The Best of Anime is an annual Anime and Pop Culture Convention held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. I first attended BOA on their second year back in 2011 and I have been coming back every year since then. Following my attendance, The Best of Anime, to me, has set the standard for local Anime and Cosplay conventions; and more local conventions are, in a way, following the scheme BOA has set.
When pop culture gatherings were just emerging in local mainstream, the anime and cosplay convention scene had become very monotonous – when you’ve gone to one, you’ve gone to them all. There were exceptions, of course, but they cycled around barely notable things like celebrity guests, local in-scene bands, themes, or media coverage. And everyone apparently shared the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” notion; not realizing how an improvement could benefit the scene.
What I immediately noticed from attending The Best of Anime, was the initiative to stray from the norm and create an improved local con culture. However, they don’t just plaster the change up front; they ease participants into the changes compelling them realize the improvement on their own.
A good example of what BOA has brought to the table is the change in venue. Back then, almost all otaku and fan gatherings we’re held at the SM Megatrade Halls. These were tiny halls that were filled with as many booths as possible to catch up on venue costs; cons were literally just one long line around the venue. The SMX Convention Center on the other hand, allows for a systematized division of stage, booth, food, and cosplay areas.
The Best of Anime is one of the few conventions that encourage con-goers to be more interactive with the event. Compared to single focus cosplay events, BOA holds several competitions and activities, that even non-cosplayers get to enjoy; such as a karaoke competitions, battle of the bands, dubbing workshops, and gaming booths. They also give out awards for small-time presenters, booths, and co-organizers that take part in the event. Likewise, BOA supports healthy interscholastic competition with the Inter-School Cosplay Competition.
Of course, The Best of Anime is not without its showcase of talent. BOA boasts a roster of outstanding local and foreign talents every year. Among the celebrity cosplayers attending this year are Misa, Jun Kaise, Sara Tousa Bao, and Yau to name a few. This year’s musical lineup includes Haruna Luna, INKT, Uchusentai Noiz, Gracenote, and Tanya Markova.
I attend The Best of Anime every year because it doesn’t pretend to be something else – it is a legit Filipino Anime Convention with Pinoy organizers, Pinoy talent, and Pinoy attendees. With BOA, what you see is what you get; it encourages each attendee to be a part of the fun. It supports the secondary presenters and co-organizers as much as the big ones. I Attend The Best of Anime every year because I enjoy seeing the local con culture grow.
The Best of Anime will be on the 17th and 18th of this month at the SMX Convention Center. Click through to their website to learn more about the event and to purchase tickets. You can also follow them on Facebook for updates and announcements.