Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Comic Fiesta 2013 - Shingeki no CF Day 1

Oh, my. Has it been a year already since the previous Comic Fiesta?

Doesn't time fly when you have something to look forward to each year. Comic Fiesta (CF) has become a permanent mark in my calender for the past six years and the one event I blocked out my entire December for. Seriously, I only start making plans once the dates for CF have been announced.

Over the weekend before Christmas, 21-22 Dec 2013, close to 40,000 (39,855 to be precise) otakus, anime and manga fans and curious visitors (about to be severely overwhelmed by culture shock) from all over the country descended upon Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in a crazed frenzy driven by a one-year-long wait for the biggest ACG (Anime, Comic, Games) convention in Malaysia.
My blogger pass privilege

Last year I was fortunate to have been able to attend Comic Fiesta 2012 as an official blogger which came with certain privileges and duties (which you can read about in the links at the bottom of the post) and this year, I was once again selected to resume this role. Yay! (Is it weird that I was actually more excited about CF than Christmas?)

Early queue at 8am.

On the first day of CF, I arrived bright and early at the convention center for a quick briefing and to collect my blogger pass and witnessed once more the growing popularity of CF. It was only 8am and already a long line had accumulated outside KLCC.

The Felynes (volunteers) were briefed and were in position to direct CF-goers into queues although I later read over Facebook that there was an initial confusion between the early bird line and the walk-in queue. But that was quickly sorted out on Day 2.
Maps in strategic locations.
Through the convention area, maps and layouts was laid out to help visitors maneuver their way around all six halls. Compared to the previous year, CF took up all the halls for a wider space berth and even had a covered walkway and additional waiting hall outside for the forming queue.

The first in lines in the waiting hall, gearing to go.
By 9am, the queue started moving into the main waiting hall where they were kept entertained by the League of Legends tournament that was taking place there and admire the 100 Days Countdown artwork display while waiting to be let loose into the halls at 10am for the early birds and 1030am for the walk-in ticket holders. 

League of Legends trailer
100 Days countdown.
As the queue and crowd built in the waiting hall and outside, booth owners were putting the final touches to their booths before the doors were (figuratively) opened to let the crowd in. I stalked the Culture Japan booth for a bit, watching Danny himself add the finalizing touches to the display units. The man was a perfectionist, I must say.

Having a pass had its perks and one of them was being able to buy high-sought after stuffs before the crowd came in. I walked away from Culture Japan with three T-shirts and the limited edition Touch N Go Mirai card, spending a good chunk of my weekend budget here alone. 

Culture Japan taking a quick group shot with a few fans before show time!
Cheerleader Mirai spotted!
Much later on, I spotted Danny Choo at his booth again, mingling with his fans, taking photos and given them signatures. I could not resist the opportunity to get him to sign my Mirai TnG card and snap a quick selfie. I actually met him at last year's CF but doubt he remembered me....

Selfie with Danny

At 10am sharp, the crowd was let in and I retreated to the safety of the overhead balcony to snap photos of the colourful hordes and waves to die-hard fans and otakus as they swept through the booths and market place.

High-perch view of the creative market place.
Like I mentioned earlier, the experience of being surrounded by various different characters and by so many like-minded enthusiastic people even in a huge hall like KLCC, can be overwhelming for first-timers and I saw many wide-eyed teens and adults that day. It was nice to see that even after 10 years, CF continues to grow and educate the general public to the world of ACG.

Looong queue at Coffytiam.
Coffytiam, the official merchandise store of CF quickly had a line of its own as fans made a beeline for it to buy limited edition special guest's products and the official CF stuff as well. Throughout the event, CF mascots were also spotted around Coffytiam.

YinYong, Coffy, Tea and Mi. Where's Michael??
Michael the fifth mascot of CF was spotted in Hall 1, taking photos with fans.

There you are, Michael!

Hall 1 and 2 proved to be heaven for cosplay photographers due to the numerous cosplayers there. Here are a few that I spotted:

Inori from Guilty Crown

Kawaii minion!

League of Legends cosplayer.

And of course, the obvious favourite anime/ manga to cosplay for 2013 was Shingeki No Kyojin, also known as Attack on Titan. It was as though every known Shingeki no Kyojin characters had decided there were Titans that needed killing at CF.

Shingeki no Kyojin gang.
Annie, Mikasa & Sasha.
The Creative Market that saw handmade stuffs and hand-drawn doujin were not spared the Shingeki No Kyojin craze. I spotted this clever set-up at one of the baked goods stalls. Because you know, everyone eats human cookies.

Yummy yummy humans.

And a huge banner was spotted at one of the doujin booths, which obviously worked judging by the horde of girls gathering there. Oh wait, it is because the doujin was Levi/Eren-ship. 

We will obey you....

One of the booths had a Titan mannequin in front of it... at least until it changed poses now and then or to take pictures with impressed CF-goers.

Titan spotted.
Beside Shingeki no Kyojin cosplayers, doujins and stuffs at the booths, there were so many other things to see and do. I haven't even gotten to the stage area yet and by the time I did, I had missed the group cosplay competition (dammit!) and was just in time to see a few band performances and Danny Choo talk about his brain child project, Mirai the Smart Doll (more on that in an upcoming post!).

Danny Choo talking about Smartdoll Mirai.
The stage and the light show was impressive this year as was the line up of performances and special guests. Unfortunately the usual Comic Fiesta emcee duo was missing half a member as Alfred was absent and even poor Shaun was suffering from a sore throat. But despite that, Shaun and his new partner managed to keep the crowd entertained with their random burst of freebie throws that never failed to delight the crowd.

Getting the crowd pumped up.

The special guests line up this year consisted of artists, musicians and cosplayers that had the crowd screaming their lungs out every time they were mentioned by the emcees and/or brought on to stage. Some of the recognizable names are Taiwanese cosplayer, Stayxxxx, Yuegene Fay from Thailand, Guilty Crowd illustrator, Redjuice and Mirai artist, Ikkyo.

Guest artist introduction

Yuegene Fay & Stayxxxx
Sadly I missed out on the forums and interview sessions with the guests this time round as I was on ground and outside of the halls most of the time, hunting down snapping photos of cosplayers.

Naruto lives!
'Mom, can we go now?'
And that's about it for Day 1 of Comic Fiesta 2013. For more photos, check out my facebook album: Comic Fiesta 2013 Day 1.

Were you there? What did you enjoy most about CF? If you were not there or have no idea what this whole post is about, what do you think about CF anyway? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

To read about Day 2: 'Buy First, Think Later'
To see photos from Day 2: Comic Fiesta 2013 Day 2

For Comic Fiesta 2012 coverage:
EPIC Day 1
Otaku Overload Day 2
Hooked on bless4
Cosplay & Gaming Winner

Remember to like Comic Fiesta on Facebook for updates and follow them on Twitter too. Check out their website for event information.


HanaBlurbs said...

So lucky you're able to go >.< Last time I went was in 2007 (boy that was a long time ago!)

Rikajue said...

I went with my friend on Day 1! It was a first time for both of us and yeah, we were wide-eyed seeing so many cosplayers. Though being new about this, we didn't have the dream budget and was quite sad that we couldn't get more stuff. Next year, we promise to get the early bird tickets and maybe go as cosplayers ourselves! Thanks for this post, makes me remember how fun it was. Can't wait for Day 2.

Tania said...

That's a long time! You should start going again :)

Tania said...

Hi, Rikajue!
You should definitely cosplay next year! You got a whole year to plan and save up till the next CF. At the meantime, look out for ACG events leading up to the main one like Animagaki and Cosmart. You can gain more experience there and get your early bird tickets too.
Day 2 post is up already! :)
Hope to see you next year!