Summary of Event
Crunchyroll, started in 2006, may be the biggest name in the United States when it comes to anime streaming. The company, which has expanded into anime production, had their inaugural expo last year bringing industry leaders, bloggers, voice actors, and fans together for a 3-day celebration of anime. That event was held just outside of San Jose at the Santa Clara Convention Center; this year it moved to the San Jose McEnry Convention Center in downtown San Jose. The big benefit of the convention being downtown is it lets the party spill out on to the streets of the city.
|When it Established||2017|
|Length of Event||3 days, September 1st-3rd|
|Place/Location||San Jose McEnry Convention Center, San Jose, CA|
|Price of Admission||A three-day standard ticket bought in advance cost $75 and $85 at the door. You can buy a one-day ticket for Saturday or Sunday for $65 in advance and $75 at the door, or a single day admission on Monday the 3rd for $55 in advance or $65 at the door. If you order early you can also get VIP and VIP-plus tickets for an extra charge, giving you exclusive access to events and exclusive VIP areas.|
|Hotels|| SAN JOSE MARRIOTT|
SPRINGHILL SUITES BY MARRIOTT SAN JOSE AIRPORT
HYATT PLACE SAN JOSE DOWNTOWN
FAIRMONT SAN JOSE
THE WESTIN SAN JOSE
HILTON SAN JOSE
What to Expect
The expo has brought in dozens of special guests from YouTube personalities like Gigguk to industry leaders like Dave Jesteadt, President of GKIDS. The team at A-1 Pictures that brought us DARLING in the FRANXX was also on hand to talk about the work and answer fan questions. We even had Vegeta himself from Dragon Ball voice actor, Ryo Horikawa. Crunchyroll announced last month that is was now in the business of creating its own original animated series and was sure to have its whole creative team from High Guardian Spice available for panels and audience questions. The director Robert Rodriguez, who you may know from films like Dusk till Dawn, The Faculty, and the Spy Kids franchise and now the upcoming film adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel, was on hand as well as its cast. The expo was of course filled with panels, a large dealers’ room, artist alley and special events like the Hime Cafe!, a Crunchyroll version of a maid café named in honor of their mascot, Hime. The cafe located in a super-special secret offsite location a few minutes’ walk from the convention center.
To Enjoy Oneself
You need comfortable shoes; we find this a must for any and all conventions. The convention center is big, but not too big. You can easily make it from one level to the other rather quickly, depending on the crowd. We recommend bringing snacks or a bento, there’s plenty of space to find a spot to picnic inside the convention center. If you don’t mind just drinking water it’s freely available at water fountains and water stations. The glory of a convention center being downtown is its proximity to restaurants and cafés. You are encouraged to visit one of the many establishments that range from fine dining to fast pho. We even witnessed dozens of street vendors with food stands on the sidewalk outside the convention center. If you want even more options you can even take a 5-minute walk to a nearby park that has a designated place for food trucks. The only thing downtown doesn’t have is a decent place for donuts; trust us, we looked. You’ll need to travel outside of the downtown area, about 10 minutes by car, to a strip mall to get a dozen donuts.
What to do while there, what to see and what to do:
August 31st (Friday)
If you bought a ticket in advance, the kick-off party complete with a DJ spinning your favorite anime remixes as a raucous way to kick off the weekend. If you weren’t excited by the idea of dancing and drinking the night away, the nearby ballroom had the film Fire Works.
September 1st (Saturday)
The doors opened for the event at 8am for registration and the rest of the event got underway at 10, including the Expo Hall, Artist Alley, Manga Library, the Quiet Room, and the Arcade. The film When Marnie Was There was a great way to ease into the day, or if you’re hungry Emily, the creative mind behind the anime food blog YumPenguinSnacks and Crunchyroll’s Cooking With Anime series, talks you through food in anime, anime food trends, and her food blogging process. You could have even caught a premiere like an insider with the worldwide subtitled premiere of The Rising of the Shield Hero, a new anime co-produced with KADOKAWA. If you wanted to hear some news like an insider ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio made some big announcements, sharing their plans for North America and showing exclusive clips from their upcoming titles like Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern Part 2, and Liz and the Blue Bird! The folks at ELEVEN ARTS weren’t the only ones with announcements; Aniplex of America also had an industry panel. In the evening, if you had any energy left, you could have ended with the film The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl.
September 2nd (Sunday)
You could sit in on a panel focused on Women In Animation as a cross-section of some of the animation industry’s most prominent figures held a conversation about the past, present, and exciting future for women in animation. If you like cosplay and want to take a more active role in the community by becoming a good photographer, the cosplay photography panel might’ve been the place for you. The event is called Crunchyroll Expo, but in essence it is an anime con and no con would be complete without a masquerade. The parade of costumes and talented designers it the perfect way to cap off a day.
September 3rd (Monday)
Did you ever wonder how your favorite show gets dubbed into English? Prolific ADR director Cliff Chapin discusses the art of localizing top shows for an English market. The name of the event is Crunchyroll Expo, so they of course had a Crunchyroll industry panel to engage with their fans and subscribers informing them about upcoming changes coming to the service and projects they have on the horizon. The DARLING in the FRANXX was a hit in the US this past season and some of the creative team behind the anime, Atsushi Nishigori, Masayoshi Tanaka and Yuichi Fukushima, spoke with audiences about their experiences working on the anime and sharing behind the scenes videos of the creation process. The expo wrapped up at 3, leaving throngs of cosplayers and fans in the streets of San Jose making the sunny city a bit more cheerful.
The folks at Crunchyroll are two for two with putting on an amazing event. The new site in downtown made an even better location. You were able to run in and out of the convention and down the street for lunch and dinner. The chats were excellent and the guests were amazing. The expo isn’t nearly as big as the larger conventions like Anime Expo, but the name Crunchyroll was the key to bringing in some great industry experts and talent. We would love to thank Kun Gao, CEO of Crunchyroll, and his staff for their hospitality at this event. We look forward to returning to sunny San Jose once again to share our love of anime. We also look forward to bringing you the many interviews we had with all of the special guests in the upcoming weeks.