[Top 10] Biggest Anime Events in the USA (Ranked)

A-Kon Rwby Panel Takes Flight

When you think about anime, do you automatically think “Japan!”? In most cases, yes, you’d be right to do so, but today our focus is on the United States of Smash! Oh, wait a minute, that's not correct… 

Today I’ve compiled a list of the biggest and best Anime events in The United States of America, the land of the free and home of the weeb. Let's take it from small to big! I’m sure some of these will be a bit surprising to even seasoned anime fans!


10. Crunchyroll Expo, San Jose California

-Crunchyroll Expo Cosplay Video

Crunchyroll is the ultimate in anime streaming, having just absorbed Funimation, they have solidified their place at the top. Now, all we need is for Crunchyroll to take One Punch Man back and we’ll be set. All this aside, they have a convention as well, which stands at an attendance of 16,000.

This number would be unprecedented for a small convention, but given Crunchyroll's name in the industry, it's no surprise they made it to this list. Let's take a peek at ticket prices before we peer deeper into the events at Crunchyroll Expo.

  • Three day pass, Adult - $135
  • One day pass, Adult - $65
  • Three day pass, Kids under 12 - $25

Now that that's done and dusted, it's pretty clear that as long as accommodations are affordable, it's a great deal to just get the three day pass, as you're paying for the full first two days and $5 for the third day. That being said, it's a good deal compared to THEIR one day pass price, which is on par with AnimeExpo in Los Angeles. 

AnimeExpo is much larger, with a bit more to do for a similar rate, but it's really up to the choice of supporting the business that provides us with all the Shonen an otaku can stomach, or a large convention that might be overwhelming due the sheer number of attendees. I know my pick.

Anyways, here are the events you can have some good fun with at Crunchyroll Expo!

  • New Crunchy City Music Fest: watch live performances all across the three day event
  • HoloLive Meet and Greet: All the big HoloLive Vtuber names, watch them perform, and more!
  • Voice Actor Panels and Q/A’s for Popular Shows
  • The Premier of Mob Psycho 100 III
  • Crunchyroll Cosplay Competition

With all this stuff over three days’ time, I’d say it's a pretty good deal, especially factoring the Artist Alley. Perhaps it's about time I scraped together a few hundred to get a grab bag or two.

Crunchyroll Expo Twitter: https://twitter.com/crunchyrollexpo


9. Youmacon, Michigan

-Youmacon Cosplay Music Montage


Youmacon is one of those hidden gems. At the very least, it's hidden to all but 22,000 or so attendees, which actually must mean it's not very well hidden. The event is held at the TCF center and the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.

This con is known mostly for its strict rules regarding attendee safety. They strongly put the rules out there: no roughhousing, no signs requesting money or lewd acts, no alcohol, no sleeping in public spaces, and in the rules, it is required that attendees take a freakin shower, making me wish all cons required that.

Let's start by looking at the ticket cost:

  • Full Three Day pass-$70
  • Friday pass-$40
  • Saturday pass-$50
  • Sunday pass-$30

- Thursday events require no pass, as they are open to the public.

These prices are actually pretty great, I don't see anything wrong with dropping an extra $20 on entrance considering most stays in town last more than a day.

The con has a few events it boasts about, one of which is its cosplay competition. The rules are strict, but the prize makes it worth the trouble, a cool $500 cash prize that is. The rules are, only Japanese media costumes with a reference picture, and no professional cosplayers, defined as earning 50% or more income off of cosplay creation and modeling.

Youmacon is to some people, a cosplay paradise. This is for good reason, as their strict enforcement of the rules keeps creepy hands from wandering, and playful hands from breaking your precious prop or armor. Take heed of the rule book, and you shall surely have a wonderful time. 

Youmacon Twitter: https://twitter.com/Youmacon


8. Sakura-Con, Seattle Washington

-Sakura-Con Cosplay Music Video

Sakura-Con is an April convention for anime fans galore set in sometimes gorgeous Seattle. If you’re a true anime fan and have been missing out on Sakura con, remember, the next one is coming up, and early registration is an option to get cheaper tickets. The event is rather impressive, standing at a solid 25,000 attendees every year.

Taking all that into account, it seems like an expensive endeavor, mostly if you are commuting to the event. Let's figure up those ticket price projections for next year to decide just how expensive it is!

  • Early Registration costs $60
  • Registration from 7/13 onward is $70

Any registered Sakura Con members have full three day access to the event and taking into account the amount of stuff to do and see, that seems pretty fair. That’s a fair bit better than other conventions charging $100+ for a weekend pass. 

Let's look at what you’ll be doing at the convention during your time moseying through town. 

The center is split into six areas: the Main Stage, the Autographs Room, the SakuraDome, and panel rooms 1-3. Here’s what to see in these areas!

  • The opening ceremony
  • Anime music video competition
  • A masquerade ball
  • Sakura Con Dance
  • Autographic meet and greet
  • K-pop classes, both advanced and beginner
  • Cosplay chess
  • Panels for many great anime, such as That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
  • Trivia contests
  • Q/A events

Plenty to do for a fair price, and as always, remember to pack lightly, as the artist alley demands it.

Sakura-Con Twitter: https://twitter.com/SakuraCon


7. Otakon, Washington D.C.

-Otakon Commercial

Otakon, a mixture of Otaku and convention, truly artistic in nature… or is it poetic? Maybe it's just a funny portmanteau. All my ramblings aside, Otakon is very popular, garnering over 28,000 attendees last year, and looking at breaking that record in the coming event.

With the sheer number of people in attendance, it will be a struggle to not get lost in the sea of cosplays, and an even bigger struggle to not let your wallet waste away in their absolutely enormous artists’ alley. Seriously, are we as humans truly built to withstand the allure of a full-size Oblivion Keyblade? If you make it past that, how can anyone be expected not to buy a figure from the rare product vendor. All I know is that Narmaya doesn’t get enough merch.

Ok, rant over, let's look at what you’ll be spending to get in the door:

  • Friday pass-$55
  • Saturday pass-$65
  • Sunday pass-$40
  • Full Weekend pass-$95
  • Kids weekend-$50

Not too bad for the amount of fun you're about to have. Is it the atmosphere? Is it the Maid Cafe? Is it that stinky dude next to you because it's not in the rules to shower beforehand? You may never know why you, as an otaku, feel the insurmountable pleasure of going to a convention, after all, we don’t make the rules of this hellscape, we just live by them.

Here’s a list of stuff to do at Otakon:

  • AMV Contest
  • Art Show
  • Artists’ Alley
  • Dance
  • OtaCafe
  • LARP
  • Lolita Garden
  • Dealers’ Hall
  • Manga Library
  • Lyra’s Formal Ball
  • Photo Suite
  • Portable Kaiju Super Battle League
  • Video Games
  • Masquerade Competition

Holy cow. The price of admission is absolutely worth it in my humblest of opinions. My only gripe is the loss of 95 dollars that could be spent on capitalistic pleasures.

Otakon Twitter: https://twitter.com/otakon/


6. Anime Weekend Atlanta

-Anime Weekend Atlanta Cosplay Video


Anime Weekend Atlanta is a weekend in Atlanta that focuses on anime. Catchy, right? Actually, it's an abhorrent mouthful of a name and I’m surprised they haven't tried to change it. 

Anyways, the event itself is actually quite incredible, making its debut in 1995 and going on to host 30,000 attendees annually. It's a brilliant not-so-little convention that lays its claim to be the largest anime convention in the southeast, which is surprisingly a very stable claim indeed.

Let's move on to ticket prices, because to have grown so brilliantly and made their presence known so well, they had to have good funding, right?

Yea but it doesn't feel extortionate. Depending on what dates you buy your membership for, you can get either a $75 ticket or an $80 ticket. They are the same ticket. You pick it up at the pre-registration booth and it comes with nothing. Alternatively, you pay at the event, in which case for a 4 day pass you pay $90, for a 3 day pass you pay $70 and for a 2 day pass you pay $60. Single days are as follows:

  • Thursday pass-$35
  • Friday or Saturday pass-$50
  • Sunday pass-$40

Looking at what can be done with the pass, it's probably best to consider your options carefully. Are you staying for more than one day? Get the appropriate pass. Are you staying for one day? Which day? Much to consider with so many options. You’d be well off ordering the advance four day ticket if you are unsure, as it's still cheaper than the regular four day pass and only very slightly more expensive than the plain three day pass. 

To determine just how worth it these passes are, we do need a look at the activities at the event, and they are as follows:

  • Ask an Anime Character: Voice actor Q/A
  • Cosplay Contest
  • Exhibit Hall
  • Fashion Show
  • ITASHA DISPLAY! (Yes, I am excited)
  • Maid Cafe
  • Manga Library
  • Starlight Idol Festival
  • Panels
  • Super Happy Fun Sell (I’m just as confused and intrigued as you)
  • Video Art Display
  • Video Games
  • Video Rooms
  • Table Top Games

Geez, that's a lot of stuff with a lot of promise. I think spending a few days here to truly experience the full force of the weekend is preferable. Also, no controversies. yay.

Anime Weekend Atlanta Twitter: https://twitter.com/awacon


5. A-Kon, Irving Texas

-A-Kon Cosplay Video

A-Kon is Something special to a lot of people, mostly it is a shining star in the anime world where outwardly liking and showing your preference toward anime is not so fun. Texas isn’t the least tolerant of places, but it certainly isn’t great for most unconventional fandoms. Irving is in itself a safe haven, A-Kon being their home base for anime lovers. 

If you look deep into A-Kon, you’ll eventually want to hear juicy tidbits. Good thing that there are none, and all you’ll find are the many controversies surrounding Akon the Rapper. Considering the things you can do at A-Kon, the ticket price is pretty good. You can currently only purchase full weekend passes, but they are only $70 for adults and $45 for kids 6-12, which is on par with one day passes from other similar conventions.

Here are some of the things you can look at jumping to and fro during A-Kon:

  • Charity Banquet
  • Cosplay Contest
  • Electronic Gaming
  • Exhibit Hall
  • Cosplay Meetups
  • TableTop Gaming
  • Arts Auction
  • Autographs
  • Live Music
  • Dances and Formals
  • Dealers’ Hall

A-Kon Twitter: https://twitter.com/weareakon


4. Anime Matsuri, Houston Texas

-Anime Matsuri Cosplay Video

Ah, bringing it back to controversies. Anime Matsuri has a good following, but it would be much larger if the creator didn’t have such controversy over terrible deeds. They currently stand at about 36,000 attendees, which puts them at the solid halfway point on this list. They have early registration pricing, making them competitive and a good option for those who truly enjoy planning ahead. Let’s take a quick peek at prices. From July the year before the event, to right before the event Prices increase as follows:

Adult Membership Badge goes from $55 to $95

Kids Membership Badge goes from $25 to $40

SuperPass Membership goes from $180 to $300

The stuff happening during the event is rather interesting. You can buy an add-on to your pass in the form of… dah dah dah daaaaa.. A $10 ticket to Hentai Fest! If that's not intriguing then I’m not sure if you're a true anime fan, and if you happen to be so, are you still too innocent to have eaten the lewd-lewd fruit?

Here’s the great lineup we have for the most recent Anime Matsuri:

  • Concerts
  • Fashion Show
  • Autographs and Meet/Greets
  • Formal Dance
  • Console Gaming
  • Cosplay Contest
  • Hentai Fest
  • Cosplay Cafe
  • Cosplay Escape Room
  • Nerdlesque Show (Burlesque nerdified)

If you ask me, these lewd events are cool, but I see the signs of a creator with an issue concerning boundaries. It goes without saying that if you want a picture, you ask first, and you never touch someone without clear consent at a convention. Basically, don’t be creepy and we can all continue to lead happy, convention-going lives. Oh yea, I don't support Anime Matsuri, in fact I support the boycott. Jon Leigh is a sin against human nature.

Anime Matsuri Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnimeMatsuri


3. Studio Ghibli Fest, Nationwide

-Studio Ghibli fest Trailer

Studio Ghibli Fest is a nationwide re-release of all the great Studio Ghibli movies. The greats we see this year are absolutely worth your time, with tickets, depending on location, ranging from $7.50 to $15.00. 

This event is a great way to bring a nerdy family together, and show the kids the movies that Studio Ghibli raised us on. Kids tickets tend to be a markdown, so take advantage of that to bond with your child over a magical adventure sure to help them grow up unapologetically themselves.

It's time to heal your inner child as well and to do so, it may just be time to bring ourselves drudging through the theater doors so that we may frolic once more along the open fields of Totoro’s domain, or fly through the sky on winged machines with howl’s winged self by our side. 

The ones coming up in August are Kiki’s Delivery Service and Only Yesterday, but if you want to see the best one out of the whole lineup, go in for Spirited Away. I’m sure that's really no surprise as a suggestion.

Studio Ghibli USA Twitter: https://twitter.com/GhibliUSA


2. Release of Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train

-Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train Trailer

The release of Mugen Train was met with many things, rave reviews being one of them. This was arguably one of the biggest moments in USA anime history, as the release saw a gross profit of 19.5 million dollars and a lot of delectable memes. 

One of the most brilliant memes to come out of the release is of course shouting at the top of your lungs, “ARIN YEAGER” during the showing, and the meme eventually evolved to shouting it pretty much anywhere it might make something a tad bit funny. Another meme… a detestable meme, and I only say so because it is so funny in the darkest way,


Calling our dearest Rengoku... A donut. 

I have officially given up on my own humanity in return for finding this atrocity funny.

Demon Slayer Mugen Train Twitter: https://twitter.com/SlayerMugenSub


1. Anime Expo, Los Angeles California

-Anime Expo Cosplay Highlights Video

It's about time we get to the blue whale of the list. Before we begin, I have to remind myself and everyone reading, big doesn’t mean best. Anime Expo is number 1 on this list because it has attendance numbers that tend to reach over 100,000 attendees, and this list is about the largest events in America. If we were going by quality, I would put Youmacon, for its unique concept and optimal time of year.

The main point is, Anime Expo is big and expensive, so people with that money to burn go there, and burn a hefty wad of cash they do. Let's look at ticket prices that bring depression to the depressed, even though the event isn't worth it anyway:

  • Four day badge-$80
  • Kids four day badge-$35
  • Premiere Fan Badge-$415

That's it, you get three options and two of them are nigh unreachable. Turns out, not a lot of us are under 12 years old and most of us can't shell out nearly $500 for a badge that only grants us early access and priority access to lines. This is an event for the rich anime fan to enjoy, but let's look at their activities while we’re checking them out, keeping in mind, most of these are ticketed, so an extra price just to enter:

  • Live Concerts
  • Neon District
  • Masquerade
  • AMV Competition
  • Film showings
  • Maid Cafe
  • Butler Cafe (Subverting Expectations)
  • Artists’ Alley
  • Exhibition Hall
  • Dealers’ Hall

And that's it. For five hundred dollars you get early access. Honestly just go with the early listings, this is not worth it. Spend the money you’d pay for the premium ticket on a hotel room for A-Kon or Youmacon. Seriously, who let our capitalistic tendencies get this bad… oh wait… we did.

Anime Expo Twitter: https://twitter.com/animeexpo


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Sam is a scholar from the high hills of MidYork, wherein he spent many years developing his love for literature and gaming excellence. Have faith, ye fallen Brethren, greatness is approaching!
Gamer Since: 2009
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Elden Ring
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOOM, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Far Cry 4

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