From the 27th – 28th August 2016, AniManGaki (AMG) celebrated their 8 year anniversary! “It’s been that long already?”, I had exclaimed. It only seems like a few years ago when AMG was being held in the Sunway University hall, and now its more than made its home in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre. Thinking about it just makes me feel nostalgic!
This year, in conjunction with their 8th year, the theme was PIXELS (a.k.a. 8-bit)! As usual, Eleven Tsuki was there to cover both days worth of events, and we’ve compiled our experiences over the weekend for you.
Stepping into the hall, the first thing I noticed was the change in the booths and stage arrangement. Compared to the previous year, there was a lot more room for stage campers. Official booths weren’t pushed to the back where they would get less attention, and attendees didn’t have to wade through the doujin booth crowd just to get to the back of the hall and exit. Also, this.
The day started off at a high with Nandemo Ii‘s opening performance! The band’s name translates into “whatever’s good” in English, and they focus on creating Japanese-influenced arrangements, originals and covers. At the event, they performed iconic tracks from Aldnoah.Zero, Undertale, Vocaloid, and of course, what is an event without the Pokémon theme song!
After getting everyone’s blood pumping, the event jumped into their first competition of the day, the AniManGaki Idol Preliminaries. The 12 preliminary contestants presented a strong showing this year, neither of them willing to give up their chance for a spot in the finals on Day 2. In the end, the judges not only chose the allotted finalists, but also two wild card entries!
At the same time, the Cosplay Workshop with Special Guest Ameno Kitarou (Wirru) was happening in the anime screening room above the main hall. The workshop was designed to help give insight to aspiring cosplayers on Wirru’s work flow in making successful cosplay props. There were a lot of things to be taken from the workshop, but the key takeaway was this – a successful cosplay boils down to how you plan to do it. There was more tips and little hacks he showed in the workshop and it was generally very insightful and fun, even to someone like myself who has never tried cosplaying before.
Later, while the anime screening room was taken over for, uh, anime screening purposes, Hayashiforest hit the stage in the main hall. In her Miku cosplay and digital electone, she performed well-known Vocaloid tracks like World Is Mine and Senbonzakura, as well as tracks from Studio Ghibli, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy.
Next, TAMusic made his guest appearance on stage. A surprisingly excitable and happy-go-lucky person, he answered a few questions about himself and his craft. Notably, he shared how much he looks up to the maker of Touhou, who managed to do so much as a one-man team. Hence, he also aspires to be the same; a one-man producer, violinist, and pianist. Seeing as it only takes him 3 days to produce an album these days, I don’t think he’s very far off from his ideal image!
We also did an interview with him, coming soon!
Immediately after the short appearance, the second competition of the day began. The Gijinka Cosplay Competition was a new addition to the event, but turned out to be more interesting than we expected! The word “Gijinka” refers to a humanisation or personification of a non-human being/object. Or as this year’s theme was set, Street Food!
Before this, we didn’t think cendol or prawn mee could be personified, what more satay! But not only were all the cosplays and props incredibly well put-together, their skits were also creative and entertaining.
In the end, however, both the audience and judges were swept away by the satay entry; although simple, had everyone in laughing fits over its creative and humorous execution. As a result, she (Enginomai Ane) easily took First Prize followed by ABC & Cendol (Team Blood) and Prawn Mee & Ice Kacang (Shiro & Sheepy).
In the last round of performances, The Crestfall Band returned to the AMG stage for another year. Led as usual by Jasmine Minori, the band performed songs from Koutetsujou no Kabaneri and Love Live! The latter, especially, got the whole crowd pumping. What can we say? It’s hard not to get swept up into the idol hype.
Following up was another strong performance, and dare we say, the best performance of the entire event? The RFB Project was created by Raja Farouk (also from Fazz) to introduce a new standard of ACG performances in the community. Their performance started off with an instrumental arrangement before it kicked into high gear, bringing on the crew and judges of AniManGaki Idol – Khor Bin Yun, Alissa, and Lynn – for several songs that had everyone on their feet.
Finally, the first day of AMG capped off with a performance by the JFA Comeback Project. JFA stands for Jen, Fate Feather, and Aya; also known as the top three winners from AniManGaki Idol 2015. Talk about a throwback! They performed together and individually, bringing back a lot of memories from last year, especially “Nico Nico Nii~!”
After that performance, Day One came to an end. Or at least, it did for those who didn’t stay back for the TAMusic Concert that night. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay back but from those who did, I heard it was amazing!
You would naturally think that after such an eventful Day 1, everyone would have been pretty burned out, but as soon as those doors opened, people just flooded in. The hall filled itself up within the first hour of the event and, boy, was it hard to navigate around the place when it did.
The day started with some amazing singing performance from Ikemenz which consisted of “That Dude With The Handsome Voice” Johan Yusof and Mody Ari along with Sandra from Trine. They took turns performing different types of genres. It was such an amazing way to start a event with these talented individuals performing for us. Ultimately, the performance was the heart pumping induced sensation to kick start the day and get everyone excited.
After such an amazing performance, everyone was picking up their bags and getting ready to disperse, but before anyone could actually go Delta Rhythm gathered on the stage and immediately everyone’s attention was drawn to the stage once more. What really strike my attention the most on this particular idol group is the individual design and detail that went into making their cosplay. They totally nailed the Macross Delta theme!
In any ACG event, AniManGaki being no exception, the one thing that would always amass a large crowd of people is always idol theme performances. Everyone cheered loudly for the group of Macross Delta theme performers with their light sticks and the hype in the stage was seriously picking up some steam. Definitely some very “mild suggestive themes” going on here ᕦ▀̿-̿-▀̿-̿-つ.
Next, was a performance by Mystical Mirage. The choice of performances in AniManGaki this year is seriously superb. Everyone was honestly quite sceptical at first. Some didn’t even knew who were these people were on stage, but when the first song was played it was evident that this band knew how to rock a stage.
Even after performing their hearts out for the crowd, it wasn’t enough and everyone kept screaming for an encore! The band ultimately caved in and performed an original song for the crowd. The entire experience to sum it all up was seriously amazing. Cheers to these amazing bunch of talented individuals!
A rest was much needed after such a exciting performance, but wasn’t long until the next event took place and it was time for the AniManGaki Idol Finals. Every year the competition is tremendously fierce and everyone is equally skilled. Each performer poured their heart and soul into the songs they so dedicated so much time into learning and practising. Nerves were tested but none were broken by the pressure, everyone was so ready to win.
However, as there must always be a winner. The one to take the grand prize eventually was Riki who performed “Hare Hare Yukai” with his amazing buttery voice, followed in first runner up Ami who sang an amazingly cute opening theme of Himouto! Umaru-chan, then Prinny & Rei Jun took second runner up. They’re also the ones who gave all of us diabetes from that loving performance of the theme from Beauty and the Beast.
After such a hyped competition it was time for Wirru’s guest appearance. For those who are quite new to Wirru, he is a professional cosplayer from Australia. He is a known for his amazing prop designs, and personally, I feel his best work would be his cosplay of Odin from Final Fantasy.
He came on staged with his cosplay of Spark from Team Instinct along with the team’s legendary Pokemon, Zapdos. He spoke a little about his experience with cosplaying and his time in Malaysia. Wirru even gave some words of encouragement to aspiring cosplayers to not worry about negative comments and just do the things you love.
We also did an Interview with Wirru, coming soon!
After that, Wirru returned to his judge’s seat for the next and most anticipated event, the AniManGaki Cosplay Px! Previously known as the AniManGaki Cosplay Competition, this year’s competition presented seven teams and a lot of nostalgia. From Cardcaptor Sakura to D.Gray Man and Ragnarok Online, the audience was in for a treat.
But in the end, there was one team that stood out from the rest and eventually took the grand prize – Team Mamak. Well, considering they were made up of veterans Fujiwara Kazuko, Weon Haur, and Angie, that probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise! The runner ups were Team MMCendol and Team Shinpi Monogatari respectively.
No rest was needed because everything was coming to a close, and once again, it was time for the Touhou Finals. Everyone gathered and spectated some very high level plays of Touhou. I’m personally not closely affiliated with the Touhou genre but it wasn’t needed to be because the level of precision accuracy and reaction speed was enough to get my heart pumping throughout the whole competition. Cheers to both those amazing players!
After the prize giving ceremony for all the competitions, Harmonia ACG was up next and boy did they deliver again. We’ve heard from this amazing group before in previous events, but for this event their performance just killed the crowd. The crowd was mesmerised by the melodious singing and strong performance by them. They even gave me some tears when they hit us with that trip down nostalgia lane.
It was almost close to the closing of Animangaki and everyone was quite burnt out by such an eventful day, but Yume was not ready to let such a crowd go just yet without making a bang. The Love Live theme group came onto the stage and just ignited the crowd. Everyone was cheering and waving their light sticks at them. The excitement and hype was seriously at the highest for Yume’s performance. Audience even went as far as to chant for encores for what felt like an eternity before getting a run-back.
Generally, it’s such a tall task to keep a huge crowd entertained especially a crowd like Animangaki. Serious shout outs to Shaun Lopez and Dante for being the best possible choice of emcee for this huge event. From all of us at ElevenTsuki we would also like to thank the entire cast of individuals that helped made Animangaki this year so damn enjoyable! Cheers to you!
(P.S. The PA system kicked ass this year keep it up!)
Credits: Day 1 written by Nathalie; Day 2 written by Joon-Keat; Images taken by Aiman, Chin Hoe, & Jane