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ANI:ME to Bring Japanese Pop Culture to the Middle East

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The creators of Middle East Film & Comic Con are bringing ANI:ME, the biggest celebration of Japanese popular culture to the Middle East. The event will include activities such as Amezaiku, Kimono Dressing, SanaSenaBona, Real Monster Battle, Mochi Pounding, Hatsune Miku Augmented Reality Photo Booth, classic ANI:ME and manga experience.

The festival promises something for everyone and will take place from 27th to 29th October at the du Forum, Yas Island with tickets now on sale at Virgin Megastores and through the Ticketmaster website. These guests and activities add to an already packed roster including Anisong bands JAM Project and Flow, manga veteran Yoshitaka Amano, sword fighter Tetsuro Shimaguchi and more, all coming to the Middle East for the first time.

hatsune-miky-augmented-reality-photo-booth

Hatsune Miku Photo Experience
Hatsune Miku, a Japanese music sensation, is a 16-year-old blue-haired girl with a unique voice and prodigious energy. She’s one of the best known singing idols out of Japan, but what makes her special is that she is not human but a virtual persona who uses a computer-generated voice and 3D graphics, bringing a truly inexplicable persona to life on stage! Yet, being virtual hasn’t stopped her from filling up concert halls, or teaming up with major artists like Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams! At ANI:ME, fans will have the chance to get their picture with the singing idol at the Hatsune Miku augmented reality photo booth. This is truly a rare opportunity to get a memory with the ‘sound of the future’!

Classic Anime and Manga
Take a walk down memory lane at ANI:ME with classic manga and anime like Grendizer, Astroganger (Jongar) and Aizenborg. Expect official merchandise for sale, giant statues and the biggest Grendizer inflatable fans will ever set their eyes on! All this and more brought to ANI:ME by the amazing team at Cultures Factory, exclusively for the event and the fans! The CineClub will also show some of the most loved anime like Studio Ghibli classics, The Last: The Naruto Movie, Dragonball Z: Resurrection F and much more!

real-monster-battle

Real Monster Battle – Augmented Reality Game
With the HADO Real Monster Battle, players get to fight monsters in real time using a Virtual Reality (VR) headset and all their wits and tactics! In this fantasy themed augmented reality game, players can shoot fireballs, collect power ups and unleash special attacks to defeat the monsters in their way!

maidreamin

Maidreamin
Maidreamin, a Maid Café restaurant in Japan was founded in 2008 and has grown to become the largest maid cafe chain in the world with over 17 locations and over 400 servants from Japan and around the world. The servants are waiting for their masters or princesses to arrive. Enjoy an experience unlike any other as the idols perform their world famous original songs and much more!

amezaiku

Amezaiku
Amezaiku is a traditional Japanese folk art of sculpting candy into a variety of shapes using tweezers, scissors and softened candy heated to 90 degrees. During the Heian period, the art of amezaiku was imported from China and was probably first used in Japan for candy offerings made at temples in Kyoto. The amezaiku craft spread beyond the temple when many forms of street performances of the craft flourished in Japan. It is said that even in Japan, there may be only a handful of people who still practice this hundreds-year-old art form. Shinri Tezuka, one of the few amezaiku practitioners in Japan, is coming to ANI:ME to teach the fans this ancient practice.

kimono-dressing

Kimono Dressing
Experience the art of traditional Kimono dressing as native Japanese kimono dressers show fans how to drape and don the silky garment. Guests will be professionally fitted and can even buy one of the pieces to make their own!

sanasenabona

SanaSenaBona
SanaSenaBona is a “paperbag fairy” idol group from Sasebo, Japan. The 3-piece girl group are best known to sing, dance and share stories about the place they call home! Grab those dancing shoes and prepare to be entertained by these lovely idols!

mochi-pounding

Mochi Pounding
Mochi is a traditional food served during Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi Pounders soak the rice in water overnight and cooked in traditional wooden steamers. Then, the polished glutinous rice is pounded with wooden mallets (Kine) in a traditional mortar (Usu). It requires two people to work together – one pounding the Mochi while the other turning and wetting the Mochi with water to prevent it from sticking to the mallet. The Mochi is shaped by hand once the pounding process is complete. Fans can try creating their own Mochi in their favourite flavors!

enako

Enako
Professional Japanese cosplayer Enako, has been gaining fans from across the world since she started cosplaying in 2007. Now one of the most popular Japanese cosplayers around, she is a staple at conventions around Asia and she will be coming to Abu Dhabi and the Middle East for the first time at ANI:ME!

Tickets are priced from AED 650 for a 3 Day VIP entry to AED 150 for a 1 Day entry.

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Events

BenQ Conducts Unique Gaming Event

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BenQ curated a special gaming event involving the biggest names from the Middle East gaming community, where they also announced their latest range of gaming products. One of the first few gaming events of its kind to be held in the past couple of years, it was attended by Geekay eSports, YaLLa eSports, Venomy eSports, Nasr eSports, Syctes eSports, and Lost eSports. An exhibition tournament for Valorant and Fortnite was the main attraction of the event.

It was an offline 1v1 knockout tournament where players had an incredible time battling head to head. In Valorant, 16 players participated, and Autumn secured 1st place, followed by Kasper from Geekay eSports, and Azz from Zerah eSports who came in 3rd. Whereas Tensa from Scytes eSports secured the 1st position in Fortnite, followed by Ember from Next eSports and Murloc from Scytes eSports, who secured the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.

Attendees also got hands-on playtime with all of BenQ’s latest products – ZOWIE XL-K monitors, MOBIUZ Curved sim-racing monitors and the world’s first true 4K HDR gaming projector with Android TV. “For over ten years, BenQ has been dedicated to creating gaming equipment that allows players to focus on what matters most, their competitive performance,” said Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East. “We are excited to launch our new MOBIUZ range & ZOWIE XL range alongside the XL Setting to Share software to offer players the best resources to improve their gaming experience. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Gaming Community for making this event such a success.”

In addition to the XL2411K and XL2546K which launched back in 2020, players were also excited to try out the XL2746K and XL2540K monitors in Experience Zones and were eager to understand their new innovative features. ZOWIE’s XL2746K is a 240Hz DyAc⁺ 27 Inch gaming monitor which allows gamers to see the position of crosshair and impact points more clearly, helping with recoil control. It comes with an impressive number of height and angle adjustments, making it extremely customizable.

Its Black eQualizer technology increases visibility in dark scenes without overexposing the bright areas and it also comes with Color Vibrance to adjust color setting and tone to differentiate enemy targets in-game. ZOWIE’s XL2540K is a 240Hz 24.5 Inch gaming Monitor designed to enable gamers to catch every detail of motion and enjoy fluid gameplay, ensuring a smooth view of fast-motion and dramatic transitions at all times. Its all-new base takes less space while maintaining the same stability to give gamers more room for their setup for in-game movements and to play comfortably.

Gamers were also given a chance to try out the XL Settings to Share to create their preferred experience can now share and download their XL settings (such as DyAc usage, Color Vibrance, Black Equalizer). This feature is exclusive to ZOWIE’s XL-K monitors and is facilitated by the new XL Setting to Share software. It is free and doesn’t require any installation.

BenQ also conducted a sim racing challenge, for the fastest laps. In the sim racing booth, BenQ debuted a trio of MOBIUZ QHD 165Hz gaming monitors: EX3415R, EX2710R and EX3210R. EX3415R, a 34inch 1ms 144Hz Ultrawide Curved Gaming Monitor, uses the ultra-broad P3 color space to showcase incredible graphics on 21:9 1900R curvature screen, while EX2710R and EX3210R feature extreme 1000R curvature. Their extreme 1000R – 1900R curvature matches the human eye and visual micro-adjustments are minimized, relieving strain, headaches and distraction.

Not only is the gaming experience more comfortable, but the images wrapping the gamer’s field of view are wildly immersive. These new curved VA monitors are also equipped with an ergonomic stand and convenient remote control. MOBIUZ puts gamers in the center of the action, and the three models prioritize immersion with proprietary advantages like HDRi intelligent optimization, 2.1 channel audio and pioneering eye care.

“Immersion is everything,” said Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East. “Why would you want to simply look at the stunning landscapes in your favorite AAA game when you can feel like you’re there? That is the vision behind these new QHD 165Hz MOBIUZ gaming monitors.”

For live streamers, BenQ showcased the EW3880R monitor with a curved IPS panel, an engrossing 2300R curvature and WQHD+ resolution. Complete with great integrated audio systems and eye-care features, these monitors are all set to help gamers amplify their gameplay and overall gaming experience.

One of the highlights of the evening was also BenQ’s TK700STi – the world’s first True 4K HDR gaming projector which is ideal for giant-screen gaming. The gaming community was awed and felt as if they were playing the PS5 on a 4K TV because “the image quality on projectors usually is not so crisp and clear”, as one gamer commented.

There is no need to choose between picture and performance anymore. With its sharp resolution, high brightness (3000lm) and HDR gaming compatibility, the TK700STi can easily project 4K images larger than 100″. Meanwhile, its 16ms input lag, the lowest ever to be paired with 4K resolution, makes for the smoothest gaming experience. Gamers can now stay in perfect control and triumph with clear vision in fast-paced sports and FPS games where reaction time is key. The TK700STi is compatible with major consoles (Sony PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X, Google stadia).

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Cool Stuff

Circuit X Launches BMX Park Track Rush 2.0

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Circuit X, Abu Dhabi’s fun-filled adventure park at Hudayriyat Island by Modon Properties, ushers in the cool season along with the celebration of its one-year anniversary with the launch of Track Rush 2.0, the second edition of the exciting challenge at their BMX Park in partnership with Vans. 

Taking place on the 13th of November, participants will have a chance to win exciting prizes. Competitors will enjoy an adventure-packed ride through the BMX Park and the two tracks, Pump Track and Dirt Track and compete to be the most skilled biker at the venue. 

Races at the Track Rush 2.0 competition is categorized by age group – juniors, seniors, and adults.  Racers will bike through the thrilling Pump Track, a course that is designed based on pump action with several areas for skills and jumps.  Adults will get the chance to race through the Dirt Trail sprint, which features thrilling obstacles including multiple jumps, turns, and berms, creating an action-packed course that must be navigated with care while achieving the fastest possible time.

Circuit X, situated alongside the newly opened stunning beachside of Hudayriyat’s leisure and entertainment destination, commissioned by Modon Properties, is set to offer an adventurous day for all ages and capabilities through this thrilling competition.

Join in on the fun on the 13th of November 2021 from 9:30 AM onwards for an exhilarating experience. Participants with the shortest time will win exciting awards from Vans.

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Events

Razer Partners with UL and Panerai for Sustainability Initiatives

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Razer has announced new partnerships with UL and Panerai at this year’s RazerCon, the virtual celebration of all things For Gamers, By Gamers. Millions of viewers around the world tuned into the carbon-neutral livestream to watch Razer’s CEO Min-Liang Tan deliver a keynote address filled with surprise guests and exciting sustainability news and updates from the company.

“We have great ambitions around sustainability, but we also know that while there’s plenty we can do, we can’t do it all alone,” says Min-Liang Tan, Co-founder, and CEO of Razer. “That’s why collaboration is key for us at Razer, and we are thrilled to partner with UL and Panerai on two very important initiatives that will not only benefit consumers, but also the planet.”

One of the announcements that came out of RazerCon 2021 that truly has the potential to transform the industry was that of Razer joining forces with UL, the global safety science leader, to help meet its environmental and circular economy goals. One of the first projects which Razer intends to pursue to meet its environment and sustainability goals is the development of Product Category Rules for gaming products.

The impetus for this lies in the fact that the gaming industry currently lacks a standardized way to measure an eco-product, so Razer plans to work with UL to provide one. Under this collaboration, Razer and UL will kickstart an industry-level effort on identifying key indicators of environmental impact that should be measured by all manufacturers when they seek the Environmental Product Declaration for gaming products.

In order to complete a Product Category Rule, the two companies will be working to enlist stakeholders to create a comprehensive and objective way for manufacturers around the world to measure the impact of their manufacturing processes on the environment. The goal is to encourage more robust solutions allowing manufacturers to integrate sustainable practices into every step of the production process. The introduction of this Type III Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) ecolabel will allow consumers to make more informed choices and know that the gaming products they use to win in gaming and in life are also a win for the environment.

This is in line with Razer’s commitment to sharing and communicating the carbon impact of its new products by 2022. Razer also reinforced its pledge to use recycled or recyclable materials for all its products by 2030. This includes incorporating PCR plastic in all hardware products and adhering to an eco-friendly product design.

Razer and luxury watch manufacturer, Panerai, have come together under a shared commitment to advancing ocean preservation and rallied RazerCon viewers to Make Time for our Ocean. As part of this year-long campaign, Razer and Panerai have committed to enhancing ocean literacy and will be supporting a cause together that will be revealed in March 2022. The keynote came to a crescendo when it was also announced that a limited-edition, co-branded timepiece made from sustainable material will be hitting the market in 2022.

Making a special appearance during the keynote was Panerai’s CEO Jean-Marc Pontroue who was joined by the brand’s sustainability ambassadors, Mike Horn, Jeremy Jauncey, and Li Yifeng, to inspire and empower viewers to protect the oceans. The topic of ocean literacy was further expanded upon in a dedicated workshop led by Francesca Santoro, Programme Specialist, IOC UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture. During the workshop, viewers learned about the importance of the oceans, the current environmental threats, and what they can do to protect them.

Razer and luxury watch manufacturer, Panerai, have come together under a shared commitment to advancing ocean preservation and rallied RazerCon viewers to Make Time for our Ocean. As part of this year-long campaign, Razer and Panerai have committed to enhancing ocean literacy and will be supporting a cause together that will be revealed in March 2022. The keynote came to a crescendo when it was also announced that a limited-edition, co-branded timepiece made from sustainable material will be hitting the market in 2022.

Making a special appearance during the keynote was Panerai’s CEO Jean-Marc Pontroue who was joined by the brand’s sustainability ambassadors, Mike Horn, Jeremy Jauncey, and Li Yifeng, to inspire and empower viewers to protect the oceans. The topic of ocean literacy was further expanded upon in a dedicated workshop led by Francesca Santoro, Programme Specialist, IOC UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture. During the workshop, viewers learned about the importance of the oceans, the current environmental threats, and what they can do to protect them.

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