Comic Frontier is an annual event held in one of the countries in Southeast Asia with a high concentration of VTuber content and talent. The VTuber.Asia database has a list of 930 VTubers. This year’s event held last May 6-7 lists more than 40 booths dedicated to VTubers and VTubing—and that’s just beside 57 other fan booths.
Even though I haven't been to Indonesia, I am no stranger to Comifuro as they are fondly called—when they went virtual in 2021 at the time of the pandemic, I had them featured for the international audience, going as far as being able to interview HoloID’s Ayunda Risu and Pavolia Reine when they were the event’s featured guests.
Last year, VTuber NewsDrop had an agreement with Ayukawa Media, home to Nawala Karsa and the VTuber group Nakama Virtual, to feature photos from the said event. This year, we’ve established a partnership, bringing updates from the event on Twitter through their help.
Let me introduce you to my good friend Naufal, Managing Director for Ayukawa Media and the founder of Nawala Karsa. Among all Indonesian friends I met, I’m sure he’s the one I talked to the most due to our common interest in VTubing. He will be the one to talk about Comic Frontier 16 to you, dear readers.
Hello everyone! I am Naufal from Nawala Karsa. A few days ago, we had the opportunity to cover activities at Comic Frontier 16, commonly known as Comifuro.
In this English article, I would like to show you the situation and what we encountered during the event. For those of you who speak Indonesian and want to know more about our coverage, you can access my latest article at Nawala Karsa:
First of all, a little bit of a disclaimer here! Because I'm also taking care of Nakama Virtual's booth, this article might not cover the whole experience that visitors felt during the event. But, we have that covered by giving you a glimpse of the event through our documentation below.
Before The Sunrise
At 9.30 AM, the entry gate for the visitors began to open. Those who were already lined up in the morning started to enter the venue in a rush! As for Nakama Virtual, the booth has been set up to welcome those who'd like to visit and would like to know more about our talents.
Around 10 AM, the visitors began to line up in front of the Hall 10 entrance. One of Nakama Virtual's Community Moderators, Faisal Novaldo, was able to take some photos when that happened. The density inside of the venue would later be seen 30 minutes after that.
As you know, the interest of Virtual YouTubers in Indonesia is considered big in South East Asia. That's why, we can see many booths from art circles or even official VTuber groups/agencies present at the event.
For example, there's the "Scuff Gang" of Mythia Batford, Xeapher, Clozy, Rania Chiwawa and even Akemi Nekomachi. Their booth is just beside Evelyn (Hai! Halo! Epel!). Not far from that is AKA Virtual which also greeted visitors at the main stage.
Is Comifuro 16 always about keychain and mini-fan made merchandise? Well, of course not! As you can see here, there's a booth from Rimawarna circle that's selling Kobo Kanaeru-themed soccer jerseys which quickly sold out.
Across the smaller Circle Booths, you're going to see a lot of VTuber agencies, circles, or even a company which provides services related to VTubing. Faisal was able to take these pictures from Re:Memories and Metanoia Live's booth. They're selling many kinds of merchandise.
What is more interesting is that Re:Memories also showcased their Mini Nesoberi, while we at Nakama Virtual are showcasing our 3D figure prototype which will be sold soon.
Alongside Genshin Impact, Chainsaw Man, and Goddess of Victory: NIKKE, there are also VTuber cosplayers. Cosplayers mostly dressed up as virtual talents from Hololive (whether it's Indonesian or even the English one).
Because of its huge space, the parking lot of the ICE BSD venue was also used by Itasha car owners to showcase their latest designs. There's Kobo, alongside many characters from other fandoms. Honestly, the Kobo one looks very sleek.
Before wrapping up the booth for the next day, I was able to take a picture of someone who's cosplaying as Bocchi the Rock. He's literally "The Rock" if you ask me.
Expecting the Expected
It’s the second day of Comifuro 16, and everyone we met is pretty warmed up to attend the event. Among others, there’s some cosplayers that were lining up in the queue. Many of them were cosplaying as Genshin characters.
Just around 7:30 AM, inside the venue, there's a huge crowd between Hall 9 and 10. It's the exhibitors who are about to prepare their booths. But, the real crowd began at 10 AM. At the Nakama Virtual booth, we've got many visitors including cosplayers and the airsoft community that'd like to greet or to ask questions about our talents.
The crowds can also be seen at KRRN RIN's booth. Rin is actually staying at her booth to greet the visitor that'd like to meet her as a cosplayer. We've also got a photo from Rumskii, an Indonesian VTuber famous for her sheep persona. She's selling many kinds of merchandise at her booth.
Cosplay, Cosplayers, and the Memes
As expected from an Anime Convention (or should I say the "Creative Market"), we're going to see some cosplayers with a meme thing. Do you know the Ballin' meme, or even Today is Friday in California? Yes, we found some of them as we roamed around. Alongside that, there's a furry in the scene, which is pretty heartwarming to greet.
VTuber cosplayers that look like Hoshimachi Suisei, Amicia Michella, and Kobo are also seen during the event. Those cosplayers are great! They're able to express the VTubers flawlessly.
Funny things happened at our booth: Someone, apparently a photographer in Malay dress, was doing some funny poses at our flagship talent Freundin Felin's standee. It was so cute; we couldn't stop taking pictures of it.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
At exactly 1 PM in the afternoon, windy rain flushed the ICE BSD area. Visitors that had already queued near the ticket booth began to scramble, looking for shelter from the rain. It's a good opportunity for the street vendors to sell their raincoats to them.
Because of the rain, visitors began to swarm inside the venue. Hall 8, which was previously empty, gets packed with those who are taking shelter. At the same time, VTubers from MAHA5 greeted those who were in the main stage area. MAHA5 also sells their merchandise, starting from t-shirts to hoodies featuring their talents.
It's also a good opportunity for us to take a lot of photos of these cosplayers. Honestly, these cosplayers are great. There are no words that are able to describe that, except for "Good" and "Oh my God."
There were many cosplayers that were cosplaying as VTubers, whether It’s a Hololive or Nijisanji talent. This shows that many Indonesians are actually still in the middle of the VTuber craze. Despite some of the problems VTuber agencies experience, it does not dampen the interest of the fans to cosplay their own favorite VTuber, or even get fond of the VTuber they like.
Even though the interest of VTubers from Nijisanji or Hololive is dominating the market in Indonesia, there’s actually a room for independent or local VTuber agencies/circles to shrine between them. This can be seen from the crowds of visitors along the local agency and circle booths.
One thing's for certain, these agencies/circles need to work harder to achieve a similar or even better level to be equal to Nijisanji or Hololive. Only time can tell when these local agencies and circles will succeed in their own country.
Hope you can visit Comifuro soon, and see it for yourself! See you there!
Here are other photos from Nawala Karsa’s coverage of Comic Frontier 16:
A special thank you to Naufal and the Nawala Karsa team for extending their efforts in producing this story for VTuber NewsDrop. As the VTuber craze continues in Indonesia, we look forward to a continued partnership with Nawala Karsa in the future.