Animangaki has always meant a great deal to us here at Eleven Tsuki. It was the first ACG event we attended as official media, and also one of the events we’ve had the pleasure of watching grow from its roots. That’s why we were so hyped that, for the second year in a row, we had the honour of attending as media.
This year, things were even more exciting because they made a whole bunch of upgrades to the event. Space-wise, they expanded to the second floor of the convention centre, clearing up so much more room in the hall for the doujin booths, official booths and most importantly….
This really BIG stage!
And that’s exactly where Day One kicked off for us, tapping our feet to the back-to-back performances from Fazz and The Crestfall. Unlike The Crestfall, it was Fazz‘s first time performing at Animangaki, and – we would find out later – that it was also their debut performance for ACG events in general!
Although their music style is more swing/jazz and not the typical anisong/J-rock covers we get at conventions, they managed to get everyone in the hall rocking out to their rearrangement (or should I say, “fazz-ed” version) of some classics; Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy etc. Everyone was especially hyped when they sprung the Doraemon theme on us! That was a serious nostalgia trip.
As for The Crestfall, they’re undoubtedly veterans to the scene. People whom have been attending the event for the past few years would definitely know them by now. This year, they brought back the same level of energy performing the popular Tokyo Ghoul theme, Unravel among the rest of their set.
After the two opening performances, we were graced by the presence of AMG2015’s special guests:
(1) Chinese cosplayer “YaQie” Yaki, member of the popular China-based cosplay association Silence Snary (杭州304).
Yaki is most well-known her mesmerising historical and oriental-themed cosplays, mostly based on Chinese games, novels and manhua. She has over 10-years of cosplaying experience under her belt and has even represented her country several times as a guest performer, cosplay competition participant and panel judge. This was her first time in Malaysia.
During her appearance, she answered some introductory questions with the help of a translator. Unfortunately, the translator wasn’t as good as Stayxxxx’s translator from last year. Combined with the faulty PA (Public Announcement) System (which would prove to be a consistent problem throughout the convention), we couldn’t get any transcription of the questions at the time.
However, we did get an interview with her – read it here!
(2) Japanese rock duo Zwei, made up of vocalist Ayumu and bassist Megu.
Zwei gained popularity performing songs for various visual novels, including the theme songs for Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru, Memories Off: Yubikuri no Kioku, and Robotics;Notes. This year, they released a new album titled NEO MASQUE and this was also their first visit to South East Asia.
Zwei too answered some questions, but first, they performed Junjou Spectra, the theme song from the from Robotics;Notes anime adaptation. Personally, I’ve had that song on my playlist since I watched the series, and I can vouch now that they sound exactly the same (if not better) live. Wasshoi!
We also got an interview with Zwei – read it here!
After the two guest appearances was the Animangaki Idol 2015 Preliminaries, then Last Splinters’ and Junnie’s performances. We didn’t camp at the stage for those events, instead taking the time to check out the rest of the convention… starting with the booths.
I have to say, the quality of the doujin artists and merch this year really improved. There were a lot of talented artists and gorgeous prints for sale this year, with some serious focus on Love Live and Haikyuu!. Ying Tze and Angie also had booths that were insanely popular. I never saw a moment where either one was empty!
Speaking of amazing artists, they also had this new addition to the main hall this year where four talented artists/illustrators did live drawings on canvases. They were Arif Rafhan Othman, Mimi Mashud, Adrian Ravenhart, and oRen.
As for the official booths, they weren’t very impressive this year. Even though more room was dedicated to them, the crowd didn’t gather there much. In contrast, the doujin area was so packed that it was hard to even look at each booth properly without also inspecting the shoulders of the nearest attendees. Personally, I thought it would have worked better if the allocation of space was reversed.
Moving outside the hall, there were mostly game-related booths.
The biggest attraction was, of course, the annual Touhou Matsuri. There was more space for them this year for fans to gather around the tournament area, as well as some extra room to form a long line of Touhou-related merch booths. We aren’t really part of the Touhou fandom here but if you’re more interested, have you joined the Malaysian Touhou Brigade yet?
Another popular booth was the Animangaki Omatsuri, as usual. The stall games seemed more exciting than the year before, and even more popular, but we didn’t get any time to try them out. These people looked like they were having fun though!
The rest of the booths were mostly non-veterans to the convention, such as Animangaki’s Hearthstone Fireside Gathering and Tournament, InC Salt Tournament (featuring games like Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax etc.), and Animangaki’s Shake It Dance Off booth.
Overall, the best thing about the outside area this year was the increase in space. The ‘official’ cosplay photography area was packed as usual, but besides that, it was easy to navigate from booth to booth because there was so much more room to walk around compared to previous years.
Probably one of the reasons why, is because of the additional second floor this year.
The Hobby and Collectibles display, which was situated at the side of the main hall last year, was moved to the second floor along with the ticketing booths. Because of the extra space, there were many new and great additions to the display, including this awesome life-sized Hulk Buster!
There was also the addition of an anime screening room this year, all thanks to Animangaki’s collaboration with Crunchy Roll. Below are all the anime that were screened over the two days. And boy, was the response outstanding! They could have allocated more than one room for it because that room was constantly full. We couldn’t even get inside to take a photos!
The layout was a tad bit confusing because we were more used to the old layout, especially with the placing of the ticketing booth, but overall I think the additional space was nice. It freed up some room in necessary places, although the inside of the hall could still use a little work.
Before we called it a day, we stopped by the stage one last time for Yaki’s Q&A session. The session was moderated by Khor Bin Yu, whom we highly appreciated for her fluency in both English and Mandarin, and her clear voice over the dying PA System. Yaki also had more chances to show her personality and her really sweet side during this Q&A.
The whole session, actually, was very laid back. Yaki wanted to sit on the steps of the stage to be nearer to the attendees and we thought it was really nice of her. The attendees also responded by being active during the interview, asking questions and giving their responses. The only problem, again, would be the PA System which is why we couldn’t get any transcriptions done from that Q&A session too.
After that, there was a prize giving ceremony and a performance by Harmonia ACG, both of which we didn’t stay for. 🙁 We also did not stay for Zwei’s FREE concert at 8pm that night, although images and video were not allowed for that anyway. From our friends who made it, we heard it was amazing.
If you stayed for the concert, or was at Animangaki 2015 Day One, leave us a comment about your experience. We’d love to hear about them!
Also, if you’d like to read on, here’s our Day Two adventures.
For the rest of the images we took from the event, check out our Facebook album.
For cosplay photos from the event, here are some suggestions: