Ani-Medford has come a long way since it's conception and first anime convention in 2019. It has survived the Ashland Fires, and COVID-19. In 2021 and 2022 with the demise of the Ramada Hotel the site of Ani-Medford 2019, Ani-Medford moved to Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass, Oregon on interim. 2023 Ani-Medford returned to the Medford, Oregon area and expanded to two days instead of the one day events previously. This was huge in the area and Ani-Medford became the first ever two day anime convention in Southern Oregon. Jackson County Expo was the site for Ani-Medford 2023 and inside the largest venue to date in Southern, Oregon. A record number of vendors, exhibitors, and attendees made Ani-Medford a historic event for Southern, Oregon. Even with the record heat for the two days, it was an amazing event with special guest celebrities, video games, historic panels, and Anime Theater showing "Demon Slayer, Dragonball Z", and other anime featured films and television series. On Sunday August 13, 2023 attendees witnessed a Dragonball Z improve scene done on the panel stage where Goku (Peter Kelamis), Pan (Elise Baughman), and Dabura (Rick Robertson) meet for the first time. The scene will never be done again and was a great treat for Dragonball fans. If you missed Ani-Medford 2023 you missed the best event in Oregon.
Ani-Medford 2023 had the most special guest of any Ani-Medford in the past. In fact the guest list may be the most ever for any Oregon convention. Celebrity appearances are very special because once a guest appears at Ani-Medford they won't appear again. Meaning celebrities only come to the area one time ever. That means if you love anime, you have to come to Ani-Medford and see these guests making each event an Oregon historical moment. Ani-Medford saw a Dragonball gathering that will never happen again in Oregon and may never happen again anywhere. Peter Kelamis (Goku), Elise Baughman (Pan), and Rick Robertson (Dabura), all part of the Dragonball Universe. There was also a Demon Slayer Reunion with Jackie Lastra and Michelle Marie. Marie Westbrook from "Cyberpunk: Edgerunners" made her convention debut at Ani-Medford. These special guests have a long list of characters they have portrayed, including hundreds of films and anime television shows, and at Ani-Medford attendees who love "Hello Kitty, One Punch Man, Gundam, and many more enjoyed getting photos and autographs from all the special guests.
cosplay SPECIAL GUESTS
Cosplayers are the cornerstone of Ani-medford, and as every year we saw some regular favorites and some new faces. Cosplayers bring Ani-Medford the charm and excitement of what makes anime conventions fun for everyone. The Faustian Spider who is the only cosplayer to be a guest at every single Ani-Medford. The Faustian Spider is the cosplay face of Ani-Medford. The other cosplayers who rounded out the cosplay guest experience were Consul of Cosplay, Vivsai, Echochips, and MERITORIOUS.COS.
Entertainment is always a big part of Ani-Medford. This gives attendees things to do besides shopping for goodies. Our Anime Theater had great features this year on the big screen. All features involved the years special guests like Dragonball Z, Demon Slayer, with a special showing of original Ultraman. Starshine Maid Cafe came to Ani-Medford to entertain attendees and have loads of fun. The most energetic Maid Cafe in the world is Starshine. Their stage performances are second to none and made their second appearance at Ani-Medford. Under The Deko Tree also made another appearance at Ani-Medford with their sweet music. Attendees really enjoyed listening to their music and their CD is very sweet music. The band is one of the best in Oregon. Distance Nerding Podcast once again hosted the panels and started each day with an Anime Pop Quiz that offered cool prizes like Funko Pops. Itasha Vehicles also graced Ani-Medford and attendees were able to take photos with these cool vehicles. Both days ended with Cosplay Contests headed by all the cosplay special guests.
ani-medford sights & sounds
Ani-Medford 2023 broke many records from special guests, to attendees. It was the largest event in Southern Oregon, and look for more good things in 2024.