As Japan’s biggest anime expo crafted specifically for girls, Animate Girls Festival 2022 doesn’t disappoint with a slew of exhibitors collecting anime, comics, voice actors, merchandise, otome games, cosplay, and everything that appeals to a female fanbase. At its main venue at Ikebukuro, Tokyo, the large-scale event featured over 70 booths, stage events, and live performances spanning two days from November 5 and 6.
Now in its 13th year, the theme of AGF2022 is the Japanese concept of “WA.” WA can express multiple meanings, such as one’s surroundings (環), communication (話), and circular connection (輪). By creating this variety of WA, the expo aim to build a space where all girls can enjoy themselves.
In addition to the corporate booths and sales booths at Ikebukuro Sunshine City that are the centerpiece of each year, various programs such as the exhibitor panels and sponsored events will take place within the city of Ikebukuro as well. Furthermore, not only will this be limited to Ikebukuro, but AGF2022 was also held online and at Animate stores.
Whether you’ve heard of AGF2022 before or not, it may be hard to feel the uniqueness of the event unless you take a trip to Japan yourself. But don’t fret if you miss the event! Follow QooApp for a special visit to this largest expo for girls, and what makes it so special from many other events.
AGF2022 Highlighted Booths & Exhibitors
Nijisanji and Nijisanji EN
One of the highlights of the event is undoubtedly the special collaboration with Nijisanji and Nijisanji EN. In addition to a dedicated booth selling exclusive items and merch of the two collaborated units VOLTACTION and Luxiem, all visitors of AGF2022 can obtain a large bag for free when they enter the venue.
A mystery-solving event and collaboration coaster campaign collaborating with Nijisanji and Nijisanji EN will also be held in various shops and spots in Ikebukuro! Titled Luxiem x VOLTACTION -Secret Mission-, the campaigns encourage you to visit different spots in Ikebukuro and solve the riddles. If you do manage to solve them, you’ll get an acrylic key ring as a prize!
Magatsu Note & Blackstar -Theater Starless
Created by the Japanese developer DONUTS, the multimedia project Magatsu Note and rhythm mobile game Blackstar -Theater Starless shared a booth side by side.
Being the first time to join the Animate Girls Festival, Magatsu Note centers on 13 Sengoku Warlords, who rise up in the near future to protest the privileged few in an apocalyptic world. While this project may be unfamiliar to many western readers, it actually gained quite the attention in Japan when it was first initiated earlier this year with its rock music and insanely hot character design.
To further leave an impression in your head, Magatsu Note showcased a correlation diagram to untangle the complicated relations between the demonic characters. A character poll was also held in the booth so that you can support the guys that you love the most.
Fans of bad guys x rock music shall be no strangers to Blackstar -Theater Starless, a rhythm mobile game featuring heated entertainment battles among the vocal units in a show restaurant. In addition to the specially made goods and merch of bed photoshoots, Blackstar also put a bedroom setting at its AGF venue and a projection highlighting the newly drawn illustrations by the game’s character designer YSK.
While music is what defines these two projects, visitors of AGF2022 will have the chance to experience how good their music is in person with talk shows and live performances featuring the cast members, singers, and dancers at the Fountain Square of Sunshine City. Unfortunately, photos are prohibited during the performances, but all I can say is that their music just rocked the roof off the whole shopping mall.
Ketsugou Danshi: Elements with Emotions
Ketsugou Danshi: Elements with Emotions, the newly announced Joseimuke game by Square Enix, caught quite the attention when it was initially revealed in September. Set to release for mobile and Nintendo Switch in 2023, the game will ask players to bond with the Shikenkan, special boys that wield the elements of the periodic table, as the world comes to an end in 50 days. At AGF2022, it was also announced that the series is getting a comic adaptation
Visitors of its Square Enix booth at AGF2022 can not only take home a freely distributed bag, but also a booklet detailing the characters and gameplay of Ketsugou Danshi! There was also a Chemical Test challenge that gave away a special character voice card to participants who followed the official Twitter and tweeted their answers with the specific tag.
The Square Enix booth also featured a special showcase of the manga series Toilet-bound Hanako-kun. A special Hanako-kun x Ketsugou Danshi illustration by the manga author AidaIro was also displayed.
Evil Prince and the Puppet
The project of Evil Prince and the Puppet has been announced a while back in 2020 and we finally have an update that the dark fantasy ADV will be arriving on smartphones in 2023!
For those who do not family with this new title, Evil Prince and the Puppet Dark centers on Prince Dia (CV: Yu Kobayashi), who destroyed his own country after falling into the darkness, the loyal knight Espada (CV: Makoto Furukawa), and the princess of the neighboring country, Fiori (CV: Natsuki Hanae), beginning an unprecedented story where demons and humans intersect.
At its AGF2022 booth, Evil Prince and the Puppet showcases the life-size panels of some of its ikemen characters, as well as a bunch exquisite of tapestries to rebuild its fantasy worldview.
Those who pay a visit to the booth can get a special booklet that gives a detailed introduction to its ikemen characters, a shopping bag, original stickers, and a set of postcards!
As the first project of +ONE by Ikémen Series, a new brand that was established to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ikémen Series, Koihana Bakumeiroku highlighted their historical samurai with three life-size panels of Saitō Hajime, Kido Takayoshi, and Saigō Takamori. During AGF2022, the game also revealed the first teaser video, smartphones, and PC via Animate Games in Japan next year.
Sengoku A Live
Sengoku A Live may be a rather peculiar title at first glance, considering that it is a media mix project centered on the familiar Japanese Sengoku warlords, who suddenly appear in present-day Shibuya with an ambition to unite the country using songs as their weapons.
The project will launch a smartphone rhythm game in the Spring of 2023 and the cover song lineup will undoubtedly please J-Pop fans. Some of the announced songs include “La La La Love Song,” “Desire,” “Escape,” and more.
At its booth in AGF2022, Sengoku A Live also made a poll to collect opinions on which famous songs fans would like the cast to cover. Also, if you register as an official LINE friend or follow its official Twitter, you will receive a special sticker featuring its Sengoku warlords!
As one of the most successful idol franchises in Japan, the Ensemble Stars! booth has probably the longest line in the Animate Girls Festival! The booth has pre-sale some of the latest Enstars’ merchandise, such as a special portrait frame based on the mobile game’s cards.
While at its special showcase with Ensky, the 3rd collection of its Ensemble Stars! bath towel and clear key holders was on displayed. Pre-orders are also available now!
Also, to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the serialization of Ensembukubu Stars!, a 4-panel gag parody drawn by Bkub Okawa, the official shop of Ensembukubu Stars! debut for the first time at Animate Girls Festival!
Stand My Heroes
The otome puzzle game Stand My Heroes is back to AGF2022 this year with arrays of original goods featuring a special illustration under the concept of “The Butterfly Effects” created specifically for this event! While the illustrations are gorgeous enough for those who would love to have a special souvenir with the boys!
HOLOSTARS & UPROAR!!
hololive Production’s male Vtuber group HOLOSTARS is back again to AGF 2022 for the third consecutive year and this year, they have brought UPROAR!!, a new unit that made its debut this March. Apart from special goods and a life-size panel display of the members, live talks by the HOLOSTARS members will be shown on the monitor installed in the booth, where you can actually interact with them at the venue!
Tsukiuta has brought the whole Tsukino School Cultural Festival to AGF2022 with three booths! The booth reproduces the worldview of Hyakunen Aoharu, a stage play in which the idols have starred. While Cultural Festival-themed merchandise was on sale in the exhibition halls, special items of VAZZROCK and infinit0 were also available!
The November issue of Tsukipro Info was also distributed in advance at the AGF2022 venue, highlighting the upcoming Rabbits Kingdom the Movie, an anime movie adaptation of Tsukiuta’s fifth stage play, Rabbits Kingdom. The movie is set to premiere in December 2023
First initiated in July 2022, Shiranami 5 is a new multimedia project which centers on five guys inheriting the DNA of Shiranami Gonin Otoko (directly translated as “Five Men of the White Waves”), a term used to refer to thieves in the traditional kabuki play Benten Kozō. The project has released nine voice drama episodes, but the developer also revealed plans to expand the project to other media.
Those who have interest on the project can also check out the project’s trailer featuring the theme song “Yabami no Shiranami” by arisa.
Weiß Schwarz Blau (WSB)
As a new brand to celebrates the 15th annversary of Bushiroad’s Weiß Schwarz collectible card game, Weiß Schwarz Blau obviously knows its female targets by collaborating with various joseimuke franchise at its first card season, such as A3!, from Argonavis, Holostars, Utaprince, Strawberry prince, Dectective Conan and more.
Among the star-studdend linup, four collaboration card set; A3!, ZINGAI, Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love series and Chiikawa was available for pre-sales at AGF2022 ahead of its release on November 19. A special illustration featuring the four troupe leaders of A3! was also revealed at its dedicated booth, stealing the eyes of fans! Visitors of the booth can also get a booklet for beginners and PR card of the moscot Browdog!
The AGF2022 booth of multi-dimensional media project Arcanamusica showcased the life-size panels of the characters, with new illustrations created specifically for the event.
Encompassing everything from music videos, drama, voice comics, social media content, and much more, the project features characters that are based on the concept of tarot cards. Celebrating its first anniversary, Arcanamusica has also confirmed the release of its first album in February 2023. Those who visited the booth can also get a random polaroid-themed card as a souvenir!
The boys of Aopella were turned into wizards and vampires for a special Halloween Party at AGF2022. While it may be a little bit late for Halloween celebrations, it doesn’t stop fans to buy these original goods created specifically for the two-day event!
Created by Klab, the multimedia music project has created another trend by focusing on acapella, a type of musical performance where people perform without any instruments. Most of the project’s performance can be found on its official Youtube, and its music videos of various J-Pop cover songs hav surpassed 1 million views!
Helios Rising Heroes
The AGF 2022 booth of Helios Rising Heroes also brings the latest original goods of the mobile to please female fans. Perfectly suit up to celebrate the game’s 2nd anniversary, the heroes bring their handsome side to the audience with a lineup of badges, acrylic stands, blankets, portraits, and more!
The series also announced a collaboration with the Japanese brand fanfancy+ in late December, with new items featuring the chibi heroes posing different lovely heart gestures!
Bushiroad showcased two titles from Argonavis and The New Prince of Tennis: Let’s Go!! Daily Life from RisingBeat. In addition to the life-sized panels exhibited at the booth and original goods on sale, from Argonavis also debuted the new character visuals for the band members at the AGF2022. In celebration of this new reveal, booth visitors can draw the special Gashapon for free and take a passport photo featuring this new visual!
The New Prince of Tennis: Let’s Go!! Daily Life from RisingBeat
Recently released for Nintendo Switch in Japan, The New Prince of Tennis: Let’s Go!! Daily Life from RisingBeat shows the gameplay, as well as a special display to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the smartphone game New Prince of Tennis Rising Beat.
Uta no Prince-sama
The idols of Uta no Prince-sama have turned into heroes for a shining debut at AGF2022! From badges, acrylic stands, folders, towels, and pouches, the merchandise line-up has everything you want to need to collect the shining heroes! One of the most highlighted items is undoubtedly the chibi plushies, as you can hold the adorable heroes tight in your arms!
Takami-Musubi no Kami
In the anthropomorphic project Takami-Musubi no Kami, characters are born as incarnations of the Ario commercial facilities and shopping mall in the hopes o connecting all kinds of people in the area!
While it may be a very localized project that was known by the Japanese only, the project does features a lot of kawaii character designs and renowned seiyuu, such as Satoshi Hino, Akari Kitō, Jun Fukuyama, Takuma Terashima, Inori Minase, and more! Those who stop by the booth can draw your fortunate with the Omikuji to get free candy…and a chance to take the original goods home!
Live A Hero
Lifewonders’s turn-based mobile RPG Live A Hero joins AGF2022 with the game’s kawaii mascot characters! A super cool figure of the in-game characters is also on display!
When there are more and more otome games that are getting a Nintendo Switch port nowadays, it is almost a must for girls to have a Switch in their hands. Displaying the latest otome titles last and the coming years, the AGF2022 Nintendo Switch booth also showcases a set of Nintendo Switch and Joy-Con with the acrylic stands of Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 4th Heart and Angelique Luminarise that match the colors of the displayed Joy-Con.
The site also has a life-size panel of voice actor KENN, who is familiar as the captain of “KENN and XX! Nintendo Switch Experience Squad!” a program to take a deeper look at different new otome games. You are also free to take a photo with Captain KENN as if you were at the shooting site!
Apart from the special showcase, a new issue of Dengeki Girl’s Style Nintendo Switch Special Edition magazine featuring a collaboration cover of Angelique Luminarise, Hakuouki Shinkai, and BUSTAFELLOWS was also distributed for free. The magazine not only includes a special interview with KENN, but a also detailed introduction to Ketsugou Danshi: Elements with Emotions!
The booth also distributed a set of four AGF-limited message cards with a download number attached, which allows you to download the trial version of Angelique Luminarise, Ken ga Kimi for S, BUSTAFELLOWS, and Spade no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful White World!
With its second game ready to hit the Japanese market soon, BUSTAFELLOWS exhibited life-sized panels featuring the characters in a new outfit under the slogan “Whether it changes or ends.” The booth also has an opinion box, in which you can send your messages to the series’ character designer Kohaku Sumeragi and other production staff! They may even your questions through the official Twitter (＠NEW_SIEG)!
A quiz about BUSTAFELLOWS was held at the booth! For those who answer the quiz correctly, you can receive a stamp on the free “New Seeg Passport” on the spot, and a stick poster of your favorite character.
Bungo Stray Dogs
As the anime’s fourth season is just around the corner, Bungo Stray Dogs joins AGF2022 with a special showcase of the anime’s storyboard. The booth is also handling goods of two new illustrations featuring the characters in suits.
Hetalia: World Stars
Ciao Ciao ♪ Italy is coming to AGF2022! New products featuring the countries in Ikemen (normal) and chibi style were on sale at its booth, decorated with a special display of the characters!
Tokyo Revengers is undoubtedly a rising title that wins the heart of girls since its anime adaptation debuted last July. Its popularity in Japan was obvious considering the massive variety of goods and merchandise available not just in AGF, but in every Anime Shop in Japan.
Tokyo Revengers further pleased the female fans with a brand-new illustration featuring the delinquents in stylish outfits. While the life-sized panels welcome you to take a picture with your favorite characters, a bunch of new merch was also available on sale.
Premiering in October 2022, Blue Lock is another eye-catching series that steals the spotlight! With an accumulative circulation exceeding 10 million copies the manga also won the 45th Kodansha Manga Award for Boys! Don’t forget to take a picture with these unusual soccer players who debut for the first time in AGF!
My Hero Academia
The bones stone at AGF2022 has a pretty small window just to sell the goods of My Hero Academia, But as the goods feature a new illustration that was sold in advance in the event venue, it had attracted a long line of girls who like to take this goods home!
The star-studded line-up of Aniplex has earned its AGF2022 booth one of the longest lines in the event. The booth handles the original goods and merchandise of four titles; Urusei Yatsura, Demon Slayer, FGO, and Raven of the Inner Palace. The booth also showcased the signature boards of the cast of the upcoming idol anime, Unite Up!, and the storyboard of the television anime adaptation of Raven of the Inner Palace, which premiered last month.
Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion
The anime adaptation of Milcha and Whale’s Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion webtoon was confirmed to premiere in April 2023.
To celebrate the announcement, the anime has a special showcase at Animate Girls Festival 2022, including two life-size panels of the protagonist Raeliana and Noah, which are voiced by Yume Miyamoto and Yuichiro Umehara, respectively. A video interviewing the two cast was also streamed on-site for visitors to learn more about the behind-the-scene stories during recordings.
Look Up Series by MegaHouse
For the first time in three years, the figure maker MegaHouse brings an adorable collection of its Look Up series to AGF2022! The exhibition certainly stole the spotlight with the mega-sized Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Yuji Itadori for a perfect photo spot.
The Look Up series also features a lot of popular games and anime such as Uma Musume, Disney Twisted-Wonderland, Demon Slayer, Chainsaw man, Haikyu!!, One Piece, and more. An attentive touch is that MegaHouse had placed a bunch of furnitures and accessories for you to customize a scene for your kawaii companions.
What Makes Animate Girls Festival So Unique?
It is true to say that the Joseimuke and Otome titles are getting stronger and stronger in recent years with multiple best-selling games gaining success not only in Japan but worldwide. Animate Girls Festival is a perfect indication of how these games have won the heart of female audiences as the two-day event was stuffed with crowds who desired to take their “Oshi” home.
While AGF-exclusive merchandise may be the main purpose for most visitors, it also provides a platform for makers and creators to connect to their target audience. Many booths had set up interactive corners, character votings, and letterboxes to collect their voices and for research purposes. And yes, all the visitors are their target audience, which makes most of the new titles/ games strive to make an impression by distributing special gifts and pamphlets.
As a visitor, I have been enjoying myself the whole time not only because I can dive into the different content showcased by my beloved Joseimuke and Otome titles, but also the unique atmosphere that the Animate Girls Festival has to offer.
Imagine a place where only girls can enter and all of them share the same passion. That’s just what I experience at AGF2022, it just provides a safe haven for you to pursue things that you adore. Coming from an editor who has been attending game or anime expos around the world, I have never visited a game expo that is so unique and specifically crafted for niche players. All in all, nothing is better than spending time with your gal pals and talking all about guys for the entire day.
Animate Girls Festival 2022 (AGF2022) Info
Dates: November 5 to 6, 2022
Location: Ikebukuro, Sunshine City, and more.
Details: Sales & PR booths, sponsored events within the Ikebukuro area, animate store events, online events, etc.
Organizer: animate Girls Festival Executive Committee