10 Things You Didn’t Know about Anime Expo (AX)

Anime Expo is the biggest anime convention that can be found in North America. As a result, it is worth checking out by people who enjoy anime as well as related forms of entertainment provided that they are capable of making it to Southern California, which is where the event tends to be held. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Anime Expo:

1. Sometimes Abbreviated to AX

Anime Expo isn’t that much of a mouthful. However, there are nonetheless times when something shorter can prove very useful. As a result, interested individuals should know that Anime Expo is sometimes abbreviated as AX, which is pretty simple and straightforward in nature.

2. Tends to Be Held in Southern California

Currently, Anime Expo is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is unsurprising when it tends to be held in Southern California most of the time. However, it is interesting to note that the event has been held at other locations such as New York and Tokyo on rare occasions.

3. Tends to Happen on the First Weekend of July

Speaking of which, Anime Expo tends to be held on the first weekend of July. As a result, it is often overlaps with the 4th of July, particularly since the event runs for a total of four days.

4. Largest North American Anime Convention Save 2003

Anime Expo has been pretty consistent in being the largest anime convention that can be found in North America. However, this wasn’t the case in 2003, which saw Otakon on the East Coast beating its numbers. With that said, seeing as how that has happened once, it should be pretty clear that said incident was very much the exception to the rules.

5. Produced By the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation

The organization that is responsible for producing Anime Expo on an annual basis is called the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, though for reasons of practicality, this tends to be shortened to the SPJA. It is interesting to note that the SPJA is a non-profit corporation registered on both a state and a federal level, which essentially means that it is run in a similar manner to for-profit corporations but is not focused on maximizing its profits.

6. Couldn’t Exist without Volunteers

As such, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that Anime Expo couldn’t happen without the support of hundreds and hundreds of volunteers. SPJA does actually have full-time employees, but since their numbers are limited to the low double-digits, there is a clear limit to what they can and cannot accomplish on their own.

7. Has Been Good at Getting Industry Figures to Show Up

One of the reasons that Anime Expo has been able to bring in its numbers is that it has done a decent job at getting figures from the Japanese industry as well as its related industries to show up, which can be a pretty important selling point for anime fans.

8. Sees Advertising from Other Industries

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Anime Expo sees plenty of participation from companies that produce related forms of entertainment. After all, if someone consumes anime, chances are pretty good that they will also read manga, play video games, and so on and so forth. As a result, it is no wonder that a wide range of companies are interested in the promotional possibilities offered by Anime Expo.

9. Very Popular for Cosplayers

Naturally, Anime Expo is a popular place for cosplayers to show up as well. This is particularly true because the organizers have encouraged cosplaying by having events such as cosplay competitions and cosplay gatherings.

10. Fairly Inclusive

On the whole, Anime Expo seems to have a decent reputation when it comes to creating an inclusive space where a wide range of people can get in on the fun. This is pretty important because anime conventions are by no means immune to the kind of harassment that has been brought to light in a wide range of industries in recent times, as shown by the example of Anime Matsuri over in Houston, TX.


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