One of the major after-effects of the ongoing novel COVID-19 pandemic meant that the convention circuit had to be essentially shut down for the year, but Aniplex is coming through with a new virtual way to celebrate the anime fandom! Aniplex of America has announced they will be launching the Aniplex Online Fest, a special virtual convention featuring special appearances from cast members, artist performances, and many more things associated with Aniplex's library of shows. The best part is that fans will be able to stream it all completely for free through YouTube.
Taking place in between July 4-5 on YouTube, Aniplex Online Fest will feature Sally Amaki, member of the Japanese idol group 22/7 (Nanabun no Nijuni), as the emcee for the English language version of the event. Amaki had the following statement for fans as she prepares to host her very first major event like this, "“I'm a little nervous since this my first-time as an emcee but I will give it my all!"
Although it's not quite clear just yet what Aniplex has planned for this virtual event, Aniplex Online Fest will be featuring content celebrating the company's extended roster of shows such as Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, The Promised Neverland, Cells at Work!, Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld, Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, Kaguya-sama: Love is War?, and even the upcoming Fate/Grand Order The Movie Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot.
Aniplex Online Fest describes the event as such on the official website, "The festival will feature a diverse array of online content including talk shows with the staff and cast from popular anime, special appearances and past live shows from music artists, and behind-the-scenes stories from the anime industry!"
This is only one of the major virtual efforts from the convention circuit with Anime Expo recently announcing the Anime Expo Lite, and Funimation announcing their own virtual convention as well. It might be a while before conventions are held again due to the ongoing pandemic, but at least there will be virtual efforts like this one to keep the spirit alive!
Are you ready for Aniplex's big virtual convention? Will you be tuning in to see how it turns out this Summer? What are you hoping to see? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.