Day 1 dawned hot and humid, which was a bit of an issue as the new venue had an open-air concourse area (as opposed to Suntec’s airconditioned glass enclosure). The heat melted the make-up right off several unfortunate cosplayers, as well as shortened some tempers at the truly epic ticket queue (which gets longer every year).
But those nitpicks aside, AFA delivers on its promise to bring a bigger, brighter experience in 2012. There are separate Stage and Concert Halls, ensuring that sound and visuals are at optimum levels. The Festival Hall looks and feels bigger than its previous incarnations, with larger alleys to accommodate more foot traffic, as well as clearly delineated sections for events, exhibitions, and merchandise.
One of the more unique activity booths at this (or any con!) was Animax’s clever forced perspective photobooth featuring their latest hit series K. A massive printed tarp was set on the floor, where the eager anime fan can stand, and have their photo taken by a photographer hovering about five feet off the floor. The angle makes the end photo look like the fan is standing right next to their favorite K character!
More attention-grabbing exhibits were found at the Amuse section, where costumes previously worn by anime songstress and AFA muse MAY’N were encased in glass, as well as the original hakama worn by Sato Takeru when he portrayed Himura Kenshin in the international hit Rurouni Kenshin. Rurouni Kenshin, coincidentally, is set to run in theatres in Singapore and Manila in the very near future!
Last but not least are the always adorable toy displays from Good Smile Company. Featuring some of their best work, the exhibit whets fans’ appetites for the huge GSC shop next to the display cases. Featuring a myriad of Nendroid and Figma figures, you better hang tight to your wallet if you hope to get out of the con with your money (and sanity?) intact!