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Hyper Japan 2012 February 26, 2012

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Culture, Film, Japan.
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Fusion HAH!World Cosplay Summit tryoutsWorld Cosplay Summit tryoutsWorld Cosplay Summit tryoutsWorld Cosplay Summit tryoutsIron Man
World Cosplay Summit tryoutsWorld Cosplay Summit JudgesNichijouPERSONA!Enka singerEnka singer
DrummerHibiki Ichikawa shamisen playersHibiki Ichikawa shamisen playersGokuChopperGiant Chopper!
Satoshi Miki and Eri FuseMike SatoshiMiki Satoshi and Eri Fuse Q&ANatsuko AsoNatsuko AsoNatsuko Aso

keatl’s photostream on Flickr.

I spent my Saturday at the Hyper Japan event, which came a little early this year.

Slightly bigger, but still with the distinct smell of slight disorganisation, it was a lot of fun. Not so many bargains (though I did end up spending more than last year, mostly on DVDs >_<), and missing some folks from previous Hyper Japan’s like Good Smile Company, Hobby Japan, Square-Enix and the maid cafe, but nevertheless there were a good range of stalls and some excellent shows.

The highlights were probably the live performance. Anisong idol Natsuko Aso put on a good show, even though she only seemed to have learnt one English phrase (“My name is Natsuko Aso – call me Nacchan!” – repeat ad infinitum between each song). Aso proved she honestly does have a good voice, and she certainly seemed to know how to work up the otaku in the crowd with her squeaky voice and familiar tunes from the likes of Baka Test. I do like a couple of her tunes, and while she’s not my favourite artist, it was nice to see familiar anisongs sung live.

Even better was Hibiki Ishikawa and his live shamisen group, including a traditional Japanese drummer and folk singer. The whole thing was outstanding and a shame to be only 30 mins. I also enjoyed the Q&A with Japanese film director Miki Satoshi and actress Eri Fuse. Satoshi makes great off-the-wall comedy-dramas and has worked with some of my favourite actors, including Juri Ueno, Aoi Yu, Kyoko Fukuda and Joe Odagiri. The conversation was rather too polite, but the few insights we did get into his methods were interesting.

The centrepiece event was the cosplay parade and tryouts to represent the UK in the World Cosplay Summit in Japan later this year. Many of the acts were, frankly, embarrassing, but you have to admire the attention to detail with some of the costumes.

Overall, it was a good event. The usual mix of rip off food and rip off merchandise, mixed with a few bargains and some genuinely lovely people (amongst the handful of weirdos…). I had takoyaki and ramen, I played Last Story on the Nintendo stand. I did ‘fusion‘ with Goku and saw a giant Chopper.

At all these kinds of things, I do wonder at paying a steep-ish entrance fee to go in and spend more money. But for a day surrounded by everything you love and other people who love it to, it’s worth it.

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