Anime Expo

Anime Expo

Anime Expo logo
Status Active
Genre Anime, Manga, Video games
Venue Los Angeles Convention Center
Location(s) Los Angeles, California
Country United States
Inaugurated July 3, 1992 (1992-07-03)
Attendance 100,420+ (2016)
Organized by Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
Filing status Non-profit
Cosplayers at Anime Expo 2016
Cosplayers outside the Los Angeles Convention Center
Attendees gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center's South Hall during Anime Expo 2016

Anime Expo, abbreviated AX, is an American anime convention held in Los Angeles, California and organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). With rare exceptions, the convention is traditionally held on the first weekend in July, which typically coincides with the 4th of July, and lasts for four days. While currently hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in the past Anime Expo has been held in other locations such as Anaheim, San Jose, New York, and Tokyo. Anime Expo is the largest North American anime convention as of 2015.[1]

Events and programming

Anime Expo features many events and activities during the convention for attendees to take part in such as guest panels, table top gaming, competitions, an arcade, and concerts.

Top attractions include events such as the Masquerade cosplay contest, the Anime Music Video (AMV) competition, Battle of the Bands, and SPJA’s Charity Auction. In addition, Anime Expo hosts a multitude of industry Guests of Honor (GoH), including notable music artists who often hold large concerts at AX. Anime Expo also has a large variety of focus panels, workshops, and events, some of which are fan or industry sponsored. Finally, there are also a number of film and video rooms presenting anime screenings that run all day and night.

Much like other conventions, Anime Expo also features a large scale exhibit hall where attendees can purchase a variety of products from a wide range of exhibitors. This exhibit hall also features an artist alley where attendees can purchase fan-created art work, as well as other varieties of crafts such as wigs, pins, and cosplay material.

Convention history


Naruto cosplayers at Anime Expo 2006

Anime Expo began as an anime and manga convention in Northern California. Many of its original staff came from Anime Con, an anime convention held in San Jose, California in 1991, and later absorbed by the SPJA in 1992. In 1994, Anime Expo made a strategic relocation to Southern California and has resided there since.

The convention continues to thrive due to the growing popularity of anime and Japanese popular culture and maintains a strong draw due to the many notable Japanese guests it has been known for. It currently holds the title of North America's largest anime convention, a title which it has consistently held every year except 2003 in which its attendance was slightly edged out by east coast convention Otakon.[2] From 1,750 attendees in 1992, Anime Expo's size has increased to over 90,500 in 2015, which makes Anime Expo the largest anime and manga convention in North America.

As of March 2009, Chief Executive Officer Trulee Karahashi, who had been a part of Anime Expo and the SPJA in various capacities for 11 years, left the organization.[3][4]

In September 2009, former Universal Studios executive Michael Lattanzio was hired as the SPJA's new CEO.[5][6]

In January 2010, eight members of Anime Expo's upper management team (ConCom) publicly resigned over irreconcilable disagreements over the direction of the organization set forth by the SPJA's new CEO. One significant point of contention was the new CEO's decision to refocus and restructure the SPJA's marketing efforts starting with the dismissal of a PR and marketing contractor that the organization had a close working relationship with since 2004. Additionally, two other personnel had already left for other reasons, leaving only the vice chair and two others as returning members of the previous year's team.[7]

As of September 2010, Michael Lattanzio was released from his CEO position.[8] Then SPJA Chairman of the Board Marc Perez, became acting-CEO; In August 2011 he stepped down from the Board of Directors to take over as a full-time CEO (as required by the SPJA bylaws).

In early 2012, Anime News Network reported that Anime Expo suffered a $1.2 million loss in 2010.[9] The 2011 convention saw a $100,000 profit and reduced the outstanding debt to $700,000. The article also stated that one of the creditors, IDG World Expo, will be taking over several aspects of the organization, with guest selection and programming to remain under SPJA control. Additionally, Takayuki Karahashi[10][11] has been elected to Chairman of the Board of Directors.[12]

The convention will continue to be located at the Los Angeles Convention Center through 2019.[13] In April 2016, Marc Perez left the company, with Ray Chiang becoming acting CEO of SPJA.[14]

Convention locations

Dates Location Atten. Guests
July 3–6, 1992 Red Lion Hotel
San Jose, California
1,750 Jerry Beck, L. Lois Buhalis, Ben Dunn, Robert Fenelon, Lea Hernandez, Seiji Horibuchi, Ken Iyadomi, Shawne Kleckner, Trish Ledoux, Carl Macek, Luke Menichelli, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Keiji Nakazawa, Robert Napton, John O'Donnell, Claude J. Pelletier, David Keith Riddick, Frederik L. Schodt, Buichi Terasawa, Jeff Thompson, Yoshiyuki Tomino, Steve Wang, Robert Woodhead, and Toshifumi Yoshida.[15]
July 2–4, 1993 Parc Oakland Hotel and
Oakland Convention Center
Oakland, California
1,693 Keita Amemiya, Robert DeJesus, Doug Dlin, Robert Fenelon, Peter Goll, Kenji Goto, David Ho, Seiji Horibuchi, Leo Hourvitz, Yasuhiro Imagawa, Junco Ito, Michitaka Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Makoto Kobayashi, Steve Kyte, Trish Ledoux, Carl Macek, Helen McCarthy, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Robert Napton, Yasushi Nirasawa, Martin Oulette, Wil Overton, Claude J. Pelletier, Jeff Pidgeon, Frederik L. Schodt, Jan Scott-Frazier, Masatoshi Tahara, Takayuki Takeya, and Toshifumi Yoshida.[16]
July 1–3, 1994 Anaheim Marriott Hotel and
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
2,057 Allen Hastings, Shoji Kawamori, Izumi Matsumoto, Jan Scott-Frazier, Minoru Takanashi, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[17]
June 30–July 2, 1995 Los Angeles Airport Hilton
Los Angeles, California
2,138 Amy Chia, Danger Productions, Allen Hastings, Leo Hourvitz, Kazuhiko Ikeguchi, Noboru Ishiguro, Jay Miao, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Koichi Ohata, Nobuyuki Ohnishi, Jan Scott-Frazier, Ryoei Tsukimura, Satoshi Urushibara, and Kinji Yoshimoto.[18]
June 28–30, 1996 Anaheim Marriott Hotel and
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
2,918 Hideaki Anno, Hiroki Hayashi, Noboru Ishiguro, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Leiji Matsumoto, Toshihiko Nishikubo, Hiromasa Ogura, Koichi Ohata, Ai Orikasa, Mamoru Oshii, Jan Scott-Frazier, Kenichi Sonoda, Yumi Takada, and Ryoei Tsukimura.[19]
July 4–6, 1997 Los Angeles Airport Hilton
Los Angeles, California
3,826 Jan Scott-Frazier[20]
July 3–5, 1998 Anaheim Hilton and Towers
Anaheim, California
4,883 Mika Akitaka, Akira Kamiya, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Yasuhiro Nightow, Jan Scott-Frazier, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Yuu Watase, and Takahiro Yoshimatsu.[21]
July 16–18, 1999 Anaheim Hilton and Towers
Anaheim, California
6,400 Mika Akitaka, Mari Iijima, Yoko Kanno, Hiromi Matsushita, Lisa Ortiz, Gilles Poitras, and Jan Scott-Frazier.[22]
June 30–July 3, 2000 Disneyland Hotel
Anaheim, California
9,700 Rika Fukami, Keiji Gotoh, Kunihiko Ikuhara, Noboru Ishiguro, Akira Kamiya, Yukio Kikukawa, Mahiro Maeda, Yutaka Minowa, Range Murata, Kazuto Nakazawa, Yasuhiro Nightow, Chiho Saito, Jan Scott-Frazier, Yuu Watase, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[23]
July 5–8, 2001 Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
13,000 Hisashi Abe, Morio Asaka, Kia Asamiya, Jo Chen, Kikuko Inoue, Masayuki Kojima, Hidenori Matsubara, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Jan Scott-Frazier, Makoto Uno, and Yuu Watase.[24][25]
July 4–7, 2002 Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
15,250 Jo Chen, Hiroaki Goda, Tsukasa Hojo, Kunihiko Ikuhara, Hiroaki Inoue, Yoko Ishida, Noboru Ishiguro, Masashi Ishihama, Akira Kamiya, Shoji Kawamori, Maria Kawamura, Yukio Kikukawa, Hideyuki Kurata, Koichi Mashimo, Koji Masunari, Hidenori Matsubara, Toshiharu Murata, Mamiko Noto, Puffy AmiYumi, Nobuhiro Watsuki, and Takumi Yamazaki.[26]
July 3–6, 2003 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
17,000 yoshitoshi ABe, Kazuki Akane, Duel Jewel, Rebecca Forstadt, Crispin Freeman, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Mitsuru Hongo, Taliesin Jaffe, Yuki Kajiura, Yousuke Kuroda, Mahiro Maeda, Atsuko Nakajima, Liam O'Brien, Koushi Rikudo, Goro Taniguchi, Misa Watanabe, Kazuki Yao, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[27]
July 2–5, 2004 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
25,000 Koichi Chigira, Kate Davis, Hiromi Hirata, Yoko Ishida, Masashi Ishihama, Shinichiro Kimura, Hideyuki Kurata, Lee Myung-jin, Wendee Lee, Michael Lindsay, Masao Maruyama, Shino Masanori, Koji Masunari, Yuji Matsukura, MIQ, Minoru Murao, Range Murata, Toshiharu Murata, Satoshi Nishimura, Kazufumi Nomura, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Yoshiyuki Okamura, Ichiro Okouchi, Kaoru Ozawa, Tadashi Ozawa, Cindy Robinson, Michelle Ruff, Katsushi Sakurabi, Soichiro Sano, Carrie Savage, Tomokazu Seki, Ren Usami, Cindy Yamauchi, and Reina Yoshimura.[28]
July 1–4, 2005 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
33,000 Hunter Mackenzie Austin, Greg Ayres, JB Blanc, Johnny Yong Bosch, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Siobhan Flynn, Crispin Freeman, Ugetsu Hakua, Rachel Hirschfeld, Ryo Horikawa, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Osamu Kobayashi, Tsuneo Kobayashi, Kotoko, Sara Lahti, Wendee Lee, Range Murata, Liam O'Brien, Hiroshi Osaka, Maaya Sakamoto, Carrie Savage, Tomokazu Seki, Miho Shimogasa, J.D. Stone, Helena Taylor, Wendee Tomson, Kazue Yamamoto, and Akihito Yamashita.[29]
July 1–4, 2006 Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
40,647 Laura Bailey, CLAMP, Crispin Freeman, Toru Furuya, Noboru Ishiguro, Yutaka Izubuchi, Koge-Donbo, Tomoki Kyoda, Mana, Vic Mignogna, Seiji Mizushima, Hiroshi Nagahama, Atsuko Nakajima, Mick Takeuchi, and yozuca*.[30]
June 29–July 2, 2007 Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California
41,671 Tetsuro Araki, Michael Arias, Greg Ayres, Laura Bailey, Steven Blum, Johnny Yong Bosch, Minori Chihara, Leah Clark, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Justin Cook, Caitlin Glass, Yuko Goto, Kate Higgins, Aya Hirano, Yuuna Inamura, Eisaku Inoue, Chiaki Ishikawa, Taliesin Jaffe, Satoru Kannagi, Hideo Katsumata, Takaaki Kidani, Masaru Kitao, Mike McFarland, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Halko Momoi, Shuhei Morita, Hiroshi Nagahama, Sumire Nanohana, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Tony Oliver, Oreskaband, Kate Oxley, Takaharu Ozaki, Brina Palencia, Orion Pitts, Brandon Potter, Dai Sato, savage genius, Patrick Seitz, Stephanie Sheh, Anna Tsuchiya, Kounosuke Uda, and Travis Willingham.[31]
July 3–6, 2008 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
43,000 (warm);[32] 103,000 (turnstile)[33] Yamila Abraham, Masahiro Ando, Ayane, Greg Ayres, Cameron Baity, Mike Fasolo, Fullmoon 13, GaGaalinG, David Hayter, Masamitsu Hidaka, Yoko Ishida, Jyukai, Hiromi Kato, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Kuro, LM.C, Chris Many, Jonathan Meza, Vic Mignogna, Jason Charles Miller, Jeanette Moffat, Shoko Nakagawa, Tony Oliver, le Peruggine, Riku, Tom Root, Kaeko Sakamoto, Patrick Seitz, Toshihiko Seki, Kevin Shinick, Akemi Takada, Saiko Takaki, Thee Out Mods, VelBet, and Travis Willingham.[32]
July 2–5, 2009 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
44,000+ (unique); 109,000+ (turnstile)[34] Tomo Asaha, Karan Ashley, auncia, Robert Axelrod, Nakia Burrise, Steve Cardenas, Northrup Davis, Daniel Ewing, Mike Fasolo, Blake Anthony Foster, Kun Gao, Douglas Goldstein, Barbara Goodson, Seth Green, Hangry & Angry, Kyle Hebert, Jason Hoffs, Ken Hoinsky, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Noriyuki Jinguji, Walter E. Jones, Takeshi Kajii, Shigeru Kitayama, Shawne Kleckner, Yun Kouga, Yousuke Kuroda, Robert Le, Patricia Ja Lee, Joshua Long, Nobuo Masuda, Monica May, Mike McFarland, Chris McKay, Breckin Meyer, Seiji Mizushima, Moi dix Mois, Toshimichi Mori, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Morning Musume, Robert Napton, Yasuhiro Nightow, Atsushi Nishigori, Satoshi Nishimura, Takashi Okazaki, Austin Osueke, Race Owen, Brina Palencia, Luis Reyes, Amy Rolle, Reggie Rolle, Tom Root, Satsuki, Justin Sevakis, Eric P. Sherman, Kevin Shinick, Dan Southworth, Catherine Sutherland, Tsunku, Roger Velasco, Cerina Vincent, Chris Violette, Kevy Vona, Kari Wahlgren, Selwyn Jaydon Ward, and Erik Weiner.[35]
July 1–4, 2010 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
46,000 (warm);[36] 105,000+ (turnstile)[34] Saki Aibu, AKB48, Yuu Asakawa, Beni, Johnny Yong Bosch, Danny Choo, DJ Chucky, Guhroovy, Kyle Hebert, Rei Hiroe, Yui Horie, Tomohiko Ishii, Kenji Kamiyama, Yoko Kanno, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Eri Kitamura, Katsuyuki Konishi, Robert Le, M-Project, m1dy, May'n, MELL, Vic Mignogna, Jason Charles Miller, Masakazu Morita, Megumi Nakajima, Satoru Nakamura, No+Chin, RSP, Kaeko Sakamoto, DJ Schwarzenegger, Eric P. Sherman, Sophia, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Cristina Vee, and Shinichi Watanabe.[36]
July 1–4, 2011 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
47,000+ (unique); 128,000+ (turnstile)[34] Takanori Aki, Tetsuro Araki, Peter S. Beagle, Hiroyuki Birukawa, Koichi Chigira, Danny Choo, Danceroid, Dig Jelly, Toshihiro Fukuoka, Toshio Furukawa, Fred Gallagher, Kentaro Hashimoto, Hiroyuki Ito, Hiroyuki Itoh, Taliesin Jaffe, Kalafina, Makoto Kobayashi, Onyx Kobayashi, Maon Kurosaki, Izumi Matsumoto, Vic Mignogna, Hatsune Miku, Jason Charles Miller, Seiji Mizushima, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Sohei Niikawa, Nirgilis, Wataru Sasaki, Miyuki Sawashiro, Takaaki Suzuki, Masayoshi Tanaka, Tune in Tokyo, Stephanie Yanez,[37] Katsuyuki Hirano, Takaki Kosaka, Kenta Sugano,[38] and Kyle Hebert.[39]
June 29–July 2, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
49,400+ (unique); 130,000+ (turnstile)[34][40] Animetal USA, Ei Aoki, Misako Aoki, Morio Asaka, Steven Blum, Danny Choo, Kunihiko Hamada, Ryo Horikawa, Yuki Kajiura, Hikaru Kondo, Rikiya Koyama, LiSA, Cyril Lumboy, Jamie Marchi, Joel McDonald, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Monica Rial, Tatsuo Sato, Ian Sinclair, Takuya Tsunoki,[41] Yosuke Adachi, ayami, bamboo, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Shinji Katakura, Izumi Kitta, Minami Kuribayashi, Jessica Nigri, Foo Midori, Koichiro Natsume, Aimi Terakawa, Tamiyasu Tomoe, and Kouki Yoshimune.[42]
July 4–7, 2013 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
61,000+ (unique);[34][43] 161,000+ (turnstile)[34] Takanori Aki, Johnny Yong Bosch, Danny Choo, Eyeshine, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Josh Grelle, Megumi Han, Kyle Hebert, Aya Ikeda, Kazuhiko Inoue, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Noizi Ito, Kaya, Vic Mignogna, Moon Stream, Sohei Niikawa, Mari Okada, Ram Rider, Chris Sabat, Makoto Shinkai, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Austin Tindle, Alexis Tipton, Eric Vale, Masaaki Yuasa,[44] Kazuhiko Inoue, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, Kazuchika Kise, Hiroaki Matsuura, Porno Graffitti, Keigo Sasaki, George Wada, and Max Watanabe.[45]
July 3–6, 2014 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
80,000+ (unique); 220,000+ (turnstile)[34] Eir Aoi, Linda Ballantyne, Sonya Belousova, Karen Bernstein, Danny Choo, Sean Danconia, Katie Griffin, Kyle Hebert, Keiji Inafune, Reki Kawahara, Kimura U, Mary Long, Eru Matsumoto, Vic Mignogna, Kazuma Miki, Masahiko Minami, Stephanie Morgenstern, Masakazu Morita, Toby Proctor, Susan Roman, Ron Rubin, John Stocker, Gen Urobuchi, Yutaka Yamamoto,[46] abec, Angela, Fuminori Kizaki, Ami Koshimizu, Kazuki Nakashima, Eiji Ohtsuka, Lunatic Joker, Yoshiki Sakurai, Uki Satake, SUSHIO, Eiko Tanaka, Yosuke Toba, and Ryoka Yuzuki.[47]
July 2–5, 2015 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
90,500+ (unique); 260,700 (turnstile)[48] Sho Aikawa, Aimer, Dino Andrade, Mashiro Ayano, Christopher Ayres, Aza, Bosshi, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Danny Choo, Olivia Chubear, Robbie Daymond, Ben Diskin, Dustbunny, Sandy Fox, Yuichi Fukushima, Futange, Tiffany Grant, Alexander "Octopimp" Gross, Yumiri Hanamori, HappiLeeErin, Isuna Hasekura, Kyle Hebert, Itaru Hinoue, Naoto Hirooka, Mel Hoppe, Hori, IA, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Keiji Inafune, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Taliesin Jaffe, Miles Jai, Junnyan, Kamitani, Ayako Kawasumi, Kiba, KISS, Kazutaka Kodaka, Hikaru Kondo, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Brooke "Dodger" Lawson, Linda Le, Cherami Leigh, Comfort Love, Toshio Maeda, Azusa Maxima, Amanda Miller, Takahiro Miura, Masanori Miyake, Momoiro Clover Z, Shinichi Nakamura, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Chicchai Ossan, Thomas Romain, Garnet Runestar, Ryukishi07, Chris Sabat, Chii Sakurabi, Shella Santa Maria, Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Sheh, Shinya, Tomonori Sudo, Julietta Suzuki, Yoko Takahashi, Eiko Tanaka, LeSean Thomas, Naokatsu Tsuda, Luna Tsukigami, Kimura U, Cristina Vee, Wagakki Band, Sylar Warren, Lisle Wilkerson, Adam Withers, Yamatogawa, Yoshifumi Yarimizu, Miki Yoshikawa, Koki Yoshimune, and Yoh Yoshinari.[49]
July 1–4, 2016 Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
100,420+ (unique); 304,799 (turnstile)[50] Aicosu, Yoshitaka Amano, Chika Anzai, Eir Aoi, Aqours, Ari Arad, Naoshi Arakawa, Bamboo, Beau Billingslea, Steven Blum, Justin Briner, Christine Marie Cabanos, Chalk Twins, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Danny Choo, Stella Chuu, Dancing Dolls, Robbie Daymond, Dodger, Doremi, Dustbunny, Dynamite Tommy, Melissa Fahn, Flow, Sandy Fox, Makoto Furukawa, Shigeo Hamashima, Hamo, HappiLeeErin, Joshua Hart, Luna Haruna, DJ HeavyGrinder, Mel Hoppe, Kenji Horikawa, Daisuke Ichikawa, Koji Igarashi, Keiji Inafune, Yoko Ishida, Akira Itsuki, Miles Jai, JAM Project, Junnyan, Jyunya, Tetsuya Kakihara, Kazue Kato, Shoji Kawamori, DJ Kazu, Kiba, Shuichi Kobayashi, Shigeto Koyama, Minami Kuribayashi, Reo Kurosu, Yuro Kyoya, Lauren Landa, Wendee Lee, Lia, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Erica Mendez, Michi, Amanda Celine Miller, Masahiko Minami, Yasuo Miyakawa, Masanori Miyake, Yu Mizokam, momoMc, Tatsuyuki Nagai, NaPaTa, Shingo Natsume, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Octopimp, Hiroshi Ogawa, Okayado, Oldcodex, Tony Oliver, QueersPlay, Garnet Runestar, Chris Sabat, Shunsuke Saito, Saitom, Nobukazu Sakai, Sakira, Nami Sano, Takumi Sano, Erect Sawaru, Sayori, Stephanie Sheh, Makoto Shinkai, Mayumi Shintani, Nao Shirahane (DMYO), Mike Sinterniklaas, Sphere, Sushio, Junichi Suwabe, T.M.Revolution, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Tasha, TeddyLoid, Luna Tsukigami, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Kotaro Uchikoshi, Masuo Ueda, LeeAnna Vamp, Cristina Vee, Steff Von Schweetz, Akira Yasuda, Yo, Mai Yoneyama, Koki Yoshimune, and Zun.[51][52]
July 1–4, 2017[53] Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California
Akira Himekawa[50]

Other Anime Expos

The SPJA has twice run conventions outside of California: Anime Expo New York in 2002, and Anime Expo Tokyo in 2004.

Anime Expo New York

Anime Expo New York (AXNY) was held in 2002 in the Times Square district of New York City, New York.[54] The event was originally a joint effort with Central Park Media and its industry event, Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF). Due to differences, the event ran as separate entities within the same time frame and venues, with BAAF hosting the theatrical film screenings, and Anime Expo New York hosting the convention. The events shared some resources, with notable guests listed in the program guides of both events. The SPJA ran the event in order to demonstrate that it could run events outside of its home state of California. The event was a precursor to Anime Expo Tokyo which ran in Tokyo, Japan in 2004.[55] The SPJA has not run any events outside of California since 2004.

Convention locations
Dates Location Atten. Guests
August 31–September 2, 2002 Marriott New York Marquis
New York, New York
5,500 Akitaroh Daichi, Noboru Ishiguro, Yoko Kanno, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Takao Koyama, Taro Maki, Chris McKay, Koji Sugiura, Atsushi Takeuchi, Yoshiyuki Tomino, and Shinichiro Watanabe.[54]

Anime Expo Tokyo

Anime Expo Tokyo (AX Tokyo) was held in 2004 at the Sunshine City Convention Center in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan.[55] It was not technically organized directly by the SPJA, but rather was organized by the Japanese Association for Science Fiction International Communication ( with assistance from the SPJA. JASFIC had two goals for Anime Expo Tokyo. The first goal was to establish in Japan a non-corporate sponsored convention dedicated to anime. The second goal was to demonstrate to the organizers of the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) that Japan could serve as a suitable venue for conventions that attract foreigners. Although Anime Expo Tokyo did not go on to a second year, JASFIC was ultimately successful in attracting the 65th World Science Fiction Convention to Japan in 2007.

Anime Expo Tokyo had a staggering list of over 40 guests such as manga artist Ken Akamatsu, MiQ, Under17, Hiroshi Aro, and many others, although a small handful had to make last minute cancellations. Anime Expo Tokyo was also the very first Anime Expo that officially hosted guests from the U.S. anime industry such as webcomic artist Fred Gallagher and voice actor Crispin Freeman.[55]

Of Anime Expo Tokyo's 4,249 attendees, approximately 300 of that number were estimated to have traveled from abroad. In addition to the attendance numbers were 240 members of the press, 40 of which were from overseas. An additional 430 people were composed of dealers, guests, or staff.

No plans to host another official Anime Expo outside of California have been announced.

Convention locations
Dates Location Atten. Guests
January 16–18, 2004 Sunshine City Convention Center
Tokyo, Japan
4,919 Sho Aikawa, Ken Akamatsu, Hiroshi Aro, Crispin Freeman, Fred Gallagher, Yuichi Hasegawa, Saki Hijiri, Ryusuke Hikawa, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Imaitoonz, Isamu Imakake, Mutsumi Inomata, Noboru Ishiguro, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Takehiko Ito, Yutaka Izubuchi, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Satomi Kodama, Rie Kugimiya, Akira Kushida, Tomomi Michizuki, MIQ, Nao Nagasawa, Hiroshi Negishi, Tetsuya Nishio, Hiroyuki Okiura, Romi Park, Akemi Takada, Nozomu Tamaki, Kana Ueda, Under17, Yoshihiro Yonezawa, and Reina Yoshimura.[55]

Other Conventions

Anime Conji

Main article: Anime Conji

In 2010, Anime Conji began as an annual anime convention in San Diego.[56] In 2013, it began to be run by SPJA.[57] Anime Conji 2016 was cancelled due to event quality concerns.[58]

Organizational structure

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the parent organization which produces Anime Expo, is a federal and California state registered 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation.[59] The operation of Anime Expo is divided into two groups: Entertainment & Operations.

Entertainment has the following divisions: AV Tech, Entertainment Hall, Guest Relations, Interactive Events and Programming. Operations has the following divisions: Exhibit Hall & Registration and Facilities. As of 2013, the SPJA employed 11 employees and over 1,000 volunteers for Anime Expo.

Anime Expo's parent company, the SPJA, has a number of additional paid positions whose roles are to conduct the organization's year-round operations. Such positions also include the: Administration Director, Chief Executive Officer, Finance Manager, HR Director, Marketing Director, and Technology Director. The SPJA also hires consultants for outsourced functions such as: Marketing consultation, Governance & Strategic training, Legal representation, Exhibit sales, and as needed program assistance.



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  62. Carlo Santos, SPJA Open Board Meeting, Anime News Network, July 4, 2010

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