Cosplayers and comic creators gathered once again to share the same interest- ANIME! The most awaited annual event to all anime lovers has come as they celebrate “OTAKU FEST 2022”. This annual anime convention which includes animation, cosplay, gaming and comics has brought creative and enthusiastic individuals together to celebrate Comiket or commonly known as Comic Market.
Comiket is an anime culture where different individuals show their talents in their self-published mangas/comics and self-made costumes or as they are called- cosplayers! This huge and exciting annual anime event held in Japan has come to Cebu and is named “OTAKU FEST”. This year’s Otaku Fest 2022 was held at the convention hall of J Center mall in Mandaue City, Cebu.
One day is not enough to celebrate such fun and creative event, so the organizers have extended the fun by celebrating it from November 12-13, 2022. A huge crowd gathered to enjoy different games, comics and performances !
Taste the feeling of being at Otaku Fest 2022!
You surely are very excited to enjoy your day at Otaku Fest 2022, but don’t forget to fill your bellies with delish delicacies from the Japanese restaurant -“ Nonki”, as they serve different kinds of Japanese snacks just right outside the venue. The crowd’s favorite is their delighful sushi and yakisoba, a great snack to fill an empty belly.
Looking at the item or the seller? >.<
All eyes are on this store with sellers on their cosplay costumes! Most of the sellers are students who are a big fan of anime and made their fandom a hobby by making different handmade postcards, key chains and many more.
It’s great to see young generations making the most of their time by doing arts and crafts and sell it! You can see in the products they made their love and passion for anime! These young entrepreneurs got so much talent!
More and more anime items for anime lovers!
As you look around the event place, you get to enjoy more and more products everywhere from mangas written in English, body pillow covers printed with characters, ninja goods, and more. The area was filled with people buying limited items that can only be purchased here.
Meeting with the idols!
Aside from enjoying the various products from the food to the anime items, another reason to enjoy the Otaku Fest 2022 is meeting the famous Otaku Festival cosplayers “Charess” from Manila and “Drasnow” from Malaysia! Can you imagine meeting your idols upfront? Surely, can’t contain the excitement and happiness!
These idols have their own dedicated booths and if you a buy a photo, you can get their very own autograph! Also, for only just 1,000 pesos you can get an experience of once in a lifetime by having a two-shot shooting and story with Charess and Drasnow themselves! Isn’t that exciting? Now give your best smile and take a pose!
The cosplayers showing their best costumes and giving their best aura pose!
Cosplayers show off their hand-made costumes that is so sleek it looks at par with professional cosplayers. Beyond their creative costumes, everyone is so in character, you feel like you are in an anime movie! Click, click, click everywhere as there is non-stop photoshoot all over the place.
Face on, Game on!
As you tour around the event area, this side is filled with players hustling in their own battles, from video games to card competitions. See how everyone were giving their focus to aim the first place!
Nonetheless, congratulations to all the winners!
Sing and dance!
Everyone gathered in front of the stage for various performances, from sing and dance competition to cosplay competition. All performers poured their heart out in every performance they make as the crowd applauds and cheers for their bets!
Here is a short interview with the organizers about the origin of Otaku Fest and the future plans.
Is the word "OTAKU" commonly known in the Philippines?
Yes, "OTAKU" is used in the Philippines as a word that gives a positive impression, and people who are enthusiastic and enjoy something are called "OTAKU". Originally, it was a word referring to people who are passionate about anime, but recently the word "OTAKU" is used not only for anime such as K-POP, but also for other genres.
In Japan, we see not only young people but also middle-aged otaku.
In the Philippines, young geeks make up the majority. However, many of the organizers and artists involved in otaku events are middle-aged, and they support otaku culture from a different perspective.
What was the impetus for the beginning of "OTAKU FEST"?
In the beginning, there was a club at a university where students learned about Japanese anime and culture. I started event activities to collect operating expenses for the club. At first, it was a very small event held inside the university, but after a few years, the scale grew and the event began to be held outside the university. This later became "OTAKU FEST".
When did this OTAKU FEST start?
Since 2008. This year will be the 15th year. The first "OTAKU FEST" was a small event with about 100 visitors, but it continues to grow and is expected to attract 5,000 to 6,000 visitors this year.
How did "OTAKU" and other Japanese anime and culture become famous in the Philippines?
There is a famous TV program in the Philippines called Hero TV. It mainly broadcasts Japanese animation, and Filipino children are exposed to Japanese animation through this program. Children who watch anime through TV programs like this often develop an interest in Japanese culture and otaku culture.
What kind of anime is popular? Recently, a game called "Genshin Impact"
Recently, characters from a game called "Genshin Impact" are popular. An anime called "SPY×FAMILY" has also become popular in the past few weeks to a month. "Kimetsu no Yaiba" has been popular in recent years, but the anime that are currently attracting the most attention are "SPY x FAMILY" and "My Hero Academia."
Will this "OTAKU FEST" be held every year in the future? Also, please tell us about the future prospects of "OTAKU FEST".
Yes. We plan to hold the event every year in the future, and we would like to make it even bigger. We also hope to provide a place where various otaku in the Philippines can connect without discrimination. In the future, I would like to hold events and spread otaku culture toward that goal.
"OTAKU FEST 2022" started with a full blast and ended with great success. This coming May 2023, another big event will be held to gather anime lovers once again and is expected to be attended with more than 20,000 visitors. This 2 day big event is the “ 2023 Bon Odori” which will be held at Lapu-Lapu International University of Cebu (LCIC) in Lapu-Lapu City. This is a collaboration with a cosplay organizer and will be hosted by the Cebu Japanese Association.
We are also looking for sponsors for this big event! We are also looking for companies and stores to participate, so if you are interested, please contact the Cebu Japanese Association or use the form below! 90% of the visitors are Filipinos, so if you are doing business in Cebu, a company outside the Philippines or Cebu, or if you want to increase your visibility in Cebu. Please join us as we assure you that this event is the best way to market your business!