LA anime convention draws thousands

Japan's leading content creation companies and anime studios are showcasing their latest works at North America's largest anime convention.

The annual Anime Expo kicked off in Los Angeles on Thursday. The four-day event is organized by a group of US-based anime fans. It drew nearly 400,000 visitors last year.

Gunma Chan was a big hit with fans. It's the mascot of Gunma Prefecture, central Japan. It also stars in its own anime series, which has been distributed around the world.

Officials from the prefecture are taking part in the event for a second straight year. They have set up a booth selling Gunma Chan goods and local crafts.

The Association of Japanese Animations says the anime industry was worth about three trillion yen in 2022, or about 18.6 billion dollars. That's a record high, with increasing popularity outside of Japan driving the growth.