Aniwave: A Chapter Closed, But the Story Continues

For over a decade, the Wilmington Convention Center transformed into a winter wonderland of a different kind with anime lovers from all around the globe. Nestled amidst the festive cheer, Aniwave, an annual one-day anime convention (now debunked), pulsed with vibrant energy.

It wasn't just an anime event; it was a haven for passionate fans of Japanese animation, manga, and culture.

Aniwave: A Chapter Closed, But the Story Continues

Sadly, Aniwave is now a memory, leaving behind a legacy of shared experiences and a community yearning for its return here's more you can read about Aniwave to understand what it was all about:

What is Aniwave?

While now defunct, Aniwave once vibrantly brought anime, manga, and Japanese culture to life in Wilmington, North Carolina. Inaugurated in 2007, this annual one-day haven, hosted at the Wilmington Convention Center, pulsed with passionate fans. Whether strolling through aisles of meticulously crafted cosplay or sitting into insightful panels, the event fostered a sense of community and creativity. However, its journey ended in 2015, leaving behind a legacy of fond memories and a community yearning for its return.

Despite the official website ( being inactive, remnants of its vibrant spirit can still be found online through dedicated forums and shared experiences such as Reddit and more community sites.

Aniwave: A Chronicle of Enthusiasm and Growth

Aniwave's journey began in 2007, bringing together anime, manga, and Japanese culture enthusiasts in Wilmington, North Carolina. The one-day event, held at the Wilmington Convention Center, quickly gained traction, attracting hundreds of attendees each year till 2015.

Here's a glimpse into its event history:

  • 2010: The November 20th event saw 400 attendees and featured guests like voice actors Chuck Denson and Scott Houle, alongside industry professionals such as Marc Matney and Langley McArol.
  • 2011: On December 4th, the convention welcomed Animyu, a Japanese music group, along with voice actors like Jason Hatfield and Sean P. O'Connell.
  • 2012: The December 2nd event continued to grow, but details about guests and attendance are unavailable.
  • 2013: On December 8th, Chuck Denson returned alongside voice actors Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Sean P. O'Connell. 
  • 2014: The December 7th event featured voice actress Caitlin Glass. 
  • 2015: The final Aniwave, held on December 6th, welcomed voice actress Katelyn Barr.

In addition to the main convention, Aniwave also hosted a film festival in 2009, showcasing anime films and inviting special guests.

Here's more to the story of Aniwave:

A Kaleidoscope of Creativity and Connection

Want to live in an Anime world? read what Aniwave was offering:

  • Cosplay Extravaganza: Imagine strolling through a sea of meticulously crafted costumes, each bringing beloved characters to life. From stoic ninjas to bubbly schoolgirls, the convention floor was a testament to fans' dedication and creativity.
  • Knowledge Hub: Panels hummed with lively discussions on everything from animation techniques and iconic series to the intricacies of Japanese culture. Attendees could delve into their favorite topics, ask burning questions, and engage in passionate debates.
  • Artist Alley's Treasures: Wander through a labyrinth of booths overflowing with unique creations. Talented artists showcased their work, capturing the essence of the anime world through illustrations, crafts, and merchandise. Every corner held a potential treasure for eager fans.
  • Beyond Entertainment: Aniwave was about more than just about fun and games. It was a platform for aspiring artists to find mentors and connect with fellow enthusiasts. Young cosplayers gained the confidence to embrace their individuality, forge friendships, and find acceptance within the welcoming community.

Memories Etched in Hearts:

While the reasons for Aniwave's closure remain private, its impact continues to resonate. Former attendees fondly recall:

  • "It was more than just a convention; it was a family reunion." - Sarah, a cosplayer who found her anime tribe at Aniwave.
  • "The energy was electric! Everyone was so passionate and welcoming." - John, an artist who discovered his love for sharing his work at the convention.
  • "Aniwave helped me embrace my love for anime without judgment. It was a safe space to be myself." - Emily, a young fan who blossomed in the supportive community.

A Legacy that Lives On:

Online forums such as Reddit and others hum with discussions and tributes, a testament to the lasting mark Aniwave left on its participants. Its story isn't just about a convention's demise; it's a reminder of the power of shared passions, the enduring love for anime, and its ability to unite people.

Aniwave: Frequently Asked Questions

What was Aniwave?

Aniwave was an annual one-day anime convention held in Wilmington, North Carolina, in December. It offered a vibrant space for fans of Japanese animation, manga, and culture to connect, celebrate, and express their creativity through cosplay, panels, artist alleys, and more.

Is Aniwave still happening?

Unfortunately, Aniwave is no longer active. While the reasons for its closure haven't been publicly shared, the last convention was held in December 2021.

Where can I find more information about Aniwave?

While an official website no longer exists, some online communities dedicated to the convention remain active. You can try searching for "Aniwave" on forums like Reddit or Facebook groups related to anime conventions. Additionally, articles like this one offer insights into the event's history and impact.

Are there any similar events in Wilmington?

While there isn't a direct replacement for Aniwave, Wilmington occasionally hosts other pop culture events. Checking the Wilmington Convention Center website and local event calendars is recommended to stay updated.

Can I find pictures or videos from Aniwave?

Yes! Search for "Aniwave" on social media platforms like Reddit, X, Instagram, and YouTube. You'll likely find fan-created content showcasing cosplay, panels, and the overall convention atmosphere.

Will Aniwave ever come back?

There's no official confirmation on whether Aniwave will return in the future. However, the continued online presence of its community and the enduring love for anime conventions leave a sliver of hope for its revival.

What other anime conventions can I attend?

Numerous anime conventions happen throughout the year across the US and internationally. Websites like or provide comprehensive lists and details about upcoming events and videos of animes.

Can I share my memories or questions about Aniwave?

Absolutely! Online communities on reddit and twitch that are dedicated to the Aniwave convention welcome your stories, photos, and any questions you might have. Sharing your experiences helps keep the spirit of Aniwave alive and connects you with fellow fans.

Even though Aniwave may be gone, its spirit lives on in the hearts of its attendees, inspiring future generations to embrace their fandoms and celebrate the magic of Japanese animation.

The vibrant energy of Aniwave may likely return to the Wilmington Convention Center.

But even if it doesn't, its legacy will continue to inspire, reminding us of the joy of finding belonging in unexpected places, fueled by the shared love for a fantastical world.