Anime enthusiasts and cosplay aficionados are gearing up for the highly anticipated 2nd annual Anime St. Pete, a vibrant celebration of anime culture. Set to take place from September 30 to October 1 at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, this year’s event promises an even more exhilarating experience for attendees.
Drawing inspiration from the resounding success of its inaugural edition, which saw a remarkable turnout of nearly 4,000 attendees, Anime St. Pete 2023 is set to captivate enthusiasts anew. A premier destination for both anime enthusiasts and cosplayers, the event boasts a diverse array of attractions and activities that cater to all things anime.
Florida Comic Cons gives you 14 glorious reasons to attend Anime St. Pete 2023.
Reason 1: Voice Actors
One of the event’s highlights is the presence of five prominent voice actors, renowned for their portrayals of over 30 beloved characters in popular anime shows. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and interact with:
- Mela Lee, known for voicing characters in a range of iconic series including Demon Slayer, Seven Deadly Sins, and RWBY.
- Anairis Quinones, whose credits encompass My Hero Academia, Pokemon, and Attack on Titan, among others.
- Nicholas Roye, recognized for lending his voice to characters in Naruto, Boruto, and Tokyo Revengers.
- A.J. Beckles, celebrated for his roles in Bleach, Tokyo Revengers, and Bungo Stray Dogs.
- Gabe Kunda, acclaimed for voicing characters in My Hero Academia, Chainsaw Man, and One Piece.
Reason 2: 30+ Characters
The 5 big-name voice actors collectively portray more than 30 major and significant characters in popular anime shows, animated movies and series, and video games. The voice actors portray anime characters from Pokemon, Tokyo Revengers, RWBY, My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, One Piece, 7 Deadly Sins, Hunter x Hunter, Bungo Stray Dogs, Naruto, Borato, Bleach, and Jujutsu Kaisen. In addition, the voice actors portray characters in animations like Miraculous Lady Bug and The Owl House. Also, they voice video game characters in Apex Legends, Cookie Run, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter.
Reason 3: Guest Cosplayers
Anime St. Pete 2023 will feature four talented guest cosplayers hailing from Orlando, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers. All are experienced guest cosplayers who collectively have more than 500,000 TikTok followers and more than125,000 Instagram followers. .
And you can see their artistic abilities showcased at Anime St. Pete 2023 on September 30 – October 1 at the historic Coliseum in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg. The guest cosplayers — Cassandra Ariel, Breezy Cos Gravity Gremlin, and Avera Cosplay — will be hosts and judges of the cosplay contests, TikTok Film Festival, and lip sync competition. In addition, they will be hosting panels.
Reason 4: idol showcase
Elevate your convention experience and immerse yourself in the captivating rhythms that speak to the heart of K-pop and J-pop fandom.
Join Milk Soda — a K-Pop performance group based in central Florida that does dance covers, vocal covers, and creates original music – in a celebration of the artistry, passion, and limitless possibilities of the Idol Showcase as fans bring dreams to life through the power of music and performance.
In addition to running the Idol Showcase Saturday afternoon, Milk Soda is hosting an idol Q&A panel on Sunday to give fans a peek into the life of idol performers. Anime St. Pete 2023 is your gateway to experience the allure of idol culture up close!
Reason 5: Contests
The 2nd annual event features four contests: Two cosplay contests, a lip sync competition, and a TikTok Film Festival.
When one is not enough, have 2! Anime St. Pete 2023 features 2 cosplay contests!
First is Craftsmanship Cosplay Contest on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. with $500 in prizes (and cool medals)! Pre-registration is required, and open till Sept. 15 (application here).
Second is Runway Cosplay Contest on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Register Sunday morning at the information desk. Contestants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. This competition is not crafts-based, and is open to all ages. Winners receive cool medals as well as the adoration of geeks and nerds in attendance!
TikTok Film Festival
Join the community for a lively film festival of anime TikToks. From anime edits to sketch comedy to cosplay, come watch as we share the best of short form visual entertainment. Winners receive cool medals and compete for $300 in cash prizes. Register for the content thru Sept. 15 here.
Lip Sync Competition
Sing your heart out to your favorite song. The Anime Lip Sync Contest is a battle for the most votes, tallied by audience cheering. So, bring your best performance as well as some friends to cheer you on. Awards include $200 cash prizes and cool medals. Register for the content thru Sept. 15 here.
Reason 6: Friday Night Pub Crawl
CANCELLED- RESCHEDULED FOR HOLIDAY COSPLAY TAMPA BAY 2023 ON DEC. 2-3 – same bars.
Reason 7: Panels
There are two types of panels: Voice actor Q&As and fan-led panels.
Voice Actor Q&As
One of the most anticipated highlights will be the rare opportunity to participate in engaging Q&A sessions with the talented voice actors behind beloved characters from iconic series like My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, and Tokyo Revengers. Fans get the chance to peek behind the curtain and interact with the voices that bring their cherished characters to life, gaining insights into the creative process and the experiences of these professionals within the industry.
The vibrant world of anime comes to life through an array of captivating fan-led panels! From the adrenaline-pumping ‘Anime Feud,’ where fans can showcase their knowledge of anime trivia, to the intricacies of ‘Makeup for Anime’ that teach enthusiasts how to embody their beloved characters, the panels offer an immersive journey into the depth and diversity of the anime realm.
Reason 8: anime shopping
Whether you’re seeking meticulously crafted figurines capturing the essence of your beloved characters or searching for exclusive apparel and accessories that proudly showcase your anime devotion, this shopping experience is a haven for enthusiasts. Booths will be showcasing everything from intricately designed posters and art prints to charming keychains, earrings, and plushies (and lots more!) Visit the Anime St. Pete website to see a list of all the vendors.
Reason 9: Scavenger Hunt Bingo
Anime St. Pete Scavenger Hunt Bingo will have participants embarking on a journey throughout the convention. Armed with a Bingo Map and an unquenchable spirit for exploration, attendees will collect stamps for a chance to win prizes like free tickets to St. Petersburg conventions and anime merch. And everyone who completes the scavenger hunt bingo gets an Anime St. Pete button ($5 purchase price). Learn more here.
Reason 10: foodie paradise
Anime St. Pete 2023 is inviting you to embrace your inner foodie and prepare your taste buds for an extraordinary culinary journey. Say farewell to lackluster convention fare of yesteryears— tasteless burgers, greasy corn dogs, and soggy fries. Instead, brace yourselves for an eclectic fusion of flavors that will elevate your convention experience to delicious new heights.
Asian Food Trucks: Get ready to embark on a mouthwatering adventure through the streets of Asia without leaving the convention grounds. Anime St. Pete 2023 boasts an array of carefully selected Asian food trucks, offering a tantalizing variety of authentic cuisines. From savory dishes that transport you to the heart of Tokyo’s bustling streets to delectable bites that reflect the vibrant tastes of Seoul, each food truck is a gateway to a new world of flavors waiting to be explored. Here’s the menu!
Decadent Themed Desserts: Elevate your sugar rush with high-end themed desserts that are a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Indulge in homemade macarons that burst with delicate flavors, and savor every bite of expertly crafted cookies cupcakes that are as much works of art as they are treats. These desserts are designed to complement the immersive anime atmosphere, making every bite a whimsical experience that adds a touch of magic to your convention journey.
Authentic Japanese Snacks and More: Dive into the enchanting world of authentic Japanese snacks, offering a taste of Japan’s culinary traditions. From the distinct crunch of Japanese Lays Potato Chips to an array of traditional favorites that span the taste spectrum, you’ll have the opportunity to savor unique treats that evoke the essence of Japan’s rich gastronomic heritage.
Foodie Paradise info:
Learn more about the chefs, bakers, and importer of Japanese snacks here.
Reason 11: idol performers
Get ready to be transported to a realm where vibrant beats and electrifying melodies converge to create an atmosphere that’s nothing short of magical. Throughout both days of the event, Yume Project performances will infuse the convention with the infectious energy that characterizes the world of K-pop and J-pop. And on Sunday, the culmination awaits as they take center stage at 2pm, promising an unforgettable showcase that will leave you awe-inspired and craving for more.
Reason 12: tiktok lounge
Step into the world of creativity and self-expression with the latest addition to Anime St. Pete: The sensational TikTok Lounge! Are you ready to unleash your inner star and create captivating short-form videos that resonate with the vibrant spirit of anime and cosplay? Look no further.
The TikTok Lounge is your personal haven for crafting TikTok masterpieces that showcase your unique style. With three different backdrops, each with lighting, all that’s missing is you! Whether you’re a seasoned content creator or just embarking on your TikTok journey, our lounge is the ideal spot to bring your ideas to life.
Dive into this exciting free activity that adds a new dimension to your convention experience. Let your imagination run wild, create content that resonates with fellow anime enthusiasts, and share your passion with the world. The TikTok Lounge awaits – grab your devices and let the magic unfold! (and don’t forget to tag Florida Comic Cons)
Reason 13: free pro photos
Get a pro snap of your cosplay for free! Nate Takes Photography, known far and wide in Florida for his amazing cosplay photography, will be offering free photos. The pro photographer, best described as ‘one nerd being creative with a camera,’ snaps your fantastic cosplay, and makes it available online for free. Visit him in the upper balcony (but be prepared for a small line as he’s quite popular).
Reason 14: gwen-stacy
Prepare for a heartwarming encounter with the charismatic Gwen-Stacy, a beloved 7-pound Toy Australian Shepherd who has captured the hearts of fans far and wide. Known for her endearing ‘Gwensday’ social media posts that light up the week, Gwen-Stacy brings her enchanting presence to Anime St. Pete 2023, ready to meet fellow enthusiasts and share the joy that only a furry friend can bring.
This pint-sized sensation isn’t just about virtual interactions – she’s a familiar face at numerous comic, anime, and horror conventions across Florida, where she thrives on connecting with her fans, getting snapshots, and spreading smiles. Keep an eye out for Gwen-Stacy and her father as they roam the convention in her stroller. Don’t miss the chance to capture a moment with this adorable celebrity, and be sure to tag Florida Comic Cons in your social media posts.
Need help finding cons in Florida?
Florida Comic Cons has the Con Calendar, a curated calendar of comic, anime, horror, and other pop-culture conventions to keep you, the fandom, informed and apprised (you’re welcome). The Con Calendar’s event listings include all the con info like ticket prices and links, and lots more!