Start the year right and this is what the organizers of the “unfortunate” Ozine Fest Anime Figure Special 2014 did at Otaku Expo 2015 last weekend.
Otaku Expo 2015 took place last January 24-25 at Megatrade Hall 2 and 3, SM Megamall Bldg B in Mandaluyong City.
Here are some highlights of the event.
SINGERS AND BANDS IN FOCUS. Otaku Expo has allotted most of its time to Karaoke Contest and Battle of the Bands. This is aside from the usual activities such as merchandise booths, anime card game tournaments, cosplay competitions, Ozine Maid Cafe, artists gallery, and tarpauline auction.
The program also includes the return of the Gundam Caravan and the eating contest but instead of the usual hotdogs and ramen, there were donuts and pizzas. One of the contestants at the donut eating contest ate a whole donut in less than 5 seconds. Yours truly participated in the donut eating contest unfortunately, didn’t win.
STRICT SECURITY AND FREE HALLS. The event venue opened early than usual. The free or Cosplayers’ hall, Megatrade Hall 2 also opened to accommodate people buying tickets. There were barricades to guide people at the ticket booths and several security people were deployed.
With a hall serving as both holding area for cosplayers and photographers, they were prohibited to loiter or stay along hallways and areas around the Mega Fashion Hall. SM Security urged them to stay inside Hall 2.
At around 5PM of the second day, SM Management and the organizers opened Hall 1 to accommodate more attendees making it two free hall against one hall for the event.
STILL CROWDED BUT CONTROLLED. There were fewer people attended Otaku Expo 2015 compared to last year’s Ozine Fest Anime Figure Special event but still the venue was jam-packed.
Because it is free, Megatrade Hall 2 was filled with attendees, photographers, cosplayers and the so-called “Team Labas” and “Eyeball Clan” who don’t have luxury to go inside the event itself. One complain that reached us was that the halls were warm.
The crowd peaked during the afternoon of Day 2 thankfully, the SM Security were well-prepared this time as guards were visible in strategic place around the venue to keep the crowd moving.
FEW PARTICIPANTS IN COSPLAY CONTESTS. There were only twenty-seven (27) participants in the individual competition. Three winners were picked and they were given certificates and gifts from sponsors.
The judges for the competition were respected cosplayers Mika Mikachu and Marko Villaluz. The two MARCH members were also invited to hold a Cosplay Make Up 101 Seminar at the event.
This was not case for the group cosplay contest as there were no group joined the competition.
MUCH AWAITED ANNOUNCEMENT. It was announced that the most anticipated anime convention this year is going back to SM Megamall Megatrade Halls. Ozine Fest 2015 will be held on April 24, 25 and 27 in all Halls and Function Rooms of SM Megatrade.
IN THE END
The organizers have learned a hard lesson from the last event and with that, changes were made. While the main content of the event was the same, the organizers focused on how to organize the crowd in and out the venue. Several measures were made and deemed successful
While there were still issues with the treatment of the security guards and janitors, in the end, many people enjoyed and very satisfied with Otaku Expo 2015. The next challenge for the organizers is to continue the same level of expectations for their next event, Ozine Fest 2015.
animephproject.com would like to thank the organizers of Otaku Expo 2015 for an opportunity to cover the event. We will see you in Ozine Fest 2015