January 15, 2014

Marble Wonlerland Arrives in Manila

Are you "Kawaii"? Do you want to explore the world of kawaii culture and fashion? Get a chance to enjoy all of these on the 17th of January as Marble Wonderland is coming to the Philippines at Movie Stars Cafe, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Originally  a concept that was adopted from the "Cool Japan Project" which aims to spread the "KAWAII" (cute) culture to southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, Marble Wonderland will have their own fashion show as well as live cosplay shows of Japanese Anime.The project was sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI). Items exhibited on the fashion show will be made available locally through Halo Halo Mall under the online shop name "Asia KAWAII Way" beginning January 17.

Other highlights include the launching of a new Filipino idol group, "Alodia's Sisters".  There will also be a competition for those aspiring "kawaii" ladies in which the winner will win 50,000php and will be working alongside Alodia Gosiengfiao as a new member for the said group. Two runner-ups will get 10,000php and an assortment of Alodia goods.

Finally are dance performances from Kamen Liar 217 and Miumi. They are currently members of a Japanese dance group, "Guilty Hearts". Their excellent dancing skills and charismatic charm made them popular through a popular video-sharing site in Japan: Nico Nico Douga. Both of their videos have reached more than 1 million views.

The event will also serve as a disaster relief fundraising in cooperation with the Girl Meets Girl project. The amount of proceeds will be donated to aid Typhoon Yolanda victims. 

For more information please check the official Movie Star Cafe event page for more details. 

November 3, 2013

Makati After Dark FLOP : What really happened?

          Makati After Dark was supposed to be a night of fun and enjoyment for all of its participants. It looks like it turned to be another of those "good looks, no results" events when most of the participants were ripped off by the organizers not delivering to their promises. Local media stations managed to spoon feed the public with their own version of the story by saying it was a success. In reality, everyone got their own smirks when it turned to be A BIG FLOP.

           At first it was not really of my concern to speak up to this issue but having to know the people and organizations who got ripped off I decided to speak up and share my thoughts about the situation. The first part of this was the morning events in which got delayed due lack of preparations. The afternoon proceeded as planned thanks to the undying prevalence of the staff of GTMACCON Interactive. It was an event on its own and never needed to act as a "filler" for the main event. 

              But guess what happened? Bands starting to back out the last minute and the organizers for the main event where nearly nowhere to be found. Did they intentionally hid themselves from all the shame and humiliation that they are going to face or it's part of a scam to find and a scapegoat after they stole most of the people's money away? I can't event answer it myself but this was not the first time that this happened in a long while.

             Remembering the original "Outbreak Manila", there were instances that the volunteers were not given the proper treatment. Many of us just stayed because we have our own personal stakes to accomplish. At least I give them a pat in the back for personally saying their failures to us. That's makes it even for all who were involved. For the organizers of this event however, I do not understand why do they need to create such if they don't have the confidence to put their goals into fruition as if they were just "expendables".

                The worst part? Everyone want to blame the sideliners for the faults of the main event themselves. I do understand that they do have the right to defend themselves. I do respect them for taking up the risk and volunteer themselves but with that risk is that sense of responsibility. You can't fight negative feedback with ignorance. It would be happy for myself and the others if you said "we don't have an idea" rather than just saying "we enjoyed it even though it didn't go as planned".

               So who it is to blame? The organizers who flopped the main event? The sideliners who volunteer their services to be bashed unconditionally because they were doing their parts? Maybe the real problem here is not everyone opening up their thoughts about what happened. I can name a dozen events in the past that acted like this but we must think and analyze it carefully so nobody will never have to get ROBBED and BURNED at the same time. 
               "It's a USED-OR-BE-USED ECONOMY out there". A businessman/events organizer told to me once. Maybe it's true but at least were fixing it slowly and not hiding from the reality of the situation.

September 14, 2013

Best Of Anime 2013 Press Conference

     It was quite interesting and fun at the same time as members of the media were invited on a special press conference for this years Best Of Anime (BOA) 2013 last September 13 at one of the meeting rooms of SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. It's a great opportunity to ask their international guests and to mingle with them on a more personal level.

Joe Inoue (blue-center), STARMARIE, and the president of
PrimeTrade Asia taking a group picture after the conference

     Members of the media were required to be there at 3:30PM. The press conference started thirty minutes after starting out by introducing their international guests one by one. Firstly, Thailand's cosplayers represented by one of their top cross-dressers (cosplaying characters of opposing gender), Karael as well as their World Cosplay Summit (WCS) 2011 representatives, partners Yuki Godbless and Jiaki Darkness.

Jiaki Darkness (left) and Yuki Godbless (right) answering
a question about "discontented cosplays"
     For the representatives of the Japanese community, the Japan Foundation sent Japanese-American rock musician Joe Inoue and Gothic Lolita pop group STARMARIE. Joe rose to fame when his song "CLOSER" was chosen to be the fourth opening track for "Naruto: Shippuden". STARMARIE, composed of Takamori Shino, Kishita Nozomi, and Aoki Shiori , is famous in Japan for their intense but upbeat dance tune lyrics.

Crossplayer Karael (left) listens while Joe Inoue (right)
answers a question on how to learn Japanese using manga.

    Unfortunately, cosplay sisters Alodia & Ashley Gosiengfiao were not to be seen. Their absence was easily overshadowed by the cocky and funny answers of Joe Inoue. STARMARIE was in their colorful and cute outfits. Karael was mistook by one of the members of the press as a female (Karael is a guy). Yuki and Jiaki were completely honest when they answer the questions of the press about their cosplay even though English wan't their second tongue.

STARMAIRE members Takamori Shino (left), Kishita Nozomi (center),
and Aoki Shiori (right)
introducing themselves at the start of the onference
     The best part? Everybody was stuffed when they gave out free snacks and gift packs courtesy of the Japan Foundation, Primetrade Asia, Friendster PH, Wheatgrass C.A.N, and Mt. Fuji Rice. 

Goodies. We all love goodies I suppose :D
So get ready for a jam-packed BOA. We are sure hoping for the best. 

March 31, 2013

First Quarter Overview (2013)

There are tons of great happenings to start off the year for all of you Otaku fanatics. From the simple and phenomenal to the complex and controversial, the months from January to March were a definite standoff compared to last year. 
Official Logo for World Cosplay Summit Philippines
Let's start the year with events like "The Cosplay Market" from CNPH (Cosplay Network Philippines) allowing ordinary people to buy Otaku-related items and have their chance to try and step into the world of Otaku culture. CNPH was not being active for these past months because they are currently having preparations for this year's "Fantasy Quest 3" which will be held this coming August.

While they are brewing something big, the guys over at the University of the Philippines AME (Anime - Manga Enthusiasts) went around with their annual event titled "UPAME (1UP)" at the World Trade Center. The long lines didn't stop them from making their event a success despite improvements must be made for them to be better for their next convention.

Official Logo of PINOYKON. A convention
mostly emphasizes on Filipino Komiks and sculptures
We don't ever forget about the Philippine Komiks scene and their own "PinoyKon" did not disappoint us. It was interesting being able to be part in a convention for Filipino comic artists and lovers. Not only you can get in touch with the people behind the scene but they were a nice bunch of people working together to make sure that it lives on.

For the gamers out there, the recently concluded Cherry Convention was the place to be. The never ending supply of Slurpee and free games for everyone kept the crowd happy. Add the appearance of Addison Kang, GM Adriano, and gaming lovers Nathan (AikawaKazu) and Lizbeth and fans were delighted to see how Cherry Credits entertained the fans.
Alodia Gosiengfiao (Center) with Dragon Nest Game Master (GM)
Adriano and Producer Addison Kang. Photo Credit : AnimePH
Speaking of Cosplay, Alodia's birthday bash during the event was more of a game changer for her and for all of us. That was a perfect place to celebrate her as a person and not as a "semi-religion" figure that most of her fans usually perceive. Alodia also performed one of her singles from her j-pop group, the Super Dolls. One week after her performance, they released the official music video entitled "Asia no Henshin" (Asian Transformation) while announcing the released dates for both Japan and the Philippines.

Cosplay.PH's Cosplay Ranking System (CRS)
If you think her performance was the end of it well think again. A lot of Cosplay breakthroughs were established. Local Cosplay company, Cosplay.ph stared to implement the Cosplay Ranking System (CRS) in order to promote responsible Cosplay and to promote healthy competition into Cosplay competitions. It had mixed reviews and comments throughout the community after they trademarked the term "Cosplay" into the country without any formal announcement.

For the final surprise, local Cosplay event organizer Anime Alliance managed to get accreditation from the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) Council. For now the country is currently under "Observer" status meaning we are not currently competing but are in constant evaluation for a possible official spot in next year's WCS.

What could be the next big thing by the end of the second quarter? Well we could only hope for the best. Some of the biggest events are coming in to bring you the best Cosplay and Otaku conventions. Ozine Fest, Pinoy Otaku Festival, and ToyCon are some to name a few. Will the WCS preliminaries be held within these next months?

We hope for the best and let's make sure we send to them that we can be world class. It's about damn time! 

March 30, 2013

When You Take A Stand (What Otaku Communities Must Do)

Cosplay organizations show their support for the community but do
they really help or they are creating more confusion rather than appreciation?
Back in the early years (the 2010-before years) when Cosplay was just a social hobby rather than a status symbol there are people that were making a point in the community. These guys make sure that everything runs in perfect harmony making sure that there was a balance between enjoyment of the public and the hobbyists to the crafts ethics and standards. Communities must understand that certain steps must be made and points have to be understood in order for them to become a respectable and dignified organization especially when it talks about the Cosplay and Otaku scene. Should we just care about spraying mists of glamour and brainwashing our supporters full of inconvenient half-truths in order for us to be accepted?

Well let's make a realization by looking ourselves and what we had contributed. People love to judge others by what they look on the outside rather than looking on their accomplishments. That is the case with these so-called "it groups".  A group must have its own goals and plans. What do you want to show your reader? Is it to convey a message or to show the truth? Do you want to spread your hate to others or do you want to instruct them to be better with their craft while inspiring them to be responsible people? Some of you might be asking right now the same question when it comes to these groups. I have to admit that you seldom to see Cosplay organizations that act responsibly or professionally for the sake of earning fame and fortune. They tend to hitchhike on the current status of the community and by doing so they slowly devalue themselves and at the same time the whole community as a whole. A key ingredient in any successful organization is having their own ideas, intentions, and philosophies when it comes to the topic that they want to focus on. You can't basically do everything and handle everyone as if they were robots.

Another thing that they lack most is ethics. People work better in any situation if you manage them right. What you can do? Be on time. Learn to appreciate your clients (or friends if it's a meeting) for giving their valuable time. Always be polite to the other party even though your opinions don't match. There's no such thing as groups having the same ideas. Better ideas are being created when people think differently. Keep your deadlines on time and keep your promises to your friends and clients.

As for the Otaku community I always notice groups that are so very proud of themselves although they haven't achieved anything substantial to begin with. It's pride without basis. Arrogance can easily be made but do they have the right to just boast it loud that they seemed to make a change in the world? I think the ones that have made change are the ones who stay on the sidelines. The ones that are simply happy for it and confidently explaining them to others while they simply smile as they see the fruits of their own labor.

I know for sure that at this time when Cosplay is starting to be world class in the Philippines we must appreciate the value of these people. With the WCS (World Cosplay Summit) Council given us the accreditation let's do our part and make sure that we deserve it. If we don't, observers that are watching around might stop us again from reaching the "world-class" spot that we are dying to earn. For those reading this article they do exist. Be ready for them. -Chard