The big Anime Expo (AX) is counting down the hours until launch. More than 350K excited fans are expected to attend this year, making AX the most extensive anime event in North America. The celebration begins on July 4th, and the expo has several exciting events to look for this year.

If you’re new to AX, the convention welcomes Japanese pop culture fans from around the world. This year’s fest starts on July 4th and runs through July 7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. There will be a special pre-show night on July 3rd this year if you happen to be in the area.

Each year, panels and guests discuss the newest anime films, television series, fashion, video games, manga, dance, music concerts, exhibitors, and merch from their favorite genres. 2019 is the 28th year for the convention, and it’s shaping up to be one of the largest ever.

“We are super excited with the AX 2019 line-up and know our fans will find plenty of events and activities to entertain and keep them engaged throughout the four-day show. From the exclusive screening of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution and the impressive works from world-renowned composer Yoshihiro Ike, to crowd favorites like the Fashion Show and all of the fabulous cosplay, we encourage AX 2019 attendees to sample it all – creating many amazing and lasting memories,” said Ray Chiang, CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, AX’s organizer.

Fans can check out over 400 exhibitors, expect 19 premieres, meet over 500 artists and browse hundreds of hours of programming at this year’s event. There will also be multiple programming tracks like Culture Day, Family Day and Career Day, as well as interactive events and 22 Guests of Honor dropping by throughout the weekend.

AX 2019 detailed the main events taking place over the four days, and you can read the official descriptions below.

4DX Anime Film Fest (July 3rd & July 4th Regal LA Live Theater): At the first annual 4DX Anime Film Fest experience exclusive screenings of Detective Conan: Zero The Enforcer, Mobile Suit Gundam NT (Narrative) and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the MOVIE – A Wakening of the Trailblazer- enhanced with immersive, multi-sensory 4DX motion and environmental effects! In addition, a 30-minute Q&A panel with screenwriter and cast follows the Mobile Suit Gundam NT (Narrative) screening to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the series.

Music Galore: From DJ’s, dance and AMVs to live concerts and karaoke, it wouldn’t be AX without plenty of music-related events to choose from. Two musts: Yoshihiro Ike: Anime Soundtrack World (July 7, 12:30 – 2:30 pm, Main Events/Hall B): This international debut concert by legendary composer and musician Yoshihiro Ike is sure to awe the audience. Ike is one of the most recognized music composers in Japan, having worked on more than 100 titles in the last 20 years. School idol group Aqours makes a return appearance with LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE!! Aqours World LoveLive! in LA 〜BRAND NEW WAVE〜 (July 5, 7 p.m. & July 6, 1 p.m., The NOVO).

Artist Alley (Kentia Hall): A must-see are the more than 500 artists who showcase a variety of handmade creations for sale to attendees, including original artwork, prints, crafts, clothing and comic collections in what is the largest gathering of amateur and semi-professional artists at any convention. This year’s featured artists are Shinnosuke Uchida, the world’s only wall-manga live paint artist, and LA-based pop culture artist Jared Yamahata.

Anime Expo Fashion Show (July 5, 12:30 – 3 p.m., Live Programing 1/Petree Hall): Japan is home to many of the most cutting-edge, fashion-forward trends in the world. AX takes pride in showcasing and introducing a variety of designers and their creations to the American market. Throughout the years, AX has featured authentic Japanese clothing brands, as well as a new generation of models and this year AX is honored to have Michelle Nguyen Bradley MC the Fashion Show. Designers include: h. NAOTO, Acryl CANDY, HYPLAND, amnesiA&paramenesiA, Metamorphose and Hot Topic. In addition, in The Annex attendees are able to meet and get an autograph or photo from the designers and models, and shop each brand’s offerings.

Charity Auction (July 7, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Live Programming 3 (408 AB): AX is proud to give its support to a very worthy local organization Terasaki Budokan, and encourages fans to stop by the auction and bid on items donated by AX 2019 Guests of Honor, and anime-related vendors and companies that will include signed merchandise, memorabilia, and original artwork. Terasaki Budokan’s mission is to provide a facility in Downtown Los Angeles for youth, families and seniors that offers sports, community activities and opportunities to connect visitors to Japanese American culture and to a vibrant, sustainable Little Tokyo. Last year’s Charity Auction raised nearly $18,000.

Masquerade & World Cosplay Summit US Finals (costumes) (July 6, 8 – 11 p.m. Main Events/Hall B): AX encourages and embraces cosplay and the AX Masquerade is a celebration of cosplay and performance competition steeped in history of more than 20 years. AX is excited to welcome all of the performers who are hoping to win the US preliminary for World Cosplay Summit.

Gaming (Entertainment Hall): With more than 200 gaming stations, including eGaming and eSports arenas, tabletop, mobile and arcade games, AX 2019 delivers the latest from Dream League, PUBG, KONAMI, Fate/Grand Order and others. With tournaments, learn-to-play, and free-play sessions, there’s something for everyone at all skill levels in the tabletop games section. eGaming fans can compete with Xbox, Nintendo, Playstation consoles, plus an arcade section to compete with others or just have fun. Additionally, fans can join the biggest names in the industry as they unveil their latest projects and releases during panels and workshops.

If you can’t attend, be sure to bookmark the Anime Expo Livestream channel to watch events in LP1/Petree Hall and other exclusive interviews.

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