There’s less than a week to go till Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2011 – Asia’s biggest con devoted to Japanese pop culture – and community is already abuzz with excitement.
Into it’s fourth year running, AFA looks set to wow the crowd again with it’s latest crop of personalities and who’s whos in the Japanese pop culture scene.
Here’s a quick roundup of what you can expect at the coming con weekend.
1. Stage Activities
Lots of big names are hitting AFA this year, including producers Atsuhiro Iwakami (Fate/Zero), Go Nakanishi (Mardock Scramble 2), director Tatsuyuki Nagai and voice actress Chiwa Saitou, who will be sharing their experiences on stage in a series of live demonstrations, showcases and talk segments.
Anisong artistes, including LiSA, Kalafina and Ichiro Mizuki will also be making appearances in the afternoon to meet the fans and perform a couple numbers.
2. Bushiroad Vanguard Showcase
We got wind that Bushiroad’s English pre-release of Card Fight!! Vanguard will be happening in a big way on Day 2, so if you’re a fan of Japanese trading card games (TCG), that’s something to look forward to.
3. Anime Theater
Catch some of the hottest animated feature films fresh out of Japan at the Anime Theater, a dedicated screening area on the show floor.
The line-up includes Naruto: The Blood Prison, FMA: The Star of Milos and Sora no Otoshimono: A Clockwork Angeloid, and tickets go for $10 a pop. It’s a great way to while away the hours, if you need a breather between traipsing around chasing stars and picking up convention swag.
And speaking of convention swag, there’s plenty to be had this year, with merchandise stores, stalls selling all sorts of nifty anime accessories, and an artist’s alley.
Our friends from Collateral Damage Studios will be there too (check out their Artist’s Alley booth, No. F4) promoting their latest doujin work – Neighbours Club Diary, so be sure to pop by if you’re interested.
5. Regional Cosplay Championships
And finally, no con’s complete without cosplay. This year, AFA promises twice the fun with not one, but two competitions.
Sponsored by Canon, the Regional Cosplay Championships on Day 3 (13 Nov) is a mainstay. It brings together teams of cosplayers from five different countries to compete for the right to be called top dogs in Asia.
There’s also a Singles Cosplay Showcase, where celebrity judges KANAME? and USAGI will be handpicking members of the public for best in show prizes (full details here), so if you’ve got a killer costume, be sure to pack it for Day 2, because you just might get a chance to shine!
Looks like this weekend’s gonna be loads of fun.
In the mean, this writer’s gonna be dropping off the face of cyberspace for the next couple days to finish up that costume. Cya at the con!
For further details and ticketing information, do check out the AFA11 website at http://www.animefestival.asia