Tokushima is one of the most hallowed cities for anime tourists in Japan, and every spring and autumn, the city hosts Machi★Asobi, which is considered one of Japan’s most popular anime festivals. The event is organized by none other than ufotable studio head, Hikaru Kondo, whose studio is responsible for hit anime like Fate/ Zero, Fate/ Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV), and the God Eater TV anime. The event attracts visitors from all over Japan, and more recently, from other parts of the world. Here is a promo video for last year’s event, Machi★Asobi Vol. 15.
The event always features voice actors, animators, and some of the biggest names in the anime, manga, and video game industries, and it features several concerts, where artistes rock out with your favorite AniSongs. The event includes the following activities:
- Live concerts of famous voice actors/actresses and anime song singers
- Mt. Bizan Ropeway Guidance (Mt. Bizan Ropeway takes you up to the main stage on the mountain top with audio sightseeing guides by anime characters.)
- Anime Art Gallery Under the Bridges (A round-trip river cruise takes you on an unusual anime art tour under the bridge,accompanied by anime songs. Only in the Spring Machi★Asobi.)
- Anime Industry Talk Events (The talk events bring various anime industrial players together, such as Hikaru Kondoand other creators.)
- Newtype×Machi★Asobi The Moving Picture Festival
- The Newtype Anime Awards are announced and the ceremony takes place in the Autumn edition of Machi★Asobi
Rising stars in the voice acting or seiyuu industry also get to become the honorary station masters of the JR Tokushima Station, and they will be greeting the incoming visitors to Tokushima as they arrive for Machi★Asobi. And visitors will also get to see some itasha treatments for the city’s own taxis and buses just for the event! And those coming in via airplane will be treated to an anime-themed decor at the Tokushima Awaodori Airport. The city will also be wrapped in its own anime fever, as itashas and anime exhibitions will be seen throughout the city, in fact, the event is known to be a gathering of itasha enthusiasts from all over Japan!
And what anime event would ever be complete without cosplay, right?! The event is also a paradise for cosplayers, and they can be found walking around the city! The event also hosts its own Cosplay Championship Grand Prix, and last year, cosplayers from Singapore and Shanghai brought a lot of buzz for the cosplay show.
You can check out how the cosplay show was going as well as many other information about thisgreat anime festival at the Machi★Asobi Official Website (http://machi-cosplay.sunnyday.jp/wp/en/). This is a must-watch for anyone thinking of an anime-focused trip to Japan.
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