Attendance at Anime Expo, which had been growing steadily at a rate of about 15% per year, took a major leap in 2004 as the total number of attendees went over the 25,000 mark -- a huge increase over 2003's total of 17,000.  With anime sales spread out over an increasing number of quality releases, it is often difficult to tell how much the market is growing, but attendance at events such as Anime Expo indicate a growing awareness of and interest in anime. 


The stellar attendance at this year's Anime Expo (see 'Anime Expo Continues Growth' for an overview of the show) spurred the show's organizers to claim, 'Anime Expo is now the largest Japanese animation convention in the world.'