In case you guys want context on the previous APCC, check it out here.
Asia Pop Comic Con came back again this year to give us all one heck of a time. Promising more celebrity guests, more artists, more cosplayers and an even more impressive Netflix booth, for starters. While it has suffered typical problems for convention organizers, it hasn’t given up on trying to be the best convention for geeks every year, and this year was certainly another contender. If last year everyone was hyped up by the appearance of a cyborg ninja’s voice actor and the creator of the Macross series, this year people came in droves for one beloved red bee. Let’s look back to last week as I share with you my report for APCC 2018.
Entrance and Registration
Arriving on a Saturday morning I was a little intimidated by the line outside Mall of Asia’s SMX, but that fear was soon relieved as it only took roughly 10-15 minutes to get into the aircon goodness of the convention halls once I lined up outside.
No, I didn’t use the side entrance meant for participating media outlets because I forgot that existed! That’s silly! I lined up to experience as much of it as possible as a con-goer! I swear!
Once in, there were ushers at key points guiding you to the proper ticketing area, processing this place would be a little longer but manageable enough. They dedicated an entire hall to make sure that there was enough space for everyone and enough people to attend to everyone promptly.
And then you’re in.
Event Site and Booths
The first thing we took notice of was the fact that the Netflix Attractions were more of an open area, with a set of smaller attractions you can individually line up for. A huge improvement compared to their setup last year. This allowed for people to line up where they want to go first, decreasing the congestion to a very tolerable point. You can interact with the walk-in sets, fight gangsters or even watch a girl band perform. And that’s just one part of the convention.
Walking around you’ll find the areas where featured artists and and cosplayers, you don’t have to wait too long to get your turn, either. A lot of hype behind the All Might, which is hardly a surprise. The food area was spacious enough with your traditional sausage meals along with some new ones in case you’re tired of that.
You’ll also run into the merchant area where and gawk at the awesomely posed toys, or even end up buying a couple, we sure were tempted. Among them were some sponsor booths where you can try their products, you can try a new tablet brand if you’re into digital art, play games in the cignal booth, and even check out a car if you were dreaming of owning one.
And finally there’s the creative circles area. Featuring local and international talents, it was hard to not at least buy a sticker. What was amazingly easy for me was buying Fate GO merchandise, how could I not? I dare you to march in these alleys where everyone is peddling you merch of your best boy bor best girl and not buy a single item. It’s definitely hard!
I suppose if I were to pose any negatives about all the featured stuff it would be the day 1 line for getting Jollibee funko pops, you don’t have to look far to hear the stories. They remember it as if it was just last week. But honestly it was a rough experience for anyone that wanted it. Thankfully, they came up with a way to handle it better. Applying a number that allows you to line-up for a specific time and limiting placing a single purchase only rule to thwart any of those who planned to hoard it.
There was actually a lot going on in many parts of the entire convention hall. Fan interactions could be happening on the center stage or there could be a discussion or lecture going on in another room. You can be viewing a live demonstration by any number of featured sponsors or booths or you can be in the hall meant to feature all the big announcements companies like Netflix could have in the near future. Or you can be listening in on the live music performance that keeps the stage active at any point of the day. Really, kudos to those guys.
What made keeping up with all these things going on possible would be the constant announcements of the organizers throughout the event about what’s going on where, and providing information as completely as possible to all the attendees. It was like there was always something for everyone to look forward to, and by the time you’re done with it’s most likely already time to go home where you’re more than ready to just fall on bed and rest for the next day.
While security had a problem to deal with during the great Jollibee Funko Rush of 2018, they were generally a welcome presence for the entire event. It was clear that all they really wanted to do was to keep the place orderly and we were free to do whatever we wanted. The fact that they can answer some basic questions in case you needed assistance was a convenient plus.
As of this writing I haven’t heard any major incidents during the 3 day event. And sometimes no news is good news in terms of security, good job, those guys!
The biggest takeaway I would have with APCC 2018 is how it really worked hard to manage its biggest problem last year, lines. A lot of people ended up falling in line for a good couple of hours in the past APCC conventions, this year they made it a point to give you the opportunity to experience as many attractions as possible by changing up how the booths and attractions you had to line up for, work. While it remains to be seen if this is going to be indeed the best one of the year, many will remember this year’s APCC as the most worthwhile one.
I just wanted to leave this section here to honor a handful of unexpected heroes in APCC.
A total of 5 guys in dinosaur suits suddenly coordinated fooling around the convention, nobody expected it and it was a good laugh for everybody that chanced upon it. Even when they get deflated, they didn’t give up. If I ever end up having a dinosaur suit, it’s because of these fine people.
(Check out their FB page here)
Did you ever find yourself suddenly singing to old school anime songs during APCC? Well I have these guys to blame for it! Their energy was inexhaustible as they sang many of our favorite anime songs from the 90’s and the early 2000’s. People eventually flocked and sang along as they tickled our nostalgia bones. We hope to see these guys again soon! You hear me, organizers!?