The 2013 edition of Comic Fiesta came and went, and certainly it did not dissapoint, at least in the eyes of Japanese Culture fans in Malaysia. This two day celebration of Manga, Anime and Cosplay is certainly the largest ever, with over 40 thousand fans in attendance. It’s a nice bump from the 25 thousand visitors last year and firmly stamped Comic Fiesta as THE premiere ACG event in Malaysia.

The difference that one year made is staggering. Now encompassing all of the ground level halls at Kuala Lumpur City Centre, it certainly looks and more importantly feels much, much larger than before. And as such, everything is given a bump up. There are a lot more doujin booths, the stage is a whole lot bigger, more sponsor stands, and most importantly for the 99% that went there, more rooms to take pictures of the cosplayers. In fact the organisers this year even dedicated a special changing area for the cosplayers, something that is unheard of years before.

The Comic Fiesta committee certainly did their homework. And after years of doing this event (non paid I must add), they have try to make this experience the best ever for everyone that visited. And they succeeded somewhat. Most of the attendees had a good time, even though majority of them had to line up since 7am and the latecomers even have to endure a 4km (!) long line just to get to the ticket hall. And there are something for everyone. Like Cosplay? There are the cosplay competition on both days. Like doujins? Then the doujin booths that showcase local talents are there to be visited. Like Pokemons? Then they can pit their wits (as well as their Pokemons) against each other in a Pokemon Tourney. Like fighting games? Marvel vs Capcom 3 is there to be won. Wants something that actually make you use your brains? There was a large RPG quest game. In such, everyone certainly would find something to do in Comic Fiesta.

DMYO, Danny Choo and Ikkyu-sensei

DMYO, Danny Choo and Ikkyu-sensei

And it’s certainly not Comic Fiesta without special guests. And these guests are catered specially due to their involvement in Japanese Culture. Danny Choo, a well known blogger living in Japan that tirelessly promotes Japanese Culture throughout the world made his second appearance in Comic Fiesta. A self-made entrepreneur, he showcased his “Smart Doll” project to the masses here, proving that when there is a will, there is certainly a way. With him comes DMYO (Shirahane Nao) and Ikkyu, two Japanese illustrators, one who already made a name for herself while another just starting, giving everyone a glimpse of their world. Redjuice of Supercell’s fame also came for his second visit to Comic Fiesta, this time with a special exhibition in tow. Also Vofan, the Taiwanese illustrator that gained fame by doing the artwork for the original Bakemonogatari novels reveals his world, and how it was to work for the Japanese industry and the difference with Taiwan.

In something different, four (!) guest cosplayers were also invited to cater to the growing cosplay scene in Malaysia. Onnies, Yeugene Fay, stayxxxx and Xrystal showed their costume making talents, as well as their thoughts on the cosplay scenes to their fans, as well as people that who were curious on the allure of cosplaying. They were also part of the judging committee for the cosplay competition, giving comments and advice to all the participants.

In something new this year, Comic Fiesta also invited ppy, the inventor of the hit rythm game, OSU! While there are a lot of ACG fans that plays game, not much of them actually know how to create one, least how to actually find the correct target market and how to popularise it. Ppy gives his thought on his adventures, the creation of OSU!, as well as his move from Australia to Japan to further expand his market and also how he is making a living with OSU!. For sure many aspiring game developers has had learnt something good from the meeting with ppy.

Last but not least, there was a mini concert featuring composer K’z of Livetune. Popular for the composing of many famous vocaloid songs, as well as the opening of OreImo sung by pop duo Claris, his mini concert was met with much enthusiasm by all attendees, who even without lightsticks still made sure that the mini concert feels like it was a full blown concert in Japan. K’z also earlier in the day talked about composing, and how the Vocaloid software helped him with his career.

All in all it was a big and resounding success for Comic Fiesta, altho personally we feel that some changes were not really worth upgrading. Most, if not all industry talks featuring the guests were relegated to a cramped room, and not the stage as with it had been done for years prior. This means that not everyone can listen to these talks, making it a missed opportunity. The stage itself feels like an attempt to be too much of a concert stage, and too darkly lit for our liking. Comic Fiesta’s stage usually feels friendly and bright, and the dim and dark stage this year really made us ignore what happened on it most of the time. To be honest, a concert stage is not what Comic Fiesta is famous for. The overall feel of Comic Fiesta this year also was mature, much too mature for our liking. It’s like seeing a close friend of yours finally grew up and being too serious, but honestly that’s just us.

We had a mostly good time at Comic Fiesta, and we wish them all the best for the 2014 edition. Who knows, they might be able to compete with AFA as one of the largest ACG/Anime related event in this region. We surely hope so.