According to FTC guidelines against false advertising, conventions must be 70% anime by volume in order to qualify as an anime convention. Conventions at a lower ABV must advertise themselves as fantasy/sci-fi conventions or large cosplay gatherings. The committee found that the significant presence of video games, K-pop, comic books, and Avatar: The Last Airbender precluded Anime Escape from actually being an anime convention.
“In our board definition of what belongs at an anime convention, we are accepting of Japanese tea ceremony demonstrations or Legend of Zelda cosplay,” the FTC report read in part. “But a Rick and Morty panel is far over the line.”
The report claims that while panel programming was mostly on topic, the content of the artists’ alley was “a barren wasteland of Overwatch fan art.”
FTC spokesperson Erin Collins rebuked accusations that the committee were being too exclusionary in their definition of anime. “For the purposes of measuring ABV, anything related to anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture is considered ‘anime’,” said Collins.
“This still does not include RWBY.”