2020 saw several conventions, anime or otherwise, having to change their ground game and go completely virtual in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with Crunchyroll Expo being no exception, and it seems as if the company will be following suit this year as the streaming service has announced that this year's convention is going virtual. With Anime Expo having already announced that they will also be going digital this year as vaccines roll out around the world, we'll definitely be keeping an eye out to see what other anime conventions decide to go digital for 2021.
Last year's Crunchyroll Expo, though digital, still managed to give anime fans more than a few things to chew on within the medium, taking an opportunity to showcase the voice actors of One Piece, explore the origins of Inuyasha and its sequel Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, as well as give fans a number of pieces of exclusive merchandise for different franchises. Though a schedule has yet to be released for this upcoming Expo, slated to take place from August 5th to 7th, we imagine that the virtual convention will offer some new material for anime fans to mull over throughout the medium.
Crunchyroll shared the news via their Official Twitter Account, confirming that rather than canceling the Expo outright, 2021 would see it going digital once again, with fans being able to experience panels and purchase merchandise online in a similar fashion as they did last year:
Virtual @CrunchyrollExpo is back again this year!! 🎉March 12, 2021
Crunchyroll was in the news late last year as Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that the media company had purchased the streaming service for $1.2 billion USD. With Sony already owning Funimation, the anime company responsible for bringing Dragon Ball Z over to the West, it will be interesting to see what changes come about from the merging of these two platforms, especially with Funimation having an annual event of their own.
The spring anime season is nigh, so Crunchyroll is about to have a very busy time period as they release a number of new anime series that will garner more subscribers to their platform.
What do you think of Crunchyroll Expo 2021 going digital? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of streaming platforms.