Naturally there was a lot of ground to cover despite occupying just two halls, but the activities for the entire day ran non-stop, with every corner of the halls having something that will appeal to you, from previews to games at the main stage, to conferences at the seminar room, and plenty of toys laid out in showcases that will induce you to make a beeline for the numerous shops selling the latest pop culture anime figurines.
Looking at the bags of merchandize that attendees lugged around, who said we're in recession?
Studio 4°C had a booth in this year's Anime Festival Asia to showcase two of their projects - Genius Party, and the new Genius Party Beyond. Needless to say their booth was decorated with plenty of stills from both movies...
... with Koji Morimoto's own Dimension Bomb from Genius Party Beyond having a preview screening tomorrow!
You can read my review of Genius Party here.
Having watched Sky crawlers a few days back, I can't resist the opportunity to check out what the organizers had in stored for a booth dedicated to the movies. Inside, you can find panels on character bios, film synopsis, a television showcasing some clips and recorded interviews with director Mamoru Oshii...
but of course the jewel here is the showcase containing models of the fighter plans featured in the film:
No price lists however, though if there was and if it's affordable, I'll likely get myself this baby:
You can read my review of Sky Crawlers here.
What's On Display
There were showcases and more showcases, from classic characters like Doraemon, to Gundam, and even Western heroes from Marvel and DC were included as well. It was a field day trying to gawk and admire the countless of intricately designed Gundam models, and some of which are award winning ones to boot.
You can view more pictures from the slideshow here:
The Japanese Ambassador himself was present to grace the occasion and to officiate the opening ceremony to the first ever Anime Festival Asia.
Then "Aniki" (big bro) Ichirou Mizuki popped on stage to deliver one of his signature tunes (from thousands that he has done throughout his career). You can't help but to feel the energy he delivers from his anime songs, and undoubtedly, all the fanboys went wild! Need proof? See the clip below:
Ichirou "Aniki" Mizuki Special Appearance at Opening Ceremony
5 Second Man
Trust the Japanese to come up with yet another idea that's so simple, but yet able to sustain a creation of a new toy at that. Adopted from a typical stopwatch, the goal here is to see who can achieve the closest time to "5 seconds" as possible. In fact it really looks like an over-glorified stopwatch where one presses a button, and then count in your heart up to what you deem as 5 seconds, then press the button to stop. Winner is the one who gets it closest.
Yes, the Cosplayers are out in full force today as there's actually a competition running during the festival. My dress-up days are over anyway, so I didn't really bat an eyelid at the many characters roaming around the halls, until I stepped outside, and saw this very impressive effort. I guess you don't get to see how one would want to dress up as a huge robot, and a Gundam one in fact!
Check out the Video below, a definite crowd favourite! And it took no less than 30 minutes to get all the parts together!
This is without a doubt, hands down a champion already! Guess we'll only know when the official results are out tomorrow!
Anime Festival Asia 2008 ticketing details can be found here and tomorrow is the last day, so head on down to Suntec City Convention Centre!