Despite its name, the organiser of the C3 Anime Festival Asia insists that the event is not just a geeky outing for otaku (a Japanese word to describe hardcore fans of anime or manga).
Mr Shawn Chin, managing director of Sozo, the events company behind the festival, tells The Straits Times: "The festival is not just about anime, but also about all facets of Japanese pop culture.
"We've worked hard to bring the latest trends and content direct from Japan. From cosplay and anime to games and food, attendees can be sure there is something for everyone. If you love Japanese pop culture, you cannot miss this event."
Indeed, while the annual festival, which was previously called Anime Festival Asia, may have started out as an anime-centric event in 2008, it has since grown into one that celebrates all aspects of Japanese entertainment and lifestyle.
Last year, the event drew 94,000 visitors. This year, organisers hope to see the turnout go up by 5 to 10 per cent.
One of the biggest draws of the festival in recent years is the Japanese pop music concert.
This year, the event, which kicks off today and runs until Sunday, landed a big act - popular Japanese girl group Nogizaka46 will be making their debut South-east Asian performance.
BOOK IT / C3 ANIME FESTIVAL ASIA
WHERE: Levels 3 and 4, Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Raffles Boulevard
WHEN: Today till Sunday, 9.30am to 8pm (today and tomorrow), 9.30am to 7pm (Sunday)
ADMISSION: From $88 for a one-day ticket to $428 for a three-day VIP package, available from www.apactix.com/events/detail/c3afasg17
The mega idol group, which, as its name suggests, comprises 46 members, are known for their sweet-schoolgirl vibe and chart-topping hit songs such as Hashire! Bicycle! (Run! Bicycle!), Girl's Rule and Sayonara No Imi (The Meaning Of Goodbye).
Mr Chin says: "Nogizaka46 have achieved significant popularity and won the hearts of many in Japan."
Other J-pop acts who will be performing for the first time in Singapore as part of the festival line-up include girl group Moso Calibration and edgy pop-rock singer Shiena Nishizawa.
Festivalgoers can look forward to meeting famed cosplayers such as Japan's Enako, China's Liyuu and Malaysia's Angie.
There will also be meet-and-greet sessions with popular anime voice actors Yusuke Kobayashi and Toshiyuki Toyonaga.
There are also exclusive anime screenings ahead of their release dates in Japan.
One of them is for the highly anticipated anime series Violet Evergarden, which will debut its first episode at the festival before its scheduled air date in Japan in January next year.
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