Sunday, March 30, 2008
During one of the weekends of Heather's visit was the Tokyo International Anime Fair or TAF for quick typing purposes. TAF is one of the largest anime trade fairs in the world and is held annually at Tokyo's infamous Big Site. Seeing as how we sort of met each other via anime, we took a day to go and check it out.

We headed out early to Tokyo Big Site, but didn't do it early enough. By the time we reached our destination, there was what turned out to be a 2-3 hour long line to get into the fair. While we were in line I was really worried about the fact that we didn't have tickets. Occasionally events have separate lines for people with tickets and people without so I ended up walking along the line to make sure we could get tickets. I thought I could take a quick peek, but even just walking along the line to the ticket booth, which wasn't even the end of the line, took me 30min round trip. Crazy! Luckily the line was excellent for people watching. Otaku are an interesting bunch. I was also surprised to see a lot of families in line at well.

After making it out of the horribly long line and battling many thoughts of just giving up and going to do something else, we finally made it! And, what's the first display we happen to run into right after entering? Death Note. I love the Death Note anime, manga, and movies so it was a real treat for me to get to check out the booth right off the bat. We continued to check out various booths and during this time I realized just how many animes are out there. I had no idea what most of what I was looking at even was. I guess I'm behind the times on my anime viewing. Still, even though I didn't know what a lot of it was, it was still fun to walk around and check out all the various models and figurines on display. I also watched several upcoming anime previews and have a few on my list that I want to check out. Most notably, Vampire Knight.

One of my favorite displays was the person sized gundam that was there. I swear I took like 50 pictures of the thing. I also really liked looking at all the model characters. I don't actually own any, but I like seeing all the outfits that different characters wear. I'm not overly fond of the skimpy skin and panties showing kind though.

One disappointing rule at TAF is the no cosplay rule. Pretty much all of the big game and anime related conventions in Japan allow for cosplay except this one. This was really disappointing to Heather, who wanted to try cosplaying in Japan. However, while attendees can't cosplay, various booths hire models to cosplay. So there was at least some cosplay to look at, just not very much of it. One nice surprise was that there were a few males cosplaying from the Vampire Knight series. Cosplayers are usually girls in rather skimpy outfits and its hard to get pictures of them sometimes as they are surrounded by a ton of guys with cameras. We ended up sort of stalking the poor boys though as we kept taking crappy pictures for some reason and would have to hunt them down to try again. Regardless, the best shot I got of them is still pretty crappy. In person, I swear, they were quite pretty.

Another disappointing thing about TAF is the lack of awesome swag. Swag is basically all the free stuff you can get at a convention. Its usually passed out by cosplaying models or given as a gift for watching a preview or filling out a survey. Yeah, there was swag, but it all seemed to be just papers and pamphlets advertising up and coming series and products. I saw very few CD demos and free merchandise being given away, which is weird as they seem to be given away in abundance other places. Tokyo Game show comes prominently to mind. Anyway, it was still a good day, though maybe not totally worth the wait in line. Next time I'll plan on coming either way early or later in the day once the line dies down. I leave you with some anti-piracy propaganda that I'm glad no one care about or else I wouldn’t be able to understand what the characters were saying in the animes I like to watch. Long live fansubbers!

Labels: , , ,

posted by am at 12:21 AM | Permalink |