Anime Expo is turning 21, and the annual celebration of Japanese pop culture isn't holding back with this year's party. Tens of thousands of anime fans, often in costume, will infiltrate downtown for a four-day fete featuring guest appearances from the creative minds behind this year's hottest anime series. You'll get the latest scoop on what's going on in Japan's animation and comic book world, but there's way more to the convention than that. Ever wondered what the theme songs of Dragon Balland Gatchaman would sound like as metal anthems? Animetal USA will demonstrate when they make their U.S. debut on Friday. For a more refined time, join Saturday's Lolita Tea Party hosted by model Misako Aoki, a familiar figure to fans of hip Japanese fashion magazines. If you're looking for a good party, check out Lounge 21, the new 21+ club-within-a-con where you can check out local DJs and musicians. Make sure you head to the exhibit hall for unusual collectibles and fan art. Also, look out for the cosplay meet-ups, where you'll see some dead-on interpretations of the casts of anime series past and present. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Fri., June 29, noon-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., June 30-July 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Mon., July 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; $25-$75. anime-expo.org.
Fri., June 29, 12-6 p.m.; Sat., June 30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., July 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Mon., July 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 2012