Thursday, November 26, 2009

Indubitably Festive

Anime Festival Asia 2009 was last weekend. Attended two days straight, just the evening on Saturday and the whole day on Sunday.

Saturday: I was supposed to be there only for the I <3 Anisong concert, but somehow it got delayed, so I got to survey the ground a bit, but no story is interesting enough from it, especially compared to Sunday's whole-day expedition.

So, the concert start at 7, supposed to be 6, but whatever. First up was Shoko Nakagawa---shokotan---did a cover of Zankoku na Tenshi Teeze, then Gurren Lagann's Sorairo Days, then it became weird. The school got older and older until she came back to the near past and sang another three Gurren Lagann songs. Made me realise how new my school is.

She seemed not to speak much English, but screams a lot of these: "I love anime" and "We are Otaku". Heh, painfully true?

Next up Hatsune Miku. Considering she is digital and a figment of our collective imagination, it was not surprising that the performance was really a screening of some pre-rendered video. At least it ended before waving light sticks at a non-existent songstress became too awkward.

In the end came Ichirou Mizuki---I really should have said launched---Hassha! He is the singer for tokusatsu, sentai, and giant robot anime. A little trivia: his career has been 40 years long with about 1200 songs in his book, has big hair, wears frilly shirt, tight pants, and flashy, reflective trench coat, also, we're supposed to call him aniki---gladly. His school is very, very, old, and of the awesome kind.

Guess what, for encore, Aniki revealed that Shokotan is a big sentai fan ...and offered her a duet for some of his songs; she obliged, and the result was awesome. They see that it was good and proceeded to sing some more songs, before the day must finally end.

I picked a large otaku* along the way home and waited for the next day.

Sunday: We, me and mister otaku, arrived early, made a little round around the festival ground and remembered: we gotta go to the maid cafe first! So there we went, maid cafe. We were given menu with nasty prices at the gate, and greeted with "Okaerinasaimase goshujin-sama" on our way to the table.

One maid per table, ours was named Hitomi, supposedly a meganekko but her glasses are always on her apron, except when taking photos, tsk. Waited a bit took a photo, got served our meal, with an ...enhancement mantra---"Hitomi no rabu-rabu"---yeah. Had our meal and got out, kinda underwhelming, but here's the photo:

Smug-looking goshujin-sama, the maid, and the pet cat. Guess who's at home when goshujin-sama's away.

Sooo, the rest of the day was a total dork-out. Taking photos of figurines, drooling over Gundam models, looking at people trying out the karaoke machine, having a go at dubbing; I voiced Edward Elric for a minute! My timing sucks big time, so let's not talk about it.

Something I never tried before: gashapon. We had a deal: it was an Evangelion set, we would try the same machine twice; if any of us got Ayanami, it'd go to mister otaku, but if it was Makinami, I'd get to keep it. The mister got Kensuke and I got Makinami. He tried again later in the day and got Shinji, I refrained, didn't want to spend all my luck at one shot. Here's my loot, by the way:

Pretty well-made for a capsule toy.

Now, 2nd day concert started on time. Today's menu: Yoshiki Fukuyama and May'n. We knew May'n, she sang some (many) songs for Macross Frontier, but Fukuyama seems a bit unfamiliar. When I heard him sang, however, I felt compelled to hand over my nerd badge for failing to recognise the man; he was the one behind Overman King Gainer's theme, and Busou Renkin's Makka na Chikai, follow through the links to see what those are all about. He also sang for Macross Seven, but I didn't watch that.

Now, he actually got a guitar and sang with it on stage. It made me realise something: the performances so far, from shokotan and aniki, were like a glorified karaoke exhibition, but this is different, this is ...more raw.

Then came May'n. And her dancers. Just after Yoshiki Fukuyama, her performance seemed ...manufactured. I was actually more looking forward to the encore where Fukuyama would, hopefully, come back on stage---at least before she started singing Lion.

The expected happened on encore. Fukuyama back on stage, and dueting with May'n; might be more interesting if they were dueling, but whatever.

End of dorking-out. Would do again. Signing off.

*Don't try this unless you know what you are doing. Seriously.

1 comment: