The 2018 Anime Expo (AX), the largest anime event held in North America each year, is once again poised to pack the Los Angeles Convention Center with some of the most passionate fans from nearly every corner of the world July 5-8, including a special Pre-Show Night on July 4. With more than 27 years of successfully bringing thrilling experiences to fans of Japanese pop culture, AX has become the premier event to introduce the newest anime films, television series, AMVs (anime music videos), fashion, video games, manga, dance, music concerts, and exhibitors to its more than 350,000* attendees.
“We are excited to present a vast array of engaging and entertaining experiences for our fans. From our continued partnership with Anisong World Matsuri, a spectacular live concert event, to crowd favorites like Masquerade and the originative Fashion Show, AX 2018 is about creating opportunities for wonderful and memorable experiences for our attendees,” said Ray Chiang, CEO of the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Anime, AX’s organizer.
AX 2018 will feature 400+ exhibitors, 14 premieres, including 6 world premieres, and hundreds of hours of programming, as well as multiple programming tracks like Family Day and Career Day, many interactive events and more than 100 Guests of Honor and industry appearances.
With so many cool events to see, AX is making it is easier for fans to know when and where to be with their new Mobile App. The Anime Expo 2018 Mobile App will be a virtual tour guide – turning a phone into a digital companion, accompanying fans on their journey while providing guidance and information about everything AX! Fans with smartphone access can get up-to-date schedule information, maps, guest information, exhibitor list, artist alley list, and more.
AX 2018 offers four full days and nights jammed-packed with panel discussions, live performances and special appearances. Here are some must-see events:
Anisong World Matsuri Concert (July 4, 6 and 7 at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater): Features and All-Star lineup of nine Japanese anime song performers. Created in association with BANDAI NAMCO Arts, Inc., Amuse Inc., Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., fans will be treated to a powerful collection of fan-favorite performers including Aimer, AKB48 Team 8, THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS, i☆Ris, Yuki Kajiura, May’n, Shoko Nakagawa, and Sanketsu-girl Sayuri. In addition, school idol group Aqours (Love Live! Sunshine!!) will perform their first-ever full-length solo concert in the United States.
Artist Alley (Kentia Hall): AX 2018 is proud to boast that its Artist Alley is the largest gathering of amateur and semi-professional artists at any convention. More than 500 artists will showcase a variety of handmade creations for sale to attendees, including original artwork, prints, crafts, clothing and comic collections. This is a must-see on everyone’s AX list.
Japanese Anime Fashion Show (July 6, 12:30-3 p.m., Live Programing 1/Petree Hall): Japan is home to many of the most cutting edge, fashion-forward trends in the world. Beginning in 2012, AX has taken pride in showcasing and introducing a variety of designers and their creations. Throughout the years, AX has featured more than ten different authentic Japanese clothing brands, as well as a new generation of models. In addition, in the Exhibit Hall, attendees are able to meet and get an autograph or photo from the designers and models, and shop each brand’s offerings.
AMV (Anime Music Video) Competition (July 5, 8-11 p.m. Main Events/Hall B): Fans of AMV will certainly want to catch this event. The competition is a visual rhapsody of music and anime featuring a wild assortment of music videos created by fans. Out of hundreds of submissions received every year, AX meticulously curates an electrifying selection of drama, action, sentiment, fun, rhythm, and comedy videos, which are then presented in a three-hour event. To top it off, fans get to choose the winners!
Charity Auction (July 8, 10 a.m. -12 p.m. in Live Programming 3 (408 AB): AX is proud to once again support a great cause, The Animator Dormitory, and encourages fans to stop by the auction and bid on items donated by AX 2018 Guests of Honor, and anime-related vendors and companies that will include signed merchandise, memorabilia, and original artwork. The Animator Dormitory provides discounted housing to new animators in the Tokyo area. Last year’s Charity Auction raised more than $12,500.
m-flo presents OTAQUEST LIVE (July 5, 4 – 9:30 p.m. Microsoft Theater): In what is shaping up to be the best Anime Expo ever, the ground breaking and globally popular Japanese rap trio m-flo are playing for the first time together in the U.S. since 2008. This event, lead by m-flo and PKCZ will unite dance music and J-pop lovers.
Masquerade & World Cosplay Summit US Finals (costumes) (July 7, 8 -11 p.m. Main Events/Hall B): It’s more than just playing dress-up. The AX Masquerade is a cosplay and performance competition steeped in history of more than 20 years. AX is excited to welcome all of the performers who are hoping to win the US preliminary for World Cosplay Summit.
Family Day (July 8, various times & locations): AX has created a selection of programming specifically targeted toward young children and their families with the goal of providing content they can enjoy together in a safe positive environment.
Culture Day (July 7, various times & locations): AX is the ideal place to learn about Japanese traditional arts through interesting panels and hands-on workshops that show the proper techniques of “taiko” and “ikebana” (flower arranging), as well as screenings of historical anime and series focusing on traditional arts.
For more information regarding Anime Expo please visit www.anime-expo.org.
SPJA is a non-profit organization dedicated to popularize and educate the American public about Japanese entertainment and pop culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit www.spja.org.
About Anime Expo
Anime Expo (AX) brings together fans and industry from Japan, the US, and all over the world for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Taking place every year since 1992, Anime Expo features the best in Japanese entertainment, music, fashion, and video games. For more information, visit www.anime-expo.org.
Anime Expo 2018 Press Release