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Inside AnimeJapan 2019: Bandai Namco Animation Airport, Bandai Spirits, Gundam Narrative Booths

posted on by Kim Morrissy

This is part 2 of our coverage of AnimeJapan 2019. Read part 1 here.

AnimeJapan had some really fun, interactive booths this year. We've already looked at the mammoth-sized Aniplex-owned booths, but every company does their best to stand out with eye-catching displays.

The Bandai Namco booth had my favorite concept. It was decked out like an airport, complete with a terminal and flight number for each anime. Plus, it gets bonus points for dressing up the booth staff as flight attendants. Even the heroine of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is dressed like an attendant.

When you enter the booth, the staff present you with a free passport that you can get stamped at every gate. Although this is a neat idea, it did end up creating a bottleneck in the lines. But hey, isn't that also what a real airport is like?

The first area begins, predictably, with Gundam and its sprawling history.

In the next area, we see the characters of The Magnificent KOTOBUKI and their fighter planes.

One wall shows text and picture summaries of all the Star Blazers 2202 movies. There was also a photo spot with the poster of the seventh and final movie: Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi.

Here's my shot:

The One-Punch Man mask came from an area advertising the second season. I'm glad that the second season got greenlit, if only because those masks gave me a chuckle.

The That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime area was pretty neat, as it was constantly lighting up and showing footage of slimes bouncing around the place.

The next area had the entire timeline of Love Live! School idol project, showing its roots all the way from 2010. It's hard to believe that it's almost been 10 years.

The Eureka Seven area was showing off key animation frames from the recent Eureka Seven: Hi - Evolution movies.

This adorable visual of the Girls und Panzer girls shows embarking on the jet-setting lifestyle.

An entire shelf was dedicated to the Miki no Mikoto (literally: Lords of Sacred Sake) franchise, which personifies various famous sake brands as pretty boys. You can see both the alcohol and the pretty boy counterpart very clearly.

There's also a recreation of a secret base that players create in Bandai Namco's upcoming adventure game Ninja Box.

Before I knew it, I had arrived at my destination. As I made my way out the exit, I saw a collection of suitcases with an IDOLiSH7 Vibrato visual to my left.

Just a stone's throw away from the Bandai Namco Animation Airport was the Bandai Spirits booth, which is dedicated to all things figure-related. A Godzilla statue was standing menacingly outside the booth.

The sparkling gold Saint Seiya statue was also an impressive sight.

And, just as you'd expect from Bandai Spirits, there was a collection of really cool figures.

My second favorite booth overall was the Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative booth, which was also interactive and had a distinct theme to it. This booth taught visitors how the sound and music production of the film worked. Everyone who entered was lent a free audio guide narrated by Banagher's voice actor Kōki Uchiyama.

Once I was done reading all the text and looking at all the pictures and diagrams, I was led into a small theater room which showed clips from Gundam NT at various stages of the sound production. First, it would play without any sound at all, then with the sound effects, then with the sound effects and voice acting, and then finally with the music added on top. All of this really made me appreciate the work that goes into making anime an immersive experience.

When you leave the exhibit, you even get the opportunity to put on some headphones and listen to Hiroyuki Sawano's soundtrack for the film.

This was the booth that felt the most like a full-fledged exhibit, which stood out quite a lot in the chaos that is AnimeJapan. I appreciated this, because in the mad dash between different booths and events, you don't really get the opportunity to sit down and take in all the information.

As cool as these booths were, I couldn't afford to stay around at them forever. There's more to see and do at AnimeJapan! Join us again for more coverage of the show floor.

Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.

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