In recent years the popularity of anime has risen sharply among Cambodian teens and youths, prompting F3 to organise this anime festival through their community centre. The planning began last year but the event was put off due to the pandemic.

“In the last few years we’ve noticed a big trend especially for youths with anime TV series and cosplay. There are more bookshops focused on manga and there are anime based coffee shops and cosplay events being hosted all over Phnom Penh. That’s what gave us the idea to do an anime festival,” Panha Hong, Cambodia coordinator at F3, tells The Post.

F3 is working with the community and local businesses that are interested in anime and manga to organise the festival. They co-host it with Phantoms Cosplay – a cosplay team based in Phnom Penh that has been operating since 2019 – and the Anime D. Store Cambodia as well as a conceptual artist and illustrator Sam Daro and many other supporters.

Daro, the artist and illustrator who does anime that is a mixture of Khmer Angkorian design, Kbach, Japanese and western styles and just published his first book in late 2021, says he is always delighted to help out with events like the festival.

He says the event will give him the chance to get to know more artists with the same interests and passions who he can exchange views and experiences with in order to form an anime art community in Cambodia.

“I will be exhibiting my first book that I released last year called Nakrak and I’ll have character stickers from the book and from other work I have done in the past. I would like to also launch my Apsara 2022 because I’ve been updating my Apsara yearly.

Some other features of the event are anime pop-up shops, the cosplay competition with cool prizes to win, anime character makeup station, anime character hairstyling station (including temporary hair dyes), anime character nail salon, cosplay selfie photo booth, DJs spinning Japanese/ Korean Pop and Rock, manga and anime book stalls and exchanges, anime art expo, live games like Pokémon and more, Celestial Crystals pop-up and food like Japanese and Korean snacks, Topokki, bubble teas, shakes, smoothies and ice cream.

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