Well, another Anime Expo is behind us, after a frustrating two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, and it was frankly amazing. All four days, fans showed off their Spy x Family and My Dress-Up Darling cosplays, attended industry panels, and browsed fun booths in the dealer room looking for products to buy…including hentai products from J-List, JAST and J18 Publishing. Let’s see what we can learn from the return of the premier international anime event of our time!
All in all, I can only say from my point of view as a dealer in the 18+ section of the dealer’s room that the show was a smashing success. The fans were all giddy and happy, as everyone enjoyed visiting their favorite booths and inquiring about this or that product. We don’t know the official number of attendees, but I’m positive 2022 easily blew past the 2019’s attendance, which was 115,000.
All the staff of J-List’s sister company J18 Publishing has basically been working hard for a year and a half preparing for this event, smiling to ourselves at how happy our customers would be once they got into our booth and saw the fruits of our hard work. We sold so many high-quality hentai doujinshi, tankoubon format manga and artbooks at AX, our truck is going to be about 70% lighter driving back down to San Diego. Thanks to everyone who came by our booth to browse our delightfully ecchi products!
The smash hit of the show was the new Art of Kantoku artbook that we released for the event. It’s a boxed set of two high-quality artbooks containing the artwork of Japan’s premier doujin and anime artist over the past 14 years, as well as details on all the characters he’s created over the years. You can see our managing editor Rotoscopic, above, was excited at the response to the book, which sold out at the con. (It’ll be up for order on J-List soon.)
Want to read a post about the long history of J-List and Anime Expo? Here is the link!
What Was Holding an Anime Event During COVID like?
The event required that all attendees and exhibitors show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to obtain a special wristband, and wear a mask inside the convention center. While most fans had their masks on as directed, naturally some fans got tired of them and took them off once they got inside the dealer’s room.
Will we get a major COVID outbreak as a result of the first mass-scale face-to-face anime event held in the U.S., as we did in late 2021? We’ll see. Since the attendees were vaccinated, there’s every reason to hope any issues will be easily managed.
Extensive News Coverage of Anime Expo by Japanese Media!
Anime Expo 2022 received coverage by the Japanese media, who described the mood at the “mammoth” anime gathering that had been forced to cancel for two years in a row. Thanks to new funding by international streaming sites who create anime series for their viewers, the international (ex-Japan) anime industry grew larger than the domestic industry for the first time in 2020.
So anime is bigger outside Japan than inside, thanks to its massive popularity around the world, helped along by fans like you and me. What does this mean?
For starters, I think it means that Sony was actually smart for paying US$1.1 billion to buy Crunchyroll in 2021. This move allowed the company to control anime distribution (via Crunchyroll and Funimation), anime licensing (via Aniplex), anime production (via Clover Works and A-1 Pictures), as they prepare for a post-Playstation future. Maybe, when Anime Expo’s attendance surpasses the San Diego Comic-Con and anime assumes true world domination, we’ll look back on this day and smile nostalgically.
Thanks for reading this blog post about the return of Anime Expo. Did you attend the show, and have any feedback? Post it below, or on Twitter!
Also, see everyone at our booth at the San Diego Comic-Con!
J-List’s partner J18 Publishing has been on a roll, bringing tons of fun new hentai manga and doujinshi to you, which are 100% uncensored and fully translated. Browse our newest work, the Alp Switch Omnibus!