/

Yearly anime fairs a must for die-hard fans

by Henry Wong

Staff Writer

Tokyo’s otaku (geek) hub of Akihabara might be empty for the next two weekends as two major anime events hit the capital.

The Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) will be first. Popular companies such as Studio Ghibli, Toei and Bandai are among those with booths, which will not only showcase their works, but also offer a great opportunity for fans to meet artists, voice actors and other people from the industry. TAF will also feature an anime bazaar where visitors can purchase items from vendors promoting their favorite anime series, and a special stage to host interviews with the talent.

While TAF will be centered around the overall world of anime, the following weekend’s Anime Contents Expo focuses more on the music and voice artists of specific series that are currently in production.

The expo’s main event will feature more than 30 special performances that will take place at different stages throughout the weekend. Singers and voice actors from popular series such as “Fate/Zero,” “Milky Holmes” and “Ano Natsu de Matteru” will participate in those shows. Like TAF, a variety of companies will also have a presence to promote their series and related products.

With both events offering so many different things, anime fans will likely enjoy either event — but any respectable otaku will surely hit both.

The Tokyo International Anime Fair 2012 will be held in East Halls 1-3 at Big Sight in Koto-ku, Tokyo on March 24 and 25 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.; ¥1,000 each day). For more information, visit www.tokyoanime.jp/en. The Anime Contents Expo will be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba (9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tickets are ¥1,500 each day). Stage performance start times will vary. For more information, visit www.animecontentsexpo.jp/index.html.