Anime Festival Asia 2016 Singapore (AFASG16) - 1st Day Experience

Like every year, Anime Festival Asia Singapore remains the largest anime/Japanese culture convention to exist outside of Japan within Asia. And just like every year, the number of attendees increase year after year. When it first started out in 2008, there were roughly 27,000 attendees, and this year that number has reached almost 100,000 in total. Truly the power of anime is compelling!

Right off the bat, we arrived just before the doors opened. As we are a media outlet, we do get special dispensation to enter through a separate door away from the crowd, but just so we can give you a more personal experience, we queued up with everyone else to get the feeling of waiting in line to enter heaven.
Uwahhhhh~! So many people lining up for AFA on Day 1, and on a working day to boot! This basically means that anime fans like anime so much that they used a day off just to come on the opening day, when they could have just come for the weekend! Now the picture above captures only roughly half the queue. That’s because the queue is so long in actuality that it’s logistically impossible to capture the whole crowd without a flying drone. And the best part? This is just the queue to go into the door, the queue for buying the tickets is much worse!

Cosplayers

Like every anime convention, there are those who take the opportunity to cosplay as their favourite characters. These guys are the heroes of the convention, not only because of all the effort that they go through to put on their costumes, cake on some makeup and travel all the way there with all that baggage, but they are also very accommodating to those who want to take a picture or two!
Issho ni shashin? You betcha you can!
Now not everyone puts an equal amount of effort into cosplaying. And that’s okay, because not everyone is equally into playing their chosen character to its full extent. We have many varieties of cosplayers and different types of characters on the floor. They can range from full cosplayers like the lovely Ibuki Mioda we have below…
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The completely whacky and humorous types…

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To those that put spins on their favourite characters, like the femnaru and femsasu cosplayers…

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And there are even those who just want to have fun!

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And like every hobby ever, there will be those who do their hobby so well that they become celebrities in their circle. This year, AFASG invited quite a few celebrity cosplayers to take part in the convention, with famous names like Kaname, Ying Tze and Enako. We got a few shots of Enako in her really well done Asuna costume, and that is something that will be elaborated on more on Day 2!

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Displays

Just like every anime fan that exists, we all want to collect figurines of our favourite characters to ever exist! And there are plenty of displays that show off those figurines, including the extremely high end ones, for convention goers to view and admire. They can vary from being huge beyond measure…
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To outrageously adorable…

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And inducing the sudden violent tendency in fans to simply smash the glass case and make off with all the figurines like we’re Lupin the Third!

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In recent years, the popularity of Sword Art Online has skyrocketed to such an extent that even those who don’t normally watch anime have watched season 1 AND 2 of the anime, and can name more than 5 characters in the series. In fact, it has gotten so popular that it has its own booth in the convention called…

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The World of Sword Art Online has such a long queue that we had to wait for 10-20 minutes just to enter the place and view the exhibits! And when we entered, we definitely weren’t disappointed with what we found. On one of the walls, they showed off many screenshots of key moments in the SAO series.

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Off to the side, we got to try out the newest Sword Art Online PS4 game, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization. It features the player returning to Aincrad under mysterious circumstances, and trying to solve the mystery of why Aincrad exists once more. Whilst playing the game, we got to team up with our favourite characters like Asuna, Sillica, Lisbeth and more! If you own a PS4 and love Sword Art Online, be sure to check this entry out!

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RAB (Real Akiba Boyz)

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The Real Akiba Boyz were founded back in 2007 by founding member Chaka, and later became a full 5 man unit in 2013, consisting of Suzumiya Atsuki, Maron, Muratomi, Keitan and Dragon. They were originally founded with the purpose of being a competitive b-boy dancing group that represents Akihabara. They were uniquely known as the Otaku Dance Group because of all the anime songs that they used.
They later found fame when they started uploading their videos to Nico Nico Douga, many of which started to go viral. Even international fans started appearing because they perform in the medium that requires no words; dance. They eventually signed under Avex Entertainment, and this year, they have also appeared in AFASG16.
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Rather than just appearing on stage and dancing away, the RAB showed off their sense of comedy by beginning their section with a rolling story in a Star Wars fashion, talking about how they have finally arrived in Singapore to raise the roof. They then began a skit where two of the members wanted to become Karate Experts and their adventures in learning to eventually becoming super powered otakus. Though the dances are mostly connected to the skit through paper thin reasoning, it made for a fun experience overall.
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At the end, they even chose to involve their audience by teaching them some of their dance moves. We got to try out dance moves with the RAB such as Otagei, PPPH and Romance. With all the light stick waving, dancing and cheering we did alongside the RAB, we were sweating by the end of the performance despite it being a mere hour long.
But that wasn’t the end of it! Member Keitan is not just a dancer, but a DJ as well. Sojourning from the main stage, Keitan held a mini informal DJ session for the fans of RAB and a small crowd gathered to rock out to some of the greatest anime hits in recent history.
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Hell, even Baymax decided to drop in!
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Truly, they have delivered an energetic and exciting performance, and it is our dearest wish that they return the next year!

Final Thoughts

That’s all the time we had for on Day 1. We would’ve have had explored further and more thoroughly till closing time, but we had to make off for the I Love Anisong concert at 5pm. More on that in the Anisong article. However, we can say that we had a full and fulfilling day in anime heaven, and will be returning the next day for more!
Join us on day 2 as we run through the gates of heaven again!
Aria

Writer

Author: Aria

Hi, this is Aria. I have abandoned the 3D world for the 2D one. Occasionally I leave the 2D world to write my thoughts down. With that said and done, it's time for me to depart once more to the forbidden world, my waifus await.

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