Archive for the 'convention' Category

We are attending Otakon and we are telling you about it

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

I totally bought Kannagi even though I didn’t watch it. $35 for 7 episodes :o
I also didn’t take notes, so I’d better write this down before I forget any of it…

Facts about Yamakan:

  • He is cool
  • He composed the Haruhi dance in his apartment while standing on his bed
  • He recommends Summer Wars by possibly-acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda
  • He doesn’t actually hate slightly-more-acclaimed director Akiyuki Shinbo
  • He probably shouldn’t have made three dancing anime in a row
  • “If I said I didn’t like any other directors, people would yell at me on the Internet again”

Highlights of his panels included an Asian guy, possibly from a mysterious land known as “#denpa”, dancing the Kannagi OP.

Facts about Kikuko Inoue:

  • She was a fish in a previous life.
  • She “knows this”.
  • She spent half of her panel asking Hidenori Matsubara to let her be in the next Eva movie. (He offered to let her be Pen-Pen)
  • People in the audience thought Maikaze and games were recorded differently from anime, but they weren’t.
  • She can remember how to sing the Ah My Goddess opening, but not Cruel Angel’s Thesis. But she did her best!
  • Only girls can join her 17-year-old club, because it’s more bittersweet.

Tomorrow I’m going to do something other than sitting in guest Q&A panels, I hope. Like sitting in Surat’s panels.

The Truth

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Yamakan, Zombies, Tissue Princess Next Door to Reitaisai, No One Notices

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Yunakiti reports on the 2ch thread where otaku realize that Geisai 12 took place right next to Reitaisai, in East hall 1. Guests there included Yamakan, Ozoku band (Tissue Princess and other Nico Allstars), and Zombies, the ultimate anison dance group.

I kind of feel bad about not knowing about this, but on the other hand it looks like if I went I’d be giving money to Takashi Murakami, and he doesn’t really need any more money than he already has. Not to mention that I honestly believe that Reitaisai is a more significant event of the two in basically every way! Well, except for no yamakan.

Reitaisai 6 Penalties: Christmas Comes Late for Me, a Tale of Big Sight East 3

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

As many of you may know, Reitaisai moved from the West-4 hall at Tokyo Big Sight last year, where from all reports the event was crowded and ridiculous and chaotic beyond anyone’s imagination, to the larger East 4/5/6 halls this year.

What was not announced was that the Reitaisai organizers also rented the East 3 hall, for the purpose of line control. Yes, they rented a 3.5 million yen/day hall for the purpose of making the event less of a living hell by lining up the first x thousand people to show up inside the event hall. Upon discovering this hall, I felt a little less bad about having to spend $19 on an only-event catalog. I took it somewhat easy, getting up at around 6 and arriving at the hall at a little past 7, and just barely made it in the nice climate controlled room where many thousands of other Touhou fans were, many of whom probably were hanging around the Big Sight all night.

As at all doujin events, there is a page in the Reitaisai catalog and all related materials that states that you SHOULD NOT line up overnight, or even get there really early in the morning, suggesting that you instead arrive at an hour when normal people will be awake, in other words, when you won’t bother them. Of course, a lot of people don’t actually follow this rule, creating tensions between the rule-breaking overnighters (徹夜組), the on-the-fence first trainers (始発組), and the rest of us plebes who more or less follow the rules and wish grave harm upon the first group and mild harm to the second.

Most conventions state that there will be some sort of vague penalties for showing up early. I’m fairly sure Comiket isn’t actually able to follow through with this threat, and they’re already pretty well equipped to deal with the crowd. Reitaisai last year, on the other hand, didn’t hand out any penalties, and the event was pretty chaotic. Sunshine Creation was fairly well known for actually dealing these out, moving some people to the back of the line, or I believe in one case making the overnight folks shovel snow if they wanted to keep their place in line. Of course, this can always backfire, as apparently at last Comic1, the 100 or so nerds who were cordoned off as a penalty by 5 staff members decided that their collective inertia could not be stopped by these 5 staff members if they all moved together, and basically just plowed into the event hall. tsk tsk.

Back to Retaisai, though. Like I said, I just barely made it in east-3, and I could hear people around me mumuring about penalties and whatnot, some calling the building we were in a ペナルティほいほい, “Penalty Hoihoi”, a play on the Japanese for “roach motel”, “Gokiburi hoihoi.”

Well, it turns out they were right! At 9:45, 15 minutes before the event started, the periodic announcement by the cheerful female announcer reminding us to please buy a catalog if we hadn’t yet was replaced by another announcer, this one male, and much less cheerful. He informed us folks in the hall that we all probably knew that lining up early was expressly forbidden. In classic Japanese chewing-out style, he let us know how much of an annoyance we must have been, partying outside all night when there’s a hospital with a giant cancer ward just next door, and that we should probably feel bad about ourselves. Oh, and there would be some changes made to the line.

Without even a “have a nice day”, the PA clicked, and everyone went from being dead silent to excitedly talking to their friends. The guys around me seemed half-scared but half-thrilled, because we sort of followed the rules by showing up after the first train, and even if we did get hit by a penalty, we had already showed up late enough that it wouldn’t reaaally make much of a difference.

At 9:55, our line, 6 wide and 90 deep, and only our line, started to move. We all started freaking out, wondering if we actually were going to be the first regular attendees in. They lined us up right in front of the entryway to the event, and held us there for a little bit, telling us that we shouldn’t run under any circumstances, that we should have our catalogs out, and that we should have our shoelaces tied. When 10 came around, everyone started clapping, as you normally do at these events.

Oh, except for the people who had stayed overnight at the Big Sight. Apparently they weren’t too thrilled about the entry order to the event of East 3 being completely reversed.

as they say on 2ch, 徹夜ざまあ wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Anyway, I ought to go now. Need to install my Seirensen demo!

Straight from Flowering Night 2009: New Info on Touhou Seirensen: Undefined Fantastic Object

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I’m really tired so this is going to be really short:

Zun showed up at the very end of FN2009, and the MC asked him if he could give any information about Touhou Seirensen: Undefined Fantastic Object. After dodging the question for a few seconds with “get the demo on Sunday, you can find out then,” he let slip that

“It’ll be better than Chireiden”.

Thanks, 神主. Of course, this was a few hours after an audience poll of “what’s your favorite Touhou game” where about the same number of people raised their hands for Chireiden as they did for Bunkachou (StB), which is to say very few. Other interesting facts learned from the audience surveys: the vast majority of people play on gamepads, and maybe 30-40% of the crowd was in their teens. damn kids in my fandoms.

He also mentioned that the game will be very “pop”, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the demo to find out exactly what that means.

All the bands were great, but some were more great than others. Also, the Makuhari Messe apparently uses a Bosendorfer as their in-house piano?? wtf

Comiket Special 5 info up

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Mito city, 3/21/2010. Let’s reviving city with comic and good spirit!

In other news, Kodansha needs to stop pricing light novels in the BOX line at 1600 yen if they expect their customers to buy their books and still manage to eat on a daily basis.

also, while this post is still (relatively) fresh, Nichijo vol 4 is coming out on the 26th! Hopefully it’ll be more like volume 3 than volume 2!

Items of Interest from C75 Day 3, or How to Spend 30,000jpy on Comiket Day 3 on Nothing but All-Ages Doujin

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Day 3 was pretty tame, all things considered: got up early but not too early, stood in line behind East hall, got in at around 10:10 and bought things until I couldn’t buy no more. I spent a good chunk of money, but somehow didn’t purchase any pornography for dudes on what is normally known as the pornography for dudes day. I did get hit some bigger-name circles (ABe, KEI, etc), but they’re not terribly interesting and I’m sure those are all on share or PD or the bittorrent or whatever. Here are some of the mildly interesting and less common things I bought!

Akiba ni Sumu

Akiba ni Sumu

Akibakurashi wo Tanoshimu Hon

Akibakurashi wo Tanoshimu Hon

A couple of circles were selling books about Akiba, which I could not help but buy.

Akiba ni Sumu is a very data-driven book, with detailed information on Akiba’s bus stops, zoning laws, history, when the last train you can take from basically anywhere in Tokyo to get back to Akiba is, you name it. Haven’t gotten around to fully reading it yet, but it looks to be a treasure trove of information. Samples of issues are available on the site here.

Akibakurashi wo Tanoshimu takes a different approach, with a lot more pictures and fewer obsessive details. The booth was being run by a middle-aged couple, if I recall correctly, and this reads more like a nice neighborhood guide more than anything, with reviews of restaurants in the area, a small diary of goings-on around the area (festivals, notable store openings), and a small section with floor plans and prices of apartments in the district. A boy can dream, right? They were selling their back issues (1-5, they had a new issue 6 out as well) as a set for I believe 1500 yen, which was quite a deal considering these are 50 pages and well-printed.

Temjin-14, Te-vap 15

Temjin-14, Te-vap 15

Now since I’m studying in the Kansai region at the moment, all this information on Akiba won’t do me a whole lot of good during the school year. Thankfully, Bashi Denden-Kumi, who have apparently been doing this since at least the year 2000, put out a biannual book on the stores of the Nippombashi area. I picked up their summer offering as well as their free winter supplement. The summer book even has a nice fold-out map. I’m sure there are websites that do this, but there’s something really nice about being able to hand 400 yen to the folks that really know and love the area in exchange for a physical volume.

Tsurukawa Bunko - Osama-san 6 (nida), Holy Warriors Taliban 3

Tsurukawa Bunko - Osama-san 6 (nida), Holy Warriors Taliban 3

Apparently this guy’s books are kind of famous if you’ve been around the internet long enough, but this is like the third time I’ve bought from him and every time it feels like he’s giving me one of those Japanese death glares even though I’m 99% sure it’s all in my head. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Holy Warriors Taliban is about Osama and Saddam fighting off the US trying to steal all their oil, with the cover blurb of “Martyrs for Independence, Defeat America!” Also, Condolezza Rice is a Planet of the Apes figure. Also, Osama is Optimus prime, complete with transforming action. Also, DBZ parodies such as Obama playing Vegeta to Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill’s Napa. (“Maybe you won’t be such a disappointment… IN THE NEXT DIMENSION!!!”)

I hope I don’t get arrested for these at customs.

Driyasfabrik - Shikaban Kannagi, Hidamari Sketch

Doriyasu Koujou - Shikaban Kannagi, Hidamari Sketch

Prolific Gegege no Kitaro crossover circle Driyasfabrik’s C74 and C75 offerings. They’re basically everything you think they’d be. Case in point:

it's a catchphrase

it's a catchphrase



I have to admit, I’m a total sucker for glossy, well laid-out full-color doujins, even if they’re about girls sitting on Nordic furniture (not my fetish, i swear), or in this case, girls eating bread. This is C2 ARCHITECTURE‘s first Comiket offering, and it’s all reviews of smaller Tokyo, particularly Shibuya-based bakeries, and illustrations of girls eating bread from these bakeries. Simple, unique, effective, they manage to actually use the “lets sell everything with moe” boom for good, not evil. Looking forward to their “Diorama Novel” this year.

Inside samples here, aniblogs are OFP-unfriendly enough as-is

OTAKU_BOOKS's OTA-PICTO Project, Otaku to Design's Otaku x Design 3

OTAKU_BOOKS's OTA-PICTO Project, Otaku to Design's Otaku x Design 3

More things found in the criticism/information block of day 3. The OTA-PICTO book, by OTAKU_BOOKS starts with a brief discussion of the usage of pictograms and signs in otaku culture, then goes on to propose its own set of pictograms with which to label goods sold. I really wish I made it in time to get some of his other books, it looks like he had one on SHAFTxShinbo shows!

Otaku x Design is much longer and much more wordy, and again I haven’t gotten through the whole thing. It looks very interesting though, and the main article basically asks “when did otaku start paying attention to design?” from the jumping-off point of Toranoana. Smaller articles like interviews included as well. Overall, another very slick production.

Well, I had some words here about one last thing, Comic Mavo, but wordpress apparently hates long posts and makes the entire post go away if I type that many words. Maybe some other time! I’m going to sleep.

Comiket 75 Day 2

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

This will hopefully be a shorter post than my day 1 report, since fewer interesting things happened. It was still kind of a trainwreck though.

I didn’t have very many clear goals for the day, since most of the Touhou stuff I like is either by guys that didn’t show up or the official games, and everything else is roughly a neat distraction. I did want to get the Maikaze set though, since their supply plans are still fairly unknown. I headed out to get on the first monorail from Toyosu, but wasn’t enough of an expert to know exactly which train car to be on, which meant that I got to the platform right as the first monorail filled up, which meant that I’d be delayed by about 10 minutes. (in other words, like 7500 people.)

The line was the same as always, I ate some convenience store bread while crouching in my 4 sqft of ground space from about 5 until we were herded into the event at around 10:15. Well, they tried to herd us into the event but the line to get down the escalators into west hall was already to the door by the time I got to the event entrance. Went straight to Maikaze to discover that they had been moved to a corner booth, with a very large line outside. Then I noticed that they had an even larger line a few meters away that fed into that line. I stood in this sub-line for about an hour, until they announced that they had sold out, and the line dispersed. I almost left at this point, since it was almost noon and basically anything that would be hard to find/expensive after the event sells out at noon, but decided to grab some stuff here and there before setting out. Here is what I managed:

most of the day 2 haul

most of the day 2 haul

notable purchases from here:

  • Mesopota’s Touhou Roudoshou, a collaborative flash cd with dudes like Mi~ya working on the video with a bunch of big names doing music (IOSYS, COOL&CREATE, dBu, Silver Forest, etc)
  • VISIONNERZ’s new book. Didn’t make it in line in time for the bag, though :(
  • A couple of books by this guy who does really accurate Fist of the North Star parody doujin about rules to follow when shopping at comiket.

I also picked up something very terrifying on the advice of a friend:

WM's set

WM's set

Circle-WM put out a very nice set of really terrifying things, most of which I believe involve either them naked or you dating wotaken. If you’re still confused, I suggest you watch this video to get a better idea.

I also picked up the Blasterhead vs Hardcore TANO*C vinyl, but I’d rather not post an image of it here.

I went back to Akiba to mess around with friends more, but didn’t go in any of the doujin stores since they were all ridiculously crowded. After getting home at around dusk, I checked Maikaze’s site on a whim, only to discover that they had distributed limited edition boxsets of their anime to various doujin stores, causing me to run back to Akiba and grab a copy. All that lining up for naught.

comiket :argh:

Comic Market 75 Day 1 Report

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Did Comiket really end just a week ago? It all seems so far away and dreamlike, except it’s one of those bad horror story dreams where you wake up and you’re out like 700 bucks and there’s a pile of doujin right next to your pillow. Also, a crystal skull.

I decided to take day 1 of Comiket relatively easy, since all I really wanted was the Type-Moon set from industry (really long line), things here and there from Toranoana (how long could it be??), and some stuff from schatzkiste, who managed to grab a small booth, and then stuff from some smaller booths down in the pits of the lower floors, like the booth that was selling the Daicon 7 opening movie, a guy that was purporting to sell a book with viewership numbers for tv anime from 1990-2004, a guy with a book about “politics within 00’s japanese otaku culture”, and some genre circles as well as a fair bit of stuff for friends such as my co-author on this here blog. In this case, “taking it easy” meant taking the 6:00 monorail from Shimbashi, which means arriving at the event at 6:30ish.

Unfortunately, I am incapable of not having something go wrong at a day of comiket. For those who haven’t been before, you can save your place in the line to get in the event (the event starts at 10am) once you get there and sit down, until 8:45, when they lock the line down and make everyone stand up. Normally I spend the whole time from whenever I arrive until 8:45 sitting down, listening to podcasts, and wondering what the hell I’m doing in Odaiba, but this time I made the very unwise choice to use the bathroom without a friend in the line. I left to the bathroom at 7:50, thinking that I’d have plenty of time to make it back. I left the bathroom at 8:40, after a line that rivaled a lot of shutter circle lines, only to find that basically everyone had already stood up, rendering me totally unable to find my spot, which I had tried to mark with my bag with my lunch and my hall maps inside. I tried to grab a spot in line roughly 30-50 feet behind where I thought I was, hoping to find my bag as everyone marched in, but I had no such luck, and I probably made a bunch of people think I was cutting in line in the process. oops.

Mapless, hungry, and frustrated, I sat in front of the Big Sight, watched the sun rise from behind the Washington Hotel, and tried not to lose too much body heat until the line finally started moving at around 10:25. This was actually the first time I’ve gone to a big industry line, since I normally either skip out on day 1, or just go at around 10 and browse kooky genre booths (A-Team x Night Rider yaoi, etc), so I was fairly surprised to see a special sign telling me that in order to line up for Type-Moon, I needed to leave the big crowd going into the event hall and follow the smaller trickle moving in the direction of the sign. This trickle lead me from the fourth floor of the Big Sight back down the opposite side of the building, away from the Big Sight by about 100 meters, through a parking lot, and then back into another queue that was vaguely near the building. I was fairly surprised to find that the line moved relatively quickly, and I managed to climb back up the Big Sight and finally get into the building to buy my 11,500 yen set of goodies by around 11:30.

Now, when I was browsing the Type-Moon website during pre-event planning, I wasn’t planning on buying everything that was on sale, specifically the Shiki “moe-moe bathtowel”, for reasons that I hopefully do not have to explain. However, after having a pretty miserable day so far (my ipod had also run out of batteries while in the T-M line, so no more AWO, no more Marxy vs Patrick Macias, no more Ira Glass, just the sound of a hundred thousand nerds buying porn), once I got shoved inside and suddenly found myself in front of a cash register, I just said “one of everything” and threw a ton of money at the lady behind the booth. So that’s why I have this “moe-moe bathtowel”.

The set: Bag, Neck Warmer, All-Around Type Moon 2, Clear Poster Set, Moe-Moe Bathtowel

The set: Bag, Neck Warmer, Concept, Clear Poster Set, Moe-Moe Bathtowel. Humping Dog not included.

Concept is an illustration book full of concept and promo art used throughout T-M’s years as an industry vendor, starting from C65, Winter 2003. 130 pages of color illustrations that act as a tribute to T-M’s own successes as well as the holiest of nerd battlegrounds, Comiket.

Concept front cover

Concept front cover

Concept back cover

Concept back cover

poor quality sample page

poor quality sample page

part the second

part the second

The other goodies are pretty self explanatory, the neck warmer is a neck warmer bearing the AATM2 logo seen here, and the moe-moe bathtowel is a moe-moe bathtowel with a moe-moe picture of Shiki that you can see on the same page. There’s also a clear poster collection of tall, thin clear posters, all packaged in a neat box. There are 22 posters in all, illustrated by a bunch of different artists. Some I would not mind putting up somewhere, others, well,

Clear Poster Set box

Clear Poster Set box



To tell you the truth, I’m still wondering how Naasu, Takeuchi, and co. managed to extract that much money from me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I still haven’t played Tsukihime or F/SN. At least I didn’t pay the 20,000 that second-hand retailers are charging!

I then proceeded to Toranoana’s booth, as it was the second of the three booths that I knew how to find, since it was directly down the hall from T-M. As an industry hall virgin, I was going by the advice of 西-4 vets and they said that Toranoana wouldn’t have that bad of a line.

Turns out they were wrong, since I ended up spending about a half hour longer in the Tora line than I spent in the T-M line, since they happened to be doing a Touhou New Year’s set and a Touhou calendar, and anything Touhou sells infinite copies. I was there for the Fate/Zero Tribute Arts limited edition box, so I wasn’t terribly heartbroken when they announced that all the Touhou stuff had sold out, especially since it meant that over half of the line cleared out. Fate/Zero Tribute Arts, as the name suggests, is a collection of outside artists doing Fate/Zero art. I mostly decided to buy this book when I found out that huke was contributing, and because I’m one of those people who will go from “considering a purchase, i guess” to “will line up for 2 hours to buy” if you dangle the word “limited edition” in front of me. The LE came with a slipcase and a 40-page black and white sketchbook (Rough Material), if you were wondering.

front view of set

front view of set



LE sketchbook pages

LE sketchbook pages



Akibablog has a bunch of good pictures of the book, for those interested. On an amusing side note, Toranoana apparently sold out of their entire stock of Touhou and Fate/Zero goods on day 1, which seems kind of unusual (and possibly fan-enraging) for a large booth to do, but what do i know.

Dead tired, I shoved my way to Schatzkiste’s little industry booth and bought their cd-roms and 4-koma collection. For those not in the know, Schatzkiste is the best maid cafe. They’re also closing in 2 months. ;_;

schatzkiste cds, 4koma

schatzkiste cds, 4koma

Meido-cho smiled and let out a little laugh when she saw me at the booth, basically making my day.

After that, I got the hell out of the Big Sight, and like any sensible person would do, went to Akiba for reasons I don’t quite remember and ended up going to Go Go Curry and Try Amusement Tower with a friend and not buying anything while in Akiba. Went to sleep at 8, since the fight starts for real on day 2.

End of Year News Snippets: Tanaka Romeo x Toradora, C75 Attendance, New Toranoana Touhou Soft Vinyl Figure Previews

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I’ll take pictures of my many-man-yen haul from c75 if I can figure out how to get pictures onto the computer I’m using while away from my normal laptop, but until then here are some neat things that I saw on one rss feed or another (actually, i think these were all from katoyuu):

According to the new Dengeki Daioh, Tanaka Romeo (Cross Channel, Yume Miru Kusuri, etc) is going to be writing a story for the extra booklet add-on for Toradora manga vol 2. Out on 1/27, mark your calendars!

Second, Mainichi reports that attendance for all 3 days of comiket hit 510,000 this year, up 10,000 from last winter. I blame Touhou. I saw the number 150,000 for day 1 attendance somewhere and this article says 190,000 for day 3, so I guess that means 170,000 for day 2, unless my math is really just that bad.

Finally, akibahobby has some promo pictures of the rest of the Touhou soft vinyl figure set from Toranoana up. They were showing these off at their industry booth and they look pretty sweet, I might have to break my promise once again to not buy figures that aren’t Yotsuba&!-related.