12 December 2011

AFA 2011 Report [Day 2: The Masses Amassed]

by 01:23
It was Day 2 of Anime Festival Asia 2011 at Suntec City Convention Centre, and I'm stuck with a broken shoe, concert-hangover, and an unsatisfactory breakfast.

But truthfully, never felt better.

Right after the "MikuPa in Singapore" concert on Day 1, we respawned the very next morning to enjoy Day 2 of the Anime Festival Asia 2011. A quick but heavy morning breakfast of toast and jam at 8pm-ish ensured we could last walking around till lunch time.

Here's a quick glance at today's "Stage" events. Missed the Culture Japan session but managed to catch the 11.10AM event of Fate/Zero where LiSA performed the full OP of the currently on-going series. Just amazing. I would have stayed longer to catch the following program but we decided to visit the festival instead.

The "Festival" was the main attraction and crowd-puller for the next few days as there's loads going on at every part of the two-joint halls. Quite a number of booths by various companies, organisations and bodies were present, including many local hobby shops and suppliers selling everything under the "anime" umbrella, from typical merchandises to exclusive figures and even katana-shaped umbrellas.

A floor map of the venue should give you a better mental image of the place as I continue on. To the left of the map is the "Festival" area, the main joint-hall with booths, exhibitions and an animation theater featuring some of the latest movies out in Japan. On the right side is the "Stage" area during the day, with the full list of the events shown earlier above, before turning into the "I ♥ Anisong Concert" in the evening and lasting throughout the night.

Our first stop was the official Good Smile Company booth, where the latests and yet-to-be released figures were displayed to the public. Here'a small gallery of the display cases (don't mind the crap lighting is some of them).
The latest Vocaloid figure rendition. Although this completely deviates from the original Vocaloid concept, its cuteness is compelling. Maybe I should get it after all?

I think mine is still flying somewhere over the Philippines by now?

Always have to pray for their safe journey and arrival since I use unregistered SAL most of the time. It's heartbreaking at times to know your beloved figure is being man-handled at the post office, even if it does say FRAGILE on all 4 sides of the parcel. Its the price of forgoing speed over cost I guess.

Still deciding if I should get this or not. I'm 110% into the whole Fate-faggotry and its works but its kinda plain, and my love for figma's are..... diminishing ever so slowly, with a few exceptions of course.

Surprised to see the actual sample of the Saber PVC with that badass bike from Fate/Zero here in Singapore.
And by the gods, it looks amazing. The details on Saber are mind blowing, and don't get me started on the intricacies of that DAYUUUM bike.

Had the privilege to view the whole thing in 360° and personally, it IS worth spending ever penny on this rendition when its finally released. For now, I'll just hold my breath till the painted version comes out.

We stopped by Danny's Culture Japan booth with the MiraItasha, he featured before in his blog, prominently displayed amongst the crowd. There were a few display cases as well, with a few figma characters deciding to display as Suenaga Mirai in the name of the Culture Japan spirit.

Honestly, images of Dolfies like these keep me at the edge. One day, I'll be making that jump and there's no going back.

Animax's booth was right behind Danny's, with a photo op session going on. Visitors could take photos with their favourite Beelzebub characters, ranging from Kunieda to Helga and even the (huge) baby Beelzebub.

Stopped by the Aniplex Booth, which their main theme, "Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai" (Ano Hana) used to decorate their walls and display cases. A "Yukiatsu" cosplay costume was present for brave souls to try them on (no, not really). Delusion and weeping may ensue upon wearing them.
Looks like Good Smile Company had "lent" little Nendoroid Menma to Aniplex, where she rightfully belongs. Even more adorable in Nendo form! Anyone getting her?

Below Nendoroid Menma are the official animation design and art sketches used for the production of the show.

At the Bandai Booth, part of the large area they've rented was featured mostly their latest and soon to be released One Piece figures under the Figuarts series, along with Banpresto.

Just recalled One Piece was releasing an application that day, where one can collect(?) and fight among your friends with One Piece characters. Can't remember if it was something to do with Augmented Reality (AR) tho.

As we passed quite a number of hobby stores selling everything and anything related to anime merchandise, I couldn't help but feel caught up with the spending atmosphere which everyone seemed to be doing at a very generous rate. Fortunately, the local pricing had put me off slightly, and the fact I'm already collecting figures via shipping banished any further desire to spend anymore than I should on this trip.

At the far left corner of the hall, near the Cool Japan booths was two lovely Miku-itashas sponsored by Crypton themselves (I'm guessing with all that Mikubook). Admired both cars from all angles, just before getting a decent photo op with Miku.

We touched It was magical. 

After viewing the cars, we had a quick lunch and headed back to the Stage, just in time to see FLOW and Ichiro "Aniki" Mizuki appear on stage! I wasn't from his era back then so I can't fully appreciate his songs, but nonetheless, it was amazing to see that legend in person. Never met a 63 year old rocker whom had so much energy and could perform later that night at the "I ♥ Anisong Concert" together with FLOW.

Now, catching a glimpse of FLOW and Aniki was just for starters, as our group had intentionally camped early for the following appetizer; Saitou Chiwa (Homura) Live Dubbing Session for Madoka Magica.

Totally forgot to snap a few pictures of the whole dubbing event, as they would darkened the stage each time she dubs a certain scene, so I'll take a few from Danny's post which you can head over to see more of the lovely Saitou Chiwa. As you can see, Danny's been MC-ing full-time for both days on stage for every(?) AFA event if I'm not mistaken.

I have to say, I am astounded by the sheer passion and professionalism Saitou-san displayed in front of us all, and by all, I mean the whole stage area was full of either seiyuu or PMMM fans. Look to Danny Choo's post to see just how many of us were there at the session.

I could feel my nose going fuzzy when she did those heart wrenching lines, such as trying to stop Madoka from making a contract, just before murdering that Incubator while an applause erupted from the audience. Hilarious, I tell ya.
One of my favourite producers, Iwakami Atsuhiro (producer for Bakemonogatari and Kara no Kyoukai) later came on stage for some Q&A. He discussed little about the recently (at that time) announced Madoka 3-part movies, with the third being a sequel quite likely possibility. For the rest, we'll just have to wait for 2012, he said shortly before leaving the stage and going back to Japan to finish the 3rd movie script (lol).

Once the appetizers were finished, our camping had paid off as we edged closer and closer to the front of a full-blown main course in our faces; Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode 4: Beyond the Gravity Well - Movie Screening. Been following the series and I think its a nice blend of the retro style with modern animation techniques, which is the appeal of the series if I'm not mistaken.

It was actually my friend's idea to camp 2 events before the screening as, (seeing as his knowledge about the Gundam universe would allow him pilot one when the time comes), we ended up with pretty awesome seats with the giant screen hanging at our faces. Had no idea this movie was being simultaneously screened with the theaters in Japan as the opening music started playing while the hall darkened and fell into a deep silence.

After the movie, we headed over to the Bandai booth, one of the largest booths to be taken up by a single company in the hall. Heaps and, I mean, heaps of gunpla boxes were stacked together in neat piles with offers attached, trying to seduce the wallets of onlookers and visitors.

The main theme for the booth was Gundam Unicorn, with many display cases featuring tons of Gunpla and merchandises from the franchise. Been awhile since I last assembled a Gundam model as I no longer have such time to sit and carefully piece them together like I once did.

Love the fucktastic armaments on this Full Armor Unicorn Gundam. Wish I could afford it.

Wondered around a bit more, while taking pics with various cosplayers and meeting up with other friends of a friend of mine before heading to the Cool Japan Pavilion, located in the corner of the hall. It had many smaller bodies under that "Cool Japan" umbrella, which is a government initiative if I'm not mistaken(?).

Check out here for the full list of organisation that were present.

As previously announced, ZANEEDS, a vocaloid creative group would be present at AFA 2011. Got to meet the designer, PPRP-san and DJ, Torinos-san whom were manning the booth whilst selling ZANEEDS album CDs and exclusive posters of the fourth missing member, CHANxCO. If you're wondering where you've heard of him, he's the man who did the alternate faces for all 4 of the Black Rock Shooter Nendoroids. Was hoping to meet him but wasn't present at all.

Decided to get myself some posters, with the exclusive Mer-miku Singapore illustration by CHANxCO! I just had to have all three of them.

PPRP-san, with the said Mer-miku illustration. Pleasant guy to speak with.

Came back again and managed to catch DJ, Torinos for a photo op and sign my posters.

My posters are now rpoundly displayed under a protective transparent mat at my work desk where I would look down to soothe myself at times.

But the highlight of the day was just a few booths from ZANEEDS, and it was Cool Japan's smaller Culture Japan booth. In there, sitting patiently were the Vividblaze duo, Tezuka Miho and Okano Yasunari.
I had missed watching them performing on stage earlier that day during the Culture Japan session, but there they were, in the booth just staring at the people crowding around ZANEEDS. Was amazed no one was crowding over them as I was about to have jitters at the thought of talking to them. Then an organizer turned from a corner and gestured them to start packing up their stuff and follow her. They were about to leave!

I quickly stepped in and asked if I could take a picture with them. In a way, I'm quite thankful, they aren't that mainstream yet, as I could actually walk up to the lovely Miho and maestro Yasunari and have a simple chat. Expressed just how honored I was to meet them in person, as I'm been a huge fan of their works ever since I heard their tunes on the first episode opening of Culture Japan back in 2010(?). This lead me to googling about them and eventually falling in love with their works. Grabbed a sample CD earlier that day when no one was around, but got the maestro and artist to autograph them. I was on high as this point, and nothing could ruin the rest of my day.

Thank you, Vividblaze!

If you haven't heard of Vividblaze, do checkout their works, accompanied with ossom time-lapse video by their partner, mockmoon at his Youtube Channel.

At the Dwango booth was a live stream of Nico Nico Douga (NND), featuring us and everyone in the crowd. They'd randomly select someone from the audience, preferably a cosplayer to step forth and show their talents or skill if any. Embarrassing, if I may say so.

Friends of mine can be viewed at that time when a bunch of guys started to sing the opening of "World is Mine" with me in the background. It was hilarious to watch the comments flowing past, as I'd probably be one of those viewers if I hadn't made the trip.
Came back a few hours later and there was a violinist on camera. She (or he) was playing Bad Apple and it was amazing. The screen had literally exploded with comments ranging from shock to awe and flattery of her (or his) violin skills.

A small tour of the other booths, such as the AFA Shop booth, which sold lots of merchandises related to the Anisong concert and other artist albums.

Stumbled upon the official shop of AKB48, which was pretty packed with people, probably because one of the AKB48 girls were spotted. Beautiful ladies on every single piece of merchandises was on sale for fanboys to collect.

Apparently we missed LiSA as she was at the Aniplex booth earlier that day as she signed a portion of the booth's plastered boards. How I wish I could cut off that part and take it home...

Opposite Aniplex was the Cospa booth, where I eventually bought 2 T-shirts after some great marketing skills by one of the salespersons. Lots of stuff were being sold out at this point of time as the place was nearing the closing time.

The front of the Fate t-shirt was interesting, as I knew it had something to do with the corruption powers of Sakura in the Heaven's Feel route (which the salesperson quizzed me about. He actually quizzed a customer)

But when he revealed the back part of the shirt, I just knew I had to have it.

The Toaru Majutsu t-shirt. I just love the 8-bit feel

20001, even cuter in chi-bit form. 

A quick look at the MikuPA booth, where everything was pretty much sold out since the day before at the concert hall. The first to go was the Singapore Exclusive T-shirt as there were event exclusives to where every MikuPa was performed. Thanks the heavens I managed to grab one yesterday.

A quick look at the KKnM (Kareshi Kanojo no Mise) booth informed us it was enjoying a bit of action from the purchasing atmosphere. The line to enter the booth was ridiculous, as it had stretched all the way back to the hall entrance, with around 40-60 people waiting in line at one point. There's no way we could enter it without sacrificing some precious time, as my newly met friends had to catch a plane home that night.

The day was wrapped up with taking photos of cosplayers in and outside of the hall.

Ever present lifeliners fans were there to give me the warm welcome. 

One of them had me...

... just before some angels came to rescue me. 

Bold cosplay is bold. Amazing. And to think its all handmade(?)

Had to snap a pic of Cybuster from SRW:OG for a friend, or he wouldn't believe me.

Ended the day with a healthy dosage of some Sonico love before leaving and getting some din-din grub. 
(poor girl had to pose for over 10 minutes in the foyer as tons of photographers surrounded her) 

-End of Day2- 

To be continued~


Anonymous said...

admit it you wanna join too during that NND Live session ^~^

BlackSun88 said...

tsundere mode? lol...

BlackSun88 said...

that misaka network t-shirt!! damn i would have bought it if i had noticed it!! argh

Yoshii-kun said...

@BlackSun88 Each booth had something worth checking out which is fun to just browse around ^^

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