Anime fair expects record attendance


TOKYO -- Organizers of this year's Tokyo International Anime Fair expect to break the 100,000-visitor barrier by the time it completes its four-day run Sunday at the Big Sight exhibition venue.

The event, which has a robot theme this year, has attracted 270 exhibitors from around the world, including companies from China and South Korea, which have seen strong growth in their animation industries in recent years. The first firm from Italy also will be exhibiting.

"We attracted just short of 100,000 visitors last year and expect to go beyond that figure this time," event spokeswoman Sunja Kunimoto said.

The sixth annual fair, to be opened by event chairman and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, will include demonstrations of new software technology able to produce animated sequences at 16 times the current speeds, as well as demonstrations of low-budget Flash animation and how it influences mainstream movies.

The Tokyo Anime Award also will be presented. Shin Hosokawa's "Oni" (The Demon) won the Grand Prix in 2005.