Anime Festival Asia celebrated its 10th anniversary in Singapore and what an exciting celebration it was this year.
Fun for everyone
AFA, as the event is more commonly known, has made huge strides in its popularity since its inaugural event in 2008 where it began with humble beginnings to the mega-event that fans eagerly await each year.
As a pop culture phenomenon in Singapore and the South East Asia region, attendees from all over the region come down to gather and celebrate the best of Japanese culture, especially those that are anime/manga-related. From anime showcases & official merchandising, mobile games, seiyuu (voice actor) & cosplayer appearances, fan art; including the biggest showcase of anime song singers and groups in the “I Love Anisong” concerts, fans were deluged with a massive showcase and feast for both the eyes and ears.
An annual phenomenon in Singapore
The event saw potentially the largest attendance recorded in its history, with an estimated 100,000 attendees from all over the world, and even from the land of cosplay itself, Japan. HBG spoke to some attendees and many agreed that the event drew the largest crowd ever. For Indonesian fans, Singapore may be their only alternative to catching their favourite J-pop artistes as the organising company, Sozo, had announced that AFA Indonesia 2018 would be the last event to be organised there for the time being.
Representing the best of J-culture
AFA has always been an opportunity for cosplayers of all levels to come together to share their love of the hobby as well as for budding photographers to hone their skills in capturing that passion as well. This year, the event also played home to the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) 2019 Singapore preliminaries which saw 4 teams competing for the honor to represent Singapore at the WCS Finals held annually in Nagoya, Japan.
All in all, the event can be seen as a great success for the Japanese pop culture community in the region, even with the challenge of navigating through the massive crowd for a photo op or to purchase merchandise. The event has created a platform which allows many across the region to come together and showcase their talents in many ways, big or small and we do hope that it continues to grow as such.
And with the initial generation of fans growing up and having their own families, the event has grown into something that’s fun for the whole family where experiences can be shared too!
AFA Singapore 2018 has been a huge milestone and we definitely have our fingers crossed for the next exciting instalment to come in future!