Conventions are an excuse to gather in huge numbers of otaku, either purely anime fans, or mixed in with Sci-Fi nerds and gaming geeks. The largest California conventions are Anime Expo (AX for short) in Long Beach, and Fanime in San Jose.
The largest anime con in the US (was growing roughly 25% per year starting in 1992 with 1,750 attendants and growing to 40,674 attendees in 2006 but has since leveled off with around 45,000 attending in 2009). Each year they pull in some amazing guests, but the lines for presentations, signings, and the dealer area are rather ridiculous. AX has developed into being THE con for industry. Most licensing companies have a presence at AX, i.e. a booth and/or panel(s) where they tend to announce their license lineup for the year. There are not as many silly panels as there are at Fanime.
Happenings of Importance or Interest
- 2001 (2002?): Paul got confused by going-straight lanes and turn-lanes, only to be pulled over by local police and have his (accidentally) uninsured car towed, extending the weekend stay through Monday.
- 2002: Super Fanboy took all the time at the Shoji Kawamori panel, asking about technical details of a nuclear reactor in Earth Girl Arjuna, ignoring the fsking fact she was able to fly and stuff. Unfortunately, the fanboy was not punched, even once.
- 2006: Manga Super-team, CLAMP, and j-rock icon Mana appeared publically for the first time in the U.S. This was one of a very short list of public appearances for them. causing much fangirl-ism. Daniella Orihuela-Gruber met Mana and swears it was better than sex. She also met Crispin Freeman whom she stalked for a half an hour in the exhibt hall so that her best friend could come down and get his picture and autograph.
- 2007: Also known as LineCon 2007. This was made noteworthy by the appearance of Minna No Nur Puppy on stage with the VA's from Haruhi (both English and Japanese). Also of note was the debut of S.K.I.N. in concert. This was a brief 1 year stint in Long Beach, most people didn't seem to like it there.
- 2008: Next year AX is moving to the LACC. Not many people seem to be excited about this.
- 2017: Club Event Organizer Omar Rosales acquired a signed illustration of Miia from Monster Musume from the mangaka Okayado. The other officers were not surprised, but disappointed nonetheless. Treasurer David Le spent all of his money on Cels and figures. Also of note is that David paid for a hotel room with other Minna members, and only spent one night in it, as he didn't leave the expo building.
The smaller of the two conventions (roughly 1/3 the size of AX, around 15,000 attendees in 2009), running in northern California since 1994. It was something of an off-shoot from AX, which originated in San Jose, but has remained smaller over the years. One of the main differences in Fanime is that it behaves more like a fan con as opposed to AX which has evolved more into an industry con. Fanime is more akin to the east coast cons such as Otakon because of this, the main difference being more silly panels and such.
Happenings of Importance or Interest
- 2006: Annaliese's ruler of badassity. A Kamijo (of the j-rock band, Lareine) concert of much badassity as well.
- 2007: Andy Richardson and David Shenosky entered AMV's into the Fanime Music Video contest. Andy's video won the "Judge's Choice for Best Drama AMV" award. Both of their videos had previously been shown during MnA's Holloween party.
- 2008: Planned group entry into the masquerade. Minna no Nur Puppy makes a comeback!
- 2009: Minna no Nur Puppy (MnNP) enters again into the masquerade, this time cosplaying Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler).
- 2019: Alison Brennan cosplayed in military attire (anything else would have been a shock), and had a canteen of tea as part of his cosplay. At some point, his tea swapped with grey goose. He discovered this by taking a big swig of it.