The biggest Anime event returns to Los Angeles, Anime Expo 2023.
Fans and industry members from around the world come together to participate in this four-day celebration of anime and Japanese pop culture, jam-packed with announcements, special guests, exclusive premieres, interactive events, and more. With 300,000+ sq. ft of Exhibit Hall and 1000+ hours of programming, Anime Expo has become a must-see destination for any avid anime fan.
We got early access to the convention center as AX staff members, exhibitors, and industry staff continued building booths and sets.
Although the convention center halls were empty, hard-working SPJA staff prepared the center for its anticipated 350,000+ attendees.
In the Exhibit Hall, industry members set up their booths and get their activities ready for tomorrow, Day 0.
Our final stop was the iconic, South Lobby, where promotional booths and events are being set up.
View our FULL Behind the Scenes of Anime Expo Day -1
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Pixiv, the famous Japanese online community for artists, will host two panels at this year’s Anime Expo, covering the rising of new upcoming illustrators and how to support them, among other various topics. The panel schedule is as follows,
“Rising Stars: Up-and-coming Creators in Asia”
Sunday, July 2nd: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: 408 AB
The panel will feature the special guest Modare and focus on the activities of up-and-coming creators from Asia, including Taiwan and South Korea, who are expanding their global presence. In addition, the panel will discuss the growing interest in Japanese anime art in Asia and its increasing popularity in English-speaking countries, as well as introduce the Kickstarter collaboration between pixiv Inc. and the American publishing company Clover Press.
Modare is an Anime Art Artist from Korea, who enjoys creating artwork that radiates a cute and endearing charm. He is a leading figure in the 100 Day Challenge trend on Twitter and an avid illustrator of various popular games such as “Genshin Impact,” “Azure Lane,” and “Girl’s Frontline.” Modare is widely recognized for his distinctive drawing technique that yields exceptional illustrations. In addition to his artistic endeavors, he is also actively involved in teaching art.
“pixiv’s Initiatives: Supporting Creators”
Monday, July 3rd: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location: 408 AB
The panel will feature the special guest Oshioshio and will focus on the latest trends in Japanese anime art and its growing popularity in English-speaking countries, as well as introduce the art book “Artists in the Americas”, a collaboration between pixiv Inc. and the publishing company PIE International. In response to the increasing number of freelance illustrators, the panel will discuss issues like how to find work and how to appeal to the Asian market.
Oshioshio is a talented illustrator and manga artist based in Kanagawa, Japan. He primarily focuses on creating artworks that depict characters rich with emotions. A lover of cats, dogs, and animals in general, his passions clearly influence his creations. Some of his notable works include the character design of Amane Kanata from Hololive and Sorahoshi Kirame from Nijisanji. He also created the series, “My Deer Friend Nokotan,” which is serialized in Kodansha’s Shonen Magazine Edge, among other works.
ARTIST ALLEY BOOTH #AA01
Additionally, Pixiv will have an interactive booth, located in the Anime Expo Artist Alley at #AA01. Their booth will feature an Omikuji (Japanese fortune-telling paper slips) activation with Artist Alley creators, featuring five different prizes, as well as an iFace Deco-case workshop. At the workshop, each participant will receive two stickers of their choice featuring artworks from “Artists in the Americas” that can be customized with the iFace Reflection transparent glass smartphone case. Amy Wang, Pixiv’s Manager, International marketing and Brand Team, stated the following,
pixiv will host an Omikuji project across all participating booths at the Artist Alley. Attendees who make purchases at any booth within the Artists Alley stand a chance to obtain a limited edition ticket , which can be redeemed for prizes at the Pixiv booth, while supplies last” Wang continues “The intention behind this project is to encourage attendees to visit numerous booths, discover new creators, and immerse themselves in the wealth of creativity on display.
Amy Wang, Pixiv’s Manager, International marketing and Brand Team
EXHIBIT BOOTH – Exhibition Hall, No. 4506
Pixiv will also be present in exhibit hall and will be located at Exhibition Hall, No. 4506. This exhibit booth will showcase Genshin Impact key visual and in-game scenery, In addition to, showcasing approximately 80 illustrations, carefully hand-picked from about 250,000 Genshin Impact artworks posted on pixiv. The exhibit booth is also set to host live drawing sessions of Genshin Impact fan art by popular illustrators, as well as autograph signing sessions for each artist.
The live drawing sessions will take place over four days, with Modare participating on July 1st (Sat) and July 2nd (Sun), and Oshioshio taking part on July 3rd (Mon) and July 4th (Tue). Pixiv will also host two additional signings at the autograph area at Kentia Hall. Fans who attend the autograph session will receive a poster. Schedule is as follows,
Modare, an illustrator from South Korea, will sign Sunday, July 2nd, 2023 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Oshioshio, an illustrator and manga artist from Kanagawa, Japan, will sign Monday, July 3rd, 2023 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
INTERVIEWS WITH MODARE & OSHIOSHIO
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview featured artists, Modare and Oshioshio for their upcoming appearance at Anime Expo 2023!
Krystal: You’re known for your distinctive and unique work, expressive and emotional. Can you discuss the creative process for creating your work?
Modare: I think that being creative is, after all, making a new thing by combining things that I know well. Most of the things I know, other people know, so the most important thing is to combine them well. And, no matter how hard you try to put things together, it’s still hard to create something completely new. Because there are already so many creative works in the world. Even when we don’t want to be duplicated, it can be duplicated. It’s important to focus on expressing what I want to convey, without being conscious of other people’s work, and making choices based on personal judgment. If I can depict that combination through my unique expression, I believe it becomes a creative work.
K: Having participated in the 100th-day challenge on Twitter, what was hard about participating in that challenge?
M: At first, I started drawing with the aim of drawing steadily, without thinking about continuing for a long time. I didn’t even have a goal of 100 days. But as I progressed every day, I felt that it was meaningless if I didn’t do it properly so my goal became for me to draw as many things as I could. This made my 100-day challenge more fulfilling, but it also meant I had very little time for my daily routine. I would stay up all night drawing if I had plans during the day, and this was the most challenging aspect for me. The most difficult part about drawing is probablyto keep drawing new things. I think it took me hours to come up with something new because I’m always trying to draw without recycling what I’ve already drawn.
K: You’ve created many wonderful art pieces and released various art books. Have you ever considered releasing a manga?
M: Being a manga artist is a very interesting job, but I think what I’ve been going through is quite far from being a manga artist. I rarely read manga in the first place. However, I think I will try it when I successfully finish the current tasks and when I can afford to challenge something new.
K: As an art instructor, what advice would you give to upcoming artists?
M: I haven’t been alive very long, but I at least know the rest of my life is long. Some eager artists forget this out of desperation. I stake my life and death on today’s drawing, and I feel extremely depressed if the drawing doesn’t come out well. This might help improve the drawing for that moment, but in the long run, it might make the painting less pleasant and eventually could make you quit. Take a long look and relax. If you learn one thing at a time and study one thing at a time, I think you will achieve a lot.
K: You’re traveling to the U.S. for the annual Anime Expo; what are you most excited to see here in Los Angeles?
M: It’s the first time in my life that I’ll be traveling so far. It’s almost on the other side of the world. I expect that everything will be different. Landscape, culture, language, people, everything is expected. The whole trip is exciting because everything I’ve experienced here will be a good nourishment for me. But if I have to pick one, I’m looking forward to In-n-Out Burger.
Krystal: Can you discuss your creative process and the influences you use for creating your artwork?
Oshioshio: I am influenced by everything I have experienced. The manga I read as a child, the anime I have watched, video games I have played, and the scenery I have traveled to, are all sources of my creativity. I will be drawing fan art of “Genshin Impact” at AX, and I have been very influenced by “Genshin Impact” recently. The beautiful landscapes and unique characters of Hara-Kami always make me think “I want to draw! I am always inspired by the beautiful landscapes and unique characters of “Genshin Impact”.
K: For fans, who might be reading this interview, what advice would you give them to become better artists?
O: Don’t hesitate to put in the effort. Keep drawing and keep trying. I believe that all the great artists I know are those who continue to practice these things. It takes courage to try anything, but people grow through repetition of trial and error. The results come when you keep trying, so let’s do our best together!
K: Your manga “My Deer Friend Nokatan” is currently being published in English; What inspired you to write the story, and why did you make Nokotan a Deer?
O: One day, by chance, I came up with the idea of a girl character whose antlers were stuck on a door. I thought this could be interesting, so I thought of a story and other characters, and the work “My Deer Friend Nokotan” was born. Nokotan was not just any creature with horns, but I wanted it to be familiar and new, so I decided on a deer. In Japan, there are tourist attractions where deer are famous, which everyone knows, so I thought it would be familiar.
K: You’re traveling to the U.S. for the annual Anime Expo; what are you most excited to see here in Los Angeles?
O: This is my first time in the U.S., so I am looking forward to everything I see! I want to enjoy feeling the American air, food, people, and everything. I also love the Japanese Comic Market so much that I attend almost every year, and I am really looking forward to seeing Artist Alley, which has a similar atmosphere to Comiket. I am very interested to see how overseas otaku do their doujin activities.
Thank you for reading our wonderful interview with Modare and Oshioshio! Going to AX? Be sure to stop by Pixiv’s booths and check their panels on Sunday and Monday! Don’t miss the opportunity to patriciate in the autographs sessions, see you there!
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To celebrate the union of The Justice League and RWBY, Warner Bros. hosted the world premiere of the first ever collaboration between The Justice League & anime inspired series, RWBY at this year’s WonderCon!
A post-screening panel was headlined by the voice talent of Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and RWBY’s long-running cast – Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle (RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (The Detective is Already Dead) as Blake, and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – alongside Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern, and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as Cyborg.
Also included on the panel are producer/director Kerry Shawcross (RWBY franchise) and screenwriter Meghan Fitzmartin. Watch the FULL panel below,
Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One finds the Justice League facing off against a new horror: adolescence! Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Vixen are surprised to find that not only have they materialized on a strange world called Remnant, but they’ve also been transformed into teenagers. Meanwhile, the heroes of Remnant – Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang – find their world has been mysteriously altered. Can the combined forces of the Justice League and Team RWBY return Remnant to normal before a superpowered Grimm destroys everything they know?
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Rooster Teeth Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One, available to purchase Digitally and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray on April 25, 2023. Available to preorder on Amazon:
Can’t get enough of RWBY or need to catch up? Here some products we think you’ll love
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2023 kicked off for Californian Otakus with Anime Los Angeles 18 held from January 4th through 8th, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The LBCC has been ALA’s home for the past 3 years, since 2018. Anime Los Angeles had over 12K+ attendees and over 20 guests who included voice actress Kayleigh McKee, anime influencer Kaho Shibuya And japanese animators Mamoru Yokota & Kenji Yokoyama, among others.
During the convention we sat down to speak with guest of honor, Kayleigh McKee. Kayleigh is best known for playing the fan favorite character Yuta Okkotsu in the hit anime movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0, as Pina in Netflix’s highly successful BEASTARS, and as Testament in the classic fighting game Guilty Gear Strive. She is one of few Transgender women in professional voice over blazing a new path in the realm of acting for anime, cartoons, and games. Watch our exclusive interview with Kayleigh, as we discuss about her role in Guilty Gear Strive as Testament!
Where would anime be without its legendary animators; during ALA 2023, we had the opportunity to speak with Japanese animators Mamoru Yokota & Kenji Yokoyama about their working in the anime industry for over 25 years. Mamoru Yokota has been involved in a great number of shows mainly as animator, but also as producer, character designer, illustrator and game director. As animation director, he’s best known for multiple episodes of Death Note, NARUTO Shippuden, and 2020’s Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. He was also one of the animation directors for ONE PIECE STAMPEDE and most recently, ONE PIECE FILM: RED.
Kenji Yokoyama made his very first appearance at anime convention, after more than 40 years of dedication in the industry as a noted animator. Mr.Yokoyama. has worked on Gatchaman II and F, Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Slump, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, Jigoku Sensei Nūbē and SLAM DUNK, Toriko throughout 1970s and 1990s additionally, he has worked on One Piece in the last 25 years and most recently, in Yashahime.
We apologize for potato audio quality.
Anime Los Angeles 2023 Cosplay, Ani-Ambiance & More
Our coverage of Anime Los Angeles 2023, would not be complete without cosplay photos! During our Journey at this year’s ALA, we collaborated with cosplay photographer Jonathcon Photography. Check out his work at this year’s ALA 2023 with these amazing con photos!
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Jonathcon Photography has been taking on any & every cosplay photo gig during Anime Conventions for the last two years. He’s often known for being a fan’s photographer, not only scouting the perfect locations for shoots but also researching the subject and material source of each cosplay. If you’re interested in hiring him as your personal cosplay photographer in or outside of convention, visit his official Instagram at, https://www.instagram.com/jonatcon_photos/ and sent him a direct message to schedule your next, spectacular cosplay photoshoot!
Thank you for reading our article, for more interviews visit our interview page
Anime over took San Jose this month with Crunchyroll Expo 2022! Crunchyroll Expo or CRX, returned to the San Jose Convention Center after its two year physical hiatus from the pandemic, Drawing thousands from California and out of state. Crunchyroll Expo 2022’s turnstile attendance count was an estimated 45,000!
Special guests featured included Megan Shipman, Roseline Chiang, and Dominique “King Vader” Barrett with musical guests, Burnout Syndromes, SiM and MADKID. Although we did not have time to cover CRX’s special musical guests, we did manage to get some interviews with special guests Megan Shipman, Roseline Chiang and content creator King Vader.
Spy X Family has been trending ever since its anime adaptation release back in April of this year. Anya, the 6 year old telepath and became the center of attention among Spy X Family memes. We had the chance to sit down with Anya’s English voice actor, Megan Shipman to speak about her role and the impact it has made in her career.
In a surprising announcement, CRX announced Roseline Chiang as guest of honor. Roseline Chiang is best known for voicing Meilin “Mei” Lee in Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red. Not many may know that Roseline is a huge anime fan and Crunchy Roll Expo 2022 was her very first anime convention ever! Here’s our brief interview with Roseline during CRX’22.
To wrap-up, we spoke with content creator King Vader regarding his newest film, Hood Jujutsu Kaizen, which premiered during the convention, and his reasoning behind why people love his content and his future, listen to the full audio interview below.
As a bonus, we managed to briefly speak with Crunchy Roll mascot Crunchyroll-Hime!
Con-goers got to enjoy a great musical lineup, industry panels, and free bike rides from and to the convention center!
Slightly lite on activities, most of CRX’s content relied on V-Tubers, which, if you were not a fan of, the convention would have seemed like it had less to offer. However, let’s not forget that CRX, like many other conventions, are recovering and emerging from a two-year-long hiatus after the pandemic.
One would argue that cons had enough to prep up to come back, but with COVID-19 mandates still active in some states, it is no wonder conventions are taking it slow and experimenting with its content. We look forward to visiting New Crunchy City next year and seeing its various content Crunchyroll will have in store!
During the closing ceremonies, the SJPA thanked all attendees for coming to Anime Expo 2022 and introduced the very first ‘anime expo ontario’ in California.
Introduced as “anime expo” (all lower case letters), a smaller-scale spinoff convention that will allow fans an additional opportunity to celebrate Japanese pop culture this November in Ontario, California.
The event, which will be focused primarily on the exhibit hall and artist alley experience, will take place November 12-13, 2022 at the Ontario Convention Center; ticket sales will be announced in the upcoming months.
“Seeing our Anime Expo family once per year simply isn’t enough, which is why we’re incredibly excited to bring the brand-new ‘anime expo’ event to Ontario, California,[. . .]Anime Expo 2022 was a success, and we look forward to carrying that positive momentum into this smaller-scale show that provides a unique, more intimate opportunity for fans of Japanese pop culture to come together a second time this year.”
– Ray Chiang, CEO of SPJA
The first in-person Anime Expo since 2019 welcomed fans back to the Los Angeles Convention Center with over 1,000 hours of programming, including Japanese musical guests SG5 and Travis Japan, renowned DJs Steve Aoki and TeddyLoid, and Guests of Honor including Studio MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka and JUJUTSU KAISEN Script Writer Hiroshi Seko, as well as Ranking of Kings Director Yosuke Hatta and Animation Producer Maiko Okada of WIT Studio; Mika Akitaka, the creator of Anime Expo’s iconic mascot, MAX, also joined in the festivities in honor of the event’s 31st year.
Anime Expo will once again return in-person to the Los Angeles Convention Center next year from July 1-4. Ticket sales for Anime Expo 2023 will be announced in fall 2022. Ray added,
“After three long years away from the Los Angeles Convention Center, it was incredibly important to all of us at SPJA that our community be welcomed home with a truly unforgettable convention experience and, thanks to all the participants–including exhibitors (small and big alike), artists, industry and sponsors–and the incredibly hard work and dedication shown by each and every volunteer and staff member, we’re proud to say that this year’s show not only met, but exceeded our expectations. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for next year!”
– Ray Chiang, CEO of SPJA
Anime Expo celebrated its 31st annual convention by returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center live and in-person, bringing together fans and industry professionals for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Hosted by The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the sold-out four-day convention saw attendees from over 70 countries descend upon the city of Los Angeles to generate an estimated positive economic impact of over $100 Million for local hotels and businesses. Anime Expo fans that were unable to attend Anime Expo 2022 also had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of AX virtually through Anime Expo Lite through Twitch and YouTube.
For those following the anime convention scene in Los Angeles, CA; Ronin Expo announced earlier this year that had to postpone its June event until further notice due to changes in the venue’s service policies. Recently they announced that Ronin Expo has found a new venue within the Little Tokyo district.
Since 2017 Ronin-Expo is an Anime and Asian culture convention targeting both new and veteran convention-goers. The convention is designed to feel like an festival featuring artists, exhibitors, live performances, and guests of honors and special in-door panels. Past featured guests include voice actors, Sarah William,Reuben Langdon and Japanese anime director, Hiroshi Nagahama.
Anime Expo announced that Lucasfilm will bring a galaxy far, far away to Anime Expo Lite this July with Star Wars: Visions – Sneak Preview panel!
Join host Chastity Vicencio and Lucasfilm executive producers, Jacqui Lopez, James Waugh Josh Rimes and Qubic Pictures’ Co-Executive Producer, Justin Leach and Kanako Shirasaki for an inside look at Star Wars: Visions before the series debuts on Disney+ later this year.
Star Wars: Visions is an upcoming anthology of animated shorts celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators and storytellers.
According to Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm Ltd, Star Wars: Visions “[is an] anthology collection [that] will bring ten fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.”
The upcoming novel Ronin written by Emma Mieko Candon, will tie into one of the shorts. Ronin is set to release on October 12, 2021. There is no current release date for Star Wars: Visions.
Full Panel Details:
Star Wars: Visions – Sneak Preview Date: July 3, 2021 / 3:00PM PST Duration: 30 minutes
Tickets to access this year’s Anime Expo Lite programming are $5 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action Fund. After the stream concludes on July 4th, ticketholders can re-watch the content, as well as access additional programming, on a VOD basis from July 5th -16th, 2021.
Crypton Future Media has just announced the official CANCELLATION of Hatsune Miku’s North American Tour, MIKU EXPO 2020 USA & Canada. Earlier this year, CFM announced its postponement due to the COVID19 pandemic, however they reconsidered and have decided to cancel the tour all together.
They posted the following message on their official Facebook page
According to their Facebook post, CFM is currently redirecting their efforts towards new ways of engaging with Hatsune Miku fans across the world, and hope to be able to announce their upcoming plans with fans soon.
As stated above, contact your ticket vendor for refund details. CFM are still working on refunds, therefore, refund option may not be readily available, we suggest you continue to check your ticket vendor account, as this status may change.