Admittedly, it can be hard being an otaku in your day-to-day life. As much as you’d like it to be otherwise, the best you can do to live a life full of all things anime would be to have a well-stocked Netflix queue and maybe own a couple of figures to decorate your shelves.
Instead, we get our kicks from big events- weekend conventions that let you truly let your anime flag fly, in the company of other such fans of all things Japanese. One of the year’s biggest events, Anime Festival Asia 2023 is happening this weekend at Suntec Singapore, turning the convention center into its own miniature slice of Japan. From screenings of unreleased anime to some of the biggest names in the business coming down, here’s some reasons you should be at Anime Festival Asia 2023.
Catching Next Year’s Biggest Anime
One way or another, it’s a safe bet to assume a lot of people will be talking about Chained Soldier when it debuts next year. From its gorgeous crew of superpowered women fighting extradimensional horrors to its reward scenes, it has everything set to be the anime on everyone’s lips. Thankfully, Anime Festival Asia fans will be able to catch a special screening of the anime, more than a month before it officially launches!
That’s far from the only anime you’re going to be catching early, though- Tales of Wedding Rings, a story about interdimensional princesses and the quest to marry all of them will also be having a premiere screening at the event as well as undead fantasy anime The Unwanted Undead Adventurer, so you can really sneak a peek at the next season’s hottest projects before anyone else in the world.
Of course, it’s not just about watching anime- the people behind your favorite series will be there too, with representatives from Studio MAPPA coming once again to the event just as we hit the climax of the Shibuya Arc in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2. If you’re a Jujutsu Kaisen fan, not even the Prison Realm should stop you from showing up to this stage event.
And what of upcoming anime? Sumire Uesaka and series author Sunsunsun will also take to the stage to talk about the upcoming Alya Sometimes Hides Her Feelings In Russian, a cute romcom sure to hit your fluffy romance quota for the year with its cheeky storyline.
Years ago, it would have been a miracle to get the hottest anime airing as it came out- yet, for one weekend at Suntec Singapore, you’re getting the chance to be in the same room as the people who make it all happen. Be it Demon Slayer or Rurouni Kenshin, there’s something for every generation of anime fan.
Better yet, you can get exclusive merch to commemorate the weekend too, courtesy of Muse Asia- from TenSura to Attack On Titan, don’t forget to stop by their Exhibitor Booth and pick up goodies like cushions featuring everyone’s favorite Titan-killing neat freak.
Meeting Some Of The Biggest Names In The Biz
Of course, everyone knows there’s just as much happening around anime as there is actual anime itself. Popular personalities like Iori Moe have become faces of the culture, promoting games and events with her fresh personality and mesmerizing cosplay.
Iori Moe is the official ambassador for Anime Festival Asia 2023, bringing her unique charm to the event’s main stage! Extra dedicated fans can even buy tickets to her special meet-and-greet event, which features special merch as well as a selfie opportunity with her.
But where would an anime event be in 2023 without Vtubers? As walking bridges of real-life performances and anime appearances, Anime Festival Asia 2023 has kept up their streak of bringing in talents from Hololive for everything from stage events to performances with talents like Hololive English’s Calliope Mori, IRyS and Hakos Baelz, Sakura Miko and Hoshimachi Suisei from Hololive Japan as well as a special concert by Pavolia Reine, Kobo Kanaeru, Ayunda Risu and Moona Hoshinova from Hololive Indonesia.
These girls will be making up the night stage for the event’s second day, while Hololive Indonesia’s Kureiji Ollie will also be taking to the day stage alongside her illustrator LAM to continue to put on a great show.
Even if you’re not already into Vtubers, it’s hard to explain just how much heavy artillery of talent is on display at this year’s event- Sakura Miko and Hoshimachi Suisei are all the energy of an entire comedy troupe distilled into two idols, combined with incredible stage presence that’s sure to win over the hearts of everyone in attendance. The Hololive English girls, too, have an electrifying chemistry that’s sure to turn heads given how well they get along- it’s the same line-up as their CHADCast podcast, after all.
There’s one Vtuber you’d be absolutely be remiss to not talk about at this year’s event, though. Official illustrator for the event is Shigure Ui herself, freelance illustrator-turned Vtuber and singer of the viral sensation Loli God Requiem. She’ll be taking to the stage to do a live illustration demo and even giving tips for aspiring illustrators looking to enhance their craft.
For as much as we think anime’s just about sitting around watching Giga Drill Breakers and powerscaling Gear 5, the shape of the industry itself has changed so much. Even 5 years ago I couldn’t have imagined Vtubers coming to SEA, let alone being residents of the region itself. Considering how many cons are limited to three or so talents at a time, the number of Hololive talents alone coming to the event is absolutely astounding- even if they weren’t your favorites to start with there’s no chance they won’t steal your hearts by the end of it.
Riveting Musical Performances To Electrify You
After a whole day of seeing your oshi and meeting the animators behind your favorite shows, what better way to cap it off than with an electrifying concert? Every night of the three-day Anime Festival Asia features thrilling concerts, from the aforementioned night of Hololive via Hololive Meet to the I Heart Anisong event which features guests like Macross F darling May’n and Tatsuya Kitani, who did the opening for the new season of Jujutsu Kaisen.
It’s not just them, either- Sunday night features the SACRA Music Fes, which sees anime legends FLOW take the stage alongside popular acts like spira spica, who did the opening for My Dress Up Darling.
It can’t be understated how absolutely stacked all three of these nights are going to be- FLOW themselves are best known for the iconic Colors, opening for Code Geass while ASCA, another act on the SACRA line up has done music for Fate/Apocrypha as well as Sword Art Online.
A Weekend You Don’t Want To Miss
All in all, Anime Festival Asia is shaping up to be an incredibly loaded weekend for anime fans. Be it as a fan of the talents, the shows or even the music, Singapore’s the place to be this weekend with such a high-profile lineup.
It’s hard to understate how many events would simply have at best one of these individual parts and call it a day- and yet here is Anime Festival Asia, like a super robot combining everything from musical acts to anime premieres and more. I mean, there’s even a YuGiOh booth for people with trial decks to celebrate the game’s English OCG release.
There’s so much going on even away from the main stage- from Akiba Town featuring exhibitors like HoYoverse, Kotobukiya and more to cosplayers like Hakken and Kiyo, you could pretty much wander in any direction and find something cool to do at Anime Festival Asia 2023.
Tickets are available now, so don’t forget to check out all these events and more and have the kind of weekend you’re gonna be reminiscing about for months after it’s over.