KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Did you watch Ultraman when you were growing up? Never mind that he was dubbed over in Malay. From that point on, did you become an anime fan or dream of visiting an actual maid and butler cafe but never had the chance?
Then Anime Festival Asia Malaysia (AFA MY) 2012 is your dream come true. Held for the very first time in Malaysia, AFA MY is the biggest anime and Japanese pop culture event in Southeast Asia. Anime Festival Asia made its debut in Singapore back in 2008.
Notable guests at past Anime Festival Asia include Kunio Okawara, mechanical designer for Gundam, AKB48 and various Anisong (anime song) stars.
The second Anime Festival Asia in Singapore introduced the “Regional Cosplay Championship” with cosplayers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines participating.
My “otaku” (geek) friends actually travelled to Singapore to participate in the annual AFA and it has become a phenomenon in the anime world outside Japan. Fans anticipate that AFA MY 2012 will be as exciting as the one in Singapore.
The upcoming AFA MY will see a recreation of Japan’s popular district Akihabara — where you can expect premium merchandise, movie screenings, cosplay activities, maid and butler cafes and much more.
Last year, the organisers of the event, Dentsu and SOZO, announced plans to hold satellite events beyond Singapore’s shores. And now, we get to enjoy Japanese pop culture right in our own backyard!
AFA MY 2012 is a weekend festival that will be held at PWTC, occupying 10,000 square metres with “I Love Anisong” concerts happening in the evenings.
About 500,000 Malaysians are said to be devotees of the anime and Japanese pop culture. The organisers of AFA MY 2012 promise to offer Malaysians the best of Japanese pop culture with local interests and preferences, supported by iconic Anime Festival Asia favourites.
This June 9-10, visitors to AFA MY 2012 will be able to enjoy performances by six Japanese Anisong J-Pop Acts over six hours in two days. These artists are recognised for their talents as J-Pop artistes and soundtrack composers for popular anime titles.
Avid cosplayers can participate in the special cosplay championship which will see contestants from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines. The Regional Cosplay Championship will be held in Singapore during Anime Festival Asia in November 2012.
If you like collecting original anime merchandise, Japan’s top brands such as Good Smile Company and Bushiroad are also participating. What’s more, fans of maid and butler cafes can experience first-hand Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe and Atelier Royale Butler Cafe for a memorable dining experience.
Last year, the cafes at Anime Festival Asia Singapore received over 2,000 customers in just two days!
Special guests invited to share their experience include Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, co-founder and president of production I.G, a Japanese anime entrepreneur who was also the producer of “Ghost in the Shell”. Ishii Tomohiko, the animation producer for “Ghost in the Shell”, “Sky Crawlers”, and TV series “Eden of the East” will join him to introduce the latest releases for 2012.
Danny Choo a Japanese pop culture blogger will be the official host of AFA MY 2012. He also manages MIRAI Inc, an Internet solutions provider and hosts Culture Japan, a weekly programme on Japanese culture on Tokyo MX.
Anime Festival Asia Malaysia will be held at Tun Razak Hall 1 & 2, Putra World Trade Centre on June 9 & 10, 2012.
For more information and ticketing please visit www.animefestival.my.