Monday, November 23, 2015

6 New Exhibitors to Check Out at AFA 2015!


Bushiroad! Culture Japan! Good Smile Company! Many famous companies will be returning to AFA once again, following their successful outings in previous years, bringing with them tons of new and exclusive anime merchandise sure to tempt the many gullible young fans attending the convention. Joining them every year will be many new exhibitors, both big names and lesser-known ones. We take a look at some of the new exhibitors who you can check out at AFA this Friday!

Kadokawa (Booth A15)

AFA's big-name catch this year is undoubtedly Kadokawa, one of the largest players in Japan's creative industries. It has a huge publishing division responsible for many best-selling mangas, light novels and magazines, a successful film division involved in the production and distribution of many feature films and a thriving gaming subsidiary behind the most popular online games in Japan (you guessed it- Kantai Collection and Touken Ranbu!).

The massive Japanese corporation will be bringing many official and exclusive goods from their extensive library of titles including Saekano, Date A Live, Neon Genesis Evangelion and many more to AFA 2015. Goods include scale figures, anime apparel, cosplays, oppai (boob) mousepads, dakimakura covers (for hugging pillows, if you possess one at home, you cheeky little-), acrylic keychains, towels, trading cards, clear files and many more! You name it, they have it!

Being one of the largest mixed media conglomerates in Japan and involved in the production of almost every anime that airs in Japan, you will definitely not be disappointed by Kadokawa's broad range of products on sale! Golly, you may even purchase a prepaid Japanese sim card for your holiday at Booth A15!

Toyo Institute of Art and Design (Booth A205)

You must be thinking, "It's another one of those educational institutions advertising their courses in Japan again". Well, you're half-correct. It may be exhibiting at AFA to promote a career in art and design in Japan for those of you with creative juices here but they have something more to offer too!

On sale at Booth A205 is also the Tokyo Pop Guide No. 1, a collaboration between the institute and JMAG (Japanese Association of Manga, Anime and Game Creators). Described as an otaku study guide, the bilingual book takes you to some of Tokyo's most prominent pop culture centers with plenty of pictures and explanatory notes in both English and Japanese.

Explore places such as the COSPA shop in Akihabara and the renowned Cure Maid Cafe

It's a handy book for scouring popular attractions such as maid cafes and anime merchandise shops to visit in Japan! What's more, the 118-page full-colour book is priced at an affordable $6! It even comes with a companion site featuring more places and current events in Japan!

Sample book pictures from Tokyo Otaku Mode

Don't miss this opportunity to get your hands on a copy for that eventual otaku pilgrimage to Japan at AFA 2015 (and find out more about the art and design courses while you're at it too)!

Neo Vient (Booth A198)

Heard of Machi Asobi? Held twice a year in Spring and Autumn in Tokushima, Japan, it is one of the most attended anime events, luring fans from all over the country. Many famous voice actors, creators and singers in the anime industry are invited to the event, which is held at different locations all over town simultaneously! The latest animes are showcased, with new announcements often being made at the event.

Machi Asobi takes place all over the town!

At the waterfront

In the kitchen!?

In the ufotable cinema

Even in the airport!

With AnimeJapan exhibiting and advertising a promotional tour package at their AFA booth last year, will Machi Asobi organisers Neo Vient do the same for their next edition in April 2016? Will they be bringing along some exclusive merchandise from the recently-concluded Machi Asobi Vol.15 in October too? Guess you'll have to drop by Booth A198 to find out!

UVERworld (Booth A201)

Anyone who has been watching animes since the early 2000s should be no stranger to this band. With sales of over 2 million records worldwide, six-member Japanese rock band UVERworld has  numerous successful hits to their name such as the theme songs to animes Bleach (D-TecnoLife), Blood+ (Colours of the Heart), D-Gray Man (Gekidou) and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi).

UVERworld performing "D-TecnoLife", the third opening theme to fan-favourite anime Bleach

More recently, they released their 27th single, "Boku no Kotoba Dewanai Kore wa Bokutachi no Kotoba", which was used as the opening theme for the Spring-season anime Arslan Senki. They are also celebrating their tenth anniversary since their debut this year.

Currently signed to Sony Music Records, their singles and albums should be on sale at Sony Music's booth (Booth A02). Why they are having their own booth space at AFA then? Could it be that they are so huge that they need an entire booth to exhibit their great collection of 8 studio albums, 28 singles and all their merchandise?

Maybe they're just selling tour goods here so you can get them- without actually attending their concert?

Could it be that there's something special on the way? Don't expect the boys to make a visit anytime soon though, given that they will be stopping over in Fukuoka for their "15&10 Anniversary Tour" next weekend. Nevertheless, keep an eye out for Booth A201 this Friday!

LUMICA (Booth A01)

Your concert experience will never be the same again! (Source)

For the past few years, concertgoers to AFA's I Love Anisong concert have had two options to choose from to enjoy their concert. One was to be content with the small lightsticks included with their VIP ticket. The other was to source for their own expensive colour-changing lightsticks such as the famous KING BLADE from Japan or purchase it from whichever local dealers who had imported it.

DJ Kazu at the LUMICA booth at AFAID 2015 (Source)

This year, fans finally have another option. LUMICA, a leading lightstick manufacturer in Japan is coming to AFA and they will be bringing their wide assortment of lightsticks with them, ranging from the ultra-bright Daisenko Arc to the 12-colour changing LUMIACE2.

It can change into 12 different colours!? Woah!

At last, everyone can enjoy high-quality lightsticks and attain the fullest anisong concert experience! Your concert experience will never be the same again with LUMICA! Meet your concert-going needs at Booth A01!

Kyoto Computer Gakuin (Booth A197)

Not exactly a new exhibitor at AFA, Kyoto Computer Gakuin (KCG) was promoting their courses at the convention last year. Founded in 1963, it is Japan's first private computer educational institution. Over half a century, it has amassed and developed a strong alumni network of 37,000 members who are currently active in the Japanese information industry.

Poster at the KCG booth at last year's AFA

Interested in studying information technology in Japan and want to study in a well-established institution? KCG has certainly got you covered with its many diploma courses. Maybe you'd be interested in studying the Japanese language at the Kyoto Japanese Language Training Center under the KCG Group instead? It is one of only 21 approved preparatory schools by the Ministry of Education in Japan.

The secret to everything is cuteness!

Not so interested in pursuing studies in Japan? There's still every reason for you to drop by Booth A197! We met a cute cosplayer dressed up as Kyocotan, the school's adorable mascot handing out flyers last year. We wonder if she'll be back this year... If she is, we might just find ourselves back at the KCG booth again!

AFA 2015 Floor Map

There you have it, we hope you now know more about these 6 new exhibitors at AFA this year. Whether you would be busting your wallet on anime merchandise, music CDs or cosplay photobooks, be sure to drop by these booths and check them out this weekend! Share this post if you like it and we might just do one more if it's popular enough and there's time! Here's to looking forward to AFA 2015 this weekend!

Like XDantheManX Online's Facebook page for more updates on AFA 2015 and Japanese pop culture events happening in Singapore!

Check out our AFA coverage here: