The creators of Middle East Film & Comic Con are bringing ANI:ME, the biggest celebration of Japanese popular culture to the Middle East. The event will include activities such as Amezaiku, Kimono Dressing, SanaSenaBona, Real Monster Battle, Mochi Pounding, Hatsune Miku Augmented Reality Photo Booth, classic ANI:ME and manga experience.
The festival promises something for everyone and will take place from 27th to 29th October at the du Forum, Yas Island with tickets now on sale at Virgin Megastores and through the Ticketmaster website. These guests and activities add to an already packed roster including Anisong bands JAM Project and Flow, manga veteran Yoshitaka Amano, sword fighter Tetsuro Shimaguchi and more, all coming to the Middle East for the first time.
Hatsune Miku Photo Experience
Hatsune Miku, a Japanese music sensation, is a 16-year-old blue-haired girl with a unique voice and prodigious energy. She’s one of the best known singing idols out of Japan, but what makes her special is that she is not human but a virtual persona who uses a computer-generated voice and 3D graphics, bringing a truly inexplicable persona to life on stage! Yet, being virtual hasn’t stopped her from filling up concert halls, or teaming up with major artists like Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams! At ANI:ME, fans will have the chance to get their picture with the singing idol at the Hatsune Miku augmented reality photo booth. This is truly a rare opportunity to get a memory with the ‘sound of the future’!
Classic Anime and Manga
Take a walk down memory lane at ANI:ME with classic manga and anime like Grendizer, Astroganger (Jongar) and Aizenborg. Expect official merchandise for sale, giant statues and the biggest Grendizer inflatable fans will ever set their eyes on! All this and more brought to ANI:ME by the amazing team at Cultures Factory, exclusively for the event and the fans! The CineClub will also show some of the most loved anime like Studio Ghibli classics, The Last: The Naruto Movie, Dragonball Z: Resurrection F and much more!
Real Monster Battle – Augmented Reality Game
With the HADO Real Monster Battle, players get to fight monsters in real time using a Virtual Reality (VR) headset and all their wits and tactics! In this fantasy themed augmented reality game, players can shoot fireballs, collect power ups and unleash special attacks to defeat the monsters in their way!
Maidreamin, a Maid Café restaurant in Japan was founded in 2008 and has grown to become the largest maid cafe chain in the world with over 17 locations and over 400 servants from Japan and around the world. The servants are waiting for their masters or princesses to arrive. Enjoy an experience unlike any other as the idols perform their world famous original songs and much more!
Amezaiku is a traditional Japanese folk art of sculpting candy into a variety of shapes using tweezers, scissors and softened candy heated to 90 degrees. During the Heian period, the art of amezaiku was imported from China and was probably first used in Japan for candy offerings made at temples in Kyoto. The amezaiku craft spread beyond the temple when many forms of street performances of the craft flourished in Japan. It is said that even in Japan, there may be only a handful of people who still practice this hundreds-year-old art form. Shinri Tezuka, one of the few amezaiku practitioners in Japan, is coming to ANI:ME to teach the fans this ancient practice.
Experience the art of traditional Kimono dressing as native Japanese kimono dressers show fans how to drape and don the silky garment. Guests will be professionally fitted and can even buy one of the pieces to make their own!
SanaSenaBona is a “paperbag fairy” idol group from Sasebo, Japan. The 3-piece girl group are best known to sing, dance and share stories about the place they call home! Grab those dancing shoes and prepare to be entertained by these lovely idols!
Mochi is a traditional food served during Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi Pounders soak the rice in water overnight and cooked in traditional wooden steamers. Then, the polished glutinous rice is pounded with wooden mallets (Kine) in a traditional mortar (Usu). It requires two people to work together – one pounding the Mochi while the other turning and wetting the Mochi with water to prevent it from sticking to the mallet. The Mochi is shaped by hand once the pounding process is complete. Fans can try creating their own Mochi in their favourite flavors!
Professional Japanese cosplayer Enako, has been gaining fans from across the world since she started cosplaying in 2007. Now one of the most popular Japanese cosplayers around, she is a staple at conventions around Asia and she will be coming to Abu Dhabi and the Middle East for the first time at ANI:ME!
Tickets are priced from AED 650 for a 3 Day VIP entry to AED 150 for a 1 Day entry.