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I don't Cosplay. I don't watch Anime. I don't read Manga. I'm not crazy about Japan.

But I like Costume events. I like Animation. I like Toys. I can accept the fascination of crazy Japanese cultures.

Maybe for these reasons, there is still a certain appeal to Anime Festival Asia (AFA) for me. Though besides Pikachu and Anpanman, I didn't know any other characters!

Cosplay (コスプレkosupure), short for "costume play", is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu and video games, and, less commonly, Japanese live action television shows, fantasy movies, Japanese pop music bands, Visual Kei, fantasy music stories . . . and novels.

It's the 3rd year running for Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2010 and the Cosplay culture in Singapore is finally showing standards. Following previous years of Cosfest, CosCon@Games and Singapore Toy & Comic Conventions; this year's Anime Festival Asia has the most impressive turn up of cos-players.

From what I see sprawling in the atrium grounds of Suntec City, we are not to far off from the Cosplay quality of Japan. Gone are the days where fans are “too cheap” to invest in costumes and makeup and Manga & Anime perceived as ‘kid’s culture’.

I was particularly impressed by the notable effort presented in the props. Big, fat Styrofoam / cardboard guns installed with LED controllable lights; 'crystal' magic wands and DIY costumes with the most intricate detail. I can imagine the no. of hours spent. Despite what others would think is a waste of time and money, I believe is an invaluable skill-set developed from character study, to being creative with art, resources and finances, to bounding with a group of like minded community. It's a social activity I would encourage.

This year, the Cosplay was excellent, but the Anime Festival Asia (AFA) exhibit event itself was a let down. The featured toys were nothing to shout about and the onstage program was not worth watching. I caught Marcus lurking around the exhibit grounds and he gleefully commented he sneaked in without paying the SGD$8 entrance fee! In my opinion, probably not worth paying.

One Piece Toy Figures

Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2009
Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention 2009
Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008

More Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2010 Pictures

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