C3AFA Tokyo 2017 Field Report

Overview of C3AFA Tokyo 2017 [Summer]

Last year we had an opportunity to attend the first ever C3 Tokyo event, which took place in Makuhari Messe. This year is no different albeit an event name change which is now known as C3AFA Tokyo, which combines the very popular Anime Festival Asia event with the more recent C3. The collaboration will bring new contents to consumers who are already familiar to both the C3 and Anime Festival Asia brands. SOZO, part of the Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc group has been organising Anime Festival Asia since 2008, bringing Japanese pop culture content to South East Asia countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Sotsu Co. Ltd is the Japanese powerhouse managing animated products such as the famed Mobile Suit Gundam series and producing animated and live-action programs.

This event caters to just about everyone who truly embraces the otaku lifestyle, whether it be anime, manga, gaming or all of the above. This is a much newer event than most of the more prominent ones such as Wonder Festival or even Tokyo Game Show. However C3AFA Tokyo could be seen as the prequel to many of these events since a lot of new content is announced here in order to get fans excited for the more notable events. Attending this event is a great opportunity for those who may not favor the intense crowds, and really allows you to soak in all of the otaku culture without feeling too overwhelmed.

Basic Info

When it was Established 2016

Official Website: http://www.c3afatokyo.com/

Length of event Aug 26-27, 2017
Place Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
Price of Admission 1,300 yen per adult
Children enter for free

What to Expect

Since we attended last year, we already knew what we were heading into, but what really surprised us the most was really the name change. This is a great collaboration as it now combines SOZO’s very exciting Anime Festival Asia festivities with Sotsu Co. Ltd’s C3 event in hopes to create the regional Cool Japan Event of Asia by developing a B2C event which incorporates the entire catalog of Japanese pop culture related products. All you really need to know is that if you’re passionate about Japanese pop culture and want to soak yourself in everything that pertains to it, then booking a ticket to this event should be a no-brainer.

What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event

C3AFA Tokyo is much like any other event that promotes the subculture and prolific lifestyle of Japan, and so it’s expected that you bring along a good chunk of money in order to grab some goodies while in attendance. Though not as robust with regards to goodies as let’s say Wonder Festival or Comiket, C3AFA Tokyo still accommodates you in the most attractive way and sells some exclusive items that some of the other events don’t provide. That’s a great thing because since there isn’t much of a crowd, you’re able to grab what you need without much hassle. Speaking of grabbing we definitely suggest that you carry a bag of your own because although the event supplies swag bags, they aren’t the most durable so if you intend to go home with a lot of treasure bringing your own bag will allow you to safely carry your prized possessions. If cosplay is your forte or just snapping photos of the event is something you favor, then carrying your own camera to the event will surely be of great benefit. Lastly, much like any event you attend we always suggest bringing some friends along for the ride because, sharing your passion with other like minded individuals just makes the experience more satisfying.

What to do While There / What is Available

A lot of Surprises!

As with any major event in Japan, there’s a plethora of things to do, whether it be simply wandering around to kill time, or relaxing and enjoying an entertaining stage performance. Whatever you fancy, it’s all here for you and that’s the beauty of C3AFA Tokyo. There’s a great deal of things to check out once you walk in, one for example is the C3AFA Tokyo Market which is pretty much like a mini Comiket, and allows independent artists known as Doujin to sell their products to anyone who shows interest. Now that we think about it even more, C3AFA Tokyo takes bits and pieces from other major events and merges them altogether, so as we said earlier this is actually the perfect event for those who don’t fancy the crowds or perhaps, are new to the culture and need a nice little introduction without feeling overwhelmed. Hobby Japan, one of Japan’s biggest companies which focuses on figures and Gunpla, were in attendance and had an assortment of booths where you could check out the latest products slated to release. Of course you have the more notable companies like Bandai Namco who not only showcased some of their latest figures but also gave everyone a sneak peek at several games slated to release this year.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Project CARS 2, the highly anticipated sequel to arguably one of the best simulation racers out there, and we were totally blown away by the sheer realism this game exhibited. While the controls were more difficult than expected, it only further proved that this game is truly made for the truest of car enthusiasts out there. After the test drive, we hopped on over to Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time, the upcoming 3D Beat em’ up title that features the cute witches in action as they try to save the world from peril. While the gameplay felt a little slow (we assume it was the monitor on display) we actually had an absolute blast with this game, and out of all the games we tested this was the one that truly stood out. If you want a more in depth analysis of the title, be sure to check out our recent Bandai Namco Gamescom articles! .Hack G/U was also on display and the gameplay felt very smooth and for fans of the series, it surely will not disappoint.

One game that was on display, but unfortunately not playable, was the upcoming third person action RPG, Code Vein, which we’re totally thrilled for. The PV was outstanding and the gameplay only showed a lot of promise, and considering we’re talking about Bandai Namco here we only expect the best from them. On the other end of the spectrum, there was a Gunpla area where folks who purchased a kit could sit down and spend their time building their favorite gundam, which we thought was really cool. Buy your product at the event and build it there all at the same time, more events should incorporate this as it really entices you to buy something and spend quality time with what you’ve purchased right on the spot. Of course, that may not cater to everyone, but doing so will allow you to get well acquainted with other passionate Gunpla fans and share your affection for something you love. There’s also a family and kids section where children can run around and have a laugh, while the parents sit and watch. It’s really an all-inclusive event that gives off a very warm vibe, and doesn’t stray away from its main purpose.

The cosplay area wasn’t as busy as it was last year but those who managed to show up had some really nice costumes, one of which was Ryu from Street Fighter which we admired. This really isn’t the event where prominent cosplayers attend, but it’s more for perhaps those who want to strut their stuff, and gain some experience in front of the camera. We wrapped up our day by attending an exciting stage performance for Tenshi no 3P, and as usual the performance began with all of the seiyuu appearing on stage to discuss various topics, then shortly after assumed their usual role and started rocking out on stage. It was a total blast to head bang with all the other otaku in attendance, and it was a nice way to close out the day. Was C3AFA Tokyo worth it? Most definitely, and with an entry fee of 1,300 yen for an adult, it really isn’t too expensive to attend and what you experience inside is priceless. We hope that C3AFA Tokyo continues to grow and that we have another opportunity to take part in it again next year!

Honey's Final Thought

Overall the event was quite satisfying because there was a lot to see and experience, plus having an opportunity to meet new people is always a joyous feeling. Next year should definitely be more promising as there’s guaranteed to be a lot more content around the corner, so if you’re in Japan around late August then be sure to grab your ticket to C3AFA Tokyo and experience a lot of awesome stage shows, amazing food and of most important of all, the otaku culture.

As always, for everything sweet be sure to keep it locked here on Honey's Anime!



Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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