As the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America, Anime Expo 2023 came to a conclusion after taking place successfully on July 1 and 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Alongside the exciting announcements, panels, various showcases, and displays, the four-day event was stuffed with anime lovers who simply want to have some fun after a long event haul due to the pandemic! And it is not difficult to spot some of the best cosplayers coming from all over the world to show off their latest creations!
Fear not if the best moments of Anime Expo 2023 flew under your radar, we’ve encompassed all things you should’ve missed at the convention and hopefully, it will bring some joy for those who were able to attend this crowded festival last week! But remember that it is just the tip of the iceberg of what happened at Anime Expo 2023. Leave us a comment if you find any moments you want to share! And if you are interested in our report and news at the convention, check out our Anime Expo 2023 Special Feature here!
Anime Expo 2023 Recap & Highlights
The HoYoverse booth is probably one of the crowdest places in Anime Expo 2023 while it brought together its famous title; Genshin Impact, Honkai Impact 3rd, Honkai: Star Rail, and the upcoming Zenless Zone Zero. Before heading to its booth at the Entertainment Hall, don’t forget to take a picture with the special Astral Express setting in the main lobby! The kawaii Pom-Pom is also there to greet you!
While there were literally a lot of things going on in the HoYoverse booth, one thing you couldn’t miss is the booth-exclusive activities which grant you Paimon balloon and chibi character stickers, which was designed specifically to cope with the #PaimonsFoodFest theme of the Genshin Impact booth.
To get these freebies, you can join the booth activities including a photo-taking spot for you to take pictures as Paimon and a food quiz called Teyvat Cook-Off Challenge. Visitors randomly flipped a panel on the Delicacies Wall to reveal a picture of in-game food and had to answer correctly what region it originated from. Snapping a pic at Liyue Harbor featuring the Genshin cosplayers will also get you a Paimon Ballon.
And apart from the Genshin Impact session, we also have a session in the HoYoverse booth dedicated to Honkai 3rd and Honkai: Star Rail. Various stage events can be found such as band performances, stage challenges, and lucky pulls. Exclusive booth freebies included character fans, a Passport Booklet with the Honkai: Star Rail World Tour 2023 stamp, a Wubaboo balloon, various character stickers, and a postcard.
One of the most exciting parts of the HoYoverse booth is a playable demo of Zenless Zone Zero! Though it was the same demo as the closed beta test held earlier, it is the first time for the game to be displayed publicly in a convention! And playing the demo will get you a special card which you can exchange for a character acrylic stand for free! We’re still working on a hands-on article on the Zenless Zone Zero demo, so stay tuned!
If you want to beat the sizzling hot this summer, head to the Genshin Impact x Creamy Boys ice cream truck right outside the exhibition halls! The four types of ice cream are inspired by the different regions of Teyvat! Share your picture with the ice cream also give you a special redemption code that you can redeem in-game items as rewards!
The Yostar Anime Expo 2023 Booth at Entertainment Hall E-15 was quite a fiesta with various events and displays featuring some of their best titles such as Arknights, Azur Lane, Mahjong Soul, and Aether Gazer. The Chinese developer has brought a bunch of merchandise including plushes, PVC posters, tote bags, mouse pads, artbook, metal pin sets, and more. But most of them went off pretty quickly and the “Sold Off” label was up as soon as the end of Day 2!
The Azur Lane specially designed itasha certainly stole the spotlight featuring your favorite girls in sexy swimsuits! And the place got hotter and hotter with the frequent visit of the official cosplayers! Do they live up to your expectation of cosplaying your oshi?
In addition to the goods and merchandise, Yostar brought life to the Anime Expo party with a slew of interactive events, including DJ remix shows, musician’ meet and greet, cosplayers interaction, and quiz shows. We manage to catch an Arknight DJ show featuring DJ Lorne Padman and the place simply went viral! Also not to be missed is the cosplayers’ dance performance as they were as lively as the game character on your screen!
As one of the most highly anticipation action RPGs of the year, Granblue Fantasy Relink surprised American fans by bringing its first playable demo to Anime Expo. The playable demo allows you to select between seven playable characters and challenges two stages against Goblin Warrior and Griffin. While the line to try the demo is long here, we manage to get hands-on and we’ll share our experience with you very soon!
Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King
Garena has brought their upcoming mobile entry Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King to Anime Expo 2023 with a playable demo ahead of its release in the Western market this year. The mobile game not only has stunning 3D graphics empowered by Unreal Engine 4, but also solid strategic gameplay and various interesting mini-games to immerse you into the magical kingdom of Black Clover!
Jaeyoung Choi, CEO of the game’s developer VIC Game Studio, also made an appearance in the panel, sharing the appeals of this mobile game! If you want to learn more about this highly anticipated title, don’t miss our upcoming feature article, as we had a chance to sit down with Choi to talk about the development of Black Clover M!
The highly acclaimed franchise, Fate/Grand Order, is marking its sixth anniversary, and fans couldn’t be more excited. At its booth at Anime Expo 2023, visitors can snap a shot with their favorite servants, who were on display with life-size panels and a large screen showcasing the 6th-anniversary illustration in live-2D! Also not to be missed is the FGO Kigurumi show as the characters will greet you in person with their adorable chibi form!
The upcoming Fate/Samurai Remnant also joined Anime Expo 2023 with a 15-minute playable demo that showcases its interesting setting in the Edo Period. Players will certainly be captivated by the 3D anime designs of the servants who engage in battles with flashy and intense actions! If you are curious about what this game looks like, check out our hands-on preview here!
Snowbreak: Containment Zone
Soon-to-be-launched 3D science-fiction RPG-shooter Snowbreak: Containment Zone also brought its playable demo at Anime Expo 2023. Set in an alternate 2057 when the world was invaded by large humanoid monsters called Titans, the game asks players to take on the role of a member of the Heimdall Squad, a special task force armed with specialized weaponry by the Yggdrasil corporation to take on the enemy outside of the walls, and the never-ending snow.
The Snowbreak demo invites players to get their hands on futuristic weaponry and make use of different skills in fast-paced combat. The game also has a Cover system that allows you to take cover in battles while shooting your enemy like actual gunfire on the battlefield.
NIS America also comes to Anime Expo 2023 with their 2023 game lineup! Players will be able to try out the newly released Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless and The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie. Four soon-to-be-released demos were also featured, including The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails, Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten, Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles, and Crymachina.
The booth also had an Anime Expo 2023 Stamp Rally, where you can gather the stamps by playing the demo, checking out the photo booth, and badge scanning stations. Finishing the rally will give you an AX-exclusive Disgaea 7 acrylic keychain!
Ensemble Stars!! Music
The mobile rhythm game Ensemble Stars!! Music made waves on the international stage with its debut appearance at the Anime Expo 2023. This was its first time participating in the exhibition outside of Asia, which was a milestone for not just the game but also the IP and the world of Ensemble Stars.
Greeted by a two-meter-high ES All-Star image, the ES Booth also hosted an interactive check-in event, where fans had the opportunity to get exclusive prizes by following the official account, snapping photos at the booth, or showing their in-game UID. The gifts included ES Unit Cards, Daikichi Fans, Chibi Stickers, and ES Clips. All of these gifts appeared for the first time in North America!
The Sega Atlus booth at the Exhibition Hall of Anime Expo 2023 gathered all the popular titles of the developers. Fans were hyped by loads of merch featuring the Persona series, Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis, Shin Megami Tensei, Like a Dragon, and more!
A Samba de Amigo: Party Central playable demo was also present for you to get the rhythm before its release on August 29! And don’t forget to snap a pic at the special photo booth which features some iconic Sega game locations such as Like a Dragon and PSO2.
Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage was also an attendant of the Sega Booth as it displayed four playable demos onsite. For fans of the wildly popular games, the Atlus/SEGA booth also hosted fun events, including score contests, cosplay gatherings, and more that showcased the creative and passionate Hatsune Miku fanbase. Fans also had the opportunity to acquire Anime Expo exclusive trading cards with the potential to receive a rare, holographic one!
On the Atlus booth, a large area was dedicated to Shin Megami Tensei and Persona 5 Tactica, which is set to come out worldwide on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X, and Series S, and Xbox One on November 17. Strike a pose and take pictures in the booth can also get an exclusive keychain, which is available only at Anime Expo!
Obey Me! Nightbringer
Obey Me! Nightbringer, the latest installment of the popular otome mobile game, returns to Anime Expo with more events and goodies! At the Obey Me! Nightbringer booth, there was original merchandise on display, as well as a special photo spot. Those who post their pictures on social media will receive exclusive giveaways! The game also held a login bonus to celebrate its appearance at Anime Expo, meaning that you can receive a special UR memory card even if you are not there!
The seven main voice actors of Obey Me!, Kyohei Yaguchi, Miura Ayme, Satoshi Onishi, Shinya Sumi, Satoshi Kada, Hirotaka Kobayashi, and Kazuya Yamashita, also made an appearance in this year’s panel “Attention Sheep! Obey Me! Boys on Stage.”
The Kadokawa Booth at Anime Expo 2023 comes with a special display of Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World where you will relive the emotional moments of the anime! Booth visitors can also get their hands on a giveaway bag containing plenty of goods such as a KonoSuba Round Fan, Re:Zero hologram sticker, Bungo Stray Dogs calendar, My Happy Marriage clear bookmark set, and more! Plenty, right?
Another focus in the Kadokawa booth is Delicious in Dungeon, a fantasy comedy that is getting a TV anime series in January 2024! Snap a pic with Laios, Chilchuck, Marcille, and Senshi as the party embarks on a journey to save Laios’ sister while surviving the dungeon by cooking and eating all kinds of Monsters (Slime included lol)!
Crunchyroll wowed the visitors of Anime Expo 2023 with an immersive Jujutsu Kaisen Experience. Step into the Domain Expansion, Unlimited Void, which housed a large screen taking you to the signature scene of Satoru Gojo right in front of your eyes! Crunchyroll helped Hell’s Paradise fans take a trip to the infamous island of Kotaku with a display of the flower boat and cutouts of Sagiri, Chobei, Toma, and beloved wife guy Gabimaru.
Crunchyroll also brought a mini arcade to the Exhibition Hall this year with classic games like UFO Catcher and Swing Smash where attendees could test their skill (and luck) for a chance to win some sweet prizes!
The Bandai Namco Anime Expo 2023 booth also heats things up by recreating Naruto’s Hidden Leaf Village and a huge display of Kurama. A playable demo of Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections was also there so you can try it before its release this year!
The One Piece Session provided a lot of photo opportunities with the display of a life-size figure of Luffy and a big monitor highlighting every crew member of the Straw Hat Pirates! If you haven’t laid your hands on the series’ latest game One Piece Odyssey, the booth also had a demo for you to take on the adventure of a brand-new island. You can also collect a free poster afterward!
Sword Art Online Last Collection also joined with a playable demo allowing players to experience the beginning of this alternate SAO adventure with Kirito and his friends in this new demo. And don’t forget to snag free swag and grab photo opportunities with SAO weapon replicas and cosplayers from Spiral Cats.
Aniplex of America
When you meet the super kawaii Tanjiro deformed balloon, it’s where you find the Aniplex of America Booth in the Exhibition Hall! It was the perfect place for fans can shop for exclusive merchandise and pick up free giveaways. Plus, fans can see beautiful displays featuring some of Aniplex’s most popular shows!
In addition to the Granblue Fantasy Relink demo, Cygames also brought its physical Cystore to the Exhibition Hall of Anime Expo. And fans would be surprised to see the Beauty Beast x Umamusume: Pretty Derby, a limited edition fashion collaboration, which is rarely seen on American soil!
Fans can also grab merchandise from Granblue Fantasy and Shadowverse in this booth. A highlighted good is a tote bag featuring the four heroines of Uma Musume, Granblue Fantasy, Princess Connect! Re:Dive, and Shadowverse!
The Ikemen Series booth encompassed the four headline titles; Ikemen Vampire, Ikemen Sengoku, Ikemen Prince, and Ikemen Revolution. While there was a lot of merchandise here (acrylic stand, cushion cover, sticker, keychain, t-shirt, and more), you can also get free postcards and stickers just by visiting the booth! There were also Kabedon sessions, where you could experience real-life kabedon!
It is always a delight to see the many cosplayers at Anime Expo and that’s why we’re making this Cosplay Gallery to share the joy! The many high-quality cosplays are undoubtedly the icing on the cake and let us know which is your favorite cosplay at our comment session!