Anime Expo 2021, also known as Anime Expo Lite 2021, is less than a month away. The largest anime convention in North America is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, but this year, it’s gonna be a little different.
Due to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, the convention holders decided to cancel in-person events for the second year in a row.
Instead, the convention is going to be held as Anime Expo Lite 2021 and will be during the usual days- Saturday, July 3 to Sunday, July 4 from 12-8 pm PST.
Live Stream Events
In lieu of in-person events, Anime Expo will have a two-day live stream on their website, but you’ll need to buy tickets in order to watch. Tickets are $5 each (plus fees) and all of the proceeds will go to the Hate is a Virus commUNITY Action Fund.
Happy to provide the artwork for @AnimeExpo's initiative.
Every registration for #AnimeExpoLite 2021 will be donated to the @hateisavirus_ commUNITY Action Fund which support community organizations, mental health programs, AAPI representation, & more. https://t.co/i42vsUYo7K pic.twitter.com/sh5zPFtf8M
— Collateral Damage Studios @ WFH (@collateralds) May 31, 2021
Hate is a Virus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting racism and hate of all kinds in local communities. The Action Fund seeks to raise $1 million to give to organizations that provide services to their respective communities like mental health programs, AAPI representation, and more.
The exact schedule for Anime Expo Lite isn’t out yet, but we do know some of the convention’s industry partners will be streaming content exclusive to the live stream.
These partners include Crunchyroll, Bushiroad, Viz Media, video game publisher Sekai Project, and game developer WayForward.
Registration for #AnimeExpoLite is now open! Join us for the stream on July 3-4, plus VOD July 5-16!
More info → https://t.co/GYoFcLHvKa
Register Today → https://t.co/FupNir7MXl
— Anime Expo (@AnimeExpo) May 12, 2021
However, we do know some of the programs that will be happening. We know that there will be panel discussions with leaders in the anime industry as well as industry announcements.
Shigeto Koyama will be on stream as a guest speaker. Koyama is a prolific character designer and illustrator, having done the character design and mechanical design on the movie, PROMARE, and a key animator in the Rebuild of Evangelion film series.
According to Anime Expo, the live stream will show off some “exclusive content from Japan.” I can only hope that it will be a trailer for Demon Slayer “Season 2”, but no matter what it is, I think everyone will be happy.
Exhibitors and Artists
A wide variety of exhibitors will be at Anime Expo Lite this year; although truth be told, I’m not sure to what extent. I’m not sure how Anime Expo is planning on having exhibitors when people can’t be there in person.
According to the below tweet, Anime Expo will be hosting its exhibitors on their app. Perhaps they’ll expand its reach and go onto an e-commerce site?
We will really miss the excitement of roaming the massive Exhibit Hall at AX this year, but you can still check out & support our amazing exhibitors via the AX app!
— Anime Expo (@AnimeExpo) June 4, 2021
That being said, some of the exhibitors are Brittnee Braun Designs, Cosplay Deviants, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and the Good Smile Company. Artists will also be at Anime Expo selling pins, prints, and even commissions. To name a few, Puppyshaker, Rozekki, Tanpopo House, and Zetallis will be there.
And the last bit of information we know is that regarding the Cosplay Spot-Lite Competition presented by Arda Wigs. As the name suggests, it’s an online cosplay competition of varying competency levels and it will be hosted by famed cosplayer, Yaya Han.
Introducing the Cosplay Spot-Lite Competition presented by @ArdaWigs & hosted by @YayaHan! A contest with a grand prize trip to Ireland, + gift certificates from @ArdaWigs, @JacquardProduct, Cut/Sew Sewing Patterns. Sign-ups open on Monday!
— Anime Expo (@AnimeExpo) June 4, 2021
Prizes include gift certificates from various cosplay businesses. The grand prize is a roundtrip flight to Ireland for two to three nights and an on-location photo shoot.
Does Anime Expo Lite sound like the event for you? By buying a ticket, you’ll also be giving back through a nonprofit that funds initiatives for AAPI and other marginalized communities. Tell us what you think on our Discord server!