There’s no doubt that Anime Festival Asia (AFA) Singapore is the biggest event of the year for anime fans, and 2023 happens to be the 15th anniversary of the event as well, which explains why AFA is pulling all the stops out with activities like JUJUTSU KAISEN Experience and HoYo FEST!
The first booth that I made a beeline for was, of course, Crunchyroll’s immersive JUJUTSU KAISEN Experience. As part of Crunchyroll’s efforts in expanding their domain in Southeast Asia, they’ve sponsored AFA Singapore 2023 with the JUJUTSU KAISEN Experience and SACRA Music Festival.
You’ll spot Crunchyroll’s “domain” at Booth K10 with a familiar black sphere that’s travelled across the seas from New York to Singapore. Enter the “domain” to find a 270-degree theater with cinema-quality surround sound and…bean bags!
Instead of the traditional immersive theater, you’ll be lying down on soft bean bags so you can look up to the ceiling of the dome — or to be more accurate — the screen. Soon, Satoru Gojo will loom over you and you’ll find yourself being whisked away from reality into his domain expansion, Unlimited Void.
You’ll literally be living the POV of an enemy being sucked inside Gojo’s Limitless. You can’t do anything but be absorbed in this trippy yet exhilarating experience. Think abstract colours blooming and amalgamating before you like a Dr Strange movie as you dissociate into the limitless void.
It was all too short, but there’s honestly no stopping you from going for round two and threes. I’ll warn you beforehand though — it’s surround sound, so be prepared for loud noises that may jumpscare you!
Now, I did make a slight mistake in gunning straight for the JUJUTSU KAISEN Experience upon entering, because as it turns out, the HoYo FEST merchandise store has a queue system in place that is not unlike the Nintendo pop-up store in Jewel Changi Airport.
You’ll be issued queue tickets stating your time slots for visiting the merchandise store on a first-come-first-served basis. Arriving early increases your chances of securing a queue ticket and an earlier time slot.
Moreover, you have a limit of 10 minutes in the store, so I definitely recommend familiarising your choices on the official HoYo FEST website beforehand.
There are exclusive HoYo FEST items that can only be found at AFA Singapore 2023, including chibi cardholders (S$15) and acrylic stands (S$10) from their Honkai games, Genshin Impact and Tears of Themis.
If you couldn’t get Honkai: Star Rail merch from the themed cafe in November, then this is also your chance to grab their stands and badges.
Once you’ve gotten your queue ticket, you’re free to check out the four zones of the HoYoverse booth featuring Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail, Honkai Impact 3rd, and Zenless Zone Zero that’s yet to be released.
Prepare your UIDs, cameras and social media accounts for the tons of freebies that you are going to get!
First up is the Genshin Impact zone that has a cool standee of Furina right by her throne from Opera Epiclese. Pose with the official cosplayers of Furina and Neuvillette (each day of the event will feature different character cosplays), or snap a photo of you usurping her throne.
Answer a character quote quiz, roll an Omni Genius Invokation TCG die, and show off your UID and that proud Adventure Rank 60 for exclusive stickers, postcards, hand fans and a Primogem headband.
Honkai: Impact 3rd will be giving out stunning posters for playing their game demo as well as temporary tattoo stickers. Honkai: Star Rail will similarly be giving out bookmarks and more, but more precious than these freebies is the chance to take a photo with the adorable Pom-Pom who will be making their appearance at selected timings!
What many will be looking forward to is also the chance to play Zenless Zone Zero. There is no set release date yet, so this may be your only chance to try out this futuristic action RPG. You’ll earn a free poster after trying out the game, and complete their social media activities to obtain a temporary tattoo sticker and postcard too!
Don’t forget to get your HoYo FEST stamp card filled out and complete various social media activities for a polaroid at their photobooth. If you’re up for some hot-blooded competition, you can join HoYo FEST’s Stage Events for a chance to win prizes like standees and cardholders.
If you’re reading this — it’s still not too late to snatch up tickets to AFA Singapore here. The event will end on 26th November 2023, and ticket sales for each day cutoff at 6.30pm. That’s plenty of time for you to head down to Suntec to experience Gojo’s domain expansion and collect HoYoverse merch!