Biggest Anime conventions in the world!

If you’re like me, you LOVE to attend the biggest and best Anime conventions that the lovely continent of North America has to offer. While I’m from Canada, I have gotten the opportunity to attend many conventions in the United States. I even attended some conventions in Europe. But what about conventions outside of North America? I’m sure there are many big conventions around the world that are just as big.

But first, let’s answer the question…

What are the biggest Anime conventions in the world?

In terms of the biggest Anime convention in the world, Comiket in Tokyo Japan takes the cake. This convention is massive; with approximately 750,000 attendees in 2019, no other Anime convention even comes close to this attendance number. However, there are many conventions in the world that are just as big and popular. Examples include Japan Expo in France, Manga Barcelona in Spain and Anime Expo in the U.S.

In this post, I’ll go over the 10 biggest Anime conventions in the world that you should definitely consider attending. These are some of the most popular events in America as of 2023!

Instead of sorting each Anime convention by size (which may be impossible due to varying attendance numbers), I will sort the convention by continent: Asia, Europe and North America. I would have included Africa, Australia, South America and even Antarctica in this list. But as far as I know, there are no large conventions in these continents (I’m fairly confident about Antarctica :)).

Also, keep in mind that this list only is for Anime conventions; other events such as Comic conventions don’t count. So you won’t be seeing Lucca Comics & Games or New York Comic Con on this list, even though they’re just as big, if not bigger than most of these Anime conventions. But to be fair, some of these conventions (especially the ones in Asia) do mix with comic conventions and other genres. My criteria: if the event contains animation (not necessarily Anime), then that event is eligible for this list.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Anime conventions in Asia

You might think that with many Asian cities being heavily populated, there would be many large Anime conventions. However, based on my research, I didn’t find too many. A lot of them are considered comic cons, so I cannot add them to this list.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any big Anime conventions in Asia.

In fact, there is one convention that is famously known for being the largest Anime convention in the world. And that one is…

1. Comiket

NameComiket
LocationTokyo, Japan  
Venue locationTokyo Big Sight
Number of attendees750,000 attendees in 2019
Next event dateSaturday August 12 – Sunday August 13, 2023
Yes that is correct. 750,000 attendees!

Comiket (or formally known as Comic Market) is the granddaddy of them all. Taking place in Tokyo Japan, Comiket has an insane amount of attendees every year. In 2019, the event saw 750,000 attendees! Yes, let me repeat that; a 3/4 of a million people at one event! That would make Comiket by far the largest Anime convention in the entire world. Although Comiket may not be what you envision as a typical convention (the main focus is manga), I still consider the event as an Anime con.

Comiket is held twice a year; usually one event in the summer and another one in the winter. What’s interesting about Comiket are the rules you must follow, at least compared to your typical Anime convention in North America. For instance, you can only cosplay at Comiket when you’re at the event, and you must change out of cosplay when you leave the convention. When you have that many attendees, it does make sense to have specific rules to ensure a smooth annual event like Comiket!

2. Anime Festival Asia

NameAnime Festival Asia
LocationSingapore  
Venue locationSuntec Singapore
Number of attendeesOver 145,000 attendees in 2022
Next event dateFriday November 24 – Sunday November 26, 2023

You know, I’ve never heard of Anime Festival Asia. But colored me shocked when I found out that this annual event in Singapore played host to over 145,000 attendees in 2022! This must be a massive Anime convention in Southeast Asia.

Anime Festival Asia has been around in different cities. The event was held in other places such as Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But the convention has mainly been held in Singapore. Anime Festival Asia is definitely one of the biggest Anime conventions in the world!

3. Comic Fiesta

NameComic Fiesta
LocationKuala Lumpur, Malaysia  
Venue locationKuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Number of attendees65,000 attendees in 2019
Next event dateSaturday December 23 – Sunday December 24, 2023

Another big Anime convention that takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Comic Fiesta is one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. With 65,000 attendees in 2019, this event is definitely not small. What’s interesting about Comic Fiesta is how long the annual event has been around. Starting in 2002 with only 500 attendees, Comic Fiesta has grown to be a big event in Southeast Asia. So you definitely don’t want to miss it!

4. Jump Festa

NameJump Festa
LocationChiba, Japan
Venue locationMakuhari Messe
Number of attendees145,000 in 2013
Next event dateUnknown

Just like the name implies, if you are into Jump series then you gotta check out Jump Festa. This convention has been around since 1999 and has brought together Anime and convention goers together every year since. Jump Festa takes place at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba (a suburb of Tokyo), Japan. With 145,000 attendees even back in 2013, you can bet that Jump Festa is one of the biggest Anime conventions in the world!

Anime conventions in Europe

Having been to a couple of fan conventions in Europe myself, I find it strange that there aren’t that many big cons in the European continent. Well, at least compared to North America (which we’ll get into in the next category). There are a lot of smaller Anime cons in Europe. With that said however, there are 2 notable Anime conventions in Europe that are HUGE. Which ones are they? Let’s get into it…

5. Japan Expo

NameJapan Expo
LocationParis, France
Venue locationParis-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center
Number of attendeesApproximately 250,000 attendees in 2022
Next event dateThursday July 13 – Sunday July 15, 2023

Oh yes! Japan Expo in Paris is the biggest and most popular Anime convention in France. Even as someone from North America, I have definitely heard about Japan Expo, and probably for good reason. The annual event in the City of Lights features a ton of programming, activities and big-name guests. The convention is usually 4-days long and with over 250,000 attendees in recent years, Japan Expo is by far the largest Anime convention in Europe!

6. Manga Barcelona

NameManga Barcelona
LocationBarcelona, Spain
Venue locationFira Barcelona Gran Via
Number of attendeesMore than 163,000 attendees in 2022
Next event dateThursday December 7 – Sunday December 10, 2023

Here is another big Anime convention that I was surprised to learn about. Manga Barcelona in Spain happens to be the 2nd largest Anime convention in ALL of Europe. That is crazy to think, considering that I’ve never heard of this convention until now. Even my cosplay friend who lives in Spain, had never heard of Manga Barcelona until I informed her about it! The annual event has a ton of guests and a lot of activities going on. With 163,000 attendees in 2022, Manga Barcelona is definitely very large!

Anime conventions in North America

When it comes to Anime conventions, North America is still THE place to be. All the famous and big conventions happen here in Canada and especially the U.S. It’s no surprise that nearly half this list of big Anime conventions in the world is located in North America! And many of them have the signature features including the Masquerade, big-name guests and even 24-hour programming!

Let’s get into it…

7. Anime North

Anime North Review
View of Anime North from my hotel room when I stayed for the weekend!
NameAnime North
LocationToronto, Ontario (Etobicoke in particular)  
Venue locationToronto Congress Centre, Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport & Conference Centre, Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre
Number of attendeesOver 30,000
Next event dateFriday May 26 – Sunday May 28, 2024
Never would I have thought that Anime North would make this list!

I can’t believe I’m putting Anime North on this list! I never would have imagined that my first and local convention is now actually one of the largest Anime conventions in the world. With over 30,000 attendees showing up to Anime North in Toronto every year, the annual event is easily the largest one in Canada. Started way back in 1997, Anime North has grown immensely since then. The event is so big that the organizers usually implement an attendance cap for the 3-day weekend. This means that Anime North is probably larger than the 30,000 that is allowed.

AN is pretty unique to be honest. To start, the various convention activities are happening in 3 main separate buildings, one of which is far away. And the heart and soul of the convention hangs out around the parking lot of the Toronto Congress Center, giving the con an outdoor festival vibe.

There are many things to do at Anime North, such as: taking part in the Masquerade, enjoying yourself at the Maid Cafe and attending the numerous panels available during the convention weekend. There’s a reason why people keep coming back to Anime North; it’s a yearly tradition that can’t be missed!

Everyone has their own take of Anime North, including me. If you’re attending Anime North, click here to check out my guide!

8. Otakon

NameOtakon
LocationWashington, D.C.
Venue locationWalter E. Washington Convention Center
Number of attendeesOver 40,000 in 2022
Next event dateFriday July 28 – Sunday July 30, 2023

Otakon is definitely one of the largest Anime conventions in the world. The convention has been around for a very long time.

In the past, Otakon took place in Baltimore, Maryland. But in 2017, the organizers decided to move the convention to Washington DC. They lost some attendance during the transition and because of the pandemic, things were a bit rocky.

But that’s no longer the case, as 40,000+ attendees showed up for Otakon in 2022! That should tell you how well-run and established this big Anime convention is. So if you happen to be in the Washington area, definitely consider attending Otakon.

9. Anime NYC

NameAnime NYC
LocationNew York City, New York
Venue locationJavits Center
Number of attendees55,000 in 2022
Next event dateFriday November 17 – Sunday November 19, 2023

Anime NYC is not only one of the largest Anime conventions in America, but it’s been one of the fastest growing cons as well. Because unlike many other conventions on this list, Anime NYC only started in 2017! That’s right; you could say that Anime NYC branched off from New York Comic Con. After all, there was no large Anime convention in New York City at the time. And with New York being the most populated city in America, it only made sense that Anime NYC has filled that need for a big Anime con in the Big Apple!

I personally haven’t been to Anime NYC, but all my friends have said only great things about the con. If you love Anime and want to see big guests, see the best cosplays and be in the great city of New York, then you got to attend Anime NYC!

10. Anime Expo

NameAnime Expo
LocationLos Angeles, California
Venue locationLos Angeles Convention Center
Number of attendeesOver 100,000
Next event dateSaturday July 1 – Tuesday July 4, 2023

Last but definitely not least, we have the legendary Anime Expo in LA, which is by far THE biggest Anime convention in all of North America. When you have the top vendors showing up, along with 100,000+ attendees every year, you’re bound to have the biggest Anime con in the U.S.; it’s not even close.

The convention usually happens on the 4th of July weekend. Everything you could ever want in an Anime convention, you will definitely find at Anime Expo!

Summary

To summarize, here are the 10 Biggest Anime conventions in the world:

  1. Comiket
  2. Anime Festival Asia
  3. Comic Fiesta
  4. Jump Festa
  5. Japan Expo
  6. Manga Barcelona
  7. Anime North
  8. Otakon
  9. Anime NYC
  10. Anime Expo

And there you have it; the biggest Anime conventions in the world! I hope you found this post useful.

Here are some other articles you may find helpful:

Which Anime conventions on this list do you plan on attending? Let me know in the comments below!