Posts Tagged ‘ Singapore ’

Anime Festival X!!

AFAX- Anime Festival Asia


Singapore will once again host the Anime Festival Asia 2010!

Returning to the Suntec Convention Center in November will be Danny Choo, Maid Cafes, Kaname, Regional Cosplay Championship, and I Love Anisong and more anime experience zones. They’ve also added the premiere of Gundam 00 and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. There are new zones to explore with the Atelier Royale Butler Cafe and all new acts for I Love Anisong.

May’n and Ichirou Mizuki returns to I Love Anisong for the two days of the festival including JAM Project, Angela, and Scandal!

Sadly this year I will not be able to attend due to previous commitments. But I will return next year! I will just have to scour the web and twitter for updates on the festival.

Anime Festival Asia will be held November 13-14 at the Suntec Convention Center in Singapore. Entrance tickets will be sold at the gate. Concert tickets will be sold through Sistic. Just hope that there aren’t other events in Suntec. It gets really crowded. I advise those who are going to come really early and buy your tickets in advance. The lines are really really long just for that.

AFA (Anime Festival Asia) Promo Video

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AFA 09 Videos

All shot with a Kodak Zi6. I really need better gear for this. Actually I do. I didn’t think I needed it. Obviously I do.

Moe Cafe line at AFA 09

Mamoru Hosoda signing at AFA 09

Witchblade on stage AFA 09

Will add more as I edit them.

Anime Festival Asia 09

Anime Festival Mascot

It’s the closest thing we could get to an international festival and it was satisfying. Even before the doors opened, anime fans from all over Singapore descended on the Suntec Convention Center for Anime Festival 09. While I still had to pick up my tickets from Sistic, there were lots of cosplayers spilling out of the MRT and to the festival. Upon reaching the convention center it was really crowded. One it was a Saturday but then there were also events taking place adding to the crowd.

One thing I realized is that I would have to get used to lining up over the weekend. And I do mean lines.

This is just the line to buy tickets

It would take almost half an hour to buy the day tickets but the entrance itself was just a breeze. You just had to make sure that this wasn’t the line to the Singtel event.

Inside, the Bandai booth will greet you along with the Takashimaya booth as well as a line of various gashapons.

Gundam standing guard

Hello Kitty Gashapons

There was of course, Danny Choo’s booth as well as the Tokyo Figure Show courtesy of the Good Smile Company. Thank you for bringing it to Singapore!

Tokyo Figure Show in Japan

There was of course the Eneloop Dog from Sanyo who is major sponsor of the festival.

Eneloop Dog

Cosplayers and their friends!

Register your cosplay character and get in for free!

Look at all those cosplayers on this side!

Don’t forget the other side

Lots of Domo kun!

And the line really starts here

But the main event was of course the Regional Cosplay Championships where countries from all over South East Asia competed to be the Grand Champion. I was of course rooting for Witchblade. But still, congratulations to everyone and to the winner!

Witchblade on stage

Witchblade with Kaname

Everyone on stage

I’ll bring a longer lens and a tripod next time.

Finalists on stage with Shoko Nakagawa and Ichirou Mizuki

Cosplay make-up session

I sat through the cosplay make-up session to get a good seat for…

Danny Choo, the Tokyo Dance Trooper… in SINGAPORE!!! (Part 1)

Danny Choo, the Tokyo Dance Trooper… in SINGAPORE! (Part 2)

Thank you klik.tv for the great videos you produced.

Here Danny Choo talked about his site and his passion and it’s simple beginnings to now one of the most influential blogs on Japanese culture in English.

Danny Choo @ AFA 09

Rather serious look from Danny Choo

Then I had to get souvenirs of course!

Schwag

Too bad I missed out on the signing of the Otacool book ; ; but I’ll try next time.

As night came upon Singapore, the stage was set for the “I Love Anisong” concert!

AFA 09 Stage

AFA 09 Balloons

I didn’t watch the first night which featured Shoko Nakagawa, Ichirou Mizuki and the virtual idol, Hatsune Miku. I instead went to the Yoshiki Fukuyama and May’n concert which was the following night.

It’s forbidden to take pictures but Danny Choo can and has a complete coverage here.

It was really fun and exciting. Especially when they got to the end where May’n and Yoshiki Fukuyama had a duet of Diamond Crevasse from Macross Frontier (Sugoi!) and Dynamite Explosion from Macross 7.

After two hours, the concert ended and along with it the end of AFA 09. A lot of lessons learned and also a lot of memories to bring home. But it was well worth it.

Tired AFA staff

Yoshiki Fukuyama signing autographs

There was a raffle to determine who will be able to get an autograph with the performers but sadly I didn’t win the one for May’n. I was however able to take photos of Yoshiki Fukuyama signing stuff and posing for pictures.

I know I missed a lot such as the Witchblade sisters coming to day 2 dressed as the Sunegai sisters. I was too busy shopping in Orchard Road. I promise, no shopping next year. I will try to do better.

But now enough of AFA 09. We all have AFA 10 to look forward to and hopefully everyone from this year will return, get a bigger venue (please please! the other event is just crowding the AFA too much ;)) And maybe Alodia and Ashley will return next year and finally win the championship.

Aftermath of AFA 09

I need to rest my tired legs. As for the video, I’m uploading them to youtube as we speak and will be writing another post about it.

AFA 09 Event schedule

Event Guide – AFA’09- Anime Festival Asia

Finally after weeks of waiting they’ve released the schedule of events for the Anime Festival. Who’ll be tweeting there?

Who’s going?

Anime fans in Asia will descend on Singapore in November for this year’s Anime Festival Asia 2009. I haven’t been to an anime event in a long time let alone outside the country but I thought this was the perfect chance. I did have a few conditions before I finally decided to go and the hotel was last on my list.

1. I must have tickets to the “I Love Anisong” concert. Particularly for the May’n concert since I’m a huge Macross fan.
2. Danny Choo is showing up so that’s a plus.
3. My lovely travel agent could get me a great package for the airfare and hotels.

Thank goodness all three have come true! I don’t work in the anime industry so I won’t be at the Anime Asia Conference (who knows? maybe next year). But I’ll try to live blog the events that I can attend. I’m particularly looking forward to the K-ON experience and the Regional Cosplay championships. Good luck to all the finalists!

See you all in Singapore on November 21-22!

Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds Singapore

Tickets – Singapore – May 22 & 23 – 2009

If I can sum up the experience in one word, it would be wow.

I had dreamed of watching the concert for years ever since I heard the very first concert CD in 2002. I knew that I would have to go to Japan to watch it and it was up there along with a lot of unattainable things at the time. I then in 2004, I heard that the Final Fantasy concert would then be coming to Los Angeles, but my schedule would not be able to meet it. Thus the wait continued.

Fast forward to 2009. After seven years of waiting, I was finally able to watch the concert that I had only dreamed of watching years before. I heard about the Distant Worlds tour coming to Singapore and I immediately signed up for updates, while at the same time, saving up money for the trip. Singapore was the closest and most convenient place I could watch the concert. I had to get the tickets at all costs.

Come the month of March I was reminding myself everyday of the date that the tickets would go on sale and I knew that I had to be one of the first to get tickets. I anxiously waited for 9am to come and I bought my tickets at 9:12am. Now that I had the tickets, I had to book the rest of my travel plans.

I have waited patiently for this day to come and it has. It’s been a while since I watched a concert and eagerly looked forward to it. I had taken the morning flight of the concert since Singapore was only 3 hours away and the event was at night. I knew that I would have enough time to make it.

At around 5:30pm, two hours before the concert I decided to pick up the tickets. There was no line so I immediately got my tickets after showing them my passport and the credit card that was used to purchase the tickets. I signed for the tickets and headed out for dinner.

After walking around the Esplanade, we finally decided to eat at the sushi place. We quickly got through our meal and headed out to the concert hall.

Event sign

There was a stand that was selling various merchandise and I decided on the art book and the CD. I would’ve gotten the t-shirt if I had more cash at hand but it’s ok.

Schwag

I was not disappointed with the seats that I got. You must admit this is quite a view.

Not bad a view

Of course those seated below were much luckier, Nobuo Uematsu sat in the audience!

It’s been quite a while since I last saw a concert so this was very special. There was a lot of excited chatter in the concert hall until the lights dimmed and the spotlight focused on the leader of the Singapore Orchestra. He was shortly followed by Arnie Roth and then they proceeded to play Liberi Fatali from Final Fantasy 8. The screen above played edited 3D cutscenes from Final Fantasy 8. Although some were a bit repetitive, it was ok.

Mr. Roth would pause after two pieces and introduce the next one. Apparently, the playlist varies from place to place and Singapore was no different. Aside from the usual favorites such as “To Zanarkand” from Final Fantasy 10 and “Aerith’s Theme” from Final Fantasy 7, they played “Ronfaure” from Final Fantasy 11. It was quite a surprise to me since they previously have never played scenes from Final Fantasy Online. The actual concert was only an hour and half with a 20 minute intermission.

Since Singapore had a classical guitarist who was available, so they played “Vamo’ alla Flamenco” from Final Fantasy 9. Local tenors and a soprano added their voices to “Maria and Draco” from Final Fantasy 6. Of course there was the wonderful chorus to sing for “Liberi Fatali” and “Memoro de la Stono – Distant Worlds” from Final Fantasy Online.

The concert was over too soon and the audience demanded an encore. There was guy seated a few seats away from me who kept shouting. I believe he really was excited and a big fan of Uematsu-San. I guess some were a bit polite and weren’t clapping enough, I decided to clap even harder for the others to get the idea of the encore. Eventually they came back of course and proceeded to play one piece. Of course we all thought that it would be what “I know you are thinking of”, but instead they played “Terra’s Theme” from Final Fantasy 6.

I knew it wasn’t over yet since the chorus and orchestra weren’t moving from their seats. Uematsu-San came back in with Arnie Roth. Uematsu spoke a few words in Mandarin Chinese which thrilled the audience and then they proceeded to do a short survey conducted by Mr. Roth and Uematsu-San on which battle theme will be in the next round of Final Fantasy Concerts.

“Dancing Mad” from Final Fantasy 6 and “Jenova” from Final Fantasy 7. They will compile the results and make the decision from there. But definitely the next one is a battle theme.

All good things must come to an end and it wasn’t disappointing. Uematsu-san stood with the chorus as the orchestra played “One-Winged Angel” from Final Fantasy 7 with graphics from FF7 Advent Children filling the screens to the haunting tune.

I returned from Singapore tired but happy. I had fulfilled a dream I thought that would never come.

On the A380

My friends and I were fortunate enough to get the upper deck. Sadly we were not in business class whose seats were incredible. Now those are really wide seats. So here I was stuck in largest airplane in the world for the next 11 hours and here goes the experience.

My  mother had made it clear that she would never ride this plane in her entire life. I had always called it the flight from hell due to its large size. The upper deck is significantly quiet since it’s mostly business class and just 1/3 is dedicated to economy class.

Gate A5 in Changi ariport was renovated to accommodate the A380. I thought that it would take forever to board but for real it didn’t. It doesn’t take much longer than a 747 to board the plane completely.

Upon clearing the gate and into the tube, it split into three. The first is course for first class and the other two are for the main cabin and upper deck. It’s a slight incline to the get to the upper deck and you are welcomed into business class…which wasn’t our seat.

Once we got to our seats, the first thing we noticed is that the upper luggage bins are small. In short, insufficient. I had admired Virgin America for it’s large overhead bins but these were small. It reminded me of that American Airlines 747 from Dallas to San Francisco.

Luckily my stuff fit into the overhead and the seat in front of me. The seats are indeed more comfortable than any economy class I’ve seated in. The next thing I noticed was that I was sandwiched between two rows of children. Ouch.

The screen is impressive even in economy. It’s a ten inch screen with a cup holder, USB port, ethernet jack, telephone, qwerty keyboard and coat hanger. The remote is conveniently located in front instead than the side which provides easy access and no accidental button pushing which is nice.

The inflight selection of movies and tv shows is the largest collection in any plane. With the usual latest releases and Hollywood hits, there’s also a wide selection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and other Asian films. Each TV episode not only has one but two episodes each.

You can even plug in your USB thumb drive and access your files via a PC suite. I still have to try if my iPod works on this.

The seat reclines to an acceptable amount. The tray table though is something else. The table splits into two since the entertainment system takes up quiet a lot of space.

The initial fold reveals a slide mirror and another cup holder and the usual sliding tray action. However if you try to work on it. I wouldn’t recommend it. As I was typing this away while the plane was in motion. The Mac Book Pro is too big for the table and when the seat in front reclines, it becomes very difficult to work. The power in the seat isn’t always on. Only when my battery was about to shut down did the power kick in. It allowed me an hour of charge before shutting down again. The table is only meant for the netbooks and probably the air. But definitely not the mac book pro. Hint hint, I should travel in business class.

My friend’s console kept rebooting it’s Red Hat Linux software and wouldn’t run so they transferred him to another seat. Which gave me and my other travelling companion a little more room to work with.

The plane runs quiet. Although I’m not sure if it’s the same on the main deck. The wings are enormous. There are multiple flaps to provide the pilot with complete control over the plane.

The service of Singapore Airlines is as always impressive and something to be modeled after. Their attentiveness and smile makes the trip bearable despite the kinks on the plane. Upon take off, the safety guide had to be done manually instead of the instructional video due to a glitch in the system.

This is truly a feat of engineering but I had hoped for more space. In fact, I think the Singapre airlines version is already the “roomier” version of the aircraft. I just hoped that there would be something more to do on board.

It’s already half way to London with another 6 hours to go. I’ll stand up and figure out something to do while on board. I’ll see if I can get a snack.

Baggage handling was pretty quick or we were very lucky. Our luggage came right on the heels of the business class people so that was a very lucky thing for us.

All in all this trip was very nice. I was able to sleep which is surprising. I usually don’t sleep on planes in economy class or when I’m travelling without my family. If I were given a choice to travel to London again. I would book it on this plane.