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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This past weekend saw cosplayers turn up in their droves for the first, of hopefully many more, Oz Comic Cons in Melbourne. This is the first time that Oz Comic Con was staged in Melbourne and there were tons of special guests. None more so than Stan Lee himself, one of the creative forces behind Marvel Comics.
Julie Benz from Dexter and the Buffy/Angel Universe was there, Sir Patrick Stewart and Jason Momoa were also some of the stars happy to pose for pics and sign autographs.
The event itself wasn’t run the best as it could have been, overcrowding, too small a venue and a lack of experience running such a large event marred the experience for some people. Another surprise was, my wife and I were able to walk out on Saturday for lunch and come back 90 minutes to walk straight back in. However on the Sunday when I attended with my sister, the organisers didn’t let you leave unless you wanted to wait two hours to come back in. Pretty pathetic I thought and to rub more salt into the wounds, people with VIP tickets who had paid extra for their tickets were subjected to the same treatment. What was the point of buying the more expensive tickets?
My signed Spider-Man comic book and Japandaman with Stan Lee…much respect!
But to be honest, I went there for Stan Lee and was lucky enough to get a comic book signed by Stan as well as have a pic taken with him in the photo booth.
Friend and photographer Matt managed to get some great snaps of the proceedings as well as heaps of the cosplay action so a big thanks to Matt. Catch his Dark Messiah24 channel on YouTube or follow him on Twitter.
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!
This Saturday just past in Melbourne, the 5th of May, an event in Melbourne’s Federation Square was staged of epic proportions. An event bringing hundreds of people together in an attempt at breaking a world record for the highest number of people in one space dressed as video game characters.
Called COSGAME 2012 – Largest Crowd Dressed as Video Game Characters, the event was co-ordinated on social media site, Facebook, the event was an official record breaking attempt recognised by the Guinness World Records. So we’re happy to report that the previous record of 425 participants in Wisconsin, USA last year was smashed with an official number of 470 people in attendance dressed as Mario & Luigi’s, Lara Crofts, Ezio, Pac-Man and many, many more video game favourites and some more not so well known but taking to the stage as well.
We unfortunately weren’t in attendance but good friend of Japandaman Dailies, Matt Murphy, was and took the amazing pictures seen below. Matt also took part in the record breaking attempt so a big kudos to him for taking the time out to grab these snaps. Matt also has a very cool YouTube channel where he goes under the moniker, Dark Messiah24 so be sure to add him and subscribe! He’s a wealth of Otaku knowledge!
The Supanova Pop Culture Expo for 2012 in Melbourne, Australia continued on into Sunday, during the past weekend with what appeared to be an even bigger crowd than on Saturday. As usual, Melbourne put on a spectacular display with the fantastic weather ensuring that no one was kept away.
The cosplayers were out in force and it was great to see new characters being represented as well as seeing some familiar faces from Saturday too.
I made it to a few of the guest panels seeing Oliver and James Phelps otherwise known as the Weasley Twins from Harry Potter fame as well as gifted young actor, Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl in The Walking Dead. Both panels were fun to attend with interesting questions being asked and at times hilarious answers being given by the guests.
I will go on record right now and say that next year, I will be cosplaying…as what, well I haven’t quite figured that part out as yet but I’ll keep you posted.
Farewell Supanova for another year, it was great seeing you again 🙂
Apologies for the late update but the photos have decided to play nice and let themselves be seen by the public at large at long last.
Well, the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Melbourne, Australia, kicked off with a lonnng queue to buy tickets, must remember to pre-register next time, but it was worth it. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Supanova has been handled by expanding the pop culture festival with far more floor space than it has ever occupied which explains why it’s changed halls from where it’s normally been held.
We saw a few of the stars in attendance from Summer Glau of ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ to Peter Facinelli or Carlisle Cullen as the Twihards like to call him. Apparently, the Weasley Twins, Oliver and James Phelps from the Harry Potter universe, were also there but commanded the largest lines with waits for autographs well over 2 hours! Didn’t catch a glimpse of them at all, far too many people around them at all times.
Tons of cosplayers which is always great to see, see for yourself in the pics below. Vids will follow but they require some touching up before they’re ready. The pics in the gallery below speak a thousand words so check them out and a big thank you to the cosplayers for posing for me, greatly appreciated!!
The Supanova Pop Culture Expo rolls into town this weekend and Japandaman Dailies will be there to cover the event for you. So make sure to check back over this weekend to check out the special guests, sights, cosplayers and just what goes on at one of the largest pop culture events that Australia hosts!
We’ll be there from about midday onwards on both days with a recap at the end of each day full of pics and maybe the odd video and hopefully some star gazing will be had.