By NABILA AZLAN
“Animenia is actually inspired by my 11-year-old son,” Sharon Paul tells the crowd at the Animenia 2024 Press Conference in December 2023. “I was driving when he asked to connect his music to the Bluetooth radio – that was when I started listening to a song from Demon Slayer. When we got to the music from Howl’s Moving Castle, I cried! And I’m not someone who cries easily. The music, its melody and orchestration was beautiful.”
Animenia is testament to how music is able to move hearts, following Sharon’s experience. From wanting to share the feeling with everyone, the two-day concert-meets-cosplay event is born. Sharon shares further, “When we think about songs from anime, we almost always think about the genre rock or hard rock, but [listen carefully for] there are also orchestral and ethnic sounds. Remembering a small concert last year got me thinking, why don’t we recreate the performing of anime songs but with an added twist? We play the melodies using an orchestra featuring traditional musical instruments.”
Expecting more than 3000 anime and music fans, this production is a special celebration of anime from around the world – not just Japan. All-in with the theme Parallel Universe, Animenia 2024 (Volume 1) is a fusion orchestra featuring a 48-piece ensemble with four traditional music instruments such as the guzheng and flute. Concert-goers will be delighted at the serenade of songs from famous anime franchises like Attack on Titan, Digimon, Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer as well as movies from the renowned Studio Ghibli (like Howl’s Moving Castle).
Animenia features rising local talents like Asmidar, Rina-Hime, Riko from SOG, Ariel Fesol and Nuim Mubarrak with a backing band and a choir by Encoro Ensemble.
Sharon, who owns Musicwerks Studio and Werkit Records is not alone in the production of this wonderful new adventure. Industry expert Jennifer Thompson (Kak Jen), who has been in the Malaysian music scene for over three decades is Animenia’s stage and technical producer. The former General Manager for Persatuan Akademi Industri Muzik Malaysia (AIM) brings her insights and know-how to the stage, overseeing the entire concert’s technical production. MK Ridzuan, renowned musician in a symphony orchestra is the show’s conductor. An oboist who debuted in the UK with his Mak Yong and Ghazal performances, he is no stranger to both the local music scene and the marriage of genres and musical cultures. In this A Team, 10-year film industry veteran and Primeworks Studios’ own Aishah is the project manager. She is synonymous with an expanded list of household TV productions, such as Anugerah Juara Lagu and Anugerah Skrin.
A colourful abode fit for anime fans of various ages, Animenia marries symphony with community. A feast not just for the ears, Animenia is backed by professional prop maker and cosplayer Abdullah Othman, aka Abudora who lends his experience in the cosplaying scene. Hosting this incredible first volume is none other than Malaysian cosplayer, J-Rock enthusiast vocalist, Hsachiko!
Ths two-day delight is lined-up with activities, including an ACG exhibition and bazaar featuring cosplay products and food. Cosplayers and gamers assemble – there will be various competitions taking place at the venue revolving around costumes, cosplay skits, dance, anisong and Mobile Legend. There will also be a tea dance featuring prominent DJs, so spin away!
Animenia 2024 – Volume 1: Parallel Universe is supported by the Ministry of Communications and MyCreative Ventures.
Staged in Jio Space, Petaling Jaya on February 3 and 4, 2023, Animenia 2024 is fit for the whole family (ages 9 onwards). Buy your tickets here!
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