December 14, 2015

Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens By The Bay

Before I left Singapore I went to see the Christmas illuminations around Gardens by the Bay. Christmas illuminations in Singapore are always so beautiful so if you're dropping by Singapore around late November throughout the month of December be sure to check out their Christmas illuminations around town. I took the opportunity to also practice some low light photography with my friend, Misato. We actually wore matching outfits (both of us wore Haori) and we didn't plan it at all. But her style's more like a darker side of mine? Hahaha~

We pretty much just drop by the area and took some photos then left. The scale looked big from afar but when we were there we explored the area in about 30 minutes? I think we spent more time at Mcdonalds chatting during dinner before heading to Gardens by the Bay lol :P

I have just arrived safely at Laos and the weather here is great, although the internet speed is pretty slow here and there aren't many things to do around. It's a school trip after all so I'm just looking forward to what they have prepared for us throughout the week's stay. I'm glad to even have wifi here so I can actually edit photos and blog while having like a 3 hours break right now while waiting for dinner time.

December 13, 2015

AFA Singapore 2015

I originally planned to post this much earlier but then when I was back in Malaysia I caught the flu and got fever thereafter and basically spent days laying on the bed like a dead fish. Once I felt better, it was time to pack to come back to Singapore, then fly to Laos. Talking bout that, I just want to write down my embarrassing experience this morning for mistaking the flight's date. Nope, I didn't miss the flight, in fact I went there this morning, mistaking the trip as a day earlier. Well, better early than late I guess? Right now I still wished I hadn't message the group and being such an airhead. I wish I can bury myself somewhere where no one will find me.... (._.)

That aside, I took the opportunity to edit the rest of my photo stash, mainly for this blog post because it is so IMAGE HEAVY!!! Many times I wish the photos will just edit themselves, but that's not gonna happen, so I still have to get it done by myself eventually, even if that's going to involve lots of procrastinating in between and multiple snack breaks to keep me going. At least the post is finally up now, so I can finally tick it off my list. :D

This year I went for Friday and Saturday again, however Saturday was a little different as I got a last minute offer for a part time job at Moshi Moshi Nippon booth. A lot of my friends were confused when I posted my Snapchat of me working there and when I told them to meet me there because everything was only planned the night before and the morning after. Many thanks to Kelly for introducing me to the job, although I only did a day's work it was such a good experience. I'll talk more about it later in the post. ^^

I visit Danny Choo's Culture Japan booth every ACG event I go to. Although I can hardly afford their merchandise, I just enjoy looking at the new stuff displayed. Like these smart dolls which I've seen Danny talk about last year at Comic Fiesta, now they have released dolls is a few other skin tones which I think is a great idea!

They were 3D printing the smart doll hands at their booth too! It's a slow process but I was really curious of how it would turn out so I actually went back to the booth a few times throughout both days to see the progress.

Checking out the figurines although I don't collect them lol. I really like them but not to the point of buying them. Probably because I'm always on the move I try to keep my belongings minimal so I can travel easily. So viewing them at events or exhibitions makes me really happy.

A cult of Hamsters spotted! My friend introduced me to Himouto Umaru-chan a few weeks ago and as soon as I watched the first few minutes I was hooked onto the series. You know how when you start watching a series you go like 'Hmm... This is not bad, maybe I'll watch a few more episodes' before deciding whether you are going to finish that series? But to me when I saw the first episode I was like 'THIS IS IT!' and I went home and marathoned the whole series. They need to have more episode, seriously. There's just something that hooks me onto the series whenever the protagonist is a female otaku that's witty. Konata from Lucky Star, Tomoko from Lucky Star and Umaru are like my favourite anime characters lol, probably I can somehow relate to them or their jokes haha~

Sailormoon figures! I like Sailormoon, but honestly I can't really remember the storyline because I watched it when I was around 4 years old. I didn't even know they were anime back then, just regarded them as cartoons. In fact throughout my childhood I actually watched quite a lot of anime and some boys shows, never that girl who watches like what, My Little Pony? My childhood series other than Sailormoon was DragonBall, Pokemon, Digimon, Power Rangers and Ultraman. ^^; Later on only I caught up to Winx Club and PowerPuff girls, but because I only had local cable TV at home back then I only got to watch them when I was at day care.

The first day of any ACG event involves me going early in the morning, hurrying to the doujin booths and start hunting down some nice postcards and stickers. I almost only buy the cheap doujins nowadays because I know I only collect them and not display them. Badges and keychains are hard to store so I never buy them. Was helping my friends overseas buy the items they want from particular doujin circles too~

Yes, you've been noticed. ;)

There were some cool T-shirts, tote bags and accessories around but they just felt... overpriced? I mean the price is appropriate in Singapore but I know some circles who are from Malaysia and you can get them cheaper in Malaysia lol ^^; Then again booth rental and traveling expenses are not cheap so I guess they ought to raise the prices to earn profits.

They had a mini Matsuri booth! If my brother was with me I would've bought him a mask, haha!

Rakugaki section~

Some really nice Owari no Seraph cosplays! :D I've been loving the series so far, the story progression is good as well as the characters in the series.

Later I went to the stage area to catch come performances and to just sit down and relax. They had seiyuus interview, Anisong artistes appearances and then Real Akiba Boyz performance!!!

Ok, I will just slap this here first. I've never heard of them before the performance but after I watch them I went and subscribe to their Youtube channel and watched their performance on Day 2 too. Then, then! On day 2 when I was working at Moshi Moshi Nippon booth, they came over and chat with my supervisor, I was shy to say hi since I was working but I was so happy to see them off stage, haha! *嬉しい~*

After their performance was ARCC, also the main reason why I bought stage access ticket on Friday. I always enjoy watching cosplay performances and the quality at AFA is really inspiring! There was some BL scenario going on stage that day lol

And, and! I manage to get a seat near the cosplay guests who were judging the competition again this year!!! This is also why I bought my stage access ticket *v* I was sitting in front of Liui, Kaname, Jun & Neru and Otogi Nekomu~~~ :D That's how I managed to get these really close shots of them hehehe~ One thing I really like about AFA is that you really get the chance to get close to their cosplay guests. In Malaysia there has been many cases where the 'guards' would push you away or shout at you, and some events even double charge for meet-and-greet session with the guests. It makes the whole experience feel bad and some cosplay guests even posted their frustration post-event on their facebook pages which leaves a terrible impression on the event organizers.

Award ceremony. The winners did deserved their prizes! Great performances overall :D

After the event I went down to level 3 and just loiter around and I actually met Jun and Neru again! Luck is on my side that day. I was waiting to photograph them but there were just so many fans who were taking selfies with them until their helper noticed me waiting and asked them to let me take a photo of them. She was really kind and it made my day too! Nowadays I find myself taking less selfies and instead of selfies I felt like a nice photo would already show that I've met these people because they were took from my camera by myself and I feel satisfied just like that. Rather than just getting close as a fan I'd much prefer to actually get to know them and have a nice conversation.

A really cute Jiji nendroid. I stopped playing Touken Ranbu now but I still like some of the characters. Although there are new ones which I can't catch up now but I guess that's okay because I already have a few characters that I like. ^^

Some more photos of loitering around the even area before I went home to rest.

Day 2 was much more different for me. Working is still a very new thing to me and working at an ACG event is an even newer experience for me. On top of that to work under a Japanese supervisor and to understand how things work in Japanese was an even fresher experience to me. I did struggle a bit a first, being an introvert and lack of experience was a huge barrier to me, especially my job includes lots of interaction with customers and prompting people to join the free lucky draw by filling a simple questionnaire. My supervisor told me it would be good to achieve 100 forms that day and when I heard that I was really worried if I can actually do this. But by the end of the day we actually collected over 150 forms so that was really good! :D

Moshi Moshi Nippon is under Asobi System which is also the company Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is under. Other noticeable aritst are CAPSULE, TEMPURA KIDZ and models such as Ayumi Seto, Natsume Mito, Yura and Anna Yano. In fact, I visited their Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival few weeks back, you can check the post here. They promote Japanese pop culture through music artist, Harajuku models and fashion labels such as Ayumi Seto's Aymmy. They have a magazine published named Mer as well so you can check that our if you're interested.

Initially when Kelly contacted me about the job I didn't know which booth at AFA it was for, but when my supervisor met me and brought me to the booth I was really surprised and happy that I was going to work for Moshi Moshi Nippon, even if it's only a day's job. I follow a lot of the artist that are under them and even bought copies of Mer magazine because I love their style. I was constantly telling her about my favourite Japanese models in my crappy Japanese skills lol, thank goodness she tolerated that and even chat with me about it, haha!

At the booth we were selling limited Gudetama X Moshi Moshi Nippon goods. These were official merchandises and are limited in quantity so if you're a huge Gudetama fan I hope you got some home! :D Or else please be on lookout if they are having a booth next time hehe~

Sushi socks! There were really cute but I don't think I'll ever wear them because I'm afraid I might ruin them D:

As I was working there were really nice people who came by and friends who came by and said hi. There were also instances where things get a little weird when one customer wanted to shake my hand after the lucky draw and another who just came by for a photo with me and saying 'You look Kawaii' and left. @.@ Why do I always end up with these experiences at events when I'm not even cosplaying.....

I remember last year at Comic Fiesta I was just photographing my friend's cosplay in T-shirt and jeans and someone asked for a photo with me when clearly I was holding a camera and a reflector. It makes me really confused when that happens because my friend who's in cosplay is just right beside me... O.o

While working my supervisor was kind enough to let me have short breaks so I was able to enjoy the event and take some photographs too. I learned that 休憩 「きゅうけい」 kyuukei means break in a formal way. That day I was able to brushed up on my rusty self-taught Japanese lol. I've been wanting to learn Japanese for a long time now but haven't got the chance to actually attend classes for that. I'm planning to take lessons after I'm done with my Diploma though as I might just go study for a degree in Japan.

Anyways, these were just some more of the photos I took on day 2.

AFA this year has been an awesome experience for me. I kept getting new info and experiences, and was really happy to attend such an awesome event. This year I'm not going to Comic Fiesta so this is the last ACG event for the year and I'm happy that it ended great for me. I can't wait to attend next year's events already!

On another note, I'm so happy this post is finally published *w* I literally just checked the clock and pretty much my whole day has been spent on this post alone. Blogging takes a long time but I'm still doing it because it's sort of like an online journal where I record down events, happening, experiences and places that I've been through. Even if there's hardly anyone reading blogs nowadays I know I'll still be my own blog's loyal reader. :D