Saturday, 22 December 2012

MCM London 2012: Kawaii Stalls

Along my adventures at MCM, I came across a lot of unique and cute stalls – I have found a range of interesting items and brands you should all check out and show some love as it’s these independent companies that gives us the much loved trends aka the Llama frenzy – a must have companion for all Lolita’s brought to us by Tofu Cute.
purplerooster MCM London 2012: Kawaii Stalls
Super kitch jewellery by Purple Rooster, it’s not just Pikachu made out of fimo clay, t’s a a pika-cake  some lovely designs wearable by men and women, I especially loved the Onyx necklace.
I found Pokemon fanatics where they were selling all things Poke-related, my favourite prizes from this stall were the awesome poke-badges form the first series!
Since the boom of the zombie craze has exploded in the UK, we had a stall with zombie mannequins including a zombe bride and a zombie nazi from ‘The Flesh Krafter’.
fondant MCM London 2012: Kawaii Stalls
Beautiful plastic Jewelry with a Alice in Wonderland/Lolita –esque style from Fondant Warfare literally killer jewelry. I spent the longest time looking at their merchandise spanning from Disney characters, retro my little ponies to their own range of Halloween designs.
cynade MCM London 2012: Kawaii Stalls
A real treat was meeting the creator of ‘cyanaide and happiness’ comics and cartoons as seen on YouTube, he was happily setting up his branded stuff for MCM goers to ‘squee’ over and even did autographs and photographs for free, what a gent!
I hope I’ve refreshed your memories on top stalls you visited and maybe showed a few more usual ones to look out for next time. Did you see any stalls you thought deserved a place in this article? Leave a comment below.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

MCM Expo London 2012: Report

We have provided a top picks article on the comics and stalls and now here’s a general overview of all the different goings on throughout MCM Expo.
Of course no event is complete without Namco Bandai holding their tournament. Plenty of gaming fans showed up to the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 finals at London MCM, see any famous faces? I caught Chef handing out flyers to a Street fighter tournament!
Matt Smith was around doing signings for the first time, so many people queued up to buy dvds. I also walking into a look alike in the queue and posed in front of a Tardis which happened to be nearby – I don’t plan these things, they just happen, honest.
mcm3 MCM Expo London 2012: Report
Rising Star Games (creator’s of Virtue’s Last Reward) were offering great deals on RPG gems likeHarvest Moon, Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, Rune Factory Frontier, with deals like 3 games for £30 and free soundtracks with purchases – turns out it’s well worth saving your money to spend on games at MCM.
mcm4 MCM Expo London 2012: Report
The Euro Cosplay event was sadly severely delayed but the range of costumes were fantastic and the finals of the Euro Cosplay are to be held at Hyper Japan.
mcm6 MCM Expo London 2012: Reportmcm5 MCM Expo London 2012: Report
The Wii U hub was always busy but after a 10-15 min wait you got a chance to play this neat new console with a monster of a game pag which I found easy to use after much experience of hand console gaming. So don’t let change freak you out, the Wii U has a lot to offer.
A total lock down of fake items has been supposedly enforced, only official merchandise is allowed to be sold at MCM so you shouldn’t be ripped off. They even had security this year patrolling to stop pick pockets.
mcm2 MCM Expo London 2012: Report
What did you think of this MCM Expo London? Have they improves on the previous conventions, or is there still room for improvement?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

MCM Expo London 2012: Comic Village

London MCM Expo has created a new kind of stir around Halloween, new spooky twists on Cosplay, more emphasis on gaming and my favourite, the comic village. I spent most of the day speaking to a wide variety of independent artists.
Twisted Dark author Neil and his artist were chatting to passersby and offering their comics to people to read and enter the challenge of reading several chapters and not buying the book for 69p on a phone app! I like dark short stories so this was right up my alley, so I took a look the manga chapter that looked pretty but had a sinister story line. All the stories made you feel comfortable right until the end. Neil was also giving a talk at the Apple store on 15th November talking about how he left his career to make comics his mission and to try and integrate them into society and accepted as a real prestige.
Follow Neil and his endeavors on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TPublications
comic2 MCM Expo London 2012: Comic Village
I spoke to kitsch looking Laura Watton, author of the manga Squishy Chan’s Adventure, Team Player 7 general artist for the super cute brand PinkAppleJam. She’s been publishing her own comics since the mid-90s and has always juggled her day job/education with making comics and illustrations as well as Neil. It really is great to meet dedicated artists, its part of their lifestyle and you could see from her brimming stall she has lots to offer.
Follow her on twitter: @PinkAppleJam and see more of her beautiful art here: http://www.pinkapplejam.com
We also had the Simon’s Cat stall kitted out in all it’s red glory, sadly the author was not about to chat to as he was on his honeymoon, congrats Simon Tofield.
Follow the antic’s on Simon’s cat here: http://www.simonscat.com
I spoke to Kai Anthony Lynn aka Di-San, her artwork is to be featured in an upcoming publication ‘The Complete Guide to Drawing Manga’. Selling her original art as well as fan art Laharl from Disgaea stood out from the crowd.
Check out her artwork and commissions on tumblr: http://endlessdusk.tumblr.com
comic3 MCM Expo London 2012: Comic Village
And now for something different from subversive comics. After days on the road, running low on supplies and haunted by memories of his past, sleep deprivation finally catches up with Our Hero. Realising that there is no safe place in the open he is forced to take shelter in a makeshift fort ruled by a devious leader known only as the ‘Father’. Will our hero be able to escape the clutches of the Machiavellian Father? And will he be able to continue his quest to find the bear responsible for the Zombear Apocalypse? Click below to find out: http://subversivecomics.com
As I wondered away from the comic village across Miku-Piku’s art on the other side with merchandise which was confusing but was drawn to via the very cool raffle prizes, including signedStreet Fighter poser by Yoshino Ono! This made sense when she explained she was a video games artist and her art and fan art was undeniable easy on the eye especially for the guys. Request commissions online: http://www.facebook.com/Miku-Piku-Art
These are just a few of the lovely artists I came across at MCM, if you know of others showcasing and like me to include them in my next convention write up email me: aisha@animepicks.co.uk

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Allstars: All Access Event

Graffiti artist recreating the chars from Allstars game

Everyone who had liked their Facebook page at Eurogamer (to receive a month’s free PSN plus) would have received posts on their news feed of an exclusive ticket only event All access was holding off Oxford street in November.

cosplayer XD
You applied for tickets and only 200 people got a ticket plus one for a guest, this was in aid of their launch of the game Allstars: Battle Royale! The lovely people at Playstation All Access really outdid themselves for choosing a great venue kitted in gaming decor. A Bar with lots of space to game so consoles were all around with a booming DJ deck. Waiters offering posh snacks like feta cheese on sticks, mini burgers, Allstars branded cakes, even free alcohol & juice.

Whilst people were getting stuck into trying favourites like Call of Duty, we had previews of other new games like God of War, Injustice, Farcry 3, Tokyo Jungle etc. There were several tournaments including best posed photo in costume to win a PSP Vita and copy of Allstars Game, with clever choreography me and friend entered but my friend one and not me  - no fair as it one prize and it was my photo. Stingy

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Psy doll gig

PSY Doll art for sale
 You should never judge a book by it’s cover, looking at the flyer art for this event it looked cute and I walked into another world. It was in a compound hidden away. The interior was beautiful with steampunk and luchidor decorations. The venue, the resistance gallery, also hosted a wide variety of events and meets. On this particular occassion I was here to see the Japanese cyber punk band psy doll perform XD


audience dressed up
in the maid cafe
Wrestling, the art of Kimbaku (rope art)and music events too. There was a projector showing Ghost in a Shell: Stand Alone Complex above the stage with the beautiful dark art of PSY Doll, which added to the haunting atmosphere.

You also had a chill out area upstairs with a mini maid cafe with classic and alternative maids catering to your needs.

The types of performances varied from dance (ballet) to performing arts and some Kimbaku. I’ve never seen Kimbaku before and was interesting to watch, three top students of Kimbaku showed their skills and one was even female. They all told a story and it’s not as seedy as one would assume.

Lastly PSY Doll performed some great electro sounds with the beautiful and Visual Kei lead singer controlling the energy in the room. A truly entertaining night at a bargain price.

For more alternative Maid events like their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oh-My-Lord

To find out about more intresting events go to animepicks.co.uk

http://animepicks.co.uk/author/aisha-ahmed/

Friday, 9 November 2012

Distant Worlds: 25 years anniversary of Final Fantasy


After my first experience of Distant Worlds last year, I waited patiently for the tickets to go on sale for the 25th Anniversary concert in London. Within minutes 25 years worth of excitement and music had been wiped from the website by Czech hackers. Luckily some people managed to buy tickets. I was not one of them.

A month went passed and more and more of my friends mentioned they had tickets and wanted to know if I was going – much salt was rubbed and eventually I forgot altogether until a few days before when a friend had happened to find tickets on gumtree XD

To read more about the playlist, images and video go read the full review on animepicks.co.uk

http://animepicks.co.uk/2012/11/distant-worlds-25-years-of-final-fantasy-music-celebrated-in-london/

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Gamerdisco ft. IGN & Japan Underground

Another great Gamerdisco event ensues, with excited merry people outside the book shop venue discussing favorite characters and music mixes. Don’t know what Gamerdisco is? It’s basically a gaming clubnight filled with dancing, music and of course, gaming.


It was an added DJ bonus to have Tom the lead DJ and organizer of Japan Underground guest Dj-ing at this Gamerdisco, with some 8 bit favourites and even threw some Ponpon in for good measure to help diffuse tensions at the tournaments.
Fead more about the event and find morephotos on animepicks.co.uk :)

http://animepicks.co.uk/2012/11/gamerdisco-with-a-hint-of-ign-japan-underground/

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Happy Halloween peeps

Made by the lovely Princess Mellus Crafts
Happy Hallows eve folks!

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays of the years, where you leave yourself behind and take up a new identity for the day/night and go on the hunt for treats XD


It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

Halloween Superstitions

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.


  • We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. 
  • We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. 
  • And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors
  • stepping on cracks in the road 
  • spilling salt.


The Legend of "Stingy Jack"

People have been making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him.

True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul.

The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o'-lanterns.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Nendoroid Petite : LINKIN PARK Anime Figure Collection




This is another Western collaboration into the vast Japanese toy archive, with the world-famous rock band Linkin Park joining the Nendoroid world. Linkin Park, has sold over 50 million albums and boasts popularity worldwide. They have featured Japanese Gundams in their music videos showing there lover for Japanese culture and earned their song 'The Catalyst' a place in the musical score of Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. arcade game.

Each of the band members are teamed with their instrument of choice and typical outfit, hair style and posed as if in live performance. Each have been carefully detailed to look like the real person but in chibi form. They come equipped with the standard Nendoroid Petite stand as well as a special stage pedestal that lets you display the entire band together.


In the past Linkin Park have been featured as an exclusive Be@rbrick figure design sold at charity Tokyo art show on September 9th 2011. This was to support the victims of the March 11th Great Eastern Japan Earthquake.

Good Smile Company hosted 'A Thousand Horizons' event (named after the band's 2010 album A Thousand Suns) as part of its 10th anniversary celebration. The company specially designed deformed Nendoroid Petit figures of the band's six members — Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell, Rob Bourdon, and Joe Hahn — to sell at the event. In addition to the Nendoroid figures, a special Linkin Park Be@rbrick figure, iPhone 4 case, 'threeA' toys, and T-shirts will be sold at the show. The event's official website is currently streaming a promotional video.


Whatever next Linkin Park? Perhaps a cameo in My little pony? We think the Bronies would love that.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Bring on the Gaming: Eurogamer 2012 - Thursday

 The opening day of Eurogamer arrived and upon entering the press queue I saw a sic Mario entourage in front of me. Maria, Wario, Luigi and Yoshi but Bowser was nowhere to be seen or perhaps he was already inside, waiting to pounce?

Straight away I was drawn to good old Sega’s booth and took the chance to play their new game ‘Hell Yeah’. The Sega rep described it as the ‘Bunny version of Sonic’ which had me sold, with the beautiful anime graphics and story resembling Koei’s Disgaea. Expect this game to be reviewed on Anime Picks soon! You’re a demon bunny papp’ed in an er...compromising position with a rubber ducky and demons don’t take humiliation very well so he goes to destroy everyone who had seen the photo.

To the right of Sega was Formula 1, which had a great set up with arcade style gaming chairs. I’m not brilliant at car games, but I wouldn't mind losing to strangers in style and those chairs really added to the game experience.

DOA 5 probably had the most game consoles, which was a good call as there were so many guys lining up to play with the ladies, in combat of course. It was very refreshing to see some female gamers showing guys they could play just as well too.


The developers of the Merlin game - literally based on the series - decided instead of taking the real gritty looking CGI approach they’d make it more anime’esque to make it more appealing to all the fans. See the interview with one of the developers here:

Eurogamer had all sorts of hidden gems for us to find, in the form of the Virgin booth, where you sit on couches to try out some hand held consoles. I started playing the game Super-Fluid. This game actually won the ‘Virgin Media 100 Day Game Project’. Super-Fluid has been developed to work across Android and Apple devices and will launch in October 2012. The puzzle-based platform game uses tilt-based controls for navigation through the levels as the character changes into three different states - solid, liquid and gas. Very cute and clever basically it’s kawaii science! Find out more information here: http://www.virgin.com/media-and-mobile/news/100-day-game-project-heads-to-eurogamer

If your waning from walking around the vast space in Olympia, it’s time to take a break at the Mountain Dew pit stop – refuel and carry on! If you were attentive enough, when wondering around in the over 18’s area you could watch professional makeup artists kitting out the ‘Resident Evil’ Zombie team! It was amazing seeing their faces being put together and if you were lucky enough you’d spot the ones giving out goodies, including branded t shirts and a super cool Resi wristband watch.

Other cool promotional gimmicks were from the ‘Hitman Asolution’ stall, luring figurine fans into their area, play the game and get a free hit man figure and these were super cute and hey, if you wondered around outside the over 18’s area you could have a free Hitman photo souvenir complete with red tie and rubber duck via photo booth boutique. They also uploaded the images to the website gallery: photoboothboutique.co.uk (select the appropriate date).

This is just a day one of our Eurogamer adventure, more to come in Friday’s diary update.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

WOTA London Returns

Wota London returns after a change of management and does not fail to impress! With returning acts dazzling us with their routines such as the Maid's of England, DotDot3, Butler Kohei.

Also a great range of anime/jpop/kpop music to relax to, dance along with or mingle with other like minded cosplayers.


I came on behalf of animepicks.co.uk as I have reviewed the MOE's recent pop up maid cafe in Camden and was impressed with the high standard of service/entertainment.

See my full report and more photos on animepicks.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A homemage to website Animepicks :)

Me as Anna-May (Mascot from animepicks.co.uk)
You guys may have picked up that I now regularly contribute articles to the website www.animepicks.co.uk before it was exclusively for cosplay and fashion features but I have gradually branched out to other sections such as games, figures and most importantly events this is due to my intrest in J-culture and love the website - many thanks to Gina the website creator for giving me a chance to contribute. Happy 2nd birthday Animepicks - check out my photoshoot dressed up as animepicks mascot - Anna May :)

My full adventures and more photos are here:

http://animepicks.co.uk/2012/09/happy-birthday-anime-picks-annamay-cosplay/

and it wouldn't have happened without the help of my mates:




Costume made by Esti-Licious (siting right in the photo)- http://www.fashionvscostume.co.uk/
Photography by Anty Quinn (sitting left in photo)
Camera lent by Josiahsal - http://josiahsal.wordpress.com/

Monday, 17 September 2012

Mayamada Cosplay Dodgeball Update!

Now in collaboration with Animepicks :D I can't believe it was November last year I went to one of their free anime screenings and chatted to the organisers randomly now we're doing events together, makes me pleased to know my PR skills are getting better and working with a great brand as a result of it :) 
Prizes include £100, lots of event tickets and video &photos to go up on Animepicks.

Please go reserve your ticket now before November: 
http://dodgeball2012.eventbrite.co.uk/

Saturday, 1 September 2012

VA lates Lolita tribute (kitty & bullydog exhibit)

Lolita group in front of the V&A museum
Following up the V&A exclusive Lolita exhibit, they hosted a late night event dedicated to Lolitas and even the staff were wearing Lolita outfits by Angelic Pretty! Filled with all sort of workshops here is the programme:
WORKSHOPS to watch and participate
  • 5-stop Lolita Photo-op trail
  • Wig Bar
  • Nail Bar
  • Shu Uemura eyes and lips bar
  • Jewellery Making with Meow Box (need tickets)
  • Kawaii Illustration workshop with Sonia Leong
  • Purikamera photo booth by London Photo Sticker Club
TALKS by
  • Philomena Keet
  • Kitty and the Bulldog Curator Rupert Faulkner on the exhibit
  • Q&A session with Philomena Keet, Pat Lyttle, Harriet Hall, Masami Yamada, Ada Mau and V&A Senior Curator Rupert Faulkner
Films showing in V&A
  • Kamikaze Girls (103 mins)
  • British Lolita Culture in Francesco Calvano’s film made for V&A: ‘Realities of Fantasy’
MUSIC & PERFORMANCE
  • DJ set Roustabouts
  • DJ set Tom Smith
  • How to Dress up in a Kimono with Mamechiyo Modern
  • Grand Alice Finale
For more of what I did and saw go to animepicks.co.uk :)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Ted: A feature length Family guy ep with a a bear

Lovely She-Hulk posing in front of the Ted Poster at LFCC
Anyone who knows me can you tell you I'm not a huge fan of Family guy. The jokes are stretched far too long and the toilet humor makes me more uncomfortable that a hamster being shoved up Mr Slave's arse in South Park.

I mostly heard good press about the movie but apparently it got bad press woo which encouraged me to watch it, if fans DIDN'T like it maybe it was detached from Family guy aesthetics. My bro said it's mostly a 'man' film but all the women were laughin gin the cinema when he watched it so I should give it a try.


The beginning was beautiful, narrated by a British favourite Patrick Stewart, he set's the scene of a child wanting to have a best friend to be by his side forever which well brings Ted to life and you can figure out what comes in the future from all the TV ad's. The usual tug of war between gf and best friend ensues of course with the added bonus of him being a slobbish bear. 

Lots of random side plots and Family guy references yaddah yaddah yah but it was all about the Flash Gordon  and then old man Flash walking into one of Ted's parties. Then the fight between the Chinese neighbor Ming & Flash. Lol not a very PC film and I wouldn't recommend to the kids. it's a 15 as there is no blood (just flying fluff) or sex...practically. Enjoy for a night with the lads or ladies.

Some creepy dancing tho, that was  just...eww.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Guest writing for Alafista !

On 20th August I found out I was chosen to be guest writer for the J-culture website Alafista :)

After a friend showed me a link to the post 'Looking for Guest writers' I thought why not and persisted to apply, even though the contact box was not working, I even added the founder on Linked In (he had his details on his website). And a good month and a half later I Heard from him briefly and then my intro page casually came up on my twitter feed.

I'm going to be focusing on the Otaku Lingo, so I'll be explaining terms you often hear gamers/anime fans using, my first article on Maid Moe is up, please check it out -

http://www.alafista.com/2012/08/18/otaku-lingo-meido-moe/



Also if you collect figures and appreciate cosplay follow Alafista on twitter for little gems to brighten up your day -

http://www.alafista.com

My second article is on 'Creepy Woody and His Troll Expression' looking at the Disney's Toy story star in erm compromising positions ;)

http://www.alafista.com/2012/08/26/creepy-woody-and-his-troll-expression/

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mayamada Cosplay Dodgeball 2012



Mayamada holding one of their newest quirky events, their first ever Cosplay Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday 10th of November 2012



       When: Saturday, November 10, 2012
       What time: 3:00pm until 7:00pm in UTC
       Where: The venue will be confirmed in September.
       Show me the money:  Cosplayers pay £3 to play. £5 for non cosplayers. Spectators free.

***************************************
A £100 CASH PRIZE is on offer plus the chance to win FREE mayamada t-shirts throughout 2013.

This event is being supported by Anime Picks and Anime League who will be providing tickets to London Anime Con 2013 (
http://www.londonanimecon.com/).

If you are a cosplayer from the world of anime and gaming register stay tuned for more details.

Non cosplayers can take part too and anyone that just wants to watch it all go down is also welcome.

Details:

* Max 16 teams of 6 players each.
* Cosplayers pay £3 to play. £5 for non cosplayers. Spectators free.
* £100 Cash prize and Anime Con tickets for the winning team.
* Winning team plays team mayamada for chance to win FREE t-shirts in 2013.

For more info check out their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Mayamada

Support the love for manga and buy a piece of the action: http://www.indiegogo.com/samurai-chef

Monday, 13 August 2012

Blog to Japan: my 12 reasons for going


It's InsideJapan Tours' 12th birthday, so to celebrate all things great and good about the number 12,  InsideJapan Tours and Virgin Atlantic have teamed up to invite you to "blog to Japan"!

Here are my 12 good reasons as to why I should be sent to Japan to blog:

1. I would love to attend a real tea ceremony and learn how to put on a kimono and do the whole tradition properly. Also showing a tutorial of how to wear a Kimono would be very helpful to the readers, as there are reasons behind it not just beauty and etiquette.

2. I'm a big  gamer and mythology fan and my love for rural mysterious villages as seen in Project Zero and Okami have fueled my interest to see the town of Takachiho. A town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is shrouded in Japanese mythology. It is there at the Amano Iwato Shrine supposedly the site of where the legend of Amaterasu is set. The Shinto Sun Goddess, disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks, hid herself in a cave, prompting the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out.

3. Dress up Harajuku style and take photos of all the different tribes around the area and talk to them about their styles and why it's important to them. Japan is where most of the Western trends are adapted from!

4. To see Himeji Castle, it was never destroyed in wars, earthquakes or fires and survives in its original form. It is both a national treasure and a UNESCO world heritage site. Now this I have to see, makes me reminiscent of the strong fighting casting in Robo-Geisha!

5. Take a trip to the Pokemon center to challenge the Poke masters of Japan, will I be a match for their high level Trubbishes? Who knows, a great video opportunity and chance t see exclusive merchandise not available in the UK.



 6. To hear some live Japanese music, whether it be Suga Shikao or some traditional instrumental music - Koto especially since I hear so much in anime/game background, a mix of traditional vs contemporary would be an electric blast much needed for my ears, which fancy a change from pop music.

 7. I love anime but the best by far is produced by Ghibli and would be an amazing chance to go to Hayao Miyazaki's Ghibli Museum. I've been a fan since Spirited Away and have gone watched every Ghibli movie to date. Since I have a soft spot for cats I wonder I wonder if they will let me sit in the cat bus ? :o

8. Ever since the mention of 'chisa' in Azumanga Daioh anime, I've been curious about the wildcats of Japan and found out it's one of the world's rarest wildcats. They inhabit Iriomote, one of Japan's most far-flung islands. Almost indistinguishable from a house cat, the Iriomote wildcat is believed to be related to a leopard cat found on the Asian continent, to which this island was once linked.

9. A trip to Osaka: to Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine, built prior to the influx of Buddhist architecture, this shrine - one of the oldest in Japan - exemplifies a purely Japanese style design, then relax in an authentic hot spring hopefully I'll recharge my HP like in Monster hunter :D

10. Ever since the article in the Metro about the monkey butlers, I've wanted to see them! The Kayabukiya tavern, a sake house just north of Tokyo, employs the two macaques to help out their more traditional human waiters. The macaques, called Yat-chan and Fuku-chan, are tipped by the customers with boiled soya beans.The funny thing is they do it of their own free will!

11. Shibuya Station, you may be suprised but outside here resides the Hachiko Statue. You may remember the American movie adaptation 'Hatchi', based on the life of Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture at the University of Tokyo and his dog, a golden brown Akita, named Hachikō.  as a During Ueno's life, Hachikō greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine for a year, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting, and he waited every day for the next nine years at Shibuya station.

12. Now no trip to Japan would be complete without visiting Kyoto's most famous Geisha district in Gion. This district is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where Geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and Maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain. The houses around here tend to be traditional wooden machiya merchant houses.

It was hard only picking 12 great thing to do and see in Japan as there is so much to see. Hopefully all of this will give a great mix of culture, fun and colour to represent Japan at it's finest.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Okami; Ameratsu live dog cosplay



UPDATE - 26/01/15

It was pleased to write about the pros and cons for Cos-pets vs Cos-props in MYM magazine.

I decided to study one of the finest examples of dog cosplay - Volkadav and Dante Kogan (the Samoyed Dog) as Ameratsu from the game Okami.

This was against Jenivere who cosplayed as Sniperwolf from  MGS with her prop dog she wheeled around with herself.

Issue33, Jan 22nd 2015 MYM.

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Originally I saw this photo come up on my facebook news feed via animepicks.co.uk and I really wanted to know if it were real or a photoshop job as I loved the Okami game on PS2 and I went as far as tracking the original source which was a deviant art page and well I contacted the guy and here's what he told me. See my interview with Volkadav cosplay here:





Japan Centre’s third Japan Food Festival 27th July – 12th August


What: Cultural Event/free food tasting

Where: Regent street (nearest station -  Piccadilly circus)

Show me the money: Free

Japan Centre is proud to announce our third Japan Food Festival (JAFF), 27th July – 12th August at our Regent Street Store (Piccadilly circus) in collaboration with the Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry!

Sample local produce from this fertile southern island, never before sold in the UK! Get your hands on exclusive regional specialities and experience the culinary diversity and beauty of Kyushu right here in London. Featuring free tastings every day from 3 – 6pm the event features limited edition Kyushu products for 2 weeks only, make sure you don’t miss out!

What’s On:

This year’s JAFF is dedicated to Kyushu, Japan’s third largest island. At the event, selected regional culinary and cultural products from Kyushu will be showcased. Delicacies that can be sampled include soups, different kinds of sweet and savoury snacks, and a range of dressings and sauces.
In addition to this, guests will be offered a variety of teas, as well as a selection of alcoholic beverages, including Yuzu No Osake (citrus liqueur made with shochu spirits and yuzu citrus) and Kuni No Kotobuki Tokubetsu Junmai Yume Ikkon (Sake from Fukuoka with a rich rice flavour). Apart from having an experience of Kyushu’s culinary heritage, this will also be an opportunity for visitors to sample cosmetics and learn about how Japanese women ensure to keep their gorgeous skin healthy and radiant. If you’re not able to make it to Regent Street, some of these exclusive products will be available to buy online during the event period too.
Yokaromon Kyushu!

Kyushu has been selected as JAFF’s special region for a number of reasons: it is home to breath-taking and very diverse scenery, which includes ancient forests, sandy beaches, sweeping mountains and active volcanoes. These volcanoes are the reason why Kyushu is often referred to as the hot spring capital of Japan. Thanks to its moderate climate and fertile soil, the island is also rich in fresh produce. All this, together with the island’s long history as a centre for international trade has made Kyushu a true culinary melting pot.

Different food, drinks, items will be on offer to sample everyday from 3-6pm, feel free to talk to the lovely staff for more details of the all natural ingredients used from the Fukuoka region. They will be holding another Food festival in October for another region incase you miss this one.

Come and join us at JAFF this summer, and sample the beauty of Kyushu right here in London!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Personality test (the one you pay for)

I took this in the past as part of a special course which led onto a paid intership to help the community. Back then I got the 'female Batman' and was told "...you have a lot of hardship to suffer because of others but you will for the good of humanity." T_T  she said  I had an odd combination she'd never seen before and didn't go into the interesting specifics. Someone on fb had the same test and gave me a link to a similar test for free and this is what I got:


Extroverted (E) 52.78% Introverted (I) 47.22%
Intuitive (N) 52.38% Sensing (S) 47.62%
Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
Perceiving (P) 51.61% Judging (J) 48.39%

Your type is: ENFP

ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.
 
*If you tied on any of the scales, the current algorithm just breaks the tie randomly so refresh the page to see alternate results
 
Well that was SPOT on, yes I am a journalist and I make my decisions on a whim...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

V&A PRESENTS FRIDAY LATE: LOLI-POP, ft. Japan Underground

V&A PRESENTS FRIDAY LATE: LOLI-POP, ft. Japan Underground
Public Event · By Japan Underground

When:    Friday, August 31, 2012
What Time:    6:30pm until 10:00pm
Where: V&A museum
Show me the money: Free

FB link: http://www.facebook.com/events/343765235701271/

Join us for an evening of Lolita fashion, the unique street style of Japan. Be styled in pink, with frills and wigs, plus doll-like make-up with an edge. You can be dressed up, made up and photographed with professional backgrounds and also meet professional Lolitas from the Frills and Frolics meetup. Japan Underground will be playing fly Japnese tunes to boogie to in your Lolita platforms to, a great night out for you and friends or a place to make new friends ^^

Details coming soon!
http://www.vam.ac.uk/whatson/event/1842/friday-late-loli-pop-3018/

Saturday, 21 July 2012

MOE: Maid's of England celebrate their 1st Birthday in Camden Town


Wondered through the labyrinth of Camden Stables market to find the basement tea rooms where they were the perfect English tea rooms for the Maid's Of England - serving delicious cake and butt whooping at jenga (well the butt whopping depends on which Butler or maid you played against.)

Was worth the run around and at a bargain price too - check out my full low down on animepicks.

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