The Melbourne Anime Festival (Manifest) is running this weekend at the Melbourne Showgrounds and has the theme ‘Mecha VS Magic’ in this incarnation (it’s 11th year running). Expect to see various panels on how to get into anime and Japanese culture as well as more specific genres of anime such as mecha anime. That said, the convention isn’t just for anime but rather Japanese culture as whole with panels and events catered to those who enjoy the lolita fashion style and others of its kind (Fruits), mecha, Ball Jointed Dolls in addition to the mainstream anime itself.
Additionally, Manifest ’11 has a large traders hall so for those who can’t find particular items to do with the culture there will be many different places to have wares peddled at you. Gaming is also a large part of Manifest with it’s own dedicated section hosting tournaments, casual play, DDR and social events.
Most importantly though, Manifest is a chance to meet like-minded people who share a similar interest. Even though there is such a large spectrum in the world of Japanese culture there’s bound to be people in the events you might attend that you can talk to.
Two special guests are also attending Manifest this year, Spike Spencer (Shinji Ikari, some other people who aren’t as relevant) and LittleKuriboh (YuGiOh: Abridged series) who will have their own discussions on voice acting and other interests of theirs. For its second year running on Saturday night, Manifest also has ManiMidnight, something more catered to those who would attend GenCon, so card based events, roleplaying and other activities around the culture. Can’t sleep on site though sadly so if you don’t think you can handle the entire night best to get home early!
Two concerts will also be hosted on the Manifest Saturday and Sunday, performed by bands such as Faeble, Twelve Foot Ninja and individuals such as Elodie Adams. Some of these are catered to those who just like metal music however other artists shall also be playing video game and anime covers in their sets.
Quickly put: Manifest’s on as of Friday. It has anime stuff and giant robots as well as card games on motorcycles. I’ll be there with at stack of the Space Meat team so check it out, dangit!