Filed under: Event | Tags: afa09, concert, diamond crevasse, fukuyama, ichirou mizuki, may'n, shaw towers, shoko-tan, suntec, totsugeki love heart, ucc eva
From the previous 2 short posts I’ve made, you can probably get a general idea of AFA09. The concert rocks, event presence got buffed, and there’re indeed more interests than AFA08. Strangely enough, there wasn’t much that I bought, apart from the little temptation to buy the Macross Frontier Valkyrie Superpack, but heck I suppose it’s available at Hobby Art Gallery anyway. My dead wallet aside, I reckon future AFAs would do better if they sport more exclusive event-only merchandise and collectibles…
This year’s AFA was more organised, in terms of the floor space more well-utilised, and booths layouts were well thought out. However, the largest exhibit presence this time were Bandai, GSC and fanarts’; there were hardly anything else noticeable. Mentioned in the beginning, somehow I’ve shown little interest in the trade booths orz. There was also the Weib Schwarz tournament going on throughout the event, and queues in and out of the Moe Moe Kyun Cafe (I heard prices were murderous). The concert/event stage was separated from the main exhibition area, which serves as better crowd control. Last year’s concert/event stage was open and all together joined with the main exhibition areas.
Admittedly, on the first day, I didn’t watch any of the stage events, as I was browsing through the exhibits and booths at my own pace, scouting for potential buys, randomly passing by and looking at cosplays, etc. (I did a spit/choke/gag take when I saw the yuyuko cosplay) And since I was quite late, I totally missed all the Danny Choo interviews/happenings throughout Day 1. By the time the concert queues are up, I’m already feeling half dead, with my ass aching from the left cheek to the right. I relinquished bringing cameras and stuff, and traveled as light as I could; I don’t wanna hold on to kilogrammes of dead weight during the concert. Also, being able to dump my bag in the car is a definite plus for me ^^; (I drove to Shaw Towers to park the car; Suntec’s parking fees are nuts.)
On Day 2, I managed to check out the K-ON! stage event, and despite being a little disappointed with the Yoko Hisaka’s absence, I enjoyed the live dubbing scenes nevertheless ^^; This time round, I didn’t bother with the exhibits as much, just went straight up to buy a few cans of the UCC coffee, and walked around randomly to look at the hustle and bustle. There were hordes more cosplayers, hordes more people, and definitely an immeasurable electrical tension as AFA-goers wait for the highly-anticipated anisong legend Fukuyama and young pop talent May’n’s concert to start.
That’s what the organisers came up with after the concert queue got massively out-of-hand on the first day. By massive I mean the queue stretches from entrance of the 403 concert hall to the inside of the 404 event hall (exactly ending where I have no idea, because I was about 1-200-ish from the front).
The first concert, after chunks of delays, started with a bang. Shoko-tan led it off with her rendition of Cruel Angel’s Thesis, and followed by other songs (I only recognised the Gurren Lagaan songs and Snow Tears). Her passion for blogging is undisputed, when she requested fans to pose for a photo for her blog. ^^
I was not particularly enthusiastic about the Miku performance, since I had no idea what’s so fun for thousands of concert-goers to look at a virtual idol with a synthesized voice sing. Especially when she reminds me of the chipmunks.
Needless to say, Ichirou Mizuki followed up the awkward slot with his stage grandeur, and shortly into his first song, most of us are up screaming again. However, likewise with the past year’s AFA, there will always be people who doesn’t like a singer or two. I happen to overhear how “much better Miku is” and how much “longer her performance should have been”, and how “crap Ichirou Mizuki’s songs are”. No, I do not know this guy, he just happened to be nearby and I happened to have overheard. Ironically, he’s sporting the “I <3 Anisong” shirt. In case you don’t get the irony, here’s the thing: I doubt Miku’s songs would be appropriately themed anime songs, (more of game songs) whereas Ichirou Mizuki’s the real anisong deal. Of course, with this stereotype complements another, by this lady who was extremely enthusiastic during Aniki’s concert (I doubt most of us would be otherwise) and used a couple of the UCC Eva coffee cans to ‘clap’ to the tunes of the songs ^^;
The second concert started off more smoothly, with the entrance opening on time. This time round I was among the first 30-ish (started queueing from 4:30, that’s the difference between having 20 dollars and 200 dollars). Finally turn for Fukuyama’s performance, and boy were the fans overwhelmed. He screamed, he sang, he rocked, he brought the AFA crowd to its highest. It was friggin’ awesome when he started on Totsugeki Love Heart. I was weeping manly tears of joy. Due to my lack of flair of writing really well, I think one would need to be there to know what I mean. The manly, electricfying experience ^^;
May’n 2nd overseas performance, having performed at AFA08 previously, started with Pink Monsoon, then followed by some songs from her new album. Being new songs and mostly non-literate in Japanese, it was indeed rather hard for the crowd to get into the songs. But things changed the moment May’n started on the Macross Frontier songs ^^; This time round the sound system seems to be still screwed, as the way May’n voice is pumping out is… lousy. I could hardly hear much of her natural singing voice.
Naturally, after May’n’s solo makes for the Fukuyama X May’n duet everyone is waiting for. Started off with Diamond Crevasse (still weeping manly tears of joy) and ended off with Dynamite Explosion. A little pity they didn’t do the Totsugeki Love Heart duet, but hell, that 10 minutes of magic were the most epic throughout AFA09.
Also, my friend (who doesn’t know any Japanese, doesn’t really watch anime, was there due to ‘peer pressure’) mistook May’n’s “MOTTEKE!” as “MOVE THE CAKE!”. Hilarity ensues.
p.s. Not sure what I missed out on AFA09, but I’ll update them when I do remember. A weekend of manliness and now I’m burning with a fever. Head’s throbbing and dizzy-ish. Meh.
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