With the conclusion of AniManGaki 2018 held on the 18th and 19th of August, we have to admit: they never stopped amazing us year after year! The role-playing game (RPG) themed event this year was held as usual at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, and was filled with fun activities and lively stage performances that took fans on a wonderful journey through rivers of tears, caves of nostalgia and mountains of adrenaline-rushes. It is an unforgettable experience to be at an event where enthusiasts of different interests gathered together and bonded.
We’ve compiled a few of our favourite highlights so you can catch up on what you may have missed at AniManGaki 2018! The emcees of the event were none other than our favourite duo, GG Twins and also a veteran in the community, Dante who were constantly on the move to entertaining the audience. Let’s not forget the esteemed guest, Donna Burke, who gave the stage an extra shine whenever she’s on stage with the trio.
1. ANIMANGAKI IDOL X: BATTLE ROYALE
The main attraction of AniManGaki, where 9 heroes from the previous 10 years stepped into the limelight once more to determine the champion among the winners with the addition of two new challengers. I was honestly hyped for this the most as I had high expectations for the battle among the best singers out there, and what can I say? It did not disappoint.
Each singer had their story to tell on stage with their powerful voices. Even if the songs weren’t familiar to me, I was moved by their passion and charisma. The orchestra and backup singers were brilliant in supporting the singers to further escalate the level of their performances.
The interval between the announcement of the winners and the last contestant was nicely filled by our emcees and also the awesome rendition of songs from the movie, The Greatest Showman from all the contestants. Announcement time was an unforgettable moment for Tan Zie Ann, who was crowned the champion of Battle Royale. Three other contestants, Kaoru, Johan and Alissa were also awarded for moving Donna, Lynn and K3N’s hearts.
2. Donna Burke and Ganime Jazz Night Concert
Need I say more? The concert was most certainly the highlight of the night for Day One. We were graced by the opening act of our talented local violinist, Luna Lorrain, who played emotional songs and tunes that gave me goosebumps from the sheer vibratos of her violin. (Did anyone else tear up during Dearly Beloved or Simple and Clean?)
It was then time for the esteemed Donna Burke and Ganime Jazz to perform, coming up with songs that made fans emotional, especially for those who are hardcore fans of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. The song Sins of The Father was a tremendous performance even for someone who isn’t a fan of the franchise like myself. They debuted a new song right there in the AMG hall – To Zanarkand, the main theme of Final Fantasy X. What a huge gift by Ganime Jazz for us Malaysian fans! Donna’s quirky personality on stage was a joy to watch as well; she never stopped amusing the audience. The concert ended with a totally unplanned encore of Sins of The Father as well as the sudden appearance of Malaysia’s Hideo Kojima lookalike.
3. AniManGaki Cosplay Xth
Anone anone! Did you know that our local cosplayers are incredibly creative and talented? This year, the chosen ones had to incorporate the use of the LED SCREEN in their skits to create the best performance to woo the judges. There were some that really stood out but one team came out as the top for being the most entertaining and creative. The first place undoubtedly went to the team that gave the anime Cells at Work! a new episode – Team “When Jokes Become Reality”!
The voice acting, timing of the video and most importantly their slow-motion battle were the best aspects of their performance for me. Their efforts paid off as they won their throne, a crowning that was also graced by the presence of Russian cosplayer and guest Serg Loki Mirage. The team received an invitation to Cosplay Invitational and also a hamper of loot!
1. AMG Gaming Area
The dedicated gaming area of Animangaki is always a big attraction and this year was no different. Organized by Leon Soo and his gaming team: Infinite Carnage (InC), the gaming area for AMG this year featured a whole bunch of groundbreaking gaming set-ups and community activities, so let’s do a quick run through of all of them.
First off, there was The Rift, Malaysia’s biggest and most advanced VR park who came on board with InC and brought Beat Saber to the party – a VR musical action game that had attendees lining up all weekend for a chance to play.
Hitbox Gaming and Gamesfusion, two of InC’s close partners, were also part of the gaming section for the 2nd consecutive year. Hitbox brought a Playstation VR set-up which allowed many attendees to experience the joy of talking to an anime girl in VR (Summer Lesson), while Gamesfusion brought Mario Kart on the Switch and Just Dance – which ended up creating a non-stop dance party that went on from morning till the very end of the event on both days.
Next up was a very cool offering from a fresh start-up called RareTech that specializes in making custom video game controllers. RareTech showed up with possibly one of the most ambitious projects that any ACG event has ever seen: a homemade, built from scratch, fully functional Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) machine.
RareTech’s DDR machine invoked a massive wave of nostalgia as old school players flocked to the machine over the weekend, while many young attendees were also eager to try out the mythical arcade game that has slowly become a rare relic as public arcades become less and less prominent.
Finally, we have the main attraction and one of the most important annual traditions for the Malaysian Fighting Game Community: The Animangaki All-Star Arena fighting game tournaments. This year, the All-Star Arena featured 5 different tournaments and was a joint collaboration between 3 different teams: Infinite Carnage, Airdasher Malaysia and the Malaysian Tekken Society.
With over a hundred tournament entries for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Tekken 7 and Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, this was the biggest All-Star Arena yet, proving that the Malaysian Fighting Game Community is still growing year after year, with fresh new players joining the same dedicated veterans that show up to make the tournament happen every year.
The biggest highlight of the All-Star Arena this year was the finals of the Malaysian Varsity Fighting Tour, an ambitious project by InC which gathered the best Tekken 7 players from universities all over Selangor and KL, including Taylor’s, Sunway, INTI, KDU and UCSI, just to name a few.
The final showdown took place on the main stage at Day Two, where Danny Lo from President College went up against Jason Fong from Inti College. It was a thrilling match in front of the full crowd of AMG attendees, with many hype moments drawing huge cheers from the audience in a spectacular match that had many close rounds and perfects by both players, with in-house commentary provided by InC’s newest casting trio: Bryan Lim, Marcus Chen and Raja Kamarol.
In the end, Danny Lo would triumph on the main stage to become the grand champion of the first ever Malaysia Varsity Fighting Tour, winning a brand new Qanba Crystal Joystick courtesy of InC. The remaining players in top 8 didn’t go home empty handed either, as they won prizes sponsored by MSI while the 2nd and 3rd place finishers also received new joysticks from InC. AMG 2018 was a terrific showing for InC and the Malaysian Fighting Game community with many new players and volunteers stepping up to make it one of the greatest community events yet, and we can’t be more excited to see what they have planned for next year!
If you’re a fan of fighting games, don’t hesitate to check out the InC Facebook page for details about their weekly fighting game community gatherings, where players of all skill levels are welcome to join at any time.
2. Her Majesty’s Mansion’s Save Point 2.0
Part Two of Save Point from the previous event Ctrl+Alt Gaming, a new batch of maids and butlers could be seen at Sanook in the Sunway Pyramid West Hotel. The maids and butlers provided AniManGaki ticket holders a relaxing and pampering atmosphere where they can feast as masters of the café. This Fountain of Life really helped their masters regain their Health Points (HP) to fight through the massive crowds in the battle area once more.
3. Collector’s Labyrinth
Passionate fans gathered in the room filled with figurines, toys and collectibles in the Collector’s Labyrinth. Other than that, featured cosplay guests 霜月Shimo, Momo and Reiko喵儿 were also there to melt your hearts with a smile. Cosplayers and figurines not your cup of tea? Artists were there to wow you with their masterpieces displayed! Heroes who traveled far and near could witness this magnificent treasure labyrinth before heading off on their journey.
4. Doujin Booths
What quest does not produce rewards and what event would it be without souvenirs? Local and international artists displayed their talents once more, making it difficult for anyone to control their wallets while walking through those aisles. From keychains, handicrafts, prints to cosplay photobooks, there was something for everyone at the doujin booth area. As usual, the aisles were jam-packed with people so hopefully, in future events, they could widen the spacing between aisles a little more for better flow.
Overall, I had a splendid time as an event attendee and cosplayer. The NPCs (non-playable characters) of the event were really helpful and sporting and were never AFK (away from keyboard) whenever someone needed them. Need I say more? This event truly is one of those Beginner Pack providers to jumpstart your journey within the Anime, Comics and Games (ACG) community. It is an experience you can’t really log out fully, leaving you in wait for their new Game+ option to appear once more! Happy Tenth Anniversary, AniManGaki!
What was your favourite part of AniManGaki 2018, and what was your most memorable experience during this event? Let us know in the comments below!