Singapore biggest anime and Japan pop culture returns this weekend back in the newly renovated Suntec Convention level 4. Taking up the entire level, the event space consist of the main exhibition space featuring booths from favorite anime titles such as Shingeki No Gyojin (Attack On Titan), Sword Art Online, and many more. We also spotted a few popular local shops specializing in anime figures taking up a few booths, so expect competitive prices on the items.[[perfectpullquote]]Shingeki No Gyojin, Sword Art Online, and many more[/[perfectpullquote]]
Big surprise at the event: Microsoft was present with a huge booth promoting their Windows Tablets and Internet Explorer 10. Funny as it sounds, Internet Explorer 10 has a new anime mascot and her name is Inori Aizawa and making her debut at AFA13 with a short animation, the story revolves around Inori getting away from some villains who we suppose is trying to get their hands on a piece of technology in a shape of a tablet that she’s keeping or perhaps stolen. The bad guys attack and Inori protect herself accidentally revealing that tablet’s potential, transforming her into a magical girl. It’s looks cheesy and desperate attempt to promote Internet Explorer and left a lot scratching their heads after watching it at the main stage with the consolation of at least some decent artwork and animation.
We also spotted long queues at the Proware exclusive merchandise area, which belongs to a Taiwanese company that owns license to many popular titles such as K-On!, Clannad, Code Geass, Fate/Stay Night, Fullmetal Alchemist and more. Other notable areas include the maid/butler cafe (long queues too), life-size Shingeki No Titan giant head, fan art section with lots of personal artwork on sale, Good Smile Co. booth but with most popular figures already sold out by 12pm, Animax booth where you can take a photo in anime fashion, Aoyama 3D salon that prints a miniature of yourself but at a price that will scare most away, Danny Choo’s booth with Mirai figures and merchandise on sale, Bandai booth and lots of Gashapon machines.
[[perfectpullquote]]If you are an anime fan, yes you definitely won’t want to miss it[/[perfectpullquote]]
So the big question is: For $20 (exhibition + main stage), is AFA13 worth checking out? It’s a huge price hike from first ever AFA held in 2008 but it has been growing bigger with lots more to see every year. It’s hard to give a clear answer so here it is: If you are an anime fan, yes you definitely won’t want to miss it. If you are looking for a broader sense of Japanese pop-culture in this event, no you won’t find anything much other than a few mock-Japanese fashion booths and food stalls. Save some money and take a trip to Japan for a better experience.
Check out the photo gallery below for a preview of what to expect at the event and our feature earlier with schedules and event information.