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Mark these on your Anime Expo calendar, otaku

A huge crowd awaits the opening of the Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Although it’s grown enormously in size over the years — more than 100,000 attendees are expected this year — the Anime Expo has remained faithful to its original spirit. It’s first and foremost a place where people who love anime and manga hang out together and celebrate their favorite films, series, books and characters. There are screenings, panel discussions, workshops, lectures, concerts, contests and maid and butler cafes. But the principle attraction remains the chance to meet fellow otaku (fans).

Here are some highlights of the Expo, which runs through July 4:

“In This Corner of the World”

(5 p.m. July 2)

The World War II family drama won the Japanese Academy Award for animated feature this year, beating the megahit “Your Name.” Director Sunao Katabuchi will conduct a Q&A session after the screening.

“Fullmetal Alchemist” live-action panel

(11 a.m. July 3)

Director Fumihiko Sori and actor Ryosuke Yamada will show clips and discuss the forthcoming live-action adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s hit fantasy-adventure manga, which has already been animated twice.

“Lupin III: The Italian Game”

(2 p.m. July 3)

Marking the 50th anniversary of the master thief, con man and would-be Casanova Lupin III, created by manga artist Monkey Punch (Kazuhiko Kato), the feature-length special will receive its U.S. premiere. The special is tied to "Lupin the Third Part 4," which runs on Adult Swim.

“Tokyo Ghoul” live-action movie world premiere

(7:30 p.m. July 3)

Based on the popular animated series about flesh-eating monsters, “Tokyo Ghoul” is the Expo’s first live-action movie premiere. It screens ahead of its Japanese release, with director Kentaro Hagiwara in attendance. (Restricted to attendees over age 18).

SPJA charity auction

(10 a.m. July 4)

Each year, the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the organizers of the Expo, auctions drawings, autographed scripts and limited-edition swag to benefit a worthy cause. This year, the society is raising money for the Animators’ Dormitory, which provides housing for young artists. Although Japanese animation enjoys enormous popularity worldwide, a beginning animator may earn less than $10,000 per year, far too little to live on in Tokyo, where the industry is centered.

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Anime Expo

When: Through July 4

Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St.

Price: Registration prices vary.

Info: www.anime-expo.org/

calendar@latimes.com