Details for this year's event in November are out03 August, 2012 by Mus
As the second half of the year gets underway, so does the preparation for the yearly conventions. For its 5th anniversary, Anime Festival Asia has expanded across the region, with AFAMY in June and AFAID coming up in September. AFA which has always been staged at the Suntec convention center, will now be held in Singapore Expo. The confirmed guests were announced at the press event.
The press conference began with Sozo and Dentsu executives Shawn Chin and Haruhiko Miyano taking the stage. The two men introduced the media to the festival, before proceeding to talk about a new portal they called AFA Channel. With exclusive AFA content generated by an in-house production team, it will serve content to the public directly.
Danny Choo returns as host for the event, much to no one’s surprise. The Culture Japan host will come back to reprise his role, and probably also introduce his new series Japan Mode. AFA’s cosplay ambassador, Kaname, will also be making a return. Besides being just a guest, he also gives the team input on their cosplay related activities. He will also bring along singi, a top female cosplayer known for her portrayals of Vocaloid characters.
On the anime industry side, Go Nakanishi and Watanabe Shinichiro will make appearances at AFA 2012. Nakanishi, a producer for titles such as Fafner and Negima, will also present his latest title. K. Watanabe, the director behind musically-inclined hits Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop, will be attending to give out his knowledge of the industry to con-goers.
A new feature of AFA this year will be the inclusion of featured anime. Rather than just showing the anime at the event, the whole package from the anime, to making of footage of the anime will be featured. The two anime series featured this time will be Go Nakanishi’s K, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Shawn declined to go into further detail, urging everyone to expect a great showing at the event itself.
We covered the Cool Japan Forum last year; unfortunately the event will no longer be staged as part of AFA this year. Instead, it has been replaced by the Japan Future Entertainment experience zone. It allows the companies to connect with their customer base, and would probably be a more affordable and relevant addition compared to the excellent but pricey Cool Japan Forum.
While the organizers are still in negotiations with many of the content producers, they have confirmed labels A-Sketch and King Records and artist management agencies Horipro and Amuse. With the four companies handling amongst them artists like Perfume, flumpool and Momoiro Clover Z, it should be a great addition for the fans who are a little more interested in the business side of things.
Of course, it’s not an anime convention without a cosplay competition. With teams being formed in the other legs of AFA this year along with a Filipino team being hosen at Cosplay Mania, the four countries will go head-to-head in the AFA Regional Cosplay Championship. The preliminaries to determine Singapore’s team will take place in August, with further announcements closer to the date.
AFA will also feature Anime Karaoke Ma☆, an iOS-exclusive application that features anime opening and ending themes. Carrying integration with SNS such as Twitter, it’s a novel app that helps users to practice their Japanese through karaoke and share results with their friends. The application will be showcased at the convention, with karaoke competitions being held with it as well.
The press event also served as the stage to announce the first wave of artists for this year’s I Love Anisong concerts. May’n makes a comeback, continuing her streak of appearances in the event, along with FLOW and fledgling South-east Asian idol group SEA☆A. Seiyuu collective Sphere and fripside, who sang the theme song for To Aru Kagaku Railgun, will be new additions for the lineup this year.
The most surprising of all was T.M. Revolution, making his first appearance at AFA and rounding up the fairly solid lineup for this year. Today’s announcement of artists is only the first phase, with more to be announced by the organizers once more have been confirmed. Till then, many will wait with bated breath to see who they manage to rope in to add to the already stellar cast.
Writer who also doubles as the photographer during event coverage. Mus' interests in Japan lie in the language, literature, popular culture and underground rock bands. Having an academic background in Japan, Mus is also particularly interested in the study of Nihonjinron.