Comic Con Africa, the continent’s ultimate pop culture and gaming festival, is thrilled to invite fans to take part in an immersive experience that celebrates the diverse world of Japanese animation and culture.
Anime, a distinctive style of animated film and television entertainment originating from Japan, has undeniably etched its mark on global geek culture. Its unique blend of intricate storytelling, vibrant visuals, and diverse genres has garnered a strong following among enthusiasts worldwide. From mainstream classics like the “Dragon Ball” franchise to contemporary hits like “Demon Slayer”, anime has become a cultural phenomenon that has transcended borders and gripped Western audiences, sparking trends in fashion, art, and even culinary pursuits.
As its popularity continues to surge, fans of the genre are often referred to as “Otaku” in a more enduring sense that its traditional meaning—anime’s influence on geek culture—remains steadfast, solidifying its position as a dynamic and ever-expanding cultural force.
Highlighting this sensation, Comic Con Africa is proud to be welcoming several guests who are well known for their impact within the world of anime and Japanese culture. This year, fans can meet and greet the original English voice of Ash Ketchum, Veronica Taylor, from the legendary anime series Pokémon, which has been on air since 1997, with the story arc of the iconic character coming to an end this September.
More than voice-over artists, Comic Con Africa will also host two popular Japan-based YouTubers in its ever-diversifying offering of international celebs. Akidearest’s content focuses on the weird and wonderous world of Japanese culture and lifestyle, displaying to Western audiences new and interesting ways of daily life and modern convenience. The Anime Man’s content focuses on Japanese pop culture, such as anime and manga, in a fun and educational way while also offering analysis of series and movies to further build the dedicated community around himself, Japanese culture, and anime.
There will also be a dedicated area on the Comic Con Africa festival floor that celebrates the music, art, taste, and uniqueness of anime and Japanese culture, called Otaku Town. In this town, fans will be greeted to a daily Japanese music opening followed by sessions that include learning the basics of Japanese, how to draw in the style of anime, how to make traditional-style ramen noodles, some cosplay workshops for fans to take their outfits to the next level, and much more. Otaku Town will also host watch parties for episodes from anime series on Friday and Saturday, as well as Boruto: Naruto the Movie on Sunday and Monday.
With Comic Con Africa being such a vast and comprehensive festival, anime and otaku culture are spread throughout the show. For tabletop fans, there will be Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! card game tournaments. For cosplay fans, there will be loads of fellow fans dressed as characters from your favourite series and movies, perfect for photo ops!
More than connecting fans with anime and Japanese culture, Comic Con Africa has also partnered with JETRO and Japan Street for an initiative that fosters conversations between Japanese firms and South African businesses around commercial IP use and how to attain licences for merchandising.
Anime has made a permanent mark on global pop culture with its captivating storytelling, vivid visuals, and diverse genres. Comic Con Africa is excited to embrace this phenomenon by welcoming fans to an immersive experience over Heritage Day Weekend from September 22–25, 2023, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre (Nasrec). Tickets are available on Howler through this link: https://bit.ly/CCCT2023_Tickets.