Monday, June 29, 2009

A day @ Wonder Festival 2009

It all started when I saw a picture of the new Hatsune Miku "Live Stage" version figma floating on the internet around last week of June. The figma instantly caught my eyes because of the stage and accessories that comes with it ^w^ The stage is very elaborate and perfectly fits the live virtual idol theme. Accessories include the Yamaha piano and Miku's pair of wings at her back XD (Imma sucker for angel wings ^w^) From that moment I swore that I would definitely get my hands on it no matter what it takes XD However the major problem was, this will be my first time to engage in a major event here in Japan =w= I have no experience attending heavily crowded events, which really scared me because of the long queues that takes forever (only to get inside). Moreover I have no idea on how to ride the trains; if ever this will mark my first time to leave the boundaries of Shizuoka city.

The only way to compensate for this lack of experience is through research =w= And in order to win the game you need to play it smart. So I began to search and read blog articles regarding the past Wonder Festival events. I came across several good reviews and got a handful of information I needed to get acquainted with the atmosphere and setting of the event.

It seemed overnight queueing was an inevitable path I need to take because several Japanese otakus do it normally =w=;; Well if that is how they do it then fine, get your game on XD

All plan is set and ready to go.

Jun 25 around 11:30 I set out and went to the nearby ATM to get backup zennies. I also thought of the possibility of me getting lost on the way and spending more money on transportation if ever - so I needed to get ready for that XD I arrived at Shizuoka East station around 12:10, which was pretty early for my scheduled 13:16 departure. This gives me time to get acquainted with the station's structure - but probably I overestimated this effort because the station's structure is pretty simple. I easily spotted the "midori mado" where they sell the "seishun 18 kippu" - which is an awesome ticket that gives you unlimited ride on JR trains for 5 days ^w^

From East Shizuoka, I need to stop by Fuji station to take another train to Atami staion. But later I realized, I could have just waited for a train that stops directly at Atami station =w= *n00b* XD From Atami, I rode a Kaisoku Acty train headed for Tokyo which took 1hr and 20 mins I guess =w= It was pretty exciting when you ride it the first time ^w^ I took note of every stop over station so if anything goes wrong, I just need to trace back the stations the train stopped by =w= Inside Tokyo station I went to the Keiyo platform to take a train headed for my final destination "Kaihin Makuhari" ^w^

Reaching Kaihin Makuhari station gave me a sense of accomplishment ^w^ I was able to arrive at my destination without getting lost XD But of course the challenge doesn't end here .. it is only the beginning of a more difficult experience =w=

I took my time strolling down the streets towards Makuhari Messe =w= The train ride was pretty long (total of 4 hours) and my legs are pretty tired of sitting so I used the walk to do some stretchings. The buildings around Makuhari Messe were nice, better than what is in Shizuoka City I guess XD I reached the event site and found people working on various preparations for the event. My first thing in mind is to confirm the location of the Good Smile booth; pretty much as the guide says it's in the 2nd Hall and I finally got a visual confirmation ^w^ People who are also planning to stay overnight started gathering around 8pm .. hmmm, enemy or not I can't say XD (def. enemy = people who also target Miku XD)

I knew that the waiting time is the worst of all so I already planned ahead on how would I spend my time ^w^ First few hours I dedicated on writing scenarios for my story; sketched up some character designs and improved old ones XD Having nothing else to do is a guaranteed boost in my imagination, because my mind can't seem to stand being idle =w= The results was good enough, and I was able to come up with pretty fun ideas ^w^ Around 22:00 the Makuhari Messes security guards finally notified us that we can't stay around the complex until tomorrow =w=;; and this is where the cat and dog chase begins XD The security drives out the campers, new campers arrive without knowing the old ones were driven out, they security again drives them out, and so on and so forth XD The scene was like refugees being driven out of a country of some sorts XD So I just decided to secure a position where I could observe most of the areas of Makuhari Messe outside the territory of the security guards ^w^ I'm just waiting for a line to pile up somewhere XD Around 23:00 there were some Wonfes organizers that initiated a name list - and yes this is what I've been waiting for XD finally ^w^ !! Even though I came early .. I secured the 548th slot TwT The hell =w=

Keeping myself awake is one of the biggest problem, so around 1:00 finally I brought out my secret weapon - Hanami (my NDSi ^w^) I watched episodes of Lucky Star, Haruhi and Toradora; played Picross in betweens XD But Hanami only kept me awake for 3 or so hours; I guess what's catching up to me was the need to get some sleep =w= I slept almost unconsciously .. hugging my bag while sitting on the line =w= Fortunately it seems that the Japanese are not those types who will take your belongings when you're not looking =w= I had a good 1 hr 30 min sleep .. just enough to recharge my brain and function normally ^w^

9:00 JUN 26, the sun has risen and finally the time is nearing ^w^ Me just imagining that I have stayed in Makuhari for 15 hours just to execute a 1 hr operation .. makes me very anxious if I could really get my hands on my target =w= Of course the chance of failure is always there, but doing things as far as I did .. failure will definitely lead to depression XD I have thought a lot of things .. the reason why I decided to do this - I guess it's because of Miku ^w^ It's funny when you take the adult point of view .. but I have a childish heart, so I guess it's ok :heart: Come to think of it there were A LOT of old men along the line TwT .. I mean damn, they were like in their 40s and 50s I guess XD (so I guess that justifies my act - I'm only in my 20's ^w^)

10:00 kaiten was finally announced and here we go XD (a video uploaded by danny ^w^) According to the last Wonfes, limited edition goods were sold out in the first 30 mins so in my head I definitely need to enter before 10:10 .. fortunately it didn't took long before I entered Block E (located at Hall 2) =w= Upon entering the organizers and security keep warning the customers not to run .. but the hell XD I'm fighting a war here, and time is of importance ^w^ I rushed to the north east section of block E where Good Smile and Max Factory booth were located and tried to spot the selling area .. I missed on my first guess (which lead me to the exhibition display area of new figmas and stuff =w= ) so there were a significant number of people queued ahead of me TwT but I guess I didn't need to worry because I think I'm within the first 200 people, but nevertheless my anxiety is still there .. it didn't calm down till I'm assured I get my hands on it XD But finally, when I reaced the last turn of the zig zag line .. I'm relieved of the anxiety thorn in my heart ^w^ After buying my stuff, I sat down in one corner and it felt like my heart is jumping out ^w^ I had a great sense of accomplishment .. as someone who had no past experience with this limited goods rush =w=

I spent the rest of the time to recover and have some leisure ^w^ I planned to take pictures till my camera's battery runs out .. but it seemed I was the first one to run out of strength =w=;; The overnight plan, took out my stamina .. so I keep forcing myself to move, because I know this is a once in a lifetime oportunity ^w^ (there wouldn't be another Wonfes 10 again right XD) I decided to watch the live concert just in front of the Good Smile booth in order to once again rest my tired legs =w= It's pretty amusing to see how the fans cheer on the singers ^w^ They have this coordinated movement, which I think makes the singer more embarrassed XD?? I dunno ^w^ I wonder if it will be also like this on the Macross Crossover concert (which I am also attending in mid October ^w^)

After going around Block E, I decided to jump to Block A first before covering B to D; because it seemed that Block A has the most number of good stuff in it ^w^ I saw very detailed garage kits which I would love to have .. but my wallet is very stingy of zennies ^w^ It made me think that maybe once I get zennies to spare I would also start on this hobby =w= Oh yeah, but I need to describe what I saw in Block E first .. basically this is the dealer's area where companies like Good Smile, Max Factory, Griffon, Alter, Tamiya, Aoshima, etc are bundled. Here they display all their respective upcoming goods ^w^ In Max Factory I saw a Reimu Hakurei figma (sweet ain't it) XD !! They also showcased the Dl:stage which is used to pose multiple figmas in one diorama scene ^w^ I was planning to buy one .. but for some reason I forgot XD I guess it was not just that important at all =w= Griffon was selling a limited edition Reimu Hakurei (and other Touhou characters) PVC; but I guess I prefer the original colors version, so I easily gave up on it ^w^ I'll rather buy it over the netz =w= Alter booth was one of the highlights of the events XD No one can resist Nanoha and Fate StrikerS versions ^w^ Fate is so sexy in her outfit weilding the sword type Bardiche :heart: Other Nanoha A's characters were also there (like Vita, Signum and Reinforce Zwei) ^w^ All were very well scuplted and is a must have (that's Alter for you I guess)

Block A to D could be summarized as the place for garage kits ^w^ This could be thought of doujinshi version of PVC figures =w= For one day the participants are allowed to sell figures of characters that belong to animation companies - "one day limited license system" - much like Comiket ^w^ I also saw people who sold dolfies - dolls that look like anime; which pretty much reminds me of Rozen Maizen XD I saw a Miku Hatsune PVC that have an arm garment that lights on (NEET XD) ^w^ The pose was also good, but I think it wasn't moe enough to make me buy it =w= I also spotted a good Haruhi PVC and more of Nanoha ones ^w^ Too many things to tell .. I guess I'll leave the pictures I will post to tell the rest of the story XD

Well, mission accomplished ^w^ I headed back home with a smile in my face ^w^ (Good Smile XD? wahehe =w= made sense) I think I wouldn't do that overnight queue for a while .. it's a tough ordeal XD Next events would be Comiket, Miku Festival and Macross Crossover ^w^ :heart: !! Time to look forward for these ones ^w^

spoils of war

- Rain

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