Yes, that’s right, all of it happened in one day.
After much anticipation, all seems right with the world with another icon in the local events space, The Best of Anime, makes its return. An icon not just for the anime and manga fandom but also for Filipino J-Culture enthusiasts, The Best of Anime had its pause during the pandemic, as are many other events, and it took another year off once restrictions were lifted to finally hold its first event since 2019. In contrast to its previous installments though, The Best of Anime takes a conservative approach for its comeback, hosting the event for only a single day, a contrast to the usual 2-day weekend and sometimes 3-day run of other major events.
Despite its 1 day return, The Best of Anime is still packed to the brim in terms of experience offerings and stage segments with various cosplay and cosplay-related competitions, segments with icons and creators in the local J-Culture space, and even performances. The day began with enthusiastic performances from local idol groups, followed by a creator spotlight and more performances, this time from Japanese idol groups including Starmarie and Chicken Blow the Idol. Of course, as an anime event, cosplay also gets its share of the spotlight on the stage and the day is capped by a performance from the visual kei band Uchusentai: Noiz. On the ground, attendees are treated to interactive meet and greets with the stage performers as well as international cosplayer Reika, and artist Miura Ayme.
Looking at the activities and stage segments alone, one can say that The Best of Anime is packed to the brim with must-watch and must-do showcases. In contrast to other events, mostly gaming and for transparency some of which I am directly involved with, The Best of Anime really puts the spotlight on its guests and experiences rather than what brands offer. Sure it had its own lineup of sponsors, the prominent being Ani-One Asia, known for their free anime offerings on YouTube, but the focus was not there. Attending Best of Anime isn’t so you can bring home a ton of goodie bags with you, but so you can have a good time with peers, experience the show, mingle with idols, and do fan meets that happen all throughout the event. Tickets don’t force you to try and squeeze everything in one day and since Premium pass holders get access to all the extra programming it really is up to the ticket holder to choose which ones they want to be part of depending on their interest. Obviously, they can be part of everything and miss what’s happening inside the event hall, except for the final act which is Uchusentai: Noiz but that is really up to them.
It’s interesting how The Best of Anime manages to squeeze everything into a single day whereas other organizers might opt for a multi-day setup just to make sure that all attendees get a fair experience of what’s happening, and I should know, I am part of an event organizing body myself, and not miss the con-goer agenda – to be able to enjoy the experiences that they choose on their own accord. They’re not forced to return another day just because they missed something, nor are they because the halls and offerings are way too many to happen in just one day. The Best of Anime has its content streamlined, focused, and targeted to what it thinks its congoers enjoy the most, and the only way that you miss them is if you really choose not to attend. Sure its other areas such as the availability of merchandise sellers and retailers feel thin when compared to other events but again, it’s not supposed to be why you attend The Best of Anime, you’re there to experience, and enjoy the show, everything else is just an added bonus.