Mention the words “geek mecca” to any self-respecting geek, nerd or otaku and the first place that comes to mind will either be Comic-Con in San Diego or Akihabara in Tokyo. This year’s Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) was the perfect marriage of both, and then some.
From comics to toys, anime to cosplay, performances to games, STGCC 2018 had it all. Missed out on the fun? Here are the best bits of the two-day event.
Upon walking in, you’re greeted by life-sized models of Iron Man and the Iron Spider. Push past the inevitable Infinity War ptsd of a certain someone crumbling to dust and you’ll enter a Marvel exhibit housing figurines from the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
The stars of Christopher Robin took a trip from Hundred Acre Wood to grace the exhibit as well!
To the left of the Marvel exhibit was a special preview exhibit for Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. The animated movie is set to introduce Miles Morales to the silver screens and releases December this year.
For those who don’t follow comic canon, Miles Morales first debuted in 2011 after the death of Peter Parker in Avengers vs. New Ultimates. Following the events of Secret Wars in 2015, Miles Morales joins Peter Parker back on Earth Prime to fight crime side-by-side.
Right next to Spidey was the preview exhibit for Venom.
There was plenty of symbiote black slime for attendees to play with, as well as a special camera filter where attendees could become one with Venom. Needless to say, we’re super hyped for the movie to be out in October.
What was perhaps the most impressive exhibit in the main area was XM Studios and their range of scale figurines. The attention to detail on the figurines was mind-blowing and it’s easy to see why each piece averages SGD$1000.
Other exhibits in the main area included tokidoki (there were exclusive STGCC x tokidoki merchandise), Game of Thrones, and Lego.
Moving on, you’ll enter the artist area.
Nearly a hundred booths offered visitors a chance to purchase custom artwork and merchandise. Many artists were even offering commissioned artwork. Looking at the sheer amount of artistic talent here fills you with a weird mix of admiration and jealousy.
To the left of here was Good Game Experience (GGXP), the perfect place to chill out and get away from the crowds. There were plenty of tables for tabletop and card game enthusiasts to throwdown and d-d-d-duel. For those aspiring to make it in eSports, the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) qualifiers were also underway for Dota 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO), Hearthstone and Starcraft 2. Loud cheers of victory were juxtaposed with faces of disappointment as players and teams duked it out for a chance to join the regional qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur later this year.
Casual players could get in on the fun too at the Freeplay Zone. There were plenty of multiplayer games like Overcooked 2 and Mario Tennis Aces for the young and the young at heart.
Over at Little Akihabara, fans of Japanese culture were in for a treat as famous cosplayers like Zekia were there to sell prints and offer fan signs. There were even mini concerts every other hour with famous artistes and voice actors like TAM and Kana Ueda.
Of course, what would STGCC be without cosplayers? This was, after all, the perfect stage for cosplayers to show off all the hard work they’ve put in to perfecting their costumes.
It was a great weekend for geeks as they revelled in all things, well, geeky. STGCC 2018 continues to be the haven for casuals and enthusiasts alike and we expect STGCC 2019 to be even bigger and better.
C3 AFA 2018: A taste of Akihabara in Singapore
Since the days of Naruto in 480p to present day Boruto in HD, Anime Festival Asia (AFA) has been a staple for local fans of anime and Japanese pop culture. The annual affair has grown tremendously since it first reached our shores back in 2008, solidifying its status as a pilgrimage of sorts, akin to the wonders of Akihabara.
Back for its tenth anniversary, AFA 2018 proved to be the best its ever been with performances from a star-studded lineup at the I Love Anisong concert series, renown cosplayers and more exclusive merchandise than ever before. Didn’t get to attend? Fret not, here’s everything you missed from the greatest anime exhibition of the year.
Walk in and you’ll be greeted by this massive Gundam model. I don’t know about you but the sooner we get actual functional Gundams the better!
Fans of Gunpla were also in for a treat with this huge selection. There’s even more selections at the back!
Of course, AFA wouldn’t be complete without the game taking Japan (and frankly, the world) by storm. Whether you love or hate the Gacha mechanics of the game, it’s hard to argue with Fate Grand Order’s (FGO)’s success. Staying true to the game mechanics, at the center of the exhibition was a summoning circle where fans could place their phones to summon in-game characters.
Gaming was also a huge part of AFA this year. Apart from FGO, Honkai Impact also featured a booth where players could compete in time trials. Scattered around the exhibition were also other games such as Taiko Drum Master, Touhou and even PUBG.
My favourite part of AFA though, was undoubtedly the food. It was like a taste of Japan without actually flying there!
The Day Stage also featured a ton of prominent celebrities and guests, from Eri Sasaki (pictured) to the creators of Pop Team Epic and even famous cosplayers such as Hakken (pictured).
And this pretty much sums up AFA in one picture. It’s a celebration of all things Japan. It’s quirky, fun, and fans can be another side of themselves, even if it’s for just a day.
What to expect at C3 Anime Festival Asia 2018
Celebrate a decade of Japanese pop culture at C3 Anime Festival Asia (AFA)’s tenth anniversary. The three-day event promises anime fans and Japanese pop culture enthusiasts the very best of content and experiences straight from Japan.
For the first time, AFA will be holding a red carpet event in front of Suntec to usher in the event. An online portal will also be launched as part of the Anime for a Cause initiative, where fans can participate in lucky draws to win items donated by celebrities and partners.
Tickets to the ever-popular I Love Anisong concert series are selling fast thanks to a star-studded lineup featuring the likes of TrySail, GARNiDELiA and May’n.
Concert tickets start from SGD$88 for one-day general admission, or SGD$158 for one-day VIP tickets. All VIP tickets come with an autograph opportunity and one Anisong lightstick. Attendees will also get access to special showcases and guest talkshows.
Full concert line-up and details can be found here.
Cosplay enthusiasts are also in luck with celebrity cosplayers from around the world making an appearance. Expect Angie, KANAME and Siutao amongst others.
Local cosplayers are also in luck with the chance to pit their skills and craft to emerge victorious at the World Cosplay Summit Singapore Preliminaries. Winners will fly to Nagoya, Japan next year and battle it out with the best cosplayers across the globe. Competition guidelines can be found at here.
Of course, what would AFA be without anime? Fans can expect exclusive premieres for January 2019 shows such as Mob Psycho 100 2. Voice actors from Frame Arm Girls, Love Live! Sunshine!! and Sword Art Online Alicization, amongst others, will also be at the event.
Anime merchandise will also be available. Stock up on the latest merch from Bandai, GOODSMILECOMPANY, and others.
AFA 2018 runs from November 30 to December 2, 1oam to 8pm daily. Tickets for the exhibition start from SGD$15 for one-day admission. More details on ticketing and activities can be found here.
Neon Lights festival returns for a three-day celebration of the best indie acts
Singapore’s biggest indie music festival, Neon Lights, is back for a third instalment this November with a stacked line-up spanning three days. The festival returns to Fort Canning Park from November 9 to November 11, complete with headline acts and indie legends from all around the world.
After successful runs in 2015 and 2016, local indie fans were left disappointed when Neon Lights took a break last year. The organisers made a promise the festival would return in full strength in 2018 and that it did. Festival director Declan Forde said they were thrilled to be returning and had put a lot of thought into the line-up to ensure both quality and diversity so everyone could enjoy the festival to the fullest.
Kicking things off on November 9 is Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna who will be serenading the crowd in her first public performance in over a year.
Fans of Interpol are also in luck because the band from New York will be making their Asian debut with a full set on November 10.
Other acts include the likes of Caribou, Riot !n Magenta and Cigarettes After Sex amongst others. For the full line-up, as well as schedules, head on down to the website.
Neon Lights runs November 9 to November 11, 6pm to 1030pm on November 9 and 2pm to 1030pm on November 10 and 11. Individual day tickets start from $99 for adults and $25 for children and can be purchased via the website or SISTIC.