Anime Festival Asia is an annual anime, doujinshi and Japanese culture festival which held once a year in countries of Southeast Asia. The festival often just abbreviate as AFA. This year, the festival will be held starting in Jakarta, Indonesia, at 6, 7 and 8 September 2013. The event organizer for AFA ID 2013 promised to bring more exciting and wonderful festival to Indonesian Otaku than previous year. According to Danny Choo’s website statement, the AFA management will placed the event at bigger venue, the Jakarta Convention Centre, that more spacious, more booths, much contents and more blast for otaku in Indonesia this year.
The festival has been regularly held since 2008 by Sozo and Dentsu to promote Japanese culture, specially otaku culture, for wide Southeast Asia audience and fans who thirsty for anime and idol convention like Summer Comiket and Winter Comiket in Japan. The convention event is a place to introduce, promote, gather and as meeting point of otaku or J-pop fans for exchange information relate product, movie and merchandise. It’s also a place for certain corporations who specialized in otaku culture and Japanese products who want to introduce, promote and sell their products to public.
One of main attraction in AFA which attract huge audiences is Anisong concert. Anisong is a concert which feature selected J-pop idol, seiyuu and Japan band that already well known in anime and J-pop industry. This year, AFA ID 2013 will featuring Aya Hirano, May’n, Eir Aoi, Baby Metal band, fripside duo and Kalafina group. Most notable is, Aya Hirano who sing ‘God Knows’ music in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu series.
This year, AFA ID will be hosted by Danny Choo, a founder and producer of Mirai Suenaga mascot. He also member of Creative Industries Internationalization Committee of Japanese government. His network and collaboration project also include Air Asia, Touch ‘n Go, Kinokuniya, Good Smile Company, Bushiroad, Ascii Media Works, King Records, Nitroplus and many more. In conclusion, anyone can be rest assure that the festival will be again in hand of professional and competent management this year too.
To be honest, I was little bit disappointed to feature animes which will be screening at the AFA ID 2013. There are four anime titles, two anime movies and two anime series will be introduced this year. The first is Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie, Detective Conan Private Eye in the Distant Sea movie, Gundam Unicorn series and lastly, Love Live! School Idol Project series. But, I cannot prejudice about them before I watch the screening at the event day.
The first screening is Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie. It’s story tells about mystical character who can granted magic ability to young girls but as exchange those girls must become magic girl who must fighting evil witches, demons, creature and even murder. The movie although looks like shoujo or shounen style but it can be categorize as seinen, dark fantasy, horror and supernatural genres.
Second screening is Detective Conan Private Eye in the Distant Sea movie based on Gosho Aoyama’s Detective Conan Case Closed manga series. This time Shinichi Kudo and his gang will be involve to uncover some conspiracy and murder mystery inside Maritime JSDF Aegis cruiser.
The third screening, Gundam Unicorn series, based on Harutoshi Fukui’s Gundam novel in 2006-2009. It’s feature mecha action, space battle and military drama in Gundam universe. I think I will try to watch the screening of Gundam Unicorn due my expectation to Gundam series.
Lastly, Love Live! School Idol Project anime series which features idol group much like AKB48 and The idol master series. It has comedy and musical genre ideal for anyone who want light weight, school life and daily life story.
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR ENJOYING AFA ID 2013
This section is my tips and suggestions for how to enjoy the Anime Festival Asia Indonesia 2013 at it’s fullness based on my experiences at the festival previous year, AFA ID 2012.
The most difficult OBSTACLE to enjoy the festival is waiting and line up until its open time for public. The gate will be open around 10.00 AM but can be change based on festival organizer preference. It will be long lines of people queue until the gate open so whoever come earlier will be benefit for it due they will quicker enter the festival and get the blast. The hot weather can be burden for anyone who want to participate in cosplay event meanwhile rain weather can be ruining the costume too.
Festival attendees and fans should bring folding chair, a bottle water or two and some reading material for kill time while waiting the gate open. In addition, it based in my experiences that audiences should bring folded bags for their products, catalogue and merchandise due sometimes doujinshi and corporate booths are running out their available bags and forced attendees to scrap whatever bag they can find.
Ticketing also other potential issue that require attendees attention. Buy ticket online earlier will safe much time and help fans to find shorter place in event entrance queue lines due they don’t have to buy ticket first. In addition, the ticket prices will be more priced this year too.
Lastly, be prepare and double check every photography devices which you are planning to bring into the AFA ID 2013. You must make sure that all devices you have are have full charged battery and enough free space in SD cards. Spare batteries, spare SD cards and some light cleaning equipment for clean your DSLR camera or mobile phone camera will help in case something gone wrong.
When attendees are entering the festival they will be welcomed by crowded of cosplayers, photographers, general audiences and sales girls who try sells their company products mixed together in one or two huge auditorium.
Inside the festival, it will be better if audiences follow map guidance which distributes along when they buy ticket or just find a huge map display which will informed where are you and what direction should be take in order to enjoy the anime convention.
Most important, bring enough cash due all merchandise, DVD/CD, anime products, doujinshi, foods and drink that sell inside the festival are only accept cash. CASH ONLY PLEASE rule. I saw a lot of people in rush find ATMs due they were running out cash last year. In addition, some rare items and merchandise can be gone if you missed it due low on cash.
The first section which requires attendees attention is AKIBA TOWN section where corporate booths like Touch ‘n Go, Kinokuniya, Good Smile Company, Bushiroad, Ascii Media Works, King Records, Nitroplus, Bandai, Animax etc.
Each booths feature their best presentation and rare products which can lead anyone droll in envy or hypnotism them to buy products and merchandise whatever the price tag.
It also a perfect section for photographer who wants channels his photography hobby. Most corporate booths allow audiences to take pictures but beware if some rare items need permission before you can allow take picture of it. Other trouble is finger print dirt in glass display of products can discourage photographer that why photographer should bring small soft fabric or tissue to wipe the dirt if they want to take some pictures of the product clearly.
Light is another issue need photographer attention. Some corporate booths don’t have enough bright lights or only dim lights for attract audience’s attention to specific products of their booths. DSLR Camera with flash or mobile phone camera with flash feature will solve the problem wonderfully.
Next, the hidden gems of AFA ID is CREATORS HUB section where amateur mangaka or anime manga circle introduce their best doujinshi and merchandise products for sell to audiences who visit their booth. It also places where otaku or anime fans who have same hobby or mind set are meet and communicate for exchange information related to their hobby.
It also a place where you can find rare doujinshi book or items related to your favorite anime or manga series if you can find it among hundred of doujinshi in various genre. Some booths sell imported goods such as, doujinshi, image books, memorable fans or scarf, drawing tools and many more. I don’t need to explain it just visit each booth and look carefully or you will be regret later.
Lastly, the main attraction in AFA is AFA CAFE section which well known for it’s butler cafe and maid cafe booths. Atelier Royale is butler style cafe while Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe is maid cafe which copied butler and maid cafes in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan.
To be honest, I prefer to avoid the cafe section due it’s over capacity and long waiting lines that can waste my precious time in the festival. Nevertheless, butler and maid cafe is new and alien concept for audiences outside Japan, particularly girls who dying just to enjoy and taste the atmosphere inside the cafe. AFA cafe is a good opportunity for anyone who want to enjoy the butler or maid cafe without need gone to Japan. As you can see in the image above, AFA cafe section is the second place crowded in the festival after Akiba town section.
In conclusion, AFA ID 2013 is an anime festival that worth to be visited by anyone who interest or adore otaku culture or someone who want more understand Japanese culture and various it’s subcultures. See you inside the festival……at 6, 7, 8 September 2013.