So a couple of weeks ago, I attended San Diego Comic-Con. 125,000 people flock for one weekend of geekdom every Year.
Well...did you know that there are anime conventions held somewhere in the the U.S. and Canada almost every weekend of the year?
The largest is Anime Expo held in the Los Angeles Convention Center during the July 4th weekend. Attendance this year was over 44,000.
The second largest is Otakon held in Baltimore, Maryland with over 26,000 attending this past July.
So what goes on during an anime con?
There are some similarities to San Diego Comic-Con:
- Large exhibit hall to buy all sort of anime merchandise
- Panels that cover all sort of topics
- Costume masquerade
- Cosplay (people dressed in the costume of their favorite characters)
- An artists' alley
- Celebrity guests of honor--primarily U.S. voice actors and international guests flown in from Japan (writers, directors, voice actors), and web comic creators.
There are several things unique to anime conventions:
- Anime conventions start at noon on Friday and don't end till 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday...and it's 24-hour nonstop programming, with lots of evening and late-night stuff. Most comic and pop culture cons end at 6 in the evening. Anime cons keep going and going and going.
- Most anime cons have Japanese rock and pop bands perform concerts.
- Every night there is a rave.
- Huge area for video gaming--all the consoles and games are provided; all you have to do is play.
Here are a few video journals our convention staff and I put together to chronicle our visits to several anime cons.
Anime North - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Otakon - Baltimore, Maryland
Anime Expo - Los Angeles, California
Animecons.com is the site that covers anime convention schedules for all anime cons in the U.S., in Canada, and worldwide. See if there is one in your area and check it out. --Lance