Cosfest 2008

More cosplay pictures! This time it’s from the annual Cosplay Festival which currently in its 7th year. Held at Downtown East’s D`Marquee, this year’s event attracted over 9000 visitors over 2 days! Ok, I just made that up. I don’t really know how many people attended or how to find out such information. So for consistency, I’m using that number until somebody informs me otherwise.

Now Cosfest was held over 2 days but I couldn’t make it for the one on Saturday so I told the team blue guys that I’ll meet them on Sunday. As luck would have it, I woke up late on Sunday morning and I also had to fix a problem with my network drive that my brother keeps complaining about. So what do I do when I’m late for one of the biggest cosplay events in Singapore? Why, I get there in Full Warp of course!

With my trustee Nikon D80 in hand, I quickly called the guys to meet up with them but this was again delayed due to extreme distractions of the photogenic kind.

Oh it appears that I have failed to inform you guys earlier that this is going to be a very picture intensive post. I would also like to say that due to the number of photos I have, I honestly can’t be arsed about identifying who’s who and what’s what. Unless they are worth the special mention, like Optimus Prime and Anakim from Lineage 2 above. Incredibly well done but unfortunately for Anakim, parts of her costume were falling off and somebody had to hold it up for her as she posed.

Inside, it was bloody crowded. I barely had space to maneuver my camera around and the lighting was really bad so I had a lot of underexposed shots. Looks like I need to level up my photography skills. I also need a decent hot-shoe flash. Anyway here are the few decent ones I managed to accidentally take.

Maka from Soul Eater

HOLYSHI-

This Gundam Exia cosplay is the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen in the local scene. HIS EYES FUCKIN GLOWS DAMNIT! LOOK AT IT!. Here are moar pics…

Also met up with Akabane who was cosplaying as one of the members of Organization XIII from Kingdom Hearts.

IAHGames also had a pair models cosplaying as the female Scouts from Granado Espada at their booth.

Before I go on I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the cosplayers for the quality of the photographs. I iz t3h SUXX0rz.

Time to move outdoors for some sunlight and breathable air. First up is…..I don’t know? I think she’s suppose to be a character from Ikkitousen.

Unfortunately for her the wind wanted to give her a few Marylin Monroe moments. WHOOOPS!

Shinigami captains needs to practice their swordplay skills too.

I also found Ayu! UGUUUUUU~~~~

I also saw what could be the cutest Haruhi cosplayer in existence.

Oh yeah, Allen Walker is beside her….PFFT~!

Now Haruhi with Lena Lee…

Also, CI

I SMELLZ LOLIS

He also wanted to take a picture of my camera.

OK back to cosplay now. Not sure about this girl but she’s HAWT. I believe it’s KoF?

WAT HAPPENED TO MAH HANDZ?

Not too sure about this either…

It must be really tiring to pose around all day.

Even the photographers needed a break.

Well I’m tired too. This is probably the longest post I’ve made since this blog came online so I’ll continue with more pics in Cosfest 2008 part 2. Or if you can’t wait that long, more pics can be found here.

R.I.P George Carlin

George Carlin

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits. This series of words were uttered nonchalantly on TV one fine day in the summer of 1972. As one would expect, it caused an uproar which eventually led to an arrested and a court ruling which probably defined the baseline for TV cencorship for the next 2 decades or so. George Carlin broke the mold in more ways than one.

Arguably one of the best comedians of all time, George Carlin passed away on Sunday afternoon of heart failure. He was 71 and still funny as hell. He was admitted into hospital just hours earlier after complaining of chest pains. He will be missed.

He was very influential to me. Both in they way I think and how my sense of humor developed. Not to say that I seriously believed in what he says. He’s a comedian and only an idiot would take a comedian so seriously. But he does make me think and question certain things. He’s also funny as hell. He was ahead of his time and even though he didn’t really believed in an afterlife, I’m sure he watching down (or up) on us and smiling….while showing us the finger.

It’s like my grandpa use to say……”I’m heading upstairs to fuck your grandma”…….Grandpa was an honest man, he wasn’t about to bullshit a 4 year-old

The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Streetfest ’08 & Otaku blogger’s gathering

Gaijin Meido


Disclaimer: Yes yes I know this is waaaaay overdue but I was busy at work and by the time I got back I was too lazy to do any actual work.

Ok let’s get started then, on the 25th May the local Otaku Blogger’s decided to have a gathering and coincide it with Streetfest 2008. Actually we had already met up the day before but we unanimously decided that Streetfest would be a better event to take pictures at and blog about. Of course, i was not present at that decision making moment.

Streetfest Singapore is actually a month long event involving Music, Art and Popular culture however this day’s event was all about Japan and it’s Pop culture that has permeated the world. So what we get mostly here are mostly cosplay, Jpop/rock and more cosplay. So after meeting up with the guys, we quickly head over to the event. I rarely go to this kind of events so I was looking forward to taking some pics of cosplayers and the live bands.

Apparently Jon couldn’t wait too….

Jon fiddling with his Nikon D40

So we arrived at event area only to find out it’s sharing space with a Sony promotional event. WTF? The space wasn’t even that big in the first place and it was clear that most of the crowd was there for streetfest. We then noticed most of the cosplayers went outside and so we decided to tag along.

First thing I saw…

desperately in need of hugs

And then this….

masked goth loli

Suddenly, my eyes caught a glimpse of a rare sight! Ang moh meido!

Gaijin meido n Neko-eyepatch

Yeah same girl from the OP pic. By this point in time i realized the group has pretty much split up. All were in their own world chasing cosplayers for pictures. Of course I did the same and here are the results. Don’t expect too much as my camera is t3h SUxX0rz.

poor free hugs

butler & Nekomimi patches

goth loli

hitman reborn

sakura & syaoran

We then saw a crowd of photographers moving somewhere so we decided to check it out. Then we found out why, Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloids were in the house. This is also when Raven received his nickname, Miku Stalker.

vocaloids

More Miku…

Hatsune Miku

More Hatsune Miku

Sadly, I don’t know or care to know about the other vocaloids…

the other vocaloids

Also saw this really cool Haruhi Cosplay. Best Haruhi cosplay in SG IMHO.

Haruhi & Guitar

More guitar Haruhi

Also, big group of butlers and meidos. Must be their off day…

Maids & Butlers

Same group doing the caramelldansen..

Next, they do the Hare Hare Yukai dance..

Us otakus taking a break after a hard day chasing anime characters..

Pseudo lunch on the floor

Taking a break..

The other segment of the event was the live band performances. While most of the guys left early, Me, Sam and Yumeno stayed behind to make sure that we catch all of the performances. We took a lot of pictures but unfortunately the ones I took were mostly FAILZ. Except for this one…

Live band performance

The bands were all really good. Songs covered ranged from JPop Ayumi to mainstream JRock like AKG and even some classic JRock like L’Arc en Ciel. One band even covered the smooth Jazz Fusion-like Tokyo Jihen. Unfortunately, the soundman the hired for the even absolutely failed at his job. EPIC FAIL. Only one band managed to sound it’s best and that was because another soundman took over for a while. The original guy must have went to the toilet or needed a hit or something. I really feel for the bands on this because I know how it feels. You practice for months for a performance and finally managed to get it all down by performance night only to end up with audience not being able to hear the lead guitars and vocals because the soundman thought monitoring a live performance with in-ear monitors is a good idea. It’s a concert ruiner.

And here’s the obligatory group photo..

Otakus@SG Bloggers

Clockwise from Top-left: Akabane, Kazearashi, Dead Snake, Sam, Panther, Fariz, Yumeno, Me and Jon on the floor.

Suga Shikao and Yui

Suga Shikao

Suga Shikao (スガシカオ) is a Tokyo based singer/songwriter and radio host whose Funk and Soul infused brand of Jpop has been topping the Japanese charts since 1997. I first got to know this great musician when I went about looking for the artist who sang the song for the opening sequence of xxxHolic, 19才. One thing lead to another and he is right now one of my favourite Japanese musician. He is also, in my humble opinion, the coolest man in Japan. Not that I’m gay for him or anything like that, I simply love his music and aspire to write songs like him.

Yui

YUI is currently one of the rising stars of the Japanese music industry whose humble beginnings started at the age 16 when she would play her guitar and sang at the entrance of Fukuoka’s Tenjin train station. Her musical style is quite varied for a Japanese musician and can range from upbeat folk to all-out rock. Fell in love with her song, Rolling Star when it featured on one the anime Bleach’s opening sequence and have never looked back. I have great respect for her as a musician because she has relied totally on her music to bring herself to where she is now and never walked down the path of kawaii-pop or sex appeal as is typically the case for most Japanese female stars. In fact, she is very shy, refusing to even smile for most of her photo-shoots because she was afraid it would make her look wierd or chubby. Also, she’s really into guitars which is always a plus in my book ^_^

So sometime early this year, Suga Shikao had a special live performance and invited Yui to join him on stage to perform one of his most famous work, Yozora no Mukou. This song was actually written for the Japanese super boy-band SMAP but he wrote it so it’s still his song. Their voices actually complement each other very well and this has become one of my favourite live performances by a Japanese artist. Here’s the video and enjoy.

Also here are the songs that got me started on their music. First up is Suga Shikao’s 19才(Jyuu-kyuu sai)(This video is a little wierd and somewhat NSFW)

Next is YUI’s Rolling Star.

Alcohol Harassment

Alcoholic Beverages

It seems that in Japan, the act of coercing someone to have just “one more drink” and to go “bottom’s up” is starting to be a problem. The Japanese love their drinking parties or nomikai(飲み会) so it’s not unusual to see this sort of thing at the local drinking joints. Especially since the April intake of new staff would mean even more of the Japanese salaryman’s drunken antics. Those who do not want to go home an incoherent, puking mess were forced to come up with a solution.

So in steps the Ikki Harassment Prevention Committee to save the night(or day if you’re really hardcore and/or have no life). Ikki(lit. “one more”) is the Japanese word for the act harassing someone to take that “one more drink”. Their solution to the problem are these innovative coasters.

Ikkihara Coasters

With slogans on them that says “I’m not drinking, I’ve got limits – one drink is quite enough” or “I don’t do ikki – I like to savour my drink”, it will surely drive the message to your drunken friends and colleagues that you do not want one more. If that doesn’t work or nobody notices the message since it’s sitting under a glass of you favourite beverage, the coasters also work as a badge of sorts when inserted into the breast pocket of your shirt or jacket.

Ikkihara coaster in pocket

via TokyoTimes

So how is it that a society said to be traditional and conservative can get to such a state of drunken debauchery? I’m not entirely sure myself but this could be a clue:

via TokyoTimes

That’s right folks, it’s beer for kids! Its called Kodomo no Nomimono(lit. “Kid’s Beverage”). Start ‘em young, so they say. >_>

On a related note, if you love t3h beer but still want to watch you calorie intake, this might be useful.

Calorie counting Beer Mug

Too bad it only works when you’re sober enough to actually care about counting calories. ( ̄- ̄;)

GO!GO!7188

GO!GO!7188

Traditional Japanes Enka? J-Rock? Surf Rock? Punk? Ska? All of the above actually. I was pretty surprised when I came to know about this band. They managed to blend all this really distinct styles of music into their own and it sounds fantastic. With Turkey’s speedy punk drums, Yuu’s incredible voice and Akko’s mad bass skillz they have managed to be one the best punk rock group I have ever heard. Anywhere.

Here’s what their official website has to say about them(coz i’m too lazy to type):

GO!GO!7188 formed in 1998 by YUU(singer/guitarist) and AKKO(singer/bassist), high school classmates in Kagoshima prefecture.

In 1999, they head to Tokyo where meet drummer TURKEY and the band makes its major debut from TOSHIBA EMI in 2000.
Ever since they have released 9 full length albums, 12 singles and 3 DVDs.

When they made their debut in the Japanese music scene, they were quoted to be one of the leading girl’s punk band which mixes rock’n roll music with Japanese pop.

They have raised their evalution as one of most important Japanese rock bands,making performances in live houses events to Nippon Budokan hall,with songs which is full of originality and high performance ability.

Now for the videos. First up, my personal favourite, Ukifune

Kinkyori Renai

Nounai Traveller

Kataomoi Fighter

I especially like how the characters in that last video were saying out the lyrics as in a conversation. Hilarious. Also, if while watching that last video you thought that it sounded familiar, like I did, it’s probably because Kataomoi Fighter is also the ED song for Itazura na Kiss. Cheers. ^^

Haiku

haiku

Haiku is the most famous form of poetry to come from Japan and is probably the shortest type of poetry in the world. Haiku is recognizable by its unique structure of 5-7-5 Japanese syllables (In Japanese the word haiku( 俳句、はいく ) is 3 syllables; ha-i-ku). One of the most famous haiku poet is Matsuo Basho and was actively writing poetry during the Edo period in Japan.

Haiku traditionally deals with peaceful concepts such as the beauty of nature or the calmness of the soul and because this concepts are conveyed in such a short sentence, the words in a haiku poem are considered to be deep and full of imagery. Example of a famous haiku by Matsuo Basho:

古池や蛙飛込む水の音

ふるいけやかわずとびこむみずのおと

furuike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto

Old pond

a frog jumps

the sound of water

As you can see, a haiku is broken up to 3 lines when written in English. This is because the breaks or pause to establish the 5-7-5 structure is not evident in English. In Japanese, this done via the kireji (lit. cutting word) such as the ya in furuike ya. Haiku also traditionally have a kigo (lit. season word) with sets the season in which the haiku is set and references the natural world. In the case of this haiku its the word kawazu (frog) and references spring.

Interesting? Well if you’re interested in more, my friends Takke-san is a poet and writes haiku in english on his website, Haiku by Haikaishi “Shinjuku Rollingstone”. Check it out. ^^

Haiku by Haikaishi \

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