Take My Money, Anime Expo 2023: Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail, Artist Alley & More

Alice Ly

The sold-out Anime Expo 2023 is fast approaching, and every anime fan lucky enough to go is getting excited about this major July 4th weekend highlight.

There’s so much going on at the 4-day expo that it can get overwhelming, but you know you’ll have an amazing time regardless, even if it’s your first time!

I haven’t participated in Anime Expo since 2019, so I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and walk into that crowded lobby full of incredible cosplayers. Of course, it wouldn’t be AX without spending money on merch, so here are a few things I’m personally looking forward to.

HoYoverse Games Events & Booths

I’ve been an active Genshin Impact mobile game player for over 2 years, tapping my way through the open-world action RPG.

Genshin (pronounced with a hard G, so none of that “Jenshin” nonsense) will be setting up a Liyue-themed booth at Entertainment Hall #E8 for Paimon’s Food Fest and showcasing official products (no merch menu yet) along with exclusive chibi stickers and balloons.

A Liyue booth also means a standee cutout of Zhongli, my in-game husband, as I’ve repeatedly declared to my real husband. Obviously, I have to take a picture with the standee and attempt to get the exclusive sticker.

Genshin Impact will also have a Pixiv collaboration booth at Exhibit Hall #4506 with special concept art and actual fan art that HoYoverse deemed worthy of displaying!

HoyoVerse’s newest title, Honkai: Star Rail, is a space fantasy RPG that I’ve been playing for the past month. It’s a turn-based strategy game, but the core game aspects are similar to Genshin Impact. This game is a lot easier on my hands to play as a mobile user.

HSR will also be in the same area but their booth will be designed to feel like you’re in Xianzho Luofu in-game, a.k.a. “space China.” Expect to see Conductor Pom-Pom of the Astral Express along with meeting Connor @CDawgVA, Garnt @GiggukZA (both from the Trash Taste Podcast) along with Emi @Emirichu, and Sydney @Sydsnap on stage on the first day of Anime Expo 2023.

Artist Alley & the Annex

It’s not Anime Expo without the massive Artist Alley featuring 550+ talented artists baring their creative souls. Let’s appreciate the non-AI art, right?

While it can get extremely crowded, I’m definitely making a stop at Haiyunee (@haiyunee | Booth A28) for her new HSR train ticket stickers, as well as Asia Ladowska (@ladowska | Booth G49) to admire new prints. Hopefully, ventilation has been improved in that hall this year!

Next to Artist Alley is The Annex, which is a new-ish concept space (it debuted in 2018) designed to showcase cutting-edge fashion, art, and live art, along with unique experiences. On my list to check out (and potentially buy from) are the following artists:

Art of Josey Tsao (@joseytsao | Booth ANX411)
Bryce Kho Draws (@brycekhodraws | Booth ANX300)
Ukiyo-e Heroes (@thejedhenry | Booth ANX421)

Crunchyroll & Aniplex Panel Events

While I won’t be able to attend these particular panels, I’m still hyped for them and want to share in case you can make it:

Spy x Family Panel featuring Takuya Eguchi hosted by Crunchyroll
Main Events Hall, July 1, 5:00 PM

Join the Japanese VA of Loid Forger to discuss Spy x Family and potentially the movie coming out end of this year.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Special Event presented by Aniplex
Main Events Hall, July 2, 4:30 PM

The panel talks about the just-ended Swordsmith Village arc.

Jujutsu Kaisen Panel presented by Crunchroll
Main Events Hall, July 2, 3:00 PM

Join the Jujutsu team, where they discuss what it’s like to work on the show and the anticipated second season that’ll release on July 6th!

Those are what I’m looking forward to, and maybe you’ve gotten some additional ideas to add to your list! Anime Expo 2023 will take place July 1 – July 4, 2023, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They’ll also host Anime Expo Chibi in November 2023, in Ontario, CA! Just as the “chibi” moniker suggests, it’ll be a smaller event that focuses on an Exhibit Hall & Artist Alley.