The pandemic ravaging our society rages on, and as such, most sensible people have cancelled large events for the time being. But that's not going to stop Anime Expo from throwing an event, despite all indicators that it's an incredibly bad idea.
Dubbed Anime Expo Lite, the event was announced on Twitter with a picture. If the picture's anything to go off of, Viz Media, CrunchyRoll, Bushiroad, and Pony Canyon have all agreed to sign on. The event will rule July 3 - 4.
There's no other indicator as to what, exactly, this event will be. But barring some clarification in the coming days, it's easy to take this as an announcement of some smaller physical event. If that's not it, then the SPJA should have really come out in front of this whole thing with some answers. Right now, you can sign up for a newsletter for additional info, which just isn't enough.
SPJA has been notoriously slow to addressing criticism when it comes to their events. The past several Anime Expos have seen otaku flooding lower-income neighborhoods and littering for city blocks due to excessive lines and poor convention management. More recently, they were woefully ambiguous about the cancellation of this year's event - until a fantastic article from ANN seemingly forced their hand. There's a lot of work to do for America's biggest anime con, that's for sure.
Only time will tell what this "Lite" event even is. Hopefully, it's a situation like the fantastic Anime Lockdown or last weekend's MomoCon: a virtual con mostly held on Discord and Twitch. Holding any sort of gathering right now is a terrible idea, and we would genuinely implore people to not support that outcome - that is, if they care about their families and loved ones.
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