Here's Anime Expo 2022's best costumes in GIF form

Sean Aitchison (@sean8urson) dressed as Great Saiyaman from "Dragon Ball Z." <span class="copyright">(Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Sean Aitchison (@sean8urson) dressed as Great Saiyaman from "Dragon Ball Z." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

Anime Expo 2022 drew tens of thousands of attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend and, as has happened many times before, its popularity even attracted the attention of fire marshals working to keep the crowd safe.

“For the safety of all attendees, the LAFD requested the hosts to open a portion of the convention center to alleviate the crowds who congregated in the street,” LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said in a statement, according to KTLA.

Attendees were, of course, undeterred and jubilant to get back to a place where their passion for the world of anime could be shared in-person after a 2-year hiatus. In-booth dance parties (looking at you, Pony Canyon), video game trailers and demos ("One Piece Odyssey" seemed to be everywhere, including a huge Monkey D. Luffy statue at the South Hall entrance), TV show reveals (new original video animations from "My Hero Academia"!) and activities celebrating Japanese pop culture all went on inside the convention center as excited patrons bought clothing, toys, jewelry, movies, manga, original art, posters and knick-knacks from the hundreds of booths and artist displays.

Music is also a big part of the Expo, with numerous concerts and DJs in ticketed and non-ticketed events. The Novo hosted many of the satellite events, like the inaugural Anime Expo Homecoming: City Pop concert featuring DJ sets from the 70s/80s-inspired Tune in Tokyo collective and a performance by L.A.-based artist Mari Iijima. With glow sticks galore, it was one of many musical events, which included the EDM-centric Neon District and a special “One Piece Film Red presents Steve Aoki Live” performance from the world-renowned DJ himself.

For some, though, the convention center crowds were concerning. Video showing people gathered before entering the expo and in packed halls (following Comic-Con's lead?) from the Anime News Network made the rounds on social media, and though the organization reinstated vaccine requirements, complaints lingered about the expo's overcrowding and potentially racist booking, along with calls for greater accountability.

However, nothing seemed to quell the excitement on the ground, especially the legions of cosplayers and those who admire them. Often smart, relatable costumes seemed just as fulfilling as the elaborate constructions, huge foam weapons and engineering feats that roamed the halls. Posing for photos or video was a must, and we've assembled a few of our favorites.

A gif of a man in a Pikachu face mask with small stuffed Pikachus all over his body.
@garrzpika, aka #thepikachuguy, during day two of the Anime Expo 2022 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a cosplayer with two large bladed weapons.
Logan Bulnes (@loganspacecowboy) cosplaying as Tengen Uzui from "Demon Slayer." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a woman in an orange turtleneck holding up a magnifying glass.
Varsana (@varsenex) cosplaying as Velma from "Scooby-Doo." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A woman with long straight dark hair holds a giant sword over her head.
Nicole Perkins (@nickynicole44) cosplaying as Akame from "Akame Ga Kill." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
Four people cosplaying with white faces and red and black costumes.
Jennie Zuniga (@krispycake53_) as Husk, left, Vee Villain (@misssvillain) as Vaggie, Chloe Ashbach (@chloe_ashbach) as Charlie and Danielle Bradford (@countess_samhain) as Angel Dust from "Hazbin Hotel." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a person in a Jujutsu baseball uniform, tossing a baseball.
Ernesto (@ernest_falsegreatness) as Yuji Itadori from "Jujutsu Kaisen." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
Six men and women wearing baseball uniforms with the word &quot;Jujutsu&quot; written on the front.
Aya (@aya.party) as Maki Zen'in, left, Kumi (@sidewayscat) as Nobara Kugisaki, Ernesto (@ernest_falsegreatness) as Yuji Itadori, Will (@f_used) as Toge Inumaki, Jonathon (@isaiahjonathon) as Yuta Okkotsu and Donavan as Baseball Choso from "Jujutsu Kaisen." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a sci-fi creature aiming a glowing weapon at the viewer.
Daniel (@foldingchair130) as a Shinra security officer from "Final Fantasy VII." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A person in black, with a black face mask and visible skin dyed blue.
Alex Uceda (@alexp1xis) cosplaying as Muffet from "Undertale." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a woman holding a green weapon in one hand.
@kittyxreaper cosplaying as Xiao from "Genshin Impact." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A woman in a white blouse and patterned skirt wears a black headdress.
At Anime Expo 2022, Bella Drawson (@whatthepeck_) models an original costume she made. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
Two smiling girls, one with yellow hair and one with blue hair.
Jessie (@hywy227) as Kagamine Rin, left, and Stella (@im.Stella.cn) as Hatsune Miku from "Vocaloid." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A person wearing a blond wig, green goggles, a spotted tie, and a light jacket over a blue shirt.
Rashad Jamison (@otakuhooper) as Kento Nanami from "Jujutsu Kaisen." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A person wearing a blond wig and cat's ears holds a fake decapitated head also with blond hair.
Whitney Nguyen (@whit_san) cosplaying as Neferpitou from "Hunter x Hunter." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A cosplay blue monster with big bat ears and large pointy teeth.
Burlap (@burlapped) cosplaying as "Monstrosity Stitch." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A person in a blond horned wig reaches one hand out toward the viewer; the other holds a plush monster as if to throw it.
@all_the_way_cosplay cosplaying as Arataki Itto from "Genshin impact." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a person with longish heir weilding a bow.
Roberto Vergara (@kurztkoffin) cosplaying as "This is just something I bought today." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
A gif of a person wearing a kimono and a wooden helmet and face mask with puffed-out cheeks
Sam Galloro as Hotaru Haganezuka from "Demon Slayer." (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.