Edit: Apologies about the earlier publication, accidentally hit the button to send this out to the wide open sea of the interwebs while still writing up. Nevertheless, here is the complete version. Enjoy!For the anime, I’ll list down some of the series I’m following in the lastest season. I’ll have separate write ups for series like Love Lab, Kiniro Mosaic and Servant X Service later down the road.
Non Non Biyori
A heart-warming slice of life anime that I’ve been following in its manga form. I love reading it and when I heard that it was to be animated I was stoked! Of course, this is truly a slice of life genre entry with lots of gags to help keep things light and happy mostly, so anyone expecting guns blazing and giant robots do look elsewhere (Shingeki no Kyoujin anyone?).
So how about a story where humans try introduce otaku culture to the inhabitants of a medival fantasy world? If that sounds even remotely interesting then give this show a try! Lovely visuals with the occasional bit of fan service here, just because. Also, really surprised they didn’t cast Rei Tanaka in the show… but then again that’d be too much of a stereotype going on there…
A group of 3 girls in school uniforms exploring the vast ruins of what was once Tokyo… already loving the contrast and the plot so far has some interesting intricacies hiding in the shadows. Also, you gotta love the background artwork in this anime, breathtaking vision of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo.
While I could write down games I’ve been playing, that would take sometime to finish and would probably span quite a long long list. Instead, I’ll point out several noteworthy titles that should be on anyone’s radar, be it in production or in stores now…
The Girl and the Robot (PC, Mac, Linux)
This game has taken so much inspiration from ICO, and that’s not a bad thing really. This is a game in development and currently on Kickstarter, so if it’s something that speaks to you do show this game some support either by spreading the word or dropping a donation. As of time of writing this project has about two more days left in Kickstater, but perhaps the developers may put in an option for paypal donations later down the road for slacker backers (a term popularized by Double Fine through their very own Kickstater if I’m not mistaken). Personally, I’ve put down some with the hope it’ll at least reach the console WiiU stretch goal, which isn’t too far off!
Dropsy (PC, Mac, Linux)
An adventure game featuring a freakish looking clown as the protagonist. Initially that threw me off the game… but upon closer inspection the game seems like a heartwarming game about attempting to save the world in which one isn’t entirely welcome, but remaining cheerful despite that. Interesting contrast and concept also with the game introducing a dialogue free system, mirroring how Dropsy (the clown) understands the world. It’s in development and has just recently finished a rather successful Kickstarter period. If however you feel like showing some support, the Kickstarter page does have links to paypal options with different tiers and rewards.
Paradise Lost (PC, Mac, Linux, Ouya, WiiU)
A pixel game about discovering an alien plant life… where you play as that alien! Sneak your way around as you attempt to escape the facility you’ve been placed into… or at least that’s what I got from the pitch. It has a Metroidvania feel to it, with an added evolution system where the alien plant can adapt itself to the foreign environment it’s been placed in. With 5 days to go, it’s Kickstarter has hit its initial goal and is going through a substantial list of stretch goals.
Stanley Parable (PC)
Pokemon X/Y (3DS)
One of my favourite RPG franchises, this entry in particular just refreshes the whole experience and makes for an excellent experience all over again! Look for a review sooner or later here!
Super Mario 3D World (WiiU)
Having played through and loved the 3DS outing of Super Mario 3D Land, this title looks to retain the charm from the 3DS game while adding the frantic multiplayer action from the New Super Mario series… Can’t wait to get my hands on this and have a romp with some friends!
Now I’m not one to write much about real life. The most you hear from me is moans and groans about how busy it can get. A few weeks back however I made a short pilgrimage to Singapore for this particular event! I’m not much of an event journalist, and me being there is really just to satisfy my convention cravings. However it was a highlight of what would otherwise be quite a dreary existence, so here’s a short photo journal of event as seen through this author’s eyes:
First off, let’s just say that after a couple years of not attending conventions, I was floored by the crowd waiting to get into the hall. And this was at least an hour before the doors opened. I decided to drop by really early as I didn’t book my ticket online and while I got mine relatively painlessly, the amount of people started piling up loads and loads till, well… as you can see above (this was a small section mind you). To pass the time, a lot of people were admiring the early cosplayers, talking among the groups they came in or just hunkered down with a good 3DS, which is what I did. Have to say that the majority of gamers in the crowd were booting up either Pokemon X or Pokemon Y; evidenced through sight and my StreetPass info.
Once we were allowed into the hall, it was utter chaos. The place was flooded with early queuers who rushed for exclusive merchandise “Only Available to the FIrst 100 People” and stuff like that. Overwhelmed by it all, I stumbled along, stopping by to admire the oh so pretty figurines on display. Seeing as there was a stall for the GoodSmile Company (i.e. the one that brings to us the Figma and Nendroid series) I meandered my way through the crowd to reach some fantastic displays. My favourite was the one of Madoka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica in a kimono as seen above. While that was not for sale, I was cheered up with the knowledge that a Nendroid version of that was and grabbed one for keeps.
Amongst the big companies’ stalls are located smaller ones reserved for what looks like artists and doujin-like circles. A variety of items were put up for sale including buttons, shirts, posters and doujins; all featuring various Anima characters (a couple of which seem suspect to the BL category, couldn’t keep a straight face… especially since the explosion from KyoAni earlier in the year that is Free!). One stall in particular that caught my eye was the one above, which sold steampunk accessories and costumes. I was particularly excited as this was one of my favourite themes in story and art and got myself a couple of cool looking potion bottles from here. Unfortunately I can’t for the life of me remember (or find) the group’s name, but I do know that the lady there is based in Thailand.
Trying to get around the place was quite difficult. Everyone was bumping into one another and it was very very tight in some areas. A couple of areas were sectioned off for maid/butler themed cafes and there was even a mini stage for cosplayers to strut their stuff to ever one and where the occasional guest singer got up and got the crowd pumping. Also in the hall was an area dedicated to a manga e-library showcase with framed signed works of various artist, one of which can be seen above (the picture of Zettai Karen Children, a series who’s manga is still ongoing back in Japan). Also spotted was a gigantic prop from Shingeki no Kyoujin, which was expected really seeing how big it has become worldwide.
Also spotted were some rather cute yet breathtaking figurines of the various Ironman suits. These aren’t Nendroids, but hell they sure are pretty. As a testament to the quality of the models, the prices for them are over the roof too. Too much for this one’s budget.
One of the more touted booths the convention had was this area dedicated to the launching of the ‘anime-fication’ of Internet Explorer. Yes you heard right, the Windows based browser now has it very own adorable mascot, Inori Aizawa, designed and created in Singapore! Whether or not it’ll tempt me away from Chrome or Torch will have to be seen, especially since IE doesn’t boast a great track record in terms of performance anyway. We’ll see…
To round this post up, some pics of cosplayers that I managed to snap as I was walking around. The kid Ironman was definitely a fave with the crowd, as was the Monster Hunter suit; but my favourite has to be the Trucy Wright cosplay. She even got the pose somewhat right! It would definitely had been even more interesting if she whipped out a pair of magical panties… hahaha. Oh Ace Attorney, see what you’ve done? Loving the latest game Dual Destinies on the 3DS by the way.
That’s it for now. Got a couple more merchandise of various series and all that, but all in all quite a fun time. While I may not be writing up anything like this for a while (seeing as I don’t get many conventions this part of the world), do tell me whether you enjoyed reading this little segment or not! I just felt like writing this up seeing as I had some photos of the event stashed in my phone, but if the response is good, I’ll definitely consider doing more like this in the future! I may do it anyway seeing as this was fun regardless. Signing off for now: