After years of watching foreigners having fun abroad, Australians finally get a dedicated anime expo! Even better, Crunchyroll itself has arrived in Melbourne to bring us some of the best voice actors in the world, exclusive previews of upcoming anime, and tons of local and international merchandise.
Crunchyroll Expo’s first event in Australia was not without a few hiccups, but overall we had a lot of fun. Plus, dive into our post-show report for Crunchyroll Expo Australia 2022!
|when it installed||August 2017|
|event length||September 17-18; 2 days|
|location/location||Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|cost|| Saturday 17th – $45 AUD
Sunday 18th — $40 AUD
Weekend Pass – $55 AUD
VIP — $290 AUD
Signing Tokens: $35 AUD each, plus $50 AUD to sign an individual item
|hotel||Pan Pacific Melbourne, Novotel Melbourne South Wharf, and AC Hotel by Marriott are all within walking distance of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.|
|Event messages for attendees||Coming into its 6th year, Crunchyroll Expo is a premiere fan festival celebrating all things anime. Featuring unique panels, exclusive merchandise and a world premiere, this year the show is heading down the aisle from September 17-18, 2022. Be sure to sign up for the Crunchyroll Expo Aus newsletter to be the first to know about exciting updates!|
Anime Down Under: Australia doesn’t get nearly as many anime programs as our foreign friends. Although Supernova and Ozkomikon have been important events for geeks and otakus, the largely anime-dedicated event hasn’t. Crunchyroll Expo Australia brings an anime-centric vibe to Melbourne, with exhibits for shows like Fire Force, Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and more! Crunchyroll also brought Hololivers, musicians and voice actors to Australia to give the event an “established” feel.
Queue Times: Despite the best of intentions, the inaugural Australian event faced some serious opening issues, especially on the first day of the event. Some attendees waited as long as 5 hours in queues outside the venue, with little response from Crunchyroll staff; There were reports of people coming in the afternoon and queuing up even after the program was closed. The second day fared better, with the queues inside the center itself, but we recommend getting to the center before the start time.
power bank: If you’re anything like us, you’ll be taking a lot of pictures, and that battery chews through power. There’s nowhere to charge your devices inside the hall, so we recommend a portable power bank to recharge your phone.
blanket: Sadly, the exhibition center has almost no seating, so at lunchtime, hundreds of people were camping on the raw concrete floor. We’re sorry for not bringing a soft blanket to sit on!
breakfast: Crunchyroll Expo Australia had a unique maid cafe, as well as various food vendors, but around noon, the lines were quite long, so if you don’t want to queue for a meal, bring some snacks with you!
Cash and Cards: Although most artists and vendors accepted card payment, many smaller stores were adding a surcharge to cover the cost of using a payment terminal such as Square. It might be helpful to have some cash on hand!
Signing Panel: For 2022, Crunchyroll Expo fielded some of the English voice actors of jujutsu Kaisen—Adam MacArthur, Kaiji Tang, and Anne Yatko, who voiced Yuji Itadori, Satoru Gojo, and Nobara Kugisaki, respectively. Along with the other guests, they were available all day to sign the panel, but unfortunately, there was a hefty surcharge to sign a personal item. We’re not sure why Crunchyroll needs to charge an additional amount, but keep that in mind if you’re budgeting to see multiple guests.
Live Music Festival: A dedicated stage saw local J-pop groups from Melbourne and Sydney performing covers and their own songs on both days of the show. There were even glow sticks available for purchase, giving the mini-concerts an air of authenticity! An even bigger name came in for a special concert – ASCA, whose songs have been used for Fate/Apocrypha, Sword Art Online: Alicization, and The Irregular at Magic High School. Now this is what we call star power!
performance: Several themed exhibits were held around the hall, showcasing Crunchyroll’s top-performing anime, including an Attack on Titan-themed bungee trampoline, a Chainsaw Man exhibit, and a Spy X Family living room. ! ANIPLEX presented a massive celebration of the 10th anniversary of Sword Art Online, featuring behind-the-scenes artwork from the anime and quotes from series creator, Kawahara Reiki.
art and craft: If the main hall noise is too much for you, there are some quiet areas in the center. In the “Artihabara” area, attendees were invited to sit and display the completed artwork in whatever way they wished. A manga library was also available for casually browsing popular versions of the shonen and shj series; And at “Lumin’s Workshop,” live DIY cosplay events taught attendees how to make their own shields and headbands!
shopping: The biggest drawcard of the event (for us, at least) was the shopping district! Here, popular Australian vendors like AnimeWorks and Anime Kaka were selling shirts, figures, keychains, pillows, and everything else an otaku could dream up! There were dozens of local Australian artists in the Art District, where you can buy anime-themed art prints, charms, pins, stickers and more!
What is expo without cosplay?! Australia’s cosplay scene is dedicated to their craft, often traveling across the country to celebrate their shared love of creating and playing their favorite characters.
There were so many amazing cosplays that we’ll have a dedicated cosplay article to show them all—but for now, here’s our pick of the bunch.
Don’t forget to check out our full cosplay article to see so much more incredible cosplay in action!
Crunchyroll Expo Australia was a great event for those who definitely managed to get inside the doors. We cannot ignore the fact that hundreds of attendees were also unable to properly attend the event, and although they did get a refund, this is hardly an ideal situation.
That said, the expo brought an American dose of anime and entertainment to Australia, and being a purely anime expo was a breath of fresh air compared to the mixed media “geek” events we usually see.
Did you attend Crunchyroll Expo Australia 2022? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!