30 November 2023

Anime Festival Asia Singapore Review AFA Concert Comics Games Cosplay Exhibition Stage Programme 2023

Celebrating 15 Years of All Things J-Culture, the Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2023 features the latest anime titles, the best of Japanese entertainment, gaming and popular culture icons. 

A showcase with over 70 local and international exhibitors at Akiba Town, the region’s best creators at Creators' Hub, special Day Stage Line-up, Akiba special showcase and regional talents, concerts, festival highlights like AFA X SACRA Music Fest, Iori Moe AFA 2023 Ambassador, Artists and Cosplay guest appearances with meet and greet, fans sessions, premiere screenings, talk shows, Japan food street and more at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre Level 4 from November 24-26.

Held across Asia since 2008, the AFA is the largest and most-followed J-Culture & Anime Comics Game (ACG) Festival in Southeast Asia. In 2019, AFA Singapore alone attracted over 120,000 attendees and anime enthusiasts excitedly thronging through the doors of Halls 401-406, immersing themselves into all things J-Culture, a showcase of pulsating live performances, dozens of toy art, merchandise booths and stunning-looking cosplayers aplenty. 

AFA Stage Shows & Exhibits 

Besides the ticketed nightly concert event in Hall 406 which featured 20 artistes the likes of Japanese-American singer Nano and instrumental heavy metal band Asterism, fans also got to enjoy vibrant day-long live performances at the Akiba Stage with special showcases from regional artistes like Japanese idol group DEAR KISS and professional cosplayer Hiroto Kuramasu, to the hilariously fun Ultraman Gard Game Live shows.

AFA exhibitors presented their ACG-related products like well-known anime retail shop Hakken, local brand Secretlab showcasing their Demon Slayer gaming chair collection and Hoya, the Number 1 hair colour brand from Japan, displaying a range of colorful hair dyes and bleach.

A total of 125 artists and creators from across the region had their own booths featuring their works of art and craftwork like paintings to printed T-shirts, keychains to stickers. 

One of the most unique exhibitor is anime and manga streaming platform Crunchyroll. Its Jujutsu Kaisen Experience offered fans a very cool mini-IMAX-like viewing within a domed space as they immerse into the world of sorcery and cursed energy based on the hit dark fantasy series.

Over at the Bushiroad Expo section, there were serious TCG (Trading Card Game) tournaments being conducted, as well as anime game demonstrations. There were almost crowd-pleasing WWE-styled matches at the Stardom Wrestling Ring.

Japan Food Street is where anime lovers had their fill of Oishi Japanese Food and Drinks where booths like Mutsu Aomori Food Market, Nissin noodles, Ito en Japanese green tea and the SMU-based Daijoubu cafe to name a few, offered a wide selection of Japanese street food which one could eat on the go or at a secluded corner at the venue.  

Cosplay Haven

What really caught everyone’s eyes though were the professional cosplayers from around the region, all immaculately costumed and made-up whilst sitting pretty in their booths in the Cosplay Hub. 

Fans literally queued round “the block” in order to get their favourite cosplayer the likes of Xiaoyukiko from Singapore and Yuii from Malaysia to autograph purchased photographs and other items.

Last but by no means least, adding much colour to AFA2023 were the hundreds of non-professional cosplayers who turned up to the 3-day festival simply to have fun and in turn created glee and joy for the other attendees upon seeing the effort put in for the costumes and make-up.

From Demon Slayer to Chainsaw Man, Spy x Family, Sword Art Online to Attack on Titans,  there were many tributes to characters from these anime hits and a host of other popular anime, manga and mobile game characters. Among the most impressive was a Rem the Shingami from Death Note and a Hua Cheng from Heaven Official’s Blessing.

The Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2023 was held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, level 4, from 24-26 November. The Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2024 will be abuzz with the best and latest of J-Culture Anime, concerts, gaming and entertainment. 



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