Clearly internet petitions do work (eventually…), that one I mentioned ages ago was trying to get them to release the full version on CD at the time (site seems to be gone now).
I wonder why they’ve chosen to release it now, a bit late? It doesn’t even look like they’re really promoting it at all, and being digital download only it’s surely not going to have much of an impact sales-wise with Oha Star’s primarily young schoolkid audience. Leads you to one of two conclusions; a) someone wants some extra money (though with the aforementioned lack of promotion and likely non-existent sales, it would seem they clearly don’t want money, lol), or b) someone only just remembered they still had it sitting around and chucked it up on iTunes because it’s better there than it doing nothing but gathering dust.
Either way, all is good with the world, finally a high quality full version instead of a live recording where all you can hear is a bunch of sweaty guys clapping.
Coming up to the end of the year, I thought I’d rank my favourite songs of 2010. My top two were gonna be Luka Luka ★ Night Fever and Nomisuginnayo~ Yaaaah Bababai~ but they were technically available before 2010. >_< So here’s the rest of my list (in reverse order!):
30 - Oha Girl Maple with S/mileage – Morning Chime!!!
Hyper Japan was last weekend; a 3 day Japan convention in London, food, drink, anime, Lolita, cosplay, singing… I think they had all bases covered!
It’s easy to compare it to the London Expo as they’re very similar, both essentially trade shows as opposed to traditional anime conventions. Hyper Japan however focused entirely on Japan and leaves out all of the western Sci-Fi stuff, this led to what i’d easily consider the best guest and event lineup of any UK anime convention so far (obviously apart from Momoi at Ayacon ). Despite its relatively small size they managed to get from Japan: Goodsmile company, Nico Nico Douga (with live broadcast), Bushiroad (complete with Weiss Schwartz cards with English translations), a whole host of Lolita brand’s, Lolita fashion model Misako Aoki, and the cast of as yet unaired Milky Holmes.
For our relatively backwater country in regards to the usual guest fare we get that’s pretty damn impressive!! I hope either the London Expo takes note of this event and improves, or this event continues to run and get bigger and better each year (maybe something to even rival the Japan Expo in France?). DEFINITELY A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, WELL DONE GUYS!!
Obviously it wasn’t without it’s downsides, namely: promotional material using photos of Japanese cosplayers without crediting them (their banner made it look like they were guests too, lol)… but they’ve since rectified that, translator not knowing the names of the people she’s translating for on stage, and the massive leaking roof everywhere. Oh and that they didn’t really make it clear (or seem to know themselves) that the Milky Holmes anime hadn’t actually aired yet, the PSP game isn’t out until December, and that this will pretty much be the first roles for those seiyuu (this lead to some odd questions from the crowd such as “Do your parents watch every episode?” …uhh, lol), I think their promotional material over-sold the group a bit “Already a TV anime & video game sensation in Japan”, haha. But those are just minor details, it is rare we get such a lineup in the UK, we should celebrate it!
And a brief summary of what we did there:
Day 1 Friday:
After wandering around a bunch of dodgy back alleys in what’s pretty much the brown area on a UK monopoly board we found the place in an abandoned warehouse (ok, not quite abandoned, and not quite a warehouse, but it felt like it, lol). There were absolutely no queue’s at this point, all we could see was a side door and some stairs going up and we were left thinking “is this really the entrance?”, after confirming with the people on the door that this was in fact the entrance to Hyper Japan and not some kind of criminal hideout we ventured inside. Instantly made a beeline to the Goodsmile and Bushiroad booths, got myself a copy of the Black Rock Shooter anime, and bought the Milky Holmes PSP single. The staff at the Bushiroad booth decided they wanted a photo of us as we were the first to buy anything from them (they certainly employ people that fit every kind of moe there, lol… especially the small Nodoka-esque staff person that was always sat at the back). They said they might upload it to their blog, but it seems they got far more exciting photo’s from later that they uploaded instead.
Walked around the rest of the booths, the 3D TV’s weren’t very good, guy trying to sell me a DIY sushi kit with the line “it’s boil in the bag rice!”, that’s surely a bad thing? lol Oh, and briefly spoke to the guy running the Terracotta Distribution booth (does he run the company? I don’t know… but he was presenting the Big Tits Zombie screening the other week), they seem like a really decent company, genuinely look like they enjoy their Asian films.
Wandered around a bit, met everyone else I was supposed to that day, bought an Acchan photobook that I wasn’t intending on buying, and then got interviewed for the Nico Video live stream thing (whoever said they wanted to marry me, I hope you were at least female? lol)
Left for the day after that as there didn’t seem to be much else going on.
Day 2 Saturday:
Got there same time as the day before, only this time there was a queue and it was long (10 mins long is longer than zero, lol). Suddenly cosplayers, thousands of them.
Basically we got straight to securing a spot for watching Milky Holmes, so that meant sitting through 2 hours of Lolita fashion talk, which i’ll admit was kinda interesting, there was some discussion of various Lolita brands, talks from the Editor of Kera magazine, Misako Aoki, mini fashion show, and a demonstration of hair styling from a Japanese lolita hair stylist (don’t remember the name, sorry whoever you were!!).
And there we go, front row seats for Milky Holmes, after a short introduction from the guy in charge of Bushiroad they came out! The first song seemed to be some kind of theme song for the company, anyone know what it was called, or if it’s possible to buy it anywhere? Sadly the crowd weren’t particularly animated, so we just settled for polite clapping while seated, lol. After their first song they were introduced, and asked a few questions from the host guy, and some questions from the audience (yeah, notes for the future Hyper Japan: make sure your staff know a little bit more about who they’re introducing/interviewing!!). They then handed out glowsticks, demanded everyone stand up, and sung the Milky Holmes PSP song that was on the CD… crowd a bit more active this time, lol.
After that they finished. Only 2 songs.
But after that they got changed and walked over to the Bushiroad stand where they stood and handed out business cards for their characters and posed for photos.
Also caught Misako Aoki walking around and got a photo with her. ^_^
Got up, had breakfast. As we were leaving Sunday night we had to check out that day, so we dumped our bags and stuff in @CDevil’s room (who for some reason was camping out *again* despite today’s signing session being a lottery… I don’t think they ever actually slept in their rooms at all the entire weekend).
Got to the expo, lined up and was pretty much let straight in, and we all rushed off to the lottery thing. Sadly the staff had finally caught onto people lining up multiple times to pull out tickets, lol (took them long enough ), so no ticket for me. Ran off to join the An Nakahara signing thing instead (just had to buy a KiraRevo DVD to get a ticket for that… a DVD with French dubbing might I add).
Got to the signing area and the line mostly consisted of people far far shorter than me, lol, oh well, I wanted my stuff signed! There was also one of the staff going through the line asking people questions in French with a microphone, sods law that she’d come and talk to me. >_< After a confusing few seconds explaining I was English, she switched her questioning to English mode, lol. She asked me why I was there and why I liked Kirarin Revolution, then translated it into French… not entirely sure what she said but it resulted in some clapping from the French people in the line, lol.
Eventually made it to the front, translator started talking to me in French, I ended up replying in Japanese that I had no idea what she was saying, and just ended up talking to An Nakahara directly, lol. She seemed very nice, we had a brief conversation about Koharu saying that she thought Koharu was “like a doll” amongst other things. ^_^
After that dashed off to find the Q&A thing with Morning Musume. Sadly everything in French mostly, but I think they were talking about their thoughts on new members at one point, and Linlin responded with something like “We’ve got people from Japan and China, I think we should have more members from different countries!”. I think also they were asked whether they’d come back and they said they wanted to (by all accounts from certain sources, they enjoyed this expo more than Anime Expo in LA… not surprising, AX has a history of annoying their guests).
Met up with everyone else again next, and grabbed some food, then made our way to the airport to wave Morning Musume off. There were only a handful of us there (about 10-20), after waiting for about an hour there they were, walked right in front of us as we said goodbye.
And the day was coming to a close, we all went back to the hotel to pick up our stuff. Though before leaving we did have some fun with the room we were using as storage, stuffed all of the bedsheets, duvet, pillows, towels and such into the gap in-between the two windows, lol:
Left hotel for the last time and went back to the airport, eventually found the entirely unlabelled piece of road that the coach was supposedly supposed to stop at. Coach came, totally packed, everyone ended up sat on their own. So all slept all the way back (minus the stupid long boring border controls at 3am that we didn’t go through on the way over). Arrived back in London and straight into work for me, good stuff!
And so another fantastic trip concludes, yet again another foreign convention puts everything in the UK to shame (the London Expo could easily organize big anime type guests, but do they ever… no). Special thanks to Morningtime, Hexi, and ptom whom I spent most of the weekend with, totally wouldn’t have been as fun without you guys. Also thanks to everyone else we hung out with while over there (everyone should have been mentioned at some point in my previous posts, feel free to complain if I missed you out >_<).
Woke up, had more of that fantastic breakfast (managed to find a slice of cheese so it wasn’t just buttered toast, lol), then left. It was absolutely tipping it down, thunder, lightning, everything. Dash to the bus stop with many many other people huddled in there like penguins, all very damp.
Got to the expo, after being herded through lines outside and inside, then outside again (all the while still raining) we eventually got inside. Off to watch the Morning Musume signing session and meet up with @CDevil @Catchfivebats, @Carlos et all. Now they had been queuing since the day before in the hopes of getting into this “first come first served” signing session, but unfortunately for them this signing session was limited to French people only, and no i’m not joking either. There are “premium tickets” that foreign people aren’t allowed to buy that let you into the convention early, and so everyone with these premium French person only tickets got into the convention and filled up the signing session way before any of the people that lined up overnight even got let in. It takes the piss really when you’ve got people spending money flying all the way from America or even Mexico, lining up overnight, and they still don’t get an autograph because the organizers have something against foreigners (guess they’d get on well with Dawa then ), kinda ironic really, considering they’re running a convention that celebrates a foreign culture.
Anyway, we watched the signing thing, waved, took some pictures as they left.
After that we wandered off around the convention, went to the Kirarin Revolution cosplay and karaoke thing only to find it had been delayed by an hour or so, so walked around some more. Found the Hello Project booth, got to look at the costumes on display up close (the guy behind the desk said they were both Junjun’s and showed us her nametag on the back of the neck!):
(gotta say the green dress was looking a bit frayed on the edges, lol, and according to @RadioHexi they weren’t very well made)
After that, walked off, found the Kyoto Animation stand (incidentally I don’t remember a KyoAni stand at AX last year… do they only go to France?) and took pictures of the Haruhi movie cels and pencil drawings they had on display. And god knows (lol Haruhi) how I missed that before, the aforementioned mecca of Kirarin Revolution, like an entire massive stand of goods, manga, dvd’s, and various other merchandise, lol.
After some wandering around, some getting lost, and some more wandering around, we eventually made it back to the place where the Kirarin Revolution thing was going on. It basically consisted of a couple of 5 year olds dressed up in KiraRevo cosplay, and a bunch of 18+ year olds also dressed up in cosplay being given points by the manga author, lol. A couple of them sung stuff without any backing music (so not quite karaoke), but what really surprised me is that of those that sung it seemed the young 5 year olds were singing the Japanese versions of the songs, whereas the older people were all singing the French versions. Shouldn’t it have been the other way around?! The event did drag on a bit, but it was nice to see more KiraRevo love nontheless, and the guy that came on at the end and done a perfect rendition of Balalaika complete with dance moves (without backing song, or lyrics in front of him I might add!) was a genius!
(it’s such a classic song, I didn’t feel a mere link to it was enough )
Can’t remember what we done after that so i’ll just assume we went back to the hotel, lol. This time we *did* manage to order pizza (with the help of the hotel receptionist using my mobile phone… because they were too stingy to let us use the hotel phone). Grabbed a few bottles of beer from the hotel next door and everyone (namely: me, @MorningtimeBlog, @RadioHexi, @Paul Elliot, @ptom98, @Jltos) returned back to @ptom98′s room to eat and watch the nine smile concert (aka Koharu’s graduation concert). Much discussion was had in-between people falling asleep, everything from bingo wings to a certain monkey and frog.
And eventually the night came to a close, final day tomorrow!