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This convention has a little something for everyone!
Mobile Gaming News Network will cover everything that gamers need to know for Anime Expo 2019.
The time has come once again for otaku of a feather as they flock toward Los Angeles, California, to attend Anime Expo (AX). Widely regarded as the largest anime convention in the country, there is always a bevy of events going on day and night in every direction. Companies hold industry panels, guests from Japan perform concerts and sign autographs, and the Exhibitor Hall holds untold treasures, unique to the expo.
AX can be quite overwhelming even for veterans; the convention saw over 100,000 attendees in 2018 sprawled across the entire Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) including nearby hotels and bars. And while the convention does have a mobile app to help people see what’s happening, the astute con-goer will do plenty of coordinating and planning in advance so as to not miss a single, potentially life-changing experience. So pack an extra charger, and a battery pack, because a mobile gamer will find plenty to see and do at AX 2019 with this handy guide at your side!
There is an astounding number of panels happening at Anime Expo, but as you might imagine, most of them are focused on anime. Below is a list of panels and events that are focused on mobile games, anime tied to mobile games, or allow for the possibility of mobile game-based announcements.
BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! And Revue Starlight Re LIVE Special Panel
Thursday, July 4, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Live Programming 2 – JW Marriott Platinum Ballroom
Join Aimi (voice of Kasumi Toyama) and Haruka Kudo (voice of Yachiyo Tsuruhime) as they talk about the characters they portray and the games they appear in. There’ll be new announcements for the games and a random gift for coming to the panel!
Aimi and Haruka will also be performing twice each on Bushiroad’s mini-stage at their booth in the Exhibit Hall, #800. Haruka’s shows will be Friday, July 5th, at 3:00 and 4:00 pm; Aimi will perform Saturday at 1:00 and 2:00 pm. Alongside the concerts, a small cosplay contest will be held for both BanG Dream and Revue Starlight, with scale figures from each show as a prize for the winning group. The contests will take place on Sunday: BanG Dream at 11:00 am and Revue Starlight at 1:00. While entry has already closed, audience participation will help determine the winner so go out and support your favorite cosplays!
All panel information and booth events taken from Bushiroad’s official announcement.
Crunchyroll Games Industry Panel
Thursday, July 4, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Live Programming 3 – LACC 408 AB
Crunchyroll is hosting a separate panel for their mobile games, so you can be sure your news isn’t bogged down by all of that regular anime nonsense. There will supposedly be a secret surprise announcement from Yoshi P about Grand Summoners, a Q&A with the Producer for the upcoming Attack on Titan TACTICS game, and even a giveaway for an iPad Pro!
Full announcement of Crunchyroll Games panel here.
Azur Lane Behind the Scene
Friday, July 5, 11:30am-1:30pm
Workshop 1 – LACC 403 B
Asuka Itou (voice of San Diego) and Saya Horigome (voice of Cleveland) will join Intern-kun for a special panel. There will be drawing, voice acting, Q&A, and even a giveaway for signed art as well as a chance for Asuka and Saya’s autographs!
(Hao (八才) , one of the official Azur Lane artists, was originally scheduled to appear but unfortunately had to cancel. Compensation was prepared to make up for this.)
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story at Anime Expo
Friday, July 5, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Live Programming 1 – LACC Petree Hall
Magia Record is a fairly new game in the North American region, having only launched on June 25th. Emiri Kato (voice of Kyubey) and Chiwa Saito (voice of Homura Akemi) will be present, and while we can be sure there will be plenty of discussion about the mobile game, the possibility of the Magia Record anime being announced isn’t impossible. Giveaways were also mentioned in the official panel description, though the conditions and prizes are unclear.
PLAY ANIME! With BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America
Friday, July 5, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Live Programming 1 – LACC Petree Hall
Although there were no specific games mentioned in the panel, it is worth noting that Love Live! School Idol Festival is being represented by Bandai Namco this year, so any news tied to LLSIF will likely come from here.
There will also be a cosplay contest for Love Live! at the Bushiroad booth #800 in the Exhibit Hall. Just like the BanG Dream and Revue Starlight contests, a scale figure will be given away to the best group, which will be determined by both a judge and audience applause. This contest will be held on Saturday at 3:30 pm.
Love Live! Sunshine!! Aquors World LoveLive! In LA ~Brand New Wave~
Friday, July 5, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday, July 6, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
The NOVO powered by Crunchyroll
Aquors is returning to LA once again for an exclusive concert at the NOVO. There will be two shows, and while ticket sales have closed there will be fan meet-ups on multiple days during the convention.
Fate/Grand Order Second Anniversary Celebration Event
Saturday, July 6, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Live Programming 1 – LACC Petree Hall
Fate/Grand Order’s North American server is celebrating its second year, and even though the actual anniversary was June 25th the localization team is saving most of the news for during this panel, much like last year. Ayako Kawasumi (voice of Altria Pendragon) and Rumi Okubo (voice of Astolfo) will be there alongside NA team members and FGO’s Creative Producer, Yosuke Shiokawa. There will be free gifts given away to everyone in attendance, raffles for more prizes, and a look at what is coming next in the game.
The Fate/Grand Order USA Tour will also be returning to LA, with special stage events at the Aniplex booth (#2000) all throughout the four days of AX.
Dive Into the World of Granblue Fantasy!
Saturday, July 6, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Live Programming 5 – LACC 404AB
Join Yuito Kimura (Producer) and Tetsuya Fukuhara (Director) for a live Q&A session all about Granblue Fantasy in their first-ever visit to their US audience!
Voltage Otome Romance
Saturday, July 6, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Live Programming 4 – LACC 411
Probably not on most people’s radars, but otome games have a surprisingly large following here in the West, so Voltage has had a major presence at Anime Expo for many years now. They will have their main industry panel, as well as a localization panel that talks about their process and even lets the audience participate in an activity. The localization panel is Sunday at 10:00 am in LACC 411, and both panels will be giving away door prizes related to their various games (Love 365, Ayakashi Romance Reborn, and Samurai Love Ballad Party)
Anime Expo has one of the largest Exhibit Halls of any convention, and it’s filled to the brim with booths ready to make your wallet cry. Hours will fly by just wandering the aisles, but if you don’t have a battle plan, all of the merch from your favorite game will be gone before you even find it! Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of the Exhibit Hall map so you can mark these booths based on the mobile game swag you are looking for.
Bushiroad – Booth #800
Bushiroad’s booth will have both BanG Dream! Girls Band Party and Revue Starlight RE Live merchandise, along with several of the events mentioned earlier. Love Live! merchandise will be split between this booth and Bandai Namco’s, so be aware when planning your route through the hall. A full list of what will be available for purchase was posted on the official Twitter on July 1st.
Bandai Namco Arts – Booth #2606
Receive a free bromide for every $25 spent at Anime Expo starting on DAY 3
Bandai Namco will have a ticket system in order to purchase Love Live! goods during the convention. You must line up at the booth at 10:00 am every morning in order to receive a ticket to buy goods that day. You will come back at the appointed time listed on your ticket, which is when you can purchase merchandise. There is no guarantee that what you want will still be available when it is your turn to buy, so try to get there as early as possible for a good ticket! The full list of merchandise that can be purchased from the booth can be found here. It is important to note that the free bromides will only be distributed beginning on Saturday, which is day 3 of the show. It is very likely that the most popular goods will be sold out by then, so plan accordingly.
As a side note, Bandai Namco will also have an area set up in the South Hall Lobby for the new Tales of Crestoria mobile game.
Otaku’s Industry – Booth #206
Yostar does not have a booth under their name, so in order to get your beloved ship girl goods from Azur Lane you will come here. The official Azur Lane Twitter account posted their merchandise lineup in three separate tweets (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) and a few other raffles are going on throughout the show. There is a PhotoOP Raffle in partnership with IFI, and Akashi’s Raffle which has an Itasha model as the grand prize! Make sure to read all the rules for participation.
Aniplex of America – Booth #2000
It can be safely assumed that the Aniplex of America booth, which is front and center in the South Exhibit Hall, will be mostly Fate/Grand Order in appearance and focus. However, a small portion will be dedicated to Magia Record, and fans of the new mobile game can get a free lanyard while supplies last. Last year, Fate fans were incredibly frustrated by the long lines and sold-out merchandise, so if you want anything Fate make sure to get to this booth first thing in the morning each day. Certain goods will only become available for sale on certain days of the convention, so check the list in advance to make sure you can get what you want!
Cygames – Booth #4506
The Cystore, Cygames’ pop-up merchandise booth, will be stopping at Anime Expo this year. With so many mobile games under their name, most will want to stop by the booth at least once during the convention. Goods from Dragalia Lost, Granblue Fantasy, Princess Connect! Re: Dive, Pretty Derby, and Shadowverse will all be available in one place, and each purchase will come with a Granblue-themed phone pouch! Check out the full list of merchandise on the official CyStore website.
Also of note, at this booth will be professional cosplayers of Granblue characters who will be present for photos, and an area for players to try out the Granblue Fantasy: Versus demo that was only accessible through the closed beta before.
Girls’ Frontline – Booth #3930
Girls’ Frontline does not have an official industry booth; their presence at Anime Expo is thanks in part to Rei, one of the artists for the game, and so the booth is called “Rei’s Art” on the official map and exhibitor list. They provided a short list on Twitter of goods that will be for sale at this booth, but also included a disclaimer that more may be available at the show. The Twitter account also commented that some freebies may be given away during the show.
Voltage – Booth #1906
Voltage will have an impressive display at booth #1906, and some lucky fans will be able to take a piece home if they buy a lanyard tag that happens to have a golden heart on it! (full explanation on their website) Ayakashi fortunes could net you special photos with the cosplayers scheduled to appear at the booth, and tickets for “virtual dates” with characters from games such as Love 365 and Samurai Love Ballad Party will be available for purchase too. All of this in addition to the regular merchandise that will be for sale, including some of their leftovers from AX 2018.
Outside of panels and exhibit booths, there will be tons of guests signing autographs, which can be checked here, and fan meet ups for various franchises which can be checked here. There is also an Artist Alley where you can find tons of merchandise for mobile games that don’t have an official presence at AX and may be worth checking out.