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Anime Club Swap Meet 2010 December 15, 2010

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Events, Games, Japan, Manga, Otaku.
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At my Japanese Pop Culture club named “AnimeFX”, we have our swap meet semester annual event where anyone can sell their unwanted “collections of anime, manga, wall scrolls, games, figurines, doujinshi, and other goodies that they have built up over time with fellow nerds.”

This is my second semester being with this Japanese pop-culture club at SFSU and so far its been fun. Here are some pictures from the Fall semester 2010 AnimeFX Swap Meet. Click on the pictures for enlarged/clear quality photos. For some reason the pictures that I post up on my site here look blurry and it’s really ticking me off because I’m all about quality of my pictures.

A poor attempt to make a panoramic picture of the whole general area of our club's Swap Meet.

Here club members can sell their unwanted items.

A grumpy looking Miku is selling cute items.

Our location of business is in a classroom. A bit crowded but enough space to get around.

While we have a projector in the room, we only use it for mass viewings. Some people (including myself) brought a small TV for some gaming fun. How so many people can watch and play SSBB from a 15" TV is a bit puzzling to me.

Showing more of the Swap Meet in the back of the room.

We also have a separate room for Anime viewings. This meeting however it turned into the gaming center. I moved my stuff to this room because the Swap Meet room was stuffy. Besides my Wii with SSBB and GoldenEye, we had a couple of PS3s running Street Fighter 4 and Tekken 6.

 

More books/videos/games for sale.

More random items up for sale.

One person (not the one seen in this picture) was selling their original artwork. Our Anime club has a variety of talented people.

Random plushies were also being sold by our members. I got a small Pikachu (not the one shown) for free because she was trying more to get rid of stuff than to make money off them.

No anime club swap meet would be complete without someone also selling their figures.

This just goes to show how random the items for sale were.

Close up of the random items for sale.

This picture was taken at a different direction showing more of the tables of stuff for sale.

That black UFO looking thing is supposed to make a 3D image of an object appear on top by placing a small object in the middle of it. It uses mirrors to create the illusion, it's cool but not that great.

 

Same picture from last one but showing left of the pillow.

One seller had only a few items for sale.

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AnimeFX’s Spring Swap Meet 2010 was better in my opinion. Here are some pictures from last semester’s (Spring 2010) swap meet:

 

The room we were using last semester was a bit smaller and we had more sellers too.

One seller was selling a different variety of Mario related items. Not all of it is shown here.

Some figures and Pokemon cards. I used to have some as well but I never played Pokemon cards.

More figures and games for sale. Laptop not included.

Magic cards anyone? I also had some myself but I never really got into card games, it was hard to know all the rules.

There was a lot of retro VHS anime tapes for sale. VHS is going to be obsolete soon...

Anything in this bin you can take for FREE! I should have took more instead of being nice and letting other people get the good items.

More random items for sale.

More random items for sale.

More random items for sale.

More random items for sale. Most of these are Mario related items.

Some magazines/DVDs for sale.

More photos of the Swap Meet.

More photos of the Swap Meet.

More photos of the Swap Meet.

More photos of the Swap Meet.

Some really big magazines (I think they're magazines) for same. I can see Misaka from Railgun on the left one, that's the only character I recognize here.

More stuff being sold.

I can see strange pictures in this photo. Only recognized them now. Ooo a Master Ball too!

Some wall scrolls were being sold as well. I think there were more but not all was advertised due to space.

A bit of the loot I got from the Spring 2010 Swap Meet. Mario and Luigi mini figures.

 

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In the Spring Swap Meet, I bought the Mario and Luigi mini figures, a couple of Code Geass art books, a PS2 Guitar Hero Guitar, and some stuff from the free bin. In the Fall Swap Meet I got nothing, because the most of the stuff didn’t interest me and I need to save money for all the events to come next year.

The Swap Meet in my anime club is fun and it’s a great photo opportunity to show the different kinds of stuff our members have. What I also realize is how little loot I have in comparison to people who have been in this hobby longer. The main reason why I don’t buy too much stuff is because I can’t afford to (but that may change depending on if I get a job). While I don’t really want to accrue too much stuff, I feel it’s better to have quality, long-lasting items that does not get outdated (like calendars or similar items).

Right now I’m down to my final week of school for this semester. I’ve been busy with doing papers and studying for my finals but once everything is said and done, I’ll be back here writing all the posts that I’m backlogged on. I got like 5+ posts on behind on so I’ll want to catch up during my winter break.

(This has been the post with the most pictures I’ve done so far. I don’t think it’s the longest one I’ve done though.)

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2010 Hyper-Con/J-Pop Summit Festival September 18, 2010

Posted by coolmikeol in Events, Japan, Otaku.
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Today I attended two events, the first was Hyper-Con which was like an extremely small version of an anime convention  and the second was the 2010 J-Pop Summit Festival at SF Japantown. I will first talk about Hyper-Con.

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2010 Hyper-Con

Hyper-Con was my first so-called anime convention. Compared to real conventions I’ve seen pictures of online and heard of from my friends who have gone to them, this was a pretty bad convention in my opinion. It’s a two-day event that was held at the Boys and Girls’ Club of San Francisco building which was a small building that felt like an elementary school. There were several rooms used for this event, there was the outside entrance that had a couple of bands playing, there was a gym that was used for vendors and artists to sell and show off their works, an anime viewing room, a video game room which was all fighting games like Tekken, Street Fighter, etc., a room for panels, and a cosplay area. I don’t really have much more to say about this event, but I do have pictures to share so I’ll leave you to view them so that you can see Hyper-Con for yourself.

Live music in the parking lot where you enter.

The vendor tables felt more like a swap meet.

Out of vendors, I was especially interested in the one that was selling figures and stuff.

Various forms of fighting games were present such as Tekken, Street Fighter, etc. Later in the day there was a tournament for the games but I already left.

There were several good cosplay at Hyper-Con, but not many like at a real con.

Now I can’t be saying that it was all bad, though I would have liked the cost of entering the con to be less ($12 for today and $10 tomorrow). There were a couple of factors that made it the way it was. First, the place that it was being held at is nothing compared to actual convention centers, extremely small. Second, Hyper-Con I think is new and so not that many people know about it yet, so it may improve in the future and one day it may even become a big con in the Bay Area (iono). Third, the weather today was horrible in my opinion, it wasn’t raining or windy but really muggy and warm like Hawaii, so I felt like I was sweating all the time. I wasn’t originally planning on coming to Hyper-Con, but decided to go because I thought it would be great as practice for the real thing. My first major anime con I’m going to will be Fanime 2011 in San Jose.

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The first picture in this post is from today’s J-Pop Summit Festival 2010 in San Francisco’s Japantown. I have more photos but let me just quickly talk about this event. I left Hyper-Con early with friends and hopped on a bus to J-town for the festival. Once we arrived this is what we saw.

There were tons of people around, it almost felt like the Cherry Blossom Festival again but without the Sakura. There were cosplayers around too, but most of them were as Harajuku girls due to an event regarding them. I also saw these cute cosplayers too.

They are dressed as characters from the Vocaloid series, a Japanese software that people can use to create a digital singing voice for music. It is popular in Japan and it is also gaining ground here in the US too. They even had a Hatsune Miku “Live” concert held at the Viz Cinema in the New People building. I heard it was sold out so maybe they will expand to other parts of the country.

Here are a few more photos of the J-Pop Summit Festival 2010.

Pocky eating contest. Winner gets a year supply of Pocky. The MC hoped that one of the contestants would choke. The guy with the while shirt won.

People taking a picture of my friend Craig who is known for cosplaying as the guy from Brain Age. If you know the face of that guy from Brain Age then you know what my friend's face looks like.

Was my first time trying Taiyaki. It's basically like a pancake shaped like a fish with filling inside. I got one with chocolate inside and it was good, just wish I had a glass of milk with it.

I know I've shown this before, but it always looks so photogenic to not photograph. This is the Peace Padoga in SF's Japantown.

My loot from J-Pop festival, Hi-Chew and a Ritsu plushi (I need Yui and Mugi to complete the band). I spent about $30 today; $12 at Hyper-Con, $10 for Ritsu, and 8$ for food including the Hi-Chew.

It was nice to go out with friends to these events but I’m tired now. J-Pop Summit Festival was fun and also it helps bring business to Japantown. Normally when there is nothing going on at J-town it becomes deserted, no one around when compared to the crowded events like the Sakura Matsuri. I probably won’t be going to any more events like this until the 2011 Sakura Matsuri due to school taking priority, but I still have my first semester Japanese class and my AnimeFX club meetings so my mindset is always towards Japan.

SF Japantown Lantern Parade Festival/Bon Odori Dance 2010 September 2, 2010

Posted by coolmikeol in Events, Japan.
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Last weekend I attended the 2010 Lantern Parade Festival/Bon Odori Dance in San Francisco’s Japantown that I heard about from my professor. Though I went to the Bon Festival to do a report about it for class, I also went because I enjoy visiting Japantown and absorbing whatever Japanese culture I can get there too.


Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.” From Wikipedia.

In a sense, this Japanese event is to remember and honor their ancestors with dance and festival like activities. It’s similar to Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration. Yukata are traditionally worn during the festival as it is held during summer when it is warm.

I’ll let my pictures do the talking for a bit. For some reason my photos look a bit blurry here. Click on the photo to see a high res version of it. Reminds me to get a DSLR camera when I can afford one.

If you look closely, you can see the lion doing the lion dance. I think that if you’re bitten by it you gain good luck. I saw a few people “bitten” by the lion. Was a bit funny watching the little kids running away though.

Paper Lanterns – We don’t have a river around San Francisco so no lanterns on water here. That’s definitely something worth seeing when I go to Japan. Here is an explanation about the paper lanterns (from Wikipedia): “The festival ends with Toro Nagashi, or the floating of lanterns. Paper lanterns are illuminated and then floated down rivers symbolically signaling the ancestral spirits’ return to the world of the dead. This ceremony usually culminates in a fireworks display.” No hanabi here either.

There were a lot of very young children attending and participating in the Bon Festival, many non-Japanese. It just goes to show how multicultural San Francisco is.

The festival as a whole was a lot smaller than I thought. The picture above is pretty much where everything is happening.

While taking pictures, I happened to see these Japanese performers (from Japan) taking a group picture. I snapped a picture of them taking a picture. The guy here even has the same camera as me, but different color.

This is part of the problem I have with my camera, how it adjusts to lighting. The sky is too bright here but if I focus on the sky the rest of the photo becomes dark like the photo below. Maybe it’s my camera settings, or maybe it’s because my camera can’t handle balance lighting…. I don’t know.

The weather here was quite nice. It was foggy in my area of San Francisco when I left to get to Japantown, but it cleared up when I arrived here. Nice sunset.

I didn’t stay to the end of the festival because I wanted to get back home before it got too dark. The festival was supposed to end at 9:30pm but I left two hours early. I don’t think I missed too much.

While leaving I passed by a place in Japantown that sells Taiyaki. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds good. Next time I visit I’ll try one.

The Bon Festival was a nice cultural experience to watch. It was a bit cold but at least the sun came out. It was refreshing to come to Japantown for other than the Sakura Matsuri, because there are a lot less people and also it’s not all about anime/manga/otaku stuff. Besides my interest in Japanese pop culture, I’m also interested in Japan’s “normal” culture as well. I hope that all of you as well experience other Japanese custom events besides ones related to the topic of “Otaku”.