Brighton Japan Festival: Asahi Anime Festival, Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th June 2011

The Brighton Japan Festival‘s (ブライトン日本フェスティバル) Asahi Anime Festival last weekend was a blast! It’s taken me a while to sort out all my photos and videos from the event in order to put together this post, and I’ve had a few technical hitches along the way, so apologies for the delay in sharing this with you!

Anyway, the festival took place on the weekend of 25th and 26th June, in Bartholomew Square, Brighton. The event was largely free, with some workshops and extra activities which you could pay for. At the festival there was also a community tent, and all of the activities in there collected donations to the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened. All the parts in red have been taken directly from the Brighton Japan Festival website. All photos and videos are my own. More photos can be seen on Flickr (25th, 26th), and videos on YouTube.

SATURDAY

Fume
Fume is a tribute dance group of the Japanese techno pop band Perfume. Fume was formed 2 years ago by three Japanese ladies who live in Brighton. For Asahi Anime, they will dance Dream Fighter and Polyrhythm, two of the best known tunes by Perfume – the uplifting melodies will make your body move!

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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LDN48
LDN48 are an all-girl, mostly Japanese tribute dance group, based on the Japanese idol group AKB48. LDN48 will be performing to some of AKB48’s hits, and introducing us to the world of ota-gei dance.

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

Lolita Fashion Show

Join us for not one, but two fashion shows – showing a selection of the prettiest styles to come out of Japan! Brighton’s Lolita community will be modelling authentic Japanese brands in the show.

The first show consisted mainly of sweet lolita fashion, and the second show focussed on gothic lolita fashion.

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

Lolita Fashion 101
Discover the wonderful, colourful, frilly world of Lolita at Asahi Anime! Bearing no relation to the film of the same name, Lolita is a fashion subculture characterised by its distinctive “Victorian Doll” look. Starting in Harajuku, Tokyo, in the 1980s as a Gothic trend, Lolita has since spread across the world and developed many sub-styles. Even Brighton now has its very own Lolita community, who will be hosting a talk show explaining the different styles and trends.

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

I found what the lolitas said very interesting. They said how important it was to dispel the myth that lolita fashion is something sexual or perverted. Lolita fashion is actually about covering up and wearing beautiful, often expensive clothes. They said that lolita fashion is actually empowering for a woman, because it is about allowing yourself to do something for yourself, to wear the pretty clothes that you want to wear. Every time I see lolita fashion I do find myself wishing I could have a go…

The lovely lolitas had hidden talents – they were also selling delicious cupcakes in the community tent!

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

Quick Draw Manga Battle
Sponsored by Terratag
Watch budding manga artists battle it out on stage to see who can draw the best pictures in the shortest time! The contest is open to all ages, but there will be a separate competition for adults and children.

Here are the contestants in the children’s category:

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

They had to do all sorts of manga drawing tasks, such as picking a character and a separate action and then drawing it together, and the winner was judged by the artist Destiny Blue.

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

Here are the contestants in the adult’s category:

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

This category was judged by the artist Chie Kutsuwada.

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

Later in the day I was lucky enough to meet Chie Kutsuwada and have her draw my manga portrait!

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

I love this picture SO much!! 😀

Cosplay Contest
Sponsored by Cosplay Portrait
Bartholemew Square is set to be transformed as colourful characters take over the stage! Cosplay is the hobby of making costumes based on your favourite characters from Japanese anime and video games (complete with crazy hairstyles and make-up).

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

I have to be honest and say that I really don’t know enough about anime to be able to identify most of these characters, but aren’t the costumes wonderful? Purely from an artistic point of view, I love the concept of cosplay. So much effort goes in to making these costumes – the detail on some of these was simply amazing!

SUNDAY

Sunday’s schedule ended up changing completely from the original schedule published on the website. I’ve pieced together information about the acts that performed but were not on the original schedule, but apologise for any errors or lack of information!

Kensei Taiko
Taiko drumming is a particularly loud and exciting type of Japanese performance! In feudal Japan, this type of drumming was used to encourage the troops in battle. Discover taiko for yourself with a rousing performance by Kensei Taiko!

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

Tsunami Yodokan
This martial arts group were a surprise as they were not on the official schedule on the website. I don’t know much about martial arts, but I was so impressed by this group. I especially liked the bamboo mat slicing performance…

[Edit: I contacted Tsunami Yodokan and here’s a description of their performance in their own words: The Tsunami Yodokan, under the leadership of Shihan Mike Selvey, demonsrated the traditional warrior arts of Budo. A technical display of Tenshin Ryu Iaido, Kyushin Aikijutsu and Kobudo, which was concluded with a performance of Tameshigiri.(Iaido- the sword work, Aikijutsu- the unarmed and Kobudo- the use of weapons other than the sword. Tameshigiri- the mat cutting.).]

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

This little girl received a surprise souvenir!

Pandaloid Dance Performance
Reiko and Ayako will be dancing to Luka Luka Night Fever from virtual idol program Vocaloid.

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

Alika Mochida

After her enka performance at Moshi Matsuri, Ali and her band will once again be joining us – this time performing a selection of well-known J-pop songs from the likes of Sheena Ringo, Namie Amuro and Morning Musume.

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

Teddy and his brother
Teddy was the MC for the Asahi Anime Festival and, although it was not on the schedule, he and his brother got up to sing a few tunes. They sung in Japanese, and danced too. It was excellent!

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

Zonic
Electro/dance artist Zonic will be performing at Asahi Anime! Zonic has already established herself as a firm favourite on the UK anime scene, performing at numerous events across the country. Her unique music blends samples from her favourite video game soundtracks with trance and electro beats and haunting vocals.

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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I really enjoyed Zonic’s performance, but I did get a little distracted during one song…

This Panda from the shop Tofu Cute was fabulous! He totally upstaged Zonic, but how can you not love a dancing panda?!

Japanese Game Show
Sponsored by Anime-on-line and Tecmo Koei Europe Ltd.
A fast-paced Japanese-style game show where contestants try out different activities and compete to win prizes! Anyone may enter, provided they are aged 16 or over and in a team of two. 

The game show consisted of various rounds, such as kimono dressing:

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

(Yes, the girls did dress the boys!)

Drawing:

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

…and creating Gundam!

I thought they did a great job of making Gundam-style robots out of cardboard boxes in such a short time! It was really funny to watch, too!

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

Stalls at the event included Roxie Sweetheart (cute lolita-style accessories), United Publications (anime and manga, comics and DVDs), V Bites (vegan food), Tofu Cute (Japanese sweets and goodies), I’m Me Not You (Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!):

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

Cakekissimo (gorgeous, delicious cakes):

Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival 2011, 25th June 2011
Genki Gear T-Shirts (fab, cute T-shirts), An An/あん庵 (yummy Japanese sweets – website should be www.an-an.co.uk but doesn’t seem to work at the time of writing this)… and many more!

I visited An An every day that I went to the Brighton Japan Festival, and on the last day I took a little box along and stocked up on mochi for the day. Yum. 😀

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

I know mochi aren’t exactly the healthiest food, but boy could I eat them every day!! The big one on the right is an ichigo-daifuku, which is basically a strawberry wrapped up in a sleeping bag of mochi. Heaven.

I enjoyed all of the food I tried at the festival, and was particularly happy to see that typical Japanese food like yakisoba and yakitori had been cooked with a vegetarian twist (well, we were in Brighton…).

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

There were a few cosplayers around at the festival on Sunday:

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

As well as a few people dressed up in kimono and yukata, which added to the Japanese festival feel of the whole event.

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

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Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

Kawaii!! 🙂

So that just about wraps up the Brighton Japan Festival, which lasted over ten days in June. Overall, I was really impressed with everything I saw. My only criticism of the event would be that the timings were pretty sketchy and it would have been easy to have missed something if I had relied on the timings on the website. But other than that, everything was fabulous! Most of the event was free, too, which really added to its appeal. It was really wonderful to be able to go to Brighton and indulge in my love for Japan – Japanese food, music, art, traditions and fashion. I will definitely try to go again next year!

Brighton Japan Festival, 26th June 2011

6 thoughts on “Brighton Japan Festival: Asahi Anime Festival, Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th June 2011

  1. I love the pics, seems like I’ve missed quite a bit, while hanging round the town. Also great to get a taiko video – hard to explain to those who ask, what it actually sounds like!
    (and as a bonus I got my legs sighting as well on one of your pics. I probably have you, snapping away, in most of mine 😉
    Cheers

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment! Feel free to share the taiko video next time someone asks you what taiko is. 😉 Yeah, you got me in a couple of your photos (I have an orangey/pinky top on with dark blue jeans).

      Like

  2. Thanks for taking so many lovely picture!As I was so busy and could not really look around in the festival, I am so happy to see this all the photos and comments.

    I was so happy you brought your own box to take away our sweets. That’s why I really like having a sale here. People are so caring.

    By the way, if you go to http://www.an-an.co.uk, you should be able to go to my home page. product pages are specially funny to paly around.

    nx
    an-an

    Like

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