The largest pop culture convention in this quadrant of the galaxy is prepping to open in San Diego in a couple of weeks, true.
But ahead of Comic-Con International, over the first weekend in July, Los Angeles shall play host to the "largest anime and manga convention in North America," a large-scale celebration of characters, cosplay, writers, artists, and the ideas that fuel the fantastical worlds behind oodles of popular properties.
Japanese comics and creations are the heart of Anime Expo, which'll keep a brimming-to-full schedule from Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4. When not shopping for the latest manga releases, fans will have a bevy of choices from the what-to-do calendar.
Gaming? Look for competitions to jump into, from tabletop to arcade. Contests? If you have an amazing idea for an anime series, professionals will be on hand to listen, while industry panels give guests a behind-the-scenes look at how a story comes together.
Karaoke, too, plays a major role in the festival, too, as attendees celebrate a veritable cornucopia of beloved art forms that originated, and then flowered, in Japan.
Cosplay, though, wins much of the spotlight, and for compelling reason: Anime aficionados work for weeks, and even months, to pay homage to their favorite characters in a sartorial sense. A number of intimate gatherings, the Cosplay Sensai, and the centerpiece Masquerade give fans the chance to show off their best Kakashi Hatake or Motoko Kusanagi.
Jump into your costume, find when your favorite creator or artist is chatting, and make for the Los Angeles Convention Center for a celebration of anime and manga, both, in all of their rich, riveting, and prismatic forms.