Monthly Archives:January 2012

Escape from Reality: Real Escape Game in Singapore

30 Jan , 2012,
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Can you Escape from the Mysterious Cathedral?

Excitement, trepidation, and a whole lot of awesome. That was what the NTP crew experienced when we checked out Singapore’s inaugural Real Escape Game at CHIJMES Hall last Friday.

For an hour, we were invited to immerse ourselves in an interactive production filled with puzzles galore, to beat the clock and to find a means of egress from The Mysterious Cathedral.

The game was reminiscent of  Japanese video games such as 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Hotel Dusk: Room 215, and Real Escape Game players are tasked to solve a series of math, logic, and word puzzles, piece together clues, and to uncover key lock combinations, and passwords instrumental to making good their escape.

We were certainly impressed by the depth and complexity of the puzzles, which required a fair bit of ingenuity, lots of scrambling around, and deductive reasoning to complete.

Hats off to Mr. Takao Kato, the 36-year-old creator of the game for bridging the virtual world and reality, and for bringing this amazing concept to life.

We had a great time at the event, and while we didn’t escape in time (we were stumped by the final puzzle and solved it only at the very last instant), it was truly an hour well spent and an unforgettable experience.

If you’d missed the Real Escape Game last weekend, fret not. Volume 2’s in the works, and it’s set to take place at youth haven *SCAPE sometime in May. We also got wind that it’s gonna involve werewolves this time, so it’s definitely gonna be a game with bite!

Be sure to bookmark Real Escape Game in Singapore’s official site, and keep tabs on their Facebook page for more updates!

That’s it from us for now. We’ll see you at Volume 2!

It's audition time!

19 Jan , 2012,
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We’ve been talking about Cosplay Chess 2012 for awhile now, and we’re glad to announce that we’ll be holding auditions for this year’s epic clash in about a week’s time!

This year, we’ll be pitting everyone’s favorite comic-book heroes and villains, computer game, movie and pop-culture protagonists against their anime and manga counterparts in a titanic battle that’s set to determine, once and for all, whether East or West’s best.

If you’re interested in being a part of Cosplay Chess 2012,  be sure to put the following details down in your planner:

Cosplay Chess 2012 Auditions

Date: 29 January 2012 (Sunday)

Time: 2 pm to 9 pm

Venue: Grid New Media Studios (*SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link, #04-01, GRID New Media Studios Singapore 237978)

You’ll also need to download this form (it’s got all the information you’ll need), complete it, and either mail it to us or submit it by hand at the venue (and if you’re under the age of 18, you’ll need the consent of your parent or guardian).

Let’s make it a date next Sunday, cosplay friends! We’ll see you at the auditions!

Until then. Cheerio!

Anibee TV: What's abuzz in Anime land?

16 Jan , 2012,
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Recently, we interviewed Anibee Ambassador Hunt finalist Mika Matsuri and our chat got us wondering: what’s Anibee TV, and what’s all the buzz about? Well, let’s find out.

Anibee TV (or anibee for short) is literally Singapore’s first and only anime video portal. Since it’s inception in May 2011, it’s been streaming top-rated anime titles online,  as well as exclusive simulcasts straight from Japan.

Their latest line-up includes Dragon Crisis (2011), Dogs (2009), and one of my all-time favorites – Samurai 7 (2004), and it’s set to change with each new season (and we’re certainly keeping our fingers crossed for some of the Winter 2011 and Spring 2012 titles!).

Here’s a quick visual tour of the anibee site: - Landing page.

The series selection screen.

Here's us browsing the synopsis for Dogs.

We just had to select a video, and we were good to go.

Be sure to check out the Anibee TV site for more information about the company, subscription plans, and series release dates.

You can also follow their Facebook page here.


Spotlight On: Mika Matsuri

11 Jan , 2012,
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We’re back with another Spotlight On column, and this week, we interview Anibee Ambassador Hunt hopeful Mika Matsuri, better known on the web as Mikaka.

This bubbly and energetic teenager’s a newcomer to the scene, but she’s certainly made a name for herself, both as a cosplayer and aspiring entertainer.

She was a finalist at last year’s Teenage Big Day Out, a shortlisted contestant in TGX 2011’s Cos X, and with her soulful voice, she’s crooned her way into the hearts of the judges in anisong competitions. Her musical talent also came to the fore when she played pop princess Ranka Lee at Cosplay Chess 2011, performing an a capella segment on stage.

What makes this 15-year-old tick, and what’s her take on cosplay, the Anibee contest and everything in between? We find out.

Mikaka as Dark Magician Girl from Yu-Gi-Oh!

Crimson: When did you get into cosplay, and what was the experience like? 

Mikaka: I first started cosplaying in December 2010. It was actually a paid event, but it didn’t turn out too well.

I was cosplaying the vocaloid Kagamine Rin, and since I’d just started out, my make-up wasn’t all that nice and my wig wasn’t styled as well as I’d hoped. The more experienced cosplayers at the event mocked me for it.

It made really me sad at first, but I bounced back!

Crimson: Oh? 

Mikaka: Their criticism fueled my desire to do better. I spent 2 months learning how to do make up properly, and I watched videos to see how the characters behaved. Whenever I felt like giving up, I would remember what happened, and I would tell myself that I should do my best. They tried to put me down, but it had the completely opposite effect. Now that I’ve matured as a cosplayer, I’m actually glad it happened.

Mikaka (left) as an angel (original character).

Crimson: Your cosplay has been described as ‘moe’. What’s your definition of ‘moe’? 

Mikaka: Being moe is about acting cute and child-like, but I’ve come to discover that being classy is more important than being moe. Otakus may fetishize you if you’re moe, but nobody else in the community will take you seriously. An air of grace and refinement certainly makes a better impression!

Crimson: So you’re really an ‘ojou-sama’ (elegant lady)? 

Mikaka: *laughs* I’m still trying to find my cosplay identity, but I don’t rule out the possibility of more ‘ojou-sama’ characters. I’m also venturing into Western and mecha cosplay this year, and I’ll be trying my hand at making armor!

Crimson: That sounds pretty ambitious. Care to share what your plans are? 

Mikaka: I’ll be cosplaying Danny Choo‘s mascot Mirai Suenaga. I’ll be making her Retrograde Suit, and that’s going to be a real challenge because I’m very new to prop-making. I really love and identify with the character, so I’ll do my best!

I’ll also be making my first World of Warcraft costume. The character’s called Parvink, and she’s a gnome warrior. She’s small but deadly, and an inspiration to me.

Mikaka as a white lolita (casual fashion).

Crimson: How does it feel to be a finalist in Anibee TV’s Ambassador Hunt?  

Mikaka: I’m really happy to be a finalist. At first, I was a little hesitant because I wasn’t sure if I was good enough to be a brand ambassador, but thanks to everyone’s encouragement, I decided to take a chance.

I’m actually really grateful to Anibee. Thanks to this contest, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people. I’ve also picked up new cosplay and prop-making skills, and moved out of my comfort zone to explore new ways of showcasing what I can do.

Mikaka (right, foreground) as Yui from K-On!

Crimson: Let’s imagine for a moment that you do become a cosplay star. What do you hope to achieve when you gain that kind of popularity? 

Mikaka: I hope to show everyone that cosplay is a serious hobby, and that people can look good and feel great about themselves when they cosplay.

Most people don’t take cosplayers seriously, and I hope to dispel that perception. Thanks to cosplay, I’ve made many new friends. I was an introvert and insecure in the past, and I’ve seen these traits vanish with each event I’ve gone to and with each compliment I’ve received from people I didn’t know. I’ve widened my social network and broadened my horizons.

I’ve learnt how to manage my time more effectively, and I’ve mastered practical skills like sewing and prop-making, which were really helpful in my school projects.

Cosplay has transformed my life. It’s an important part of who I am, and I hope to share the benefits of cosplay with everyone.

Sounds like this magical girl’s got some lofty dreams, and we wish her all the best in her many endeavors.

If you’d like to connect with Mikaka on Facebook, here’s a link to her page. Also, you can check out Mikaka’s cosplay blog here.

Spotlight On is a new column featuring cosplayers in the local scene. If you’re a cosplayer and you’re keen to be interviewed, or if you know a cosplayer who might just fit the bill, we’d love to hear from you!

Drop us a note at INFO [AT] NEOTOKYOPROJECT.COM with the header Spotlight On, or leave us a message on our Facebook page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

It's a pop-culture Invasion!

5 Jan , 2012,
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Stephen Segovia's exclusive Supergirl print - just one of many goodies you can expect at Invasion!'s opening this weekend.

Get ready for a pop-culture invasion this weekend when Invasion! Toys & Collectibles opens its new retail outlet at Funan DigitaLife Mall.

The computer hub’s getting jazzed up by the entry of this new player, which joins Battle Bunker, Black Tactical,  La Tendo, and Rapid Culture on level 5.

Invasion!’s set to infuse the place with a fresh dose of Western chic. The store promises to be a platform for visitors, not just to indulge their inner geek, but also to connect with celebrated art creators and illustrators from around the world, who will be making regular store appearances and signings.

And talking about store appearances, comic-book artist Stephen Segovia will be in town for the official opening, and he will be joined by local artist Sonny Liew and Indonesian illustrator Rudy Ao.

The trio will be offering exclusive art prints, and taking limited commissions for the event (you can e-mail your requests to Invasion!’s owners here), so if you’re a fan, this is one chance you don’t wanna pass up.

Also, don’t forget to check out Invasion!’s official site, and Facebook page here.

Invasion! Toys & Collectibles Grand Opening

Date: Friday 6th Jan & Saturday 7th Jan

Time: 6 pm (Friday) & 11 am (Saturday)

Venue: 109 North Bridge Road, #05-36, Funan DigitaLife Mall, Singapore 179097


Happy Anniversary To Us!

1 Jan , 2012,

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The Neo Tokyo Project went live on New Years Day last year, and as of today, this baby’s officially 1!

It’s been a great year, really. We’ve had a chance to get into tons of cool stuff, covered some of Singapore’s biggest cons, and hobnobbed with the who’s whos of geekdom. We also managed to pull off Singapore’s inaugural Cosplay Chess, curated Jay Tablante’s first ever exhibition here on this little red dot, and hopefully, we’re gonna do a ton more in the coming year.

This post is not so much a retrospective, but a Thank You to everyone who’s been a part of our 2011 journey.

We’d like to thank you, our readers, for your support. It’s hard to believe that in just one year, we’ve amassed a monthly reach of some 5,000, and we hope we’ve helped enrich your lives in some small way.

We’d also like to thank our sponsors and partners, without whom many of our reviews and giveaways wouldn’t be possible.

And finally, we’d like to thank our crew – resident shutter-flies Desmond and Kah Wee for their tireless (and often thankless) work at events, our token minion Edric, who minds all our stuff when we’re out and about sniffing for the latest geek leads, Kai Li from Operation P.Ani.C, our videographer at all major conventions and events, our foreign correspondents, and our cosplay friends at Project Zen,  who’ve helped time and again to make things happen.

This year, we’re reaffirming our commitment to bringing you quality articles and events.

We’ve got more interviews lined-up for our Spotlight On column, more cosplay tutorials and more reviews. We’ve also beefed up our events portfolio, so look out for Cosplay Chess 2012 and International Cosplay Day (Singapore). In fact, we’re starting auditions for Cosplay Chess in late January, so don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for details in the weeks to come!

So have a great 2012, everyone!

Geek out, and stay awesome!