During anime conventions everywhere, anime comes to the forefront as one of the most popular medium of entertainment for the youths. Anime Festival Asia is one of the most successful conventions out there with ever-growing attendees every year. After expanding to other parts of Southeast Asia and having a growing repertoire of famous anime stars participating, the organizers, Sozo, felt that it is time to up the offering.
Part to build a popular IP with AFA as the base; part to showcase local animation talents (us!), Sozo commissioned us to design a character for AFA along with producing an animation short to introduce the 2014 Singapore edition of AFA. The animation short is also played on certain TV channels as advertisements.
The first version of Seika was designed to be very much an everyday girl who is into anime. She carries with her a little spunk, cuteness and feminity in her outfit. The AFA branding was designed to feature prominently on her since she is supposed to acts as a spokesperson for the convention.
Seika was also envisioned to be someone very imaginative and enjoys putting herself in anime-sque scenarios such as idol, fantasy or sci-fi. For our first foray into introducing the character, it was decided that Seika will debut with a sci-fi, mecha inspired animated short.
So the Seika whom most people will be familiar with, is the plug suit Seika who featured prominently in our animated short and general marketing for Seika.
Seika was first teased in AFA ID 2014 as part of the backdrop used for phototaking. Then, her name was not revealed yet.
These characer sheets were, in fact, done during the course of the animation for cosplay. In any case, there is a 'casual Seika' and a 'plugsuit Seika'; both of whom were within the animated short.
The animated short took two months to produce and animate within a small team of freelance animators, overseen by a Creative Director from CDS, WaHa. WaHa also happens to be the character designer for Seika as well.
As of now, the animated short has over 20,000 views on Youtube and Facebook after one month and was regularly played during the Singapore convention itself. It is also one of the most shared and liked links/video on the AFA Facebook page.
Later on, it was decided that to enhance the character design to be more visually striking in person (and for the designated cosplayer to not feel so exposed in just a plug suit ^^;), an outer jacket and scarf was added to her general design.
This became the design that was plastered on the walls of AFA SG and the base which the cosplay costume was designed according to. As part of our service to AFA SG, CDS was also the agency that engaged a costumer create the cosplay outfit which was worn by Angie0_0, a prominent cosplayer from Malaysia, at AFA SG 2014.
The key visual from AFA ID was used once again during AFA SG 2014 but with the backdrop updated to feature Singaporean landmarks such as the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands.
A sunset version with a powered-down AFA-mech was also done up and this background was used as a backdrop during the convention for con-goers to take photographers at.
Seika enjoyed prominent exposure during AFA SG 2014 with her image on much of the promotional materials of it such as the digital posters, the ticketing and exhibitor passes.
As the spokesperson of AFA, Seika also features prominently within the AFA Shop to help sell their products such as Tshirts and Canon straps.
A meido version of Seika was also drawn to help promote Seika Cafe where con-goers can purchase food within the convention grounds.
Through tie-ups, Seika acted as the spokesperson for other brands within the convention such as Wacom and Million Arthur. In the case of Wacom, a new key visual was actually done up just for them. Seika was also the theme for the first round of the WMA art competition held during AFA SG.
Seika has continued to act as the mascot and spokesperson of Sozo and AFA Singapore. Her latest appearance was during Christmas 2014 to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Sozo is also bringing Seika out of Singapore to other overseas conventions that they have a role in. For example, Penang Anime Matsuri that takes place in May 2015.
Accounts Management: KC Ng
Character Designer: Low Zi Rong
Illustrations: Low Zi Rong, Angela Tan and Tan Hui Tian
Special Thanks to CACANi (Animation)