Well, Kat and I have spent the last few days here in Paris going to our very first Japan Expo. And what an Expo to attend - it’s just their 15th anniversary! So maybe it’s like this every year, or maybe this year was a bit more celebratory but there was a definite feeling of good vibes and good times in the air. And we enjoyed every minute of it.
In this the first of our ‘dispatches from Japan Expo’, a series of blog posts written by myself and Kat (our very own crayon scribbler and product manager extraordinaire) detailing our time and adventures here at Expo, I’ll give you a quick overview of what we saw, what we experienced and what we loved about Expo. My feet are killing me, my legs hurt but I have a big smile on my face from all the stuff we were lucky enough to experience.
First and foremost, I think it behooves me to point out just how massive Japan Expo is in both actual size and popularity. Many of you will be fully aware of the popularity of the Expo and have heard tales of the size, as had I, but, not unlike seeing a whale in real life for the first time, you just can’t wrap your brain around JUST how big expo is. It’s absolutely mad - with well over 200K visitors passing through its doors.
It is massive - and doing a ‘quick reccy’ to see the lay of the land can take all day. There is so much to do, see and take part in that you have to just wonder at it all. The thing that struck me the most was the focus not only on anime, manga and modern Japanese pop culture, but the huge investment in showcasing Japanese traditions, culture, sport and music. Much more so than I’ve seen elsewhere.
With many expos, there is usually a focus on Japanese culture and traditions that extend beyond anime and manga - that goes without saying. What amazed me was the focus, the availability, the relatively large section dedicated to groups to showcase Japanese culture and the participation of visitors in all these aspects was really inspiring and pretty cool. Top points of interest:
The tea drinking ceremony demonstration, storytelling, calligraphy, drumming and various traditional Japanese martial arts. More details on what I saw go down along with photos in an upcoming post - there’s just so much to talk about!
That being said, there was plenty of modern pop culture to experience. The Kawaii Village was a sight to behold - I may or may not be frightened of cutsie creatures with massive eyes, but I feel like this is neither here nor there. We even sat through a karaoke competition put on by the folks at Moshi Moshi Nippon at said Kawaii Village. Top prize went to a rather glum looking girl, who cheered up rather quickly thanks to winning a trip to Japan. If she hadn’t, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want a trip to Japan to go to waste….
Hello Kitty was also roaming the halls at Japan Expo - it’s kinda weird and exciting to see that eternally happy, be-bowed kitty cat in real life. She was out celebrating 40 years of Hello Kitty - so if that’s your jam, make sure you celebrate. May I suggest a Hello Kitty-themed cake? I wonder where you can pick up one of those…
Japan Expo is 15!
In a wonderful twist of fate, my first outing to Japan Expo happened to coincide with their 15th birthday - which was nice. They had a lot going on but one thing that I especially enjoyed was the Japan Expo gallery - a space set up quite nicely to take visitors through the history of Japan Expo. It’s set up like a museum display with key moments in the history and timeline displayed and explained. As a visitor wanders through the various sections, picking up on fashion, cosplay and displays you get a real sense of the history of the event. My personal favourite section was the framed and mounted guest drawings from the Expos over the years. A great and rich collection of anime art as you’ll ever get. Beautifully set up and displayed with each drawing given it’s own space to be observed and appreciated.
One part I especially thought was a nice touch was a wall dedicated to drawings from visitors celebrating 15 years of Japan Expo. Our very own Kat Hall took to the board (with her own pens of course - she never leaves home without them) to leave our mark on Japan Expo 2014.
Well, that about wraps up this quick intro post giving you a brief insight into our weekend. Expect more information, more details and more tales in the coming days. We have ‘pure hunners of photies’ to share with you all. Kat just needs to sort them out first though. We’ll be using some for our posts but will include as many as we feasibly can to a public album for you to peruse at your leisure.
In conclusion, Japan Expo is a riot, well worth a visit, we have tons of photos and we hope you enjoy our posts.
Till next time, stay groovy.
Glasgow, UK May 24th, 2014 - Anime Limited is pleased to announce it's acquisition of the cool television series Blood Lad animated by Brains Base (Bacanno!, Durarara!!) and directed by Shigeyuki Miya (Supernatural: The Animation)!
Staz is one of the toughest vampires in the demon world. But unlike his ancestors, he finds being a vampire to be a serious pain and prefers to spend his time watching anime and playing video games instead. When a Japanese girl named Fuyumi wanders into his territory, Staz cannot hide his excitement at finally meeting a living human from his favorite culture. Unfortunately, Fuyumi dies after being swallowed by a monster, leaving her bare soul behind. Staz vows to Fuyumi that he will bring her back to life by any bloody means necessary.
Currently to be scheduled but expected in Collector's Edition packaging at a date dependent on materials.
Andrew Partridge, president of Anime Limited says: 'Blood Lad caught our eye as it's a perfect example of how a fighting anime should be! We're looking forward to seeing how fans react to the show too!"
Expect pre-orders to go live in in early Q3 across all good retailer.
Glasgow, UK May 22nd, 2014 - Anime Limited is pleased to announce it's acquisition of the cult sci-fi film Wings of Honneamise produced by Studio GAINAX (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Panty Stocking and Garterbelt) and directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga!
Set in a world eerily similar to our own, war between the Kingdom of Honneamise and its archrival, The Republic, seems inevitable. But even as the two nations' rapidly evolving technology creates new ways to wage greater and more deadly forms of warfare, a small group seeks to use those same advances to propel mankind forward into the future and into space in their world's first manned spaceflight program.
For astronaut candidate Shirotsugh Lhadatt, it's not just a journey beyond the reach of the atmosphere, but a personal odyssey as he grows from an aimless young man into a leader willing to put everything on the line in order to move the human race forward and away from the brink of Armageddon.
A cult classic piece of cinema, to be made available for the first time in the UK in High-Definition in November 2014 both in Collectors Edition and regular edition combi-packs.
Andrew Partridge, president of Anime Limited says: 'Wings of Honneamise is a film that every anime fan should see - it's really the start of Gainax. Before Gunbuster, Nadia, Evangelion or Gurren Lagann - the studio was pushing the envelope with Science Fiction! Honneamise is a personal favourite so I'm really excited to be able to give it the Anime Limited treatment this year."
Expect pre-orders to go live in June 2014 across all good retailer.
It's that time of the year again folks! I am talking convention season! We're kicking it off with MCM London from the 23rd of May until the 25th and we've got some good stuff going on this year. Without further ado, here's a rundown of what we'll be up to at MCM - make sure you stop by and say hello! We're Booth #873!
What are we up to:
Phew! Well, I think that's about it! We're really looking forward to next weekend and you can tell we're psyched by how much we've got going on. So make sure you take a detour by the Anime Limited Booth #873 to nab some awesome freebies, giveaways and some damn sweet deals! See you all there!
- Team Anime Limited