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Fans Came Together to Celebrate Japanese Animation at Anime Expo

Written By: Nicole Hakim  Anime Expo

Anime Expo—often abbreviated as AX—is a convention in Southern California organized by The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). On July 1-July 4, the convention celebrated its 26th year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it has been housed since 2008.

Always chock full of events, the convention was no different in 2017. Fans were able to enjoy a variety of panels, including ones dedicated to “Sailor Moon,” the upcoming live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie, the return of the hugely popular anime “FLCL,” the newest fan favorite anime “Food Wars” and the premiere of the “Cardcaptor Sakura OVA” where superfan Sofía Pichihua—a Guinness World Record holder for the largest collection of “Cardcaptor Sakura” memorabilia—got to share her love for the series with tons of other fans.

The convention also featured a large exhibit hall where attendees could wander and find goodies of their favorite programs. The exhibit hall is full of exhibitors selling so many products that it almost seems impossible to choose which ones to purchase. Though the exhibit hall is usually shared with the Artist’s Alley, the latter was given its own hall in 2016, allowing more aspiring artists the chance to snag a table and sell prints, keychains, t-shirts and much more featuring their fan and original art.

This year, Anime Expo teamed up with Talent for Cons, which had a spot in the Entertainment Hall where voice actors could meet attendees and sign autographs—for a nominal fee. Through Talent for Cons, voice actors such as Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl from “Steven Universe”), Tony Anselmo (the current voice of Donald Duck) and William Salyers (Rigby from “Regular Show”) met and spoke with fans.

Like any convention, cosplay is the highlight of Anime Expo. Many attendees showed their love for their fandoms by dressing up as their favorite characters—and doing a fine job. Attendees wore costumes from current favorites like “Overwatch” and “Attack on Titan,” to already ended shows like “Bleach” and “Naruto.”

As of 2016, AX has been named the largest North American anime convention, and this year, over 100,000 people attended the event. It’s safe to assume that the next will be even bigger, with more elaborate cosplays and even more exciting panels.

Anime Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213.741.1151
Anime Fans! Relive This Year’s Awesome Anime Expo