Posts Tagged ‘hyper japan’

HyperJapan 2012

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Having had a lot of fun at last years HyperJapan, I was keen to go again this year at their larger venue.  My only complaint about the show last year was there were just waaaay too many people, both in the queue and inside the smaller Olympia venue.  This year they traded up to Earls Court so there was more room to move about (unless you were hungry at lunch time) and everything was on a single floor which made things flow a bit better.

There were some fairly serious sushi competitions happening.

As last year, there were loads of little stalls and shops plus a sake tasting area (all you can drink for £20 I believe…dangerous at any rate so we avoided it) and a sushi competition.  You can’t really make it out in the shot of Mt. Sushi above, but there was a pool of water with some smokey dry ice at it’s base.  Far too glamorous to actually eat in any event!

One of the craftsmen making his sushi

We wandered around for about an hour looking at all of the weird and wonderful things, and even contemplated having lunch but the queues and cramped quarters of the food hall turned us off a bit.  It’s really too bad as there were some mouth watering smells and the dishes we did see looked delicious.

After we were more or less finished browsing we stopped to watch the Frills & Frolics kawaii fashion show.  It consisted of about a dozen or so guys and girls dressed up in various types of kawaii fashion followed by some interviews at the end.  We didn’t stick around for the interviews as we’d already been standing in one place for about 45 minutes (the seating for the stage area was limited).

More of the kawaii fashion show.

I’m still planing on doing a kawaii photo shoot at some point in the near future, though I’m struggling to find a willing model.  Most of the girls who own this sort of fashion aren’t actually models, so it makes sense.  We’ll get there in the end though.

We had a good time again this year, though I didn’t spend nearly as much time there as I did last year.  I think that’s in part due to the fact that my nerdy cohort Robert is no longer in the country so there was no need to spend hours drooling over books, movies and toys.  I have the same complaint this year as I did last year in that it just seemed so packed.  I suspect they’re just victims of their own success as there aren’t many larger venues to be had in London.  At least there were no queues when we arrived around lunch time this year.

It’s doubtful that I’ll attend next year, but that’s more due to the fact that I very likely won’t be living in central London by the time it rolls around again.  We’ll see though!

There are a couple more images in the gallery, but not many.

Hyper Japan

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

One of the nice things about my recent move to the Earls Court area is its immediate access to the Earls Court area.  This may seem redundant, and likely is, but it’s just nice to have some fairly large, well used event centers within walking distance to my home.  After the ComicCon a couple of weeks ago, Robert and I as well as Danni and I went to this years Hyper Japan (on Saturday and Sunday respectively).

One of the vendors and her Japanesey goods.

It was an interesting mix of Japanese cutesy-culture products, food, calligraphy & origami instructional classes, cultural education, video games and of course cosplay.  Part of the proceeds went to the Japanese relief fund as well, which was nice to see.

There were tables for calligraphy, origami and a few other Japan-centric activities.

The day that Danni and I went (Sunday) was the Square Enix cosplay competition so there were plenty of Final Fantasy characters roaming the event center.  I’m always amazed at the amount of work these kids put into the costumes and we stayed to watch the contest which was interesting.  I’d always assumed it was just a matter of walking out on stage to display your efforts, but most put on mini performances in line with the characters they were depicting which was really impressive (even if I didn’t get the inside jokes of a lot of them).

The cosplay theme was Square Enix games, so lots of Final Fantasy characters were on display.

I’m told there was also a Lolita fashion show which we missed, but it makes sense as there were an awful lot of girls dressed up that way.  The aptly named Tofu Cute girls were there again, but at the risk of developing a stalker like status I didn’t take another photo.  Instead, there were a couple of over-the-top cutesy girls at the exit when we were leaving that kindly posed for photos.

Some cuties at the event exit posing for photos.

It was a very cool day out and difficult to resist making a lot of impulse buys (which I managed to do).  If it’s in the neighbourhood again next year I’ll definitely be returning.  A word of advice if you plan to attend as well: Go Early.  The queue on Saturday was around the block ridiculous, and that was for ticket holders.

Couple more shots in the gallery.

Robert’s Surprise party

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

This was long overdue.

Having been the driving force behind last years Kevtoberfest, my good friend Robert deserved repayment in kind.  A Facebook group was set up in mid-May which kicked off the planning for Roberts underwater themed, 2 months premature surprise birthday party of 2011!

With the guile of a half crazed fox, I managed to lure him from the comforts of his Covent Garden flat to attend Hyper Japan with me while Elaine, Elizabeth, Victoria, Brian and Tim transformed  the flat into a living aquarium.

Not everything went smoothly on the day of distraction however.  The queue for the event seemed so impossibly long that I was quickly wracking my brain for ways to carry on my ruse for another 4 hours until it was safe to return to central London.  We killed an hour at a nearby Pizza Express by which point the line for entry seemed more manageable and we were inside after another hour.

I had already formulated a plan which would have me returning on the Tube with him to Covent Garden at the end of the day.  Danni and I were meeting some friends for dinner at one of the near by restaurants and I would just accompany him to he station at which point we’d head our separate ways.  I needed one final distraction so I could beat him back to his place which was only a few minutes walk from the station.

I’d asked Victoria to text him requesting something from the shop on his way home which would buy me the time I needed to get ahead of him.  She sent the message as we left the event and I watched him like a hawk to make sure that he’d gotten the text, but he didn’t bother to check his phone once on the 15 minute walk to Earls Court.  Sitting on the train, deep underground with no reception I had to think fast.  I began to complain about how my phone is bad at organizing apps and asked if his was any better.  Never one to pass up the opportunity to show off the powers of one of his many apple products, he demonstrated the features of his phone and I noticed as he was about to put the phone away he got the day-saving message.  As he stopped into the shop to pick up the desperately required bananas for Vic, I sprinted ahead and beat him home with plenty of time to spare.

So much effort went into planning and executing this party, so thanks everyone who helped out.  Elaine for the brilliant fish decorations and our inflatable shark friend, Alex for somehow managing to get 50 fully inflated helium balloons into a taxi and across London, Elizabeth for the hours of underwater themed music, Tim for our fishy themed snacks (who knew fish fingers were so well loved?) and of course Brian for making sure the bar was appropriately stocked.  And thanks to everyone who showed up early to help decorate, the place couldn’t have looked any better!

There are a few more images from the evening in the gallery, and here’s a link to the image I created for the shirts & magazine cover created for the night.