Online Anime Con Weekend: KuroCon / FunimationCon / Anime Expo Lite / Aniplex Online Fest – July 3-5, 2020

For our second part of the Going Places series where I visit online conventions, I had a heck of a ride visiting not one but four events: Funimation Con 2020, Anime Expo Lite, Kurotsuki Convention Online and Aniplex Online Fest.

Altogether, they form what I will refer to as the Online Anime Con Weekend, coinciding with the Independence Day in the United States of Dragon America.

Kurotsuki Convention Online (KuroCon) 2020

Let’s start with the one I frequented the most during this weekend: KuroCon.

What got me excited with KuroCon is the fact that it’s a “for fans, by fans” event. If you closely follow the anikura (anime + music club/concert) scene on Twitter, you could be familiar with a few names who cross countries just to watch their favorites sing or dance on stage.

The way I see it, KuroCon has a big flex when they got artists such as marble, Asaka, Stephanie, ZAQ, and fripSide angela on board as guests of honor.

The second flex KuroCon has are the relevant panel discussions – ranging from idols to virtual youtubers to even anime-related satire. There’s also a panel discussing the ways to go around in Japan. KuroCon has a variety of topics.

Best of all, since this is an event for fans by fans, they have anikura sessions, and one of which even has a tiger cam so wild tigers can yeet the hell out of themselves.

Here are some of the panels that you have missed but can be reviewed again in text or video:

Anime Expo Lite

There are only a few fans who ever dreamt of going to the western hemisphere to see what the anime/cosplay community is there, and I too also dreamt of going to Anime Expo, the largest of its kind in the States.

Of course it’s just a dream – until Anime Expo Lite has been announced. They even have a matching “print your own badge” feature where you show off your badge wherever you are, and that’s fantastic.

One thing I remember the most is the RightStuf panel. Perhaps that’s the only one I observed the most? RightStuf is a staple when it comes to anime distribution in the US.

When RightStuf showed the samples of HD remastered Gundam SEED which is already shown before, I am in awe. Imagine, a non-Gundam fan sticking to the video of the samples until the end. What I cared about is that the way anime is edited and dubbed has improved over time, and you can see it in comparison. This gives me a sense of how the west sees it.

FunimationCon 2020

Through FunimationCon 2020, the worldwide distribution network of Funimation (US, Canada, Latin America), Manga Entertainment (UK & Ireland), Madman Entertainment (Australia) and Wakanim (France) under the Sony umbrella showed its wide reach and went on to cover industry-specific topics such as localization and the dubbing scene.

Like Anime Expo Lite, they even allow visitors to print their own badges. The downside is that you need to use VPN to watch the event due to geographical restrictions.

Aniplex Online Fest

Speaking of the Sony umbrella, Aniplex has its own online fest catering to audiences outside Japan and in China, streamed live on YouTube and Bilibili.

Some of the best segments include anikura by DJ和 (DJ Kazu) as well as Sphere’s live online talk coming from various locations – including England where member Minako Kotobuki is currently staying.

Don’t get me started with the Mahouka panel, it’s hilarious. Actually, the event is indeed a powerhouse with all the voice actors sharing their stuff to the audience. An ultimate fan fest for the seiota (seiyuu otaku), I must say.

That’s the weekend that was – four events spanning three different days. If I had not been so busy during that time, I could’ve spent more time coming and going through these events. Such is the life of someone in the events industry trying to survive through this pandemic.

Also, if they just didn’t mash up everything in one single weekend, that would have been much more wonderful.

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to more of these events – KuroCon will have its second run this September, and I have yet to write my brief record of two separate online cons.

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