As they say in the entertainment industry, “The show must go on.”
The balmy and rainy weather, coinciding with the sudden cancellation of three cosplay guests on the day before the event, has not stopped Primetrade Asia, Inc. to hold The Best of Anime 2019 held from August 30 to September 1.
The cancellation of the three cosplayers from Taiwan—Momo, King and Chihiro—just hours before they were scheduled to appear has created a vacuum in the tight schedule line-up, as well as refunds for the event attendees who purchased their meet and greet appearances, creating a shadow of doubt hours before the event.
But it did not matter come event day, as thousands still went to the SMX Convention Center Manila, hoping to get a glimpse of the other guests such as UchuSentai:NOIZ, Starmarie and headline act BACK-ON, alongside with idol group Yumeoi Syoujo and cosplay guests from Kudos Kookie, Ichigo and Kiyo from Singapore.
Attendees were treated with the live-action film adaptations of Gintama and Ajin courtesy of Pioneer Films at the start of the event, while booths offered various items and merchandise from their favorite anime, video games and other fandom.
Aidoru Sozai, one of the most sought-after Filipino idol groups, performed at the BoA stage, captivating the audience and even the organizers themselves. However, their jovial performance was overshadowed by sadness over the graduation of one of their members, Yanachii, witnessed by their fans and the audience. Yumeoi Syoujo then introduced themselves to the Filipino crowd through their performance.
Segments like the Anime Sing Off contest, Anime Idol Dance Off, Battle of the Bands, and the All-Star Cosplay Competition, where more than 30 cosplayers strutted their stuff in front of judges Kiyo, Ichigo and Filipina cosplayer Diane provided the competitive spice in the event.
Starmarie, which has been a fixture for six Best of Anime events already, have proven themselves to be a top crowd drawer, performing their hits while making their fans electrified with excitement.
Then, the crowd became restless and giddy when BACK-ON performed their 30-minute set of hits such as “Nibun no Ichi” from Gundam Build Fighters, “Strike Back” and “Flyaway”, among others. The vocalists, Kenji03 and Teeda, made sure that their second Manila performance would be as memorable as their first, rousing the audience and giving the crowd the chance to sing their songs.
UchuSentai:NOIZ capped off the event with their outrageous show that has been their trademark. But the group also made sure that their third BoA appearance would be as memorable as their first two, with lead vocalist ANGEL-TAKA donning a pirate costume, and even ‘boating’ himself among the sea of people of BoA through an inflatable raft.
With a set list showcasing their timeless covers of “Pinoy Ako”, “Narda”, and “Liwanag sa Dilim”, together with their original songs and their never-ending antics, NOIZ rocked the SMX stage with their audience literally and figuratively once again for a total of two hours.
Despite the guest cancellations and the unpredictable weather that hounded the event, The Best of Anime 2019 still drew a sizable crowd that is comparable to their outings as a co-located event with the Manila International Book Fair, although it was noticeable that Sunday’s event drew a far larger crowd than Saturday.
Almost a decade has passed since The Best of Anime was first held, and from being a part of the country’s biggest book expo, it has grown leaps and bounds into the country’s top Anime convention.
The last-minute guest cancellations may have created a blemish in an event that was supposed to celebrate their first decade as one of the top anime conventions in the country, but with the crowds still coming and enjoying every single moment of it, it’s as if the hiccups did not matter to them.
What mattered for the organizers was that the audience had a lasting experience that they will remember, motivating the organizers to look into a brand new decade with the lessons of the past.
Anime Pilipinas is an Official Media Partner of The Best of Anime 2019. We would like to thank Primetrade Asia, Inc. for inviting us to the event.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of Anime Pilipinas, its members, partners, and colleagues. If you have comments or reactions, please email at [email protected].