comScore Virtual Crunchyroll Expo Returns This August 5 - 7 | The Mary Sue

Registration Is Open For Virtual Crunchyroll Expo’s Return This August!

A free anime filled weekend event!

Back in 2017, Crunchyroll, the streaming service many of us anime fans spend an, um, decent amount of time with, launched their first-ever convention. Like every other convention across the country (and everywhere else in the world) the event took a digital approach last year, offering a weekend’s worth of streamable content to provide fans with the convention-going experience online. Crunchyroll recently announced the move to make the 2021 event virtual once again, the expo kicking off on August 5 and going through the weekend to end on August 7.

Convention season this year is up in the air for a lot of events. Even with the rollout of vaccines to deal with the pandemic, there’s still a giant question block in the air on when it’ll be okay to host in-person gatherings. Conventions have gone in one of three directions because of it, they’ve either, 1) moved to a later date that will, undoubtedly, allow fewer attendees, 2) moved to 2022, or 3) gone virtual. In some cases, events are doing a combination of “online” and “in-person,” but in the case of Crunchyroll Expo, it’ll be online only.

Considering the fact that their past attendance numbers reached the tens of thousands, I don’t blame Crunchyroll for sticking with a digital format.

Registration is now open for the event. The best part? It’s free! Not only that, but if you register by April 30th, you’ll receive exclusive backgrounds for desktops, mobile, and Zoom! You’ll also qualify for all upcoming digital pre-show prize packs that will, of course, be exclusive to Crunchyroll.

What I like about this particular event is how it’s embracing the virtual format. It feels like they’re making the most of the situation, going so far as to create “New Crunchy City” so it feels like you’re going somewhere. And what’s in New Crunchy City? Well, that’s where you can check out fan and guest panels, a virtual shopping district, and world premieres to some of your favorite anime properties. There’s even a Cosplay Cup that cosplayers can compete in, similar to the Masquerades that would take place at in-person events.

It’s a nice way to take part in anime fandom from your own home, right down to the fact that it’s not just industry panels, but fan panels where we can spend an hour gushing about whatever topic the panelists are discussing.

Fan panels are always one of my favorite elements of these kinds of conventions. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanna meet my favorite VAs, spend too much money on figurines (will there be SK8 the Infinity figures by August???), and buy oh so many prints in artist alley, but I also wanna engage in the fan element, the part where someone’s put together an entire presentation on why (insert series) is better than strawberry mochi.

If you want to register for the event, you can go right over here!

If you wanna submit a panel about “Anime to Watch This Year ” or “My Ship Brings All the Fan Peeps to the Yard” or something along those lines, go here!

If you want a space in Artist Alley, go here (note: this is ALSO free)!

If you wanna compete in the Cosplay Cup, go here!

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See everyone (virtually) in August!

(Image: Crunchyroll)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)