What is AX?

Currently the largest project managed by the SPJA, Anime Expo is an annual convention currently held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Historically  Anime Expo (AX) has been held on July 4th weekend as a 4-day event. Anime Expo has grown in scale dramatically, and is currently the largest anime and manga convention in North America. It is the second longest running anime convention (after A-kon in Texas) starting in 1992.

Popular large events include the Masquerade, Anime Music Video Contest, Concerts, Battle of the Bands, and the AX Fashion Show. Anime Expo is a 24-hour convention that offers late-night dances, all night video programming, tabletop gaming rooms, and open-mic Karaoke in the late evening/early morning hours. Many of the attendees cosplay while attending the convention, and there are many gatherings for fans of different anime and manga series.

Renowned for its ability to bring famous guests to America for panels and concerts, Anime Expo has been the site of many U.S. premiers of shows, movies, and bands.

Join us July 2 ~ July 5, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


Anime Expo presents the best in Japanese music entertainment, featuring concerts from major J-Pop, Ani-Song, Japanese rock, and Idol Performers. Attendees have the opportunity to see the hottest acts straight from Japan in the Main Events hall in the company of thousands of enthusiastic fans. Previous headliners have included AKB48, Hatsune Miku, LiSA, Yuki Kajiura and Fiction Junction, Kalafina, Sophia, May’n, Megumi Nakajima,Yoko Kanno, Morning Musume, Beni, LM.C., Oreskaband, Anna Tsuchiya, Shoko Nakagawa, and S.K.I.N. featuring Yoshiki, Gackt, Miyavi and Sugizo.


AX live programming events come in three flavors, Live Panels, Workshops & Guest of Honor Panels.

Live Panels are put on by industry companies as well as attendees of Anime Expo, and range from announcements directly from the industry to fan discussions of “Who is the Greatest Mecha Ever?”. Live Panels are a great way for the industry to connect to the public and for attendees to gather with fellow fans to share topics they enjoy.

Workshops are hands-on, interactive sessions that provide an opportunity to learn new skills, such as sewing, orgami, dancing, and even glowsticking.

Guest of Honor Panels are specific panels for our amazing Guests to address the public, which then lead into ‘Question and Answer’ sessions for the general public to get to know the Guests.


Our Exhibit Hall offers the largest selection of Japanese culture goods in North America! Featuring over 240 vendors and exhibitors, Anime Expo’s massive exhibit hall floor is a marketplace showcasing amazing merchandise straight from Japan. Attendees will discover thousands of unique items including anime, manga, figures and models, cosplay goods, Japanese fashion, accessories, games, music and more. Leading anime, manga, gaming, fashion companies will also be previewing upcoming releases and connecting with fans at their industry booths! If you are looking for the most exclusive and latest goods, our exhibit hall is the place!


The Artist Alley at Anime Expo is a venue for amateur and semi-professional artists to celebrate Japanese pop culture through fantastic works of art. Artists come from all over the country and beyond to share their original artwork, prints, crafts, clothing, comics and ‘zines. Don’t miss the chance to meet and support these amazing artists!


The Anime Expo Charity Auction is your opportunity to bid on rare items not ordinarily available while contributing to a worthy cause! Our guests and sponsors have generously donated artwork, memorabilia and other items that will be available for viewing immediately before, and during the Charity Auction. Since its inception the Charity Auction has raised over $340,000 for charitable causes. Don’t miss your opportunity to pick up a piece of Anime History and support such causes as the Japanese Red Cross Society, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and City of Hope!


As one of the most enduring traditions of Anime Expo®, the Masquerade is one of the largest and brightest highlights of Anime Expo®. Costumers hailing from around the world have graced our stage with their wonderful costumes and performances. They come for the fame, the glory and that huge trophy, “Best of Show”! If you have the motivation, the skills and the bloodlust to compete in one of the most prestigious anime Masquerades, come join us! Meet new and interesting people! See wonderful and exotic costumes! Witness the glitz, the glamour and the glory of Masquerade!


The AX Maid Café features lovely maids and handsome hosts dressed up in costume and eager to serve you. Our maids and hosts will provide an array of entertainment for you to enjoy, such as group dances, musical performances, photo ops, etc. When they aren’t performing for you on stage, our charming staff will be at your table to keep you company, play interactive games & converse with you. Take a break from your busy convention schedule and come visit us to relax, we’ll make sure you have a great time! (The AX Maid Café is not a literal cafe, it is a performance & interaction based event.)


Looking for a place to relax? Then come by our very own nightclub, Lounge 21! Lounge 21 is among the more recent additions to AX’s adult nightlife. Complete with drinks and nightly performances, the lounge is a great place to relax and cool off after a long, hot day traversing the convention’s plentiful panels, events, and halls. This year’s musical talents include Chii Sakurabi, a rising star in the J-Pop scene, and Jennifer Cihi, the singing voice of Sailor Moon!


AX Dance is the official 4-night EDM afterparty for Anime-Expo! Featuring local DJs and headliners from Japan, all coming together to play every major popular genre from J-pop to House music. AX Dance is also the place to be to get exclusive swag and win prizes for being the AX Dance Staff’s favorite dress theme pick. Our Dress themes are not mandatory, but are encouraged!


For more than a decade, the Karaoke Kaizokudan have worked to bring a fun, dynamic, and inclusive karaoke experience to Anime Expo. In addition to our five contest events, we hold showcases, open mic hours, and acoustic sessions with a common goal of celebrating our shared love of anime and game soundtracks, J-pop, K-pop, and music in general. Whether bringing your A-game to our flagship Karaoke Contest, hanging out at open mic, or competing in one of our thematic mini-contests, there’s something for everyone in the Karaoke room!


If you’re asking “What’s an AMV?” then you’ve got to come see what you’ve been missing! AMV stands for Anime Music Videos and they’re astonishingly creative anime-to-music mash ups made by fans just like yourself! These works compete for the revered Director’s Chair award bestowed to the Best-of-Show AMV as chosen by audience vote. This year’s competition features brand new categories, a new format, and a new attitude, all guaranteed to make AX2013’s AMV Competition the most epic ever! Who shall win the coveted red director’s chair this year?
Come see!


Inspired by “Iron Chef,” AX’s AMV Chef is a duel between two masters of the anime music video craft who have just three short hours to create an AMV from scratch using just six video “ingredients,” the most important of which isn’t announced until just seconds before they begin! For the competitors it’s stress, toil, and pressure in front of a live audience. For the audience it’s fun and games as the hosts engage the audience with AMV trivia, discussion, and a viewing of favorite AMVs from years past, all while our poor competitors suffer.


The eGames area is the place to be for everyone attending Anime Expo and especially the place to VISIT if you love video games. Our free play area consists of consoles from the past like the SNES and the Genesis, all the way to the present with the Xbox 360 and PS3. Not only this, we will have an area to accommodate all you handheld, PC, and phone gamers too! If you’re more of a competitive type, we host multiple tournaments every day for you to show your skill and prove you’re the best. If you’re more of a spectator, we will also be having events throughout the day for you to enjoy and participate in. This video game area is getting a new overhaul and you don’t want to miss it!


Table Top Gaming is the one stop gaming central that handles ALL your gaming needs! From massive tournaments in your favorite games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic The Gathering, Settlers of Cataan, and Texas Hold’em, to a casual gaming environment where you can check out your favorite board games and have fun with friends and family we do it all! Don’t know how to play a specific game but always wanted to learn? Ask one of our talented Table Top Staffers to teach you! Our staff are on hand 24 hours a day to help enrich your gaming experience. This year Table Top will be joining forces with Arcade, and Console gaming to give you one amazing gaming experience! In Table Top Gaming fun isn’t an option, it’s a reality. So what are you waiting for? Grab your dice, get your cards, and come to Table Top Gaming. Get Your Game On!


The Manga Lounge brings a place of relaxation and refuge to members who need a break from the convention. The lounge contains a wonderful collection of manga, fun-loving staff, and our long running art contest. Check in your badge and bags, select some manga, and grab a seat on our comfortable bean bags and enjoy. It’s that simple! Manga Lounge a place to unwind and immerse yourself in manga.


Do you know where to find an exclusive Anime figure or maybe just a really big sword? Then give the AX Scavenger hunt a try. 20 teams of 10 will scour the convention center for anime related items and other goodies. Adventure and exciting prizes are yours for the taking at this event for all ages!


Otaku Parliamentary Debate is a debate contest that runs from Day 1 to Day 3. Day One is the first and second round of debates with four debates in total. Day Three will consist of the Semi-Finals and the Finals where two top teams will go head to head! The team with the strongest debate skills will reign supreme! The format is run similar to a Parliamentary debate, where there are two teams arguing either favor or oppose on the topic. The only difference between a regular Parliamentary Debate and OPD is that all the topics will be Anime, Manga, and Video Games!


So you think you’re funny? Well prove it! Anime Expo®’s Last Comic Standing is the show to tell all your hilarious and not so hilarious jokes. Got a funny story from AX 2004? Have a video game joke? Bring out your A-game; win prizes and become an Anime Expo® Comic star, or live in ridicule and shame for the rest of your life. Will you be the Last Comic Standing?


AX Fashion presents the most exciting trends in Japanese streetwear and design from Harajuku and Shibuya through panels, a showcase fashion show, and special guests including top designers and models! Attendees will also be able to purchase the latest designs from major Japanese brands and hot indie labels in the Exhibit Hall.

Academic Program

The Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is a unique feature of Anime Expo’s programming – a special line-up of talks and lectures on Japanese comics and animation by leading scholars from colleges and universities around the world. Some of the topics that will be explored in this year’s Symposium include depictions of Japanese history, uses of themes Western literature, the roles of female characters and female audiences, the copyright status of fan art, anime’s adaptation into videogames, and many more. The symposium will open with a keynote address by Marc Steinberg, author of Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan, a roundtable discussion on teaching anime and manga to American college students, and a special guest lecture by Eiji Otsuka, one of Japan’s leading writers on anime and manga subcultures – and the author of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, MPD-Psycho, and numerous other manga.