Otaku paradise

Otaku paradise

The 13th annual Ani-com & Games will have it all for local fans of the genre from costumes to fun competitions

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Costumes and collectibles will be on full display during the five-day extravaganza at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Costumes and collectibles will be on full display during the five-day extravaganza at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Photos: ACGHK
Anime fandom reaches its peak every summer in Hong Kong, and it's easy to see why. Around this time each year, hundreds of thousands descend on Wan Chai for the biggest animation, comic and game-related exhibition in the city.

The 13th annual Ani-com & Games Hong Kong (ACGHK) kicks off tomorrow and will run until Tuesday at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre. In other words, if you're an otaku, there's nowhere else you'd rather be over the next five days.

The event boasts more than 500 booths featuring everything from animations, comics and games to electronics and collectibles. Last year, 680,000 visitors flocked to the event. This year organisers hope to break that record.

Anime-lovers enjoy dressing up as their favourite cartoon characters. It's all part of the attraction of role playing. And one of the highlights of the event is the ACG Cosplay Contest. Twenty finalists will compete for the 2011 crown, which will be decided on the final day.

For those interested in design, there's the Figure Design Competition, which will showcase the best designers in Hong Kong. This year's theme is "The Alliance of Childhood Dream Heroes", with the winner of the Open division receiving a cash prize of HK$10,000. All winning and eye-catching works will be on display.

Guest stars from Japan - FNS, Tokyo Brass Style and ViVid - and local artists Wildchild and Sugar Club will perform at the HeartBeat Band Sound Competition.

The festivities would not be complete without a dance competition. This year's Dance Power Competition will have three categories - jazz, hip hop and freestyle - for local dancers to flaunt their skills on stage. The panel of judges will consist of big-name dancers from the US, Australia, Taiwan and China.

You can also meet well-known comic book authors and illustrators.

If that's your thing, then be sure to attend the Masters' Autographs Session, featuring prominent manhwa artist and writer Wong Yuk-long and master Lego builder Kazuyoshi Naoe.

ACGHK has also set aside a special exhibition area for less well-known artists. The Independent Comic Artists' Exhibition will allow indie artists to showcase their works to a wider audience.

As in previous years, the event will bring back their Free Walker for ACG Costume promotion. Originally only 800 visitors who registered online and arrived in costumes received free admission. As the response this year was better than expected, organisers have increased the quota to 1,100 visitors per day.

Come tomorrow, anime fever will officially be in full swing again in Hong Kong. Animation, comics, games collectibles - there will be something for everyone.

So see you at ACGHK, which is billed as the one-stop destination for everything an otaku loves and needs.

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