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SOZO, SOTSU, and ASATSU-DK Hold Joint “C3AFA Bangkok 2017” Press Conference

SOZO Pte. Ltd together with SOTSU CO., LTD. and ASATSU-DK INC have announced that they will hold two major anime events, the “C3” and the “Anime Festival Asia (AFA)” which will collectively be called the “C3AFA Bangkok 2017.” The event will feature the latest and greatest anime series, manga, light novels, anisong, artistes from the industry along with booths offering related products and services straight from Japan for anime fans in Thailand.

C3 AFA Bangkok 2017 poster

The highlights of the biggest Japanese pop culture event in Southeast Asia include special screenings of Hatsune Miku Expo 2016 Japan tour, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE – ORDINAL SCALE, as well as special stage activities for Attack on Titan season 2. The organizers are confident that the fair will draw massive anime fans. The event this year will be organized on the 5th floor of Siam Paragon shopping complex from the 10th – 11th of June. Tickets will be available at animefestival.asia/bangkok17.

Mr. Shawn Chin, Founder and Executive Director of SOZO, the leading Japanese entertainment content provider in the ASEAN bloc, revealed that his firm have joined forces with SOTSU CO., LTD and ASATSU-DK INC to organize the “C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” by combining the two famous events in the Asian region, “C3” and “AFA or Anime Festival Asia”, in a bid to gain greater appeal of the local anime fans.

“C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” will feature outstanding anime series, games, light novels, music, artists and related products, services and shows straight from Japan. The fair this year will offer new content for all anime fans in Thailand to enjoy. Anime enthusiasts can book their tickets for the two-day event for only 500 baht via the website: http://animefestival.asia/bangkok17 from 18 May 2017, 1pm.

Also read : Aoi Yuuki puts her solo musical career on hold and closes her fanclub

One day ticket can also be bought online at 300 baht at the event entrance. The event will be held from June 10th – 11th at the Royal Paragon Hall, fifth floor of Siam Paragon shopping complex.

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Sotsu, is a powerhouse in the Japanese anime industry, they are license holders with notable titles sycg as the Mobile Suit Gundam series and many other titles and live action series, has also contributed to the organization of “C3 AFA Bangkok 2017”. Its presence guarantees that there will be surprising content for the anime fans.

“C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” is the first event that will be held in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, before moving to other cities across the region, such as Jakarta, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The organizers aim at hold the event annually in the various capital and major cities, in order to provide equal access to anime enthusiasts.

The “C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” is projected to be another successful event, following the excellent record of its two previous iterations, with growing popularity each year, as the event attract fans from Thailand and nearby ASEAN neighbors.

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The organizers strongly believe that the “C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” will receive the same, if not more, attention from the fans this year, as it is a joint venture between SOTSU CO., LTD and ASATSU-DK INC, professional anime event organizers. Producer from the contents division, Hidetaka Ikuta from ASATSU-DK INC indicated that event-goers will have a chance to experience Japanese pop culture in the biggest gig in Asia, while enjoying a myriad of merchandise choices from Japanese leading content providers during the two-day event.

Artists and seiyuu attending this year’s anisong concert include Chihiro Yonekura, May’n, Kanae Ito, Reon Kurosaki, SpringChubit, Toru Furuya, Yui Ishikawa, Yuki Kuwahara. Several famous cosplayers have also accepted the invitation to the event. They are Angie from Malaysia, Baozi & Hana from China, and H from Taiwan, to name a few.

Notable highlights this year include special stage activities from such shows as the Attack on Titan season 2, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE – ORDINAL SCALE, and a special performance of Hatsune Miku Expo 2016 Japan tour. These anime series, OVA and tours are fresh from Japan, guaranteed anime fans that they will be worth the wait.

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According to Shawn Chin from SOZO, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is the business mediator that has coordinated with Japanese companies and provided assistance in circulating the content and capital for the ASEAN entertainment industry.

“C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” is received by related content providers from Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand, as more than 20 firms have already accepted the invitation to join the exposition. They will showcase and offer their products, services and shows at special prices. Event-goers will be treated with all sort of anime-related entertainment, such as the latest anime series and OVAs, concerts from famous anisong artists, cosplay shows, appearances by legendary seiyuu, anime producers and directors.

C3 AFA Bangkok 2017

The fair will also offer exclusive items from critically acclaimed Japanese anime series. The show this year will be held on 12,000 square meters on the 5th floor of Siam Paragon shopping center. The venue is the hub for teenagers in the heart of the capital city Bangkok, which is easily accessible by any mean of transportation. The event is expected to attract 50,000 – 100,000 of fans of anime and Japanese pop culture.

Hideyuki Nanba, Executive Director of SOTSU CO., LTD stated that Japanese anime content is growing rapidly, despite the limited exposure in the Thai society. He indicated however that there are multiple channels that promote the content online, resulting in the increased number of fans every year. Thailand is the 6th leading Japanese anime importer of the Southeast Asia.

Shawn Chin from SOZO, concluded that the fact cemented the speculation that the “C3 AFA Bangkok 2017” will draw a massive anime fans in Thailand and generate a total revenue of no less than 200 million baht.

ITS’DEMO Releases POKÉMON Collaboration Line!

Japanese fashion brand ITS’DEMO is teaming up for the fifth time with POKEMON to release a new collaboration line just in time for summer! The new POMEKON LOVE ITS’DEMO line is a fun and flower line of cosmetics, beauty organizers, accessories, and other items drawn in a cute crayon style.

The line was release just yesterday — 16th May, via ITS’DEMO stores all over Japan. It is also available online via WORLD ONLINE STORE. Pick out your favourites from the gallery below!

Also read: Ryuk performs PPAP for Death Note Light Up the NEW World

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[WOW JAPAN x Jurnal Otaku] An Exclusive Interview with Ying Tze for CSF 2017

On Saturday, 29 April 2017, JOI and other media got the chance to interview this beautiful person from Malaysia. She’s Ying Tze, a cosplayer who already came to Indonesia a couple of times, and is one of the awaited cosplayer in Jakarta. Don’t believe me? Her name is always on the top list of favorite cosplayer in AFA.

This time Ying Tze is here for 2 days for the event Creators Super Fest in Pullman Hotel Grand Ballroom, Central Park Jakarta. She will be cosplaying as Utaha Kasumigaoka from the series Saekano and D.Va from the game Overwatch. But before you see her cosplay, why don’t you read the following interview from JOI and other media with Ying Tze.

Q: What fuels your creativity so that you keep on making more costumes?

A: Haha, 1st question is already difficult. When I first started cosplaying, because I start cosplaying by making costumes when I was a student, I have no money to go tailor my costume. By making your own costume, it’s cheaper and you can cosplay more of your favorite character. I started because I really liked the character, so I want to make their costumes.

Then what fuels my creativity, I would say nice materials. Just like last week, I went to Bangkok to buy fabric and stuff. When I have nice materials, I will feel very inspired and I also makes costume faster. I made this Utaha costume in less than 24 hours.

Q: You’ve come to Indonesia several times, what do you think about the concept of CSF?

A: I think AFA is more to concert, but I think this is the first time they make an event for content creator and I think it’s very good. Because I don’t think there are many events that are focusing on doujin artist. I think there are many talented artists in Indonesia, because I have a friend in Indonesia who also like to sell her artworks.

So I think this is a good time for Indonesian artist to show their talent and it will also invite more people from other countries as well, like Okita from Thailand. So I think this is a very good event.

Q: About how you choose your cosplay, is it for certain events, depending on the moment, or what?

A: I think for me is what I’m interested in. Because like Utaha, I started cosplaying Utaha back in February. Then I really like the anime, and then I see this costume and I finally want to cosplay as this character. For me, making costumes always have a special place in my heart. Maybe sometimes I will also cosplay from games I like. Tomorrow I will cosplay as D.Va from Overwatch. I’m not good in it (haha), but I always enjoy the game so I’m like a casual gamer. I always play for the story.

Q: Do you have any advice for Indonesian cosplayers?

A: I don’t think I have any advice, because Indonesian cosplayers are very good and one of my inspiration is Pinky Lu Xun from Indonesia. So if you ask me if I have any advice, I don’t, because Indonesian are the people that gave me inspiration to cosplay.

When I first came to Indonesia for a cosplay event, I’m surprised that I have to be the judge, and all the contestants are really amazing. Then when I came back to Malaysia, I tell myself to be the best in cosplay. It’s like when you see someone amazing, you also want to be even more amazing at what you do.

Q: What is the most difficult cosplay you’ve done so far?

A: I think every costume is hard because every costume is something new, so every costume has its own difficulty. Like this Utaha costume, you see there are stripe patterns on it, so I bought blue costume and then embedded the white pattern on it because no one sells this kind of costume.

Q: What do you think is different from Indonesian and Malaysian cosplay.

A: I think Malaysian cosplay are more focused on photo shoot, but Indonesian are more focused on actions. We like to go to events, but in Indonesia the cosplayers like to join competition and perform. For example, like in WCS, Indonesia won the competition last year. Indonesian cosplayers are very talented and also very humble.

Q: What do you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

A: I want to have a family, because my parents were divorced when I was very young, and when I grow up older I want to have a happy family. I want to have children, and because I’m a very simple person, I only want to have a happy family and a happy life. Everyone in life want to be happy, right? For me it’s okay to be ‘cukup-cukup’. Maybe it’s fine to have a holiday once a year, and then I don’t need to worry about house and electricity, and I can do what I like. I also want to have a cat cafe in Malaysia.

Q: What is the next character you want to cosplay?

A: Persona 5. This month I haven’t made any costume because I spent my time playing this game. This is my first Persona game.

Q: What’s your favorite beverage?

A: If it’s tea, it’s earl grey. Then I like pearl milk tea, I also drink a lot of Starbucks.

Q: Please tell us one of your best moments or memories in Indonesia.

A: Most memorable moments? I think it is my first time coming to Indonesia in 2012 for the first AFA. That time it was my first trip to Indonesia so I don’t know what to expect, and it was only my 2nd event on Moe Moe Kyun cafe. I was very nervous that people won’t like me because I’m very tall and I’m not sure if Indonesian people will like tall girls. Plus, I’m not cute, because for me cute is more like short loli girls like Punipun.

But on the first day, I was really surprised and many people come and queue for the cafe. We only have 6 girls and we were very busy but we were very happy.

Also read: Veteran Bleach and Naruto animator passes away at work due to apparent overwork

This interview was conducted by Jurnal Otaku Indodesia, and is syndicated on WOW Japan.

Tobu Zoo’s real-life Humboldt Penguin falls in love with his Kemono Friends counterpart

Tobu Zoo recently teamed up with last season’s cult hit, Kemono Friends. The zoo also featured cutouts of the Kemono Friends characters in their real-life animal counterparts’ enclosures. However, one particular animal got a bit too close to its Kemono Friends counterpart. Meet Grape-kun the Humboldt Penguin, who Crunchyroll recently featured in a new Facebook video.

Apparently, when the zoo keepers placed a cut-out of Humbuldt Penguin, AKA Hululu, in the Humboldt Penguin enclosure, one particular penguin, Grape-kun, wouldn’t stop staring at her. It’s as if the adorable little bird just couldn’t stop thinking about his new waifu. In fact, Grape-kun doesn’t want to leave the area where Hululu’s cut-out is. He’s so attached to Hululu that he doesn’t socialise with other penguins, and doesn’t even eat!

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Because of this, the zookeepers now have a new problem in their hands. Since he’s too busy staring at his waifu to even eat, the zookeepers decided to separate Grape-kun from Hululu. Sorry buddy, it’s for your own good!

But then again, Grape-kun escaped! Looks like you couldn’t just keep this penguin from his waifu!

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Grape-kun’s struggles in love for his waifu even caught the attention of social media. Fans all over the world showed their love for Grape-kun as they drew artworks of the two.

Also read: [GAMES] 5 Gundam Games you must play before becoming a Newtype Ghost!

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Follow your dreams Grape-kun, just follow your dreams! If you think 2D penguin girls are better than real-life ones, then so be it!

Sources: @sisukatonToto Kichi@xGreenflamemitsumotocs

Aoi Yuuki puts her solo musical career on hold and closes her fanclub

Aoi Yuuki is one of the hottest seiyuu right now, but it seems she wants to slow things down a bit. In the website of her own official fanclub, AoimAniA, she revealed that she will be going on a temporary hiatus from her solo career as a musician.

Also read: Yui Ogura enters drama world with Kentucky Fried Chicken

But that’s not all, as she’s also closing her own official fanclub, AoimAniA. According to the announcement, they will stop accepting members on 31st May, and will then finally end service on 30th June.

The seiyuu explained that after releasing her latest album, “Tokowaka no Kuni“, she felt that she already accomplished her goals. She added that she can’t keep going out of habit because this will be a disservice to her fans.

Aoi Yuuki explained that when she first started her solo music career, she thought of singing songs not as a seiyuu. She also seems to have struggles in completing “Tokowaka no Kuni“. But she also admitted that thanks to everyone who supported her, she managed to get it done.

However, she only said that she will only take a break from her solo musical career. This means that she will continue on as a seiyuu, though her fanclub would still be closing. This might also mean that she’s still continuing her seiyuu unit with Ayana Taketatsu, Petit Milady.

The lovable seiyuu made a name for herself with her role as Madoka Kaname in Madoka Magica. She also voiced Tanya Degurechaff in Saga of Tanya the Evil and Kayo Hinazuki in ERASED. Her other roles include Diane from The Seven Deadly Sins, as well as Tsuyu Asui in My Hero Academia.

Source: AoimAniA

Zepp Concert Halls to Expand Across Asia

Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) is pleased to announce a network of Zepp concert halls coming to cities across Asia, to be set up by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) and group company Zepp Hall Network.

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Photo by Zepp / The Japan Times

The Zepp concert halls will all feature stage machinery, lighting, and sound systems with specifications standardised for all Zepp venues across the globe, an advantage to tour promoters and touring artists alike. Funding for construction and management will be partially covered by the government’s Cool Japan Fund.

Currently, Zepp Hall Network manages six venues across Japan:

– Zepp Sapporo
– Zepp Tokyo
– Zepp DiverCity (also in Tokyo)
– Zepp Nagoya
– Zepp Namba (Osaka)
– Zepp Osaka Bayside

New halls will be opening in Fukuoka in 2018 and Yokohama* in 2020.

*To be managed by Koei Tecmo Holdings.

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Photo by Zepp / Nikkei Asia Review

Zepp expansion in Asia will blaze a trail for the Japanese music industry while creating touring opportunities for Japanese and international artists. Our hope is to bring people around the world together and provide the grounds for cultural exchange by building the infrastructure.

New Zepp international concert halls at a glance

Singapore

■ Overview
Located on Level 3 of the Big Box complex in Jurong East, the Mega Box Event Hall A has been remodeled to open as [email protected] Singapore and will be managed by Zepp @ Big Box Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between Zepp Hall Network and Singapore-based Big Box Investment Pte. Ltd. Easily accessible next to Jurong East Station, the venue is part of BIG BOX, a large complex offering a comprehensive retail experience complete with a hypermarket, restaurants and playground where visitors can shop for groceries, electronics, furniture, apparel, and much more.

■ Details
Venue:
[email protected] Singapore
Location:
BIG BOX Singapore, Level 3, 1 Venture Avenue
Area:
3,500 m2
Capacity:
max. 2,333 (Total of 4,032 when combined with adjacent Event Hall B)
Grand Opening:
June 4, 2017, slated to open with a RADWIMPS concert

For a press release on [email protected] Singapore, see (Japanese only): sme.co.jp

Malaysia

■ Site Overview
A Zepp hall will open in Kuala Lumpur near the city’s most vibrant district downtown, Bukit Bintang City. Urban redevelopment in this area includes plans for a large complex including new offices, residential buildings, hotels, a shopping mall, restaurants, and other retail. Zepp Kuala Lumpur will be set up as part of the Entertainment Hub inside Bukit Bintang City Centre. The venue will be easily accessible by train or monorail from nearby Hang Tuah Station.

■ Details
Venue:
Zepp Kuala Lumpur
Location:
No. 2 Jalan Hang Tuah 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Area:
6,800 m2
Capacity:
2,500 (standing)
Opening:
End of 2020

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Photo by Zepp / Nekopop / Fudanjuku

Taiwan

■ Site Overview
Hsinchuang Futuhsin is a growing Taipei suburb with several upscale condominium towers and new government headquarters. The area is set to draw more visitors on completion of the Taiwan Film Institute and a shopping center with a youthful vibe, where the Zepp hall will occupy four floors. Just a 12-minute ride from Taipei Station on the Taoyuan Airport MRT and a 5-minute walk from Xinzhuang Fuduxin Station.

■ Details
Venue:
Zepp New Taipei
Location:
Futuhsin, Hsinchuang District, New Taipei City
Area:
4,900 m2 (total floor space)
Capacity:
2,200 (standing)
Opening:
April 2020

Further information on the expansion of Zepp music venues to follow as it becomes available.

About Zepp Live

Zepp Live engages in concert promotion as well as events planning and production. The company is engaged as an organizer or co-organizer in shows at concert halls as well as large music festivals both in Japan and overseas.

For more information about Zepp Live, visit: zepp.co.jp.

Love Live! Sunshine!! Reveals Their Worldwide Poster Girl Illustrations with Dia Representing Singapore

Previously, fans got to decide which AQOURS member got to represent which country in the Love Live Sunshine Global Elections. A few months after revealing the results, the official Love Live Sunshine website has now revealed the AQOURS members in the costumes of the respective countries that the fans chose them to represent.

Called “Worldwide Poster Girl”, these illustrations feature the AQOURS members in the national costume of the country they represent. And of course, since fans voted for Dia Kurosawa to represent Singapore, here she is wearing a Sarong Kebaya:

Dia Kurosawa

Without further ado, here are the other AQOURS members wearing the costumes of their respective representative countries:

Taiwan’s Poster Girl: Chika Takami

Taiwan’s Poster Girl: Chika Takami

Germany’s Poster Girl: Riko Sakurauchi

Germany’s Poster Girl: Riko Sakurauchi

Australia’s Poster Girl: Kanan Matsuura

Australia’s Poster Girl: Kanan Matsuura

China’s Poster Girl: You Watanabe

China’s Poster Girl: You Watanabe

The UK’s Poster Girl: Yoshiko Tsushima

The UK’s Poster Girl: Yoshiko Tsushima

Thailand’s Poster Girl: Hanamaru Kunikida

Thailand’s Poster Girl: Hanamaru Kunikida

The USA’s Poster Girl: Mari Ohara

The USA’s Poster Girl: Mari Ohara

Korea’s Poster Girl: Ruby Kurosawa

Korea’s Poster Girl: Ruby Kurosawa

While Dia sports the Sarong Kebaya, Kanan looks like she might go “G’day mate” on everyone she meets. She also looks like she might wrestle a crocodile soon. And while Mari looks like a cowgirl, Yoshiko surprises by wearing a maid outfit.

The website also revealed that they will be releasing merchandise with these illustrations. Their announcement also revealed that they will release those Worldwide Poster Girl goodies in summer 2017. And speaking of those national costumes, they will also appear on the School Idol Festival smartphone game app.

Also read: Predictably, Kentaro Miura’s Berserk is going on yet another hiatus

Seiyuu Natsumi Takamori to make her debut… as a doujinshi artist

Seiyuu Natsumi Takamori made a name for herself thanks to her voice, but did you know that she’s also a good artist? In fact, she also wants to be a doujinshi artist! Her twitter page even features some of her own artworks, including this sketch of Cinderella Girls’ producer!

Natsumi Takamori

Takamori voices Miku Maekawa in Cinderlla Girls, as well as Another’s Mei Misaki. She will also host the seiyuu variety show, “Takamori Juusensha”, where she will be making her doujin debut! As for the show itself, it will make its premiere on 11th May. She has revealed that she will be showing off her own doujinshi works in the show, which airs every 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month. Kinda makes you wonder what her debut Doujin will be like, huh?

Also read: [ANIME] Victory Gundam gets Blu-ray box sets, creator Tomino warns buyers off

Natsumi Takamori

So she’s not only a seiyuu, but also a doujin artist and a TV host! Now that’s talent indeed! The seiyuu also voices Nina in Berserk and Azusa Murasaka in Orange.

Source: Natsumi Takamori Twitter page

Yui Ogura enters drama world with Kentucky Fried Chicken

Remember the photo we posted a few days ago about Yui Ogura working with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in a new project?

The mystery unfolds as it has been announced that KFC is working with her in a brand new mini-drama, “What if Yui Ogura…”.

The drama will be available on AbemaTV’s Anime 24 Channel on 13th April. There will be 6 parts to the drama and approximately 3 minutes each.

Yui Ogura commented that she did not know whether she was the right person for this job, but it made her really excited and she had lots of fun playing the role in this drama. She also added that it was a whole new experience over what she regularly does.

Having to play the role in this drama, she was given a chance to enjoy all the delicacies that KFC has provided her with and she is getting to love KFC more and more.

Also read: Saori Hayami to Hold “Convention 2017” Streaming on NicoNico and AbemaTV

Yui Ogura added that it is a drama that all her fans have to catch. They will find a different side of her inside this drama and it actually makes her feel happy but embarrassed to act in them.

Take a look at these preview pictures of this delicious project.

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We are really excited to see this upcoming project and we really want to catch the even cuter side of Yui Ogura. Just a few more days before we get to do so!

Source: www.barks.jp

Japanese government minister wears Evangelion necktie during press conference

We all have our anime-related merchandise, from posters to neckties. One politician in particular, Japan’s Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura, seems to have a bit of a connection with Evangelion. The Reconstruction minister recently made the headlines for a heated exchange during a press conference, alongside his Evangelion necktie.

Minister Imamura is in-charge of Japan’s reconstruction efforts for the 2011 earthquake. However, things got a bit testy when a reporter accused him that he doesn’t understand what was really going on. The reporter also told Imamura that he should take responsibility for those voluntary evacuees. The minister even told the reporter to “Shut up”. But despite things really heating up, that’s not what the press really focused on…

It actually turns out that Gainax’s Fukushima office, which was affected by the 2011 earthquake, gave him that tie. And as Imamura was excited to promote the companies struggling in the region, he chose to wear it. He also wore the tie a few times before, and even shared that it makes his grandchild embarrassed. But then again, it does help if a government minister wears something to promote a struggling region, right? Well, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?

And yes, he actually admitted that he watches Evangelion too!

Source: Abema Times

Also read: An Interview with NieR’s Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito: NieR Automata was originally meant for the PC