[Anime Culture Monday] Anime Hotspot: AnitamaSai

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Saitama is embracing the otaku culture with its newest event AnitamaSai. This is an annual event held by Saitama Prefecture most recently on October 9th, 2016. The goal of AnitamaSai is to spread knowledge of famous spots in anime that are based on real locations throughout Japan. This year’s festivities boasted a live concert by an idol group, face to face with voice actors, and a cosplay runway show. Saitama wants to be known as the “mecca of Anime” and to encourage tourism and industry by utilizing anime and manga

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AnitamaSai (Omiya Station in Saitama Prefecture)

Location:Sonic City - Sakuragicho 1-7-5, Omiya-ku, Saitama City (Near Omiya Station).
Cost of Admission:
  • Free of Charge.
  • Cosplay changing room had a 1,000 yen fee or about $10USD
Hours of Operation

The Experience

Cosplay Runway Show

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With an estimated 30,000 attendees on its fourth year, AnitamaSai continues to grow. This is a celebration of anime culture in all its forms. From anime, cosplay, idols, and manga it is an Otaku’s dream. This was the first year that AnitamaSai had an international presence as well. The cosplay runway show featured many international cosplayers to emphasize how Saitama has become a more global community. The show included cosplayers from countries such as China, Australia, the UK, and many more.

With this new aspect to the AnitamaSai event, we can only see it continue to grow in the future as it becomes more international.

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Additional Info:

In addition to cosplaying, the event included an anime trivia test. Attendees were welcome to put their anime knowledge to the test. The overall winner was declared the “AnitamaSai Animation Exam Champion” until next year’s competition.

A live concert was put on by DEPAGUMI.inc. A six member jpop idol group who sang the ending song for “Saiki Kusuo no Nan”, otherwise known as The Disastrous Life of Saiki. They were met with thunderous applause on AnitamaSai’s main stage.

There was also a live recreation of several manga by voice actors during the day. Voice Actors and actresses performed reading for several manga short stories. There was a special appearance by Kenji Taketomi who is the creator of the popular story, Suzuki Sensei.

The event was attended by many food and goods vendors as well. From fried chicken to rice cakes, AnitamaSai had many of the basic festival food finds. But if you are looking for just a quick bite, there is a convenience store inside the Prince Hotel located next to the event.

The exhibit area focused on current popular anime and what we can expect to see in the future. Including One Punch Man season 2 sneak peeks. There was a section dedicated to storyboards and screenshots from the first season.


Final Thoughts:

This event is growing every year. With the inclusion of more international anime fans this year, AnitamaSai will just keep getting bigger. Their goal is to celebrate everyone’s love of anime and show the appeal of the places these popular anime are based on. They hope that people will be inspired to visit these places and continue supporting the anime industry. AnitamaSai festival also hopes to keep attracting foreign visitors in the years to come. Will you come visit?

by Devan Baird
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