Archive for the 'Events' Category

[Hynavian] A Certain Magical Event (A.C.M.E)

A Certain Magical Event (A.C.M.E) is actually an event that I never knew existed till an instructor told me about it. Excited, I told my buddy and we arrived at around 3pm after a heavy lunch at Bugis Junction.

Held at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) Seminar Room, A.C.M.E is a mini event that attracted card players, gamers and doujin lovers. It’s mini due to the physical space of the event as I could walk from one end to the other in a minute. Actually I thought that A.C.M.E would be a large scale event; something like the Singapore Toys, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC) but then again, though mini, I got to spend some quality time there.

Locating NAFA Campus 1 was easy since I have been there a couple of times before but I didn’t know where the Seminar Room was. My worries were dispelled when uniformly spaced signs guided my friend and I there. While climbing the flight of stairs to get to the Seminar Room that’s located on the 2nd floor, I became terribly worried because I spotted a queue and thought that I had to queue to enter. Fortunately, the queue was for some To-Love-RU card competition so we could immediately just enter the Seminar Room unless we wanted to do card battles with other players.

I felt that the event was an eye opener. Firstly, I had to apply for a media coverage pass before I could take photos when I could do so for other events without a media pass. Furthermore due to photo taking regulations, I was only allowed to take "general photo shots". Hence, please forgive me for the lack of photos as I would like to abide to A.C.M.E’s rules and regulations.

The Seminar Room was divided into roughly 3 sections; one for card games, another for doujin booths and the third for video games. First off is the section for card games.

Crest, thanks for the information regarding photo taking! :p

The card game section was crowded with card players as they battled it out with one another. I glanced at their cards when I passed a few tables and noticed that each card is represented by an anime girl. Think pokemon card game but instead of pokemon, they’re anime girls! It’s rather interesting as I haven’t seen anime girls on cards or anime girls booster card pack before. They’re pretty handy for players who need a harem. XD

I visited the doujin booths next and though there were only 10-20 booths, many of the artists’ works caught my attention. What’s best is that the artists themselves are present so when a purchase is made, one can get his/her signature on the spot. It’s like a sales cum autograph session. I got the chance to meet local artists like the Mugen artists and I got the chance to peek into the works of the team from Collateral Damage Studios (C.D.S). Fans of K1, Hetalia and Kuroshijitsu would be on cloud 9 as fanarts were readily available.

A screen plus two controllers, not much to begin with.

The last section was what I assumed to be the video games section as there were 2 controllers plus a screen so that all visitors could watch. This section is probably what I know least of since games were only played periodically with only a crowd gathering now and then. XD

Overall though the event was mini I enjoyed myself as the artists there were friendly and willing to share their works. It’s the quality that counts, not quantity right? Before leaving, I bought a bookmark of chibi Lightning from FF13 for $2. It looks quite cute so please feel free to check out the artist’s deviantart account if you’re interested. I even collected the name cards of the various artists so that I could view their deviantart accounts during my free time!

Till my next post, this is Hynavian signing out. ;)

Daicon Day 2: An Investigative Indepth Look at the Behind the Scenes

You know, reading ignorant blog and forum posts about the recently concluded Daicon has left me with a sense of achievement – it appears I now know more about the event than almost any other non-staffer, no thanks to my 2-day long investigation, aided by nerdy sidekick Darkmirage, beefy Owen S and medic Faye. I have decided against having yet another full event account (boring), in favour of hot talking points. I’m back in Singapore now but didn’t sleep last night, yet the power of blogging is driving me on. To obtain and collate the below info, I actually spoke to quite a lot of people, in rival factions of the organising team etc. Yeah with work there comes politics, even the much-lauded Genshiken almost broke up when they did some small shit doujin project.

I missed every single thing except the concert on the 2nd day as we were too lazy to get out of the house early. Apparently there were good karaoke performances, but we were too turned off by the handful we heard on day 1, which was more or less akin to the sounds made by big black men slaughtering farm chickens.

There was high drama in the middle of the day as the organisers realised that the entire hall’s lights were controlled by only two switches! One for each bulb type, namely yellow or white. Their initial plan of keeping the vendor and doujinshi booths open during stage preparation and Chihara Minori’s (henceforth known as CM for convenient’s sake) concert were foiled. Well, it was more like they just suddenly turned off the lights in the hall leaving hundreds of people in the dark in the midst of their business transactions. Sharon from KKnM, who was running a brisk business raping the wallets of Malaysians, was royally annoyed at having to lug unsold merchandise back to Singapore. The main sponsors of the event, a Malaysian cybertech government initiative, were also upset. Actually, probably everyone except for the CM entourage and fans of CM were raving mad at that point. It was very apparent at that point that the whole "convention" was actually just a concert for CM, and the booths were there to provide income to cover the costs of bringing her in.

The light machines that almost caused me to have epileptic seizures during the CM show were actually free of charge, provided to the event by the AV equipment company, apparently due to the glib tongue of the organisers. This was a godsend, as the main stage lights were basically static throughout and didn’t even move to follow CM when she paced the stage while singing. This was because of strict school rules that permitted only the official staff from handling the lights or something, and apparently the staff was a lazy retard who didn’t bother to show up for any of the rehearsals, so the show lighting was actually done by one of the organising students pushing random buttons rather optimistically. He did a good job, the less discerning fan would not have noticed anything amiss. Possibly because they were too busy staring at CM.

CM brought an entourage of 6 people, including her manager, hairdresser, AV guy x 2 etc. I’ll leave the description of the concert to the experts like Bjorn, since the only song I’ve ever heard of hers is Paradise Lost and honestly, she’s a decent singer but she should sack her songwriter. Not that she has the power to though. I’ll share a somewhat funny incident. Sentinel from Bonkurasu Brigade, who is part of the organising team of this year’s AFA (I forget what it stood for), gathered up his courage and approached these two Japanese ladies who were sitting in the media section next to us, as we all presumed they were the managers of CM. He spoke to this long-haired, rather cute woman and exchanged cards, and from afar, looked like a useful exchange of contacts. Bjorn and Julius F were excited about this potential chance of networking as well. Even we (DM and I) thought it was a good move. Later that night, we mentioned the incident to Kurogane, who was the press director and was one of the people who had close interaction with the CM team, and he told us the manager was a male. Apparently the long-haired lady was merely the hairstylist/makeup artist and now Sentinel011 gets to have his hair cut designer-style! I’m not sure how true this is, since I didn’t see the namecard, but it makes a good story nevertheless that I can share with my grandkids.

Remember I mentioned 10 hardcore Japanese fans who came all the way? They are really a force to be respected, especially in light of certain unsavoury incidents that occured after the concert. Basically, the Japanese fans were totally well-behaved, cheered with enthusiasm, prepared hand-made flags and light sticks from Japan for the audience (the ungrateful fuckers all thought it was from the organisers and complained there were not enough light sticks) and totally didn’t do creepy things. Now the same cannot be said of regional otaku. We have a guy, who’s even a blogger of some reputation, sneaking up on stage and swiping the Evian mineral water bottle that CM ingested water from, and running off with it gleefully. It might have been less creepy if he had just kept it, but he proceeded to drink the water, take photos of himself with the straw in his mouth and post the pictures online showing off his brave deed. Where the fuck is your dignity and pride as a human being? I shan’t flame because the moe-otakus like Bjorn have already done so on his blog, but this behaviour is like that of a retarded Johnny boyband fangirl deranged from fantasies. Then again otaku are basically man girls, but that doesn’t excuse it. The sad thing is, the vast majority of people on Malaysian forums and his own blog are praising him for his bravery and ‘epic win’, so he’ll probably not realise what he did wrong and continue to bask in the self-delusional glory of having had an indirect Minorin DNA absorption. Why would one do things that would make his idol disgusted and repulsed if she found out about it? This is part 1 on why Malaysian anime fans need to weed out their black sheep, hopefully via large dildos.

The very enthusiastic fans in the front and middle sections were commendable, we really do need audiences like that if the performer is to feel loved. If everyone behaved like me at concerts, the singers would probably die of depression lol. I’ll just sit there and stare, trying to figure out the more technical aspects of the performance and why it is good/bad, as well as observing his/her fans in preparation for blog posts. That said, this only happens when I see concerts that are free and are of stuff I don’t particularly fancy. If I were to go to a Red Hot Chili Peppers or even a Last Alliance concert, I’ll do the jumpy thing too. Speaking of which, the Japanese fans have super stamina and are capable of doing the otaku cheer dance for the entirety of the performance. Our Malaysian and Singaporean otakus tried to join in but couldn’t sustain for more than a few minutes. Ditto the cheering and shouting of "encore", which always seem to die down quickly due to tiredness.

CM did her concert entirely in Japanese without an interpreter. While the Japanese-speaking people were fully capable of comprehending her lines, the vast majority of the audience were clueless! They just pretended to understand, and just cheered wildly when she finished her sentence with a rising intonation, to signify a question. There was one particular one where she asked a question which was sort of in the form of a statement, and there was a deadly silence since the fans didn’t know they had to respond. The Japanese fans saved the day again of course. It was hilarious. An even more LOL incident occured when she said a long, rambling sentence which had the words "naru to", but it didn’t mean the orange ninja, but was part of a grammatical structure. Some of the fans actually thought she was talking about Naruto! We were very amused. Finally, when she gamely said the Minami Chiaki-style line of "Malaysia Saikou, kono bakayarou!" or something, some of the fans got offended and thought she was scolding Malaysia, apparently forgetting that Saikou (the best) is not Saitei (the worst). Thanks guys, you provided me with funny anecdotes.

Apparently in Malaysia, there are quite a few large events for games or anime. The catch is that the committees for each are different and are possibly mortal enemies who set out to disrupt their rivals’ events. For Daicon, there was this large group of tacky-looking people who were apparently from "GACC", an annual event for games and anime. They basically formed a swarm and stomped around the hall for a while, chanting "GO TO GACC!" loudly, like they are so funny because they watch DMC. I was told that even these GACC folks have gotten their events sabotaged by people from "Comic Fiesta" whatever that is. It’s like some war out there in the jungles of Malaya. I am attributing this to the leaders of each of the committees, who are probably exactly like the leaders of Cosfest here – namely no-name losers in real life who just want glory and leadership of a tribe, and mistakenly coming to the conclusion that heading such events would make them like, really awesome. Of all the many types of otakus I have experienced dealing with, the two worst types are the kimo-otaku (see above bottle snatching) and the glory-hunting otaku who seeks to satisfy his need to be great by organising otaku armies.

Jimone, who runs a seiyuu anime blog, is a good friend of the director of Daikon, and she got a photo taken with CM and posted on CM’s blog. Check it out if you want to see how she looks like, for some reason.

Anyway, when one is hired to do a job professionally, he should not be bringing his personal desires or relationships into the job. Our favourite "worst interpreter ever", it is said, brought a group of his friends into the private interview room where a national newspaper was interviewing CM. His friends wanted photos taken with her and stuff signed. This apparently pissed off CM’s manager immensely since this sort of behaviour just reeks of unprofessionalism. Japanese artistes’ managers are pretty strict with their image and all that, to the extent of only allowing photos during Q and A sessions and not anytime else. You guys should follow my sidekick Darkmirage’s example, and go to eat dinner with May’n without asking for pictures or autographs as it makes you look pretty bad, especially if you’re there not in the status of a fan, but rather, a co-worker. Speaking of demanding managers, CM only drinks Evian brand water. As a Food Science major, I must laugh at that ridiculous preference. it’s not like the Evian in Malaysia comes from the same water as the Evian in Japan! It’s just a stupid sticker on the bottle!

The final and most important talking point is as follows:

I’ll be frank about it, despite my recognition of the immense amount of work the various club members, who were juggling their studies at the same time, did, I feel the whole thing reeked of deceit and was aimed at fulfilling one person’s desire. It was obvious that the booth vendors, sponsors and doujin people got screwed over, because they purely existed to fund the seiyuu show. I do not think the anime club could have pulled this off, on university grounds, with such a large sponsorship from educational funds, if their proposal was solely that of a seiyuu concert. It would not have been allowed, as it would have served no educational purpose. It wasn’t the fault of the organising committee, but the person who pushed the idea through regardless of merit, and who appointed him/herself as the local guide to the CM group, and sought to just have fun with the seiyuu for 3 days, and in true Malaysian spirit, practised lots of nepotism in selecting staffers and friends to spend time with the celebrity.

I would have liked to share more info on everything, but I suspect even this is a bit too much and I may have to take sections down soon. Read it quick!

On a lighter note, despite the total wasteland of the setting, lack of supposed Malaysian good food and a shit load of mosquitoes, I’ve had a good experience and learnt quite a lot of things over there. I didn’t take any photos on day 2 though, because I officially am bored of cosplayers and they didn’t allow phototaking during the show, which pretty much was the entire thing for day 2. As for the friends I made and met over there, some day if you come to Singapore, we can like all hikki at home and play PS3