San Japan, the 15th largest anime convention in the nation, brought in a projected 20,000 fans to the Alamo City.
The majority of attends come from San Antonio and Austin but some traveled as far as Japan to attend the event.
San Japan started in 2008 in the basement with less than 2,000 attendees. David Ramirez, San Japan’s director of community relations, said San Japan is for all things anime, video games, horror, and science fiction.
Ramirez credits the success of the convention to the fans who help run the event and show up every year. It is completely staffed by volunteers, minus one full-time employee, everyone else has a “day job.”
“Some people play sports in their free time, we put on anime conventions,” said Ramirez.
Keeping everyone safe was a top priority for event coordinators, they increased security since the deadly shooting at a Florida video game tournament in August.
Dozens of San Antonio Police Officers showed their presence all weekend along with Henry B. Gonzalez security staff, hotel security and the San Japan safety team.
Convention events are spread out between the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, the Grand Hyatt, and the Marriott Riverwalk.
Last year’s convention took place as Texans were recovering from Hurricane Harvey. 17,000 people attended San Japan which took place five days after the deadly storm and during the gas crisis.
The convention raises money every year to benefit a charity. This year they supported disABILITYsa and UTSA East Asia Institute, which will help provide scholarships for students who choose to study Japanese.