Friday, April 2, 2010

The Tokyo International Anime Fair

Yep. I went to there. I'm not all that much into anime anymore, but how many chances do you get in your life to go something like this? So that's how my new friends and I spent our first Saturday in Japan. And boy what a spectacle.

The event takes place at Tokyo Big Sight, which is a pretty huge convention hall (the Makuhari Messe in Chiba is also huge, but the shapes are so different it's hard to tell which one is bigger). It's a pretty big event, this TAF. I have about fifteen photos just of the lines.

Yes that's our line right in front of us, and a bigger mass of lines in the far left corner.

After about fifteen minutes waiting in line, that mess of people formed behind us. This was at maybe 9:45 am, fifteen minutes before it opened up. However, we probably waited in line only about an hour overall. They really got us into the building quickly. I read on the site later that over 50,000 people attended the fair that Saturday.

The fair itself clearly was very expensive to run (although the tickets were only 1000 yen), but very much not like a con in the states. There was almost no cosplay, except the cosplayers hired by the companies. I guess it's because this event is more of a trade show than a con, and I guess the days before the public comes in it's all business people and meetings. Still, there was tons of crazyness going on, with basically every domestic animation studio as well as a few international ones trying to pimp their latest shows and DVDs to buy. There was also booths by animation trade schools trying to get more students, and (which I thought was really cool) a booth that showed off the work of some seriously skilled amateur high school animators.

Most of the animation studio booths were just big signs and videos for new series, but a couple places had little events for the guests to do. At the Tezuka animation studio, they had little pictures you could color and attach to rubber bands so it spins around (I have no idea what to call them), and when you finished, you got a prize!

It's a folder! (That's too small to fit most sized papers...) I basically spent most of my time collecting various ads, magazines, postcards, and various other free things. Detective Boy Conan peeps had a stamp-scavenger hunt that some of my friends did, but I don't know what the prize was because I don't know if they were successful in the end...

Other events included voice actress interview type things. And also a show that was cosplay dancing thing promoting some magical girl show except that all the people wore these creepy anime-style masks that made them much scarier than actual human beings and nowhere near looking like they were anime characters come to life. It was grotesque, but unfortunately when I tried to take a picture a staff member yelled "ダメ!" at me. Then they left the stage before I could try again. Here's a giant Kon mascot instead.

I actually thought I had more pictures than I do, and none that really exhibit how large and crazy the event was, but here are some of the highlights.

Big-ass Gundam statue. I think it said 1/10 scale.

Star Wars?? Get out of here! (Unless you are of course promoting the Clone Wars cartoon. Which is what I thought, except there were no ads or videos for it anywhere near him.)
Booth/trailer for the live-action movie version of  the anime move The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is one of my absolute favorite films of all time, animated or otherwise, Japanese or American. Needless to say, this version looks underwhelming to me.

Anpanman! Balloon was probably 30 feet tall at least. Huge.

No idea what this scary thing is.
New Trigun movie coming out. Which is odd, since it's so old. But it's one of those series I watched early in my formative anime-lovin' youth, so it piqued my interest.
Giant Totoro balloon. I think we'll end on that note.


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  2. I want that Totoro balloon! How, how much, where???