As I stepped foot into the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre for Anime Festival Asia 2023 (AFA 2023), I was immediately greeted by enthusiastic crowds and a contagious excitement that was palpable throughout the exhibition centre. Navigating through the crowds, I was amazed to see so many fans decked out in intricate cosplays at every turn. 

As I continued to explore the festival, I was excited by the sheer variety of activities and attractions on offer. The Day Stage was the hub of all things music and entertainment, featuring a lineup of talented directors, singers, and voice actors. For me, the highlight of the Day Stage lineup was the MAPPA talk show, in which there was an interview segment with the anime director, Yuichiro Hayashi. MAPPA is currently one of the biggest anime production houses, having produced popular animes such as Attack On Titan Season 4 and Jujutsu Kaisen. It was interesting to learn more about the work that was put into my favourite animes from the anime director himself. 

There was also the Akiba Stage, which was a platform for special showcases and performances by regional talents. There were also contests, such as the Cosplay Singles Competition where cosplayers showed off their costumes, held on the stage. The Bushiroad Expo was a paradise for card game enthusiasts, with displays, video game and Vanguard game stations, and a wide selection of merchandise. 

Akiba Town was a bustling marketplace where well-known anime brands and studios showcased their products and offerings. Many of them even had displays for those who wanted to take pictures with their favourite characters! This included the Manga Plus section, where you could view and take pictures with original artwork from animes such as Spy x Family and Chainsaw Man. There was also a Genshin Impact booth, where fans could take pictures with the displays and play the game on the mobile phones at the booth. 

For those looking to get unique anime merchandise, the Creators Hub is a must-visit. It featured works by artists and illustrators who were selling their merchandise, from t-shirts to stickers. The Food Street offered a delectable array of Japanese cuisine, and it was a good place to take a break after all the walking. 

Last but not least, the Cosplay Hub was a place to celebrate self-expression and creativity, featuring cosplayers like Yosuku and Amelia Khor. This provided fans with the opportunity to meet their favourite cosplayers and purchase their merchandise. 

With this exciting lineup that AFA 2023 prepared, I took the opportunity to ask attendees about their favourite part of the festival. Furthermore, we dived into the world of cosplay by asking cosplayers how they got into it and their favourite part about cosplaying. Watch the video to learn more!

Producer: Kayla
Videographer: Fang Yi
Video Editor: Fang Yi