Anime Festival Asia (AFA) is now called C3 AFA due to some changes in the organisers. Other than that, it is essentially the same anime event like the previous years. A few weeks ago I was tempted to watch the Anisong concert on Friday because there are several familiar names such as FLOW and Tomohisa Sako. I tried to listen to other songs (other than the few I know) and I decided perhaps I don't like enough songs from them to make me want to watch the Anisong concert. Lol. After the somewhat disappointing AFA 2016, I was lazy to go this year. However, after the emo-ness since Wednesday, I decided to go in the hope that things can't be worse than the previous week.
I queued for 20 minutes last year just for the ticket and this morning I reached later at 12+. I was pleasantly surprised that there was no queue!! Wow.. The wristband was back to the old stick on type unlike the cooler one for last year.
I find that this AFA is the most enjoyable one so far: more experience zones, more displays, less shops and shopping, and most importantly less crowd. A huge Gundam Exia awaits at the entrance. It is quite a sight as it is about 2x the size of the Gundam Unicorn in previous AFA. It is quite unfortunate that the lighting around the area is pretty dim.. and my phone camera sucks.
Gunpla models and Star Wars models are displayed in open without case so it is easier to take photos. The Tamashi Nation side is still displaying with cases and the glass is so reflective! In the photos, the reflection on the glass is even more visible than the things that I want to take photos. Similar to last year, there is no Saint Seiya or Sailor Moon items. One Piece is still dominating and Dragon Ball seems to be back into limelight.
|I am too lazy to take photos of non-Gundam Wing series so I just took one photo.|
|More hangars will be good for display cabinets|
|This is quite an interesting new line. Waiting for Gundam Wing of course|
|Last year this was inside a display case. This year it shines more gloriously.|
|Green Banshee is a nice contrast next to the gold Phenex|
|New line for Digimon: cool concept but not Agumon and Wargreymon are not proportionate in size|
Next to Bandai is a booth specially for Black Butler. I was tempted to get the $10 soft serve but since the cup was plastic (not glass), I decided not to give into temptation. Most of the booth area is for displays instead of selling items which is again a good thing.
Standees this year are from Black Butler.
|Thematic display from Black Butler booth|
Last year the crowd prohibited me from even passing through the Creators Hub but it was a breeze this year. I noticed that there are fewer shops and each shop is also bringing lesser items. I usually skip the shops selling random merchandises (e.g folders, towels, cups, etc) but the queues for these shops were noticeably missing this year. I entered 1 shop because somehow Ryu Studio has a display. It is really a huge regret that I missed the Naruto preorder this year and it is sold out now. Sigh.. The statue really looks gorgeous and the details were amazing. My photos do not do them justice and I took the photos simply to make my blog less boring. I don't know why Ryu Studio display is smacked in a hidden corner of a shop. These statues really deserve better exposure.
|3 Narutos in a statue. How cool that is.|
|Only 10 for pre-order for this AFA? What a joke! Well Gaara is sold out too actually.|
I was lucky to pass Canon area when Pikachu made an appearance so I took a free photo. Canon is amazing with a few photo areas, free photos and free prints. I only took another photo at the Mario World set. I don't know how much Canon is forking out money but they should invest in better photographer. My Pikachu photo is off center and my Mario photo is a close up that people will not be able to tell I am taking it for a Mario theme. The quality of the photo print is mediocre too so I don't know how it will make people want to buy their photo printer. But hey cannot complain for free stuff.
NHK has a photo booth with Domo but I did not get a chance as Domo appeared for a short time. It is not a normal photo booth as well since people are supposed to move/shake on the camera and the end product will a gif or a video? I don't know.. but it is another unique experience zone. There is also Namco booth is for free gaming which obviously cannot be enjoyed by a loner like me. Sigh..
The other booth worth mentioning is Manga de Japan which have several activities. My luck is pathetic and I did not get the correct balls to be drawn into a manga character :( I was roped in to join one of the mangaka's session to draw and the mangaka would choose 1 winner. This was quite poorly organised as the orientation of what the mangaka's drawing was a mirror image from what shown in the camera. My drawing was not that bad actually lol. Can't believe that the winner is a girl who drew a girl on top of the aeroplane. The sketch of the girl was nice but the plane was bad. I thought this was to partner ANA and the plane should be the focus and another guy (not me) drew a much better plane. Well whatever..
Behind it is the area to promote a manga called Karin's Mound. I was approached if I wanted to try VR game to bat for a baseball game. There were 2 people queueing so initially I was lazy to queue and I decided to go to the front where I was roped in to do the manga drawing. By the time I was back, the queue was already long. Haiz.. wasted :( It would be a good experience to play with virtual reality stuff.
It should be a fun day but for a negative person like myself, I left feeling more emo. Sigh.. Imagine that I came with 0 level of happiness. I was actually quite happy to take photos with Pikachu and at the Mario set so these should be +2. However the failure to play the VR game, to be drawn in a manga style, and to play PS4 Gundam game at Namco booth made me miserable as I could only achieve 2 instead of 5 things to make me happy.
From the less crowd, I thought AFA started to lose popularity this year. That was not the case apparently as when I left, the queue for the entrance ticket purchase was crazy. Lol.. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that it was not like that when I came.