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

33 Responses to “Daicon Day 2: An Investigative Indepth Look at the Behind the Scenes”


  • Nice article.

    (…and that’s all I can say for now. :)

  • I just cant keep up with the MSS guys stamina, waving the glowstick for 2 straight hours

  • I’m having a good laugh because i think i’m the only guy in the Anime Shrine forums so far that has deplored “the person in question” for swiping Minori’s water bottle and proceeding to drink from it.

    “Apparently in Malaysia, … are possibly mortal enemies who set out to disrupt their rivals’ events. For Daicon, … large group of tacky-looking people who were apparently from “GACC”, an annual event for games and anime.”

    You don’t say? It was bound to happen. I had already envisioned it happening a month or two back.

  • LOL @ this:

    “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.”

    The director is the only one who fits this role, considering what we know of… yeah. I knew she was made of fail, but that’s fail on a galactic level there.

  • Well… TJ, you’ve voiced about almost everything i would’ve said. Superb entry, mate!

  • Hint: DaiCon, GACC and Comic Fiesta are rival tribes that war with each other on epic scales. We raid each other’s event in the hundreds and steal the crowds. We hate each other to the death.

  • ” 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? ”

    This. I have no reason to justify my actions. But trust me when I say I won’t be engaging in such foolish activities again. It was a one-off thing I did when I wasn’t thinking straight.

  • Setsuna-san: Well, yeah that’s good, now that you’ve cleared your head and got out of the concert high, it’ll probably seem like a silly action even to yourself. Be a proper fan like those Japanese guys!

    Owen: Stop your silly projections, you girly man.

  • This “girly” man is manlier than you. Think about that for a moment!

  • Wait what….as advertised, Evian water is all sourced from France that’s why its expensive. Unless you have insider info that it really isn’t as advertised on the bottle. But otherwise, still lol that CM only drinks that.

    I heard most of the insider info on groundzero but for the Macross fans of Malaysia, we were more or less oblivious to the problems and had a good time there.

    And as for creepy “you-know-who-you-are” guy who swiped the bottle, I thought it was pretty creepy but otherwise harmless to anyone so I don’t really have a problem with it cept the creepy feeling…….yeah….shall keep all DNA far away from him….not that i want any near him….uh nvm.

  • Epic post is epic. Also, Lol@Owen. XD

  • Nepotism aside, having a show where you rope in vendors’ money to do something expensive (like a seiyuu concert) is what a lot of good anime cons are ultimately are. The question is how do you keep the paying people happy and still pull it off… Because in reality it’s hard to do it any other way.

  • This ass hole should probably realise that even if this makes him feel like in heaven, it will make Minori feel like in hell and lower the chances of other J-pops coming to Malaysia.

    If he is a true fan, he should pay her some respect and not do this kind of immoral act. He should go and bang himself, I don’t give a damn to who he is, he not only embarrassed himself but also embarrassed the other Malaysians.

  • Omo: Indeed, but there are key issues where American cons differ from. For instance, the use of multiple halls, con-going population and money. For Malaysia, their population density is very low, transport system is a pain and has a very weak currency and PPP, so to get a seiyuu in probably costs a few times more than what Americans think they pay for seiyuu appearances. With this in mind, knowing your con will at most get 5000 people, is it a wise decision to foolhardily destroy their anime club’s sponsor reputation, piss off all their doujin group social connections and vendors? I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that to chase the title of first Minorin in SE Asia, the club’s head honchos neglected to consider the consequences. I might be generalising, but this is a very typical Malaysian thing, where they like to do things to show off and feel good about themselves, as evident in the construction of then-tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, when the cities and other infrastructure badly needed investments.

    WolfX: Evian’s price is not that different from any other water. Most other water comes from local sources or at least nearby ones. I do not believe their marketing, which sounds like a load of hot air. Also, people who talk about having tastes in water mostly cannot tell the difference in doubleblind taste tests.

  • tj, i salute you. you’ve expressed most of our inner feelings. well said.

  • Hi tj_han,

    “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.”

    One thing I’ll like to clarify here is that the lightsticks are actually sponsored by a group of Singapore and Malaysia fans instead of Japanese fans. However, it’s true that the flags are sponsored by the Japanese fans.

    Please refer to these blogposts for more information about the fans project that these Singapore and Malaysia fans had really put in effort for.
    http://arkaile.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/プロジェクト・光海/
    http://arkaile.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/continue-プロジェクト・光海-with-english-translation/
    http://arkaile.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/re-プロジェクト・光海-with-english-translation/

    I’m clarifying things here becuase it is fair for the effort that these fans had put into to be known.

  • Excellent. You just made my day. Wasn’t able to attend Daicon but reading your post just made me feel a bit better about it. Got linked here from sankaku. Will be following this blog here on out. Btw, good england and great writing style = win. cheers

  • Hi arkAile, thanks for the clarification. It appears that many people are confused, so it’s good that you’ve cleared things up. I got my information from the organisers, so even they are not the most up to date with the news!

    Bjorn, as your Julius was telling me, you guys are going for a less-opiniated style of blogging.

  • Disgrace of Malaysian otakus.

  • Terra: Oh yeah thanks for the heads up, I saw that Sankaku post already. Funny, I’ve been around a lot longer than Artefact, and has seen his rise to fame, which was really meteoric. Good to have you onboard then!

  • Apologies beforehand for my sickening command of english, I seldom tpye english, so please forgive me for all the grammer or speeling errors. (if you can understand chinese you can search inakiken in google?)

    Nothing is perfect, as in i took part in some events of Daicon. Not only the CM concert, the lightstick project and also be a part time translator for the Japanese fans around. Nevertheless, I am also the best player for the Weib Schwarz trading card event as well, although i just rush back from Japan on 9th july after attending Live Diamond and Yoko Kanno’s concert. I will say as a normal participates, i enjoyed the event very much, as in this is the first anime related event I ever participate in my home country – Malaysia.

    I feel ashamed that someone like the straw-man and the Chiaki-masked Man make the event screwed up, and thank you for giving out so many inter-info for the Daicon event, and let us know how terrible it is. Well, to me i won’t mind, as in she bring Minorin to Malaysia and we share the concert together, I don’t really mind. For you all who make your effort to help out with the event i will say i am sorry to hear that you all are pissed off with it, and having such a bad memories in Malaysia.

    However, next time will be AFA in Singapore, I am looking forward to it, and hope you all in Singapore can come out with a good fan project to make the concert even better than the one in Malaysia. Hope to see you around in AFA~

  • I guess i can agree with Inakiken since I was there helping out with the fan projects and translating for the Japanese fans as well. I too rushed back from overseas to take part in Daicon and being tired means a greater propensity towards enjoying the event less. While I am not Malaysian it does not mean I am less willing to participate to make CM’s stay a good one. Certainly, we all have our own bone to pick with Daicon and its organising committee and there are many nutters out there. Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that is granted me a chance to watch CM live ( and perform tomorrow’s chance live for the 1st time ever) regardless of what reasons were behind it. It did really benefit many of the people present and the Japanese guys were pretty happy too, if anyone asked them about it. It might just be post concert euphoria seeping in, but in the end the one of the purposes of such events is to let everywhere go back happy( and tired). Nothing is perfect, so sometimes a little positives are needed.

  • Inakiken, I can read Mandarin. Anyway, I thought it was a good performance, albeit one that would only be truly appreciated by her fans. You’re probably a really big fan of anime music, considering the stuff you’ve attended. I’m somewhat glad I managed to see her live too. That said, I’m not a fan of any particular seiyuu or celebrity and as such do not do any of the usual fan stuff. The Singaporeans who are into that are found on another blog, nkds.org I think.

    Kazenokoe: Yeah of course there are positives, yeah I did mention in my day 1 post and above as well. Unfortunately these were somewhat overshadowed. I’m glad you had fun!

  • Hi tj_han,

    You’ve just made my day and this is a great read. I’ve never been to any Malaysian anime events nor any events outside my country for that matter and this is the first time that I’ve heard of a anime event tribal war and this is quite an eye opener.

    It looks like that anime event organizing in Malaysia is cut throat XDD

  • I’m so agreeing on what was written here. This could have been epic fun but due to a few individuals guided under the banner of a certain person’s nepotism it failed…big time and everyone else will have to feel the fallout and shame from all of this.

  • Godchrist… i really kicked the can there when i quoted you to Sankaku with your blog link. I think it’s gonna take some time before things calm down.

  • Aoshi, it’s not that big a deal. Thanks for the quoting, it did give me some nice hits lol. Sankaku has grown so much in a short space of to think like just months or over a year ago, Artefact was emailing me to ask if we could exchange links. His site is bloody huge now, possibly bigger than Danny Choo? Anyway, I don’t see much dorama, and you are actually pretty weird because I saw your “apology” on Lowyat.

    Clow: Hmm I didn’t say it failed, it succeeded with regards to what it set out to do i.e. bring CH to Msia for the first time in history. It just did so with very big tradeoffs which affected innocent people adversely.

    Metatron: Thanks, it’s been a while since I wrote an informative post lol.

  • TJ: Sure, bringing CM over was an achievement, but the losses were too great. The financial costs involved were astronomical, organization and management were extremely poor and it ultimately resulted in epic rage. Calling it a success is pretty much wrong by textbook definitions.

  • What you’ve written pretty much sums up Daicon 09. Though overall it was still quite enjoyable for me due to Minorin.

  • TJ: Me weird? Nah man… i felt i should apologize as we’re quite good buddies. Though i must admit, my intention to do give it to Sankaku was because i felt it was lulz-worthy news material. I’ve already said my apologies to Setsuna and i consider this incident closed.

    But if anyone wants to keep trolling/flaming/venerating Setsuna, they’re welcome to go ahead. That’ll just give Setsuna and I more laughs.

    Some of the RAGE flames i had after posting that apology really made me laugh. Accusing me of things i never did. Wonder where they conjured up such incidents.

  • Issit even ok to promote other events in someone else’s event
    I was having a heart attack when I saw GACC and CF pics of people promoting them. lol

  • @sringangel: theyre all same ppl/community, and its not like the other 2 events are running in parallel anyway

  • Everybody here at Cosfest missed you greatly, TJHan. LOL.

Leave a Reply to kazenokoe