Tokyo Diaries – Tokyo Anime Fair 2013

IMAG1146 IMAG1157 IMAG1158

Unlike the Sakura, TAF came off right on schedule this year.

After all the controversy surrounding Bill 156, I wasn’t sure I’d attend Tokyo Anime Fair again – or even if it would continue to be held.  Well, Ishihara is gone as Governor (though now afflicting national politics, and his successor is his chosen acolyte) and the law has proved to be every bit as pointless as unenforceable as the skeptics promised it would be.  After a couple of test cases yielded nothing (TLR: Darkness and Yosuga no Sora being the most famous) everyone seems to be pretty much pretending the law doesn’t exist, as near as I can tell.

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been an impact.  As a direct result of their anger over the bill the industry started a rival event, Anime Contents Expo (which I’ll also be attending) held a week later, in nearby Chiba.  The first was cancelled due to the 3/11 quake (as was TAF) but last year’s event went quite well, and attendance at TAF was noticeably less than it was when I attended in 2009.  TAF has a considerably more family-oriented focus now (though by no means exclusively) and it was generally comparatively low key.  Of course, after the uncontrolled mayhem of Comiket I may be destined to feel that way about any other anime event.

Ironically, the best display by far came from GAINAX – and sadly, no pictures were allowed.  It was a very clever interactive walk-through of their animation process, centered mostly on TTGL and complete with signage in (excellent) English, and very open and opinionated written commentary.  Of course any reminder of GAINAX’ brilliant past is also a reminder of their depressing present and future, so it was a fairly bittersweet experience.  There was also a stunning (no surprise) booth set up for the new Shinkai Makoto feature.

Among the other photos are some I took of the Tiger & Bunny booth (swamped with fujoshi), various other anime-specific displays, and some very cool models from Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (very strong Matsumoto presence this year).  Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki was given the top prize for animation in 2012, though the rest of the winners were a mixed batch at best.  I’m happy to report I got a bit of Ginga e Kickoff swag in one of the gift bags, and got to say hello to Thomas Romain, who was working the Satelight booth.  There was also a genuine, honest-to-goodness hero show complete with screaming kids.

I also threw in another sakura shot as the trees along the moat were even better today thought the weather was not.  And a couple of notes from Akiba: the big stores have taken to displaying the last two volumes of Touch in the Mix displays, which I suppose is rather clever.  And I saw one of the more unusual crossover doujins I’ve seen in a while: Minami-ke and Magi.  I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

IMAG1147 IMAG1148 IMAG1151
IMAG1152 IMAG1153 IMAG1155
IMAG1163 IMAG1165 IMAG1166
IMAG1150 IMAG1154 IMAG1156
IMAG1161 IMAG1167 IMAG1169


  1. A

    Lots of stuff to be jelly about, but I'm seriously glad to know you had fun there (or at least, glad to know that you weren't feeling like you were about to be crushed amongst the crowd)

    ''got to say hello to Thomas Romain, who was working the Satelight booth.''

    Did he recognize you from here (the blog) or from the AS Croisée thread? Or was it just a random hello? Did you get to talk at all?

    ''And I saw one of the more unusual crossover doujins I’ve seen in a while: Minami-ke and Magi. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.''

    Well, after knowing this exists, I now have to get it. Or at least know how it plays out. Thanks man.

    Also, I like how you strategically didn't show the full BONES booth and instead showed the only two pictures separately lol

  2. Just a "hello". I doubt he knows either blog exists (thought I know he does AS). The sight of a Euro working any booth at TAF is so rare that it was a pretty big tipoff.

    If you really want to know, the featured pairing is the middle sister and the nopan warrior…

  3. e

    I see ZnT and SC pretty promo posters! Nice Bebop sketch too.
    Ookami Kodomo prize ftw!
    Thomas Romain? I thought the name sounded familiar. Indeed I have to second Arabesque's question above *grins*. But then I sorta zeroed on your mention on Ginga swags, looked frantically down for pics and soulcrushingly found none.
    The bonus sakura pic made up for it a little.

    Opinionated Gainax commentaries? Now this does tickle one's curiosity.

    Glad you seem to have enjoyed the fair anyway :D. Now GeK swag where?

  4. t

    That's cool you got to say hello to Thomas Romain,that reminds me,did you drop by "the 2 queens" booth and see the PV by any chance?

  5. No, I never saw that booth. Are you sure they had one? Seems like they'd be more likely to go to ACE if it's one or the other.

    As for GeK, it was just a couple of promo one-sheets in a gift bag from the Jump folks – nothing to get too excited about but it's nice to see it getting a little attention. I picked up V1 of the manga yesterday, and V2 comes out next week. Maybe if it does OK there might be some talk of more anime.

  6. Z

    Nothing of interest there.

  7. G

    You got to speak with Thomas Romain! That's real cool, I was bothering him on twitter the other day lol. But love the pictures, would have loved to be there myself. Madhouse didn't have a booth this time eh….
    The Bebop sketch sure brings back memories, absolutely love Kawamoto's design.

  8. They'll be at ACE for sure, so I'll stop by. I expect Monsieur Romain will be at the Satelight booth again as well.

Leave a Comment