It’s time to get your otaku mania on! Kicking off the pop-culture convention scene for 2020, Anime Festival Sydney is back this weekend (March 7 and 8) at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. While there are a gazillion reasons as to why you should attend the event, we have narrowed them down to FIVE reasons. We hope to see you there — here we go!
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1) SPECIAL GUESTS
Due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak, many guests have cancelled their travel plans and guest events. Guests include VA Yuki Kaji, VA Kana Ueda, Producer Kensuke Tateishi, VA Kaori Maeda, VA Mayu Sagara, and Singer Luna Haruna. But don’t worry — there are still plenty of awesome guests who won’t disappoint!
- VA Bryce Papenbrook (Eren from Attack on Titan, Kirito from Sword Art Online)
- VA Ricco Fajardo (Mirio from My Hero Academia, Taiju from Dr. Stone)
- VA David Matranga (Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia, Bertholdt Hoover from Attack on Titan, God Serena from Fairy Tail)
- Sword Art Online character designer Shingo Adachi
- International cosplayer Mon
- Japanese idol Arisa Uki
- Sydney’s J-pop Idol group AGS102
- Sydney’s award-winning cosplayer/ costume maker/ workshop presenter AmenoKitarou (A.K. Wirru)
Out of the above guests, we’re excited about Shingo Adachi, Bryce Papenbrook and Mon. It’s going to be a fun weekend ahead!
2) SPECIAL SCREENINGS
You know when the convention day is over and you don’t want the day to end with your otaku friends? Well, you can head down to Events Cinemas and watch exclusive anime film premieres that won’t be aired anywhere else (for now). Here are the movies:
- My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Sub and Dub)
- Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna (Sub)
- The Live Spectacle NARUTO Musical: Song of the Akatsuki (Sub)
Out of the three exclusive movies, we’re ecstatic about the Naruto Musical. This Naruto Musical stage play has physically travelled from Japan to Singapore and it would be a dream come true if they ever come to Australia. But luckily for us Australian Naruto fans, we get to see the recording of it — in subtitled version as well! YOSH!
3) SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS
We love a convention that offers interactive activities and exhibitions. At this year’s Anime Festival, you can definitely expect the following:
- My Hero Academia Plus Ultra! Experience: Test your strength, speed and MHA knowledge. If you complete all three tests, you receive a Deku Hero License!
- Demon Slayer Exhibit: If you can navigate your way through Demon Rui’s hair threads, you get rewarded with an exclusive fan. You can also have your photo taken with Tanjiro and Nezuko among the wisteria trees.
- Fire Force Exhibit: Here at this exhibit, you can challenge your friend to a game of Cornhole Toss x Tic-Tac-Toe. If you win, you get an exclusive Fire Force fire hat.
- Shingo Adachi Art Exhibition: Showcasing a collection of beautiful art from the book ‘Shingo Adachi Artworks’, this exhibition is a must for Sword Art Online fans.
- Itasha Exhibit: Bringing Akihabara to Sydney with this Itasha exhibition, you get to see cars decked out with your favourite anime and gaming characters.
- Mai-Wish! Maid and Butler Cafe: The maid cafe experience might not be the same as Japan’s, but it’s definitely a great place to chill out with your friends and enjoy a snack or two.
Like any other pop-culture convention, cosplay is a major aspect of Madman Anime Festival. From My Hero Academia to Love Live cosplayers, there is always a multitude of different cosplayers milling around the convention all day. Not only do we enjoy looking at the diversity of characters and cosplayers, but we love admiring their creativity and talent.
Want to meet and interact with fellow otaku fans? We highly recommend you to attend the scheduled Anime Festival Sydney Fan Meets. Just imagine meeting ten Dekus in the flesh and/or perhaps Naruto facing off against the Akatsuki – the photo opportunity is too good to pass! This year, it looks like there will be three fan meets only — My Hero Academia, Fate/Grand Order, and Demon Slayer.
And also, if you’re a fan of the Persona series, Anime Festival Sydney will be hosting a Persona 5 Royal Cosplay Competition to celebrate the release of the PS4 game. Good luck!
5) GAMING HEAVEN
If you need time-out from all the convention adrenalin and madness, head over to the gaming section and play various games before their release. Here are the games:
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
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