Otakyun! 2018 : Anime Gathering Society

The atmosphere during the two days event at Ecumenical Centre, Kuching on December 1 and 2. PHOTO CREDIT : Wong Tong Wei

Cosplay showcase on stage.

Above & right: Some of the booths during the day.

Cosplayers on the scene. PHOTO CREDIT : Wong Tong Wei

Each year, Kuching’s Anime Gathering Society (AGS) organises an event of the year that witness a flock of hobbyist in the form of cosplayers at its door. The event ‘Otakyun!’ was recently held at the Ecumenical Center, Jalan Stampin, Kuching on December 1 and 2.

With its purpose to spread awareness on the Anime Community and its positive sub-culture, AGS also wants to gather everyone with the same interest under one roof and create new encounters. However, the most important purpose would be to organise an event that is enjoyable for everyone.

2018’s Otakyun! also sees special guest cosplayers such as Thailand’s Thames Malerose, Internationally known local cosplayer Nessarose and up and coming featured guest cosplayer Yugana Senshi Uon.

The three were judges for the Cosplay Competition held during the event. They also set up cosplay workshops and taught the public on the art of cosplaying.

Other event highlights during the day were the Maid Cafe, Special Guest Cosplayers’ Autograph & Instax film session, Trading Card Game Tournaments, eSports Game Tournament, Workshops by invited Cosplay & Artist Guest, Artist booth, anime merchandise booth, and hobbies collectibles exhibition.

It was truly an eventful two days as hobbyist gathered and discussed their common interest. One could also witness groups of cosplayers discussing their equipment, accessories, and how they create their outfit.

Ran from 11am to 6pm, those attending were left in awe at the 32 booths this year ranging from artist booth- selling art works, handicrafts; commercial booth – selling Anime posters, wall scrolls, figurines, trading cards, plushies; general booth – Non-anime related but is handicraft/food & beverages; exhibition booth – hobbies collectibles display of Gunpla sets, figures and replicas such as the Port Dangor – Sarawak Hobbyist Community, Buddy Connection (Trading card games shop) and Kuching Fighting Games Community (KFGC).

The history of AGS ran back in 2007 during the organising committee’s days in Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, previously known as ‘Anime Gathering’. Initially, it was a dinner gathering with Anime related games, activities and performances.

Having found that the event they organised in the university received positive feedbacks, it would then evolved into a convention in 2014. What started as club in the university, and done only part time after they graduated, the community is constantly growing up till this day.

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan. The word anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media.

Whereas cosplay is a wordplay on ‘costume playing’ where individuals dresses up either in detail, or on a specific character that they like.