Yo Ho Ho! The Pirate’s Life at AniManGaki 2022
Nearly a week after AniManGaki 2022 ended, I’m still relieving the highs of being at a physical convention after 3 long years. I cosplayed, flashed money at the Artist Alley, and had a great time with my friends and the wonderful guests!
Many smaller conventions and Bon Odori preceded this event — including the 11th Tokyo Street Anniversary at Pavilion KL, which AniManGaki participated in. The organisers themselves went all out with events, guests, and many, many booths!
Day 1 — The dawn of a new day
I rush over to the convention center, and already the crowds are forming. Dressed in my Xie Lian cosplay, I went in with several friends to the main hall — and hoo boy that was crowded (nothing like Comic Fiesta 2019’s sardines in a can type of crowd, so I’m counting my blessings) even at the get-go.
The gacha machines are our first stop and my friends both win prizes as I look on, terrified of failing like I did in Tokyo. We moved on to the Artist Alley, and here my photographer headed upstairs to the Cosplay Booths where she spent time photographing both cosplayers in action and their adoring fans.
My friend and I continued on into the 8 rows selling fan-made merchandise from many fandoms. Artists offered their artistic skills in live commissions, and Genshin Impact had a strong presence and a plenty of fan merch and cosplayers to admire. A lot.
I bought several items, and my friend soon decides that they’d like some tea to cool down. At the furthest end of the Artist Alley are F&B stalls selling a wide variety of snacks and drinks. Congoers were seen milling about the back. I settled into a spot and my friend headed off to purchase her fruit tea.
Interviews and tasty treats
She comes back with that and some dorayaki, and we share a few bites. We spend a bit more time here, tasting more stall as my photographer is to join us in a bit. When she arrives, we sit and eat a bit more before heading off.
My friend soon leaves, and my photographer and I both attend interviews for Shirahama Kamome and MindaRyn. In between, our tired legs lead us to a nearby Starbucks, where we rest and eat a late lunch. Returning to the chaos was fun, but the afternoon was wearing on and our energy was flagging.
Completing MindaRyn’s interview, we head out to hail a ride home. Here, prices were through the roof and wait times were impossibly long. So we headed back in to rest and chat about our shared experience. Did I mention that it was pouring outside too?
In the end, we hailed a car and got home safe. Tired, and still dressed in the remnants of my cosplay — I eat dinner and call a night.
Day 2 – Cosplayers galore!
We met up around opening hours, and immediately the surging crowd from yesterday was more manageable. More time was spent photographing cosplayers inside and outside the convention hall. Both RandoWis and Emirichu were in our group interviews, and we had a blast talking to both of them. They were extremely humble and kind persons, and I felt really honoured to be able to speak to them.
Both of us mingled about, and took more photographs. Plenty of cosplayers posed with enthusiasm, and we even came across a makeshift army camp outside the convention hall. Their little fake campfire and roasting Paimon were the highlights.
Guests and shared interest groups alike held their panels and workshops on the second floor, and the Waku Waku Maid Café was in full swing! Shirahama Kamome’s works were also featured in a walking gallery.
There was even a booth featuring Lolita fashion, Go (the Japanese board game), 3D printed monsters, and good ol’ classic Digimon. I may have spent a bit too much time admiring the Digivices on display. We headed outside at a nearby cafe for lunch and took photos of our signed keepsakes — it was one for the books.
Setting sail once more
AniManGaki was an ACG event that really lifted spirits after several years of Covid-related lockdowns. Everyone seemed to be having a great time at the event, and I look forward to covering more like these in the future.
HereBeGeeks will be featuring interviews with Shirahama Kamome, RandoWis, Emirichu, and MindaRyn in an upcoming piece so keep an eye out on this space!