Every year in Singapore, the community will come together to celebrate all things anime, video games, cosplay, and more at Anime Festival Asia (AFA), which is now recognised as Southeast Asia’s biggest Japanese pop culture event. 2022 marks its return to the fray after two years, so it’s only apt that the festival is coming back with a bang.
AFA 2022 will be held physically from 25 to 27 November at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, with ticket prices starting from S$21 per day. Like its predecessors, this year’s iteration features mainstay elements such as AFA Night Live!, meet-and-greet sessions, and the ever-popular artist’s alley, all of which have either been expanded or will see a refreshed roster.
The two prominent differences here are the focus on V-tubers and the shift to an interactive game-like visitor experience, adding to an already jam-packed series of events. From the Day Stage itinerary to the biggest ever Creator’s hub, here are five highlights to expect from AFA Singapore 2022.
1) Day Stage
Located at Hall 405, the AFA Day Stage will play host to a series of screenings, guest talk shows, and special panels over the three days. Kicking things off on 25 November is a virtual guest appearance and talk show with V-tuber Fulgur Ovid from NIJISANJI EN, with the rest of the programme as follows:
- A talk show featuring Vtubers based in different countries, featuring Luna Amane of NHOT BOT, Maya Ichimonji from GEMS COMPANY, Nox from VirtuaReal and Lilrya Prisvielle from VReverie.
- An appearance and performance by Miura Ayme and Satoshi Kada from Obey Me!, an otome game of the “Shall we date?” series.
- Special guest appearance by celebrity cosplayer Hakken
The second day brings a screening of the first two episodes of Arknights: Prelude to Dawn, the anime adaptation of the popular mobile game, along with a recorded message from the
Japanese voice actress for Amiya and a recorded interview with the production staff from the anime production house, Yostar Pictures. The rest of the itinerary includes:
- Appearances by Junta Terashima and Ryota Takeuchi, who voice and sing as characters from the group The Cat’s Whiskers in the Paradox Live multimedia franchise, ahead of the upcoming anime series coming in 2023.
- Lycoris Recoil, one of the most popular titles from the July 2022 anime season, will be featured through a talk show on stage. Guests coming for this stage event will be announced separately.
Capping off the showcase is a special panel from animation studio MAPPA, who will share the latest updates on its current and upcoming projects, including Chainsaw Man, Attack on Titan The Final Season, and Vinland Saga Season 2. Fans can also look forward to special DJ performances by D4DJ and a guest appearance and talk show with renowned voice actor Ono Yuki (Josuke in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Taiga Kagami in Kuroko’s Basketball).
2) AFA Night Live!
For the first time in the event’s history, AFA Night Live! will present a previously-announced cast of V-tubers and personalities, such as Hololive Meet and Tsunomaki Watame. The “I love anisong panel”, stars May’n, nanawoakari, Nhot Bot, and Yuka Nagase, while the 10th anniversary event premiere screening of Sword Art Online — FULLDIVE is slated to take place on 25 November, 7.30 pm.
3) Biggest Ever Creators’ Hub
AFA’s first partnership with pixiv, Japan’s largest online art community, means that the Creator’s Hub for this year will be its biggest to date, with more than 150 participating creators from 15 countries and regions joining the event space. Of the list, 28 have been selected to showcase their work at the festival grounds, including self-taught illustrator Rachta Lin, Sarah Thursday, and digital artist Raiko.
As part of the collaboration, AFA Singapore 2022 has also joined forces with Sarah Thursday to release a limited-edition collection consisting of an exclusive t-shirt, tote bag, and sticker.
4) AFA Cosplay + Cosplayer Meet & Greet Sessions
Rejoice, cosplay fans, for you’ll be able to catch renowned cosplayers in the flesh. This year, an AFA photo booth will make it possible for enthusiasts to take photographs with the six featured guests and get the selfies printed out instantly. These invited names include Charess from Philippines, Ely from Taiwan, Hakken from Malaysia, Hiroto Karamasu from Japan, Thames Malerose from Thailand (who you may also recognise as the one Cloud Strife cosplayer who bought the Uniqlo x Final Fantasy shirts in costume) and Singapore’s very own Xiaoyukiko.
Meet-and-greet sessions with Hakken, Charess, and Ely are available as well, with tickets going on sale now. Do act fast, though, as they are expected to sell out fast — evidenced from Hakken’s fully sold-out slot.
Joining the mainstay Cosplay Singles showcase this year is a new J-Dance Asia competition, where groups of two to 10 members will have the opportunity to highlight their choreography
based on a Japanese song track in front of the crowd. Renowned dancers from Singapore and Japan will serve as judges, with registration open from now till 11 November. Participants stand a chance to win up to S$1,000, while the cosplay category offers up to S$500 cash. Registration for the cosplay competition is underway and will close on 6 November.
That’s what we call a proper comeback! There’s plenty to catch at AFA Singapore 2022, with a wide range of activities and exhibitions ensuring that there’s something from every festival-goer. Instead of the usual wristband, all attendees this year will get a specially-designed NFC-enabled band to earn AFA Hero XP, AFA Coins, instant discounts, and unlock virtual easter eggs.
Fans will be able to purchase all ticket tiers, from General Admission 1-Day Exhibition to 1 Day VIP tickets online from today. Tickets start from S$21 per day for Exhibition, with full programme and pricing details available on the official website.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.
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