S’pore-organised cosplay event riddled with multiple problems, slammed by cosplay community

So much drama.

By Guan Zhen Tan | August 6, 2017

Given the popularity of Japanese pop culture, especially that of cosplay and fashion, different events and conventions pop up over the course of the year to cater to growing demand.

The latest such event here is Akiba Town, which markets itself as a Japanese culture event bringing in official anime merchandise along with fan artists and guest cosplayers.

It’s on now, by the way, from Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6.

We understand the next question on your mind might be where it’s happening, but the answer to that involves diving headfirst into a pretty long list of issues the event’s organisers seem to have run into – or been discovered to have done:

1. Late-stage change in location

Originally slated to take place at Orchard Central for its debut run, the Akiba Town organisers first advertised the event on June 22:

However, just over a month later, and just a week before the actual event was to take place, organisers announced a change of location to Marina Bay Sands, which according to the organisers, was due to the lack of space:

A venue within a venue

The Facebook page administrators uploaded this photo album, detailing how to get to their event:

And of course, potential event goers realised that the directions pointed to an area within a completely unrelated travel fair called Travel Revolution, organised by the Singapore Outbound Travel Agents Association (SOTAA).

Cosplayers were understandably confused:

Screenshot of comments via Akiba Town’s Facebook post

Even local wrestling enthusiast Kurt Tay left a negative review as well:

Screenshot via Kurt Foo Wei Tay’s Facebook post

2. Giving away prizes to members of staff

Some cosplayers also noticed that in a giveaway contest held by the Akiba Town organisers, one of its staff members and cosplay guests, who went by the moniker Qian Yawns, won a prize:

Screenshot from Akiba Town Facebook page

Interestingly, the alleged insider appeared to have no qualms with the fact that she participated and won something, even commenting on the post:

Screenshot from Akiba Town Facebook page

The organisers later responded to a complaint to that effect, and admitted to it happening, saying they “understand that it is inappropriate for (their) staff to participate”.

They also said they will give the prize to another participant.

3. Allowing a vendor to carry stolen artwork to be sold as official merchandise

There were also allegations that one of the event’s vendors, Pan in the Box, was carrying unlicensed merchandise that was allegedly taken from other artists without due credit or compensation.

Upon being discovered, the organisers also said they spoke to Pan in the Box, which “will swiftly rectify the issues about the merchandise that (the commenter) mentioned”:

 

Screenshot via Akiba Town’s review page on Facebook

4. Allegedly over-selling event to potential vendors, then telling them there wasn’t enough space for them

This appears to have happened to at least one company, an employee of which took to the Facebook page with a scathing review too:

Screenshot via Akiba Town’s review page on Facebook

This was then responded to accordingly, by none other than Qian Yawns:

Comment via Silver Chua’s post on Akiba Town’s review page on Facebook

5. Deleting and blocking negative feedback and commenters

Some also realised their negative comments were getting deleted, and their accounts blocked from the page:

Screenshot via Akiba Town’s review page on Facebook

 

Not all bad?

Some also proposed differing views, defending and praising the event:

Screenshots via Akiba Town’s review page on Facebook

Messed up, or just trying their best? You decide.

Top image adapted via Akiba Town’s Facebook page.

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About Guan Zhen Tan

Guan Zhen is a serial doodler with multiple pens with her wherever she goes. She loves listening to Visual Kei bands, Jamiroquai and random songs from the future-funk genre.

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