Monday, November 12, 2012

AFA 2012 - In 500 Words or Less.

I just got back from the once a year Anime Festival Asia and boy did I have a good time.

The thing that amazes me the most is how they're packing more and more content into this event that started out like a Supermarket Toy Fair. There is some real passion in wanting to export Japanese culture to the rest of Asia and then the World.

The bulk of Anime products and toys didn't take much of my money away but rather I gave them all to Perfume and SCANDAL merchandises. It blew my mind seriously... Official tour merchandise! I have always been the biggest sucker for that.

QUEENS ARE TRUMPS Tour Poster for $25!

Down at the Sony Music booth where the SCANDAL stuff was at, some intense mind-reading was going on as I thought the salesgirl was Japanese from her mannerism  (Two-handed card presentation, bowing, smiling and not speaking...) just as she somehow had the impression I was Japanese too. So both slightly confused, I spoke to her in what I believed was her native tongue but she only mustered a "Ehhhhh Nooo..." (And goes on to make this "panic" face) which led to the next exciting part of my adventure...

WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT EVERY SINGLE DBS ATM AROUND THE EXPO WAS DOWN. Yes it was. I ended up walking towards the Industrial offices to withdraw cash, then getting back to the venue, in the beautiful sun.

But alls well anyway, got back and bought myself QUEENS ARE TRUMPS tour t-shirt+towel and a SCANDAL Photobook. It was then that I realise, the salesgirl spoke fluent english and was 100% Singaporean. Good job!

The mini Perfume booth!

There was a mini Perfume exhibition where they had this Hologram box... It was amazing... The counter staff was very friendly and showed me around. I got some Perfume tour merchandise as well off the JPN tour which entitled me to a Lucky Draw to win a ticket to the concert on the 24th. (You must read about this later.)

Then all the magic moments started. Kenn tipped me off that they had the EVA Kuji going on at BonJapan and what do you know, the guy running the Kuji happens to be someone who knows both E.Tan and I. He started making small talk with me as I got my tickets. 2 tickets down and I wasn't getting anywhere close to the top prizes where all of a sudden I pulled out an A Prize ticket and won the Ayanami Rei figure, WHICH I ALREADY HAVE. Onlookers expressed their happiness for me by congratulating me... So nice of them! E.Tan's friend wanted to buy it off me for 1 ticket but the price was too low... So he pulled this guy from no where who really wanted the figure. We asked him to name a price and he came up with $60. I pushed him for $75 by telling him I want to buy 5 more tickets. In the end, we got it down to $70 which was all great because Krystal and DK ended up drawing the Asuka and Mari figures for me! The rest of the tickets didn't matter by then and we were all happy walking away with our EVA loot!

Big wins at EVA Kuji!

And it felt so good because you know the both of you were die-hard EVA fans (I could tell from his Radio EVA products) and were trading off and not out to harm either party... Ahh the love and peace was becoming overwhelming!

The last event of the day would be the Lucky Draw for the Perfume concert tickets. Only 5 tickets were given out. By the time I got in line, 3 tickets were already gone! When it came to my turn, there was only 1 left! Obviously I didn't win it but that was when a Perfume fan told me about the amazing price the tickets were going for on Yahoo! Auction. Unbelievable... 1K+ for VIP tickets depending on how good your serial number is... And general tickets were starting at $800 onwards... Straight away we mad rush to the merchandise booth again and bought the Perfume shopping bag which was the cheapest item that entitled you to the Lucky Draw. We were all plotting and waiting for more people to miss their chance before we bought our ticket! It was so funny! In the end, all of us missed and this kid won it and gave it to his friend who spent like god knows how much on tickets for the draw... Haha...

Here's a nice little shot of May'n

I love every bit of AFA this year. It was amazing to me and I had so much fun. Just meeting and talking to people, laughing with them and all... Bonding through common interest despite us being total strangers was truly heartwarming and made me so happy, honest to God.

Until next year!

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