Summary of Crunchyroll Expo
If you’re a fan of anime, especially in the United States, it’d be hard not to know the name Crunchyroll. The company, initially launched in 2006, exploded to prominence in recent years to become the leading legal streaming source for anime and Asian drama. Crunchyroll Expo is their inaugural event that brings anime fans together for three days of exhibits, screenings, panels, and guest appearances by some of the biggest names in the US and Japan. The expo is a showcase of Japanese and Asian pop culture and anime. Crunchyroll Expo is most of all a celebration of anime, manga, games, guests, and cosplay.
|When it was Established||Inaugural Event|
|Length of event|| 3 Days|
|Place||Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA|
|Price of Admission|| The tickets for the event could be purchased for the whole weekend or individual days.|
If you ordered your tickets by July 25th (a month in advance), you’d get them mailed to your door. If you ordered after July 25th they had to be picked up at Crunchyroll Expo.
Crunchyroll Expo VIP tickets include premium access to guests and events as well as exclusive merchandise and early access to the exhibit hall, a collector’s lanyard and badge, VIP concierge desk access and a VIP drawstring bag.
Crunchyroll Expo VIP Plus tickets include guaranteed autographs, priority seating at the main stage, early access to the exhibit hall, a collector’s lanyard and badge, VIP concierge desk access and a Crunchyroll backpack.
Weekend Basic $65 VIP $125 VIP Plus $350
|Hotel|| $89-$400 per night|
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara (The Convention Center hosting the Expo)
What to Expect
The expo has a lot to offer as far as special guests go, such as the producer of the upcoming game Code Vein, Keita Iizuka. The attendees had the opportunity to sit in on a special screening of The Ancient Magus’ Bride with the author, Kore Yamazaki. We had the chance to see voice actors Juni Taisen of Zodaic War and Hiromi Igarashi, the voice of Symonne from Tales of Zestiria and Rinko from Oreimo. The Crunchyroll booth had plenty of exclusive merchandise, like t-shirts, pins, stickers, and bags. They had a unique take on the typical masquerade; The Masquerade ULTRA DELUXE mixed in elements of a Japanese game show. The expo even hosted a convention with in the expo, the Magwest gaming convention, so there was plenty to keep you busy for the weekend.
What to do while there, what to see and what to do:
BANDI NAMCO “Play Anime” was a great place to start at 1:45pm on one of the main stages. BANDI had giveaways and previews of its upcoming releases. We don’t just watch anime, we read a lot of manga too, so we were sure to stop by the Hime Stage where Dallas Middaugh (the head of manga for Crunchyroll) discussed the ever-growing electronic manga market and Crunchyroll’s new ebook store. The people that brought you RWBY premiered their new series Lastman, a gritty series based on the comic book by Vives Balak and Sanlaville. You even had the chance to catch a champion ice skater on the main stage, and no -- it wasn’t Victor Nikiforov from Yuri on Ice, it was Olympian Johnny Weir. He hosted a wonderful and outrageous discussion of anime fashions from Cardcaptor Sakura and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to Lolita and gothic fashion.
Igor Akimenko was able to fill in some of the blanks on Saturday morning if you had ever wondered what it was like to study abroad in Japan and how it relates to the anime you’ve watched. Dallas Middaugh offered another CRX chat on why manga matters as a medium and as short history of Asia’s favorite comic format. If you’ve ever wondered how fan art gets produced in Japan (and the artists get away with it), author Roland Kelts explored the world of doujin in Curse of Copyright-Why being a Fan Artist is So Much Better in Japan. An exciting discussion was had on one of the main stages about the future of the anime industry with Roland Kelts (Japanamerica), Zac Bertschy (Anime News Network), and Miles Thomas (Crunchyroll). The masquerade was impressive with some spectacular and meticulously crafted costumes.
Did you ever wonder who does the subtitling of your anime? Crunchyroll wants to introduce you to the top translators in the industry for a behind-the-scenes look at how it’s all done. If you love idols, you would’ve have loved the IDOL 2D: Idol Anime from Macross to Love Live! An in-depth look at the history of the idol genre. When you’re Crunchyroll, you even get the chance to hold sneak peeks of long-awaited anime releases like The Ancient Magus bride series and have the creator Kore Yamazaki on hand to take questions. You could also have sat in on an in-depth look at the production process of in the How Anime is Made panel. The panel touched on the topics of storyboarding, background art, voice acting and the creation of key frames and in-betweens.
This review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the expansive dealers room with representatives from Aniplex USA, Manga University, Tested by Adam Savage, and of course Crunchyroll. The dealer’s hall was home to more than 70 exhibitors. The separate artist alley was also open all three days featuring some extremely talented artists and craftsmen.
Honey's Final Thoughts
We have to give the folks at Crunchyroll a lot of credit. The convention had very few visible hiccups for an inaugural event. We were able to move with ease in and out of the convention center. We almost never had to wait in line. The convention didn’t schedule any official photo shoots, but a spot of greenery near the hotel became the place to take pictures. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. The guest list was pretty good, too. We really liked the “chats” on the CRX stage where they had some high-profile guests spend 15 minutes to tell the audience about their topic. The chats were a great way to pack a lot of information in without getting too bogged down; if you weren’t an expert to begin with you wouldn’t get lost. The staff of the convention center and especially Crunchyroll treated us really well, including Gao Kun, CEO of Crunchyroll, who took time to do an extended interview with us. Stay tuned for that later this week on Honey’s Anime. We thank you California, Santa Clara and Crunchyroll for being wonderful hosts.