2011; A year of Consternation, Captivation, Changes and Chances.

*Warning: This is quite a long post*

2011 has been a wonderful year for Ani-Culture- we went overseas, gained new comrades, became recognized media partners for prominent events and most importantly, We survived another year! Yes, survived…

As a parting tribute to an exciting 2011, We take a look back at some key moments.

Consternation (means Distress, shock),

A lot happened in 2011, but the events of March 2011 probably lingers the most in our minds. We almost made our first trip to Japan to attend the first ever Anime Content Expo and A Fes, but with barely two weeks to go, disaster struck.

The Tohoku Earthquake hit me personally on many levels,  superficially, my ORD holiday is gone. We fretted as over a year of plans were washed away in mere moments, and needless to say, I was sorely disappointed- but that was superficial. I was more worried for the well-being of my friends in Japan; May’n Japanese Fanclub Buins and friends who I had gotten to know so well online.

The Tohoku Earthquake gave us a sense of purpose- for days We frantically combed the net via Twitter, Facebook and official news sources for any nugget of information on the developing situation and did what we could to share it with others.

While Ani-Culture did not pool a sum of money for Japan, I am proud to say that every one of our writers did contribute in other ways to help stem the pain. For this I thank the crew of Ani-Culture.net and our readers.

Done with the unhappy stuff…

Captivation and Change


If you have been following Ani-Culture over the past year, you would have noticed a distinct expansion in the topics We write about- from a site focused almost entirely on Anime, We  now cover more mainstream aspects of Japanese Pop Culture like J-Pop, idols and even a little drama.

Why? One reason-AKB48. This mega-idol group has totally captivated me for the last six months. Usually, its not my kind of thing- but for some reason, AKB48 hooked me, line and sinker. Seeing how dedicated and devoted they are to their art, I just felt I needed to cheer for them.

And correspondingly , my life has become more “3D” and I now follow Oricon style, Tokyohive amongst an ever growing list. And more recently, I think I have fallen in love?

Of course, the fact that they are performing in Singapore on a monthly basis, does little to cure the addiction… However, it is due to AKB48 that I have managed to improve Ani-culture’s working relationship with other parties. Like Eriol of kitsunesuki, a certain PR lady and her colleagues, and alavista- proving things just work better in the company of friends. All in all, AKB48 has changed me in many ways.

Significantly, 2011 marked the first steps in my quest in learning Japanese, and has opened many more doors for me.

Our emphasis on AKB48 is not the only major change Ani-culture has undergone. We wanted to go beyond just Singapore- expanding our focus to events in our neighours Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and that would have only been possible with the tireless efforts of our overseas writers. Moving forward, We hope to ramp up our efforts in covering regional events and make Ani-Culture known throughout all of South-East Asia.

It might sound to be a lofty goal, but I firmly believe that it is possible. In fact, more than 50% of the site views already comes from the South East Asia region. We hope to build on this and make Ani-Culture a regional brand. After all, We all love Japanese Culture!

While We could not head to Japan, We decided to go for the next best thing- Hong Kong. We gained valuable insight in the local Japanese Pop Culture Scene, ate some amazing food and see May’n rock the house in her Asia tour-  which one of our friends contributed in detail in the Guang Zhou Article.

Chances!

Our grand achievement for 2011 is…

Our Facebook page is also a lot more active now and currently we have 1047 likes. We are really thankful for everyone’s support of our page. And getting to that wonderful 1000 are just wonderful!

In fact, once we figure out how to use the Google+ properly, we will also be promoting our G+ page. I hope everyone give us their support then!

If you haven’t Like’d us on Facebook yet, please do! The more you like us, the more encouraged we feel!

To prove how much of a bumper year it has been for us, here’s some vital statistics:

We managed to have 117,166 Unique Visitors (based on Google Analytics, as of 30th December 2011) for the year of 2011

We are Media for the JPLEX Volume 1.

We flew to Hong Kong!

We are Media for May’n “UNITED” Asia Tour 2011, Singapore.

We are Media for Screen Singapore, Red Carpet event.

We attended Bushiroad South East Asia’s grand opening.

http://ani-culture-production.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/00delete1142.jpg

We are one of the few blogging media to cover AKB48′s start in Singapore!

We are Media for the SHINE! Youth Festival 2011.

We are Media for A Certain Magical Event III.

We are Media for the Singapore Comifest 1 and 2.

We are accredited Media for the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Conventions.

We redrew Chiya~ she looks better right? Look forward to the 2012 version~

We attended the Cardfight Vanguard’s English version announcement.

We are Media Partner for the AME Monogatari.

We are Media Partner for the Anime Festival Asia 2011.

We are Media for Comic Fiesta 2011.

We are Media Partner for the EOY 2011.

We added 9 to our crew! Forming the 3rd and 4th generation of our recruiting effort!

All in all, 2011 for Ani-Culture is a really good one, with official invitations by so many to cover their events, and We will certainly do our best to cover even more in the future!

Plans for the Site

Currently I am forever planning for better things, like finding a nicer design or getting a better plug-in. Although, I must say, my skills are not really up to par… both in the design and coding department XD.

So in the near future, I might just get someone to help out with the design so as to achieve a better looking and feeling site, and make the browsing experience for readers even better- whilst striving to improve the quality of writing on the site.

Looking forward

I certainly hope Ani-Culture.net will be able to increase its readership and while retaining our solid base of regulars. For me personally, I hope to bring you more interesting Japan related information, while at the same time improve my Japanese and even attend a Japanese University by end of the 2012.

I am also glad that I have made it this far, maintaining my pace of about one post a day on the average. I am proud that I did not throw in the towel even when things were less than…ideal.

I hope to continue writing and at the same time, allow more to write and be read. If you have written a good article but have nowhere to publish it, do send it to me, and if it’s good, We will definitely publish it for you on Ani-Culture.

Well, I have written in length, so here’s something from other contributing writers:

Avalonexa ‎2011 for me is a very amazing year. I don’t know where to start (lol), joining Ani-culture.net is a huge leap for me. This year, I also met many comrades from many places and share our experiences. it’s pretty fun. Too bad I often too shy to ask or talk much. I have to be more confidence next year. I remembered that I couldn’t come to Mayn’s hongkong concert because of school but AFA’s experiences paid it off even though deep inside my heart still mad and ask why Mayn didnt get an encore that day.
Well many things happened this year. you’re going to read it all day if I write all the things. Just can say that even though it’s a sad or bad memories or luckily it’s one hell of awesome memories, it’s what made you now. Just enjoy your life and never regret anything.
Happy New Year 2012!
Tama-Tan This year really an exciting year for me! For a newbie in Ani-Culture.net, I am glad to meet all our comrades from AC and lucky to meet these great people! Since I am a Malaysian and hardly able to meet other mates who based in Singapore, it’s very a precious moment when I going for the AFA 2011 and meet them!It’s very fortunate that I had the chance to interview with the artist during AFA 2011 with my boss here. Chatting with the closest distance with the ani-song artist especially Kalafina is the best moment I had there! *Yet I din’t manage to get any autograph from them*( ̄□ ̄;)Returned to Malaysia! And another few weeks of nothing big happen until Comic Fiesta, since other AC members are busy for the EOY event so I am the one who covered up the Comic Fiesta event. It’s very fortunate that the traffic around the event area is good during CF but the crowded people inside is killing me! A very lucky event for me is that there is the unexpected interview session with Mikuni Shimokawa and Ceui which is the blessed moment for all of us.For what I did for this year is pretty less,(gomen!).Currently there’s something big working on me and with Daiyaku’s artist and please looking forward for what gonna release soon!
xenoson First experience for everything for me this year. It’s fun to be able to attend all this event, getting the news for them 1st hand and also for me personally what burn the most impact into my memory/brain is meeting, interviewing and taking photo with Mel Kishida who is the artist for my favourite PS3 the Atelier Series. Really hope to be able to participate in more event in 2012.
Also first time for this year is just that i get to work at AFA rather than attend AFA. Totally a new experience but it is really fun. Too bad unable to help out for AC but i shall now help out by writing more post on Vanguard Booster review so be sure to look out for them. XD
Makoto Sato Reflecting back on 2011, I would consider it a year of change of the status quo for local Japanese Pop Culture enthusiasts. Not too long ago, I believe many felt by being outside of Japan, they were missing out on a lot- and as such yearned to make that pilgrimage to Akihabara and such. And yes, of course, while there is nothing like being at the centre of it all, not everyone could go. However, that changed somewhat in 2011.2011 really marked the point where one could really see the emergence of real authentic Japanese Pop Culture taking root in Singapore.Ani-songs fans were treated to solos by May’n, Angela, Flow and Scandal, and Anime Festival Asia 11 topped it off with an even bigger lineup, notably by managing to bring in top acts LISA and Kalafina.For idol fans, it is undoubtedly the opening of the AKB theatre and café at SCAPE. With the packed halls at the monthly shows, it is undeniable it has managed to establish a solid following and can only get stronger.But while it is important to bring world class acts to this little island, it is critical for home-grown communities to be able to stand on their own. Cosfest and EOY have continued to remain strong and grow in a professional manner- particularity EOY with their band acts and to rope in Hitomi from @home maid café, among others. Local artist groups like collateral damage studios have been able to successfully establish its own cult followings, and will undoubtedly inspire others to do the same.Moving forward into 2012, the challenge for these groups is to bank on their momentum and bring their content to the level- and only way to do this is for the community to give them support. Anime, Manga and Jpop will always be there, but the difference is in the people enjoying it. So for those reading, think about how you can help the local scene- do not simply be a consumer, but a contributor as well.

May 2012 bring you good fortune.

Regards
Makoto Sato

Koemushi
2011, to me, seems to be the year that revolutionize many aspects of Japanese culture here in Singapore. We have been fortunate enough to get a real taste of akiba culture without even having to leave our shores.For the card gamers, Cardfight Vanguard has been a huge boom, with many new players from a wide age group regularly participating in tournaments and friendlies. The pool of players for other card games such as Weiss Schwarz also is increasing from the look of that healthy turnout from the GrandPrix held during AFA this year. Card games have taken Singapore by storm and looks to be still going strong.

From the idol otaku standpoint, esp AKB48 fans, 2011 has been a dream. From being able to catch performances of their favorites right here in Singapore to being able to shake their hands in special handshake events, something very hard to get even for our Japanese counterparts. The opening of the official AKB48 shop and café right here in Singapore also brought idol fandom closer to home. Fans were now able to conveniently get their merchandise as well as enjoy a café atmosphere of their favorite idols.

Events here are also getting a lot of attention. AFA this year, I think, has seen the biggest turnout so far. Even the location used for the event has increased to more than double its size in previous years.

So here’s to 2012, the year which the revolution would continue to build up, not only Singapore, but in all parts of the world as well.

So this is all from us in 2011, thank you for your wonderful support this year, do however look forward to more of us in the year 2012!

To close off the year of 2011 at Ani-Culture.net, we wish you a

Happy New Year!!

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About the author

Administrator, editor and writer of Ani-Culture.net. Loves Japanese culture~ Anime, idols, gesha, enka, food, and more~

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