Anime Expo

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Anime Expo
Anime Expo logo.svg
VenueLos Angeles Convention Center
Location(s)Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Coordinates34°02′23″N 118°16′13″W / 34.039737°N 118.270293°W / 34.039737; -118.270293Coordinates: 34°02′23″N 118°16′13″W / 34.039737°N 118.270293°W / 34.039737; -118.270293
CountryUnited States
InauguratedJuly 3, 1992; 30 years ago (1992-07-03)
Most recentJuly 4, 2022; 8 months ago (2022-07-04)
Next eventJuly 1, 2023; 3 months' time (2023-07-01)
AttendanceIncrease 115,000 (2019)
Organized bySociety for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
Filing statusnon-profit
Attendees at AX 2022
Re:Zero cosplayers at AX 2018
Homestuck meet-up at AX 2012
Attendees gather at the LA Convention Center's South Hall during AX 2016
People at Anime Expo 2015

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). The convention is traditionally held annually on the first weekend of July, spanning the course of four days. Anime Expo is regularly hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center but has also been held in other cities such as Anaheim, San Jose, New York, and Tokyo. Anime Expo is currently the largest North American anime convention as of 2017.[1] The 2020 and 2021 conventions took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anime Expo returned to its in-person format in 2022 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent convention took place between July 1 and July 4, 2022, as an in-person event for the first time since the one held in 2019.

Events and programming[edit]

Anime Expo features many events and activities during the convention for attendees to take part in such as guest panels, tabletop gaming, competitions, an arcade, and concerts.[2]

Top attractions include the Masquerade cosplay contest, Anime Music Video (AMV) competition, Battle of the Bands, and Charity Auction. Anime Expo hosts a multitude of industry Guests of Honor (GoH), including notable music artists who often hold large concerts at Anime Expo. Anime Expo holds a large variety of focus panels, workshops, and events, some of which are fan or industry-sponsored. Numerous film and video rooms also show 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 artwork, as well as other varieties of crafts such as wigs, pins, and cosplay material.

Convention history[edit]


Naruto meet-up at AX 2006

The first Anime Expo was held from July 3–6, 1992 at the Red Lion Hotel in San Jose, California. Many of its original staff came from Anime Con, an anime convention held in San Jose in 1991, and later absorbed by the SPJA in 1992. In 1994, Anime Expo made a strategic relocation to the Southern California area and all subsequent conventions have taken place there since.[3]

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 hosts. It currently holds the title of North America's largest anime convention, a title which it has consistently held every year except in 2003, in which its attendance was slightly edged out by the east coast anime convention Otakon.[4] From 1,750 attendees in 1992, Anime Expo's size has increased to over 107,658 in 2017, making Anime Expo the largest anime and manga convention in North America.[5]

In March 2009, Chief Executive Officer Trulee Karahashi, who had been a part of Anime Expo and SPJA in various capacities for 11 years, left the organization.[6][7] In September, former Universal Studios executive Michael Lattanzio was later hired as the SPJA's new CEO.[8][9]

In January 2010, eight members of Anime Expo's upper management team (ConCom) publicly resigned because of disagreements over the organization's new direction set forth by Lattanzio. One significant point of contention was Lattanzio'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.[10]

In September 2010, Lattanzio was released from his CEO position.[11] 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.[12] 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 remaining under SPJA control. Additionally, Takayuki Karahashi[13][14] has been elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors.[15]

The convention continued to be located at the LACC through 2019.[16] In April 2016, Marc Perez left the company, with Ray Chiang becoming acting CEO of SPJA.[17]

On June 30, 2017, the 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.

As the convention's attendance has grown, it's seen long lines for entry into the convention hall, which organizers said was due to safety and security concerns.[18]

In the months leading to the 2020 event, a global coronavirus outbreak created concerns related to large gatherings, such as Anime Expo. On April 17, 2020, the SPJA announced that it was cancelling Anime Expo 2020, citing "health and safety" concerns. However, the SPJA stated it still planned to hold the 2021 event on its normal July dates.[19][20][21] On May 27, 2020, they announced a two-day online convention, titled Anime Expo Lite, which took place on July 3 and 4, 2020. On March 3, 2021, the SPJA canceled the 2021 live convention, and announced that the Anime Expo Lite would instead be held on the 2021 schedule, citing "continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic." Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Anime Expo returned in-person in 2022; Anime Expo 2022 began on July 1 and ended on July 4 as an in-person event for the first time since 2019.

Convention locations[edit]

Dates Location Atten. Guests
July 3–6, 1992 Red Lion Hotel
San Jose, California
1,750[22]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.[23]
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.[24]
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.[25]
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.[26]
June 28–30, 1996 Anaheim Marriott Hotel and
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
2,918Hideaki Anno, Hiroki Hayashi, Noboru Ishiguro, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Toshihiko Nishikubo, Hiromasa Ogura, Koichi Ohata, Ai Orikasa, Mamoru Oshii, Jan Scott-Frazier, Kenichi Sonoda, Yumi Takada, and Ryoei Tsukimura.[27]
July 4–6, 1997 Los Angeles Airport Hilton
Los Angeles, California
3,826Jan Scott-Frazier[28]
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.[29]
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.[30]
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.[31]
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.[32][33]
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.[34]
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.[35]
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.[36]
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.[37]
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*.[38]
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.[39]
July 3–6, 2008 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
43,000 (warm); 103,000 (turnstile)[40][41]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.[40]
July 2–5, 2009 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
44,000 (unique); 109,000 (turnstile)[42]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.[43]
July 1–4, 2010 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
46,000 (warm); 105,000 (turnstile)[44][42]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.[44]
July 1–4, 2011 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
47,000 (unique); 128,000 (turnstile)[42]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,[45] Katsuyuki Hirano, Takaki Kosaka, Kenta Sugano,[46] and Kyle Hebert.[47]
June 29 – July 2, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
49,400 (unique); 130,000 (turnstile)[42][48]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,[49] 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.[50]
July 4–7, 2013 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
61,000 (unique);[42][51] 161,000 (turnstile)[42]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,[52] Kazuhiko Inoue, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, Kazuchika Kise, Hiroaki Matsuura, Porno Graffitti, Keigo Sasaki, George Wada, and Max Watanabe.[53]
July 3–6, 2014 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
80,000 (unique); 220,000 (turnstile)[42]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,[54] abec, Angela, Fuminori Kizaki, Ami Koshimizu, Kazuki Nakashima, Eiji Ohtsuka, Lunatic Joker, Yoshiki Sakurai, Uki Satake, SUSHIO, Eiko Tanaka, Yosuke Toba, and Ryoka Yuzuki.[55]
July 2–5, 2015 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
90,500 (unique); 260,700 (turnstile)[56]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.[57]
July 1–4, 2016 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
100,420 (unique); 304,799 (turnstile)[58]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,[59] and Aqours.[60]
July 1–4, 2017 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
107,658 (unique); 357,178 (turnstile)[61]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.,[62] Ezra Weisz[61]
July 5–8, 2018[63] 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,[64] Ao Jūmonji,[65] Tomohiko Ishii, Kyle C. Jones, Yūki Kaji, Yuki Kajiura,[66] 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[67] Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
115,000 (unique), 350,000+ (turnstile)Abby Trott, Aimi, Alexis Nichols, Alex Von David, Amber Arden, Anjali Bhimani, Aqours, Asuka Itou, Bisco Hatori, Bryce Papenbrook, Caitlyn Elizabeth, Carolina Ravassa, Cherami Leigh, Chiwa Saitō, Dan Salvato, Dave B. Mitchell, Emiri Katō,[68] Frank Todaro, Fujino Omori, George Wada, Hao, Haruka Kudō, Harutoshi Fukui, Hiro Kaburagi, Hiroto Kuramasu, Hiroyuki Omori, hoshi, Jamieson Price, Jared Yamahata, Jason Marnocha, Jeff Burns,[69] Julian Lai-Hung, Junichi Yamamoto, Kanae Yumemiya, Karen Kahler, Karen Strassman, Katsuhiro Otomo, Keith Silverstein, Keven Ouellet, Kunihiko Yuyama, Laura Post, Makoto Kimura, Mamoru Miyano, Manabu Ono, Manabu Otsuka, Marianne Miller, Max Mittelman, Miya Kimino, Mona Marshall, Motonori Sakakibara, Nobuhiro Osawa, PICPICGRAM, Q-Gaku, Rachelle Heger, Range Murata, Ray Chase, Rica Matsumoto, Robbie Daymond, Ryo Kitamura, Ryota Kosawa, Saya Horigome, Sayori, Shingo Adachi,[70] Shinnosuke, Shinya Sugai, Suzu Momoi, Taichiro Miyazaki, Takamitsu Sueyoshi, Takuma Terashima, Takumi Saito, Tetsuya Fukuhara, Toshinobu Kondo, Utako Yukihiro, Yoshihiro Ike, Yoshihisa Hashimoto, Yoshinori Ono, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Yuito Kimura,[71] Yuji Matsukura[72]
July 4–5, 2020 Online convention[73][74]
July 3–4, 2021 Online convention[75][19][76]
July 1–4, 2022 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
Takanori Aki, Mika Akitaka, The Anime Man, The Anime Men, Steve Aoki, Miura Ayme, Anjali Bhimani, Anthony Bowling, Kira Buckland, CDawgVA, Ray Chase, CHEFPK, Amber Lee Connors, Robbie Daymond, Doremi (Sprial Cats), Echow Eko, Ricco Fajardo, Sandy Fox, Lena Foxx, Lizzie Freeman, Diana Garnet, Tom Gibis, Gigguk, Dominic Glover, Billy Han, Yaya Han, Natsuki Hanae, Yosuke Hatta, huke, Mari Iijima, Ironmouse, Tatsuya Ishikawa, Jihatsu, Satoshi Kada, Kaye Cosplay, Brianna Knickerbocker, Hirotaka Kobayashi, Aoi Koga, Chris Komai, Shigeto Koyama, Mitsutoshi Kubota, Lex Lang, Frea Mai, Elizabeth Maxwell, Adam McArthur, Mike McNamara, Daman Mills, Max Mittelman, miwa, Phil Mizuno, Onigiri Nana, Yasuhiro Nightow, Jeff Nimoy, Nomes Cosplay, Nyanbifairy, Maiko Okada, Satoshi Onishi, David Ono, Alex Organ, Uko Oshia, Manabu Otsuka, Kiera Please, Carolina Ravassa, Phillip Reich, Project Nautilus, Zeno Robinson, Michelle Ruff, Eli Rusakov, Masaki Sakari, Gail Salamanca, S-Class Supply, Hiroshi Seko, SG5, Tomotaka Shibayama, Megan Shipman, Shindo L, Toshinari Shinohe, Kerry Shawcross, Natalie Van Sistine, Shinya Sumi, Slushii, Kouji Tajima, Katsuhiro Yuma Takahashi, Takei, Tasha (Spiral Cats), TeddyLoid, Maki Terashima-Furuta, Tokyo Machine, Abby Trott, Twin Cosplay, Tow Ubukata,Travis Japan, Twiin Cosplay, Hiromi Wakabayashi, Kiyotaka Waki, Bill Watanabe, Howard Wang, Wally Wingert, Dan Woren, Pat Wyatt, Kyohei Yaguchi, Kazuya Yamashita, Yong Yea, Yoomei, Kanou Yoshiki and Yoh Yoshinari.[77][78]

Other Anime Expos[edit]

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

Anime Expo New York[edit]

Anime Expo New York (AXNY) was held in 2002 in the Times Square district of New York City, New York.[79] 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.[80] The SPJA has not run any events outside California since 2004.

Convention locations[edit]
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.[79]

Anime Expo Tokyo[edit]

Anime Expo Tokyo (AX Tokyo) was held in 2004 at the Sunshine City Convention Center in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan.[80] 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 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.[80]

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.

Convention locations[edit]
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.[80]

Anime Expo Ontario[edit]

Anime Expo Ontario was held in November 2022.[81][82]

Convention locations[edit]
Dates Location Atten. Guests
November 12–13, 2022 Ontario Convention Center
Ontario, California

Other conventions[edit]

Anime Conji[edit]

In 2010, Anime Conji began as an annual anime convention in San Diego.[83][84] In 2013, it began to be run by SPJA.[85][86][87] Anime Conji 2016 was cancelled due to event quality concerns.[88] Anime Conji 2017 was also cancelled. The convention returned in 2018 under its original organizers, the San Diego Speculative Fiction Society (SanSFiS).[89][90] In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anime Conji was suspended indefinitely.

Organizational structure[edit]

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)(3) non-profit charitable organization. Before January 1, 2020, they were registered as a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade benefit organization.[91]

The operation of the 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 have 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 several 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, Vending, and other matters on an as-needed basis.


  • 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[92]
  • Masquerade main event was attended by a standing-room-only crowd with over 7,200 seats available.[93]
  • 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.[94]
  • Anime Expo's 20th Anniversary was celebrated in 2011.
  • July 4, 2011 – Nearly $30,000 were raised at the SPJA Charity Auction for the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid in disaster relief.


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External links[edit]