Anime fans assemble! And non-anime fans, please assemble right behind them. AniCom is back, but this year isn’t just for diehard fans – there is something for everyone, no matter what you’re into. Hong Kong’s AniCom and Games Fair, also known as ACGHK, will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre next weekend, and Young Post has seven reasons why you should be getting excited about it, even if you are new to the scene.
1 It’s not just anime
From the name alone it’s clear that there’ll be something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of anime, comics or games.
Veteran fans will be delighted to see familiar industry giants – Xbox, TOEI Animations and MangaShop will be making appearances – and newbies will be thrilled at the range of merchandise on offer.
There will also be a Creative Paradise booth, which celebrates creativity and, more specifically, doujinshi or self-published work – typically comics or manga created by amateurs or independent artists.
If you’re feeling inspired, HK Comics Competition and Independent Comic Artists’ Exhibition offers the chance to get involved.
If you prefer to support rather than participate, check out the International Comics Masters’ Autograph session, where you can get your favourite comic masters’ autographs!
2 Mainstream fun
If you like action figures, or even action films, ACGHK’s stalls and exhibits also feature favourites like Marvel, Star Wars and LEGO.
GUNPLA – assembling and painting characters and vehicles from the Gundam universe – will also be a highlight, with the GUNPLA Builders World Cup being held at the con, alongside the HK Figure Design Competition.
3 Get your dancing shoes on
What better way to lift the mood than with some high-spirited dancing? Sadly, auditions for the HK Dance Power Competition have already ended, but you can still enjoy the finalists’ performances. The final will include hip hop, freestyle and jazz performances. Previous judges have been famous names in the dance industry, including Hong Kong choreographer Sunny Wong and Korea’s Asian Dance Festival winner J-Black, so you won’t want to miss this year’s event.
4 Fun for all the family
The age range for this event is 12-30 years old. That means if your parents want to come with you, that’s no problem. Even if they aren’t into the same stuff as you, there’ll be something to entertain them. As well as comics and manga, the many bookshops at ACGHK will also be selling other books, too, like tour guides, cooking books, and those dreaded Maths Made Easy books for little kids... which means there is even something for your younger siblings. Combine that with the offerings from LEGO and Toys 'R' Us, and the con has something for the whole family.
5 Cosplay competitions
ACGHK’s official website wasn’t kidding when they said they had a variety of activities this year. There are three cosplay events, from dressing up yourself to the ACG Cosplay Competition to the Asian Pacific Cosplay Carnival. If you have ever wanted to see your favourite fictional characters in the flesh, this is your chance.
6 Music fans rejoice
HeartBeat ACG Pop has is highlighting what is probably a new genre of music for most people: anime music. Similar to cartoon soundtracks, people might think that anime music is just for kids. But it’s actually pretty inspirational stuff sometimes. Actual bands are hired to write songs for series and some of them are really good. Unravel, the opening theme for the Tokyo Ghoul series, was so popular it went viral upon its release, with millions of instrumental, acoustic and vocal covers.
7 A feel good buzz
If you still aren’t bubbling with enthusiasm at the thought of the con, just think of the atmosphere. With so many people having fun, getting excited by their passion, and so many events and energetic music, it would be impossible for even the most unenthusiastic people to have a bad time. Summer is a time for energy and excitement, so let ACGHK wipe away your fatigue from the school year, and lift up your spirits.
Despite the undeniable noise and crowd, ACGHK is definitely worth going to. This year the con runs from July 29 to August 2 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.