AFA’12 Singapore Coverage – Part I

Till this day I still have no idea what AFA-kun the mascot is supposed to be…

Honestly I don’t know how I’m still writing this post, seeing as to how I just got back from AFA’s third and final day. I’ve survived through 12 hours of walking in high freaking heels (#badlifedecisions) on Saturday and another 6 hours earlier today. My eyes/feet/back/neck are practically crying out in agony, but really like to cover this year’s AFA to the best that I can – that is, before I start forgetting important things. See how much I love you guys? c; It’s been a long time since I co-covered AFA’11 last year, which also happens to be my very first post on Metanorn! (as a guest writer though xD) This time I’ll be covering the festival grounds and cosplay, while a guest writer will be covering the main stage activities as well as the Anisong concert. Well now, presenting to you, AFA’12!

Note: Open spoilers for more pictures! I assure you they won’t disappoint c:

Anime Festival Asia is undoubtedly the most widely-publicized anime convention in Singapore, and all that effort certainly didn’t go to waste. The crowd that appeared on Saturday morning was absolutely insane as people had started queuing up as early at 6am. When the doors opened at 9am, I didn’t even have to walk over to the entrance. Literally pushed and squeezed all the way to the front, I smiled apologetically at the poor AFA staff trying to keep track of entrance tickets – there’s no way of stopping a stampede of crazed otakus.

I say “crowd”, but really it was more of a mob of hot, sweaty and excited otakus.

This year I went on both Sat (F+S) and Sun (F) – Festival and Festival+Main Stage tickets were priced at $8 and $20 respectively, but the increase in ticket prices didn’t seem to deter people from coming. I would say that AFA has hit its highest attendance yet, seeing as to how they’ve widely expanded their scope of Japanese culture – you name it: anime, J-pop, Vocaloid music, Japanese fashion… they have it all.

(click for larger image)

Merchandise

Buy ALL the cushies!

Of course, the first thing that most people rush to do in an anime convention is to GRAB STUFF AND BUY EVERYTHAAANG! This year’s AFA definitely had a much more products and goods, but I would say that the range of anime series featured was rather limited in my opinion. Sure, the big 3 (Bleach, Naruto and One Piece) were definitely well-accounted for, but merchandise for newer anime, excluding the super-popular ones, was much harder to find. The most popular booth? Hands down the SAO booth. The ridiculous queue spanned more than ten times the size of the actual shop, and they actually sold out for two days in the first 8 hours or so. Everyone loves them some SAO. To name a few of the more popular ones, there was a [K] booth, MUSE (reborn!, madoka, OP, fairytail stuff) and Proware (mostly eechi stuff). Artiste merchandise (LiSA, FLOW, SCANDAL etc) was also really popular and could be found at places like the Sony Music booth/Horipro booth.

The Creators Hub this year was not to be missed either, with 46 different booths selling fan-made goods! There were lots of adorable goodies, especially for some titles such as Kuroko no Basuke, Hetalia, Vocaloid and SAO. Yup, there was also quite a sizable amount of BL stuff – which explains the surprising abundance of KnB/Hetalia. There were prints, keychains, badges, artbooks and doujin (which is awesome because last year’s afa had no doujin :c) as well as more of the quirky stuff like oppai mousepads.

Moar goodies: Show ▼

Displays

Homura presents: the Superamazing Time-travelling Car!

This year there was lots of funky stuff. Last year’s Mirai car had a good polishing and was also joined by a fellow Madoka car! Apart from the usual figurines (a good load more of them too), there were also displays of original costumes worn by various artistes and photos of stars.

Moar displays: Show ▼

Special Events

Hachioji-P! And miku’s butt in the background.

There were a TON of special appearances by awesome artistes as autograph sessions, talkshows, interviews and performances going on this time round, and that really made the entrance fee all the more worth it. I had fun running around and deciding which ones to attend. In particular, I attended LiSA’s and Hachioji-P’s talkshows and really enjoyed myself as I was sitting literally like 5-10 feet away from them, and we all know how dokidoki-inducing getting to see our idols up close can be. *w* Also, I went for LiSA’s autograph session and passed her a (love) letter and spoke to her and ;____; ALL THE FEELS.

Others

Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe, now with a high-school theme 8)

Food: AFA actually had a food street this year, with vendors selling curry udon, yakitori, takoyaki, pastries and various other Japanese snacks. They also had awesome free bubble tea @ Wacom as well as free coffee @ Nescafe, which was a good treat indeed! As usual, the maid/butler cafes returned with their super overpriced $20 cake&coffee sets. I suppose it’s personal preference whether you’re willing to spend that kind of money to enjoy looking at hot girls/guys. xD

Karaoke Ma’star: Karaoke for anime songs made its return this year in the form of an iOS app! Holding a mic and singing anime songs in front of a crowd of people staring at you (more like judging you) may be scary, but many otaku weren’t afraid to showcase their beautiful (*coughs* or not so beautiful) voices.

Fashion: In its mission to introduce more aspects of Japanese culture, AFA organized a MARBLE collection fashion show featuring Harajuku, Shibuya and Akihabara as well as many famous models. Of course, it was pay to attend ($28 normal/$88 VIP) but you could also try on the wigs from the Priscilla booth which are really of stunning quality.

Cosplay

Kaname cosplaying as the hottest Fushimi (K) ever (✿ ♥‿♥)

As expected, Vocaloid and [K] had a whole ton of cosplayers. Weirdly, I only chanced upon 1 Asuna and 2/3 Kiritos throughout my time there – I had expected a lot more SAO cosplayers with the recent hype and all. The [K] cosplay competition and the individual cosplay championships though, presented many fantastic cosplayers from all over the world up on stage as well as various celebrity cosplayers that really brought things to a whole new level.

Moar cosplay: Show ▼

End Note

My haul! Very simply, LiSA’s album and autograph as well as an adorable Kirito badge :3

Unlike previous years, my motive this year in AFA was to enjoy the experience. In the past I went mainly for the goodies/otaku stuff, which usually just resulted in an empty wallet and also a very frustrated/angsty state of mind because of all the queues. This year’s AFA gave me lots of firsts: first time meeting LiSA/Hachioji, first time getting an artiste’s autograph, first time singing karaoke in front of a bunch of strangers – and I think in the long run, that’s what counts. People go to anime conventions for different things but in the end the best thing I would say, is meeting fellow otaku who share the same interests! I met up with a fellow aniblogger (Iso) and online twitter friends (Rakkyo & Cybersteel) this year and talked with random people while lining up in queues/waiting for events to start, and even got the chance to practice my Japanese while speaking to LiSA and a random Japanese girl who struck up a conversation with me. This is probably a first for me, as in previous cons I’ve never willingly tried to meet people who I’ve only ever spoken to online. It’s a pretty fun experience, and I’m really looking forward to my next con. I think I’m going to try attending other cons in Singapore now, like the upcoming EOY as well as next year’s SOY/CosFest, so you can look forward to more coverage from me 8D As for AFA’13? I’ll see you there!

Peace out! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

About

A stressed-out jyoushi kousei doubling as Metanorn's loli with a soft spot for sappy romance animanga. She will watch anything with bishies in it. :3
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

33 Responses to “AFA’12 Singapore Coverage – Part I”

  1. ValenceS2 says:

    Why not? Focusing on covering the whole of AFA, in-depth is an amazingly challenging yet rewarding experience, trust me. It’ll be fun, so you should definitely try that next year!

    Wish I could have gone though, but whatever, haha.

    • Miyu says:

      Mm, because cybersteel wanted to co-cover it with me and we’re all open with collaborating so we decided to split it into a parts!

      I think it would be impossible for me to cover Anisong though, won’t be able to afford the tickets! Entrance fees are a problem for students like me D: Next year though, maybe I’ll try covering main stage?

      And :c I’m pretty sure AFA’ll still continue for many many years to come so you’ll definitely have to chance to attend it again in the future!

      • Toori-chan says:

        It’s not like you’re allowed to take photos during Anisong anyway. Do try out main stage coverage though you might miss your shopping chances.

        • T.K. says:

          You can always ninja a few pics during the climax of the concert. No guards are gonna see you when all they can see are light sticks and bopping heads. XD

  2. Toori-chan says:

    I heard SAO booth ran out of stuff really quick. That same ‘blacksmith’ booth was also at AFAMY~ So they displayed the Ultimate Madoka figure there as well eh? I’m very sure they didn’t wash those artist’s costumes XD Glad you met with Hachiouji and LiSA (super jelly) You sang at Ma’star booth? So ‘daitan’ XD Why you no take better shot of Kuroyukihime?!!!

    Challenging on more Anicons? It’s a MY VS SG coverage showdown then XD

    • Miyu says:

      HAHA Toori wish you could’ve been here! x) Yeah it did, I was disappointed because I thought I could wait the queue out but in the end :c SOLD OUT!!! /cries

      Do you mean the cosplay or the figurine? For the cosplay everyone was obnoxiously standing up and blocking my view so I had no choice ;w; for the figurine… yeah my camera skills kinda suck xD

      HAHA YEAH you’re on!! >D Let’s meet up again soon! Tell me whenever you come to SG kay!

      • Toori-chan says:

        I could if my stingy college provided funds for a club trip. My friend was in line for 3 half hours and only got a badge, a strap, bookmarks and mousepad…

        Yeah I meant the cosplayer. I was hoping for more cosplay shots but it’s fine since I saw lots through NND livestream~ Might be time for you to pick up using DSLR~

        I might be going to SG during CNY again~ if I have sem break…

  3. Iso says:

    The speed which you got this post out is seriously amazing. Anyways, glad to see you again! 😀 I’ll see you around again in future events yeah?

    Also, I’m sad to say this but SOY was discontinued since long time ago. However, Cosfest expanded such that there are 2 events per year, one in the early months and one during mid-year, so I guess all’s good. I do hope there are more events next year though.

    • Miyu says:

      Haha thanks! I have superhuman powers when I’m determined to do something >D Yup!! Let’s meet again! /dramatic

      Whoops HAHA I’ve been living in a hole I think, I’ve never been to any one cons other than AFA (for 4 years) Does cosfest have good merchandise? Or is it more on cosplay? o:

      • Iso says:

        The focus of cosfest is mainly on cosplay, and pretty much the main focus of its stage events would be the single and team cosplay competitions. They do have karaoke competitions as well if my memory serves me right. However, that being said there are doujin booths there, and you can expect regulars like CDS to be there. In fact, an acquaintance of mine once managed to spend over $300 on cosfest a few years back (though I do think she should be regarded as an anomaly, not the norm).

        Also, my news sources have revealed to me that there is yet another event at the start of the next year. Good news I guess?

  4. AllenAndArth says:

    SLENDERMAN and…pedobear?bizarre

  5. Rakkyo says:

    Hahaha its nice to meet you guys too XD. Personally I don’t go to these events for the merchandise but for whatever special events they have, which is the concerts and stage events for AFA.
    But seriously, the concert really feels like its worth the money spent.

    For EOY I dont think i’m going. The concert price is just ridiculous, even if its Haruna Luna lol.

    • Miyu says:

      Hehe let’s meet up again if we happen to go to the same con!~ Yup from now onwards I’ll be like that too! Experience those once-in-a-lifetime things hurhur.
      Yup heard that the concert was really good! Looking at all the twitter comments and stuff hehe everyone is so hyped up. Maybe if I can I’ll try saving up for next year~

      But admission to the main grounds in EOY is free! Hehe I’d like to go check the event out and see how it is as compared to AFA.

  6. Rakkyo says:

    Yeah that’ll be nice. Going with a group is definitely more fun that going solo lol.

    And yeah the concert was way awesome. I’ll be writing about that on Iso’s blog (shameless plug) so check it out sometime this week XD.

    • Rakkyo says:

      and seems like i missed the correct reply button ><

    • Miyu says:

      Nah it’s okay hehe.
      Alright since you went through all that effort to shamelessly plug I SHALL READ IT HAHA tweet me when it’s out!! 😀

  7. kitty says:

    I have kyuubey cellphone charm hanging by my computer…. somedays I don’t know why!

    • Miyu says:

      HAHA isn’t it scary? He’ll secretly get to you sign a contract while you’re browsing the net on the computer… ψ(`∇´)ψ

  8. D-LaN says:

    So much feels here too ;__; Next time if another AFA come over my country, screw exams (wait maybe not).

    Wow… IRL meet up with animeblogger and commenter… Wow just wow.

    Oh God how ppl like QB… Those cute looks are a lieeeee :(
    Pfflol female Mephisto.
    Pedobear is famous… OMGLOL.

    Lol so K overtake SAO as the new cosplay hype XD
    Speaking of SAO, why is it so d*mn hard to get a SAO LN!! All they have is Durarara, Shana, Seitokai no Ichizon (IIRC), KamiMemo, a few LN tht I don’t recognise and non-JP LN ==
    (Sry for the rant)

    • Miyu says:

      Yeah exams are still first priority! Honestly I would’ve chosen to give this a miss if I had an important exam coming up :c Next time, maybe!!

      Actually I see the SAO LN quite often in Kinokuniya! It’s really hard to read in Jap though and the Chinese translations are pretty bad. Where have you tried looking?

      • D-LaN says:

        The chinese one is bad? I have no idea.

        Popular. I have yet to go to Kinokuniya.

  9. BlackBriar says:

    When it comes to anime, anything is possible. It would be hardly surprising if anyone was actually camping overnight just to get in. When you’re dedicated, it tends to show in many ways.

    [K] is giving SAO some healthy competition. Both animes are great in my opinion. That was a very convincing Fushimi cosplay. The dude has my respect.

    • Miyu says:

      Yuppp there were a lot of crazy fans out there! This guy came completely clad in a Madoka costume complete with a kyuubey keychain hanging off his belt and then a removable kyuubey headfix IT WAS SCARY HAHA

      I’m not too sure what [K] is doing, it’s more of showcasing it’s pretty animation than telling a story? We still know so little about the world after 6 episodes. As for SAO though, as OC put it: awesome story line but rather messed-up execution. They’re both undoubtedly really enjoyable, but with obvious flaws (though most of the time they’re so exciting to watch that we can overlook them anyway.)

      Kaname is one of the best cosplayers I’ve ever seen! His Cloud cosplay is stunning *w* You can check out his Cure page for more awesomeness hehe: http://en.curecos.com/profile/?ch=72203

  10. Tofu says:

    We never get the good stuff over at Australia… D: So jelly that you got to meet LiSA!!! And omg… that Azu-nyan cosplay is the CUTEST Azu-nyan cosplay I’ve EVER SEEN!!!! HNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG~!!! SO ADORABLE~!!!! x3

    Glad you had fun Miyu ^^ It’s a whole different experience when you decide to experience the whole convention than just buying goodies (even though goodies are always nice too~)

    • Miyu says:

      Meeting LiSA was a surreal moment!!! My heart was beating like CRAZY when I went up to speak with her ////

      Thanks Tofu! Yeah, I think my phase of obsessive-goodies-buying is over. I’ve banned myself from buying more things I will never use (in 2009 I bought the reborn! ring sets/cushions WHAT WAS I THINKING) and from now onwards I’ll focus on enjoying myself instead xD

      • Tofu says:

        I guess people actually buy those stuff huh XD I only stick to posters, figurines, blu-rays, and manga.

        I could show you my collection if you want ^^

  11. T.K. says:

    Thanks for the coverage. They actually have a food corner and free drinks now, how I wish they had that a year ago….

    • Miyu says:

      It was my pleasure hehe! Yup, did you come this year too? I like how they’re adding lots of new things (there was this cool thing with an iphone app where you could win goodies like anisong posters etc) that make the experience a lot more enjoyable~

    • Cybersteel says:

      They did have free drinks last year. The Nescafe booth. I hope they keep doing it at Expo.

    • T.K. says:

      @Miyu, nope I did not attend this year, though I managed to catch a bit of the concert’s live stream on nicovideo. Is that iphone app the same as that anisong karaoke app or are both of them separate apps?

      @Cybersteel, Oh, I missed the free drinks then. XD
      Expo is a bit too inconvenient for me (as I don’t have any relatives living anywhere near), might have to set up a homebase in SG if I were to attend next year…

  12. Kyokai says:

    Good job on the coverage Miyu! I wish I could have come! ><

    But I have to save this year so hopefully in next 1-2 years, I’ll be visiting for sure!

  13. Moni Chan says:

    They said “don’t miss it” I’m missing it

Leave a Reply