I just got home from the first day of Anime Festival Asia 2009 and here are the photos I’ve taken. First things first, this year’s event has been way more commercialized than the last with booths selling stuff everywhere and tons and tons more people. Cosplayers were also larger in number and dispersed randomly making it hard to take photos when you’re trying to do it among the crowds and the SLR-equipped folks. Nonetheless there are 132 images in the link below, so enjoy and please forgive me for some of the sloppy hit-and-run shots. As with my previous event coverage, click on the images for larger-resolution versions.
What I really hate about WordPress is how you have to manually insert every single photograph into an entry despite having bulk upload capability. I’m glad I churned out a little piece of code in MATLAB to help me automate this during the time it took to upload the photos muahahaha one thing from school that’s useful.
So besides the heavy commercialization and crazy crowds, I also forgot about Danny Choo’s appearance on stage. I did catch the last few minutes of his talk though. After that I was camping out at the concert venue with some of my party members to leech some music but got chased out by the organisers in the afternoon. So being dissatisfied that I forked out SGD$20 for a pretty unsatisfying day I roamed around to see if I could at least buy something from the event.
I hate to say it but you really get to see a lot of stereotyped “otakus” around – the kind that put people off or even in rare cases disgust them. Of course, it’s not as extreme as the OMG HUNCHED FAT SLR-EQUIPPED SCARY LOOKING FAT DUDE PHOTOSHOPPED WITH SPECIAL FORCES picture but it’s getting there. You also realise that because of their lifestyle, some of these folks have developed many interesting social behaviour patterns, one of my favourite being decreased social inhibition. I’m not saying it’s bad to be forthcoming in a largely reserved, inconsiderate and apathetic society that most Singaporeans belong to, but if someone whom a layman would stereotype as being an otaku (given today’s trends and everyone using the word) went up to a complete stranger and his/her party and joined their conversation in such a “forthcoming” way, the stranger would be creeped out. No wonder these people get such a bad name.
Later in the evening there was a line for the public audience to view the concert but it grew so long so my party gave up and had dinner instead.
I kinda gave up trying to photograph every venue that was selling stuff after I got in and took this one photo. First up is the Bandai booth.
PG 00 Raiser for those who are still keen on getting it despite the inability to rotate the GN Drives.
STAND UP TO ZA VICTOLY MG Victory Gundam, still not shown with the Katoki decal assault.
Clear armour campaign to milk more fans’ money.
HGUC Unicorn Gundam. I was a little surprised at how small the kit was. Guess I’m used to the 1/100 scale already.
HGUC Kshatriya. Looks like an out-of-box assembly with no paint work.
Super HCM-Pro Unicorn Gundam.
A nice painted MG Unicorn Gundam.
Crappy MG Unicorn Gundam Titanium Coating Version with Lightning Base (sic).
Lightning Base anyone?
Ugly Seed VS Astray kits. Overheard some guys arguing whether these things were from the SEED universe.
Awesome BAKUC contest entries displayed.
Large size Freedom Gundam.
Luminodot, one of Bandai’s many, many expensive toys.
Heisei Rider goodness. These statues are pretty detailed and have nice signature poses.
Had a few Gundam Stand Art statues on display too but I only liked the GM Sniper Custom.
1/35 GFF RX-78-2 Gundam Ver.ka.
SIC Kiwami Damashii Faiz, Faiz Accel and Blaster forms and Auto Vajin. Can’t wait!
Current and new SH Figuarts figures. Dang didn’t know Decade and Diend looked much better in person. Should have bought them.
A mix of SICs, new and old.
Numerous Soul of Chogokin figures. Never really liked the Mazingers because Getter Robo was so much more awesome in Super Robot Wars. I watched the first episode of Shin Mazinger Z and got more lost than the last episode of Evangelion so I gave up.
Local television is currently airing Masked Rider Kabuto so there were a few Kabuto toys on display and on sale.
Heisei Riders and their belts and the first Masked Rider. Notice they placed Diend instead of Decade haha! Also quite a few of the Heisei Rider belts are the inferior reissued ones. Most noticeable are Faiz, Kabuto and Den-O belts which look so toy-like and cheap.
Legendary Cardboard Gundam.
On to Danny Choo’s booth. Didn’t take many pictures because it was insanely crowded.
Danny’s Mirai Figma and Kodomut’s bicycle. Most of the displayed stuff were old stuff, but there were a few newer releases.
Nendoroid Mio looks quite decent in person. Should I buy her?
I barely escaped from his booth, and went on to see the stuff on sale at Takashimaya’s booth.
This was on sale.
The irony. I think a “professional modeler” does more than simply assembling a model kit out of the box. Do you need extra skills to build a kit molded in clear colours? This is why I never buy “limited edition extra finish” blah blah kits. They are overpriced milkers, ugly with nub marks everywhere (*ahem* Unicorn Titanium Finish) and any modeler with some semblance of skill can simply buy some metallic spray paints and make any normal kit look like an EXTRA FINISH VERSION YAY.
This was the anime karaoke and dubbing game booth. You could hear guys singing anime theme songs performed by female singers and people trying to sound dramatic with hilarious results. Gotta credit them for having the guts to do that in front of so many people. Also there was a stall selling toy swords and tons of people were buying them.
Some card game with female characters from different animes. Looks like grown-ups playing Yugi-oh. I can understand grown-ups playing Magic: The Gathering but this kiddy-looking card game…
“Nanoha strips Tsukasa for over 9000 damage! You’ve activated my TRAP card! IT’S A TRAP!” (power gauge appears on bottom right of screen with that stupid sound effect)
More stuff on sale everywhere.
Got mobbed by photographers as these two walked by so I joined in with a shot before trying to escape. The LED lights are badass.
Managed one picture of Danny speaking.
Maid cafes – one thing I can never understand. Seriously…
Caught Danny being mobbed by people at his booth and decided to raise my hand for a shot. Sometimes it’s good being not short and stocky – you can raise your hand over everyone else’s hands because they are all shorter than you muahahaha.
Caught Masked Rider V3 but he was too fast.
Then I went to one storey below where there were cosplayers around.
Some cosplayers were doing a live-action Naruto. Not my cup of tea.