On the 2nd of September 2018, we attended YumeZone as their Official Media Partner. The event was held in Asia Pacific University (APU), and no, the image above wasn’t taken at a 5 Minute Hero concert – it was actually from YumeZone 2018! Before I get ahead of myself, let’s check out what YumeZone had in store for us this year.
The event was held at APU’s newest building, with an ample amount of space for booths, activities and musical performances alike. The event space also had an open rooftop which offered great natural lighting for their main activities. The idea of allowing attendees to experience live music under the sun and well into the night was what sparked YumeZone’s two musical line-up sets: the Daydreamers and Stargazers. The Daydreamers’ line up started mid-day and ended around dusk whereas the Stargazers performed at night.
YumeZone described their event as an ACM (Anime, Comic & Music) event. However, a major highlight of their event was actually their concert, which I did not mind one bit. It is pretty different from the usual ACG line up and for their future events, I would like them to explore more on the musical aspect of the ACG community such as having panels related to the musician’s lives instead of just having two panels for comic and cosplay. And speaking of panels for comic and cosplay…
The first of the two panels was the Malaysian webcomic pun master, Abam Apam. His panel had one goal, which was to encourage younger talents to pursue their comic-drawing aspirations and not to be afraid of the challenges ahead – the very same challenges he mentioned in his panel.
Abam Apam listed each challenge that he had personally been through and how he had overcome them. Some were easy, some were particularly difficult but he had the same message throughout:
Do not be afraid and keep on striving for your dreams, even if the world attempts to stop you.
Fujiwara Kazuko & Weon Haur with Rikka Blurhound
Following Abam Apam’s panel was the cosplay panel by veteran local cosplayers Rikka Blurhound along with Weon Haur & Fujiwara Kazuko. How do cosplayers spend their free time? What are their ambitions and their goals? Why do they do it? These were some of the many questions Rikka, Weon Haur and Kazuko answered during the panel.
It provided a deep insight on the lives of the cosplayers and what they experienced pre-cosplay events, during and even after them. To learn their stories about their hard work and sleepless nights in creating amazing costumes was truly an eye-opener.
Her Majesty’s Mansion
Her Majesty’s Mansion, if you didn’t already know, is a Maid & Butler Cafe. Back at it again with a new theme, Dream Girl, patrons got a “personal girlfriend” experience during their allocated timeslots. Emphasis on the personal. Every patron was able to pick a girlfriend for the base 30 minutes and have private conversations without anyone third-wheeling. Fans of HMM have been asking for this for a long time and they finally got to spend some one-on-one quality time with their favourite maids!
What is an ACG (Sorry, ACM!) event without a gaming tournament? YumeZone 2018 came with their own gaming gears and held their own gaming tournament during the event. With additional support from INC (Infinite Carnage) & Hitbox Gaming, YumeZone held Tekken 7, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Under Night In-Birth & Marvel vs Capcom Infinite tournaments. With all these fighting games being offered, the gaming tournament attracted many attendees to try their hands on becoming the champion.
The Daydreamers were the first to wow the crowd with their musical talents at noon. The lineup consisted of Suzuya Inami, Rei, Fate Feather, Yumi Rumi, Orion 4 and Reina C, most of which are known for their slow anime songs. Most notable were Fate Feather and Suzuya Inami, who have impressive vocals that wowed the audience with their selections of songs.
As the day went on, the songs went on from slow ballads to electrifying J-Rock – a sure sign that it is twilight and the Stargazers were approaching, but we were not quite done with the Daydreamers’ final performance by Reina C. Her songs were fast-paced, powerful and when mixed with her amazing vocals, it was a performance that deserved praise. The crowd just could not get enough of Reina.
Night had fallen and the line-up of Stargazers was here. Determined not to be outdone by the Daydreamers, Stargazers made sure that Yumezone ended on a high note. Definitely the strongest part of the entirety of YumeZone 2018 with the likes of Crestfall Shuffle, Nandemo Ii, Miracle Beat & 5 Minute Hero; these last few performances were definitely worth waiting for.
Stargazers’ line-up were mostly bands. Unlike Daydreamers where the performances focused on the vocals of the singers, Stargazers were bands who could dial up the hyped atmosphere all the way up to 11pm. Each of them rocked the audience with their instruments… before 5 Minute Hero made their grand appearance and broke the dial.
Without a doubt, 5 Minute Hero stole the show at YumeZone 2018. Their performance never ceased to amaze me, having everyone so engaged and celebrating their love for anime, the culture and obviously, the music. It was the best way they could have closed off the event.
Of course, YumeZone 2018 had its flaws, and there are a lot of ways that YumeZone could improve in the future. Some of my suggestions would be to fully embrace the core concept of music with more panels related to music and rearrange some of the performances so the hype stays strong from the start till the end.
Overall, in comparison with the standard ACG-event template, a music-focused event is a breath of fresh air and it has the potential to become something huge. We hope to see YumeZone again next year, bigger and better.
What were your favourite parts of YumeZone 2018? Let us know in the comments below!