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Thousands flock to Singapore Anime Festival after long COVID hiatus – SABC News

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Thousands of cosplayers and anime fans flocked to the annual Asia Anime Festival (AFA) in Singapore last weekend, the first time it has been held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago.

The three-day convention celebrates all things Japanese pop culture.

Anime, a subculture originating in Japan, has continued to flourish and grow internationally in recent years despite the pandemic, largely thanks to its extensive online presence and support from members.

The last time AFA was held in 2019, 120,000 people attended.

​​​​​​While exact ticket sales will not be available until later, festival director Sean Chin told Reuters that he expects the number of tickets in Singapore to reach the same number, if not exceed it.

“Now that I’m in Singapore, it feels like meeting old friends because I’ve been in constant online contact with people here,” said famous Taiwanese cosplayer Hiko from her booth in the exhibition hall.

Singapore has relaxed most of its measures to combat COVID-19 this year, and various international events have been returning to the city-state in recent months.

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