14 Nov 2010

AFA X Day 1 Report

How was your day? My day was awesome. It'll be remembered as the day Kana Hanazawa silenced the entire audience with her performance.

8:30am: Many cosplayers moving quickly through the quiet City Link Mall to get to Suntec City. Upon arriving, I realise many were already there before me. MANY.
A scythe technician spotted!

And some sign-post ripping action!

9:00am: Doors are opened, and people start flooding in.

9.05am: I got in and took a few shots as I made my way to Cospa to quickly grab some limited ed stuff.

SEGA was here with Project DIVA arcade game, starring Hatsune Miku. People were queuing up to be the first in Singapore to try out this game (will appear in Singapore arcades soon!)

Bandai brought in lots of goodies in the form of those little boxes where you're not sure what's inside. Kinda like the box version of gachapon.

The Evangelion Store, selling exclusive T-shirts!

Very long queue for Cospa products (which includes the Evangelion store). This queue formed within 5 minutes of the exhibition doors opening. I joined the queue and had to wait nearly 40 minutes for my turn to take a step inside the store.

9:50am: Bought 2 T-shirts and left the store. Made a quick trip to Good Smile Company's booth to grab the exclusive Azusa keychain. Mardock Scramble was supposed to start screening at 9:15am. Am I too late?

Turns out I was right on time! The screening was delayed for some reason, so I managed to get in just as the lights dimmed. Talk about lucky!

Danny Choo's Culture Japan was next in the list of Main Stage activities. Danny! Cool seeing a true blue otaku handling hosting and translating duties for most of the stage activities. More on that later...

Danny's ever present "shadow". This guy is the camera man for Culture Japan and also the camera guy for a lot of Danny's photos.

The crowd was hugeee. Easily 300 people in there by the end of Danny's segment. Most of them were streaming in to catch the Gundam 00 movie that was up next.

Since I wasn't interested in the movie (as advised by a certain friend), I decided to take more photos outside before heading out to lunch. Bunch of photos coming right up:

Official AFA Shop

Nitro+'s shop (they are the makers of games such as Muramasa, and Chaos Head)

AFA itasha

Gundam 00 itasha

Danny's itasha

Street Fighter and Blaze Blue tournament

Bushiroad's booth, where assistants are on hand to teach you how to play the card game.

Animax's LIVE dubbing booth. You can just hop in and try your hand at dubbing. It's just Animax's ploy in getting you to think "Wow I suck, so Animax's dubs are actually good"

Animax's official K-ON cosplayers.....

Danny Choo waving at my friend. I must get a photo with him tomorrow!

They were holding a Anisong karaoke competition. This girl I caught here was actually quite decent.

Managed to catch some cosplayers roaming about. It was hard taking photos of them as the space was cramp (too many people!) and they were always moving about. Will try to take more cosplay photos tomorrow. Excuse the dark photos. Forgot to use flash -__-"

Caught this talented girl drawing on the graffiti board.

Took a sneak peek at the School Days cafe. Hmm... Perhaps I'll visit it tomorrow.

For those $8 ticket holders, I guess the main highlights were seeing cosplayers and the many figurines on display/for sale. Some cool unreleased stuff were showcased by Good Smile Company, along with some really rare some displayed by Toy Coin.

Dannychoo.com mascot, Mirai-chan. figma available in March 2011, preorders start end of this month.

Taiga nendoroid petite!

Went back into stage area for Kana Hanazawa's LIVE dubbing, but because of the delayed schedule, Mizuki Ichirou (Aniki!) and JAM Project were up next. Aniki was awesome. Drove the crowd wild with his umm... Engrish.

And so Kana Hanazawa was next.
But wait...

Sadly, that meant I couldn't capture all the awesomeness that happened in those 45 minutes. Danny was up on stage hosting again, trying out his "Singlish" accent. Q and A was conducted with questions from fans (selected during a Facebook event). She was speaking in Japanese (with Danny translating), but the audience went wild whenever she mentions an anime title she is involved in or a character she played. When she mentioned "Kuragehime" (anime currently airing in Japan, not available anywhere else in the world), a lot of people cheered (Wow! Singaporeans actually watch noitaminA shows!), and she was so surprised! "You heard of it?" she said. The Anime industry in Singapore definitely has a lot of space to grow.

Then a bunch of cool stuff happens. Good Smile Company's CEO steps on stage to rousing applause, announces Mirai figma (read on Danny's blog already), Steins Gate anime (I think it was mentioned recently), and Black Rock Shooter 2 (AFA Exclusive announcement! No anime news site mentioned this yet at the point of writing. Even wikipedia.) . Hanazawa-san also did a cool LIVE dubbing for Black Rock Shooter. The most awesome thing that happened, however, wasn't that.

Hanazawa plays Tenshi (aka Kaneda) in Angel Beats, written by Jun Maeda, the guy who brought us tear-jerkers such as Clannad and Air. Out of all scenes they could have chosen, they chose to dub one of the last few scenes in the last episode, which contained the biggest plot twist and the most tear-jerking moment in the anime. There was a hushed silence as Hanazawa-san voiced the soft-spoken Kaneda. I'm sure many in the audience had goosebumps and were nearly in tears as Kaneda uttered her last words. I sure was. And as the scene ended, the entire audience gave a rousing applause. There's still one more day, but I'm quite sure in saying that that was my AFA moment right there. Something I won't forget too soon...

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