octopimp" Gross, Yumiri Hanamori, HappiLeeErin, Isuna Hasekura, Kyle Hebert, Itaru Hinoue, Naoto Hirooka, Mel Hoppe, Hori, IA, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Keiji Inafune, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Taliesin Jaffe, Miles Jai, Junnyan, Kamitani, Ayako Kawasumi, Kiba, KISS, Kazutaka Kodaka, Hikaru Kondo, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Brooke "Dodger" Lawson, Linda Le, Cherami Leigh, Comfort Love, Toshio Maeda, Azusa Maxima, Amanda Miller, Takahiro Miura, Masanori Miyake, Momoiro Clover Z, Shinichi Nakamura, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Chicchai Ossan, Thomas Romain, Garnet Runestar, Ryukishi07, Chris Sabat, Chii Sakurabi, Shella Santa Maria, Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Sheh, Shinya, Tomonori Sudo, Julietta Suzuki, Yoko Takahashi, Eiko Tanaka, LeSean Thomas, Naokatsu Tsuda, Luna Tsukigami, Kimura U, Cristina Vee, Wagakki Band, Sylar Warren, Lisle Wilkerson, Adam Withers, Yamatogawa, Yoshifumi Yarimizu, Miki Yoshikawa, Koki Yoshimune, and Yoh Yoshinari.[51]
July 1–4, 2016 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
100,420 (unique); 304,799 (turnstile)[52]Aicosu, Yoshitaka Amano, Chika Anzai, Eir Aoi, Ari Arad, Naoshi Arakawa, Ayakashi, Bamboo, Beau Billingslea, Steven Blum, Justin Briner, Christine Marie Cabanos, Chalk Twins, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Danny Choo, Stella Chuu, Dancing Dolls, Robbie Daymond, Dodger, Doremi, Dustbunny, Dynamite Tommy, Melissa Fahn, Flow, Sandy Fox, Makoto Furukawa, Shigeo Hamashima, Hamo, HappiLeeErin, Joshua Hart, Luna Haruna, DJ HeavyGrinder, Mel Hoppe, Kenji Horikawa, Daisuke Ichikawa, Koji Igarashi, Keiji Inafune, Yoko Ishida, Akira Itsuki, Miles Jai, JAM Project, Junnyan, Jyunya, Tetsuya Kakihara, Kazue Kato, Shoji Kawamori, DJ Kazu, Kiba, Shuichi Kobayashi, Shigeto Koyama, Minami Kuribayashi, Reo Kurosu, Yuro Kyoya, Lauren Landa, Wendee Lee, Lia, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Erica Mendez, Michi, Amanda Celine Miller, Masahiko Minami, Yasuo Miyakawa, Masanori Miyake, Yu Mizokam, momoMc, Tatsuyuki Nagai, NaPaTa, Shingo Natsume, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Octopimp, Hiroshi Ogawa, Okayado, Oldcodex, Tony Oliver, QueersPlay, Garnet Runestar, Chris Sabat, Shunsuke Saito, Saitom, Nobukazu Sakai (nbkz), Sakira, Nami Sano, Takumi Sano, Erect Sawaru, Sayori, Stephanie Sheh, Makoto Shinkai, Mayumi Shintani, Nao Shirahane (DMYO), Mike Sinterniklaas, Sphere, Sushio, Junichi Suwabe, T.M.Revolution, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Tasha, TeddyLoid, Luna Tsukigami, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Kotaro Uchikoshi, Masuo Ueda, LeeAnna Vamp, Cristina Vee, Steff Von Schweetz, Akira Yasuda, Yo, Mai Yoneyama, Koki Yoshimune, ZUN,[53] and Aqours.[54]
July 1–4, 2017 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
107,658 (warm); 357,178 (turnstile)[55]Ali Project, AmaLee, Angela, Aqours, Mashiro Ayano, Minori Chihara, Charlet Chung, Stella Chuu, Jonny Cruz, Steven D'Onofrio, Robbie Daymond, Jason Douglas, Dustbunny, GARNiDELiA, Todd Haberkorn, Erika Harlacher, Itaru Hinoue, Yui Horie, Xanthe Huynh, THE iDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, Mari Iijima, Yui Ishikawa, Sunao Katabuchi, Tetsuya Kinoshita, Erica Lindbeck, Max Mittelman, momoMc, Cassandra Lee Morris, QueersPlay, Ram Rider, Chris Sabat, Sean Schemmel, Tomokazu Seki, Konomi Suzuki, Fred Tatasciore, TeddyLoid, Tsunku, Steff Von Schweetz, Wake Up, Girls!, Walküre.,[56] Ezra Weisz[55]
July 5–8, 2018[57] Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
110,000 (Unique); 350,000 (turnstile)22/7, Aimer, Aqours, AKB48, Christine Auten, Anjali Bhimani, Justin Briner, Kimberly Brooks, Rodger Bumpass, Zach Callison, Ray Chase, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Robbie Daymond, Michaela Dietz, Estelle, Melissa Fahn, Maile Flanagan, Todd Haberkorn, Deedee Magno Hall, Yui Horie, Kenji Horikawa, Richard Steven Horvitz, Masashi Ishihama, i☆Ris, THE iDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, Mari Iijima,[58] Ao Jūmonji,[59] Tomohiko Ishii, Kyle C. Jones, Yūki Kaji, Yuki Kajiura,[60] Katsumi Kawaguchi, Ayako Kawasumi, Crystal Kay, Josh Keaton, Hiroki Kikuta, Seiji Kishi, Haruka Kurebayashi, Eugene Lee, Rachael Lillis, Erica Lindbeck, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Ai Kayano, m-flo, May'n, Erica Mendez, Max Mittelman, Cassandra Lee Morris, Go Nagai, Shoko Nakagawa, Shinichi Nakamura, Yasutaka Nakata, Mari Okada, Jason Paige, Bryce Papenbrook, Carolina Ravassa, Tara Sands, Sayuri, Yosuke Shiokawa, Keith Silverstein, Rikki Simons, John Swasey, TeddyLoid, LeSean Thomas, Kirk Thornton, Naokatsu Tsuda, Kotaro Uchikoshi, David Vincent (actor), Hiromi Wakabayashi, Akira Yasuda, Daiki Yamashita
July 4–7, 2019[61] Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California

Other Anime Expos

The SPJA has twice run conventions outside California: Anime Expo New York in 2002, and Anime Expo Tokyo in 2004.

Anime Expo New York

Anime Expo New York (AXNY) was held in 2002 in the Times Square district of New York City, New York.[62] The event was originally a joint effort with Central Park Media and its industry event, Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF). Due to differences, the event ran as separate entities within the same time frame and venues, with BAAF hosting the theatrical film screenings, and Anime Expo New York hosting the convention. The events shared some resources, with notable guests listed in the program guides of both events. The SPJA ran the event in order to demonstrate that it could run events outside its home state of California. The event was a precursor to Anime Expo Tokyo which ran in Tokyo, Japan in 2004.[63] The SPJA has not run any events outside California since 2004.

Dates Location Atten. Guests
August 31–September 2, 2002 Marriott New York Marquis
New York, New York
5,500Akitaroh Daichi, Noboru Ishiguro, Yoko Kanno, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Takao Koyama, Taro Maki, Chris McKay, Koji Sugiura, Atsushi Takeuchi, Yoshiyuki Tomino, and Shinichiro Watanabe.[62]

Anime Expo Tokyo

Anime Expo Tokyo (AX Tokyo) was held in 2004 at the Sunshine City Convention Center in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan.[63] It was not technically organized directly by the SPJA, but rather was organized by the Japanese Association for Science Fiction International Communication ( with assistance from the SPJA. JASFIC had two goals for Anime Expo Tokyo. The first goal was to establish in Japan a non-corporate sponsored convention dedicated to anime. The second goal was to demonstrate to the organizers of the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) that Japan could serve as a suitable venue for conventions that attract foreigners. Although Anime Expo Tokyo did not go on to a second year, JASFIC was ultimately successful in attracting the 65th World Science Fiction Convention to Japan in 2007.

Anime Expo Tokyo had a staggering list of over 40 guests such as manga artist Ken Akamatsu, MiQ, Under17, Hiroshi Aro, and many others, although a small handful had to make last minute cancellations. Anime Expo Tokyo was also the very first Anime Expo that officially hosted guests from the U.S. anime industry such as webcomic artist Fred Gallagher and voice actor Crispin Freeman.[63]

Of Anime Expo Tokyo's 4,249 attendees, approximately 300 of that number were estimated to have traveled from abroad. In addition to the attendance numbers were 240 members of the press, 40 of which were from overseas. An additional 430 people were composed of dealers, guests, or staff.

No plans to host another official Anime Expo outside California have been announced.

Dates Location Atten. Guests
January 16–18, 2004 Sunshine City Convention Center
Tokyo, Japan
4,919Sho Aikawa, Ken Akamatsu, Hiroshi Aro, Crispin Freeman, Fred Gallagher, Yuichi Hasegawa, Saki Hijiri, Ryusuke Hikawa, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Imaitoonz, Isamu Imakake, Mutsumi Inomata, Noboru Ishiguro, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Takehiko Ito, Yutaka Izubuchi, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Satomi Kodama, Rie Kugimiya, Akira Kushida, Tomomi Michizuki, MIQ, Nao Nagasawa, Hiroshi Negishi, Tetsuya Nishio, Hiroyuki Okiura, Romi Park, Akemi Takada, Nozomu Tamaki, Kana Ueda, Under17, Yoshihiro Yonezawa, and Reina Yoshimura.[63]

Other Conventions

Anime Conji

In 2010, Anime Conji began as an annual anime convention in San Diego.[64][65] In 2013, it began to be run by SPJA.[66][67][68] Anime Conji 2016 was cancelled due to event quality concerns.[69] The convention returned in 2018 under its original organizers, the San Diego Speculative Fiction Society (SanSFiS).[70][71]

Organizational structure

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the parent organization which produces Anime Expo, is a federal and California state registered 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation.[72] The operation of Anime Expo is divided into two groups: Entertainment & Operations.

Entertainment has the following divisions: AV Tech, Entertainment Hall, Guest Relations, Interactive Events and Programming. Operations has the following divisions: Exhibit Hall & Registration and Facilities. As of 2013, the SPJA employed 11 employees and over 1,000 volunteers for Anime Expo.

Anime Expo's parent company, the SPJA, has a number of additional paid positions whose roles are to conduct the organization's year-round operations. Such positions also include the: Administration Director, Chief Executive Officer, Finance Manager, HR Director, Marketing Director, and Technology Director. The SPJA also hires consultants for outsourced functions such as: Marketing consultation, Governance & Strategic training, Legal representation, Exhibit sales, and as needed program assistance.


  • The 2009 event donated over $29,000 to the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) from the SPJA Charity Auction, announced during closing ceremonies on Sunday, July 5, 2009[73]
  • Masquerade main event was attended by a standing-room only crowd with over 7,200 seats available[74]
  • Total 2010 through-the-doors attendance achieved 105,000 (turnstile), compared to 2009's attendance of 109,000 (turnstile). This was Anime Expo's second attendance decline since its inception.[75]
  • Anime Expo's 20th Anniversary was celebrated in 2011.
  • July 4, 2011 – Nearly $30,000 dollars raised at the SPJA Charity Auction for the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid in disaster relief.


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  2. ^ Lopes, Paul (2009-04-07). Demanding Respect: The Evolution of the American Comic Book. Temple University Press. ISBN 9781592134441.
  3. ^ Delahanty, Patrick (2007-01-09). "Ten largest North American anime conventions of 2003". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  4. ^ To: SPJA Executive Members, Convention Committee, Anime Expo Managers, Staff and Volunteers, March 28, 2009
  5. ^ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation “(SPJA)”
  6. ^ The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Announces New President and Chief Executive Officer Archived July 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ SPJA announces new CEO, Michael Lattanzio
  8. ^ Multiple Anime Expo Staffers Resign in Board Dispute January 11, 2010
  9. ^ [1] September 25, 2010
  10. ^ Exclusive: AX 2010 Lost $1.2 Million; IDG to Boost Involvement, Animenewsnetwork, February 3, 2012
  11. ^ "Otakon Parent Elects New Board of Directors". Retrieved 2012-02-15.
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  13. ^ "Exclusive: AX 2010 Lost $1.2 Million; IDG to Boost Involvement". Retrieved 2012-02-15.
  14. ^ "Anime Expo to Stay in Los Angeles for 5 More Years". Anime News Network. June 27, 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
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  16. ^ Solomon, Charles. "Mainstream call of anime; The annual Anime Expo expects to draw an ever-growing demographic of fans to Anaheim". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 Oct 2018.
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  34. ^ a b "Anime Expo 2008 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  35. ^ "Anime Expo Up 5%". ICv2. July 14, 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
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  39. ^ "Anime Expo 2011 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  40. ^ "Anime Expo to Host 3 From High School of the Dead Crew". Anime News Network. June 21, 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  41. ^ Santos, Carlo (July 1, 2011). "Anime Expo 2011 Opening Ceremonies". Anime News Network. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  42. ^ "ANIME NEWS: Anime Expo drew record-breaking crowd of 130,000 for four-day event". The Asahi Shimbun. The Asahi Shimbun Company. 3 November 2012. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  43. ^ "Anime Expo 2012 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  44. ^ Chuang, Jeff (June 5, 2012). "Anime Expo 2012: Lots of guests, hope you like Fate/Zero". Japanator. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  45. ^ Ohanesian, Liz (10 July 2013). "What Brought 61,000 People to L.A.'s Anime Expo This Year?". LA Weekly. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  46. ^ "Anime Expo 2013 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  47. ^ "Anime Expo to Host Urotsukidoji Creator Toshio Maeda". Anime News Network. June 28, 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  48. ^ "Anime Expo 2014 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  49. ^ "Anime Expo Lists Urotsukidoji Creator Toshio Maeda". Anime News Network. June 30, 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  50. ^ "Anime Expo: New Record Set With 90,500 Unique Attendees". Anime News Network. July 21, 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  51. ^ "Anime Expo 2015 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  52. ^ "Anime Expo: New Record Set With 100,420 Unique Attendees". Anime News Network. July 8, 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  53. ^ "Anime Expo 2016 Information". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  54. ^ "Anime Expo Hosts Guests From Love Live! Sunshine!!, One-Punch Man". Anime News Network. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
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  56. ^ "Anisong World Matsuri 2017 ~Japan Kawaii Live~". Anime News Network. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
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  72. ^ About The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
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  74. ^ Anime Expo 2009 Continues Strong into Day 4 as the Nation’s Largest Anime and Manga Convention, July 5, 2009
  75. ^ Carlo Santos, SPJA Open Board Meeting, Anime News Network, July 4, 2010

External links

Coordinates: 34°02′23″N 118°16′13″W / 34.039737°N 118.270293°W

Anaheim Convention Center

The Anaheim Convention Center is a major convention center in Anaheim, California. It is located across from the Disneyland Resort on Katella Avenue. The original components, designed by Adrian Wilson & Associates, opened in July 1967—including a basketball arena followed shortly by the convention hall. It holds many events, like VidCon, BlizzCon, Anime Expo, D23 expo, WonderCon, NAMM Show, competitions, etc. In addition to hosting various types of conventions, the Anaheim Convention Center was used to host the wrestling during the 1984 Summer Olympics.The center has subsequently undergone six major expansions (1974, 1982, 1990, 1993, 1999–2000, 2016-2017). It is the largest exhibit facility on the West Coast.


AnimeCon, held in San Jose, California in 1991, was the fourth anime convention created in the United States, the first convention to have major backing from the anime industry, the first anime-specific convention within the state of California (which spawned many similar conventions thereafter), and the first anime-specific convention in the US to break 1,000 attendees. It also formed the genesis of Anime Expo (currently the largest anime-specific convention in North America).

Anime Conji

Anime Conji is an annual three-day anime convention held during June at the Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego Hotel in San Diego, California.

Fan Expo Canada

Fan Expo Canada is an annual speculative fiction fan convention held in Toronto, Ontario. It was founded as the Canadian National Comic Book Expo in 1995 by Hobby Star Marketing Inc. It includes distinctly branded sections, including GX (Gaming Expo) and SFX (Science Fiction Expo), and formerly CNAnime (Canadian National Anime Expo). It is a four-day event (Thursday through Sunday) typically held the weekend before Labour Day during the summer at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) and is now owned by Informa.

Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television and related popular arts, Fan Expo Canada has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture and fandom elements, such as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, web entertainment. The convention is the largest of its kind in Canada and among the largest in world, filling the entire North and South Buildings of the MTCC with over 130,000 attendees in 2016.In 2013, Fan Expo Canada's parent company Hobby Star Marketing was acquired by Informa Canada Inc, which now organizes the event.

Hal (2013 film)

Hal (ハル, Haru) is a 2013 Japanese animated film directed by Ryōtarō Makihara. At the 2013 Anime Expo convention Funimation announced that they had acquired rights for a North American release.

Kazuya Tsurumaki

Kazuya Tsurumaki (鶴巻 和哉 Tsurumaki Kazuya) is a Japanese anime director. He was born on February 2, 1966 in the city of Gosen, located in the Niigata Prefecture.

He is the protégé of Hideaki Anno, and a longtime animator at Gainax. Tsurumaki's first project at Gainax was as an animation director for the 1990 TV series Fushigi no Umi no Nadia; Tsurumaki was also director of the humorous "omake" (extra) sequences that went along with the TV series, and producer of "Nadia Cinema Edition". In 1995, Tsurumaki served as an assistant director under Hideaki Anno in Gainax's landmark series Neon Genesis Evangelion, in which role he handled production, art director and setting assistant for some episodes. In 1997, he directed episode 25', the first half of the cinematic conclusion to the Evangelion series, The End of Evangelion. In 2000, Tsurumaki officially made his debut as a full-fledged director with the six-part OVA series, FLCL. In 2004 he directed the hit sequel to Gunbuster called Aim for the Top 2! or Diebuster. He is currently working as a director on the new four feature Evangelion film series, Rebuild of Evangelion. He directed the 2017 anime special The Dragon Dentist.He attended Otakon in 2001 and Anime Expo in 2016.

LiSA (Japanese musician, born 1987)

Risa Oribe (織部 里沙, Oribe Risa, born June 24, 1987), better known by her stage name LiSA (an acronym of Love is Same All), is a Japanese singer, songwriter and lyricist from Seki, Gifu, signed to Aniplex under Sony Music Artists. After aspiring to become a musician early in life, she started her musical career as the vocalist of the indie band Chucky. Following Chucky's disbandment in 2005, LiSA moved to Tokyo in order to pursue a solo career, making her major debut in 2010 singing songs for the anime television series Angel Beats! as one of two vocalists for the fictional band Girls Dead Monster. In April 2011, she made her solo debut with the release of her mini-album Letters to U. She performed at Animelo Summer Live in August 2010, Anime Expo in 2012, and is a regular guest at Anime Festival Asia.

LiSA's songs have been featured as theme music for various anime such as Fate/Zero and Sword Art Online. Her singles have regularly been in the top ten of the Oricon weekly charts, with "Crossing Field" being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan and "Oath Sign" being certified gold. She performed at the Nippon Budokan in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, she made her acting debut as Madge Nelson in the Japanese dub of the animated film Minions.

Masaru Kitao

Masaru Kitao (北尾 勝, Kitao Masaru, born July 15, 1961) is a Japanese animator known for his work with Madhouse.

Primarily a key animator and animation director for anime television series, Kitao has also on occasion done character designs. Recently, he has won much praise for his adapted character designs for the popular Death Note TV series. Consequently, Death Note has become his best known work. Along with Death Note director Tetsurō Araki, he was a Guest of Honor at Anime Expo 2007.

When asked by fans at Anime Expo 2007, he revealed that L from Death Note is his favorite character, both to empathize with and to draw. He also stated that he would like to work on an L-themed spin-off anime, and that fans in America and Japan should request one if they too are interested.

Mike Tatsugawa

Mike Tatsugawa is currently the CEO of Pacific Media Association, the parent organization which produces Pacific Media Expo (PMX).He was one of the four founders of Cal-Animage Alpha (CAA) at the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. Tatsugawa was the chairman of AnimeCon in 1991, the event that later evolved into Anime Expo. In 1992 he founded Anime Expo and the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the non-profit behind the convention where he served as CEO. He chaired his last Anime Expo in 2000. While CEO of SPJA, Anime Expo added another event in New York City.In 2003, Tatsugawa voiced concerns over SPJA's finances and staff conflicts of interest. SPJA strongly denied these claims and retained attorneys. Tatsugawa resigned from Anime Expo in 2004 and founded Pacific Media Expo, the first large North American Asian-Pacific pop culture convention.

Miki Yoshikawa

Miki Yoshikawa (吉河 美希, Yoshikawa Miki) is a Japanese manga artist. Her debut work was a one-shot called Glory Days in Kodansha's Magazine Special. She assisted Hiro Mashima on Rave Master and Fairy Tail. In 2005, she released the comedy one-shot Flunk Punk Rumble in Shonen Magazine Wonder, which was later made into a short series and eventually publicized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 2006-2011, with a total of 211 chapters. In 2012, she released Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, which has to date sold over 3 million copies, and was adapted into a live-action drama series and a TV anime series. In 2015, Yoshikawa attended Anime Expo as a guest.

Pacific Media Expo

The Pacific Media Expo (PMX) is an annual three day multi-genre convention held during October at the Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale & Executive Meeting Center in Glendale, California. PMX was created in 2003 by Mike Tatsugawa, founder of Anime Expo. Pacific Media Association, the parent of Pacific Media Expo is based in Los Angeles, California.

Robotech Collectible Card Game

The Robotech Collectible Card Game (CCG) is an out-of-print collectible card game produced by Hero Factory that is set against the science fiction backdrop of Robotech. Cards are based on characters and mecha from this popular anime. After a limited public beta testing period, the game debuted at Anime Expo in 2006.

Shigeru Kitayama

Shigeru Kitayama (北山 茂, Kitayama Shigeru) is a Japanese anime producer. Some of his major works include Yasuhiro Nightow's Trigun television series as well as Nightow's other series Gungrave. He has worked on Shinichi Watanabe's adaptation of Excel Saga and the Geobreeders OVA series. He worked with Koichi Mashimo of Bee Train on producing what would later be known as the "girls with guns" series starting with Noir in 2001, then Madlax in 2004, and finally El Cazador de la Bruja in 2007. In 2010 he attended Anime Expo to watch the premiere of Trigun: Badlands Rumble.

Tomoe Tamiyasu

Tomoe Tamiyasu (民安 ともえ, Tamiyasu Tomoe, born March 1) is a Japanese voice actress and singer, generally performing for adult games, and is from Hiroshima. She debuted in 2005 as a voice actress and started her singing career in 2006. Tomoe has been the host of three Internet radio shows, and has been a guest on a fourth. She is also known under the name Tomoe Tamiya, such as when she voiced Rin Natsume from Key's visual novel Little Busters!. She also sang songs on an image vocal album released for Little Busters! for Rin. She attended Anime Expo in 2012 with the industry guest MangaGamer. She married voice actor Keisuke Nakamura in 2015.


Trigun (Japanese: トライガン, Hepburn: Toraigan) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow. The manga was serialized in Tokuma Shoten's Shōnen Captain in 1995 with three collected volumes when the magazine was discontinued in 1997. The series continued in Shōnen Gahosha's Young King Ours magazine, under the title Trigun Maximum (トライガンマキシマム, Toraigan Makishimamu), where it remained until finishing in 2008.

Both manga were adapted into an anime television series in 1998. Madhouse animated the TV series which aired on TV Tokyo from April 1, 1998 to September 30, 1998, totaling 26 episodes. An animated feature film called Trigun: Badlands Rumble was released in April 2010.

Ugetsu Hakua

Ugetsu Hakua (白亜 右月, Hakua Ugetsu, born August 12, 1970), is a Japanese artist best known as the conceptual character designer for Burst Angel. More recently, though, he created the main character designs for the anime The Tower of Druaga. Apart from that, he has worked on the visual novel games Magical Girl AI and Samurai Jupiter. He publishes doujinshi under the doujin circle name Yellow Tag. In 2005 he attended Anime Expo as a guest of honor.

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