15 years old and running strong!

AniManGaki (AMG), one of Malaysia’s top animation, comics, and games (ACG) events, was held at the Mines International Exhibit and Convention Centre. 

AMG2023 proudly celebrated its 15th Anniversary this year, adding an additional day making it a 3-day event running from August 25 to 27, 2023. 

AMG2023 in action

The convention featured an exciting line-up of guests and exclusive activities, bringing many firsts to its event space and the Malaysian ACG scene and thrilling their fans and attendees with guest panels, workshops, and even live stage events.

AMG2023 featured a multitude of workshop sessions including hands-on introductory lessons for attendees to learn and experience. 

Shogi board

Shogi Malaysia held a session introducing participants to Shogi, a Japanese strategy board game and chess equivalent. 

And riveting campaigns were held by Nightshade Tavern as an introductory session to the popular tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons campaign books

AMG2023 also hosted over 80 Exhibitor booths consisting of various anime, comic, and game related products and services. 

The Artist Alley held over 250 booths where many artists proudly displayed their works and sold handmade crafts for attendees to enjoy and take home. 

Artist Alley

Their Cosplay Alley featured 88 of the top cosplayers happily hosting meet-and-greet sessions with their fans and supporters. 

Hakken, the international cosplay sensation, and Malaysia’s most followed cosplayer also made an appearance at the convention. 

Cosplayer Hitomi at her booth

One of AMG2023 major highlights included the appearance of several featured guests prominent in the anime industry. 

They include CoMix Wave Films, the production studio behind the anime movies “Suzume”, “Your Name”, “Voices of a Distant Star”, and “5cm per Second” which made its first-ever international convention appearance at AMG2023. 

CoMix Wave Films producer Shuhei Hamasaki 

The studio’s producer and general manager Shuhei Hamasaki shared about the studio's surprise at the overwhelmingly positive international reception to the Makoto Shinkai film “Your Name”. 

He reports that the studio is encouraged to continue on its trajectory with quality storytelling in producing their future titles striving to please their audiences. 

Hamasaki also confirmed that the live-action adaptation of “Your Name” is currently in production.

Anime merchandise on display

Another highlight of the convention was a live drawing session with Yusuke Kozaki, an illustrator from Japan who is the character designer for popular game series such as the Fire Emblem series, and “Pokemon GO” from the Pokemon franchise.

Kozaki live drawing session

Kozaki has worked on game series, such as Fire Emblem, where he often has to design 50 to 70 characters. 

He shared his process on how he is able to design multiple characters by first designing the character heads to ensure their uniqueness. 

Anime theme vehicle wrapping

Kozaki said that although he is proud of every title he has worked on, he is most proud of his work on “Fire Emblem Awakening” and shared how the former president of Nintendo came up to him to thank Kozaki personally for his work on the series. 

Awakening was so well received that the game company chose to expand the series with an additional game.

Kozaki autographing poster

Performing on stage was Keisuke Ito, a musician, composer, and band leader hailing from Japan whose works are in franchises such as Naruto, Kemono Friends, and Ensemble Stars. 

Ito performing with shamisen on stage

Ito took to the stage playing the shamisen, a Japanese three-string instrument reminisced of a guitar, to a captive audience. 

His ensembles play a selection of traditional Japanese folkloric or traditional music as well as jazz or pop covers, and also original compositions.

Ito with shamisen 

Ito also held a shamisen 101 workshop session to share his passion and knowledge of the instrument.

Lastly, JKT48, the most popular girl group from Indonesia and also the first international sister group of AKB48, held a mini-live performance on stage to a cheering audience.

Maids at work at maid café

AMG2023 also played host to maid cafés, which are themed interactive and performative dining experiences popular in Japan. 

Guests were invited to dine at "Anone Anone", a 'Cells at Work' inspired themed maid cafe organized by Project Meido, and "ICU Concafe", a Hospital themed concept cafe.

Food vendor selling yakitori and oden

As a new feature, AMG2023 has added food vendors and a Makan Corner for attendees to dine in comfortably.

AniManGaki is one of Malaysia's largest ACG events. They are reportedly one of the only three active ACG event organizers to represent Malaysia at the International Otaku Expo Association (IOEA) of Japan.

DJ Haru's stage performance

Written by JC

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