Image from cover of Anime Expo 2016 guidebook at Los Angeles Convention Center
Image from cover of Anime Expo 2016 guidebook at Los Angeles Convention Center

With celebrity voices and animators — and songsters including Dancing Dolls — the Los Angeles Convention Center opened Friday to Anime Expo 2016.

Crowds were pouring in for cosplay through July 4, celebrating the culture, art and industry of Japanese-spawned print and video animation. Also music videos.

The event isn’t limited to art appreciation. It also laughs at itself.

Among the competitions is the Late Comedy Showdown, which began in 2007 and has grown into a popular late-night event.

“Jokes range from video games, anime, manga, nerd culture, Japanese pop culture, and cosplay,” say organizers.

“Late Comedy Showdown consists of two events: Tryouts: Do you think you’re funny? Or do you just want a laugh? … Come on in to contend for a spot in the Finals or simply relax with friends. Finals (Ticketed): The competitors have been selected and it’s now an all-out battle of jokes and jibes where the audience determines who will be crowned the champion!”

Here’s how folks were enjoying themselves on Day 1:

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