Unforgettable Anime Conventions in the US: A Must-See Guide

Welcome to the exciting world of anime conventions in the US! With their vibrant energy, thrilling activities, and diverse communities, anime conventions have become a beloved staple of pop culture across the country. Whether you’re a passionate anime fan or simply curious about this exciting subculture, anime conventions are an experience not to be missed.

From immersive cosplay experiences and engaging panels to exclusive merchandise and impressive guest line-ups, anime conventions offer something for everyone. In this article, we will dive into the world of anime conventions, exploring their unique features, popular events, and practical tips to ensure you have a memorable experience.

Anime conventions

Key Takeaways

  • Anime conventions bring together passionate anime fans from across the US
  • They offer a range of engaging activities, from immersive cosplay experiences to informative panels
  • Exclusive merchandise and impressive guest line-ups make anime conventions a must-see for die-hard fans
  • Planning and preparation are key to making the most out of your anime convention experience

What are Anime Conventions?

For those unfamiliar with anime conventions, they are events that celebrate Japanese animation, comics, and pop culture. These conventions provide fans with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of fantasy, creativity, and community.

At anime conventions, attendees can participate in a range of activities such as cosplaying, attending panels and workshops, exploring vendor halls, and meeting special guests. These events can range in size from small local gatherings to large-scale international conventions, with attendance numbers ranging from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of people.

At the heart of anime conventions is a shared passion for the art of anime and the celebration of Japanese culture. Fans come together to engage with each other and to share their love for their favorite anime series, characters, and stories.

One of the unique aspects of anime conventions is the strong sense of community they foster. Attendees can connect with like-minded individuals who share similar interests, forming friendships and building networks that can last long after the convention ends.

Overall, anime conventions are incredibly popular and exciting events that offer a chance for fans to celebrate their love of anime and connect with others in a vibrant and creative environment.

Anime convention cosplay

Popular Anime Conventions in the US

If you’re an anime fanatic, attending an anime convention is a must-do activity. The US hosts a variety of anime conventions throughout the year, and these events offer a unique opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals, meet famous anime personalities, and explore the latest anime trends.

Here are some of the most popular anime conventions in the US:

Convention NameDateLocation
Anime ExpoJuly 3-6, 2021Los Angeles, California
New York Comic Con: Anime FestivalOctober 7-10, 2021New York, New York
Anime NYCNovember 19-21, 2021New York, New York
Anime CentralMay 20-22, 2022Rosemont, Illinois

Each of these conventions features a unique set of guests, panels, and events. Anime Expo, for example, is the largest anime convention in North America, boasting an attendance of over 100,000 people in past years. Meanwhile, Anime NYC is a relatively new addition to the anime convention scene, but it has already proven to be a must-attend event on the East Coast.

Other noteworthy events include Otakon, which takes place in Washington D.C., and FanimeCon, which calls San Jose, California its home. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have shifted schedules and cancelled some events in 2020, there are still plenty of exciting anime conventions to look forward to in the upcoming months and years.

Anime Expo crowd

Whether you’re a fan of anime, manga, cosplay, or just want to immerse yourself in the anime culture, attending an anime convention is an unforgettable experience. Keep an eye out for upcoming events, and start planning your trip today!

Exploring Anime Convention Schedule

If you’re planning to attend an anime convention, it’s essential to explore the schedule in advance. Most anime conventions offer a plethora of events, activities, and panels, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. By exploring the schedule beforehand, you can plan your days and ensure that you don’t miss any must-see events.

Make a list of the panels and events that interest you the most and prioritize them. If there are multiple events happening simultaneously, decide which ones are more important to you and go to those. Keep in mind that some events may require pre-registration or have limited capacity, so be sure to sign up or arrive early if you want to attend.

Many anime conventions offer mobile apps or online schedules that you can access on your phone or tablet, making it easy to keep track of your itinerary. You can also print out a physical copy of the schedule and highlight the events you want to attend.

Remember to leave some free time in your schedule to explore the exhibit hall and browse the various vendors selling anime merchandise. It’s also a good idea to schedule in breaks and meals to avoid burnout.

Anime Convention Schedule

By planning your anime convention schedule in advance, you can make the most out of your experience and ensure that you don’t miss any of the exciting events offered. So grab your planner and get ready to embark on a memorable and immersive journey through the world of anime!

Immersive Cosplay Experience

One of the most enchanting elements of anime conventions is undoubtedly the immersive cosplay experience. Cosplay, short for costume-play, is the art of dressing up as a fictional character inspired by anime, manga, video games, or other pop culture. At anime conventions, cosplay enthusiasts showcase their incredible costumes and embody their favorite characters with passion and creativity, making the event even more vibrant and engaging.

From simple and budget-friendly outfits to stunningly intricate and detailed designs, cosplay at anime conventions is all about celebrating self-expression, creativity, and admiration for fictional universes. Attendees can witness some of the most iconic and beloved characters come to life, from Sailor Moon and Goku to Naruto and Luffy, and even lesser-known gems from cult series.

The cosplay experience is also a great opportunity for attendees to connect with like-minded fans and build a sense of community. From group photoshoots to cosplay contests, anime conventions provide countless forums for cosplay enthusiasts to share their passion and talent with others.

Take Your Cosplay to the Next Level

Planning to cosplay at an anime convention? Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience:

  • Choose a character you love: Pick a character that resonates with you and sparks excitement. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable in your costume.
  • Research and prepare: Study your character’s design carefully and gather reference images. This will help you create an accurate and appealing costume. Also, consider the event’s policies and guidelines regarding cosplay.
  • Be respectful: Cosplay is meant to be fun and creative, but also respectful. Avoid offensive or inappropriate costumes or behavior that may harm others.
  • Stay hydrated and comfortable: Cosplaying can be tiring and sweaty, so make sure to stay hydrated and take breaks if needed. Also, wear comfortable shoes and clothing that won’t hinder your movement or cause discomfort.
  • Connect with other cosplayers: Attend cosplay meetups, participate in photoshoots, and strike up conversations with fellow cosplayers. This is a great way to make new friends and share your love for anime and cosplay.

Whether you’re a seasoned cosplayer or a newbie, the cosplay experience at anime conventions is a unique and unforgettable experience that is not to be missed.

Anime Cosplay

Exploring Anime Convention Panels and Workshops

One of the most exciting aspects of attending an anime convention is the chance to attend panels and workshops covering a diverse range of topics. These events offer attendees the opportunity to learn something new, gain insights from industry leaders, and connect with fellow fans who share similar interests.

From voice acting and animation to cosplay and fandom culture, anime convention panels cover a wide range of fascinating subjects. Many panels feature Q&A sessions, allowing attendees to engage with panelists and ask questions directly. Workshops, on the other hand, provide hands-on learning experiences, such as prop-making, drawing, or even martial arts.

One of the benefits of attending panels and workshops is that they offer a break from the excitement and stimulation of the convention floor. However, it’s essential to plan ahead to ensure that you don’t miss out on your top choices. Be sure to check the convention schedule in advance and arrive early to secure a seat.

It’s also worth noting that some panels and workshops may have age restrictions or require additional fees, so it’s essential to read the fine print before registering.

Popular Anime Convention Panels and Workshops

Here are a few examples of the diverse range of panels and workshops you might encounter at an anime convention:

Panel/Workshop TitleDescription
Voice Acting 101A beginner’s guide to voice acting in anime and other forms of entertainment.
Cosplay ConstructionA workshop on building and improving cosplay costumes and accessories.
Behind the Scenes of Anime ProductionInsights and commentary from animators, directors, and other industry professionals.
Exploring Japanese CultureA panel discussing various aspects of Japanese culture, including food, fashion, and history.

Regardless of your interests, there’s bound to be a panel or workshop that will pique your curiosity and enhance your convention experience.

Anime convention workshop on prop making

Exclusive Anime Convention Merchandise

One of the biggest draws of anime conventions is the exclusive merchandise available to fans. From rare collectibles to limited-edition items, there’s something for everyone at these events.

Attendees can expect to find a wide range of anime-related products at these conventions. This includes everything from manga and anime DVDs to posters, keychains, and plushies. There are also many vendors that sell unique, handcrafted items that cannot be found anywhere else.

For fans who are looking for something truly special, many anime conventions offer exclusive merchandise that can only be purchased at the event. These items may include limited-edition figurines, autographed posters and artwork, and even clothing and accessories designed specifically for the convention.

One of the most popular items at anime conventions is the “artist alley.” This is a section of the convention where artists and designers sell their own unique creations. Fans can find everything from original artwork and prints to handmade jewelry and clothing.

One of the biggest benefits of attending an anime convention is the opportunity to get your hands on exclusive merchandise before anyone else. Some of these items are so rare and sought-after that they can only be purchased at the event. This makes anime conventions the perfect place for fans to connect, share their love for anime and manga, and get their hands on some truly unforgettable merchandise.

Exclusive Anime Convention Merchandise

The Biggest Anime Conventions in the US

If you’re looking for an unforgettable anime convention experience, the biggest events in the US are sure to deliver. These conventions are a mecca for anime fans, attracting visitors from all over the country and beyond. Here are some of the largest and most popular anime conventions in the US that you won’t want to miss.

Anime ExpoLos Angeles, CAJuly 2-5, 2022350,000+
Dragon ConAtlanta, GASeptember 2-5, 202285,000+
New York Comic ConNew York, NYOctober 6-9, 2022200,000+
San Diego Comic-ConSan Diego, CAJuly 21-24, 2022130,000+

Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in the US, with more than 350,000 attendees in 2019. This four-day event offers a variety of experiences, including industry panels, cosplay contests, and guest appearances from popular anime creators and voice actors.

Dragon Con is another massive convention that attracts anime fans alongside fans of science fiction, fantasy, and other pop culture genres. In addition to anime-related events and programming, Dragon Con offers a parade, a film festival, and a vendor hall filled with unique merchandise.

New York Comic Con is a multi-genre convention that features anime as a prominent component. The event offers a wide range of panels, screenings, and autograph sessions, as well as a massive exhibit hall filled with vendors and exhibitors.

San Diego Comic-Con is perhaps the most well-known pop culture convention in the US. Although it covers a wide range of pop culture topics, anime has a significant presence at the event. Attendees can enjoy anime screenings, cosplay events, and appearances from anime industry leaders and voice actors.

Whether you’re a die-hard anime fan or just starting to explore the genre, attending one of these massive anime conventions is an experience you won’t forget.

Biggest Anime Conventions in the US

Anime Convention Tickets: How to Secure Yours

Attending an anime convention is an exciting experience that many fans look forward to each year. However, with their growing popularity, tickets can sell out fast. To ensure you don’t miss out on the fun, it’s important to secure your anime convention tickets in advance.

Here are some tips to help you secure your spot:

  1. Buy early: Many anime conventions offer early bird ticket options that allow you to save money while securing your spot. Keep an eye out for these discounts and purchase your tickets as soon as possible.
  2. Check online: Most anime conventions sell their tickets online through their official website or ticketing platforms like Eventbrite. Stay informed about when ticket sales open and be ready to purchase as soon as they become available.
  3. Consider VIP options: Some anime conventions offer VIP tickets that provide additional perks like early admission, priority seating at panels, and exclusive merchandise. While more expensive, these options can be worth it for die-hard fans.
  4. Look for group discounts: If you’re attending with a group of friends, check to see if the convention offers group discounts. This can help save you money while ensuring everyone in your group gets a ticket.
  5. Check for discounts: Some anime conventions offer discounts for students, military personnel, or other groups. Be sure to check for these discounts to see if you qualify.

By following these tips, you can secure your anime convention tickets and be guaranteed a spot at the event. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience all the excitement and fun of these unforgettable events!

Anime convention tickets

Tips for a Memorable Anime Convention Experience

Attending an anime convention is an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming for first-timers. With so much to see and do, it’s important to plan ahead and make the most out of your time. Here are a few tips to ensure a memorable experience:

  • Research the convention schedule: Take a look at the convention schedule ahead of time and map out the events you want to attend. Don’t forget to factor in time for breaks and meals.
  • Plan your cosplay: If you plan on cosplaying, make sure you have your outfit ready and comfortable for the entire day. Consider bringing touch-up supplies like makeup and safety pins.
  • Connect with fellow fans: Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone in line or at a panel. This is a great opportunity to make new friends with shared interests.
  • Set a budget: Bring cash or set a spending limit on your card for merchandise and food. It’s easy to overspend at conventions, so be mindful of your budget.
  • Stay hydrated and well-fed: Conventions can be exhausting, so make sure to drink plenty of water and eat nutritious meals. This will help you stay energized and enjoy the convention to the fullest.

Remember, everyone’s convention experience is different. Don’t feel pressured to do everything on the schedule or conform to everyone else’s expectations. Take breaks when you need to and enjoy the convention at your own pace.

Anime Convention Tips

Tips for a Memorable Anime Convention Experience

Attending an anime convention can be an unforgettable experience, but it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared to get the most out of your weekend. Here are some tips to help you have a memorable time at your next anime convention:

Research in advance

Before you attend an anime convention, research the event schedule and plan out the panels, workshops, and events you want to attend. This will help you make the most of your time and ensure you don’t miss out on any of your must-see activities.

Create a budget

Conventions can be expensive, especially when it comes to merchandise and food. Before you attend, set a budget for yourself and stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and allow you to fully enjoy the experience without stressing about finances.

Prepare for the unexpected

Conventions can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for anything. Bring a bag with essentials like water, snacks, and a portable phone charger. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and be prepared for long lines and crowds.

Connect with other attendees

One of the best parts of anime conventions is the sense of community and camaraderie. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with other attendees and make new friends. Join in on group activities and events, and participate in cosplay contests and photo shoots.

Take breaks

Conventions can be overwhelming, both physically and mentally. Don’t be afraid to take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. Find a quiet spot to sit and relax, or take a stroll around the vendor hall to browse the merchandise.

By following these tips, you can have a fantastic time at your next anime convention. Remember to have fun, stay safe, and immerse yourself in all that the event has to offer!


Q: What are anime conventions?

A: Anime conventions are events that bring together fans of anime, manga, and Japanese culture. They feature various activities such as cosplay, panels, workshops, screenings, and merchandise vendors.

Q: Which are the popular anime conventions in the US?

A: Some of the popular anime conventions in the US include Anime Expo, Anime Central, Otakon, Sakura-Con, and Anime Weekend Atlanta.

Q: Why is exploring the anime convention schedule important?

A: Exploring the anime convention schedule in advance is important to plan your activities and make the most out of your experience. It helps you prioritize which panels, workshops, or events you want to attend.

Q: What is cosplay and how is it a part of anime conventions?

A: Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from anime, manga, video games, or other forms of media. It is a major part of anime conventions, allowing attendees to showcase their creativity and passion for their favorite characters.

Q: What are panels and workshops at anime conventions?

A: Panels and workshops are scheduled sessions where industry professionals, enthusiasts, or experts discuss various topics related to anime, manga, and Japanese culture. They offer opportunities for learning, discussion, and interaction.

Q: What is the allure of exclusive anime convention merchandise?

A: Exclusive anime convention merchandise includes rare collectibles, limited-edition items, and merchandise featuring popular anime or manga franchises. It adds to the excitement of attending the convention and gives fans a chance to find unique items.

Q: Which are the biggest anime conventions in the US?

A: Some of the biggest anime conventions in the US are Anime Expo, Dragon Con, New York Comic Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and FanimeCon. These conventions attract a large number of attendees and often feature high-profile guests.

Q: How can I secure anime convention tickets?

A: To secure anime convention tickets, you can check the official convention websites for ticket sales, sign up for early bird options, or purchase tickets online through authorized platforms. Some conventions also offer discounts for group purchases or early registration.

Q: What tips can enhance my anime convention experience?

A: To have a memorable anime convention experience, it is recommended to plan your schedule in advance, set a budget for merchandise and food, remember to stay hydrated and take breaks, and make time to explore all the different aspects of the convention.