Yep. I went to there. I'm not all that much into anime anymore, but how many chances do you get in your life to go something like this? So that's how my new friends and I spent our first Saturday in Japan. And boy what a spectacle.
Tokyo Big Sight, which is a pretty huge convention hall (the Makuhari Messe in Chiba is also huge, but the shapes are so different it's hard to tell which one is bigger). It's a pretty big event, this TAF. I have about fifteen photos just of the lines.
The fair itself clearly was very expensive to run (although the tickets were only 1000 yen), but very much not like a con in the states. There was almost no cosplay, except the cosplayers hired by the companies. I guess it's because this event is more of a trade show than a con, and I guess the days before the public comes in it's all business people and meetings. Still, there was tons of crazyness going on, with basically every domestic animation studio as well as a few international ones trying to pimp their latest shows and DVDs to buy. There was also booths by animation trade schools trying to get more students, and (which I thought was really cool) a booth that showed off the work of some seriously skilled amateur high school animators.
It's a folder! (That's too small to fit most sized papers...) I basically spent most of my time collecting various ads, magazines, postcards, and various other free things. Detective Boy Conan peeps had a stamp-scavenger hunt that some of my friends did, but I don't know what the prize was because I don't know if they were successful in the end...
Other events included voice actress interview type things. And also a show that was cosplay dancing thing promoting some magical girl show except that all the people wore these creepy anime-style masks that made them much scarier than actual human beings and nowhere near looking like they were anime characters come to life. It was grotesque, but unfortunately when I tried to take a picture a staff member yelled "ダメ!" at me. Then they left the stage before I could try again. Here's a giant Kon mascot instead.
I actually thought I had more pictures than I do, and none that really exhibit how large and crazy the event was, but here are some of the highlights.
Anpanman! Balloon was probably 30 feet tall at least. Huge.
No idea what this scary thing is.