Here comes Indonesia’s biggest anime festival!
I’m supposed to be at college preparing for my club’s promotion since it’s freshmen orientation and all that, but it’s AFA so I decided to skip it and go to AFA instead, teheh. Besides I have underlings in my club, so let them do the work. I’ve worked my ass off during my freshmen year after all. Anyway, back to AFA!
Anime Festival Asia, is an annual festival that is held in Singapore. But somewhere among all these festivals, the AFA Committee decided to hold it in other country, and Indonesia was picked as the second country to host AFA. Kind of strange how they picked Indonesia, but we have lots of humans here, so I figure that’s part of the reason. Squeezing money out of 4 million people won’t be that hard! Anyway, AFA Indonesia was held this month, and I was in Jakarta around that time. So, I figured I should attend it to finally experience true anime event moments.
As I said before, AFA Indonesia this year was held on 15-17 August, in Senayan’s Jakarta Convention Center (JCC). As usual, we had Akiba Town, Creator’s Hub, Anime Screening, Featured Guests, and of course, ANISONG. Although I only bought the ticket for the exhibition and anime screening (which is basically everything except ANISONG), I’ll try my best to share my experience. Here is the map of the whole thing and the schedule for the events:
Map & Event Schedule:
Akiba Town & Creator’s Hub
Akiba Town is a cool name for the section where international and local companies that are known by many anime fans sell their stuff. The companies that had their own booths were AFASHOP, ANIMAX Asia, Bandai, Banpresto, Bushiroad, Candy Cotton, COOL Japan Lounge, Culture Japan, DAISUKI.net, Goodsmile, JOI, re:ON (Indonesian comic), SAO II (!!!!), Love Live, Vanguard, Toshiba, ODEX, and Victory Toys. There were other companies not listed since they were part of ANISONG and Special Guests sponsors, such as SONY and CANON. The page for Akiba Town is here.
The companies I mentioned had their own huge booth. Most of their booths could fit minimal 5 people. ODEX’s booth was the biggest though, since they literally crammed around 20 people inside it. I’m not so sure if their 10-persons-only rule is still used because I went there when the place was empty. Sony’s place was kind of huge though since that’s where some of the artists meet their fans. The fans also played kinect and the latest PS3 stuff. CANON’s was also the same because that’s where the cosplay guests take pictures with the fans. Some local Singapore stores had decent booths as well. Poor Indonesian local stores (with the exception of re:ON), got little booths only, so it was crammed up when I visited some of them.
If Akiba Town was filled with international official goods, Creator’s Hub was where non-official goods were sold. Yep, that’s where doujin artists sell their stuff, from pins to their own original works. Each doujin artist gets one booth, with some having two booths at max. There were many doujin artists here, ranging around 30-50 artists. Some of them were Cynaro, Artelier, Puine, etc. The page for Creator’s Hub is here.
Oh and by the way, there was a special Maid & Butler Cafe but I’m not even gonna bother to cover it. You can find their info here.
Featured Anime, Special Guests, and Cosplay Competition
So not all the anime listed above were actually shown. They definitely showed the movies, but the others, such as Black Bullet, No Game No Life, and SAO II were probably shown in Stage Showcase, do remember I’m just an anime con nOOb. Anyway, the other anime were showed in their perspective booths, but people barely noticed it lol. Out of all the movies, I only watched K: Missing Kings. Not that I minded since I’ve watched Gundam and have no interest in Conan until that kid finds the goddamn medicine that can turn him back into normal permanently. The page for Featured Anime is here.
The special guests were Ishizuke Atsuko & Tanaka Sho (No Game No Life); Itou Kanae & Kashiwada Shinichiro (SAO II)); Kanzaki Shiden, Ogura Mitsutoshi, and Kurosaki Yasutaka (Black Bullet). I have no pictures since taking pictures was prohibited, and AFA haven’t released the pictures of the guests yet. I’ll add them when AFA releases them. Out of all three, I only attended No Game No Life. I wanted to watch SAO II, but I figured it will be full since SAO is damn famous in Indonesia. Kinda.
The other guests were, of course, professional cosplayers: Angie, Aya Mizaki, Kisaki Urumi, Yingtze, Pinky Lu Xun, Richfield, King & Mon, Yuegene, Hana & Baozi. Basically they do their sexy poses and fans take pictures of them. Those who bought AFA goods for over IDR 150,000 were able to get tickets for the Meet & Greet and Autograph Session. Sometimes the cosplayers would help out selling the AFA goods, and fans will be like ASDFGHJKLIM BUYINGTHEMNOW. I was one of those fans, but I was defeated by the crowd. Sigh. The cosplay guests became judges of the AFA Regional Cosplay Championship also. The page for the cosplay guests is here.
Probably the highlight of the whole thing and the main reason why the ticket price spiked a lot if one buys the ANISONG package. But hey, IDR 450,000/day & IDR 2,000,000/full 3 days is not that bad for Exhibition + Stage + ANISONG experience. Anywayyy, the concert was also at the place of the anime screening: the Planetary Hall. The Meet & Greet was in Sony’s booth, and the handshake was done at the special spot on the first floor exactly below the Planetary Hall. Forgot its name. Anyway, the fans got to shake hands with the singers if they bought some special goods, but those who bought the IDR 2,000,000 could get them for free. Lucky bastards got to shake hands with T.M. Revolution.
Unfortunately, I didn’t attend ANISONG since I wasn’t interested in the singers. Bring me Shikata Akiko and I’ll attend ANISONG. However, I heard that the worst performance was Eir Aoi’s since the sound system was too loud, hence affecting her performance. Well, that’s what you get for being the first singer aka the rat lab. They said the best was T.M. Revolution’s performance, but it makes sense since he’s my bitch. And look at that abs and funky hairstyle. Just kidding. His performance was the best since he’s really good at it, and he’s really attentive to the Indonesian fans. He even sang “Heart of Sword” (Rurouni Kenshin), which is his most famous song in Indonesia. Of course the fans loved him. We rabu you T.M. Revolution!
Moar AFA ID:
It was a very fun experience, since this is my very first international anime con (I failed to attend CLAS:H etc.). Though international cons are starting to pop up here and there, it’s kind of hard to find international anime cons here. Seeing fellow anime/manga fans everywhere is also a rare sight for me. So yeah, I was happy when I attended it. The best part was definitely buying all the goods since I was able to get my hands on my husbando lol. I also liked how we were able to get some awesome guests. I was able to get some interesting information from the guests. I mean, who would have thought that NGNL was produced in 2012? Too bad the only seiyuu guest was Itou Kanae boo. Nevertheless, this will bring me-er, I mean us closer to get more awesome guests
such as Sugitan!
However, there were some negative things in this event. The first is the location. God, JCC is too small for this kind of con. I mean, last year was already crowded, so didn’t they learn anything? The best place to do this kind of events is definitely in Kemayoran that is in North Jakarta. Now that place is huge. I realize that Kemayoran, in terms of safety, is not the best place. However, JCC is not the best option either. The large amount of crowd suffocated me. I had to leave early on Saturday since I was getting a headache. The place was not cool.
Now, about the Indonesian fans. It’s too bad that we are not that responsive during the mini events, but I get that part since we’re kinda shy and all that. But I was really disappointed with their ignorance. They were literally throwing trash in the middle of Akiba Zone, making this huge trash pile in the middle of the exhibition. What the fuck, Indonesia. That’s not cool. But I can’t really blame them, since there were little supervision by the staff. I suggest the AFA committee to be more strict with the fans.
Nevertheless, I did have fun. It was entertaining to see the different things in here, and I appreciate the AFA staff for getting the best treats for us Indonesian fans (in exchange of our money, of course pfftt). But what makes this event really enjoyable? Of course, it’s the fact that everybody who have the same interest, which is anime and manga, from every part of Indonesia (and Singapore) gathering in one place and expressing their passion on anime and manga. Just… Bigger building next time, please.
See you in AFA Singapore! (Hopefully *cross fingers*)