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It has already been two weeks since we experienced the ill-fated AnimeCon Dhaka 2023. The hottest day (arguably) in June saw host to the premium Anime event in the country. Wait, should I still call it premium after the hazardous conundrum?!! It certainly was an unforeseen calamity. That is how it was for most of the people gathered there.

June 1st, 2023 was the night Dhaka did not vibe with Anuv Jain as Shiddhartho Zaman of the Business Standard succinctly put it. While the celebrated musical sensation sang Toote Makaan, possibly in reference to the broken air-conditioning of the venue, audience members passed out due to heat strokes and dehydration. The event ended with fans voicing their outrage on social media, demanding apologies and refunds from the organizers Adventor Communications and Triple Time Communications. The organizers of AnimeCon 2023 were obviously alarmed by the duo stealing their thunder and went “Hey, we can top that!”

“Hold my Naruto wig,” probably said Oly Shahriar Hasan, founder of AnimeCon, as he jumped to snatch back the hype for his brand. Having a tough act to follow, his event, nonetheless, did so with utmost gusto, managing to successfully reflect many of the defining features of the Anuv Jain concert from the night prior, namely the broken air-conditioning of the venue and the nigh-lethal suffocation.

Audience members passing out? We can do one better! How about our performers passing out? Vomiting four times in the “green room” – and I employ those quotation marks for satirical effect, specifically to point out that it was just the flooded washroom area with no means of ventilation – and sweating enough to fill the Buriganga River twice over, it would be an understatement to say that what Ahnaf Tahmid Sami accomplished was an impressive feat of absolutely herculean proportions, not only competing in the cosplay contest of the evening but winning by securing first place.

Unfortunately, neither he nor the second or third-place winner could stick around for their prizes because they all needed medical attention. The karaoke or dance performers were not present to receive their trophies either as the unbearable heat had warded them all away. What about their performances themselves though? How did those go? Well…

AnimeCon 2023 Sakura

AnimeCon Dhaka 2023 Sakura – Recap Of A Fiasco

Described by the very founder of the brand himself as one of the worst three events he has ever had the misery to organize, AnimeCon 2023 Sakura started relatively tame before the power outages of the ongoing season began rearing their ugly head into the affair. “The situation was unprecedented due to the unforeseeable number of electricity blackouts,” stated Mr Iftikhar Ifty, the CEO of Adventor Communications, to the Daily Star regarding the happenings at Let’s Vibe Dhaka with Anuv Jain.

Sadly, it was too late despite now having precedence a day later for AnimeCon 2023 organizers to prepare accordingly as their event was plagued by the same issue. “The electricity keeps going out before the room can cool and the generators cannot supply power to the A/Cs during then,” explained Oly Shahriar Hasan upon being approached at the scene.

“Also, the stalls have put up their banners on the vents which have contributed to the oppressive environment by blocking them and since we are situated on the highest floor of the building, the heat from the sun is conducting through the roof into the hall but there is no logistical measure in place here to tackle that.” Speaking of stalls, by the way…

“We set up shop according to the slot we booked which was further up front, but later on, we were pushed back to this corner and all our seating arrangements were taken,” complained the owner of a food stall who requested to remain anonymous. “Now, customers can barely reach us and they have no accommodation to enjoy their orders in peace.”

They were not the only ones to encounter such a problem. Jannatul Jobaida Nawrin, owner of The New Moon, too, went public on her Facebook account, detailing how her slot was changed to a spot near the stage where it was directly in line with an A/C vent. People were flocking to the location for air with no volunteers to control the crowd as her shop was eclipsed by the unruly mass. Another stall that fell victim to similar disorderliness was Coffee World’s which had occupants hopping onto their tables for selfies.

Meanwhile, management contended with a tough time compiling music files for the cosplayers, delaying their segment of the show. The task would usually be taken care of days earlier, but that did not seem to be the case during the latest instalment of the marquee convention. The preceding dancers and karaoke artists, on the other hand, had their own struggles with equipment and the sound system. The absence of a microphone stand meant musicians were compelled to improvise, embarrassingly having to use a water bottle as a substitute prop.

AnimeCon 2023 Games
AnimeCon Dhaka 2023 Games

AnimeCon Dhaka 2023 – Damaged Goods?

“I was confronted while coordinating security,” recounted Wakil Ahmed Shabi co-organizer of AnimeCon 2023 during pack up, “by someone who asked me what the event was called as the lead for a joke – AnimeCon: Sakura? Trash like Sakura. It truly does break my heart because the business aspect is certainly important and in terms of that, what we pulled off is a financial success, but if we cannot send home those who butter our bread happy, how much longer can we say that?”

Remember Oly Shahriar’s aforementioned worst three? AnimeCon: Tokyo Skyline and 2016 are the other two on the list with AnimeCon 2023 being the latest edition. I am not in any position to comment on the latter as I was not active in the community before the coronavirus pandemic, but there have been four AnimeCons in Dhaka since the lockdowns were lifted and two have firmly established themselves at the bottom of the rankings. AnimeCon 2023 Sakura certainly tops the worst list as far as I am concerned.

Furthermore, Mirai from among the remaining two held at JFP last summer did not leave a positive impression upon those who were there, garnering criticism concerning the lack of space alongside poor facilities, thus leaving Yuki Matsuri as the only decent offering from the brand within the last two years, but that was overshadowed by its failure to earn a profit. Suffice it to say, promises of elevating the platform are repeatedly missing the mark. If so continues, the future is questionable for the troupe of Mirai.

After this severe calamity of AnimeCon 2023 Sakura, we do hope the organizers will get some much-needed sense in their heads to organize properly functioning conventions. Otherwise, there is no point in hosting these intolerable fiascos over and over again, and getting waves of criticism from all over. And readers, do check out the pre-event feature on AnimeCon 2023 Sakura to see how the event was actually supposed to be.



Just another cluster of stardust tracing footprints upon the sand in the hourglass, a vain reach to grasp eternity. “We’re all stories in the end… Stories are where memories go when they’re forgotten.” — Doctor Who


  • Oly, June 17, 2023 @ 5:42 pm Reply

    Shit event

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