Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2011

Over the weekend, I went for my annual "pilgrimage" to the Anime Festival Asia (a.k.a. AFA) 2011 held in Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore. This year I was accompanied by Rhea and Huei Ling. :)

Disclaimer: This is going to be a picture-heavy post, so please be patient while all the pictures load. Click on the images for a larger view. :)

The event's opening ceremony was on 11.11.11, but we went on the second day (12.11.11, Saturday) because that was when all the festival and stage events really started.

We managed to arrive at Suntec City around 8 a.m., and already there was a long line of people queuing up for tickets. The event hall only opened at 9 a.m., so we were well prepared with breakfast while waiting in line for tickets as well as entry into the festival hall.

My breakfast of coffee + bacon and egg sandwich. :)
Ticket/Admission bracelet for festival + stage halls (S$18)
We were lining up for about 45 minutes on the stairs leading to the floor below (the line snaked all the way down to the lower levels) when, at exactly 9 a.m., we heard a loud cheer from above, signaling that the doors were finally opened.

Queue waiting to enter the festival hall.
The first thing we noticed when we stepped into the hall was a really prominent One Piece booth, where lots of One Piece figurines were displayed.

The One Piece cosplayers were really enthusiastic, lol
We went our different ways in the hall, after agreeing to meet up at 9.40 a.m. so that we could grab some good seats for the main stage event at 10 a.m. I wandered around and came across this - the Mirai Suenaga x Danny Choo itasha. This year it was a BMW. O_o

Nice and simple with cute Mirai-chan
After that, I spotted this booth. Being me, I headed straight for it before the crowd started, and got to chat with the girl at the booth while choosing my kitty ears headband. ^^ It's same as the one she's wearing in the picture below.

HAHAHAHA Random person in a ski mask walked by while I was snapping a photo!
The Nico Nico Douga booth was quite prominent too, with its bright orange colour and cute little TV-like mascot. If you want to watch legit streaming of the all new Fate/Zero series (with subtitles!), just hop on over to the NND website and sign up for free. :D

Nico Nico Douga
The Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe and Atelier Royale Butler Cafe. It was still early, so they hadn't opened for business yet. We could see the kawaii maids and ikemen butlers all getting ready inside though. :D

No long queue outside - yet.
This is the outer wall for the Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe. The drawings of the maids are really cute! :3

Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe
Time passed surprisingly quickly, and it was time for us to go into the main stage area to wait for the first highlight to start, which was the Culture Japan Season 2 showcase by Danny Choo.

Front row seats! Well, almost.
The man himself - Danny Choo
Danny-san also invited vividblaze on-stage to perform the theme song to Culture Japan Season 2. It was a great performance, which was 7 minutes song! (I know 'cause I recorded the whole thing, lol) The song is "Sukirai", and it's the opening theme for Culture Japan S2 as well as the upcoming Mirai Millennium anime.

Moekana is too cute~ >.< And vividblaze's performance was great!
After the Culture Japan showcase, we stayed on for the next highlight, which was a Fate/Zero showcase with producer Atsuhiro Iwakami and performance of the Fate/Zero song by LiSA. Unfortunately, recording was prohibited for this particular stage highlight. The workers were really strict about it too, as they went around catching and warning people who ignored the message.

No recording for the Fate/Zero showcase. T_T
After that, we exited the main stage area to go to the restroom and then went to line up for lunch at the butler cafe. The line was pretty long, and it took us more than half an hour to reach the front of the line. The theme for this year's Atelier Royale Butler Cafe was "Wonderland", so all the 8 butlers were each given a specific character to dress up as, or personify. :)

Urgh, messy hair. >_<
Rules and regulations; the cafe's menu; no photography allowed inside. T__T
The rules and regulations poster had us laughing, mainly because of this particular sentence: "Please refrain from any physical contact with the butlers at all times". Yes, we must keep our fangirl hands to ourselves HAHAHAHA They also required each customer to order at least one of the sets, which was pretty expensive considering it's only a main course/cake + a cup of coffee or tea. Oh well, I guess we were paying more for the eye candy butler service.

No butler pics, but food pics are allowed.
Mine was the Omurice, because I was really hungry and it was my idea to come here in the first place. It tasted pretty good, not super amazingly yummylicious, but not bad. We got Takeshi-kun (The Cheshire Cat) as our butler, and he was really nice. :D I bought one of the photosets (set of 5 random photos) but didn't get any of my favourite butlers. :( Nevermind, at least I got an autographed one from Yuu, hehe~

The photos from my photoset.
Then it was time for us to walk around the festival hall again. Rhea and Huei Ling wanted to go to the main stage for the Chiwa Saito live dubbing session, so I took my time around the area snapping photos and generally absorbing the festive atmosphere.

Every AFA I've attended would not be complete without the Bandai booth, which is a heaven for Gundam-lovers. There were loads of Gundam models ("Gunpla") for sale, and some were limited editions exclusive to AFA.

Stacks and stacks of Gundam models
Damn, should have bought one (or two).
Of course, they also had the models on display in glass cases.

It's transparent!
This one was really awesome.
But not as awesome as this human-sized Gundam Unicorn, aye?

There were also quite a few figmas and nendoroids on display too, but I didn't take pics of all of them.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Hatsune Miku
I saw a lot of people walking around carrying giant Animax paper bags, so out of curiosity I headed towards the Animax booth. Turns out they were having a free photoshoot session with some of the Beelzebub characters, so I went ahead and took a photo. They gave each participant an Animax/Beelzebub paper bag and told us we could collect our free photos within the hour. It was fun, and who doesn't like free stuff, right? :P

Off duty cosplayers; the Animax booth; convenient mirror to self-cam :P
My photo with Baby Beel (aka Beelzebub IV). XD
Anyway, talking about free stuff, I managed to pick up a sample copy of vividblaze's CD, containing the new Culture Japan theme songs, at the Danny Choo booth.

There were also many other attractions and fun areas in the festival hall, including...

Artists' Alley
Weiß Schwarz and Cardfight! Vanguard corner
Cool Japan pavilion
What else do you think I'm missing from this post? XD If you said cosplayers, you're on the right track! After all, it's the biggest anime and Japanese pop culture event in South East Asia, so of course cosplayers from all around the region will flock here to join the event and show their stuff. ;)

Inazuma Eleven
I have no idea, lol
Elizabeth Middleford from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
Kagamine Rin and Len (Vocaloid twins)

Random creepy bloodstained guy O_o
Nurarihyon no Mago
Ash and Misty from Pokemon! So nostalgic ♥
No idea where they're from, but amazing costumes!
Shiva Sisters from Final Fantasy XIII. Such intricate costumes/props!
Madoka Magica (left) and Assassin's Creed (right)
Like wtf are they doing together?! Both of them are from completely different worlds! LOL

Don't know what character this is supposed to be, but that costume is seriously amazing!
Final Fantasy Type-0
Elves (from Lineage?)
This Ao no Exorcist group seems to be missing its main character...

Well, this is the end of my super long Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2011 post! Hope you all enjoyed the pictures! ^^

We left the convention center around 3.30 p.m., and returned home by bus on the day itself at 7. It was an exhausting but really fun and satisfying end to our short Singapore trip. Hopefully we'll still be able (and have the time) to attend next year's AFA. :)


Zhia said...

my waifu and my waifu's waifu and my hasubando are so perfect <333333333

thank you for taking the photos!!! >3< LETS GO THERE AGAIN

little miss smexy said...

WOOOOOT. I always expect for Vampire Knight cosplay, I duno why maybe they look so yummy in manga??

Anyway, WOOOT to anime!! =D

Unknown said...

Looks like so much fun!!! I love going to anime cons~~ ^_^

bendan said...

OMG~ long post and so cute!!!!! Like these stuffs... me like cute thing. Btw, Where was it?? Singapore?? Cool...When is Malaysia's?

Maple Cheong said...

My friend cosplay the character : 黑执事 夏尔 Ciel !XD

Unknown said...

wow! tokyo in penang hehee... am not a cosplay fan, but i love the kinkiness of anime :P

LauraLeia said...

not rhea: You're welcome~~ :D Yes, we must go again!

nicole: Vampire Knight was popular with cosplayers last year and year before. The anime/manga trends change annually, thank goodness, lol. Otherwise we'd be stuck with Naruto and Bleach and Sailormoon d, haha!

Nancy: I wish I could go to the anime cons in US and Japan! They look so awesome. :D

bendan: Hehe, thanks! Yup, in Singapore. Malaysia's one is Comic Fiesta. It's gonna be in KLCC (convention center) in December. ^^

Maple: That's awesome! :D

jamie: It's in Singapore, actually. ^^" But i think Penang also has its own anime convention, right? And anime is not all about kinkiness; it's about passion. Kinkiness is just a misconception thanks to "some" genres. :) Sorry for the long reply, but I just had to make it clear, lol.

Nava Krishnan said...

Great fun seems like you had.