By Samantha Pereira, photos by Anon Poomitavor
Undeniably the biggest Japanese culture showcase in Southeast Asia – this year’s Anime Festival Asia saw a turnout of more than 85,000 visitors. Most of whom braved the heat, decked themselves in their favourite cosplay outfit and animatedly carried out their chosen character’s trademark poses for the enthusiastic shutterbugs and press.
Stretching over 3 days and 3 expo halls, the Anime Festival Asia was a chock-full of Japanese pop culture, from Anisong legends like Flow and May’n to the Q&As of various iconic anime directors and producers like Shinichiro Watanabe and Go Nakanishi.
Touted to also be the highlight for many cosplayers was the special appearance made by cosplay ambassador and judge, Kaname. “I came to Singapore to catch Kaname again because seeing him in Indonesia was just not enough for me”, says Julin Susanto, “He is extremely dedicated as a cosplayer and one of the best I’ve seen.”
Besides being immersed in the Japanese culture, Campus Magazine got up close and personal with Shinichiro Watanabe, the director most known for his 2 iconic anime series, Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Read on to find out more about his thoughts on Cowboy Bebop:
Q: What is your inspiration behind Cowboy Bebop?
W: I was told to create something that entails with spaceships and this was definitely up my alley as I wanted to do something completely different and futuristic so I took on the task. Having already come up with various storylines before, I finally decided on the approach of taking two extremes and mashing them together to create an animation hence Cowboy Bebop.
Q: Music is an important element in Cowboy Bebop, what would you say is the catalyst to creating such a medley?
W: Cowboy Bebop is unique as it is paired with jazz soundtracks, however the catalyst that brings on such good medleys is Yoko Kanno, the composer – it is her picks that essentially gives each episode its defining moments.
Q: Why do you think Cowboy Bebop is so famous even with the international audience?
W: With Cowboy Bebop there is something for everyone, however it may not directly speak to everyone the same way so I’d like to believe that it offers something unique for each individual to grasp and think about.