I do not know what possessed me to book last minute air tickets and flew across the ocean to attend an anime convention – AFAMY. However, I do know that I don’t want to end up seeing pictures from other blogs and wishing I was there. Don’t just wish, go for it. But is it worth it?
The energy at the event was at a level I never experienced before. There’s a huge crowd and tons of excitement in the air. The fans were so excited about the merchandizes on sale, the singers at the concert, the professional cosplayers at the event and such. One thing that I’ll never forget is the queues. Boy, were they long! I’m from a city in which long queues rarely exist so you can imagine how frustrated I am waiting in line for something I don’t even know if it’s worth it. Curiosity got the best of me here.
AFAMY housed attendees of all ages. Seriously. I saw parents bringing little kids to the event. I saw teenage children hugging their parents for buying what I assumed is VIP concert seats. I saw grandparents taking care of the little ones at a corner. Wow. Unbelievable. And here I was thinking that anime convention isn’t the kind of event I see these sort of scenarios, but I was wrong. It’s easy to tell that some parents were there only because their children wanted to be there. Because they’ll just sit at one corner silently and patiently waiting for their kids, wearing a bored look. I even saw parents carrying the trolley bags which I think contain cosplay items or something like that for their children. And the children themselves disappeared into the crowd enjoying themselves. You gotta love these parents, man!
Cosplays and fandom
I’m also surprised at the number of cosplayers present. As I’m writing this paragraph, I can’t help but to smile at the thought of my facial expression when I swung open the toilet door at the event. There were so many girls cramming inside a small spaced toilet, getting their cosplay makeup done. Some were wearing big, round, fluffy dresses and stuff so it’s a bit hard to walk around inside the toilet. I find this very amusing. I was lucky not to have stepped on anyone’s beautiful dress and having the girl walking around the con with my lovely footprint. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve seen such wonderfully done cosplays up-close. Whoever said Malaysian cosplayers suck, they have to be at AFAMY to see what local cosplayers can actually do. They were amazing, and I salute them for their dedications and attention to details. Great job, guys and girls.
Attending this event also made me realize that I’m not (and will never be) at the level of fandom as some of these attendees. Heck, I don’t recognize half of the cosplays! Also, I was lining up at a booth selling merchandizes and overheard conversations from fanboys, and let’s just say that I was amazed by their enthusiasms. I believe they must’ve gone through a lot of troubles just to own that one piece of collectible item. Some guys even showed their disappointment in a big way when a particular item was sold out.
Maid Café and Butler Café
The queue to the maid café was super long. I tried to queue up the first day but I gave up so I can actually have something to eat before the concert. I tried again the second day, but after an hour or so I gave up. Why? The line isn’t really moving and I overheard a guy saying that he lined up for three hours and he’d just reached the start of the line. I bet he has to wait for at least 30 minutes more before he can enter the café. Is it worth it? No, lol. The queue at butler café was just as long.
While there were quite a number of booths set up, I wasn’t all that interested. I took a quick stroll around the hall, popping in and out of booths of Good Smile Company, Bandai and lined up for an hour at a merchandize booth. I guess my focus there wasn’t to buy things so needless to say, I spent majority of my time at the stage events.
My most memorable stage event perhaps is Spiral Cats Team (SPCats), two beautiful cosplayers from South Korea. Maybe it’s their personality or maybe they look like dolls. Either way, they rock! I also enjoyed the Production I.G events and actually listened to the company director to explain why they made Guilty Crown. Hmmm..funny enough, now I can’t seem to remember what’s the reason. Well, I’m not a fan of the series, but loads of people are because they were screaming when the trailer was screened.
I’m glad that I chose to attend the stage events. They sort of give me coverage of things that I wouldn’t normally read up on my own such as the discussions about the making of 009 RE:Cyborg among other anime titles. Also, I get to see people I never knew existed! Does anyone else here heard of SPCats before? I didn’t.
The highlight of the event for me personally is definitely the concert. I only attended the Day 1 concert as I have a plane to catch the second night. Again, the energy at the concert was high! Fans were screaming and jumping around. As for me, I was totally captivated by Kalafina’s performance. There aren’t words to describe how I felt. They sound so good singing live. Too bad the chant for “encore” was ignored. Bleh. In addition, I like Aimi’s sincerity in approaching the audience. She might not be as popular as Kalafina or Kurosaki Maon, but I think she’s cute and I’m looking forward to see more coming from her.
Overall, I think my first anime convention had given me a glimpse to what anime fandom can really be. At home, I only get to talk about shounen anime with my guy friends and that’s about it. And we are pretty laid back most of the time. Over there at the con, I saw various animated expressions and great enthusiasms from fans. And…that’s quite a sight, really.
You know what? I think it’s worth it. Do you remember what’s like to have attended your first con? If yes, which con was it? Was it good?
P.S The concert picture of Kalafina was stolen from AFA Indonesia twitter account. Photography was prohibited. =(