After years of enviously looking overseas at Americans having fun, Australians finally get a dedicated anime expo! Even better, Crunchyroll themselves have arrived in Melbourne to bring us some of the world’s best voice actors, special previews of upcoming anime, and tons of local and international merchandise.
Crunchyroll Expo’s first event in Australia wasn’t without a few hiccups, but overall we had plenty of fun. With that said, let’s dive into our Post-Show Report of Crunchyroll Expo Australia 2022!
|When it Established||August 2017|
|Length of Event||September 17-18; two days|
|Place/Location||Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Cost|| Saturday 17th — $45 AUD|
Sunday 18th — $40 AUD
Weekend Pass — $55 AUD
VIP — $290 AUD
Signing Tokens: $35 AUD each, plus $50 AUD to sign a personal item
|Hotels||Pan Pacific Melbourne, Novotel Melbourne South Wharf, and AC Hotel by Mariott are all within walking distance of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.|
|Event Message for Attendees||Going on its 6th year, Crunchyroll Expo is a premiere fan festival that celebrates all things anime. Featuring unique panels, exclusive merchandise, and world premieres, this year the show will be heading Down Under on September 17-18, 2022. Be sure to sign up for the Crunchyroll Expo Aus Newsletter to be among the first to know about exciting updates!|
What to Expect
Anime Down Under: Australia doesn’t get nearly as many anime events as our overseas friends. Although Supanova and OzComiCon have been important events for geeks and otakus, there hasn’t been a large-scale anime-dedicated event. Crunchyroll Expo Australia brings an anime-focused vibe to Melbourne, with exhibits for shows like Fire Force, Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and more! Crunchyroll even brought Hololivers, musicians, and voice actors down to Australia to give the event an “established” feel.
Queue Times: Despite best intentions, the inaugural Australian event faced some severe teething issues, particularly on the first day of the event. Some attendees were waiting up to 5 hours in queues outside the venue, with little feedback from Crunchyroll staff; there were reports of people turning up later in the afternoon and still being in line after the event closed. The second day fared better, with queues inside the center itself, but we recommend getting to the center well in advance of the opening time.
What to Bring
Power Banks: If you’re anything like us, you’ll be taking a ton of photos, and that chews through battery power. There’s nowhere to charge your devices inside the hall, so we recommend a portable power bank to recharge your phone.
Blanket: Sadly the exhibition center has almost no seating, so around lunchtime, there were hundreds of people camped out on the rough concrete flooring. We regret not bringing a soft blanket to sit on!
Snacks: Crunchyroll Expo Australia had a unique maid cafe, as well as various food vendors, but around midday, the lines were quite long, so if you’d rather not queue up for food, bring some snacks with you!
Cash and Card: Although most artists and vendors accepted card payments, several of the smaller stores were adding a surcharge to cover the cost of using a payment terminal like Square. Having some cash on you might be helpful!
What to Do
Signing Panels: For 2022, Crunchyroll Expo flew down some of the English voice actors from Jujutsu Kaisen—Adam McArthur, Kaiji Tang, and Anne Yatco, who voice Yuji Itadori, Satoru Gojo, and Nobara Kugisaki respectively. Along with other guests, they were available all day for signing panels, but unfortunately, there was a steep surcharge for signing a personal item. We’re not sure why Crunchyroll needed to charge an extra amount, but keep that in mind if you’re budgeting to see multiple guests.
Live Concerts: A dedicated stage saw local J-Pop groups from Melbourne and Sydney performing covers and their own songs on both days of the event. There were even glow sticks available for purchase, giving the mini-concerts an air of authenticity! An even bigger name arrived down under for a special concert—ASCA, whose songs have been used for Fate/Apocrypha, Sword Art Online: Alicization, and The Irregular at Magic High School. Now that’s what we call star power!
Exhibits: Several themed exhibits were arranged around the hall, showcasing Crunchyroll’s top-performing anime, including an Attack on Titan-themed bungee trampoline, a Chainsaw Man exhibit, and a Spy x Family living room! ANIPLEX delivered a huge 10th Anniversary celebration of Sword Art Online, with behind-the-scenes artwork of the anime and quotes from the series creator, Kawahara Reki.
Arts and Crafts: If the noise of the main hall is too much for you, there are a few quieter areas in the center. At the “Artihabara” area, attendees were invited to sit and draw whatever they wanted, with completed artwork being put on display. A manga library was also available for casually browsing popular volumes of shounen and shoujo series; and at “Lumins Workshop,” live DIY cosplay events taught attendees how to create their own shields and headbands!
Shopping: The biggest drawcard of the event (for us, at least) was the shopping district! Here, popular Australian vendors like Animeworks and Anime Kaika were selling shirts, figures, keychains, pillows, and everything else an otaku could dream of! The arts district featured dozens of local Aussie artists, where you could buy anime-themed art prints, charms, pins, stickers, and more!
What’s an expo without cosplay?! Australia’s cosplay scene is dedicated to their craft, often traveling right around the country to celebrate their shared love of creating and playing their favorite characters.
There were so many amazing cosplays that we’ll have a dedicated cosplay article to showcase them all—but for now, here’s our pick of the bunch.
Don’t forget to check out our full cosplay article to see lots more incredible cosplay in action!
Crunchyroll Expo Australia was a great event—for those who managed to get inside the doors, of course. We can’t ignore the fact that hundreds of attendees were unable to even properly attend the event, and although they received refunds, it’s hardly an ideal situation.
That said, the expo brought an American dose of anime and entertainment to Australia, and having a purely-anime expo was a breath of fresh air compared to the mixed-media “geek” events we usually see.
Did you attend Crunchyroll Expo Australia 2022? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!