rallamajoop: (Syaoran)
Yes, I meant to write this as soon as I got back, now about two weeks ago. Instead, I let [livejournal.com profile] velithya rec me a couple of pieces of Inception fic, which is the kind of experience that you wake up from a week later trying to remember where all that missing time went (and the vague idea a spinning top is somehow necessary to help you figure it out) and not regretting a minute of it. But that's a whole other post.

So: Manifest. Quite the wild ride, and a bit of a mixed bag of what did and didn't go well, but skewed comfortably towards the positive. Details under the cut, but if you're skim-reading and not likely to get through all that, then the bit I need to point out first is this awesome-quality video of [livejournal.com profile] pinneagig's Azula skit which, despite all kinds of drama in the lead-up, went beautifully on the day.

The full report + a few photos )

So that was our trip. I would list everyone else who helped make the weekend – the sadly increasing list including all our old friends who've moved over east in the last few years, all the other awesome Eastern Stater cosplay people they've introduced us to since, not to mention all the others we met at the con on the day or the terribly nice people on the tables on both sides of us in the traders hall – but I'd still probably wind up forgetting someone, so suffice to say that no matter how questionable the organisation at these cons, the company always makes up for it. <3
rallamajoop: (Ky cosplay)
Wai-con was the weekend before last. (Today's post brought to you by the experience of receiving a rent inspection notice three days after the con and realising a) you are not getting anything but cleaning done until next week, and b) you should just thank your lucky stars it didn't happen last week. House looks much neater now though ;)

I'm hitting the point with Wai-cons where the majority of what I have to say about them starts to get a bit repetitive* – we came, we saw, we cosplayed, we sold lots of stuff, we won prizes, we (mostly) failed to melt in the heat**, we took photos, we caught up with friends*** – we basically had an awesome time.

*A few more, and pointing out the repetition is going to be a bit repetitive - oooh, recursion!
**Thank god we brought a standing fan to stick behind the stall this year. I'm all for having the con in January rather than December, but the weather is not on our side this time of year, and Ky has this real neck-to-ankle thing going on that is not well compatible with the heat.
***Sometimes in something of a drive-through fashion as people rushed past in opposite directions. Cons, they keep you busy.

So let's get straight down to the photos.

Saturday: Overture!Sol and Ky, A.B.A. and Lina Inverse )

The big highlight that was new and different this year was the Eminence concert on Saturday night – and I really didn't realise just how much I was going to love the performance until we were were there. The evening started with the My Neighbour Totoro theme and ended with Super Mario - just to give you an idea of the range, and honestly, everything they played in between was gorgeous. But there's an extra layer of fannish squee to hearing songs you know – and an extra double-layer on top of that when it's connected to a movie or a game you love, so the high point of the night for me was The Dream That Time Dreams from Chrono Cross. I'm not much of a CC fan, but Chrono Trigger was the first real RPG I ever played and will probably always be one of my all time favourites, and what I'd forgotten about that particular piece is that it's actually a remix of the Chrono Trigger theme, extended with some beautiful orchestral segments. *_* It's a crying shame none of the CDs for sale after the event (and we bought *two*) had their rendition of that particular song. We have the in-game mp3 of it, but it doesn't begin to measure up.

Sunday: Guilty Gear!Ky, Trunks, Dissidia!Tifa and Sora (+extras) )

So that was about it for Waicon 2010. As always, we owe a lot of gratitude to everyone who helped mind our table during the day, especially Ken and [livejournal.com profile] velithya.

We have lots of bit photoshoot plans for these costumes. Going to wait until the weather's cooled down a bit though, 35+ degree heat is not good cosplay weather.
rallamajoop: (caramelldansen)
I have now written probably around 10,000 words of various Japan report posts (and I'm still not done askhglkas), but to save all that tl;dr, there can be no better way to summarise the trip than this. Marvel at our lame attempts to stay in time with either the music *or* each other for more than two hip-wiggles in a row! And you probably all thought I was kidding with that post title back there. ^_~

Edited by [livejournal.com profile] k_chan009 (<3<3<3), staring everyone who came with us on the trip plus whoever else we could talk into joining in. In the end I don't think we covered even half the places we visited in Japan - so much running around that sometimes it was so very hard to remember to spare ten minutes to line everyone up in front of the camera. But this is a pretty decent subset, and no prizes for guessing what we were singing at karaoke that day. *g* Missing from the final cut: at least one take of me in front of the Udogawa mural losing it completely after making the mistake of glancing over to see what our Sho cosplayer was doing on my right. Aargh so many more photos still to come!

ETA: Because I just remembered that not everyone on the web has heard of the whole caramelldansen thing yet, have a wikipedia entry for context. ^^; Also, you should all go watch Where The Hell Is Matt? not simply because it was relevant inspiration, but also because I have not done enough yet today to spread laughter and warm fuzzies.
rallamajoop: (Aqua)
As mentioned in previous Japan trip reports (I've only got a couple left to go now, I swear!) one of the many trip highlights was personally getting to see the trailers shown in Squeenix's closed theatre at the Tokyo Gameshow. I'm not going to bother going into too much scene-by-scene detail, since my memory is not that photographic and there'll be places all over the web you can find those kinds of summaries by now (not to mention low quality video versions all over youtube). But I (and the rest of our party) did come out of there bursting to talk about it, and we all know how much I love editorialising, so I'm going to focus more on what we thought of it all.

Like many Square Enix fans I’ve had some mixed feelings about a lot of their recent products. They’ve been responsible for producing most of the games that have ever made my all time favourites list (Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII and X, Kingdom Hearts II, The World Ends With You), but also a lot I’ve never managed to muster more than ambivalence towards at best (most of the rest of the FF series, including spin-offs) and a good few others that have made me want to take to their lead designers with the Clue-bat of How Not To Destroy Everything I Ever Loved (Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy X-2 and XII, everything they’ve done with FFVII since 1997, and the last five minutes of WEWY). Each to their own and all that, since even most of the rest of titles have their own devoted fans out their somewhere, and their good games still remain really, impressively good – but the bottom line is that it’s very hard to be impressed by the shameless hype-mongering they’ve been keeping up in recent years by releasing all their newest trailers only in the UBER EXCLUSIVE closed theatres at events like the TGS, for which seats are so limited that we missed out on them completely on the first day and had to leave the hotel at 5:30 AM to make it through the queues on the second. The point I’m building up to is that those trailers were going to have to be really damn awesome to make all that bother seem worthwhile, so getting halfway through the show and already finding myself thinking “Wow, this was completely worth everything!” in between a whole lot of completely fangirlish incoherence was a very welcome surprise. Whatever’s actually in store for us once all these games make it to the shelves, they definitely know how to put on a good show.

Assorted KH mobile games )

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days )

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep )

Dissidia: Final Fantasy )

Final Fantasy XIII )

Final Fantasy Agito XIII )

Final Fantasy Versus XIII )

And that was it for the trailer session (please make sure you’ve picked up all your belongings and head for the exit to your right, and oh, btw, the large guy in the Squeenix shirt wants a word with you about that camera he saw you sneakily trying to use in there…) To summarise, really looking forward to Birth by Sleep and Dissidia, definitely interested in all the FFXIII games, not especially fussed about the mobile phone games or Parasite Eve, and majorly disappointed with 358/2 Days and the idea they want us to buy yet another version of AC.

To round off the day later on, most of our group headed on to the official Squeenix Store in Shinjuku (excluding me and [livejournal.com profile] velithya who were camped out by the ArcSys booth asking their staff difficult questions MORE ON THIS LATER), and came back laden with bags in which the full ‘Square Enix Projects’ name had helpfully had the letters ‘A’ and ‘R’ partially blacked out to demonstrate the correct spelling.

The same thing again courtesy of the official website

And verily, we did laugh all our arses off about that too.
rallamajoop: (balldress!Millia)
Leaving all those Japan posts for a bit to try and clear out some of my posting backlog. Time to share a bit of what we were doing in Melbourne last month, starting with the Amaranth Ball.

The Manifest Ball - cosplay photos galore, a little image heavy )
rallamajoop: (yuffie)
(Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] aphelion_orion.) I don't often make whole posts just to plug cool stuff from out on the web, but these were worth making an exception for. These are fan-made videos at their mind-blowing best.

Dead Fantasy I
Dead Fantasy II

People Who Should Click These Links:
1. Anyone who has ever played any game in the Dead or Alive or Final Fantasy series.
2. Anyone with a particular love for the female cast of either series.
3. Anyone who did not like the female cast and felt disappointed that so many of the FF girls do not live up to their full potential for awesomeness.
4. Anyone who likes massive, beautifully scripted team vs team battle sequences. Including anyone who does not yet know how much they like massive, beautifully scripted team vs team battle sequences.
5. Anyone who got bored during the neverending fight scenes of Advent Children, and/or seriously fed up with the failure of the fight choreographers to figure out how to work magic into a hand-to-hand battle. (Dear Squeenix: THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT RIGHT.)
6. You.


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