Where Japanese Pop Culture Comes Alive!
The one day business conference aims to help develop and nurture a regional IP ecosystem by tapping on renowned speakers and talents from Japan and the region, with an IP 360° Content Conference focused on three themes: Create, Manage and Engage. Speakers will provide in-depth knowledge and expertise on how brands and marketers can work with content from Japan to connect with the digital generation of youths who seek to be entertained and engaged.
“The new Animation Asia Conference will provide an opportunity for international businesses and animation-related companies and organizations to network and learn from the best in the business. We are confident that Animation Asia Conference 2009 will grow to become a “must-attend” conference for directors, producers, creators as well as brand marketers, agencies and students. Our ultimate long term goal is to build and nurture a sustainable IP ecosystem for Singapore and the region,” said Anthony Kang, President, Dentsu Singapore and Co-Chairman of AFA09.
AFA09 will span over 5,000 sqm of space where highlights confirmed so far include the Akiba Town Marketplace, Anime Blockbusters, Kids Land, Regional Cosplay Championships, Moe Moe Kyun Maid Café, an AFA Exclusive Specialty Shop, and live acts straight from Japan.
FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AT KIDS LAND
A new highlight this year will be Kids Land, especially for younger children ages above 4 years old. Designed to maximize fun for families, Kids Land will have hands-on interactive sessions to learn how to make sushi, dumplings, sandwiches, etc. There will be workshops on how to assemble model kits at Bandai’s Gundam Caravan where participants will be able to take home what they have assembled during this event.
Children aged 4 to 8 years old can participate in a lucky draw to win a collection of Ben 10 toys on display at AFA09. There will be photo-taking opportunities with popular superheroes, including the new Power Rangers, Masked Rider and Ben 10 Alien Force. Popular animation and live action programmes will be screened live.
Bandai will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Gundam at AFA09 where visitors can walk through Gundam Time Tunnel Showcase featuring items and memorabilia from the Gundam franchise through the years.
“We are proud to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Gundam on such a big occasion, along with fans across the region. Apart from AFA09 exclusive merchandise featuring Gundam model kits and collectible toys, we will also showcase new toys like our Harumika range of toys and Power Rangers Jungle Fury, the latest iteration of the Power Rangers story, and the creations of the top 10 winners from Singapore for this year’s Bandai Action Kit Universal Cup (BAKUC) at AFA09,” said Wong Kah Fai, Deputy General Manager, Bandai South Asia.
NEW ATTRACTION – ‘I LOVE ANISONG’ MEGA MUSIC CONCERT
“AFA09 Music Concerts will be collectively themed as ‘I Love Anisong’ and will feature a power-packed list of Japan’s top music performers. We wanted to take our music component this year to the next level and this year’s line-up of guests at “I Love Anisong” will thrill both anime fans and music lovers. They have performed at sell-out concerts and have a huge fan base not just in Japan but internationally,” said Shawn Chin, Executive Director, SOZO and Festival Director of AFA09.
By popular demand, Ichirou Mizuki, Japan’s “King of Anime Songs will return with Japan’s Singing Sensation, May’n who performs as Sheryl Nome in Macross Frontier. May’n and Mizuki performed to impressive sell out crowds last year at AFA08.
Performing for the first time in Singapore and South East Asia will be multi-talented J-Pop performer and popular TV personality Shoko Nagakawa who is familiarly known by her fans as “Shokotan” and “Blogger Queen”. Her popular blog has achieved phenomenal success with a total number of more than 1 billion hits to her site. Using her own unique slang, her blog is described as one of the most popular celebrity blogs and garners over 1.8 million hits a day. Her long list of credits includes her singing the theme songs for Pokemon and popular TV anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
Also making his South East Asian debut will be Yoshiki Fukuyama, acclaimed guitarist, singer, and songwriter and member of JAM Project (Japan Animation Song Makers Project). As a member of JAM project, Fukuyama has produced numerous opening and ending theme songs for anime series and games. He had previously performed in Taiwan, San Paolo, Baltimore, Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mexico, Paris and Barcelona. Fukuyama also played the singing role and guitar of “Macross 7” main role Basara Nekki and will perform live “unplugged” at AFA09.
SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY TOP JAPAN BLOGGER
Asian top blogger Danny Choo, whose blog covers Japanese pop culture, was featured as “Best Japan Blog” this year by Forbes Magazine (July 2009), will meet his readers at
AFA09. One of his more famous acts was dressing up as a Stormtrooper from Stars Wars and dancing in Tokyo. As the CEO of Mirai Inc. an e-commerce solution firm he started in 2007, Danny’s clients include major Japanese companies like Good Smile Company and Kotobukiya amongst others.
With more than two million unique users and twenty million hits a month, Danny will host several events at AFA09, including a showcase of his very own “Mirai-chan” related merchandise. Danny will speak at the Animation Asia Conference on consumer generated media and will also host the “Bandai x Danny Choo x AFA09 World Gunpla Competition” via his Mirai Gaia Platform at www.dannychoo.com
REGIONAL COSPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
Cosplay this year will have a bigger stage where AFA09 will host the first ever Regional Cosplay Championship in Asia. The top cosplay team from each South East Asian country will be sponsored by AFA09 to compete in the Regional Cosplay Championship during the two-day anime festival where they will perform and be judged by a panel of distinguished guests from Japan including internationally renowned cosplayer Kaname☆ who is best known for portraying Cloud Strife from “Final Fantasy VIl: Advent Children” and Ichigo Kurosaki from “Bleach”. Kaname☆ will also conduct a close-door panel session for cosplayers keen to learn more about how to improve their cosplay techniques.
“Animax Asia, the regional media partner for AFA09, will be producing a half-hour programme dedicated to the “Art of Cosplay”, said Gregory Ho, vice-president and general manager of Animax Asia. “With the rapidly growing popularity of anime across Asia, more and more youth and young adults are engaging in cosplay as a means of expressing their passion. With top cosplayers coming from the region, and an impressive judging panel made up of celebrity cosplayers, we aim to produce a programme where these experts will provide valuable tips and insights into the art of cosplay. This programme will also demystify the concept of cosplay, and go behind the scenes to showcase this colourful expression of creativity that is capturing the hearts of many youths around the world.”
“This year’s festival, with its expanded content including I Love Anisong, Regional Cosplay Championship, Maid Café, Kids Land, exclusive merchandise, seeks to bring greater entertainment and value to our audience. It will undoubtedly place AFA09 amongst the best in the world,” said Michael Ng, Co-Chairman of AFA 2009 from I-PROMO Events & Marketing.
“In addition, the inaugural Animation Asia Conference will provide a platform for businesses from the region to network, develop deeper relationships and create business opportunities,” added Ng.
AFA09 will be held at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Halls 403 and 404 from 10.00 am to 9.00pm. The festival targets children, youth, adults and industry visitors both locally and from around the region and having had a turnout of 46,000 visitors in 2008, organizers expect an even bigger number of visitors in excess of 50,000 to this year’s festival.
AFA09 is organized jointly by I-Promo Events & Marketing, SOZO and Dentsu Singapore. The festival is sponsored by Bandai, Japan’s leading toy manufacturer, with Animax as the official regional media partner.
For more information on AFA09, pleasevisit www.afa09.com