Gracing the SMX Convention Center last September 20 was the fifth annual Best of Anime (BoA) 2014, one of the largest gatherings for anime and manga fans in the country. Despite the heavy rains a day before the slated date of the event, troves of people gathered at the convention center and BoA surely did not disappoint.
This year, BoA brought in international bands, performers and cosplayers to celebrate the milestone event. It featured a lot of Japanese art, culture and entertainment, all for the enjoyment of the Filipino anime community. Fans were able to connect with other fans, they got to enjoy a ton of games, performances, the activities at the venue and a whole lot more. This with the backdrop of everyone in spectacular costumes.
To give you a better run-through of the highlights of the event, here we list down 5 things we loved about this year’s Best of Anime.
Con-Goers And Their Fashion
From the first-timers to the grizzled veterans, the event was packed with diverse convention-goers. Otakus met fellow otakus and they all got to share their love for the Japanese pop-culture. It looked like about 60 percent of everyone attending was dressed as some sort of anime, manga, sci-fi or fantasy creature. Everyone was just so hyped and thrilled to be there that you can really feel the energy in the air.
BoA showcased a mix of interactive events, celebrity guest appearances, and live musical performances. Among the wide array of entertainment they have provided for the con-goers to enjoy, music has definitely given life to the whole event. This year’s musical talents included the visual kei band "heidi" along with other local acts. With competitions such as Battle of the Bands and Karaoke Contest, anime soundtracks really do play a huge part in the gathering. More than anything else, from grungy dystopias to hip-hop samurai, the tracks playing throughout the 2-day gathering certainly filled the venue with the right kind of atmosphere.
BoA has its own specific vibe; part trade-show for the anime industry, part Japanese pop-culture convention. The venue offered a large selection of Jap culture goods and just about all things anime fandom related! From clothes to toys and a couple of knick-knacks, con-goers enjoyed exploring the stalls but this definitely brought the community together. And of course, with their fellow otaku's friendly smiles, the food, the music, the activities and the performances, this event certainly gave every attendee an all-out anime experience.
Variety Of Activities
Several con-goers brought their A-game for the Best of Anime Superstar (Karaoke Contest) - a fun, dynamic, and inclusive karaoke experience. Everyone's just up for a common goal of celebrating our shared love of anime and game soundtracks, J-pop and music in general.
Another big draw is the Quickdraw Competition as it showcased new and talented artists. It was a venue for amateur and semi-professional artists to celebrate Japanese pop culture through their fantastic works of art.
An Inter-School Cosplay Competition and All-Star Cosplay, where participants got to show off their elaborate and spectacular costumes, the products of hours of loving work, and enjoy their shared passion. This was definitely one of the most exciting aspects of convention.
Several competitions such as the Battle of the Bands and a Photo Contest happened at the fun gathering. Of course, the contest was fun for everyone who got involved.
With a common goal of sharing the love for anime culture, it has become eclipsed more and more by the general pursuit of being a fan and what being a fan means: finding that place for yourself within an open, accepting community. Several attendees even came from different parts on the world. One even came all the way from North California to witness the event. Fans at the gathering were truly glad to see each other and it was certainly visible at the event.
While anime conventions were generally started to promote Japanese animation, the fandom that attends and sustains these conventions is subject to the same ebb and flow of any cultural expression.
International cosplayers such as Karael, Onnies and Kaika from Thailand and Singapore respectively graced the event and proved he wonders of the thriving anime community.
To see more photos from the fan gathering, click HERE
Were you there at the fan gathering? What was your favorite part? Feel free to share it in the comments section below!