It’s been some time since we got a new pop culture convention so this is exciting! Anime Arizona kicks off this Friday at the Mesa Convention Center. Let’s get started…

Tickets: Entry to Anime Arizona will run you $40 for both days OR you can purchase just Friday for $20 and just Saturday for $30. VIP passes are currently waitlisted and children ages 8 and under are free. You can still purchase tickets here.
As a side note, if you’ve already purchased your badge, you can pick it up on May 4th or May 5th at the Toy Temple Headquarters in Tempe. Might be a good idea since we don’t know what the line for badge pickup will look like.

Location and Parking: Anime Arizona will be held at the Mesa Convention Center in the main building (just like Taiyou Con). The Mesa Convention Center does offer free parking which is nice. If you are taking the Valley Metro Rail, there is a pretty close stop at the Center/Main St station.

Guests and Exhibitors: Anime Arizona is hosting six voice actors such as Christopher Sabat (My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Z/Super) and Zach Aguilar (Demon Slayer) who offer different services and pricing. For the full list of guests and exhibitors, you can reference my previous post here.

Cosplay: There is (apparently) a cosplay contest but there isn’t any information anywhere on the Anime Arizona website. The convention posted about prizes for a cosplay contest on April 21st but no additional details about signs up or anything have been posted at the time of publishing this article. Even if you are not interested in competing, I have seen plenty of cosplayers show off their cosplay lineup for the convention so its definitely encouraged.
UPDATE: The cosplay contest will be held on Saturday at 5PM, for list of prizes and rules, click here.

Panels and Programming: None to speak of, the convention has said that the first year will concentrate on guests and exhibitors.
UPDATE: Panels have been updated with a few each day hosted by Super Heroes Unlimited touching on mostly cosplay. You can see the list of panels right here.

COVID Policy: Masks are recommend but not required.

Food: No outside food or beverages (other than sealed water bottles) are allowed into the Mesa Convention Center. There will be no food trucks but the convention center should be selling food and drinks.
For food options within walking distance/short drive of the Mesa Convention Center: Caymango, Jimmy Johns, Diamond’s Sports Grille, Rosa’s Mexican Grill, Mango’s Mexican Cafe, McDonald’s, and Nunthaporn’s Thai Cuisine.