After three years, the Best of Anime convention returned to the local anime and cosplay scene last Sept. 16, making a steady comeback for more pop culture events. Organized by Primetrade Asia, the event has brought to the stage an impressive roster of performers and various activities for attendees to enjoy.
Titled “The Best of Anime 2023: The Reunion,” the event celebrated the convention's return because it wasn’t held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, previously a two-day event, this year’s leg of Best of Anime was only held for one day. Despite the one-day run, attendees could still bask in all things anime and Japanese culture in its programs and booths in the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Setting up the stage with music and thrill
Kicking off in the morning, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a vibrant performance by J-Pop cover idol group, Pastel Mix. Based in Davao City, the group has performed several songs from popular idol groups such as AKB48, Love Live!, Babymetal, and more. This was then followed by three competitions which included a singing contest, a lolita fashion competition, and a group idol dance contest. These events surely kept audiences on their toes and eyes in awe of the talent displayed on stage.
During the event’s program, attendees could roam around the convention and enjoy the various exhibitors, artists, and food booths stationed around the venue. From official anime merchandise to fan-made and original content, there was a lot to see and purchase from the booths. It’s also to be noted that there was also a booth for the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines which promoted its study abroad programs for attendees. Additionally, Ani-One, an anime streaming platform had its official local launch during the event
In the presence of local and international stars
After lunch, the next segment of the convention’s program included a performance by the renowned Japanese idol group STARMARIE. Usually seen in past Best of Anime events, STARMARIE also made sure to make a lively comeback to the convention with their charming songs. Next to this was a talk on cosplay and prop-making with World Cosplay Summit Philippines alumnus, AC Hernandez. He gave insightful advice and essential lessons to take home on being resourceful with materials and crafting your own props.
Later on in the afternoon, Japanese rock idol group Chicken Blow the Idol shook up the stage with their music despite their youthful demeanor. They certainly made an impression on the crowd with their explosive tunes. Furthermore, cosplayers AC Hernandez, Monya, and Reika held some special performances on stage leading up to the cosplay competition.
Ending the day with more serenades and smiles
Finally, participants of the convention tuned into the awarding and recognition ceremonies of the contests that happened throughout the day. Then, visual kei artist Miura Ayme entertained the crowd with his rock music, stunning audiences with his aesthetics and melodies. This was then followed by visual kei rock band UchuSentai:NOIZ closing off the Best of Anime convention with their energetic music.
Indeed, the Best of Anime convention's comeback is a successful and promising start for the organizer's next series of events. While this return is limited, it indicates the potential for the event to become larger and more exciting, comparable to previous iterations of the convention.
For now, Japanese culture and anime enthusiasts can stay updated on the event through the Best of Anime official Facebook page.