7 Biggest Anime Conventions In The World
People who love anime, video games, and live action role-playing games all seem to have one thing in common: a love of anime. What used to refer only to animation from Japan is becoming a more inclusive term now that artists around the world are using the same model and techniques to add their own creations to the genre. Anime is just as popular as before, although the idea of what anime conventions should look like has changed. Unfortunately, the past few years have not been conducive to large gatherings.
Anime conventions always draw thousands of crowds, and organizers and volunteers always try to bring them back even after many of them were canceled or collapsed altogether in 2020. Here are some of the biggest conventions anime internationals that have survived the hiatus and are once again welcoming throngs of cosplay fans (this may vary, though – check with the organizers for confirmation!).
seven Anime Japan, Tokyo
One of the biggest anime festivals in the world is slated to take place in Tokyo, and this event has consistently hosted over 100,000 guests each year since its launch in 2014. The 2020 event has been canceled, but the latest convention of 2021 was successfully held online. , and planners hope to return to normal in 2022.
The roster of exhibitors is what really makes this event a spiritual homecoming for fans of not just anime, but manga, video games, and electronics as well. Names like Bandai, Sega, and Toei still have reps on the ground to sell products and preview new content as part of the fun.
6 Madman Anime Festival, Australia
The biggest anime event on the smallest continent, the Madman Anime Festival tends to rotate between major cities in Australia for location. The first festival was held in Melbourne in 2016, with Perth, Brisbane and Sydney taking turns since then. The event was so successful that it was split into two different festivals, each taking place six months apart in different cities.
This festival is named after the organizers, Madman Entertainment, who designed the convention as a Japanese cultural festival as well as a celebration of all things anime. Events were canceled in 2020 and 2021, but are expected to return in March and May 2022.
5 Sakura-Con, Seattle
One of the largest and most popular events held annually throughout the Pacific Northwest, Sakura-Con is scheduled for a weekend in April at the Washington State Convention Center for 2022. This convention is famous for its massive cosplay turnout, its card game contests, parties, raves, and even a masquerade ball.
Programming operates in one form or another around the clock, whether customers want to play video games, watch streaming services, or partake in karaoke. The exhibition is also a place for demonstrations of traditional Japanese martial arts, fashion and music.
4 Comic Fiesta, Malaysia
One of the biggest anime conventions in Asia outside of Japan, Comic Fiesta is held every December in Kuala Lampur. The event focuses on the art and design angle of anime, with much more attention paid to the genre’s manga and light novel categories as well as a focus on the artists themselves. but there’s still plenty for anime fans to do, including live art demos. and exhibitions.
Performance art, in the form of both a variety of live musical performances and cosplay, is one of the popular draws of this convention and sets it apart from other anime exhibits. At its peak in 2018, the convention hosted over 60,000 guests. Organizers hope to revive the popular event in 2022.
3 Anime Show, Los Angeles
Also known as AX, this popular convention is held annually by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), often in the summer. New York and Anaheim also hosted this event, but it is usually held in Los Angeles, and in 2022 it is expected to be held again.
The exhibits vary in subject matter, but they always come back to anime, which is the root of all things as far as AX is concerned. The history of this exhibit dates back to 1992, when it was officially opened and held in San Jose. At the time, it attracted less than 2,000 fans, but now it often hosts over 100,000 people, making it the largest anime convention in the United States.
2 Anime Matsuri, Houston
Not to be outdone by folks from California or the Pacific Northwest, America’s Heartland has its own massive anime exhibit. What’s even more fun about this convention is that it supports a related holiday event that takes place in Florida in December and Matsuricon, another anime convention that takes place in Columbus, Ohio.
The convention features all the events anime fans can expect, including cosplay, tabletop gaming sessions, celebrity appearances and anime previews, as well as some creative events. Guests at Anime Matsuri can also visit a car show, play a cosplay chess tournament, and dine at a maid cafe.
1 Japan Expo, France
It’s not just a celebration of anime, video games, and manga, but an exhibition of Japanese culture in general. Fans of Japanese food, history, cooking, and clothing will enjoy Japan Expo as much as the typical anime fan.
Apparently the biggest anime festival in continental Europe, this exhibition is held just outside of Paris every year and usually takes place in July. This year it’s scheduled for the weekend of July 14-17 and includes art exhibits, workshops, martial arts demonstrations, and, of course, locker rooms designated specifically for cosplayers.
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