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CoFesta in Brazil Part 1 – Introduction

2010/07/09

Yeah, this is the post I’ve been talking about since March. It was a thorn in my neck to pick the right pics and videos to go with it (I took 700+ pics). But, here we go! CoFesta (コ・フェスタ) is the abbreviation of JAPAN INTERNATIONAL CONTENTS FESTIVAL. It’s the world’s largest comprehensive contents festival, featuring the very best of Japanese games, anime, manga, characters, broadcast, music and film. It’s first edition dates back to 2007 and since then it’s been held annually. Originally it’s a mega-event, comprising already large and well-known events (such as Tokyo Game Show and Tokyo International Film Festival) in several Japanese cities for some 25+ days. CoFesta’s slogan is “Multi Contents Link,” referring to the fact that nowadays the cultural industry is mostly intertwined. It’s the case of the popular manga that ends up having an anime version and games as a result of its success. Then, these kind of media always need original soundtracks and voice actors, there you have a virtuous cycle going on and on. This sort of phenomena is definitely something we should be grateful for, since it enables us to come into contact with our passions in a multidimensional way. Actually, I believe nowhere in the world has developed such linkage as much as Japan. As a matter of fact, I do think that’s one of the main reasons Japanese culture is so popular worldwide: chances are that one cultural industry will grab your attention sooner or later, and when that happens the links come into action and you’ll notice you’re also consuming products from the other industries. Of course, I do not think that’s the sole reason for the success of Japanese pop culture overseas, but it’s certainly one of the main factors that contributed to it. Anyway, what’s important here is that CoFesta’s Executive Committee decided that in 2010 was going to be the first time CoFesta would take place overseas as a stand-alone event (it had already hosted booths at France’s JAPAN EXPO and Singapore’s Anime Festival Asia). Fortunately, they decided that Brazil would host the event, which would take place at the Ibirapuera Bienal, in São Paulo, from March 11 to 14. Well, that alone would be a great reason to attend it. I mean, it would definitely diverge a lot from its previous editions, but hey, when would you expect such an important event to be held in Latin America? If that wasn’t enough, the invited guests, who would perform live shows daily, were seiyū Miki Maruyama (voice of Astro Boy’s sister Uran, Tales of the Abyss’ Mieu, and Lemon Angel Project‘s protagonist Miki Suwa), the duo Piyorabbie (pop singers and [w]otagei perfomers famous in Akihabara) and one of my favorite vocalists of all times Yoko Takahashi. Definitely a once in a lifetime event.

But even before talking about the event itself I can point out an important problem: the event’s publicity was practically nonexistent. There were merely some posters attached to some stores at Liberdade, São Paulo’s Japanese district. I myself came to learn about it by March 3rd, less than a week before the opening ceremony. I barely had the time to let my beard grow to attend it cosplaying as Gendou Ikari. ^^;; No wonder the event was far from crowded most of the time. Another small problem was that apparently they mixed up the English name of the event with the Portuguese writing of Brazil (which is with an “s”), the right choices would be “CoFesta no Brasil” in Portuguese or “CoFesta in Brazil” in English. ^^;; And I think this post is already enormous, so I’ll hold back the review of the event and most of the pictures for part 2 (and possibly a part 3), which I plan to publish till Monday. I assure you this time’s for real. ^^;;

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