As the countdown to Virtual Crunchyroll 2021 dwindles down, we had the special chance to ask Crunchyroll’s Head of Events, Mary Franklin concerning the digital festivities.
The event will be held on August 5th-7th and VODs will be available until August 9th 10:00PM PST.

Image courtesy of Crunchyroll.

This is New Crunchy City’s second year to host an event. How has it been adjusting the convention into an online one? Were there any unique opportunities the team had being able to reach people beyond normal travel limitations?

Mary Franklin: “We learned a lot in year one, and we’re doing our best to ensure fans have an experience that is as close as possible to an in person event, and an anime experience that only Crunchyroll can provide for them!. When fans enter V-CRX through our online portal, they will find New Crunchy City, with four distinct districts to explore:

  • The Theater District will house panels, premieres, and screenings on four separate streams August 5-7. Also within the Theater District is our Video-On-Demand area, where fans can watch panels 24 hours a day through Monday night, August 9 (Pacific time).

  • The Super Arcade will house fan activations and activities (including our gallery tours, anime-themed quiet rooms, and Yuzu’s Cat Cafe, among others)

  • The Anime Arts District will be home to the V-CRX artist alley

  • The Central Shopping District will house the exhibitor hall.

We’re also very excited to bring V-CRX to an international audience! For our live events, we’re geo-restricted to attendees who can travel or who are based in Northern California. Now, we can have fans from all over the world enjoy the fun! Our website is in English, but we’re going to offer select localized programming for fans in Latin America, France, Germany, Brazil, Russia and more.”

We hope that things get to the point where we can revisit Crunchy City safely in the future. When the physical event returns, will its digital counterpart still also be open or still in use?

Franklin: “That’s certainly something we’re considering! We’ve seen first hand how a truly global audience can come together in our virtual show, and we want to continue to do that. We’ve been so focused on this year’s V-CRX that it’s too early to say exactly what we will do in 2022, but we love being able to bring Crunchyroll Expo to a wider audience. We want to always find and create new ways to better serve our community.”

Any message you want to give to Crunchyroll fans and V-CRX attendees?

Franklin: “We look forward to seeing you at V-CRX! While you are there, take your time and really explore the Districts. New Crunchy City is a big place, and it’s also built specifically for fans of anime. There are many aspects of anime to love, and we include content that’s headline-grabbing as well as content that’s fun, fan-created and inspiring.”

Mary Franklin spoke at a press conference back at Crunchyroll Expo 2019 about her recent transition from Lucasfilm to CR. When asked about expanding anime events, she said that she wanted to reach out to underserved fans internationally. She also talked about her vision for a global show where it would take place simultaneously from many locations. It seemed that with the creation of Virtual Crunchyroll Expo helped Franklin and the team achieved some of her goals. It became an online hub where both anime fans and industry members can come together in the comfort of their homes.

We thank both Mary Franklin and V-CRX for this opportunity during the busy preparations.

As Franklin mentioned, there are special areas in the site attendees can check out. Their many guests will be appearing in the Theater District including professional athletes Ifeadi Odenigbo (NY Giants Defensive End) and Larry Ogunjobi (Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Tackle). There will also be a showcase of Crunchyroll Games’s new collaborations and titles. V-CRX announced their lineup of musical guests, but fans can also look forward to performances featuring the shows “The Rising of the Shield Hero” and “Tower of God”.

Registration is still open and free on their website. Attendees will have access to New Crunchy City including panel VODs until August 9th.