Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab



Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Convention: Hyper Japan 2014


Background

I went to Hyper Japan with my sister last year, and this year I was going with Lizard as she needed to be initiated into the awesome geekdom of HJ. She came with me to LFCC and handled it pretty well, I'd say. I just couldn't wait for the good food, cute stationary, PLUM WINE *drool*, plum tea, and hopefully delights I'd not seen last year.


Research

I didn't do much research because I didn't need to. Hyper Japan has a lovely website; it's pretty straightforward to find out what you need from it. After tickets were sorted, I thought... well I'm not cosplaying or Lolita-ing so what the hell am I gonna wear?


I wore my tLoZ shirt and on the way saw MCM magazine (issue 28) with this cover, so naturally I had to pick it up. It turned out to be a pretty boring issue though.

Queuing


The actual queueing process was smooth and efficient, but the situation around it was LAUGHABLE. Basically, like an idiot I forgot my oyster card at home so I had to go back for it... likewise Lizard's bank was pulling some shit so we were both about half an hour late, getting there at 11.30 instead of 11am like I'd wanted. BUTTT, despite how long the queue seemed to be originally, the Earls Court staff kept walking down the line telling us to move up and close the spaces. This meant we were a lot closer to the doors when they opened. We didn't walk straight in like last year, but only spent about ten minutes waiting and then we were in. Easy.

As always, Hyper Japan never ceases to be the convention that causes me the least emotional pain.





Experience Once Inside

Pretty empty when we first gone in but HECK, it filled up quick. As I'd had to rush there without breakfast, and Lizard likewise, we went straight away to get food (which later turned out to be a good call). I felt bad for all the people at stalls trying to get our attention as we frantically looked for the food stalls, because (I'm embarrassed to say) we were so hungry we didn't really give them the attention they deserved.

We did go back afterwards though. One of those stalls was SIRO-A promoting an upcoming set of performances, which I already went to see last year and it was phenomenal. It's really hard to describe exactly what sort of show it is, but I'd recommend pretty much anyone to go see it, especially those with a love of music, dance and visuals arts. It's also hilarious.

Lizard got noodles in a cute bamboo bowl from the stall I tried last year, although I don't remember them being that tasty to be honest. =s I went to the Nippon Ham group stall (or was it called Yamato catering? Not sure...) and got a Chicken Katsu Donburi with japanese sauce, which was ABSOLUTELY. DELICIOUS. I finished it feeling comfortably full and ready to take on the event!


So. How to even begin?

We navigated through all of the stalls with wonder, although as we wanted to make sure we didn't miss anywhere, we tried to do left to right in a snake-like concertina pattern and it didn't work, because the stalls were all different sizes. Some were tiny and others were huge. So we did what we could.


I got my camera out to late... but look! The back of pikachu!!

CutesyKink. SO GORGEOUS.

When we came in...

When we left. I believe this was the Sushi Awards 2014.

Rucksacks at Aoi clothing. I REALLY wanted one, but £39 was pretty much all the money I TOOK there.

I loved this.

Aoi clothing stall

GORGEOUS Aoi clothing!

PLUSHIES!


There was this stall for the Fujifilm 'Instax' camera, which was such a cool little thing AND they had one in pink! If I didn't already have mine, I would've bought it. It was ironic I saw it, because my camera seemed to be effing up for the entire event. I was really peeved that getting good pics was so hard. But then, I'm not entirely sure I've been treating my camera that well. I have dropped it a couple of times. =/


Amazing japanese plants

Satsuki Azalea plant... flowering bonsai!


There was a place you could get shaved ice (kakigōri) but the line stretched for so long that I thought 'heeeell naw.' So I went to the Showbu Restaurant stall and got a shaved ice with mango topping - refreshing and simply mouth-watering, I'm telling you. I wanted another one, which is honestly not the greediest thing I've ever said.

I feel quite awful because at one point, I realised I was going through a little 'episode' that goes hand in hand with my depression. It's basically when I begin to over-think and worry about every little action I make, everything I say, and also what other people are thinking about me, and I draw inaccurate conclusions from what I think is happening, that normally spirals down into... well you get it. So I started to lose it towards the ends, behaving erratically and doing strange things that I'm not entirely sure why I did, and at one point I almost lost my temper for no apparent reason, and I felt so appalled by the whole thing that I went quiet for ages. I was afraid to even open my mouth in case I said something stupid, and I was afraid of Lizard becoming the unwitting victim to my madness. Thankfully we soon decided to leave anyway.

By that time it was reaching 4pm. Thankfully I'd been so preoccupied that I hadn't wanted to snack on junk like usual. I realised I'd grown hungry again as that one bowl of food had been my only fuel for the day, and I sure as heck wasn't going to go home and cook because I was exhausted. So I got another bowl of food at the same stall as before, a chicken gyoza donburi this time, and that was just as delicious as the first dish. Their rice was amazing. Although I'm not entirely sure they gave me chicken because it tasted like vegetable gyoza. I'd has gyozas before at wagamama's - expensive as heck but delicious.

Remember I mentioned that getting food early turned out to be a good call? By this time, the queues for almost every food stall was massive. I washed the donburi down with plum tea from the Showbu Restaurant stall - I drank it with a shock because I forgot that plum tea wasn't actually hot tea. Then with exasperation I remembered my sister and I had done exactly the same thing last year, and I'd forgotten and done it again. Still, it was just as delicious as I remembered.


The epic Nintendo platform with huge TV and lots of consoles to play game demos

The white Zelda t-shirt on the left happened to be the one I wore to the event! What a weird coincidence. I only wore it because I didn't want to wear my black one. So grim.

What I have been waiting for possibly all my life... tLoZ merch. YES.

Staggeringly expensive Ganon figurine and poster of Link :3

There was SO MUCH Legend Of Zelda focussed stuff. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled, albeit curious. I wondered, was it for the Hyrule warriors game or was it promoting something else?


Stuff To Do

Countless.
  • clothes, stationary, beauty and art stalls
  • drawing/art workshops for charity
  • Eat Japan demonstrations
  • watch the Sushi Awards
  • try the Sake Experience
  • big TV =] (Vocaloid thing)
  • live music on the small stage
  • I think some sort of cosplay/Lolita award?
  • play demos of games at the INCREDIBLY AWESOME NINTENDO PLATFORM!
  • get your photo taken with Siroi-A!
  • write your name in hiragana/katakana/kanji on a fan at Alpha Japanese school
  • get yourself drawn in manga style by an artist
  • BUY STUFF. LOTS OF STUFF.


Cute hats and bags!

Artbox



Stalls

Hyper Japan has decidedly become That Event, the one I'll look forward to every year. I'm always oohing and ahhing over what I discover there...
  • traditional japanese food! :P (plus plum tea, plum wine and shaved ice (kakigōri))
  • authentic sweets and snacks (dorayaki, pocky, etcetera)
  • geeky t-shirts
  • figurines
  • art prints
  • japanese plants! Believe it!
  • clothes from Aoi Clothing :3 (fell in LOVE with this stall)
  • lolita wigs and accessories
  • kawaii stationery (again! same stall I saw at LFCC!)

geeky t-shirt stall... couldn't remember what it was called...

Goodies

SO MUCH GOODIES! I think just the novelty of so many of the items there tempts you to buy so many little things that you may or may not need. Because of going away and having been to other events recently, my allowance was extremely limited compared to other events. Still, I managed to pick up a good few things and trust me, I would have bought a lot more.


The left is the onion-flavour fish crackers, and it is really, really tasty, believe me. Even I was startled at how fast I finished that bag after I tentatively tried the first one.

The sweets were lovely, really soft and not the 'gummy' sort of chewy sweets. I loved the blue, purple and pink ones because they were pretty (see below) but actually they had an unusual flavour. At least you can make as guess at what the green and yellow cubes are supposed to be!


The sweets, and the pretty pink packaging of the pocky...



I was at the Japan Centre stall again this year. I got milk (or was it vanilla?) flavoured pocky, a BIG pack of strawberry, and also the plum wine I'd been hoping to try all year. Last year, my sister bought some for herself, took it home and drank it without me. (e_e) I don't drink alcohol and in all honesty I'm not sure what the alcohol content is for plum wine. But I never drink it pure anyhow because it tastes great with lots of ice and a little grape juice. Plus, I'm guessing it'll be another year until I have any sort of alcohol or fake-ohol again. So, whatever dude.



Japan Centre gave me this fan for free, I'm guessing for shopping with them, and I'm so chuffed because of the five my Mum owns (my eldest sis bought her FOUR from Cyprus =/) and the one I got at Alpha Japanese school stall last year, this is by far the best quality fan that I've come across. Even my Mum was trying to pinch it. I had to stave her off with logic, ie. "you have FIVE!!"



Artbox stall. I couldn't resist, even though I certainly don't need another pen, however cute, and I already have the same oyster card holder in blue. I just wanted another one.

So I suppose, from here on out, I am not allowed to complain about money because I am an irresponsible spender.

But tell me, could YOU resist those sweet little kawaii smiles?



That leads me to my other guilty spend.

I can't remember what stall I got the notebook from, but the pen were from Something Kawaii and yes, they do have a website. If you remember I got the light pink of this pen at LFCC. I bought two more because... because. =/ They were £2 each, so when I think about having spent £6 on three pens, despite their cuteness, I must sit in a corner and wallow in shame.



The dorayaki I bought last year was DELICIOUS, but to my alarm I realised the one I bought was not chocolate but red bean paste... while eating it. I did my best, but eventually I couldn't eat any more.


I also got this face mitt from the b-gadgets stall, because... I can't remember why. I'm not even sure if I need it. But my skin is not the greatest so I'm sure I'll need it eventually.



Aftermath

F***ing, f***ing, broke. It was funny at first. Now it's depressing.

After deciding to and enjoy LFCC and HJ without worrying about money, I've decided it would also help if I didn't keep going to every single one. So I'm going to Fantasy In The Court, Grim Gathering, and I'm going to George R.R. and Robin Hobb - but then I'm going to HAVE to put my foot down. Which means 'no' to Loncon =(

My attitude last week was like - "I'm a little bit disgruntled but I'm sure I'll survive", now it's like, "I am so gutted, this life of mine does disappoint".

I can only shrug. After all, I'm a student. Students aren't meant to have fun. Preposterous.



Click to see ALL posts about Conventions!


Ashana Lian .

I love you, happycat.

2 comments:

  1. Haha, I was so poor after LFCC too and it was not funny at all. I had so many awesome things and I was happy... then I looked at my bank account.

    My sister went to this, she's obsessed with all things Japanese and keeps going on holiday there, but I haven't seen her since to ask if she enjoyed it. I absolutely love the look of it, it looks like a lot of fun and it seems you had a great time overall.

    Sorry you had a little 'episode', I'm like that too because of my social anxiety. It sucks but you can never control them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha it's so true! I usually look at the positive side - the fact that spending made me happy (heh) but it's a tough one this year because I attended so many events that I wouldn't usually go to. I'm going to have to SUPER-save for next year. It really is very fun, even for those who only have a mild interest. The ticket are affordable and there's lots of stuff you can do for free... er, but not eat, so you will DEF need money for food (lol). I hope your sister had fun! Who knows, maybe we walked past each other..?

      How awful I am getting back at these comments??! *sigh* So sorry. Thanks for commenting!

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