Halloween with an Asian twist
All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, may not be a Jamaican cultural stable, but Asian pop culture event planners AnimeYado saw the opportunity to blend it with their niche entertainment product hosting Edo Tensei Hallo-Weeb Cosparty on Saturday, October 28, at Holy Smokes Grill & Chill, St Andrew.
“My team and I see Halloween as our national holiday. It’s the one time of the year where we don’t feel as judged by people outside of our niche culture. We also saw this as a great way to introduce the Japanese pop culture to different people as well,” Ashley Smith of AnimeYado told the Jamaica Observer.
A principal secular holiday celebrated in the United States on October 31, Halloween sees children taking to the streets in scary costumes in search tricks or treats. Its popularity has crossed the age gap, with those growing up with the tradition taking it to adulthood with them. The holiday is no longer reserved just for young kids.
“This is our second Edo Tensei event. Our first Edo Tensei Hallo-Weeb Cosparty was held at Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston last October,” Smith said.
Like last year it was held with great success as the two worlds, cosplay fans and just those wanting to dip their toes into celebrating this non-traditional social holiday combined for a night of fun.
Patron were encouraged to come as whatever they wanted, blurring the lines between the usual anime/manga-inspired cosplay and the standard Halloween costumes.
“The feedback received during and even after the event was great. In fact, we performed a survey and so far it is a 10/10,” said Smith.
The packed venue had plenty of activities beyond the typical party food, drink, and music. There was a vendors’ row filled with anime-themed swag for sale, a free gaming lounge, and contests galore to keep things going early into the morning. Those who wanted more they had the Nine-Tail VIP Lair to themselves giving an all-inclusive experience with personal servers delivering food and drink amongst other extras. Apple bobbing, a Halloween staple, joined with a Hot Hen spicy chicken eating competition. Local band Cutie & the Freak turned in a live musical performance much to the delight of the attendees.
“Our team absolutely loved this event. We were happy to see that we were able to gain such a huge turnout considering the amount of other Halloween events out there. Everyone loved the performance by Cutie & the Freak from Nupulse and we plan to have them back again for another dose of Rock & Roll. We truly appreciated the support and we were happy that we could provide them with a great experience,” said Smith.
The event also drummed up support for the Jamaican-themed Anime from Tolga Akcayli, Jamaica No Duppy — Rise of the Conqueror.
Edo Tensei closes off AnimeYado’s 2023 event schedule as they prepare to start 2024 with their Valentine’s Day party Daisuki.