Guess where I went last weekend!
Says it ALL!
December 22nd & 23rd
Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2008, Suntec Convention Hall, Singapore
As a famous pirate once said, "Welcome...to Singapore."
So there I was in Singapore!
The OTHER queue
SINGA-is it me or the con attendees appear to be horribly skewed towards "overweight, spectacled, sweaty, PSP-playing, MALE" demographic?
The organizers clearly know who they're pandering to; How else can anyone explain the gigantic Gundam model at the entrance?
The Gundam That I Did Not See Till Much Later.
Or the lines and lines and throngs of people grabbing figurines and KKnM merchandise and gundam model kits like there was absolutely nothing wrong with the world economy nuh uh nothing at all sir moving along now?
Or that they brought a gundam designer, a Macross idol (May'n the new Mari Iijima?), and a famous singer of super robot anime as guests?
I SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING THERE.
But you don't want a review, you want my lovely experience. You want to know how I stood at the pre-register line explaining to random people that this isn't the ticket line nor is this the line where you sign up THEN shift to the other longer line to get your tickets, only to realise I could've given my code to Ezel (who was in front) and I wouldn't have had to wait for half an hour! Yes, you want that.
Anyway, I didn't even NOTICE the giant gundam at the entrance until Lacry asked if I'd seen it, and I went, "...what giant gundam?"
Said giant gundam was behind me being worshipped by throngs of mechaholics.
Upon meeting up with Max, Ezel, and KM, we decided to take a look around. Maybe, just maybe, there was more to the crass merchandising empire. Maybe there would be...I dunno, something to get us excited.
So we saw dolls!
Look, Edward Scissorhands!
We saw konapun, which was the Japanese way of taking masak-masak a step further and making inedibly real food!
CAUTION: Not my lunch.
We saw storyboards and character designs! It was probably the highlight of the entire event...except for the part where we saw Vanness Wu & Click Five & Simple Plan involved in an animation project. It's going to be cyberpunkish and GRITTY, I just know it!
(like every anime out there who wants to appeal to a wide demographic, yes)
We saw the 40th Anniversary Shounen Jump display area! It was a 2m posterboard with 6 illustrations of DBZ, Bleach, etc. That was IT. The exhibition was so meagre it crushed Ezel's entire faith in humanity. Look at what you people have done! >(
We saw models. Lots of them.
For Lab <3
Squeenix had a display case, ecchi female figurines had a display case, nendoroids had a display case, samurai gundams on horses had a display case...moving on. Well, how about some merchandise at KKnM? Sure, if you don't mind waiting in line with the other hojillion people queuing up to the entrance...
Due to the press conference and VIP appearances, there was a small buffet spread with finger food. Ezel went and took some despite being neither a reporter nor a VIP, but the man had his undying faith in humanity trampled upon! Surely he must be given compensation!
Ganked an eggtart. Nice!
Looked at the anime previews. For some reason they kept looping a PV for Gundam Sangoku-den. If you've no idea what it is, it's basically Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, but with the characters as SD Gundams. So in the PV you have SD Gundam Zhuge Liang and SD Gundam Idunnowho confronting each other on a dark stormy night over a cup of chinese tea, and those H00GE SD eyes trembling at each other, along with the following engrish text:
"In the GUNDAM, the SANKO soul, which is privy to the awakening of-"
I'm sorry, my brain has actively blocked the rest of the text. It was quite a *bit* of text.
So I thought hey here's a ton of gashapon machines, OOOO here's the new EVA line, let's try it out!
For the record, Singapore uses MONEY for their gashapon machines. You know why the Malaysian government phased out the RM1 coins? It weighs you down and takes your soul with you. Your hands will reek of old metal as you grubbily cling to your precious coins, putting your soul into them in the hopes that you get any of the figurines, just NOT the one you don't want.
So I went to the machine, put in the coins, and twisted the lever with all my SOUL...
...That didn't sound right.
So long story short, I broke the gashapon machine, and the staff told me to pick one randomly, but it was EVA, and it had KAWORU, and that is always the hardest for me to get, so with a sidelong glance and a sweep of the hand, I scanned for a trace of grey hair...
...and won. :D
After that the AHO-dan (Max, Ezel, KM, Kemu, Ken who is Masako's friend, and I) adjourned to the Singapore Bookfest 1 floor above, hung around, then went for lunch and never returned to AFA for Saturday.
So now, we leave you with Iluna's doppelganger doodling at the graffiti wall!
Iluna you're supposed to be in Japan!
Stay tuned for Sunday's report!
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