SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Sep 13, 2017) – Crunchyroll, the largest global distributor of anime, today announced returns from their highly anticipated debut as a convention producer. Crunchyroll Expo (CRX) drew over 16,000 attendees with 35,000 in turnstile attendance over three days — a remarkable draw for a first-time convention. With over one million subscribers on its paid video service, Crunchyroll’s extreme growth and extension into new categories suggests that their brand of anime may very well be going mainstream.
“For over 10 years, Crunchyroll has championed the medium of anime and the fans who have built a community around it. Crunchyroll Expo is the ultimate way to celebrate the medium,” said Colin Decker, COO of Crunchyroll. “Creating a fan-centric con that showcases the depth and sophistication of anime art and culture was a vision 10 years in the making, so it’s very gratifying to see the huge attendance for a first-time convention.”
The venue was packed for all three days. Fans, industry and creators all enjoyed a distinct curation of experiences that set Crunchyroll Expo apart from the usual convention offerings. “Our goal was to make an amazing experience that would really deliver for our most passionate fans — but one that was more ‘Crunchyroll’ by choosing guests, content and experiences that stepped it up a notch above typical fare,” said Dallas Middaugh, Head of Events at Crunchyroll.
Among the 50+ featured guests at CRX were two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and Final Fantasy illustrator Yoshitaka Amano. Show sponsors such as Aniplex, Bandai Namco, Funimation, Noir Caesar, and Toei Animation were all strong presences throughout. CRX also included over 200 artists, 100 exhibitors, and held premieres of multiple anime series.
“Never have I experienced such an incredibly open and happy group of people than at Crunchyroll Expo,” said Weir. “It was such a joy to behold and I can’t wait to attend next time…hopefully in cosplay!”
CRX featured over 100 hours of programming designed to super-serve both the hardcore anime expert and general public with uniquely “Crunchyroll” experiences:
- Thought-provoking round table discussions like “Anime Voice Acting Evolution,” “What’s Next For The Anime Industry,” and “So You Want To Be An Influencer,” featuring guests, community influencers, and other key members of the industry.
- Fierce competition as Ray Chase (Voice of Noctis from Final Fantasy XV) went head to head with Weir in a Mario Kart tournament in “Mario Mash-ups.”
- A massive costume contest and party — the Masquerade ULTRA DELUXE — which consisted of a traditional cosplay masquerade, with added Japanese game show elements.
- “Anime Fashion Police” panel — featuring Weir and key influencers along with Crunchyroll staff discussing the fashion of anime, the growing world of cosplay, and a live fashion contest.
- The CRX Chats – informative and entertaining micro panels featuring key guest speakers talking about such subjects like “Why Manga Matters,” “Action as Storytelling,” and “Persona and Carl Jung.”
- Kids and family programing – Special ‘Kids Day HQ’ events, kids badge, and special programing for younger anime fans and their families to enjoy.
Crunchyroll is the world’s largest distributor of Anime outside of Japan, boasting a global community of more than 20 million registered users and over 1 million subscribers. Fans connect through hit content such as “Naruto Shippuden,” “Attack on Titan,” and “Dragon Ball Super,” original programming, events such as Anime Movie Nights, Crunchyroll News, and can purchase related merchandise through its online store. Through its app on game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices and more, Crunchyroll delivers content from leading media producers directly to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages. The service is available for free or through a premium offering that allows users to watch ad-free with access to simulcasts — top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast. Fans can also view Crunchyroll on VRV, a platform that aggregates content appealing to Crunchyroll fans.
Crunchyroll is owned by Ellation, with majority investment from Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group. Ellation has offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, and Moldova and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA). For more information, visit http://www.crunchyroll.com or http://www.vrv.co.
About LeftField Media
LeftField Media, LLC is an events company focused on developing face-to-face events in a range of communities rooted in contemporary culture and shared passion. LeftField was formed in 2014 by Greg Topalian (President, LeftField Media) and is now owned by Topalian and Clarion Events Ltd. With a keen sense of the ever-evolving needs of businesses and their consumers as well as new opportunities created by change, LeftField takes a clean slate approach to business. LeftField’s portfolio includes Play Fair (playfairny.com), a family-focused celebration of toys and play built with the Toy Association; Awesome Con (awesomecon.com), Washington DC’s Comic Con; Rose City Comic Con (rosecitycomiccon.com), Portland, Oregon’s Comic Con; Anime NYC (animenyc.com), a Japanese pop culture festival presented by Crunchyroll; and the Classic Auto Show (theclassicautoshow.com), a classic and vintage auto show launched in Los Angeles. LeftField Media is headquartered in historic Trumbull, CT. (leftfieldmedia.com)