Downtown hosts Japanese animation expo


A Mach 5, based on the "Speed Racer" franchise, makes an appearance at JAFAX. Photo via

Downtown is scheduled to host thousands of visitors this weekend for an expo on Japanese animation, film and art.

The Japanese Animation, Film & Art eXpo, or JAFAX, is being held this Friday to Sunday at DeVos Place and the Amway Grand Plaza.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the expo, which celebrates attendees dressed in costumes of popular Japanese animation characters and features Japanese cultural seminars and local artists exhibiting at booths throughout the weekend.

The expo will feature several other activities: guest script reading; cosplay photo shoots; game shows; video game tournament; and “a brand new dance” on Saturday evening.

The expo is expected to draw 5,000 visitors.

JAFAX was last held in 2014 on the campus of Grand Valley State University, which it outgrew that year.

Will Burgess, JAFAX event chair, said the new venues allow organizers to “do things we couldn’t on a campus facility,” such as accommodating special programs and evening events.

JAFAX is also partnering with Michigan Blood in hosting a blood drive during the weekend.

JAFAX expo highlights

Artist Alley and vendor exhibits

June 24-26, DeVos Place Convention Center Ballrooms A & B

Cosplay costume and performance skits

June 26, 4:30-6 p.m., DeVos Place Convention Center Ballroom D

The Maid Café

Family friendly dining experience with a Victorian Japanese aesthetic, featuring interaction between attendees and actors

Amway Grand Plaza Atrium Room (reservations “strongly recommended”)

June 25, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

June 26, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

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