by Shahrul Fatehah
In the recent event, the Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) supported one of the biggest Anime, Manga and Games (AGC) convention in Malaysia – Animangaki 2019. Being in the 11th year since it first launched, the event had moved to a bigger venue to accommodate more than 20,000 visitors for the two-day convention held on the 31st August and 1st September 2019.
With this year’s theme: The Greatest Show – in Town – (Carnival), the convention attracted a huge number of cosplayers who came in various garbs from their favourite anime, manga, games and films, not only those originated from Japan, but also from western culture as well. It is not surprising that one of the longest queues could be seen at the cosplayer booths line-up.
Another main attraction at Animangaki 2019 is, of course, the artist booths. Ranging from ACG-inspired merchandises to self-produced artworks and items, visitors crowded the hall to get their hands on the limited edition goods from over 189 participants. There are also premium booths that sell cosplay goods, anime DVDs, food & snacks and many more. Befitting the carnival theme, the convention also set up several game booths that showcase Japanese culture such as the Yoyo Tsuri (yoyo fishing) and Ninja-themed game. Other exhibitors also took the opportunity to introduce their products. The Warhammer booth, for one, entertained visitors after visitors with their hands-on experience colouring the game character’s figurines. What’s better, visitors who ‘like’ their Facebook page will get to bring their own handiwork home for free!
Animangaki 2019 also opened their doors to professional local artists to promote their artworks at level two of the convention centre. It provided a platform for these artists to be discovered by talent scouts and heightened the chances to spread their talents internationally.
Aside from the booths, PLUS Meido and Idol Cultural introduced “Tukuyomi” – a well-known maid-themed café from Taiwan offering a unique dining experience to its patrons. The waitresses, dressed in uniforms serve food and at the same time performing dances and songs for the customers as part of the café experience.
The event organizers invited notable guests to perform, give talks and mingle with the visitors to make the convention more meaningful. One of the sessions supported by JFKL was with the game creators; Yoko Taro and Taura Takahisa where the two shared their experience when developing the game Drakengard and the newest release of the game’s franchise – Nier:Automata. During the full-house session, both of them talked about how they refer to anime, manga and movies to generate interesting ideas and the challenges of being a part of a team with different backgrounds, age and opinions at the same time, making it work. Because the 90 minutes session was not enough, the organizers had a lottery draw for a special session with the two game creators later that day.
The continuous evolution of this famous subculture from Japan has made Animangaki 2019 one of the most anticipated ACG conventions of the year in Malaysia amongst its enthusiasts. Judging from the growing number of visitors since it first started, this event is seemingly to move forward in years to come.