Are you ready for the biggest anime convention in Southeast Asia? ─=≡Σ((( つ•̀ω•́)つ
Hello everybody! I’m here again this year to bring to you Anime Festival Asia’13, which definitely got bigger and better as compared to last year. This year I got tickets for Friday and Saturday’s exhibition and main stage events, as well as Friday’s Anisong concert ticket for EGOIST and some Vocaloid producers/DJs c: I spent a lot more time this year running from place to place watching special events instead of actual shopping, so I don’t have that many photos to share this time, but nonetheless I hope this post will bring back some of those anicon feels for all of you :’)
I didn’t take a photo of the crowd this year but suffice to say, it was crazy. On Day 1 my friend and I were late so we didn’t get to see the horrible queue, but on Day 2 my friend and I arrived at 9am, the time where the doors open, but by that time the queue had already spanned 2 entire levels – nearly to the brim. That’s not particularly unexpected because I know of some fellow anibloggers (*coughs* friends from Nabe!!) who took the very first train towards the venue (which is like, what, 6am?!) and started camping there. Well, dedicated fans will be dedicated fans (and they secured me a spot for Kashitaro’s live too, which I will forever be grateful for – more on that later), and let’s just say that it was literally painful to move around in the hall.
(click for larger image)
You’d think spanning 3 entire convention halls in Suntec City would be enough, but no, apparently the crazy otaku population in Singapore has risen to such lengths that even such a huge compound wasn’t enough to hold all the excitement going on, and it was hard to get to one place or another without getting stepped on or pushed around by crazed fanboys/girls.
Merchandise (づ￣ ³￣)づ
Fancy yourself some BL doujin? Hehehe.
Basically this time round I didn’t spend much time shopping because, well, I was too busy trying to catch glimpses of my idols in the flesh, but still the highlight of every AFA would be the Creators Hub, full of quality fangoods which are, in my opinion, a lot more attractive than any of the commercial, official anime goods out there in the bigger shops. And yes, as expected, it was exploding with goods from big anime titles. Actually, scrap that – just 2 of them – Shingeki no Kyojin and Free! There’ll always be stuff to satisfy fujoshi needs (thank God) and other anime that made some appearances were Kuroko no Basuke, Bleach, Dangan Ronpa… and others (I didn’t really venture into the loli/ecchi side, I’m sorry guys :c).
Badges galore!! Love how many store owners used cupcake holders :3
Booths that had long queues include ALL the music-related booths like Sony Music, which featured autograph sessions with LiSA and other popular artistes, the Sword Art Online booth (which I don’t understand why people are still obsessed over), and the larger-scale booths like Muse and Odex which basically had a lot of official goods from various anime – like mugs and poker cards and other things you won’t use HAHA. It’s a marketing ploy I swear, somehow AFA makes you feel like buying things you don’t need and will never use, but dangit, stuff is just so cute you can’t resist.
Mini Stage Events (ﾉ´ヮ´)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Mini-stage crowd for Day 2!
The mini stage is where I spent the first few hours of Day 2 camping at – right from the opening of the doors, so yes, you’ll see me and a few other anibloggery friends right in the front row hehe. It was worth it though, because mainly we were camping for the second event on the schedule that day – Kashitaro’s live (which was sadly a no-photography event)! As most people know, I’m a huge Vocaloid fan and an even huger utaite fan, and Kashitaro just so happens to be one of my favorite utaites ever. So you can guess how hyped up I was about this whole thing – LeftyMonster-P and Taruto-P came for the live too, and for those who were interested, he sang Hoshiai, Share We Are, Karakuri Pierrot (MY FAVORITE VOCALOID SONG EVER A;SDLJALKSHFLAKFSH) and You. Other events also included appearances by famous cosplayers, singers and models! (Sorry I wasn’t there for anything much else, Kashitaro was my priority hehe)
Hoshiai – Kashitaro x LeftyMonster-P
Booth Events (*＾ワ＾*)
Lots of the smaller booths had their own little events going on, but what we managed to catch for day 2 was nano’s live telephone-conversation at the Horipro booth. Yes, that nano, utaite and later singer of numerous Anime OPs like Btoom’s No pain, No game and Phi Brain’s Now or Never. Some members of the audience managed to ask her a few questions, and nano was a really lovely person overall too – it’s still super cool that she’s fluent in both English and Japanese because she was born in New York and subsequently raised in Japan, so she was code switching a lot between the two! That’s another special thing about all her original songs – they often feature both (actually grammatically sound HAHA) English and Japanese! One interesting thing she mentioned during the call was that her latest single, Savior of Song, was filmed in one of the old Japanese battleships and that she was the first Japanese musician to be able to film a PV there, which is really cool too ^A^ She also said that she’s seriously considering coming to AFA next year, so we better get excited for that too!!
Now or Never
No pain, No game
Savior of Song
Main Stage Events (๑>ᴗ<๑)
The cutest Japanese DJ/model/singer sisters, Ami and Aya!
We were at the main stage for a few events, namely the Love Live! seiyuu event and also Asia Kawaii Way’s fashion show. The former consisted a screening of the Love Live seiyuus live in Japan, where a lot of fanboys got really excited and started cheering www, as well as short interviews and a live lucky-draw where people who had spent money at their booth had the chance to win attractive prizes (like figurines and signed T-shirts, which is fabulous).
The latter had a LOT of special guest appearances like Amiaya (as pictured above) who rocked the stage with their DJ moves and original songs!! I should also take the chance to say that their voices are impossibly cute – it’s like double the cute blow to the heart when the two of them start singing.
PLAY THAT MUSIC – Amiaya
After that Hachioji-P came onto stage and DJ-ed all of us to death HAHAHA. He’s one of the less well-known but really good Vocaloid producers out there, and he really knows how to get the crowd going with his funky electronic techno beats. Okay, I admittedly suck at describing this so I’ll let the music do the talking:
Electric Love – Hachioji-P’s most popular song feat. Hatsune Miku
And of course, we had Denpagumi with a short performance! They’re a Japanese idol group from Akihabara, for those of you don’t know, and they call themselves Otaku Idols (as in, idols who have weird otaku tendencies/fetishes like most of us here may have hehe). I then watched my seemingly aniblogger friends go from socially acceptable people to crazy, hardcore fist-pumping monsters (psh, and some of them even claimed that they were just “casual” fans. They’re not exactly my cup of tea, but I guess no one can deny the cuteness that are Japanese girl groups.
Future Driver – Denpagumi
Anisong Concert (ﾉ> ◇ <)ﾉ♪
Again, this was a no-photography event so I don’t actually have any of my own photos, but I’m just going to try to put the awesomeness I experienced into words, okay? I only attended Day 1’s concert (being a Vocaota) mainly for EGOIST and Hachioji-P, but motsu x DJ kaya and livetune were really awesome too, and Valerie was… okay I guess. First things first, we got the VIP tickets (row J) which were 10th from the front, but in the end we realized it didn’t really matter anyway since we could actually abandon our seats and stand in the front!! I think we all lost a bit of our minds once the concert started anyway, and started first-pumping, lightstick-swaying, dancing and swirling (I’m not even joking) like the crazy fangirls/boys we actually are.
I Love Anisong 2013 trailer
Of course, the most anticipated part was EGOIST’s. We had originally thought that chelly would be showing her face for realz, but it turns out that although it was a “live”, she was just standing on stage (wearing all-black and blending into the background) and had Inori’s image projected onto her. In short: we didn’t get to see her face ;w; Nonetheless, EGOIST’s segment was a really special one where they sort of did it in a story-mode, where they would play short animation scenes with Inori from Guilty Crown, and have her say a few lines telling her story. The crowd went batshit crazy when chelly started singing the Everlasting Guilty Crown, and although her vocals live weren’t perfect, they were still nothing short of beautiful, and her high notes especially, were really lovely.
The Everlasting Guilty Crown
Quick summary for the rest of the segments:
Hachioji-P was great for all us Vocaloid fans because he dished out nearly all of his songs from his albums! His style is kind of techno, dubsteppy – you know, the kind that makes you wanna headbang to.
Sweet Devil – Hatsune Miku
Livetune, who also started off as a Vocaloid producer but now collaborates with various artistes like ClariS and Kotoko, presented the latest buzz amongst other songs: Devil Survivor 2’s Take Your Way, which features eargasm-inducing vocals by Fukase from Sekai no Owari, which got the crowd jumping and fist-pumping to the beat~
Take Your Way
Motsu x DJ Kaya was actually really enjoyable as they had a good mix of lots of different kinds of songs – the popular ones like Flying Get by AKB48, songs by May’n, and they rendered it and mixed everything together to create this explosion of awesomeness. I’m not sure what video to attach here because there are no videos of their collaboration yet at this time, so I’ll just attach their REALLY AWKWARD message video LOL:
Valerie was… I’m not actually sure if she was actually singing. She was originally part of Sea✮A, an all Singaporean/Malaysian idol group which disbanded in July, but is now part of the Asian Pop Collective. She also sang AFA’13s theme song. Her voice is mostly autotuned I guess, and in reality she has very few fans, but I still thought that it was kind of mean for people to be sitting down and using their phones or even leaving during her segment. She may be bad at this whole singing thing, but I guess we had to at least acknowledge her effort… But I guess you’ll understand what I mean by SHE REALLY CAN’T SING in the video below. It doesn’t even help that it’s a horrible song with horrible lyrics and mastering.
Overall Thoughts (ㅇㅅㅇ❀)
- Won the lottery for Anisong posters autographed by Hachioji-P and motsu x DJ Kaya
- Autographed Kashitaro CD
- Free! microfiber cloth
- Icecream!Levi keychain
- Cosmetics from Asia Kawaii Way
This was my best AFA experience yet. I had really great company and met up with many online friends, some anibloggers you might recognise (long list ahead: Iso @nocturnalsolace, Kuumin @kuumined, Sleepy @hyper_yume, Brian @UuaanPweo, Rakkyo @_rakkyo_, Hiromi @_hiromi_chan, Ahkao @turnip_cracker, Syahirah @eternaldays) and they really made each day a lot more enjoyable with their jokes and craziness, and also helped in a lot of ways (buying food/drinks, securing good seats for events, getting tickets, getting CDs). It’s really a different experience going with this huge group of lovely people that share the same interests as you, and it somehow multiplies your happiness and excitement tenfold!!
My most memorable event would have to be Kashitaro’s live as well as the amazing things that happened after, where we managed to get a private-ish autograph/handshake/conversation session with him! It was a miracle in the first place that we could get their CD on the first day (they had actually sold out before the event themselves so they had to handmake their CDs from scratch – and even then on the first day they only had 20 odd CDs to sell) thanks to a friend who bravely rummaged through heaps of crazed fangirls to reach the booth and buy all the remaining CDs. Then we managed to get him to sign our (exclusive edition!! hehe) CDs and phone covers (and whatever else we wanted him to sign), all the while managing to talk to him one-on-one. You can imagine how I was THIS close to bursting out into tears/screaming/dying/melting, but it is one of the most memorable things of my entire year and it was really a joy getting to meet one of my favorite singers ♥
I’m really glad I went to AFA this year, even if money was blown on concert tickets, and I wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything else. It was fun getting to know random people while queuing up for things (and trust me, a lot of time was spent queuing up) and making friends only to find out that you have the same favorite anime, or have an obsession for this particular character (*coughs* Levi my baby *coughs*) and just suddenly realizing that woah, there are so many people that are as weird and crazy as me when it comes to anime, or Japanese music, or Japanese fashion. And that in itself, is a wonderful thing.
Love, Miyu ヾ(＾∇＾)