The upcoming Otaku Festival in Bengaluru promises to be a paradise for anime lovers

Featuring a cosplay competition, anime merchandise stalls, live performances, art and craft workshops, photo ops and interactive installations — the festival seems like a must-visit if you are into anime
In frame: Daisuki cosplay band
In frame: Daisuki cosplay band

Bengaluru is quite the hub for anime lovers and the community is only growing. From Comic Con to other such festivals, these are a testament to the love anime has in the city. One such upcoming anime festival in the city is Otaku Festival by Blend Community.

Featuring a cosplay competition, anime merchandise stalls, live performances, art and craft workshops, photo ops and interactive installations — the festival seems like a must-visit if you are into anime. We speak to Hariprasad Shetty, co-founder, Blend Community to let you in on everything you need to know about this upcoming extravaganza.

In frame: Daisuki cosplay band
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“We realised that there is a growing industry in the anime sector in India. From the research that we did, we got to know that there were around 118 million fans in India itself for anime. That’s why we came up with the festival. Otaku means a person having an intense interest in the fields of anime and manga.

We are trying to build multiple experiences with this festival. There is a very big growing industry for cosplay in India. One highlight of the festival is the cosplay competition which will last for about two or three hours. We’re expecting about 50 plus cosplayers to perform. On Day 2, we have Daisuki, India’s first cosplay band, performing. They will dress up like anime characters and they will perform some of the most famous theme songs from popular anime movies and series,” begins Hariprasad.

In frame: Daisuki cosplay band
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Apart from these, the festival also has multiple brand collaborations, like the Red Bull F1 Simulator, which is a gaming zone. One can also participate in various workshops like origami and face painting. What makes the festival unique is the scale on which it is being organised. Also, the festival is community driven. “One gap that we saw is that people perceive anime as just Naruto or other new and more popular characters, but in reality, anime has been existing for a really long time. We had Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z, to just name a few, so there will be stalls for those as well,” adds Hariprasad.

The judges for the cosplay competition includes Ankita Kemkar and Rohit Kailashiya, who have won multiple awards and competitions. They are known for making their own costumes, which is a really crucial part. We end our conversation with Hariprasad by asking him what’s next for Blend Community. “Following this, we will start working on Blend Bazaar, which we plan to do in the month of February and it is going to be bigger than last year. We are also planning on a bigger sneaker festival and we are calling it Sole Town. That is a work in progress and we will probably be announcing it in a couple of months.”

INR 99 onwards. July 6 and 7, 11 am onwards. At Garuda Mall, Magrath Road.

Email: alwin@newindianexpress.com

X: @al_ben_so

In frame: Daisuki cosplay band
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