Japan's anime culture expands across Asia

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The Independent Online

Rapidly becoming one of Japan's most important and influential exports, anime and manga will be reaching out to a new audience at the upcoming Anime Festival Asia 2009 in Singapore.

Only founded last year, the event is already a major celebration of all things related to Japanese animation and popular culture and will be taking place at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre over the weekend of November 21-22.

Last year, more than 46,000 anime fans attended the event and organizers hope this year's convention will attract even more. Within a few years, they anticipate the festival will be rivaling such events as the Tokyo International Anime Fair.

Describing last year's inaugural event as "a defining moment in South-East Asian 'otaku' history," Singaporean blogger Derek Teo added, "I would say this event is something that we have all waited a long time for." ("Otaku" is a polite term for the obsessive geek-types who devote themselves to the culture.)

Supported by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Bandai, Sanyo, Animax and Japanese content developer Sozo, the festival is being sponsored by I-Promo, Singapore's largest exhibition company, and the local unit of Japan's largest advertising agency, Dentsu Inc.

Themed areas at the gathering this year will include Akiba Town - modelled on the Akihabara district of Tokyo that is famous as the global hub of anime - the Gundam Zone, a new Kids' Zone and the Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe, another Akihabara custom where young women in maid costumes will serve customers.

The festival will also host the Regional Cosplay Championship and the Bandai Action Kits Universal Cup, as well as the more serious IP 360 Degrees Content Conference, which will examine the three themes of create, manage and engage, according to organisers.

"The new Animation Asia Conference will provide an opportunity for international businesses and animation-related companies and organizations to network and learn from the best in the business," said Anthony Kang, president of Dentsu Singapore and co-chairman of the event. "We are confident that the Animation Asia Conference 2009 will grow to become a 'must-attend' conference for directors, producers, creators as well as brand marketers, agencies and students.

"Our ultimate long term goal is to build and nurture a sustainable IP ecosystem for Singapore and the region," he said

Dates: November 21-22

Opening times: 10 am until 9 pm

Venue: Suntec Convention and Exhibition Halls 403-404

http://www.suntecsingapore.com

For further information: 

http://afa09.com   or tel. +65 6338 1982

JR

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