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Japan Expo 2011



Finally had time to do a report. It was Japan Expo on Thursday 30th June - Sunday 3rd July, four day convention, longest event I've been to! And man it needs to be longer because even with four days at the convention, I still didn't get the chance to see everything! I had a quick browse at everything but I didn't get the chance to actually have a go at everything I wanted to do or properly browse at certain stalls, etc.

Very hectic weekend, to keep things short I'm going to totally nick ecg_germany2011 's journal format because it's so much neater than my usual con reports... And considering we were up to a lot for the whole 6 days, that's a lot of paragraphs XD

Travel

A lot of people seemed to have their flight's delayed. Problem with Air France I think? I was incredibly lucky and managed to get there on time though (although the baggage was delayed by 30mins when I arrived in Paris) and then I was greeted by a guy with a massive ECG sign. Benjamin (the ECG organiser) wasn't kidding when he said you can't miss them XD Dashed over to the other side of the airport and I met ecg_germany2011 's group! Really love people and we travelled over to the hotel together~

Unfortunately, for those who weren't so lucky with travel, some people were still arriving around midnight! My room mate, Francis (ChibiYaoiOtaku) had a 3hr delay as he was travelling from London so we weren't together. He arrived at 2am OTLLLL, I had just pulled an all nighter trying to finish costumes so I very out of it when he arrived XD.
Because of the delays, Benjamin's plans for the whole Wednesday evening sort of... didn't happen. But he moved the meeting to the following day so it was alright.

Travel between the hotel and convention was quite far, but we got free shuttle buses! Felt awesome!

Hotel

We stayed at the Campanille de Roissy (sp?). It was actually a really nice hotel, we got treated to free buffet breakfast and dinner which was awesomeeee *A*
However if I were a normal attendee, I'd probably choose somewhere cheaper and that was closer. So next year if I go to Japan Expo, I probably wouldn't choose the hotel to stay in. It's too luxurious for a poor student like me XD

Japan Expo

The convention is massive. It had everything you could ever want. It seemed to be split into two halves, Japan Expo and the Comic Con. Japan Expo was where all the anime/manga/games/Jpop/etc merch could be bought. Also a lovely massive section for artists, really enjoyed looking through people's works. There was a good fashion section as well with lots of people selling the most adorable accessories ever, really wanted to buy all those necklaces people had for sale. They had a lot of famous companies there such as NicoNicoDouga which was fun to watch. There was a massive range of figures there, I'm not into figures but I liked looking at them and they had the most adorable nendroids on show, I love those things!

Also had its very own "100% Cosplay Stage" where there was actually a show on throughout the whole event. So any time when I was feeling tired from walking around, I could just sit down and watch the show. That was like the mini stage, they had the main stage which basically had its own hall and was massive. Really massive, I'd say the hall is the same size as the London Expo hall, and that's just for the audience to sit in. They also had another area called the Japan Expo Live House which was where all the bands performed, still pretty big!

The Comic Con was basically where all the video games, movies and conferences/talks happened. Lots of things here too. They had lots of things from a Sonic theme park to an area where you can get pictures next to a piece of card on the floor and they turn that into a Pokemon!! As well as lots of previews of games which you're allowed to play on, including ones that aren't even released yet. You also got the chance to play the ball game from Wakfu (which was entertaining to watch) and you could get free cans of Coke Zero, I was never thirsty XD


ECG finalists (and one friend) got VIP passes. FOOK YEAH.
Sorry, blurred out my surname. I know the majority of people on LJ know my full name anyway but this post is public so I'd rather not have it on show :P


Massive Gundam statue *A*
Also really cute Eternal Sailor  Moon figure~~


SO MANY PRETTY NAILS, I WANTED THEM ALL!


Cutest. Totoro. Pillow. Ever.


Full CLAMP chess set!! You could buy the whole set for 70 euros apparently, but that's still really expensive TT___TT


Myself and Emily at the Pokemon photo area!! Neither of us have played the latest Pokemon games, so we just picked the funniest Pokemon to take photos with.


I didn't buy much, but this little kitty is just so cute! Looks a lot like Chi from Chi's Sweet Home (is that what it's called? Can't remember, never actually seen it but it was on the CrunchyRoll front page all the time). He lives on my camera now.


Bought this off a seller called Destiny Blue whom is also on deviantART. It smells so nice!! I accidentally shut my suitcase on the corner which is why it looks crushed... She also had other smells and had lip balms and of course, amazing drawings for sale!

I didn't buy anything else because I wanted to save my money, especially for the evening out on Sunday as apparently the restaurant we were going to was really expensive! But my friend, Francis, was hoarding free stuff and gave me stuff too XD




He also got me May'n's autograph bless him *A*



On Thursday, May'n was doing a mini showcase concert on the main stage area and because we're VIP, we got to choose the seats first, we managed to get 2nd row! She sang Don't Be Late and Diamond Crevasse, she's so amazing live! She did a full hour concert on Sunday in the JE Live House too but I didn't get any pictures because you weren't allowed and I didn't take my camera anyway that day.






Even though we were really close, there was still quite a distance between the stage and the seating area and I only had my kit lens on hand so I apologise for the crap pictures LOL. The last two close ups are from the screens XD

Cosplay

Here were my cosplay plans!
Thursday: Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3) with ChibiYaoiOtaku as Protagonist and NavigatorxNami as Yukari Takeba
Friday: Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier)
Saturday: Seth Nightroad (Trinity Blood)
Sunday: Seth in the morning, Sheryl in the afternoon with Yuka as Ranka Lee

It was hectic packing because I was originally suppose to bring Hao (Shaman King) with me for Friday but because of the house move, I just couldn't find all the pieces and was running out of time so I just decided to wear Sheryl.

There seemed to be not as many cosplayers in comparison to UK cons (I mean obviously there were loads, but the ratio was smaller) and a lot more photographers so when you got stopped for a photo, a chain of photographers would just come along and take photos so you're pretty much stood there for like, 20mins or something in the same pose OTL. Most popular costume strangely enough seemed to be Sheryl Nome, even had a Japanese magazine editor take photos with myself and Yuka on Sunday, was so awesome! Had an amazing photographer take photos of my Mitsuru costume too but I don't know who he was (he showed me previews on his camera) and I doubt I'll ever see those photos tbh XD. Also got some pretty photos in my Seth costume by a French photographer who was an ECG staff, I'll probably get them in a few weeks because they all have loads to get through!

The cosplays there are stunning, probably because they host the qualifiers for World Cosplay Summit and European Cosplay Gathering! Spectacular costumes in the competitions. Crowd has lots of variety too, you can tell what's popular though. Vocaloid, CLAMP, Bleach, One Piece, Final Fantasy, the usual really! You also get those special gems like Paradise Kiss, Persona (And I mean, an actual Persona *A* Amaterasu - Yukiko's to be exact) and more!


Photos by Emzone~
(Left my sunglasses at home orz - sorry for wig slipping too! I didn't realise D; )

European Cosplay Gathering Finals

Definitely one of the most inspirational gob-smacking contests I've entered. I actually have a lot of regrets, main one being I should have so worn my Chance! dress instead of Seth because it's generally more impressive and better constructed, Seth wasn't even finished - was missing a few details around the back and stuff! I didn't realise that most people would rewear their qualifier outfits though because I know for EuroCosplay in the UK, a lot of people make new costumes so I thought it'd be the same for ECG. But hey, you live and learn. I had a wonderful time.

Everyone was so lovely, I think I had the pleasure to speak to pretty much all the contestants and a lot of the cosplay organisers from various countries too. It was like we were all one big family haha! Everyone put on a great show, they all looked stunning and I'm sure it'll only get better in future years.

Italy took best soloist; Portugal took best group!
Both very well deserved (although I was also routing for the Belgium group, THEY. WERE. AMAZING).


Me on stage! Taken by Aztek-TV (website link in the watermarks)

I had to alter my performance at the very last minute as I accidentally brought the wrong performance shoes along so had to dance in my 4" photoshoot heels for the costume... Original performance was suppose to be done on flats and then I had a massive mind blank mid-performance so yeah, it looked very very awkward in parts XD;;;

I'm glad we were given two rehearsals though so that helped me get use to the stage. It's actually smaller than I imagined but still much bigger than the UK stages I've been on. 
There were some hitches with the lighting for my first rehearsal but Emily and Lina helped me out and tweaked some of it and it was much better on the second rehearsal and during the real thing!

I'm sorry but I just have to link Team Belgium, ONE OF MY FAVOURITE COSTUMES FROM THE WHOLE CONVENTION *A*


Would also like to showcase the French soloist because my gosh I'm just a Persona 4 fangirl...


The previous day, Friday, I mentioned earlier in my journal that we had to pick a presentation costume. Like I said, was suppose to be Hao from Shaman King but couldn't find it so I just wore Sheryl. We had to parade on the main stage and then go directly onto the 100% Cosplay stage afterwards! Quite weird going from one stage, go to a different building, then go straight onto another stage XD;

These shoes are not made for fast walking OTLLLL

Now go take a look at the winning performances!!

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After-party

I say after party, it was basically a meal out with everyone in ECG in central Paris. Had delicious cocktails and I ordered a burger, it was huge!!! No wonder why it's so expensive, you get so much XD I was actually so hungry I could eat a horse though so I actually finished it all lololol. We got the cocktails before eating though and so like a typical Chinese person, I got so drunk... CHINESE FLUSH OTL. I only had one cocktail OTLLLL, it's cause I was tired and hungry 8'| (I think I was more tired as I just wanted to sleep orz)

Still, it was a lovely way to end the event. Had lots of banter with people and had amusing conversations over on our table... Mainly due to the name of our cocktails that we ordered, it made a story XD Took the taxi back to the hotel together and then I literally just crashed.

Conclusion

For a first time event, ECG was an amazing experience. There were some things that could be improved but I think they've done well and maybe they'll introduce more countries in the future. Japan Expo is by far my favourite convention so far. Despite not speaking a lot of French, people were very understanding and either waved their arms about until I understood what they were saying (Most of the time it was "Photo!" XD;;; ) or they actually did speak English. I definitely want to try and go again next year, as a normal convention goer, rather than as a contestant.

My only whinge is that I lost my phone and I checked at the helpdesk numerous times over the convention however they didn't have it. I have the same number but I've lost all my contacts, so if you have my number and texting me, please tell me who you are XD

On a final note, say hello to Clara, Holland's mascot!!



Each of the organisers got one but Emily left hers in our room and I didn't see her from then on so I'm going to give Clara back at Ayacon. Team UK loves this cow a little too much...
We need a mascot! We came up with flying squirrel... I think it can catch on :'D

PHEW. I'M SORRY FOR THE MASSIVE WALL OF TEXT OTLLLLL. 4 DAY CONVENTION, LOTS TO WRITE!
(GONNA LJ CUT THE CRAP OUT OF THIS LATER OTLLLL - BRB, LATE FOR TV)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sephirayne
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Sounds like one amazing event. I would love to do it one day. I keep being invited to come along by Jenn but always it clashes with something else.

I love that you featured Team Belgium. They were my personal favourites (as well as Italy solo and yours (cos you did Seth ;)). P@ine is really growing to be such an amazing costumer. I'm really looking forward to possibly costuming with her at Oct Expo.

Great photos ;)
crystal_neko
Jul. 22nd, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Yeees. Awh no! I hope you can go one day. I might try and save up and go again next year, would love to see you there ;D

I know right! I looked at her Cosplay.com profile and she was already pretty good when she first started and now she's churning out all these mind blowing costumes... She seriously needs to win ONE of these big international competitions some day :(

Thank you <33
neko_saruwatari
Jul. 19th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
Wow, everything sounds amazing! All those costume are so gorgeous~! (DAT KONOHANA SAKUYA) *A* And your costumes were sooo good! I loved your Seth costume! even though dancing in 4" heels sounds pretty painful!

I'm glad you had so much fun! It looked like a really exciting convention! :D
crystal_neko
Jul. 22nd, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
IKR *A* -totally did not fanspazz for ages over her-
Thank yooou! It wasn't painful, more I couldn't do much without falling over on my face 8'D

It really was! I hope to go again or to another international con *A*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )