Anime Festival Asia 2016 (AFA 2016)
Written by Radio Heatwave on December 20, 2016
Japanese music blasted throughout the convention centre as photographers ran around trying to snap pictures of cosplayers dressed as various characters from their favourite animes and mangas. Fans squealed at the sight of their favourite characters and the sound of the favourite music. These are the various activities that usually go on at the annual Anime Festival Asia (AFA). For the eighth year running, AFA was held at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre from 26 November to 28 November 2016.
It was my first time attending AFA, and I got to visit the convention on the final day. It was hardly a surprise when I found the entrance to the venue filled to the brim with fans and visitors. Thankfully, carrying a media pass allowed me to avoid the long queues leading to the entrance. Numerous booths selling various Japanese cultural products, such as food, figurines, posters, pillowcases and fan art, occupied every corner of convention centre.
After a few hours of absorbing the atmosphere and visiting the booths, I went by the Akiba Stage, a makeshift stage set up at the side of the convention centre. My friend, Anthea, but known by her stage name as Usagi, was one of the headliners that were invited to perform at Akiba Stage. The crowd went wild as she started singing songs from classic anime series such as Neon Genesis Evangalion and Bleach. Moreover, Usagi, and her group, CTRL.T, danced on stage, while interacting and pumping up the crowd.
After Usagi’s performance, Piko Taro, the man behind the infamous Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen (PPAP) song, took the stage. I had never heard a more engaging version of PPAP. The end of his performance marked the conclusion of the festival. The buzz in the convention centre started to wind down as the booths began to pack up and the stage got torn down. Leaving the convention centre, I felt a sense of satisfaction, finally having ticked one experience off my bucket list.
Editors: Christy Heah and Prashain