Gaming and anime go hand-in-hand, and the impact of Persona 5 and Genshin Impact could not be ignored at Taipei’s 12th annual International Comics and Animation Festival today. Situated at the convention centre opposite the capital’s famous Taipei 101 building, fans rushed onto the show floor kitted out as all kinds of characters – with HoYoverse’s eclectic selection of heroes clearly ruling the roost.
On the show floor itself, upcoming gacha spin-off Persona 5: The Phantom X had an enormous presence, with a Shibuya Station photo booth and playable pods situated behind a giant stage area, running regular events. Attendees were able to nab some themed swag, with the game already enjoying a closed beta test in China, as it nears launch. Considering the enormous success of other smartphone spin-offs like Atelier Resleriana, we get the sneaking suspicion this game is going to be massive in the Asian market.
One vendor flogging Honkai: Star Rail swag attracted queues of up to 200 people, and this author waited patiently in line for almost 30 minutes for a chance to pick up a couple of pins and an art card. Meanwhile, mobile MOBA game Jump: Stars Assemble – which features characters from hit mangs like Dragon Ball Z, Jujutsu Kaisen, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and more – had an area with a bunch of models, each representing characters from a different property.
While the Lunar New Year holidays mean a lot of children were in attendance at the show, a gated off adults-only section – which required identification to enter – spotlighted the spicier side of the industry, with several familiar characters sketched with fewer clothes than fans may be used to. Photos weren’t allowed in this area, so you’ll just have to use your imagination – or venture to the seedier side of the Internet if you prefer.
Unlike most gaming conventions, where the emphasis is on showcasing software, this was very much an event where you were encouraged to cough up on geek culture items, like statues and figurines. For those interested, yours truly nabbed a figurine of Yor from Spy X Family and the aforementioned HoYoverse goodies. The show will continue to run right through the weekend, where it’s expected to attract almost half-a-million visitors once it finally wraps on Sunday evening.