Ever since it started in 2011, The Best of Anime has been synonymous as an event co-located with the much-revered Manila International Book Fair (MIBF).
Since then, the event has evolved from just being a smaller cousin of MIBF, to becoming one of the most awaited Japanese pop-culture events of the year, and with reason.
From the glitz & glamour of the cosplay guests who have graced its stage, to musical acts that made a big presence on stage, ranging from the viral Uchusentai:NOIZ, to the phenomenal Eir Aoi and the magical Haruna Luna, as well as rock-infused tones of Heidi and INKT, and even the quirky antics of Joe Inoue.
The Best of Anime, or “BoA” as we all know, has never failed in its quest to bring top-notch entertainment to its audience.
This year, they are making a bold move. Because for the first time in its seven-year history, BoA will happen a weekend before its bigger sister event, which would be both a challenge and an opportunity for them to shine as a worthy event in their own right.
The big question is… Is The Best of Anime ready to face the world on their own?
We will give you the main highlights and what can you expect on the highly-popular event this year, and as ever, we’ll give you our fearless forecast on what to expect this weekend.
It could now be revealed that in 2014, the organizers was about to lock-in the Japanese rock band Spyair to perform in the country, in what could possibly be its biggest coup yet, as the band was still fresh in the minds of every anime fan due to one of their songs, “Imagination”, being used as the opening theme of the popular volleyball anime Haikyuu!!
But, on May 2014, or a few months before a supposed announcement was to be made, vocalist Ike contracted health problems, necessitating the band to go on hiatus. Instead, they invited Heidi, which gave the audience some much-needed J-rock fix.
Fast forward to three years later, the quartet of Ike, UZ, Momiken and Kenta are finally coming in to Manila to finally be with their fans, and perform the songs that were used in different anime series like Samurai Flamenco, Haikyuu!!, and Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans just to name a few.
The band will perform on Sunday, September 10, at the Ongaku Fest Stage Area located at Function Room 1.
Aside from Spyair, the fantasy idol group Starmarie will be making their comeback at The Best of Anime after several years to bring again their trademark bubblegum performance at the Main Stage on Saturday.
Local anisong bands like Project: MATERIA, Sanctuary Ship, and Asterysk* also add spice to the musical lineup.
Reika, Yuegene Fay team up
Of course, BoA would not be complete without its stellar cosplay guests, and they pulled out not just one, but two cosplay superstars to liven up the event with their cosplay prowess and also share their knowledge as well.
For the first time in The Best of Anime history, Japan’s Reika and Thailand’s Yuegene Fay will be joining forces, together with Taiwanese cosplayers Liu and Hana, who will be making their Philippine debut on the event, to fancy the audience with their costumes and at the same time, inspire their fans through their panels, meet and greet sessions, and performances.
Speaking of Cosplay, The Best of Anime will also hold their traditional All-Star Cosplay Competition and the BoA Interschool Cosplay Competition.
Now Showing: BoA Movie Marathon
Aside from the music and cosplay activities, there are also different booths abound in the event, as well as the traditional merchandising and sponsor booths for everyone to try to.
A more interesting highlight of the event is the BoA Movie Marathon at the main stage area. Three of the top Japanese films will be screened at the event stage, in partnership with local film distributor Pioneer Films.
Japanese live-action movies Your Lie in April, Death Note: Light up The New Word, and the blockbuster anime movie hit your name. (Kimi no Na wa.) will be making their first screenings since their theatrical runs at the event.
The Battle of the Bands and Karatedo Demonstrations complete the whole BoA experience.
How Much and How to Enter?
Online ticket pre-sales for the event have closed last September 3, so if you have bought your tickets online, you have to bring the confirmation e-mail which contains the QR Code of the entry pass you bought, alongside one valid ID for confirmation.
As for the walk-in ticket sales, Prices range from PHP300 for the regular event entry pass per day, PHP2,000 for the Regular Concert Pass, which assures entry for Day 2 and the Ongaku Fest Concert, and PHP3,000 for the VIP Pass, which assures entry on both days of the event, reserved seating for the concert, and a free Spyair T-shirt and Poster.
Meet and greet sessions for Reika, Yuegene Fay, Liu and Hana, and Starmarie cost PHP700 per session, while the Meet and Greet for Spyair costs PHP1,000 on top of the entry prices above.
As always, SMX Convention Center – Manila is inside the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, which is in front of the Mall of Asia Arena.
Because the event will be held for the first time on a different date from Manila International Book Fair, we expect smooth sailing entry to the Function Rooms, although the people traffic inside the venue may still depend on how many people will attend on the event.
Just to highlight one important rule, NO PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO RECORDING ALLOWED during the concert. Please respect the performers, as well as your fellow audience who wants to enjoy the performance.
A Test of Independence
As we have stated in the top of the article, this is the first time The Best of Anime will be separate from its bigger sibling event, it is now in the hands of Primetrade Asia and the fans to surpass the same level of excitement and enjoyment experienced in the past.
The Best of Anime’s ‘trial separation’ from the MIBF can be a double-edged sword. Its measure of success or failure will depend on the fans who are ready to accept BoA as an event worthy of being a true blue competitor to the major Japanese pop culture events in the country. The Best of Anime will try once again to break barriers, as it tries also to test its own independence.
To the organizers, we wish them the very best on this new experiment that they are planning to do, while we hope everyone who will be attending to enjoy and have fun.
See you at the event!
The Best of Anime 2017 is happening on September 9-10, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center – Manila, inside the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. Tickets are on-sale at the venue.
Anime Pilipinas is an Official Media Partner of The Best of Anime 2017.