AFA STATION was AFA’s second stab at the digital convention scene! It follows AFA United, their first attempt, which was a two-day digital event with various panels dedicated to various pop culture content.
This event report covers the happenings of AFA STATION, which took place between September 5 – September 6, 2020!
During the Gundam Station section, Ash and Plithe talked about all things Gundam! Ash, being a huge Gundam fan, enthusiastically announced that the whole season of Gundam Build Divers: Re Rise was available on youtube and he recommended it for both long-time fans and for those who are looking into dipping their toes into the Gundam franchise.
The highlight of this section was the interview with Chiaki Kobayashi, Hiroto’s voice actor. He mentioned that he really didn’t have much in common with the character now, but when he was younger, like Hiroto, he really valued his independence and that he really didn’t like asking for help. When asked about his favorite moment during filming, he mentioned that it was Eve’s parting scene that struck him the most. He didn’t expect Hiroto to have gone through so much and that it actually explained his drive to fight. He remembered that he cried while recording both the test and live versions of that scene. Chiaki hadn’t built a Gunpla before being cast as Chiaki but when he was hired, he decided that he wanted the Earthree to become his first Gunpla model. He bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t get his hands on the Uraven Gunpla and that he couldn’t help but feel conflicted over the model being very popular.
During the Gundam Station, Dream Express’s Gundam Virtual Run was mentioned. Participants could take part in either of the two tracks: the Gundam Race Pack, which is for more-seasoned runners, and the Zaku Pack for those who are new to the running scene. Participants would get cool prizes for participating, such as t-shirts and Gundam-inspired facemasks.
The next panel featured Komazawa Isolation, the trio behind the viral “walking like a video game in real life” video. It is interesting to note that it took around 2 weeks to produce said video, with the editing being the longest part. They made the video just to have fun and they did not expect that it would blow up worldwide.
The next panel featured the newly-released game, No Straight Roads. Wan Hazmer and Dexter Tam from Metronomik introduced the new mode, Crazy Mode. Hazmer talked about how working for Square Enix had influenced his work on the game, and it was interesting to learn that the voice actors were encouraged to keep their Malaysian accents.
The next section was of VTuber Aimu Sora with his guest, popular voice actor Kensho Ono. Both Ono and Sora narrated the story of Momotaro while playing various characters. Ono had a special message for the fans where he thanked them and said that after the pandemic is over he’d love to travel all over the world and to meet his fans.
Sora Tokui had a Q&A session where her love for Singapore’s Hokkien Mee was made even more apparent. She also reminisced about her bilingual video during AFA United and talked about being amazed at how well Google did in translating Japanese to English for her.
For Fate Stay Night fans, there was a panel dedicated to the movie Heaven’s Feel III Spring Song. Sakura Matou’s Voice Actress, Noriko Shitaya (who has been playing the role for 15 years) had a short message expressing her elation on being able to bring this particular chapter of Fate to Singapore and Malaysia. The fan screening is on 12-13 September (Singapore) and the general release is on 17 September.
Day 2 started with the finals for the Great AFA exam! Here, participants tested how familiar they are with the colorful history of AFA.
For Gundam fans, a special virtual tour of the Gundam Cafe in Akihabara was given during the next panel. Besides being able to experience dining in a themed cafe designed to look as if you’re dining from space, various Gundam related goodies can also be seen and bought in the cafe.
Aimu Sora had another section for this day where he got to talk with Shinichiro Kamio, the voice actor of Rio Maison Busujima from Hypnosis Mic. One of the highlights of this panel was when Kamio decided to up and leave his previous job at the age of 29 years after his manager gave him advice about work; he was told that the job one has at the age of 30 will be the job they’ll have for the rest of their life.
Pokelabo’s popular game SINoALICEhad a panel where the producer Shogo Maeda introduced new players to the wonderfully twisted world of fairytales as envisioned by Yoko Taro of NieR:Automata fame. The hosts and Maeda participated in the step-up gacha, where they competed in getting the most SRs out of the banner.
AFA STATION ended with a bang as popular Vtuber Kiryu Coco graced AFA STATION, took over, and renamed it with AFACoco (a pun on AsaCoco, her popular early-morning live streams)! She was really pleased to note that the interviewer was familiar with her work. Coco was asked to introduce Hololive, and as expected of the shitposter with a heart of gold, she did so with a joke aimed at Yagoo. She then talked about her co-workers like Houshou Marine, then poked fun at herself when she mentioned that she got high on sleeping pills while streaming. When asked about her daily schedule she mentioned that she’s not very big on planning and that she’s more of a spontaneous kind of dragon. She also talked about her current living situation with fellow Hololivers, Amane Kanata, and Hoshimachi Suisei. When asked which Hololiver she’d add to the house if she could pick one more, she chose Tsunomaki Watame. On the topic of overseas reception, it was noted that she was online on Reddit a lot and she mentioned that she was active there as a means of observing people. She found a lot of shitposts, so she just had to do the well-received meme review.
All in all, AFA STATION was a good attempt at a digital convention and we are looking forward to seeing more conventions like this one!
Did you join AFA STATION? Tell us about your experience on our Twitter account!
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