AFA Day 2 at the con opened to slightly cooler temperatures and shorter queues, which meant that everybody had a less stressful day all around. We had a good time scouting the store displays at the Fiesta Hall, although we arrived a tad too late to the Sword Art Online booth — everything sold out within a few minutes.
Our Christmas lists were basically made at the Bandai booth, with scale models from Uchuu Senkan Yamato and figures from Tiger & Bunny topping the list (oh and check out every model of the Going Merry ever made!). Unfortunately, the items on display were prototypes, and we have to wait a few more weeks before the items were released to the market.
Mascots seemed to be the theme of the day, with a Zaku, a fluffy bunny from Japanese web series whose name escapes me at the moment (Wooster? Worcestershire?), and Pikachu all made an appearance. Also on the con floor were captivating Taiwanese cosplayers Akatsuki Tsukasa and Judy, who were promoting Panasonic’s new line of anime-inspired headphones.
Completely by happenstance, we walked by the meet-and-greet and autograph session of Japanese metal idol group Baby Metal. It looked like a number of fans stood in line for hours just for a glimpse of these young ladies. I’m not a fan, but I do see the appeal of the group. What I’m really impressed by was the way the session was handled, and I would love to share my thoughts on these to local event organizers.
Last but not least is the eagerly awaited finals of the Regional Cosplay Championship; the competition is the hottest ever, with Team Philippines tipped to retain their crown. However, the other teams — clearly taking notes from the 2012 competition, had surprises hidden up their sleeves. Local favorites Team Singapore eventually took the crown, with Teams Indonesia and Thailand rounding out the top three.
As much as I loved Adventure Team’s performances in Manila, I have to say that they — actually, all teams, were severely outclassed by Singapore’s 2012 entry. The fact that the pair — who cosplayed superhero crimefighting team Tiger & Bunny, not only created an impressive and engaging skit, but also built a working model of Bunny’s mortorbike, takes the cake for me. I hope other people lay off the sourgraping, especially those who were not even at the event.
AFA 2012 for me was fun, if a little low-key. Forgoing spending time in the interview rooms and the media pit gave me the chance to just roam the halls and pick up and purchase anything I wanted. If there was one thing that I was disappointed by, it was the shortage of booths to spend money in ^^;; That’s not necessarily an issue, and there is always room for improvement.