Can you believe that it’s been four years since Anime Festival Asia (AFA) landed upon the shores of Indonesia? With an epic three-day event that celebrates everything J-Pop - from anime, music, cosplay, kawaii culture and even technology, it's no surprise that over 55,000 fans swarm the event every year.
From its humble beginnings as a small event that dreamed big, Anime Festival Asia first saw sparks of success in Singapore, way back in 2008. It has been seven years since then, and the festival has expanded throughout Asia, counting Malaysia, Bangkok and Indonesia amongst its successful exports.
A larger than life banner greets visitors as they enter the expo halls.
Held from 25 to 27 September 2015 at the Jakarta International Expo, AFA Indonesia (AFA ID) 2015, hoards of fans descended to partake in a weekend of Japanese entertainment. The halls filled with frenetic energy, fans were seen mingling with well-loved aniculture brands such as Good Smile Company, Animax, Books Kinokuniya, Culture Japan, Pony Canyon and more. With more than 52 booths, fans were treated to a playground of merchandise, games and art. This year, many booths opted for a more interactive form of engagement, encouraging fans to take photos at the booth or play with new forms of technology.
Fans were treated to exclusive meet-and-greet sessions and guest appearances by famous voice actors Junko Takeuchi (of Naruto fame) and Show Hayami (Assassination Classroom), as well as established anisong and J-Pop artistes such as FLOW, GARNiDELiA, GACKT, LiSA and fripSide.
Regional cosplayers took to the stage with intricately made costumes.
The festival culminated in the AFA Regional Cosplay Championship, where the best cosplay teams in Indonesia battled it out to represent their country in the finals, to be held at AFA Singapore in November 2015. It was exhilarating to see cosplayers re-enact key scenes from their character's anime or manga, bringing their characters to life.
Selfie spots abound, with a variety of backdrops to choose from!
The Canon booth proved to be a popular pit stop for fans and cosplayers alike, providing free photo prints for selfie addicts. Visitors could also take part in the Canon Selfie Photo Contest where a lucky winner won 2 Canon PowerShot N100s!
Cosplayers could live out their manga fantasies with hand-drawn backdrops.
Some anime fans took the opportunity to channel their ‘super-saiyan' mode for free photo prints courtesy of Canon.