Top 10 Biggest Anime Conventions in the US: Your Ultimate Guide

NECA 2023 Convention & Trade Show
Source: NECA 2023 Convention & Trade Show

Anime conventions are not just events but a vibrant community celebrating the unique artistry of Japanese animation or anime. As one of the biggest anime conventions in the United States, these festivals bring together thousands of anime fans, cosplayers, and pop culture enthusiasts from around the world for a thrilling weekend of cosplay contests, video game tournaments, and a chance to meet voice actors from popular anime series. This guide will introduce you to some of the biggest and best anime conventions that take place every year, each with its own unique atmosphere and activities.

What Is a Good Anime Convention?

A good anime convention offers more than just a massive event for anime fans. It’s an environment that combines Japanese pop culture, anime, and manga in one of the largest anime gatherings. The best anime conventions provide attendees with an engaging experience, including activities such as tabletop gaming, masquerade ball, cosplay contests, and video game competitions. These conventions often take place over three to four days, offering a wealth of experiences for both newcomers and seasoned attendees alike.

Japan anime cosplay , white japanese miko in white tone room

1. Anime Boston: A Thematic Convention with a Twist

One of the biggest anime conventions is Anime Boston, taking place every year in Boston, Massachusetts. As the name suggests, this convention is all about anime, with a unique twist. Every year, Anime Boston adopts a different theme, making each convention a new and exciting experience. Fans flock from all corners of the country, making it one of the top anime conventions in the US. The event features various cosplay contests, video game tournaments, and live performances, making it a favorite among anime fans.

2. Anime Matsuri: Where Anime and Automotive Culture Meet

Held annually in Houston, Texas, Anime Matsuri is one of the biggest anime conventions in the US. It has made a name for itself by blending anime and automotive culture. It’s not only about anime and manga; this convention includes car shows, J-fashion, music, and Japanese pop culture. In addition to cosplay and video games, attendees can also partake in car shows showcasing Japan’s automobile culture, making Anime Matsuri a unique experience for enthusiasts.

3. Youmacon: Michigan’s Spookiest Anime Gathering

Taking place in downtown Detroit as an annual convention, Youmacon is Michigan’s largest and one of the biggest anime conventions, providing a spooky yet enthralling experience for anime fans. Often held around Halloween, it transforms the city into a hotspot for anime, gaming, and Japanese pop culture. Youmacon has become one of the most popular anime conventions, with its engaging panel discussions, a charity banquet, and a blood drive, demonstrating that even while immersed in a world of fantasy, attendees can contribute to real-world causes.

4. A-Kon: A Longstanding Tradition in Anime Celebration

Started in 1990, A-Kon in Texas holds the title as the longest running of the biggest anime conventions. It is a premier anime convention in dallas. And it’s a four-day event that has consistently delivered high-quality content for attendees. A-Kon is known for its extensive schedule, including video game tournaments, panel discussions, and a masquerade ball. Every year, fans in their favorite characters’ costumes flock to this convention, making it one of the best anime cons for cosplayers and anime enthusiasts alike.

5. Fanimecon: Cosplay and Gaming Take Center Stage

Located in San Jose, California, Fanimecon has become a major anime event that brings together anime fans, cosplayers, and video game enthusiasts for a fun-filled weekend. Known for its family-friendly atmosphere and strict rules to ensure a safe experience, Fanimecon is widely recognized as one of the best anime conventions. It hosts numerous activities, including video game tournaments, live performances, and a masquerade ball, ensuring there is always something for everyone to enjoy.

6. Anime Weekend Atlanta: A Hotspot for Anime Music Videos

Held annually in Atlanta, Georgia, Anime Weekend Atlanta is a must-visit destination for anime music video fans. It’s not only one of the biggest anime conventions but also a stage where video creators can showcase their work in a massive event. Beyond just anime, this convention also celebrates Japanese pop culture, offering a unique blend of music, fashion, and anime, earning its place as one of the top anime conventions.

7. Anime Central: A Focus on the Animation Industry

Hosted by the Midwest Animation Promotion Society, Anime Central is the largest anime convention in the Midwest and one of the top anime conventions in the US. This convention is a must-visit for any anime enthusiast, as it brings together voice actors, directors, and animators from around the world. In addition, Anime Central offers a variety of programming, including video game competitions, tabletop gaming, and a wide variety of panels and workshops, making it one of the best anime conventions for industry insights.

8. Sakura-Con: A Gem of the Pacific Northwest

Taking place at the Washington State Convention Center, Sakura-Con is the largest anime convention in the Pacific Northwest. This three-day event attracts anime and manga fans from all over the country, making it one of the biggest anime conventions. Sakura-Con offers a wide range of events such as cosplay contests, cultural panels, game shows, musical performances, and even a charity auction. Its focus on celebrating Japanese culture alongside anime and manga content has earned Sakura-Con its place among the best anime conventions.

9. Anime Expo: Bridging Anime with Japanese Culture and Art

The Anime Expo, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, stands as one of the biggest anime conventions globally. This four-day event gathers over 100,000 attendees every year, making it the largest gathering of anime fans in North America. Alongside the celebration of anime and manga, the Anime Expo hosts an array of Japanese cultural activities, artist workshops, and high-profile concerts, making it the biggest anime convention for a comprehensive experience of Japanese pop culture.

10. Otakon: Fan-Run with a Blend of Anime and Music

Last but not least, we arrive at Otakon, a fan-run anime convention that takes place every July weekend in Washington, D.C. Otakon is one of the longest-running and biggest anime conventions, known for its unique blend of anime, music, and more. It hosts an array of events, including musical performances, movie screenings, and insightful panels. Its dedication to celebrating Japanese culture through various forms of entertainment makes Otakon one of the best anime cons in the US.

Planning Your Visit to These Major Anime Conventions

► For visitors:

  • Securing Tickets and Accommodation
  • Understanding the Convention’s Schedule and Confirm With Organizers
Anime ConventionsTimeLocationVenue
Anime BostonApril 7-9, 2023Boston, MassachusettsHynes Convention Center
Anime MatsuriAugust 10-13, 2023Houston, TexasGeorge R. Brown Convention Center
YoumaconNovember 2-5, 2023Detroit, MichiganHuntington Place / Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
A-KonJune 2-4, 2023Irving, TexasIrving Convention Center at Las Colinas / Toyota Music Factory
FanimeconMay 26-29, 2023San Jose, CASan Jose McEnery Convention Center
Anime Weekend AtlantaOctober 26-29, 2023Atlanta, GARenaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center / Cobb Galleria Centre
Anime CentralMay 19-21, 2023Rosemont, ILDonald E. Stephens Convention Center / Hyatt Regency O’Hare
Sakura-ConApril 7-9, 2023Seattle, WASeattle Convention Center
Anime ExpoJuly 1-4, 2023Los Angeles, CALos Angeles Convention Center
OtakonJuly 28-30, 2023Washington, DCWalter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Packing Accordingly

► For Exhibitors:

  • Designing the Booths
  • Planning for Rest and Recovery
  • Exploring the Surrounding Area

Conclusion: Join the Anime Community at the Biggest Conventions in the U.S.

There you have it – the top 10 biggest anime conventions in the US. These conventions are more than just a gathering of anime fans. They are a testament to the far-reaching influence of Japanese culture, animation, and pop culture around the world.

Whether you’re an anime veteran or a newcomer looking to explore this exciting medium, these conventions provide an unparalleled experience. Make your plans, pack your cosplay, and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the heart of anime culture at the biggest anime conventions in the US.

Ace Your Anime Convention with Aplusexpo

Aplusexpo, with its proven expertise in booth design and booth construction, is your perfect partner for shining at top anime conventions. Their complete, customized, and professional services guarantee a standout presence at any event, letting you focus on celebrating the vibrant world of animation. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. Choose Aplusexpo for an unforgettable anime convention exhibit.

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