Category Archives: Melbourne

Meet The Writer: Karl

Greetings readers of Japandaman.com!

I am that man called Karl, a new addition to the Japandaman.com writing staff.

Now I’m going to be bringing a few different things to the site. At the moment I’ve got 2 projects in the works. Project one will be the “Ranger Rewind Podcast”; an audio podcast where I will be going through every single episode of Power Rangers (826+ episodes over 22 seasons and counting!) and giving impressions and commentaries on them with my good friend and co-host CJ Bowman. This should hopefully be a weekly podcast lasting about an hour in length and covering 2-3 episodes at a time. So please give that a listen.

The other project I’ll have going on is a Anime Recommendation column once every 3 or so weeks. In this project I’ll be giving you my personal picks for each anime season, complete with updates as to things I add or remove from my anime viewing habit.

Other then that, I might be posting the odd Tokusatsu story or project. These will mainly focus on Kamen Rider & Super Sentai items such as toys, TV shows, etc. I’m a big fan of the genre and can’t wait to share that love with you guys and girls!

Outside of doing things here, I’m also doing a live weekly podcast on professional wrestling and also doing video game reviews on Youtube. If Japandaman himself allows it, someday I’ll link you to the sites that host that content. I’ve been doing online media for over 6 years, so I hope you’ll enjoy my experience as I journey into the world of Japanese Pop Culture here.

Supanova Melbourne 2015 Video Highlights

The weekend that just passed saw the commencement of the convention season for 2015 with Supanova rolling into Melbourne. Melbourne is the first of many stops for the Supanova train. Always attracting many Supa Star guests, this year was no different. From Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future, George Takei from Star Trek, Charisma Carpenter from Buffy and Angel, Jason David Frank from Power Rangers and loads more!

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A convention of this calibre is always a great spot for cosplayers to converge and show off what they’ve been working on, sometimes up to months before the actual event. They come from all over Australia to meet up and arrange photoshoots and make new friends. Here’s a photo album from the IJM Facebook page.

Japandaman was on site doing his duties for TV show It’s Japan, Man! along with co-host, the always kawaii Neko. This year IJM decided to put together a little cosplayer highlights video so even if you couldn’t make it, this video will give you an idea of the fun that went down.

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Hope you’ve had a look at the photo gallery above, now here’s the It’s Japan, Man! cosplay video highlight reel.

Japan Music Festival Hits Up Australia

All you J-Rockers out there will be rapt to hear that the Japan Music Festival is hitting up Australia with select venues in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. So who’s coming out I hear you ask? Well, we have Jill, 101A, Kaimokujisho and Sparky Quano.

JMF ESPY

Looking at venues around Australia, here’s where you can catch up with all the action:

APR 03rd (THU) MELBOURNE – ESPLANADE HOTEL
APR 04th (FRI) SYDNEY – THE ROLLER DEN, ERSKINEVILLE
APR 05th (SAT) BRISBANE – RIC’S BAR
APR 06th (SUN) MELBOURNE – THE RETREAT BRUNSWICK

And if you want some more info on the artists, then look no further than below!

JILL

Eri is the singer and writer for this immensely popular band in the live circuit. She has a lifelong passion for the typical Japanese pop/rock anime music, which is becoming more popular throughout the world. The band take pride in writing original music but also include some of the more popular anime covers at their live show. From high-energy pop to lyrical ballads, Eri delivers her delicious vocals that you will not forget.

101A

101A cross Grunge, Shoe-gaze and Industrial genres. Rough, heavily distorted instruments paired with delicate, melodic female vocals characterize their sound. They have written songs in a variety of styles; soft, melodic, cinematic pieces, bright, energetic, beat-driven instrumentals, sharp but brooding sounds paired with screaming vocals and gentle, expansive, uplifting ballads, each song conjuring a new scene, demonstrating the band’s unique style and striking individuality.

KAIMOKUJISHO

An intense sound akin to the 90’s rock pioneers Korn and The Deftones, Kaimokujishō have garnered a reputation on the Japanese live circuit as ‘Line-up destroyers’ because they have the uncanny knack of blowing the rest of the bands off stage regardless of their genre. Vocalist Natsumi’s almost improbable vocal range sails over an organic drum sound that in turn contrasts the nimble fingered guitarist, the resulting total of which is sonic overload on a grand scale.

SPARKY QUANO

A solo guitarist with a whole slew of pedals, Sparky creates everything including rhythm tracks and percussion from a single guitar. His instrumental rock pieces are haunting and progressive with occasional ghostly whispers, evoking images of intergalactic travel. His hands play percussively like a piano, churning out tribal beats and space-rock on a level never seen before.

For ticket info, click on over to japanmusicfestival.com.au

Episode 6 Of It’s Japan, Man! Goes Live

This update is REALLY late so apologies but we’ve been busy beavers working in the background on secret projects! But here is our labour love, episode 6 of the show that takes a look at the otaku lifestyle in Australia. The show that we call It’s Japan, Man!

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And also of particular note is that this episode marks the end of season 1 which has been an absolute joy to make and has taught us all a lot about what goes into making and producing your own show. We’re all taking a well earned break before we start season 2 which will be bigger and better so stay tuned for news on that. And a massive kawaii, otaku thank you to all our supporters for all your feedback, it’s been great to hear and read.

Japanese Festival 2013 – Melbourne, Box Hill

This past Sunday in Melbourne (May 19) saw the annual holding of the Japanese Festival in the suburb of Box Hill. It was a great day with a hint of chill in the air ensuring that the event had a great turn out. There was loads do and heaps of activities which allowed you to immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.

It was organised by the Japan Club of Victoria and held at the Box Hill Town Hall and the Box Hill TAFE with a temporary food court set up in an undercover car park. There was tons of yakisoba, okonomiyaki, yakitori and heaps more to fill your stomach with. Japandaman was in attendance but had no camera so luckily regular Japandaman photo contributor Matt was kind enough to let me use his pictures. Matt can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Thanks again, Matt!

Japanese Summer Comes To Melbourne

A couple of weeks ago saw the return of the annual Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival at Docklands with public numbers swelling on a fantastic Summer day. The following description of the event is from the Facebook page which you can check out for the fun had on the day.

The Summer Festival or “natsu matsuri” is an annual event throughout Japan and comes to life this February in Melbourne at the Docklands. Since its inception in 2010, the festival has grown enormously, doubling its attendance to reach 10,000 people in summer 2011. Traditionally held honour one’s ancestors, the festival features the “bon odori”, a dance performed in a circle whilst wearing cotton kimono known as yukata. At the Melbourne festival, all visitors are encouraged to learn and join in the dance. In addition, the festival will showcase a number of performances, including Taiko Drumming, Shamisen and Sumo! The festival will also be packed with a wide range of stalls with traditional Japanese games, activities and foods – including the favourites sushi, okonomiyaki and bento. Another big attraction of the day will be the chance to win one of the fantastic raffle prizes, including the major prize of two return economy-class tickets to Japan, courtesy of Singapore Airlines. The festival provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen the ties between Melbourne and Japan and share in rich Japanese cultural traditions with the Melbourne community.

You can also check out the website for more info as well as see the gallery below full of great pictures taken by Matt, you can catch him on YouTube here, or his Flickr feed. Thanks for the use of the pictures!

Armageddon Expo Pictures – Day Two

We’ve seen the day one pictures not the picture wrap up from the Armageddon Expo, day two. Once again, a massive thank you to DarkMessiah24 for these awesome pictures!

Now let the pictures roll!

Armageddon Expo Pictures – Day One

Japandaman has been VERY busy of late, so busy that I completely forgot to post pictures from the recent Armageddon Expo, I say recent but it was about four weeks ago now. A massive thank you to YouTube user, DarkMessiah24, for hooking Japandaman up with the pics from the day of the cosplay activity that goes on at these type of expos in Australia.

This post will deal with pictures from the first day with a later post containing pictures from the 2nd day.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Shows Up In Melbourne

This past weekend on Saturday in downtown Melbourne, a curious sight greeted visitors to the streets in the CBD. Loads of people dressed up as Mario, Luigi and even a Baby Mario running through the streets and alleyways all in search of an elusive something. That something was a poster, as seen below, and the reason for it was a Gold Coin Rush all to promote the upcoming launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nintendo 3DS.

The promotions were hosted by The Nintendo Experience which is based inside the EB Games store in Swanston St in Melbourne’s CBD. There were over 10 teams with four people each all dashing through the city, finding the posters then having three team members in the pic while the fourth took the snap. After the Gold Coin Rush, which lasted 90 minutes, we all trekked back to the store for a count and onto the second part of the proceedings. Playing the new Coin Rush mode from New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the new fangled Nintendo 3DS XL unit.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Preview

All the teams had a turn at the game, which I’ll talk a bit about now. We only were allowed to run through the Gold Coin Rush mode which is based in the same levels that the game is based in. The two levels I played were very similar to the NSMB but with a lot more activity going on with different enemies and some activity going on in the background. The new Coin block which when hits turns everything in the near vicinity to gold coins is a nice touch and it’s not hard to see how the game does challenge you to find all one million coins. They really are everywhere and in places that are only accessible with the Tanooki suit allowing Mario to reach new heights. This looks set to be another fantastic game in the Mario canon, watch out for it when it launches later this week on August 18th.

Nintendo 3DS XL Preview

First os all, wow, this upgrade to the 3DS is extremely impressive. Let’s start with the screen, it’s absolutely stunning with the colours jumping off it and really bringing an impressive polish to the in-game graphics. The 3D effect seems to work better on the larger screen, either the 3D ‘sweet spot’ has been increased or the screen technology has been changed and upgraded. It works loads better than the current 3DS with a more forgiving angle view as you naturally  move the 3DS during those frantic gaming sessions. The 3D slider now has an audible click to it when you switch it off and slide it down, this seems to prevent accidental activation of the 3D effect when you don’t need it.

Nice and bright!

The top screen hinges now has two clicks when you open it as opposed to the current 3DS only having one meaning it’s harder for the screen to flip close when playing games and natural motion taking over. This is a nice touch as is moving the stylus back to the original position on the side of the 3DS XL and not on the top making it easier to access. The only downside is that the stylus is no longer telescopic but still, small price to pay. The case itself has a nice matte finish to it preventing ugly fingerprints or smudge marks from marking the body.

3DS meets 3DS XL

But more importantly, one of the major design faults has been addressed…the dreaded circle pad and the lower screen leaving marks on the top screen. I know my 3DS personally has two permanent lines on the top screen from where the bottom screen has rubbed against it when closed and in pants pocket. The circle pad also used to leave a circular mark on the top cover just to the side of the screen. Both these issues have been looked at and fixed with a visible gap between bottom and top screen when closed and looked at sideways. The top screen rests comfortably on the Home, Select and Start buttons preventing this from happening as easy as it did with the 3DS.

All in all, an awesome upgrade to the 3DS worthy of your purchase. Get it when it touches down on August 23rd.

So all in all, an awesome if somewhat tiring day but made the better by being teamed up with some great team members which brings me to the last point. A massive thank you to Ty from Aussie-Gamer.com for making the whole thing possible and giving me a pass to the invite only event. Check out their version of how the Sydney event went down, the Melbourne and Sydney event occurred at the same time. P.S. By all accounts the Melbourne one was better!

The winning team received some cool Nintendo freebies and will also be receiving their very own 3DS XL three days prior to launch.

And now the pictures!

Japanese Festival – Melbourne, Box Hill

Two weekends ago in the leafy suburb of Melbourne called Box Hill, there was a wave of Japanophiles all converging to meet at the same place. The Japanese Festival had rolled again which saw the Japanese community of Melbourne put on various stands and displays dedicated to arts and crafts, sumo exhibitions and many more. Plus you can always count on delicious yummy Japanese delicacies to be munched on as well.

Japandaman Dailies had a presence on site with reader, photographer and YouTube extraordinaire, Matt or Dark Messiah, being on hand to graciously snap the pics seen below in the gallery. Enjoy and make sure to visit Dark Messiah’s YouTube channel and subscribe and hit him up on Twitter as well!