Saturday the 7th of March started out real poopy. I ripped my pants, just barely made the train, and the camera ran out of storage half way through our first interview; Kane and I had to walk to buy a new SD card, and then walk all the way back to the convention, and boy was I already tired. None of this was ideal, and I started worrying what else would happen to me throughout the rest of the day. It was about 12pm when we finally stepped foot into the convention, and I already felt as if my worries were lifted.
Cosplayers, stalls, and panels are what made up Anime Festival Sydney 2020; and man was it enjoyable. The first thing we did was head to the “Live Drawing with Shingo Adachi” panel, and boy is that guy talented. Adachi drew a few popular Sword Art Online characters (as he was character designer on the series), while answering questions related to his work. At the end of the panel, they let fans ask him questions, and also drew a raffle for fans to win his just-drawn artwork.
After heading out to get some food, we decided it was time to actually look around the convention. If I had all the money in the world, I sure as hell would’ve spent it…all. Plush toys, kawaii clothes, and cute anime figures were very easy to find there, and I wish I could’ve added them all to my collection. My favourite part, however, would have to have been the Creator Zone. Rows of booths, made up entirely of artists selling their own creations and designs. I love these sections, as it gives people the chance to support small, local creators. This is pretty much the only section I bought anything from, because who can say no to a Froggy Chair badge?
Anime Festival Sydney 2020 was also filled with so much stuff to do, like Hero Tests, demoing the upcoming Animal Crossing game, the AnimeLab lounge, and so much more. It was definitely worth going, and I definitely recommend going if you can next time. It’s all about anime and those who watch it. It’s a convention that loves and supports cosplayers, with cosplay competitions and gatherings of cosplayers from the same anime. You get a real sense of community, as it emphasises what we all have in common.
So next time, if you have the chance, I recommend checking Anime Festival out. Maybe save some extra dollars, and bring a bag with plenty of space. Definitely check out the panels, and maybe meet some of your favourite anime voices.
Well, there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said…and yet still I go on. Anime Festival Sydney 2020 was, as has been mentioned, a place for people of similar interest to gather and enjoy the things they are passionate about. Be that dressing up like their favourite character, or spending a surprising amount of money in the Creator Zone, like a certain someone I am. Where else in this topsy-turvy world would one see Tokoyami rockin’ out on a guitar? Or walk past an idol performance on their way to chill in a beanbag and watch Dragon Ball Super with fifty other people? I mean, maybe in Japan…but this was way closer.
Speaking of closer…I have no idea where this segue is going, so let’s talk about Digimon. Nestled away, near the party games you could compete in to net yourself a cardboard Fire Force hat, was a small exhibition of Digimon. Puppets of Agumon, Gabumon, and Biyomon sat in a glass case; their very existence surprising me. See, I literally just found out (whilst writing this) that Digimon Adventure tri.: The Adventure on August 1 was a thing; a stage play that featured these puppets amongst its cast. That’s cool. Also, the puppets were cool…they probably still are; a sense of object permanence allows me to believe this. Double also, Digimon is cool and I was able to use my knowledge of the series to net myself a sweet Agumon badge. Also-in-triplet, there was an art exhibition right next door featuring a number of works from Shingo Adachi Artworks, a book which…is exactly what it says on the cover. It was a cool area.
Oh, there’s also no way I’m not going to mention the My Hero Academia Plus Ultra! Experience. See, there were these three tests you needed to complete in order to pass: strength, speed, and intelligence. Step One: Punch the provided machine really hard. Step Two: Run really fast across the provided space. Step Three: Answer a series of My Hero Academia related questions. Was it super difficult? Of course not, this is a convention experience for everyone to enjoy. Was I happy that I did it? Heck yeah, I got myself a sweet Deku Hero Licence, and I took a picture in my own, oversized licence. I even thought up my own Hero name: Overthink…wait, do you think there should be a hyphen in there? See, I thought maybe there should be, but then I didn’t write it in there. Do you think it should be in there?
All in all, Anime Festival Sydney 2020 was a fun time. Plenty of neat art to look at, seriously consider buying, walk away from, then walk back once you decide that you really do want/need an A3-sized sketch on your wall…I have no regrets. Games to play (both video and physical), panels to listen to, and cosplayers to nod at in recognition of their hard work bringing Giorno Giovanna into the real world. It’s…it’s just nice sometimes being reminded that, somewhere out there, there a countless other people who enjoy the same medium you do. So, let’s all keep enjoying it together. No fights about which character or series is the best, or which ones you think don’t cut the proverbial mustard. Just a simple acknowledgement that anime and manga and live-action adaptations of either can make people smile; which is pretty darn cool, don’t you think?
…see, now I’m not so sure about the whole Overthink thing, maybe Rumination would be better. Do you think that one’s better? They’re both pretty cool, in a painfully accurate sort of way…