Conventions 2013528-Anime-North-38

Published on October 3rd, 2013 | by Brittany Johnston

18

Top 50 Chronological Anime Conventions to Visit Before You Die


UPDATE:

21 conventions have been added to the original list of 50. The list now extends from January to February. We hope you find some of your favourites on the updated list!

Editorial Note:

We’d like to thank everyone for the awesome feedback received. We do listen to every single comment and will be working hard on updating this chronological list with a “Why these conventions are so awesome” section as well. An anime conventions worldwide listing is also in the works. Rock on and keep on sharing to help your fellow con goers!

Did you know that Anime conventions are not just a place for fans of anime, manga and japanese culture to meet but have an even larger number of attendees participating from the Cosplay community than most other types of fan conventions?

For the veteran con goers finding these events is a breeze. However for those who have never attended an anime convention before or have just begun their cosplaying journey finding out information about these events can be a feat in itself.

So if you’ve ever kicked yourself in the butt for missing a con then our list below should help.

Since none of the staff at Comics and Cosplay have actually attended give or take fifty conventions in North America it would be unfair to rank them based on which conventions we think are the best. The list is ordered by the time of year the conventions take place starting in January, which should also make it easier when planning out your conventions schedule for the year.

Let us know in the comment box below which anime conventions you’ve visited this year and give us a shout if we forgot your favourite one :-)

1. Ohayocon, Columbus, Ohio

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About this convention:

Ohayocon is held annually in January at the Hyatt Regency Columbus hotel and Columbus Convention Center. Fun fact Ohayo is pronounced the same as the name of the state, Ohio, where the convention is held. Ohayo (おはよう) is the Japanese expression for “good morning.”

When it takes place:
January

Where to buy online tickets:

centaurstage.com/ohayocon

Attendance:

12,500

2. SacAnime, Sacramento, California

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About this convention:

Sac-Anime is an extension of Sacramento Toy, and Anime Show (Sac-Con). It takes place semi-annually at the Sacramento Convention Centre in January and August.

When it takes place:

January and August

Where to buy online tickets:

sacconventions.com

Attendance (2013):

9,000

3. Anime Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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About this convention:

Anime Milwaukee is an annual convention that takes place at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee & Delta Centre in February. The convention was started by the anime club at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007.

When it takes place:

February

Where to buy online tickets:

animemilwaukee.com

Attendance (2013):

4,816

4. Kami-Con, Birmingham, Alabama

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About this convention:

Kami-Con is an annual convention organized by the Bama SOS Brigade at the University of Alabama beginning in 2009. Originally held at the University of Alabama, the con was moved to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in 2013 .Unique to Kami-Con is a section dedicated to Pokemon related activities fittingly named the PokéCenter .

When it takes place:

February

Where to buy online tickets:

Kamicon.net

Attendance (2011):

2,300

5. Katsucon, National Harbor, Maryland

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About this convention:

Katsucon is the tenth largest anime convention in North America. It takes place at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center from mid to late February. The convention centre is also a resort so there are many beautiful locations within it to take excellent cosplay photos.

When it takes place:

February

Where to buy online tickets:

Katsucon.org

Attendance (2012):

12,614

6. Naka-Kon, Overland Park, Kansas

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About this convention:

Naka-Kon is A Kansas based convention organized by the University of Kansas anime club. The convention is hosted annually at the Overland Park Convention Center in either February or March.

When it takes place:

February/March

Where to buy online tickets:

https://naka-kon.com

Attendance (2011):

4,684

7. Anime Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

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About this convention:

Anime Boston is one of the largest anime conventions on the East Coast. Organized by the New England Anime Society, the convention takes place at the Hynes Convention Center in the spring. The Boston Phoenix has named Anime Boston the “Best Nerd Gathering” for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012.

When it takes place:

Spring

Where to buy online tickets:

Animeboston.com

Attendance (2013):

21,825

8. Anime Matsuri, Houston, Texas

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About this convention:

Anime Matsuri is an anime convention in Houston, Texas that takes place in early spring. Anime Matsuri has been a host of the Midwest Qualifier and US Finals for the World Cosplay Summit since 2005. The con is being relocated to the George R. Brown Convention Center for 2014.

When it takes place:

March/April

Where to buy online tickets:

Animematsuri.com

Attendance (2013):

14,989

9. Con-Nichiwa, Tucson, Arizona

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About this convention:

Con-Nichiwa is hosted in Arizona by Monkey Paw Entertainment, typically at the end of March. In the past the convention has taken place at the Holiday Inn Palo Verde but will be moving to the Tucson Convention Center in 2014.

When it takes place:

March

Where to buy online tickets:

con-nichiwa.com/attending/registration

Attendance (2013):

1,310

10. EvilleCon, Evansville, Indiana

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About this convention:

EvilleCon is an annual convention held in the spring in Evansville, Indiana. The con started out as a free one day convention at the Evansville Central Library. The convention has since expanded to a three day convention that charges admission. EvilleCon will be taking place at the Clarion Inn in 2014.

When it takes place:

March or April

Where to buy online tickets:

evillecon.com (starting October)

Attendance (2011):

860

11. Kawaii Kon, Honolulu, Hawaii

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About this convention:

Kawaii Kon is the only anime convention held in Hawaii. The con is an annual three day event aking place in the spring at the Hawaii Convention Center. If you are an anime fan and don’t live in Hawaii Kawaii Kon is a great excuse to start planning your vacation!

When it takes place:

March/April

Where to buy online tickets:

kawaii-kon.org

Attendance (2013):

6,942

12. NashiCon, Columbia , South Carolina

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About this convention:

NashiCon was started in 2008 by the University of South Carolina anime club. It is held annually at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in March or April.

When it takes place:

March/April

Where to buy online tickets:

https://nashicon2014.eventbrite.com/

Attendance (2012):

1,285

13. Tekkoshocon, Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania

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About this convention:

Tekkoshocon is a four day convention taking place annually in March or April. The con is hosted at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh with offsite events held at the Hollywood Theater Dormont.

When it takes place:

March/April

Where to buy online tickets:

tekkoshocon.com

Attendance (2012):

3,600

14. Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC), Nashville Tennessee

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About this convention:

MTAC is an annual convention hosted at the Nashville Convention Center and Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The con is usually set for the Easter holiday weekend. For all those ramen lovers out there MTAC features a ramen eating contest!

When it takes place:

March/April

Where to buy online tickets:

The website (http://mtac.net/inlove/) is currently under construction. You can check out their Facebook page for the latest news on the convention at facebook.com/mtac.net.

Attendance (2012):

7,200

15. Momocon, Atlanta, Georgia

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About this convention:

Momocon is in Atlanta Georgia, hosted at the Hilton Atlanta hotel and Mariott hotel. Usually held in March, but is set for the end of May in 2014 during the Memorial Day weekend.

When it takes place:

March/May

Where to buy online tickets:

www.momocon.com/registration

Attendance:

12,200

16. Zenkaikon, Lancaster , Pennsylvania

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About this convention:

Zenkaikon is an annual three-day convention hosted in the spring at the Lancaster County Convention Center. The name of the convention is the merging of Kosaikon and Zentrakon, which came together in 2006 to create Zenkaikon.

When it takes place:

Spring

Where to buy online tickets:

zenkaikon.com/registration

Attendance (2013):

3,000 (approx.)

17. Anime Detour, Bloomington, Minnesota

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About this convention:

Anime Detour is an annual three day convention hosted in March or April at the Double Tree by Hilton Bloomington Minneapolis South. Anime Detour is noted for its community outreach. Anime Twin Cities, who is the organizer behind Anime Detour, has a Community Fund which has been used to raise money to help cover medical expenses for anime voice actors Greg Ayres and Carrie Savage, and for giving back to the community by donating to local libraries and the Geek Partnership Society.

When it takes place:

March/April

Where to buy online tickets:

animedetour.com/registeronline

Attendance (2013):

5,000

18. Sakura-Con, Seattle , Washington

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About this convention:

Sakura-Con is the seventh largest Anime Convention in North America. It is organized by the Asia-Northwest Cultural Association (ANCEA) and is held at the Washington State Convention Center. It usually takes place during the month of March or April.

When it takes place:

March or April

Where to buy online tickets:

sakuracon.org

Attendance:

21,457

19. Animazement, Raleigh , North Carolina

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About this convention:

Animazement is an annual convention that takes place on the Memorial Day Weekend at the Raleigh Convention Center. Unlike most conventions Animazement has recently introduced a one badge policy. Instead of having a weekend badge and individual one-day badges with different prices, Animazement has one set price for badges that allows attendees access to the convention for the entire weekend.

When it takes place:

May

Where to buy online tickets:

animazement.com/attendee-registration

Attendance (2013):

7,500+ (approx.)

20. Fanime, San Jose, California

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About this convention:

Fananime is one of the ten largest fan-run anime conventions in North America. The convention is hosted annually at the San Jose McEnery Center at the end of May on the Memorial Day weekend.

When it takes place:

May

Where to buy online tickets:

fanime.com

Attendance (2012):

21,000

21. Anime North, Toronto, Ontario

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About this convention:

The BEST anime convention in the whole universe (Yeah we’re biased. It’s Canadian ^^ and the writer has attended it for the past three years).

Anime North is a non-profit, fan-run convention held at the end of May usually during the Memorial Day weekend (the weekend after Victoria Day). It is the largest Anime convention in Canada and takes place at six venues: Toronto Congress Centre, Double Tree International Plaza Hotel, The Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel, Mariott Toronto Airport, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and Radisson Suites Hotel.

When it takes place:

May

Where to buy online tickets:

animenorth.com (eventbrite)

Attendance (2013):

23,700

22. Anime Central (ACen), Rosemont, Illinois

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About this convention:

Anime Central is the third largest anime convention in North America. ACen takes place annually in May at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. A guest was married at the convention in 2001 and in 2012 there was a cosplay wedding held at ACen.

When it takes place:

May

Where to buy online tickets:

https://www.acen.org/content/registration-info

Attendance (2013):

28,692

23. Otafest, Calgary, Alberta

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About this convention:

Otafest (which is another con in the Great White North ^^) is an annual three day convention hosted at the University of Calgary in May. Otafest is a non-profit organization and the convention is run by volunteers. Otafest also runs mini, one-day convention in November named Otafest Aurora.

When it takes place:

May

Where to buy online tickets:

otafest.com/register

Attendance:

4,947

24. A-kon (a.k.a. Project A-kon), Dallas, Texas

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About this convention:

A-kon is the longest anime convention in North America and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year. It usually takes place in the Sheraton Dallas hotel but will be hosted at Hilton Anatole hotel in 2014.

When it takes place:

May/June

Where to buy online tickets:

a-kon.com

Attendance (2012):

21,982

25. Anime Evolution, Vancouver , British Columbia

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About this convention:

Anime Evolution is an annual three day convention in Vancouver, British Columbia. It usually takes place in either June or August. AE was originally hosted at the Simon Fraser Valley University in Burnaby, B.C. It moved to the University of British Columbia in 2011. The convention was on hiatus that year due to legal issues that AE Corp faced. In 2012 it was taken over by Vancouver Anime Convention Society and returned as a three-day con in 2013.

When it takes place:

Summer

Where to buy online tickets:

Animeevolution.com

Attendance (2013):

2,611

26. Anime Mid-Atlantic (AMA), Chesapeake, Virginia

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About this convention:

Anime Mid-Atlantic is an annual con held at the Chesapeake Conference Center, typically on the Father’s Day weekend.

*There is an order form available online for pre-registration however it is for mail-ins only. You can pay by credit card but it is via telephone. To do this you must e-mail the organizers at animemidatlantic@yahoo.com with your name, phone number, address and the best time to reach you

When it takes place:

June

Where to buy online tickets:

animemidatlantic.com/registration.php *

27. AnimeNEXT, Somerset , New Jersey

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About this convention:

AnimeNEXT is an annual convention that takes place in June at the Garden State Exhibit Center. The con is the largest independent anime convention in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.

When it takes place:

June

Where to buy online tickets:

animenext.org/registration/

Attendance:

10, 283

28. ColossalCon, Sandusky, Ohio

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About this convention:

ColossalCon is a great con to kick your summer off with. Set in early June, the convention takes place at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky which has the largest indoor water park in the country. ColossalCon 2014 will be taking place on the weekend of June 5TH .

When it takes place:

June

Where to buy online tickets:

colossalcon.com (pre-reg start date TBA)

Attendance (2011):

5,000 (approx.)

29. Metrocon, Tampa , Florida

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About this convention:

Metrocon is the largest anime convention in Florida. It is hosted annually in either June or July at the Tampa Convention Center. The convention is near its goal of reaching 10,000 unique attendees, at which point Metrocon plans to add a fourth day to the three-day con.

When it takes place:

June/July

Where to buy online tickets:

metroconventions.com (pre-reg for 2014 begins Jan 1st)

Attendance (2013):

9,915

30. MizuCon, Miami , Florida

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About this convention:

Mizu-con is an annual three day convention in Miami, Florida that began in 2008. In 2013 the con was hosted at Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel and Executive.

When it takes place:

June or August

Where to buy online tickets:

mizucon.com/registration

Attendance (2012):

1,510

31. OMGcon, Kentucky, Owensboro

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About this convention:

OMGcon is a three-day anime convention held in June in Owensboro Kentucky. And yes the letters O-M-G does stand for “Oh My God!” In the past OMGcon has been held at The Julian Carrol Convention Center. It will be moving to the Owensboro Convention Center for 2014 and 2015 to allow for the convention to expand.

When it takes place:

June

Where to buy online tickets:

OMGcon’s website is currently under construction. Updates can be found on the OMGcon Facebook page: facebook.com/omgcon

Attendance (2013):

1,500+ (approx.)

32. PortConMaine, South Portland, Maine

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About this convention:

PortConMaine is a four day con that runs Thursday to Sunday in late June or July. The Thursday is only open to pre-registered attendees. The con is hosted annually at the Double Tree hotel in South Portland, Maine.

When it takes place:

June/July

Where to buy online tickets:

portconmaine.com (online registration info coming soon)

Attendance (2012):

2,306

33. SoDak Con, Rapid City , South Dakota

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About this convention:

SoDak Con is an annual convention that takes place in either May or June at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The name of the convention is a shortening of the state it takes place in, South Dakota. SoDak is a fairly new convention that began in 2009.

When it takes place:

May/June

Where to buy online tickets:

sdcon.org/preregistration.html

Attendance (2013):

3,000+

34. Animaritime, Fredericton, New Brunswick

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About this convention:

Animaritime is an anime and gaming convention hosted annually at the Fredericton Convention Center in New Brunswick. Animaritime was the first anime convention in the maritime region in Canada. It is usually takes place in early summer.

When it takes place:

June/July

Where to buy online tickets:

The con’s website is currently under construction (animaritime.org). You can check the Facebook page for the latest updates on the convention: facebook.com/groups/118354031521656/

Attendance:

1,702

35. Anime Festival Wichita, Wichita, Kansas

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About this convention:

Anime Festival Wichita (AFW) is an annual three-day convention hosted at the Hyatt Regency Witchita. The convention usually takes place in early to mid July.

When it takes place:

June/July

Where to buy online tickets:

http://afwcon.org/tickets/

Attendance (2012):

3,000 (approx.)

36. Anime Expo, Los Angeles, California

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About this convention:

Anime Expo is THE anime convention. It is the largest in the United States, usually taking place on the July 4th weekend in Los Angeles, California. The convention is currently hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center. AX has been known for having high-profile Japanese guests due to its relationships with the Japanese side of the anime industry as well as the American side.

When it takes place:

July

Where to buy online tickets:

Anime Expo.org

Attendance (2013):

61,000

37. Ikasucon, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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About this convention:

Ikasucon

When it takes place:

July

Where to buy online tickets:

ikasucon.org/registration.php

Attendance (2013):

1,500 (approx)

38. Otakon, Baltimore, Maryland

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About this convention:

Otakon is the second largest anime convention in the U.S. and one of the longest running anime conventions in North America. The Con takes place annually in July or August at the Baltimore Convention Center.

When it takes place:

July/August

Where to buy online tickets:

http://otakon.com/registration.asp

Attendance:

34,892

39. Sogen Con, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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About this convention:

Sogencon is a three day anime con hosted at the Sioux Falls Convention Center every summer. In 2011 Sogen started a Kickstarter to raise $15,000 to cover the costs of the con. The South Dakota anime community rallied together and reached the goal within two weeks! The name Sogen originates from the Japanese word for prairie.

When it takes place:

July/August

Where to buy online tickets:

sogencon.org

Attendance (2011):

600 (approx.)

40. Tokyo in Tulsa (TNT), Tulsa , Oklahoma

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About this convention:

Tokyo in Tulsa has evolved from a Halloween block party in 2005 to a three day anime convention. TNT hosts Oklahoma’s largest game event and is typically held in July or August.

When it takes place:

July/August

Where to buy online tickets:

tokyointulsa.com/registration

Attendance (2013):

6,000

41. Anime Festival Orlando (AFO), Orlando, Florida

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About this convention:

AFO is hosted annually at Orlando, Florida. The con is usually hosted at Wyndham Orlando Resort between the end of July and the beginning of August. This year the convention was held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, directly across the street from SeaWorld due to hotel construction. AFO has earned the title as being “Florida’s Favorite Anime Convention.”

When it takes place:

July/August

Where to buy online tickets:

animefestivalorlando.com (eventbrite)

Attendance (approx):

1,000+

42. AnimeIowa, Coralville, Iowa

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About this convention:

AnimeIowa is an ever expanding anime convention hosted ever year at the Coralville Mariott Hotel & Conference Center. The convention is run by the non-profit Mindbridge Foundation. The majority of attendees cosplay on at least one of the three days of the convention. AnimeIowa 2014 will be held from July 25 through July 27.

When it takes place:

July/August

Where to buy online tickets:

animeiowa.com/registration/online-registration

Attendance 2013 (approx):

3,000+

43. San Japan, San Antonio, Texas

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About this convention:

San Japan is the largest fan convention in San Antonio, Texas. The convention is hosted at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Grand Hyatt San AntonioUnique to this convention, every year San Japan has a different theme. In 2014 the con’s theme will be villains.

When it takes place:

July/August

Where to buy online tickets:

san-japan.org

Attendance (2013):

11,077

44. Otakuthon, Montreal, Quebec

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About this convention:

Otakuthon is Quebec’s largest anime convention hosted at the Palais des congrès de Montrèal in Montrèal Quebec in August. Otakuthon’s programming is in both official languages of Quebec: English and Quebecois French. Montrèal is famous for its poutine and there is nothing better than watching anime and nomming on fries doused in cheese curds and gravy.

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

https://yurika.otakuthon.com/reg/en/index

Attendance (2013):

13,357

45. Anime Revolution, Vancouver, British Columbia

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About this convention:

Anime Revolution is a fairly new con that started in 2012. It takes place around mid-August at the Vancouver Convention Center. In its first two years Anime Revolution has invited high-profile guests from both Japan and the U.S. including Toru Furuya (voice of Tuxedo Mask), Chief designer duo Maki and Asuka of Angelic Pretty, Jessica Nigri and Doug Walker.

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

http://tickets.animerevolution.ca/

Attendance (2012):

5,233

46. Animethon, Edmonton , Alberta

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About this convention:

Animethon is the longest running anime convention in Western Canada, started in 1994 by the aptly named Banzai Anime Klub Alberta (BAKA). It has since been organized by the non-profit Alberta Society for Asian Popular Arts (ASAPA). The convention is held annually at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta in early August.

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

animethon.org

Attendance (2013):

8,058

47. Japan Expo USA, Santa Clara, California

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About this convention:

Japan Expo USA is a new anime convention that just had its first run this past August 23-25 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. . Japan Expo USA is an extension of Japan Expo Paris run by SEFA entertainment based in San Francisco, California. The original Japan Expo in Paris is a huge convention that had over 200,000 attendees in 2012! One of the main draws to both Japan Expo USA and Japan Expo Paris is that they have many businesses in the anime industry represented at the conventions. This gives fans the opportunity to learn more about the industry and interact with people who work for businesses such as Funimation and Viz Media at their panels.

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

japan-expo.org

48. Matsuricon, Columbus, Ohio

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About this convention:

Matsuricon is an annual anime convention that takes place at the end of August, held at the Hyatt Regency Columbus hotel and Columbus Convention Center (same location as Ohayocon). Nobuo Uematsu was one of the notable guests in 2010 for the Distant Worlds concert hosted at Matsuricon that year.

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

matsuricon.org

Attendance (2012):

3,000+

49. Anime USA, Washington D.C.

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About this convention:

Anime USA was previously held in Virginia up until 2012, which is the year it moved to Washington D.C. The convention is now hosted at Washington Marriott Wardman Park. It has taken place at various dates in the fall and will be happening on the weekend of September 13 next year.

When it takes place:

Fall

Where to buy online tickets:

animeusaregistration.org

Attendance (2011):

5,000

50. Anime Weekend Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

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About this convention:

Anime Weekend Atlanta is the eighth largest anime convention in the US. The convention is hosted at three venues: the Cobb Galleria Center, Renaissance Waverly Hotel, and Sheraton Suites Galleria Atlanta. The convention typically takes place at the end of September or early October.

When it takes place:

September/October

Where to buy online tickets:

awa-con.com

Attendance:

13, 472

51. Saboten Con, Glendale, Arizona

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About this convention:

Sabotencon is the largest anime convention in Arizona, hosted at the Renaissance Glendale in Arizona. Like many anime conventions, Saboten con has introduced new programming and policies that appeal to the growing youth population at anime conventions. Along with the typical anime con events such as panels and the masquerade Sabotencon has extended its late night programming including raves and more 18+ panels and events. This past con there was even a pool party hosted by the con’s rave DJS!

When it takes place:

August/September

Where to buy online tickets:

sabotencon.com/attending/registration-information

Attendance (2012):

3,432

52. Mechacon, New Orleans, Louisiana

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About this convention:

Mechacon sets itself apart from other anime conventions. Not only does the con celebrate Japanese animation and culture, but it also features Transformers panels and events. Mechacon has pulled through devastating events including Hurricane Katrina and Rita in its inaugural year, and the passing of the Events Coordinator, a con guest, and a loyal attendee in 2010. Even after all these hardships the Mechacon community has come together to host an incredible convention every year and continues to grow. Mechacon takes place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

www.mechacon.com/news/registration/

Attendance (2013):

5,800

53. Motaku, Kansas City, Missouri

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About this convention:

Motaku is a smaller convention with a very relaxed and social atmosphere. It takes place at the Holiday Inn and Coco Key Water Resort in Kansas City. Fandoms, cosplay and…water slides!? What more can you ask for in a con?

When it takes place:

August

Where to buy online tickets:

motaku.org/registration/

Attendance (2012):

1,100

54. AnimeFest Dallas, Texas

About this convention:

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

AnimeFest is one of Dallas’ biggest anime conventions. The convention began over a decade ago in 1992 and has steadily grown since then. Last year AnimeFest was held at the Richardson Civic Center in Texas. Even with it’s relatively large attendance numbers AnimeFest has a more relaxed atmosphere compared to some other cons of its size.

When it takes place:

September

Where to buy online tickets:

Attendance (2012):

7,000+ (est)

55. Kumori Con, Vancouver, Washington,

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About this convention:

Kumoricon celebrated its eleventh anniversary this past Labour Day Weekend. Hosted at the Hilton Vancouver Washington and the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, Kumoricon is a mid-sized convention in the Northwest. Over the years Kumoricon has co-hosted several one-day events including anime-themed masquerade balls and Kumoricon Lite.

When it takes place:

September

Where to buy online tickets:

kumoricon.org/registration

Attendance (2013):

5,300 (approx)

56. Nan Desu Kan, Denver, Colorado

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About this convention:

Nan Desu Kan is the largest Anime Convention in the state of Colorado. It has been a fan-run convention since it began in 1997. Each year the con invites several guests from the anime industry from both Japan and North America. The convention hosts a balcony decorating contest for guests staying in balcony rooms in the atrium. First place wins a Free hotel room and two passes for next year’s con- how awesome is that!? You should checkout the links posted above for a photo of an awesome Legend of Zelda themed balcony!

When it takes place:

September

Where to buy online tickets:

ndkdenver.org/registration/online

Attendance:

7,500 (approx. daily attendance)

57. Senshi-Con, Anchorage, Alaska

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Senshi-Con is a small convention in Alaska that takes place in the Egan Center. Along with anime voice actors, Senshi-Con likes to feature local talent. The local talent and the smaller size of the con give it a very communal feel.

When it takes place:

September

Where to buy online tickets:

senshicon.net/#!pre-registration

Attendance (2012):

1,600

58. Anime Banzai, Layton, Utah,

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Anime Banzai is a three-day anime convention in Utah hosted at the Davis Conference Center and the Hilton Garden Inn. It is marketed as a family friendly convention. Though it is family friendly there are 18+ events at the convention, as well as a late night, all-ages EDM party.

When it takes place:

October

Where to buy online tickets:

animebanzai.org/registration.php

Attendance (2011):

3,500 (approx)

59. Oni-Con, Galveston, Texas

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Oni-Con, aptly named after the word for “demon” in Japanese, is an annual convention set just before Halloween- what better time to be in costume? The convention is hosted at the Gavelston Island Convention Center which has a beautiful beach.

When it takes place:

October

Where to buy online tickets:

oni-con.net/registration/

Attendance (2011):

7,000 (approx)

60. Tsubasacon West Virignia, Huntington

Image(s): 1, 2

About this convention:

Tusbasacon has been praised for its small convention feel and promises an experiences comparable to larger cities. After skimming through their programming, Tusbasacon definitely offers events and panels comparable to that of a larger city convention. The convention takes place at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, and Riverfront Ballroom & Conference Center

When it takes place:

October

Where to buy online tickets:

tsubasacon.org/registration/attendee

Attendance:

1,400 (approx)

61. RealmsCon Corpus Christi, Texas

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

RealmsCon began in 2005 as a multi-genre convention that focussed mostly on comic books and science-fiction. Organizers realized that most attendees were coming to the con for anime and since then RealmsCon has been an anime convention. The con’s programming includes many cosplay, comic book, and horror related panels, events, and workshops. It takes place annually at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

When it takes place:

October

Where to buy online tickets:

realmscon.com/event-registration/

Attendance (2012):

3,000+

62. Yaoi-Con Long Beach, California

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Yaoi-Con is a strictly 18+ convention due to the adult nature of the genre. Each year Yaoi-Con sponsors at least one Japanese yaoi manga artist as a guest of honour. The guest of honour participates in Q&A/autograph sessions as well as sketch sessions where they demonstrate how they produce their work. Bishounen Bingo and the Bishounen auction are two very popular events at Yaoi-Con. In 2012 the convention was hosted at the Westin Long Beach Hotel

When it takes place:

October

Where to buy online tickets:

yaoicon.com/registration.php

Attendance:

1,500+

63. Sukoshi Con

Image(s): 1, 2

About this convention:

Sukoshi Con, organized by Gaijin Global Enterprises, is a brand of conventions that hosts multiple conventions throughout the year in various states in the Southeast. The core focus of Sukoshi Con is to be a “Social Anime Convention”

When it takes place:

Dates for three of the main events they host are listed below

Athens Anime Academy- October

Destination Anime- January

Louisville Anime Weekend (LAW)- July

Checkout http://sukoshicon.com/ for all convention listings and information

Where to buy online tickets:

sukoshicon.com/

Attendance:

N/A

64. Youmacon Detroit, Michigan

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Youmacon is a large anime convention hosted at the Detroit Marott at the Renaissance Center and the Cobo Center. One of Youmacon’s most popular events is its “Live Action Mario Party” which emulates the video game experience with human players. Players participate in gameshow-like mini-games to help their teams advance and win.

When it takes place:

October/November

Where to buy online tickets:

youmacon.com/event-registration

Attendance (2012):

12,156

65. Nekocon Hampton, Virginia

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Nekocon is Virginia’s oldest and longest running anime convention, spanning a decade and a half. As well as having a traditional AMV contest, Nekocon also hosts an event named AMV Idol. There are three judges that take on the personas of Simon, Paula and Randy and score and give comments on the AMVs to a live audience. The convention takes place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.

When it takes place:

November

Where to buy online tickets:

www.nekocon.com/?page_id=260

Attendance (2011):

4,487

66. Anime Nebraskon, Omaha, Nebraskon

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Nebraskon is praised for its good organization and fun atmosphere. Nebraskon offers a number of panels related to Japanese Culture and Anime, and some just-for-fun panels like Happy Fun Time with Duct Tape which involves attendees getting taped together into a duct tape amoeba and running around the convention. And now the word fun has been used five times in describing Nebraskon so it must be true.

When it takes place:

November

Where to buy online tickets:

animenebraskon.com/registration/

Attendance (2011):

2,100

67. Anime Vegas Nevada, Las Vegas

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Anime Vegas is an annual non-profit convention. Last year the convention was hosted at the Renaissance-Las Vegas. Anime Vegas has the benefits of being a con in a large city with a small con feel. Being in Vegas there is a lot for attendees to do outside of the con. Its small size allows for shorter autograph lines so the guests have an opportunity to talk with their fans. Attendees don’t have to choose between panels because there are no more than a few events happening at once.

When it takes place:

November

Where to buy online tickets:

animevegas.com/preregistration.html

Attendance (2008):

3,100 (approx)

68. SugoiCon Kentucky, Fort Mitchell

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Attendees have spoken positively about Sugoicon’s social atmosphere. Unlike large conventions at Sugoicon you aren’t rushed to get from event A to event B and have more opportunities to relax and mingle with fellow anime fans.

When it takes place:

October/November

Where to buy online tickets:

http://www.sugoicon.org

Attendance (2011):

1,000+ (est)

69. Aniwave, Wilmington, North Carolina

Image(s): 1, 2

About this convention:

Aniwave is a one day convention that began as a film festival in 2007. Since then it has developed into a Japanese cultural festival. The convention takes place at the Wilmington Convention Center. Aniwave is a family friendly con and very community-oriented. The con aims to feature local talent including artists, musicians and photographers.

When it takes place:

December

Where to buy online tickets:

aniwave.org

Attendance (2011):

553

70. Anime Crossroads Indianapolis, Indiana

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Anime Crossroads is a small convention hosted at the Wyndham Indianappolis West. It is a small, well-run convention. Anime Crossroads is perfect for new con-goers who want to ease themselves into their con adventures.

When it takes place:

December

Where to buy online tickets:

animecrossroads.com/registration/

Attendance (2011):

553

71. Con-G Guelph, Ontario

Image(s): 1, 2, 3

About this convention:

Con-G began in 2009 as an anime convention and has since expanded to include other genres in geek culture including Steampunk, Science Fiction, and Gaming. The convention has grown over the past few years from an attendance of 350 to an expected attendance of 1,400 this year. Con-G will be taking place at the Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre this year.

When it takes place:

February

Where to buy online tickets:

con-g.com/information/registration/

Attendance (2013):

1,400

 

Attendance numbers and general information on all of the conventions included in this article are from the respective Wikipedia pages and websites of the conventions.

Which Anime Conventions Have You Visited So Far?
Let us know in the comment box below!

 


About the Author

Since Brittany attended her first anime convention in high school she has been captivated by the talent, artistry, and passion of devoted cosplayers. Brittany loves to write and contribute opinions on cosplay and cosplay culture. She is a general Arts student at Queen's University studying English and Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter.



18 Responses to Top 50 Chronological Anime Conventions to Visit Before You Die

  1. Matt says:

    I’m glad to see Naka-Kon is on this list, though for the record our website is https://naka-kon.com

  2. David T says:

    Another one you missed:
    Motaku in Kansas City, Missouri in August. Attendance was about 1,100 in 2012.

    Website: http://www.motaku.org

  3. kari says:

    I’m surprised NanDesuKon(NDK) of Denver Colorado didn’t make this list. I’ve been to both ACen and SoDak Con and personally believe that NDK is at least as great as those two.

  4. I am honored that SoDak Con made it. Thank you. I hope that some of you will make it to SoDak Con soon. :)

    I am surprised that Nan Desu Kan didn’t make it on there, they are amazing and are hosts for the World Cosplay Summit Mountain Regionals. They are super nice and are there for cosplayers; their cosplay judges are some of the sweetest that you will meet.

  5. Bryan K says:

    It would be less misleading if instead of #4 or #42 you put the month instead. Otherwise those who just read the rankings and miss your intro paragraph think it’s in order of awesomeness or something.

    A shortcut at the top with a chart / calendar and the name of the event would have been nice as well.

    Thanks for the article there were a few events I was unaware of.

  6. Bryan K says:

    Commenting again now on my suggestion, I am just suggesting to try something so that each con is clearly separated from the other cons, for the sake of being able to process the information in each much easier. Looking at my comment, I don’t know how much it helped because the bold went away. Just some thoughts for you :)

  7. Anime Mom says:

    I’ve been to 3 cons this year. Arkansas Anime Festival a.k.a. A2F Springdale, Arkansas
    Konsplosion http://www.konsplosion.com Ft. Smith Arkansas
    TnT Tulsa , OK.

  8. Allie says:

    I’ve been to Ai-Kon only but I wanna go to more, I heard the big ones are in the US so I really wanna see them.

    • Hi Allie,

      There are a lot of awesome cons in North America and some even more awesome international cons worldwide, which we unfortunately couldn’t cover in this list. We’ll work on international cons next time round.

      Have you been to any cons outside the states? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  9. Huzzah! Kami-Con is on the list! Fantastic!
    I am very honored to have our convention on your list!
    Thank you very much, we work very hard year round!

    ~Ray

  10. Brandon says:

    What? No Mechacon on the list? At all? Injustice!

  11. Matthew Santirojprapai says:

    A great convention to attend is Anime Blues Con in Memphis, TN which is usually held in June. It’s going on it’s 4th year now with last year attendance at 2,700. This year for 2014, it will be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

  12. Bryan K says:

    Can’t recall if the second post was actually me or not. Either way I did notice the note at the top of the page. I thought it helped.
    Thanks.

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