[Top 10] Biggest Anime Conventions in the World

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 [Top 10] Biggest Anime Conventions in the World

By Cat Fox

How big is the biggest anime convention?

Anime conventions are a popular source of entertainment for geeks.  The chance to bond with fellow fans, look for cool merchandise, or see your favorite celebrity is what draws us to these cons.  Here is a look at some of the ten biggest conventions, picked by peak capacity.

10. Anime Matsuri, United States

Anime Matsuri 2019 Recap

Anime Matsuri is held in Houston, Texas, and is the second-largest anime convention in America.  While recent controversies have cut the total attendees down from 40,000 attendees in 2018 to 29,000 in 2019, as of this writing it is still one of the most popular anime conventions in the United States.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ Anime Matsuri hosts the Godzilla store, a place for all things 'Zilla. And maybe some Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Gigan too 

⦁ An episode of the reality show Heroes of Cosplay was filmed at Anime Matsuri

⦁Plenty of video game demonstrations and tournaments in the Amusement Hall

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnimeMatsuri/

9. Heroes Manga Madrid, Spain

You want comic relief?  You'll find it right here

Formerly known as Expomanga, Heroes Manga Madrid is Spain's second-largest convention with 58,000 fans attending in 2017.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ Martial arts demonstrations include kicking butt in Kendo, Kung-fu, and Aikido

⦁ The Premios Heroes Manga, or "Manga Heroes Awards" gives fans a chance to vote for their favorite manga, authors, fanzines, and many others

⦁ Professional cosplayers offer classes for all levels to improve your cosplay

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/heroesmangamadrid/ (In Spanish)

8. Comic Fiesta, Malaysia

Some of the fantastic cosplay you'll see there

Comic Fiesta is one of Southeast Asia's largest conventions, bringing in 65,000 visitors in 2019.    It plays host to the biggest amateur creative market in Malaysia, as well as to many guests in the comic, music, and animation industries.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ The convention doesn't just happen once a year; Comic Fiesta also brings two mini conventions in addition to the big one

⦁ Comic Fiesta's Creative Art Market has over 100 booths to showcase emerging artists, selling posters and self-published comics

⦁ Comic Fiesta offers live art demonstrations, along with portfolio reviews

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ComicFiesta/

7. HYPER Japan, England

A brief look at HYPER Japan

Based in London, HYPER JAPAN offers a close look at Japanese culture, fashion, and food.  Held twice a year in summer and winter, it brought in 86,000 anime fans at its peak in the summer of 2015.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ Exhibitions in all aspects of Japanese life, including games, food, and music

⦁ Photo ops with popular mascot characters, such as Hello Kitty or Pikachu

⦁ If you're over 18, you can sample and purchase over 30 different varieties of sake, a Japanese rice wine, at the Sake Experience

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hyperjapan/

6. Anime Expo, United States

This is the Big One!

Anime Expo, or AX for short, takes place in Los Angeles, with over 115,000 people coming in.  It's the largest convention in North America.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ AX is celebrating its 30th year in 2021, with a fan art contest of its mascots

⦁ The World Cosplay Summit USA finals are held at Anime Expo

⦁ AX runs a Digital Influencer program to encourage positive online anime content creation and interactions

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/animeexpo

5. Anime Festival Asia

From Southeast Asia right to you

Held in multiple countries, AFA has been based in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.  The largest conventions, held in Singapore, have seen 120,000 visitors.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ The AFA Film Fest shows the latest in anime movies

⦁ Meet and Greets for popular voice actors and singers

⦁ Dozens of guests, including local performers and celebrity cosplayers

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/animefestivalasia

4. Anime Japan, Tokyo

A lot of attendees means a lot of cosplay

Probably the most recent example on the list, Anime Japan is a merger between two former conventions that started in 2014.  Its last run brought in over 140,000 attendees.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ The AJ Illust Walk showcases art from manga artists and other famous illustrators

⦁ Get a behind-the-scenes look at creating anime at the Production Works Gallery

⦁ Anime Japan comes with multiple stages for more movie and concert action

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/animejapan.aj/

3. Manga Barcelona, Spain

Celebrating their 25th anniversary

Formerly known as Salón Del Manga, which translates to "Manga Room" in Spanish, Manga Barcelona is Spain's biggest anime convention, bringing in over 150,000 people in 2018.  

What's unique about this event:

⦁ The Spanish preliminaries for the World Cosplay Summit are held here, in addition to other cosplay contests and karaoke contests

⦁ Otaquiz offers a chance to test your anime knowledge

⦁ Need something for the younger fans?  Manga Kids has you covered

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Ficomic-327447315516/

2. Japan Expo, France

An extraordinary convention

The largest anime convention outside of Japan, the Expo had over 252,000 visitors in 2019.  Based in Paris, Japan Expo runs multiple events in Belgium as well as other places in France.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ Japan Expo has its own currency.  Called "Jens," as a play on the word "yen," this fictional currency can be earned through activities, and spent at the Jens shop.  Jens won't expire and can be used next time

⦁ Workshops and demonstrations on a wide variety of events, including sports, food, and art

⦁ Want to avoid the crowd? The rush hour schedule lets you know how to avoid the worst lines

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/japanexpo

1. Comiket, Japan

Comiket's Cosplay, close-up

You might have already heard of this one.  Comiket, short for "Comic Market," is the largest anime and manga convention in the world, bringing in over 750,000 fans, aspiring artists, and cosplayers in 2019.  That's more than half a million people for those of you that, like me, stink at math.  Comiket is Japan's largest indoor public gathering.

What's unique about this event:

⦁ Comiket's main attraction is manga, and it's the best place to pick up self-published works called "Doujinshi"

⦁ Comiket is held twice a year, in August and December.  Due to the sheer number of fans coming in, the lines can reach up to an hour long

⦁ Because manga uses a lot of paper, Comiket sponsors a woodlands conservation donation drive, raising the equivalent of approximately half a million U.S. dollars

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComicMarketOfficial/

And that's my list.  I hope you enjoyed reading it.

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