Every Panel Worth Checking Out At Anime Expo 2023
Gaming

Every Panel Worth Checking Out At Anime Expo 2023


As the self-proclaimed largest anime convention in the world, Anime Expo 2023 has a bunch of world premieres and panels taking place across the four-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 1 to July 4. Sprinkled in between its big main stage events, featuring big-name anime studios like Mappa, Wit, and Trigger, are a cavalcade of fan-led panels (some of which take place after dark) that may be worth checking out.

It should also be noted that, while last year’s expo ultimately did require proof of covid vaccination or a negative test result, this year those requirements have been dropped, according to the event’s health and safety guidelines. Anime Expo, however, has “strongly recommended” that attendees get vaccinations and/or booster shots before attending, and wear face masks while inside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Here is a guide to some interesting panels at Anime Expo, when they’re happening, and where they’re located.

Read More: What To Expect At Anime Expo 2023

Image: Anime Expo /Kotaku


July 1

Welcoming Ceremony

Where: Main Events

When: 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Creativity in Cosplay: A POC’s Guide

What’s Happening: A crew of professional cosplayers host a panel giving newbies a crash course in do’s and don’ts with cosplay.

Where: 402 AB

When: 10-10:50 a.m.

How to Draw Attractive Characters

What’s Happening: Gorillaz artist MinoMiyabi provides essential tips for drawing anime characters while showcasing his new comic, Jehanne.

Where: 403 AB

When: 10-10:50 a.m.

Who’s That Pokémon!

What’s Happening: Attendees compete against each other by guessing the names of randomly selected Pokémon for the chance to win gym badges and candy.

Where: 408 AB

When: 11-11:50 a.m.

Videogame Localization with Rocket Panda Games

What’s Happening: The localization team at Rocket Panda Games (the folks behind the Phantom Breaker: Omnia fighting game) dish on their experiences translating anime and video games into English.

Where: 511

When: 11-11:50 a.m.

Maid Cafe

What’s Happening: Anime Expo’s “moe” serve attendees coffee and (maybe) sing a little song or two while you take a break from walking the convention floor.

Where: 515B

When: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Madoka Magica – More than you think! Spinoffs and more!

What’s Happening: The folks behind the magical girl anime, Madoka Magica, host a panel revealing a bunch of spinoff games and manga for fans to enjoy.

Where: 402B

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

A photo shows attendees at Anime Expo 2019 building gunplas.

Photo: Albert L. Ortega (Getty Images)

Let’s GUNPLA!!

What’s Happening: An informative panel on how to get started assembling your own gunpla model.

Where: 404 AB

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Cosplay Senpai Round Table

What’s Happening: A seminar on how to build your presence in the cosplay community on social media.

Where: 409 AB

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Butler Café

What’s Happening: Anime Expo’s Butler Café hosts live music while serving attendees coffee.

Where: 515 A

When: 11:45 .m.-12:45 p.m.; 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Live Drawing performance by Japanese Calligrapher

What’s Happening: A professional calligrapher hosts a workshop about how to draw calligraphy.

Where: 406 AB

When: 12 p.m.-1:20 p.m.

Theories on Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World

What’s Happening: Panelists discuss themes of masculinity and world-building in the popular isekai anime, Re:Zero.

Where: 411

When: 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Manga Planet Industry Panel

What’s Happening: Manga Planet, a subscription-based manga-reading website, reveals new and upcoming titles.

Where: 511

When: 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Pompo the Cinephile Screening with Takayuki Hirao

What’s Happening: GKids hosts a screening and Q&A panel with director Takayuki Hirao about his upcoming anime film, Poompo the Cinephile.

Where: 403 AB

When: 1-2:50 p.m.

Second Impact: The Music of Evangelion II

What’s Happening: Music professors host a panel exploring the impact of Neon Genesis Evangelion’s soundtrack.

Where: 411

When: 2-2:50 p.m.

Furoshiki – The Art of Package Wrapping

What’s Happening: A workshop teaching attendees how to pack their own fancy bento box lunch.

Where: 402 AB

When: 2:30-3:20 p.m.

A photo shows fans attending an Aniplex panel at Anime Expo.

Photo: Anime Expo

WayForward Anime Game Developer Panel

What’s Happening: Directors from developer WayForward’s Shantae, River City Girls, and RWBY games host a Q&A panel with new reveals and behind-the-scenes info on their latest games.

Where: 403 AB

When: 3:30-4:20 p.m.

Samurai Warrior Training: The Art and Spirit of the Samurai

What’s Happening: A seminar teaching attendees the way of the blade.

Where: 406 AB

When: 4-4:50 p.m.

Dragon Ball Z Official Concerts

What’s Happening: A panel revealing where and when Dragon Ball’s North American concert tour will take place.

Where: 404 AB

When: 5-5:50 p.m.

Inside the Anime Dubbing/Subtitling studio

What’s Happening: Bang Zoom! Studios give attendees the opportunity to learn about the recording and audition process of making anime.

Where: 511

When: 5:30-6:50 p.m.

Fate/strange Fake -Whispers of Dawn- World Premiere

What’s Happening: Aniplex hosts the world premiere for the latest entry in the Fate anime series in English with directors Shun Enokido and Takahito Sakazume.

Where: Main Events

When: 7-8:20 p.m.

Waifu Wars: Devastation

What’s Happening: Attendees compete to defend their favorite waifus’ (and husbandos’) honor for the chance to win prizes and diss other attendees’ beloved characters into oblivion.

Where: JW-Platinum

When: 8-8:50 p.m.

Otaku Debate Signups

What’s Happening: Otaku attendees compete against each other in teams of two to throw down in the free marketplace of weeb ideas.

Where: 404 AB

When: 8-8:50 p.m.

FAKKU Industry Panel and Q&A

What’s Happening: Fakku, that nsfw manga-reading site you totally never heard about until now, is hosting an 18+ panel going over the company’s history and upcoming projects.

Where: 408 AB

When: 9-10:20 p.m.

AMV Competition Finals

What’s Happening: Attendees get the chance to watch the finalists in Anime Expo’s anime music video competition.

Where: Main Events

When: 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.


July 2

VShojo Japan VTuber Talent Q&A

What’s Happening: VTubers Kson, Amemiya Nazuna, and Henya host a Q&A session with attendees about what it’s like being a part of the VShojo Japan VTuber company.

Where: JW-Diamond (Vapollo Virtual Stage)

When: 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

The Art and Mediums of Storytelling

What’s Happening: Yoko Taro (NieR: Automata), Atsushi Ohkubo (Fire Force), Hiroyuki Seshita (Knights of Sidonia), and Jin (Kagerou Project) host a panel where they talk about storytelling in their experiences working on anime and video games and reveal information about their upcoming anime, KamiErabi GOD.app.

Where: JW-Platinum

When: 1-2 p.m.

An Anime Expo 2011 photo shows The Legend of Zelda cosplayers sword fighting.

Photo: Robert Gauthier (Getty Images)

The Ultimate Legend of Zelda Trivia Experience

What’s Happening:
The Legend of Zelda fans compete against each other in Anime Expo’s trivia game while listening to live music from the popular Nintendo video game series.

Where: 402 AB

When: 1:30-2:20 p.m.

CDawgVA & Ironmouse – Monke vs. Gremolin

What’s Happening: Anime YouTuber CDawgVA and popular VTuber Ironmouse host a panel where the two chat about gaming and anime.

Where: JW-Diamond (Vapollo Virtual Stage)

When: 3-4:20 p.m.

Conversation with YOSHIKI

What’s Happening: Musician Yoshiki reveals how he came up with the theme songs for popular anime like Attack on Titan and Saint Seiya.

Where: Petree Hall

When: 3:45-4:30 p.m.

Understanding The Animation Pipeline

What’s Happening: Industry professionals dish on the production process of making an anime.

Where: 402 AB

When: 5-5:50 p.m.

KADOKAWA Animation PV Watch Party ft. Gigguk and CDawgVA

What’s Happening: Anime YouTubers Gigguk and CDawgVA host a panel where they reveal upcoming anime from Kadokawa Animation as well as the premiere episode of My Happy Marriage.

Where: JW-Diamond (Vapollo Virtual Stage)

When: 6:30-7:50 p.m.

Studio TRIGGER Live Drawing and Q&A

What’s Happening: Studio Trigger artists host a live drawing and Q&A session.

Where: 403 AB

When: 6:30-8:20 p.m.

An Anime Expo photo shows attendees browsing a manga shelf

Photo: Anime Expo

Anime Journalism: How Do Be an Otaku Gumshoe

What’s Happening: Anime News Network publisher Christopher Macdonald hosts a panel teaching aspiring anime journalists how to cover the industry.

Where: 404 AB

When: 7-7:50 p.m.

Controversial Anime Opinions

What’s Happening: Rappers Shao Dow, Cam Seady, Breton Boi, Ham Sandwich, and V!ce host a debate panel where they discuss hot takes in the anime community.

Where: 404 AB

When: 8:30-9:20 p.m.

Classic Black Anime Characters 102

What’s Happening: A panel celebrating known and unknown melanated characters in anime.

Where: 411

When: 8:30-9:20 p.m.

2023 Masquerade & World Cosplay Summit USA Finals

What’s Happening: Anime Expo’s longest-running cosplay event where cosplayers compete to win prizes and t be declared the “best in show.”

Where: Main Events

When: 9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Cosplay Wrestling Federation

What’s Happening: A cosplay wrestling show hosted by an improv comedy team.

Where: 403 AB

When: 9-10:50 p.m.


July 3

Mega64 20th Anniversary Panel

What’s Happening: Popular video game YouTube channel Mega64 host a Q&A panel where they’ll reveal footage of unseen videos and future projects.

Where: 408 AB

When: 11-11:50 a.m.

A photo shows idols dance on stage at Anime Expo.

Photo: Anime Expo

Underground Idols in Japan

What’s Happening: Idol expert Marbotaro shares his experience as both a fan and staff member in the Japanese idol industry.

Where: 403 AB

When: 12-12:50 p.m.

Sailor Moon IRL: Isekai and Real-World Connections

What’s Happening: Scholars discuss how the anime community exists alongside real-world issues like covid-19.

Where: 411

When: 1-1:50 p.m.

What does it take to be a Nintendo / Pokémon Designer?

What’s Happening: Yusuke Kozaki, an artist who’s worked on Pokémon Go, Tekken 7, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, hosts a Q&A panel about working in the video game industry.

Where: JW-Platinum

When: 1:30-2:20 p.m.

Empowering Emerging & Seasoned Artists

What’s Happening: Online artist community Pixiv and art book publisher PIE International host. host a discussion panel over emerging trends in the online anime art community.

Where: 408 AB

When: 2-2:50 p.m.

Noir Caesar

What’s Happening: Noir Caesar, a black-owned manga company founded by NBA player Johnny O’Bryant, discusses the importance of diversity and authentic representation in manga and anime.

Where: 404 AB

When: 3-4:20 p.m.

Composing For Magical Realms

What’s Happening: Cris Velasco, a composer who has worked on the original God of War games, the Mass Effect series, and others, reveals his process for making music.

Where: 402 AB

When: 3:30-4:20 p.m.

Marx, Foucault, and Ouran High School Host Club

What’s Happening: A panel discussing how capitalism is portrayed in the popular reverse-harem shojo anime, Ouran High School Host Club.

Where: 411

When: 4-4:50 p.m.

An evening with TheAnimeMen and King Christian

What’s Happening: TheAnimeMen, a group of popular TikTok users, host a panel where they talk about their partnership with SMEJ to help promote anime music “more easily in North America.”

Where: Petree Hall

When: 5:30-6:20 p.m.

AX Cinema Nights Presents

What’s Happening: Anime Expo hosts a panel where Japan Society director of film Peter Tatara, GKIDS director of marketing Erica Chon, and Sony Pictures Entertainment executive Tony Ishizuka discuss upcoming anime films. There’ll also be a Satoshi Kon film festival celebrating the life of the acclaimed anime director behind influential films like Paprika and Perfect Blue.

Where: 411

When: 5:30-6:20 p.m.

MyAnimeList Community Panel

What’s Happening: Staff at MyAnimeList, a popular anime database/social media site that allows fans to track their progress in seasonal shows, reveal tips and tricks for navigating the database, trivia games, and answer attendees’ “burning questions.”

Where: 511

When: 6-6:50 p.m.

AMV Awards

What’s Happening: Anime Expo reveals who won the 2023 Anime Music Awards competition.

Where: 408 AB

When: 7-8:50 p.m.

Anime Expo photo shows fans taking photos with cosplayer Yaya Han.

Photo: Anime Expo


July 4

A Hideo Kojima Fan Panel

What’s Happening: A fan-led panel looking back on the Death Stranding and Metal Gear Solid series creator’s career in the video game industry.

Where: 404 AB

When: 10-10:50 AM

Giant Robot Costumes with Uberscosplay

What’s Happening: Mech cosplayer Uberscosplay breaks down how attendees can construct their own elaborate robot cosplay. A Gundam cosplay helmet will also be raffled off at the end of the panel.

Where: 409 AB

When: 10-10:50 a.m.

The Fighting Games Trivia Showdown

What’s Happening: Attendees test their fighting game knowledge in a Jeopardy-esque game show.

Where: 409 AB

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Themes in Sailor Moon

What’s Happening: A discussion about how the popular magical girl anime became a cultural touchstone in the gay community.

Where: 402 AB

When: 1-1:50 p.m.

The Entire Lore of Kingdom Hearts

What’s Happening: Kingdom Hearts experts break down 20 hours’ worth of the games’ convoluted lore into an hour-and-20-minute discussion panel.

Where: 409 AB

When: 1-2:20 p.m.

Records of Anime: Collecting Anime Vinyl

What’s Happening: A panel about how to get into collecting anime vinyl LPs and where to find new releases. Attendees will also have the chance to win a “vinyl prize.”

Where: 511

When: 2-3:20 p.m.

Anime in Latin America 101

What’s Happening: A panel discussing how anime like Dragon Ball Z became a tour de force in Latin America.

Where: 404 AB

When: 3-3:50 p.m.

Closing Ceremony

Where: Main Events

When: 4-5 p.m.


Kotaku is covering everything at Anime Expo 2023, including big announcements at panels and exclusive one-on-one interviews with the industry’s biggest creators. Whether you’re a seasoned anime fan or a newbie, you can keep up with all things Anime Expo 2023 here.





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