Category Archives: Conventions

Tokyo Game Show 2018 – 4 Days Report

2 Oct , 2018,
Haruta
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Bethesda Softworks’ IPs greeting event goers as they walk towards the halls

Over the 4 days between September 20th ~ 23rd, Makuhari Messe hosted the largest annual gaming convention of East Asia, Tokyo Game Show (TGS). This year saw a huge influx of visitors from the previous years ー A good 298,690 showed up over the 4 days, compared to 254,311 in 2017, and 271,224 in 2016. Likewise, exhibitors also increased from 609 to 668, of which 330 were from overseas. This was certainly a trend that’s been happening in the recent years, where overseas games and gaming-related companies are expanding into the Japanese market (One of which, notably, is Azure Lane, being introduced into the Japanese market and becoming a huge hit in 2017).

Kisei -Kuushiki- 1/1 display statue from [Border Break] right outside Makuhari Messe

As with any commercial conventions, exhibitors certainly placed a lot of effort into the visual promotion of their IPs. Booths were built in elaborated set-ups, with iconic figures and characters in detailed sculptures. Besides the typical promotional models, exhibitors also hired cosplayers to portray as in-game characters to promote their games (Pictures below). Some noticeable ones were Bandai Namco’s bright orange booths, with smoke machines making distinctive whiffs as they fire jets of white smokes at fixed intervals, or PlayStation’s show of dominance with walls of displays for the multiple IPs they’re showcasing, such as the Evil Monk mini boss from [Sekiro] (Seen above), or Sam Porter Bridges from the much anticipated Kojima Production’s [Death Stranding] (Seen below).

Players experience FromSoftware’s brutality aplenty

And of course, what’s TGS without games? Although we were able to enter on business days as press, the queue for certain games were insanely long as well. For example, on the first day it took more than 2 hours in the demo queue for FromSoftware’s newest title Sekiro before we got to try it at all (granted, we missed the early rush to the booths go get the queue tickets). Other games we managed to try required less waiting, such as Ace Combat 7, Devil May Cry 5, Rockman 11, Kingdom Hearts III, to name a few (also because we learnt our lesson and went straight to their booths as soon as we could enter). Demos were kept to 15 minutes per play, and if the players are competent to clear the demo under that limit, they’re free to continue playing until their times are up (we were able to hear really good music for DMC5 for one).

Singapore-based Battlebrew Productions also boothed at TGS in the Indie Games section

This year’s TGS also saw many overseas exhibitors, as mentioned above. The indie game booths took up a sizeable area within Hall 9 of Messe, with 154 booths as compared to 121 last year, and we happened to chance upon our local Singaporean company Battlebrew Productions exhibiting there (they will also be at Game Start 2018 this year, so give them a visit!). There has also been a prominent presence of virtual reality games this year, and given how affordable VR headsets are becoming compared to the last few years, it’s no wonder companies are pushing for VR. The most noticeable trend however, is the ever prominent push for mobile phone games; 30% of the games showcased at TGS are planned to be published on mobile phones, which goes to show that the mobile platform is still ever strong.

VR Machine for interested members of the public to experience

Overall, TGS2018 has seen the largest crowd yet, partly due to multiple AAA titles being announced this year at E3 earlier in June. Next year’s Tokyo Game Show will be held between September 12th to 15th, so for those interested in visiting, do mark it down on your dates.

 

AFA and GameStart team up to bring fans more awesome content

28 Feb , 2018,
Crimson
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It’s always amazing when conventions collaborate, and we were thrilled when we got wind that our two favorite shows – Anime Festival Asia (AFA) and GameStart Asia – are planning to join forces.

In a press release issued today, Japanese pop culture powerhouse SOZO and Eliphant, the organizers of SEA’s premier gaming event, formalized their strategic alliance “to further strengthen existing events, and to create and develop new events in Asia”.

The two companies aim to “be the first step to roll out an integrated support system to further strengthen the community”, and to “provide new and inspiring ways for fans to enjoy their hobbies in gaming, animation and beyond”.

“Southeast Asia emerges as one of the fastest growing markets for gaming and content, we recognised that both AFA and GameStart audiences have diverse interests in both gaming and anime. With our partnership, we hope to work closely to bring even more exhilarating content and holistic experiences to both fanbases across the regions,” said Shawn Chin, Managing Director of SOZO and founder of Anime Festival Asia.

“We are extremely excited to be able to bring our event to various regions, with the support of our partners. We are determined to support the regional gaming industry, especially in esports and game development. We are positive that our partnership will provide more events and enable us to bring awesome content to both gamers and anime fans, ” said Elicia Lee, founder of GameStart Asia and CEO of Eliphant Pte Ltd.

GameStart will also launch an Indonesia edition of the convention with the support of SOZO, and it looks like things will be seriously heating up in the convention sphere.

With two major conventions in Singapore working closely together, the competition really needs to shape up, or ship out!

We’re rooting for SOZO and Eliphant on this one, and can’t wait for more news of their upcoming plans!

C93 – A Cool One (Winter 2017)

1 Feb , 2018,
Levin Tan
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This year’s Comiket was cooler (literally) than average and it actually snowed a little before the doors opened on one of the days! The snow turned quickly into sleet and then a light drizzle though, so it wasn’t that memorable compared to the recent heavy snow that it received. With 550,000 attendees (D1: 180,000 + D2: 160,000 + D3: 210,000) this year, it’s one of the more crowded Comikets.

To get the usual things out of the way first, Kancolle (艦これ) has slid quite a bit this year to lose its previously uncontested top placement to… Fate. There’s an explosion of Fate doujins this year, definitely in some part due to FGO. Touhou (東方) Project has slid quite a bit over the years and this year, it’s now lost second place to Fate as well.  It’s also lost its place to THE iDOLM@STER (thanks to the recent releases of games which brought it back up), which took third, so Touhou (東方) Project is now fourth. Touken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞) has also slid in numbers and has been overtaken by Fate. Love Live! (ラブライブ!) has maintained about the same number of circles as previous Comikets. Azur Lane (アズールレーン), a newcomer, hasn’t entered the rankings, but I’m sure it will pretty soon…

One of the loading screens in Azur Lane (アズールレーン) was drawn by TwinBox who has a booth here. It’s a shutter!

On the corporate side, Nekopara (ネコぱら) came back again, same with Twin Angel (ツインエンジェル), and Tokyo 7th Sisters. Nanoha (なのは) was promoting their upcoming film DETONATION, with comiket being where/when they exclusively unveiled its PV! Also, notably, Key was selling the 10th anniversary memorial merchandise for Little Busters! and some reaaaaallly premium (¥15,000) anime t-shirts. Wow.

Exclusive unveiling of the PV for the upcoming movie! Comiket is one of those big events where these things happen.

Azur Lane (アズールレーン) has already assumed corporate presence in Comiket despite it being such a young game (only several months old). It had its origins as a Chinese game, but they certainly did well to penetrate the Japanese market. There’s cosplay of it as well! (Not really unexpected knowing how fast these cosplayers here are.)

Pixiv’s Azur Lane illustration compilation sold out each day!

Hellooo Atago! ねむ(nemu✾) is a very pretty cosplayer, and my photo here doesn’t do her justice (T.T) so head over to her Twitter!

One observation in the corporate side I must note, is that there’s been an increasing number of media content providing companies exhibiting year after year. Probably got to do with streaming being increasingly popular, whether be it streaming professional content, or popular livestreams and feeds. This time, I saw Abema TV (アベマTV) had joined.

Abema is giving Nico Nico Douga (ニコニコ動画) a run for its viewers!

With that, let me bring you to the more unusual side of Comiket. But first, this year I “brought” some non-comiket-goers along with me. Well, I say “brought”, but I actually just told them how and when to come because I certainly can’t bring them along with the raid team into the morning first cry of battle. That’d be very cruel. Might I remind you, it’s a war zone after all. And their reactions? Oh yes, they were blown away at the scale of things. One of them had been to the conventions in the US (large ones, certainly), and he was remarking that this is on a very different level! They spent quite some time going around row after row after row to “have a look at what is out there” but gave up exhausted after seeing slightly less than half the booths. Comiket is really just that big. Nevertheless, they did enjoy themselves, so as I’ve ever mentioned before, there’s something for everyone at Comiket!

Now on to what I would like to draw your attention to this year. Watches! Well, pocket watches to be precise. Something a bit more exotic than your usual day crafts eh? There were actually a couple of booths selling these this time round, and they did attract a fair number of people (most craft booths don’t have a queue at all typically).

Pocket watches! The steampunk in you can surely relate, and it also carries an air of elegance if you happen to have a top hat and a monocle.

This one was one of the more expensive ones at this booth. (Should pocket watches be called Pokéwatch?)

Another one worth noting is the exhibition of a research project paper at one of the circle booths titled “Towards the High-quality Anime Characters Creation with Generative Adversarial Networks”. If you’re in the AI and Machine Learning sector (crossed with being an otaku as well), you might have heard about this paper a few months back, just after the middle of last year. While the outputs of the networks aren’t perfect, and can look awkward at times, it is a real treat to see it in action. It generates an anime girl based on the selected attributes you want the girl to have: hair colour, hair style, glasses (or not), Smile!, Sweet!, Sister!, Sadistic!, Service!… oops I don’t think the last few were part of the parameters. They’ve even built a website if you’d like to try it. And mind you, this booth had quite continuous attention with always a few people around it talking to the students who did this project, and they could explain it in Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), and English!

Now with this technology, you can finally have the exact harem you’ve always dreamed of!

So things like that pop up now and then and really add a nice touch to Comiket. Remember, Comiket is made up of its people, or participants (参加者) as we are all called. There are no sellers nor buyers, and everyone adds to its atmosphere and feel.  It’s well worth visiting, and my only regret this year was that I had alot more to rush around for than previous years (along with juggling messaging to different groups of people) such that I couldn’t stop to “soak in” the “Comiket atmosphere” (although I certainly added to it, I hope). In fact, I probably got a bit too absorbed this year, and stayed too late such that I even missed the last “reality this way” (現実->) sign, and I don’t have a picture to show for it! Oh well… Next year it is.

現実へ

C91 – The Depth of Comiket (Winter 2016)

1 Feb , 2017,
Levin Tan
,
No Comments

Comiket (コミケ) is “Comic” + “Market”, but having experienced a few, we felt that it definitely extends to more than that. Thinking about comics and doujinshi is just the surface, and so Haruta and I decided to plunge deeper. This is what this year’s coverage is mostly going to be about.

Firstly, let’s get the usual things out of the way. This year’s doujinshi had the usual top runners still on top: Kancolle (艦これ), Touhou Project (東方), Touken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞), iM@S, and Fate/Anything (and its spinoffs like Prisma Illya). Corporate booths had a really long queue for Gochiusa (ごちうさ), and the Grandblue Fantasy (グラブル) dakimakura (released ONLY on D2) sold out really fast. Nekopara was also present, and had cosplayers for each of the characters. Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel (快盗天使ツインエンジェル) was promoting its next season. It’s been a long time!

Nekopara!

Making a comeback after 6 years is Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel!

Secondly, if you didn’t already know, Tokyo Big Sight has now expanded by putting up another “double” hall. This year had 東7 (booths) and 東8 (changing room). To take advantage of the new space, both the doujin booths and corporate booths have expanded.

Comiket is just going to keep get bigger and better…

The new hall is still plenty spacious, which means that there’s still room to grow. Needless to say, Comiket is still war. Number of counted visitors this time was 550,000! (Not counting those not in the main queue after noon or so.)  And the booth count was 35,700! The most ever!

Now, something interesting before we carry on. Before the shutters were lifted to start the day, on D3, I had the chance to personally witness one of the doujin booths having 2 of their doujinshi barred from sale because it was just too NSFW. Think about that for a moment. (You may need to have seen some R18 doujinshi to understand what I’m talking about here.) And the reaction around me as the news spread was like “え?”, “まじ?”, “もう?”, and “www”, or a mixture.

So let’s start the dive, and let us bring you first, to D3, 西1.

This is the place for non-doujinshi stuff, and there are a great many things to keep your head turning. Last year I wrote about homemade headphones, this year I’m going to show you glass pens.

Completely made of transparent glass, with various nip sizes to your liking. By Kemmy’s Labo

These behave like quills where you dip them into ink, and the surface tension holds the ink on the nip while accumulating just enough at the tip for you to write! I saw people trying it out and I’m impressed at how consistent the thickness of each stroke is.

Well, there’s not just glass pens, miniature models for your Nendoroids and other similar-sized figurines as well! Check these out! Beautifully crafted; each and every single miniature!

Perfect for Nendoroids. Check out close-ups on her Twitter!

Music lovers are not left out either. This is also the place for you to get your indie music, including niche and very niche genres like 電波ソング/萌えソング, みみかき. DJ mixes are also in. Check out this booth which caries both 電波 and Camelia’s creations! I personally love songs which are かめりあ feat. ななひら. (Camelia does 電波 as well, so he actually has works in both booths!)

Camelia (かめるかめりあ) [left] & Confetto [right] booths, which had pretty long queues at the start of the day!

D3 at 西1 will never be boring, and I’m sure there will be loads more that I can feature each year. But let’s move on a little.

Comiket is getting more and more international every year, as they reach out to other countries with blooming culture and other countries reach in to Japan. The Comiket Official Page on Facebook said that they had probably just gotten the most number of international visitors yet. And this year, as part of their International Otaku Zone, they featured Singapore.

Pictures and short paragraphs describing what otaku conventions in Singapore are like.

The Japanese have probably heard some stuff about Singapore, most likely something to do with that lion with a fish tail (and you can juuust see it in that picture in the middle), but having a zone like that at Comiket is something I’d say I’m somewhat proud to see happening.

Let me now take you outside. To the cosplay areas!

You can find cosplayers just about anywhere outdoors, even mixing with the queues for the booths as seen here!

Comiket is never complete without talking about the cosplay. From swimsuits to armour (the proportion of which swings depending on the temperature), there is a really great number of cosplayers that it makes perfect sense to chillout after hitting your popular booths (most are sold out around noon to 1pm anyway) and have a really long look around. You’ll also see endless blogs, tweets, and posts online of all the different cosplays each time Comiket comes around.

This time, we took a plunge deeper as well, and Haruta interviewed two of these cosplayers. First up, we have Shimizu Taichi (清水 泰地).

Feast your eyes on those muscles! Get more on his Twitter!

A professional body builder who’s put his muscular body to good use for his hobby, Shimizu has always loved anime and manga since young. One day it suddenly occurred to him that his body figure is similar to some of the anime and manga characters. So he decided, why not cosplay these characters? Thus he debut during Summer Comiket 2015 as the green superhero Hulk from Marvel Comics.

Since then, Shimizu has cosplayed several other characters, such as Alexander the Great from Fate/Zero, Broly from Dragon Ball Z, and his most famous, Zangief from Street Fighters. When asked what his next cosplay plan is, Shimizu said he hadn’t thought about it yet, but he’s most likely bringing it out during Summer Comiket 2017! With that, Haruta left him to put on a coat (remember it’s winter!) as he takes a break from posing as Nappa from DBZ.

Next, we have a newbie to the Comiket scene, Kuro, as he cosplays Ezio Auditore da Firenze, from Assassin’s Creed II!

Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Kuro’s a newbie, but goodie!

Although being his first time debuting at Comiket, Kuro is no stranger to cosplay, having dabbed in the hobby for around one and a half years. His first cosplay was Kotetsu, from Tiger & Bunny, in his casual everyday wear.

When asked for his reasons for starting cosplay, Kuro said that he went to a party with his upperclassmen, where everyone is a cosplayer. Due to the influence, he decided maybe he should give it a go, and since then he hasn’t stopped yet.

Kuro also has a passion for swords, and thus likes cosplaying characters carrying a katana. Kuro has cosplayed several Hakuoki characters as such, and more recently, Mikazuki Munechika from Touken Ranbu. Kuro plans to challenge a different type of characters by cosplaying someone from Idolish 7, though which one specifically, he hasn’t decided yet. When asked how long does he see himself continuing the hobby, Kuro said the future is still uncertain now, so for the time being he’s going to try for another two to three years, then take a look again from there on.

Every cosplayer has a story, and realising that (while looking at the numbers), you can start to see why this post is a deeper dive. But of course, we can’t carry that many stories (nor pictures) in one post, so head on over to our Facebook page for a larger album of cosplayers!

Comiket is much more than just comics and commercial booth merchandise (limited edition or not!). I’d like to reiterate what I’ve said before, and this is the view of the organising committee: Everybody at Comiket is a participant. There are no sellers, no buyers.

You see, Comiket is made of its people. Coming together, sharing such a huge passion for whatever they have (really whatever as you would have noticed by now), every single person there adds to how awesome this event is, and everyone is there to enjoy themselves. Even the rush for limited edition stuff are all done very nicely, very “politely” if I may say. And let us not forget the volunteers who work tirelessly for 3 days straight to guide the crowds. Their crowd control and systems they put in place are absolutely amazing (this one you can only understand once you personally see it).

Attending Comiket is kinda magical, and always leaves me with a sense of awe, sense of exhilaration, and a sense of fulfilment in the end. I’m sure everyone feels this magic too. Which is why, never failing, there will always be this at the end of the 3 days:

Sign says: <- Reality ->

6 Things You Should Know While Cosplaying at GameStart 2016

6 Oct , 2016,
Jazion
No Comments

Pumped up for GameStart 2016 tomorrow? So are we! Once again, we put together a handy guide for cosplayers who intend to visit the event. Don’t forget to like the official event page for a look at show-exclusive special offers too!

Take a look at the zone map to plan your routes

Take a look at the zone map to plan your routes

Oh and check out this post to see what booths will be at the event.

 

1. Free Entry

It'd put a smile on anyone's face!

It’d put a smile on anyone’s face!

The best part about being a cosplayer this year is that you get free entry for all three days! Entry is for recognisable costumes only, so don’t forget to bring references if you’re unsure.

 

2. Refreshments

We suggest not drinking all 4 cans of Monster at once

We suggest not drinking all 4 cans of Monster at once

If you’re in dire need of a pick-me-up, chug a can of Monster, which is the official energy drink of GameStart 2016! You can also look forward to snacks and other tasty noms without having to leave the hall, how convenient. :3 

 

3. Cosplay Rest Area

Yes, there is merch

Check out some of the cosplay activities we have planned!

This year boasts an expanded cosplay rest area at the back of the hall, right by the toilets! It’s also near the NTP booth, where there will be signings by guest cosplayers Miu and Okageo. Don’t forget to help keep the rest area clean for everyone!

 

 

4. Photobooth

Temple in background not included

Temple in background not included

If you’re cosplaying from Overwatch or Touken Ranbu, you definitely want to head to the photobooth by LunarWorks Studio. Expect a beautiful Japan-inspired theme at their photobooth, conveniently located next to the rest area!

 

5. Runway

Get your game on at our runway talent showcase!

Get your game on at our runway talent showcase!

Feel like strutting your stuff in return for a chance at prizes from Seagate, Xmashed Gear and LunarWorks Studio? Be there on Saturday (8 October) between 1pm and 6pm for a chance to be noticed by our guests and invited to join the runway show on Sunday! 

 

6. Exclusive Loot

Overwatch, assemble!

Overwatch, assemble!

If you’re cosplaying from Overwatch, be sure to head over to the Neo Tokyo Project booth on Saturday and Sunday! We have loot to give away to the first 15 Overwatch cosplayers each day (click here for details).

 

And that’s all, folks! Have any other tips? Be sure to share them with us!

C89 – Winter Comiket 2015

16 Jan , 2016,
Levin Tan
,
2 comments

Comiket is just awesome!

Comiket is war. Anyone without a mission, without a strategy, will accomplish nothing on this battlefield.

After C84 with Arvin back in 2013, I certainly was raving to go for another one, so when I finally got another opportunity, I went back to Tokyo once more – for C89.

I cannot emphasise enough how big Comiket is. If you’ve been to one before, you’ll know. If you haven’t, it’s unimaginable. Even my memory of C84 had gotten kinda hazy and I was still amazed at how large it was this time. For comparison, take US’s largest similar convention: New York Comic-Con. They have over 170,000 attendees over 4 days. At Comiket, a single day has more attendees than Comic-Con for all 4 days, totaling at over 590,000 over 3 days! And these are only the attendees who queue at the opening. Those arriving after noon are not counted.

Back in C84, I didn’t care much about doujins and circles, and just went for the commercial booths. My Japanese was quite bad, so I couldn’t understand much even if I did buy doujins. But this time, I upped my level, and really prepared for war. Before flying to Tokyo, I had already met up with a group of friends to discuss our plans, routes, and strategies. We had a Facebook chat group and a Whatsapp group for communications as well.

I took the first train from my hotel down to the Tokyo Big Sight. But when I got there, there were a number of people already ahead of me! Ok, I thought, it doesn’t look that bad. That was until the sun rose and I could see everything…

picture of queue into Comiket on day 1

Everyone in front of me and to the left are ahead of me in the queue! (Day 1)

Queue for Comiket

Nice sunrise while queueing. (Day 2)

The only level up from here is to queue overnight, which is what one of my friends did. You have to be prepared though. This is winter, with temperatures around 4C or lower in the middle of the night. Summer is easier, and that means more people queue overnight too.

Marker for end of queue

This marks the tail of the line. It takes skill to find this fast!

Queueing is almost like what Comiket is made out of. You do that for everything – from getting in, to buying your stuff, to use the vending machines, toilets, everything. And usually, from the tail of the queue, the head is not visible, and vice versa. This can leave people confused as they search for the tail to join the queue. No doubt, with experience, this gets easier.

This year’s comiket was divided into (mostly) Day 1 – BL (and Gundam), Day 2 – Kancolle, Touken Ranbu, and Touhou, Day 3 – iM@S and LL!. I was targeting the commercial booths, Kancolle, and iM@S, so this was pretty much perfect scheduling. The people who arrange these things are very knowledgeable about the fanbase and content, so they try their best to schedule it such that most people can get what they want.

Now, knowing what you want to get isn’t sufficient, you also need to plan how you want to get it, because…

Hall crowds at C89

Multiply this view by exactly 10 times for the total indoor crowd at any time.

That booth you want to visit is a high school classroom sized table located in there somewhere! You aren’t going to get to it without planning! Also, check out the flow of people between halls:

Crowd flowing

When crowds are this thick, people behave like liquid flowing…

Another thing to be amazed at is, despite the colossal crowd, everything runs superbly smoothly! It is crowd management at its finest. You have to give it to them:

Comiket volunteers in orange caps and armbands

These are the volunteers of Comiket who help things run really smoothly.

There are 3,500 of these volunteers who help out on minimum 2 of the 3 days in Comiket. I asked my Japanese friend, and he said that all these people get is a free Comiket catalog (worth ¥2,500), a free meal, and get to keep their hats and armbands. That’s it! And yet, each Comiket has more applications for volunteers than they accept! So why would they sacrifice being able to buy stuff? Well, apparently these volunteers have enough connections that they can get what they want from their friends.

You might be wondering now, how did I get all these photos, wasn’t I located in a battlefield rushing for my own stuff? Well, see, Comiket almost ends at noon. By the time you hit around 11.00am, the most popular booths sell out:

Booth Utsura Uraraka, by Eretto sensei.

Day 1 booth Utsura Uraraka (A61ab), by Eretto sensei. Sold out!

The popular booths then sell out around 1pm, and by 2pm, you are basically left with all the non-famous/popular ones. That is not to say that they are not good, just not as well known. For instance:

FNP from Singapore!

Booth: FNP (Day 2, J03b)
A doujin circle from Singapore!

Circles not from Japan can be found participating in Comiket. I did come across several from China as well, and they sell good stuff too!

On day 3 usually, you can find circles dealing with electronics. Anime, manga, and electronics are somehow related as proven in Akiba, and here is no different:

Home-made headphone drivers

HAL900 (circle name) selling home-made headphone drivers.

Comiket is not just about doujins and merchandise, but also about cosplay. Here’s a shot of one of the several cosplay areas:

Overlooking the outdoor cosplay area

It can be hard to find your cosplaying friends here!

Gochiusa, short for Gochuumon wa Usagi desuka? (Is the Order a Rabbit?) is the biggest thing in Akihabara currently, and I was glad to be able to find a full cast of cosplayers here at Comiket!

Gochiusa Cosplayers

Is the order a full cast of Gochiusa cosplayers? Cosplayers: Cocoa, Chino, Takahiro, Rize, Sharo, Chiya

If you’re looking for more cosplay pictures, check out our C89 Facebook Album!

The spirit of Comiket is meant to be a community thing, as you might find in the official brochure and website. There are no “customers”, but only participants. This is something everyone understands. And while it gets really crowded and disorienting, the whole convention proceeds in a very orderly fashion. Even during one incident I witnessed where a cosplayer wasn’t happy with the way someone was photographing her (rather *ahem* angles) and things got a bit heated, everyone helped to ensure that the photographer didn’t run away and a staff member was called to help. The photograph was deleted, and all was alright.

At the end of it, Comiket leaves you with a tired but wonderful feeling, as you go back to count your loot (which can’t even fit in one picture). I can’t quite describe how that feeling is like, but it’s something of awe, satisfaction, amazement, and accomplishment. Comiket is an amazing experience that will keep you going back for more! However, as you leave, there’s always someone to remind you…

This way to reality.

“Reality, this way ->” is what the sign says.

SCANDAL Back in Singapore For a One Night Only Concert

12 Mar , 2015,
Edric
, , ,
No Comments

All Girl Rock band, SCANDAL, will back rocking Singapore for the fourth time as part of their [Hello World] tour. The one night only concert will be held on 8th May 2015 at The Coliseum™, Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore, Resorts World™ Sentosa.

Tickets are now on sale via SISTIC. VIP tickets are SOLD OUT on the first day of ticketing sales. Grab your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Title: SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015 [HELLO WORLD] In Singapore
Date: 8th May 2015 7pm doors open / 8pm concert start
Location: The Coliseum™, Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore, Resorts World™ Sentosa
Ticket Price: VIP$148(sold out in 45mins!), GA$98

Game Review: Hakuoki (Mobile)

20 Dec , 2014,
Arvin
, , , , ,
No Comments

Something that caught our eyes at Anime Festival Asia (AFA) Singapore 2014 was the English port of hit Otome game Hakuoki for mobile by digital company Gloczus.

The Gloczus, Inc. booth at AFA 2014.

The Gloczus, Inc. booth at AFA 2014.

Here’s our initial impressions:

Content:

Thankfully they left the Japanese voices in the game with English subs, and this would no doubt please many fans. Whilst trying out the demo at AFA, it was impressive that they managed to keep the translation highly accurate whilst maintaining the slight subtleties in Keigo (Formal Japanese Speech).

Some words such as Ronin were left as it is and it shows the quality of the translation.

One thing we've always looked out for is grammar and syntax, and we're glad they delivered on both counts.

One thing we’ve always looked out for is grammar and syntax in a port, and we’re glad they delivered on both counts.

Performance:

Finally fans of the popular Hakuouki have an opportunity to enjoy the game in a convenient format.

The mobile format did not have any loss in performance despite being a port from the original game and we could feel the the effort from the guys in Gloczus that they managed to make the format accessible for all mobile devices without any of the lag found in other mobile games.

We could not feel any corners that were cut whilst playing the game. The large total file size of 1-2GB might keep away some fans but it is not overly ridiculously in this time and age.

It looks really good even on the small screen.

It looks really good even on the small screen.

Payment:

The game uses a microtransaction model which costs about ¥400 per chapter, or ¥2800 for all 10 chapters + 1 additional chapter.

It starts off with a free prologue for you to try out the game, which is a nice demo if you’re wondering about the translation and game quality. It’s pretty affordable considering the quality of the release and this model has been found in other mobile ports of games. However these prices are not finalized and it could be even cheaper because of market segmentation.

Release:

The release date is scheduled for December, and the game will be available in many regions including South East Asia and Europe. However due to complications with licensing, it would be unavailable to fans from the United States. The company is also planning to release the game in Traditional Chinese in Hongkong and Taiwan, with additional plans in China.

Future plans:

Depending on the performance of Hakuoki, they would like to translate the sequels of Hakuoki and other Otome games. It seems like they also would like to bring some other Visual Novels such as a PC version of Neptunia for the male audiences to enjoy.

(Images by Levin Tan)

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nanda Collection World Tour 2014

22 Jun , 2014,
Edric
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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, former fashion blogger, DokiDoki fan and the international symbol of ‘Kawaii’, brings Harajuku to Singapore for the second time with her latest “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nanda Collection World Tour 2014” on June 21st, 2014 at The Star Theatre.

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Fans turned up dressed in various outfits from Cosplay, lolita and Pamyu Pamyu inspired dress code.

As the lights dimmed, anxious fans who had been waiting for more than an hour, whipped out their light sticks and exploded in cheers when Pamyu Pamyu, dressed in her unique Harajuku sub-culture inspired attire, began her performance with the catchy tunes of “Invader Invader”, her 6th single released in March, 2013.

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“Hello everybody,” screamed Pamyu Pamyu in English, “this is my second live in Singapore.”  causing more squeals from the fans. She talks about the various places she visited in Singapore. “Singapore is very very hot”, she commented as the audience roared with laughter.

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The highlight of the evening began after the interval where the audience were entertained by a mascot bunny. Pamyu Pamyu performed her recent releases from her Nanda Collection which includes “Mottai Night Land” and “Yume no Hajima Ring Ring”. Each performance was accompanied by an energetic and well executed choreographed dance which includes a mascot teddy bear for one track. We really have to hand it to Pamyu Pamyu and her dancers for pulling off the concert effortlessly.

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The night ended on a high note as Pamyu Pamyu performed her classic hits including “PonPonPon” and “Fashion Monster”.  Pamyu Pamyu may (yet) be the next queen of J-Pop, but, her over-the-top, cutesy and often thought provoking music is here to stay. Her concert definitely left fans craving for more!

This coverage is made possible thanks to Sozo, the organizer for Anime Festival Asia and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Guest DJs and Artists announced for STGCC

12 Jun , 2014,
Crimson
,
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Be prepared to be wowed this year, as STGCC returns with fresh content and personalities set to appeal to pop-culture fans.

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Images courtesy of: Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention 2014.

In a press release yesterday, Reed Exhibitions announced three renowned DJs from Japan – Inu, D.watt and sasakure.UK, who will be spinning the latest hits from popular Japanese games and anime at a one-of-a-kind STGCC DJ Night. Fans can expect to be wowed by a combination of anime music, Touhou, and Vocaloid riffs for sure.

Additionally, three multi-talented artists, including one of our personal favorites – Humberto Ramos, who is best known for his anime style approach to Western comics such as Marvel’s Spiderman, The Runaways and several creator owned series, Alex Solis, the father of “The Famous Chunkies” featuring oversized superheroes, and Simone Legno, the creator of the popular tokidoki brand.

STGCC 2014 will take place on the 6th and 7th of September at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Marina Bay Sands, and STGCC tickets are up for grabs now at $19 for a one-day pass and $25 for a two-day pass from selected authorised retailers.

Be sure to check out the official STGCC page for ticketing information, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook for more updates!