Meanwhile, back at the culture zone, there’s a sweet music+drawing gig going on. They’re got some dudes mixing up their tunes, while artists work on some artwork in SAI (a Japanese photoshop-alike tool). The setup is interesting, there’s some sort of VJ’ing going on, with a mixed and corrupted form of the artist’s workscreen being projected over the DJ.
Caption: I think this dude’s badge says Platina (ぷらちな) but it’s not anything I recognise.
It’s held in the Kaiyodo WonFes cafe, in the basement of the Culture Zone. It’s not a bad space, though I’m not sure how it’s usually used. There’s a bunch of food-service counters on the right, and a seating area to the left. The open floor area is used for the crowd standing around bobbing to the music and watching the artist draw. A little shop in the far right corner rounds out the space.
It’s a real shame this thing is on on the day we depart, there’s a killer lineup of artists and DJs scheduled for later on. About the same time that we’ll be on the NEX to Narita International, redjuice will pick up the pen and Hachiouji will be laying down the beats. Would’ve been god-tier, FFFFFUUU–!
Caption: The piece being worked on. To make it interesting, the artists appear to be tag-teaming so everyone adds a bit to the final work. The hem stripes on the skirt were just added, and he’s been playing with the hair a bit.
It’s a Wacom-sponsored gig so their gear is being showcased, with the artist wielding a huge, sexy Cintiq tablet. I think they’ve just refreshed their product lines, so the new Intuos 5 is also on display.
Caption: I know I said the Intuos 5 was The New Thing, but this thing just oozes sex. It’s the Cintiq 24HD, a tablet and display in a unified device, so you draw directly on the screen. I can’t draw anything worth a damn (like moe girls) and I almost never write. I sat down, picked up the pen, and the feel of using the pen on the screen made me want to write. So I wrote whatever words popped into my head, and my god it felt beautiful.
I played with their tablets a bit, and had a go at the Intuos just to see what sort of experience I can actually afford to own. The wholesale mapping of the tablet-area to the screen-area has always irked me a bit, probably because of the mismatch in sizes. The Cintiq of course dodges that, but it’s not practical for me to own one.
My recent macbook acquisition has made me appreciate the value of a trackpad. Not as a pointing device, but as a communicative gesture device. Scrolling through documents with swipes is wonderfully natural, and adds the ability to scroll sideways, which is something that very few computer mouses can do (it’s usually gimmicky). Apple sells a dedicated trackpad device, but I think a tablet would be an even better step. The Wacoms have a touch ring that’s usually used for selection and brush-scaling, but I reckon it’d make a great volume control, or zoom ring, or timeline scrubber, etc.
The room with the Wacom demo tablets also had a bunch of cabinets around the walls, full of figures. A good number of miitary ones here, but I’m really just interested in the pretty girls. This is a funny venue, there are actually signs saying it’s okay to take photos - the usual rule is that it’s not. There’s no signs in this room specifically, but I don’t think anyone’s going to stop me, so I started shooting.
Caption: Super Sonico, at home in a nosebleed-inducing outfit.
Caption: Mistral Nereis from Shining Hearts, a Tony character design and fairly recent figure from late last year.
Caption: Violet, also from Dendrobium. The book came out a few years ago, but Violet and Azalée are new figures.
Caption: Danbo, Amazon’s mascot character. He’s keeping an eye on things.
We had to go get our bags from the hotel and haul them to Tokyo at this point. Somewhat displeased with the number of yens I had left unspent, having made three substantial ATM withdrawals in recent days, I arranged to race off to Cospa for what must’ve been my fourth visit today (in between other things that I’ve neglected to mention). Cospa have a couple of outlets in Akiba, under various names and affiliations.
Caption: Akiba pedestrian heaven! Pity there was no time to cosplay today, it would’ve been good fun.
Good fun except that it’s a bastard to get along the street in a hurry when it’s full of people. I made it to the other Cospa store and found possibly the best acquisition of the whole trip: an Onegai Teacher hoodie with Ichigo on the back. Not just any Ichigo, mind you.
Caption: “Unless you shut up, I’ll do SOMETHING AMAZING”
6000 yen? Fukken done. She’s going to keep me so warm. Senpai, please do something amazing to me! >_<
It turns out the north Cospa store is tied to Cospatio, a sort of one-stop shop for cosplay stuff. There’s a lot of costumes for sale, but they also have a massive collection of wigs and accessories, as well as necessities such as makeup, hairclips and nets, kneesocks, padding and binding shirts. It really is like heaven, I just wish I lived here so I could buy stuff when I need it, and in-person (wigs in particular are always hard to pick without seeing them in-person).
It’d be easy to spend hours here, but I can’t, so I grabbed an eyebrow pencil and a few pairs of their thighhigh socks. The socks come in long, super-long, and ultra-long, in a variety of colours. I wish I could take a photo, but they have this little matrix next to the socks demonstrating the rise of each length of sock, on girls 150/160/170cm tall, with a skirt of roughly constant length (actually it demonstrates the strength of the resulting zettai ryouiki). It’s so obvious and practical yet noone else has such a chart!
It’s funny, but as we drag our arses off to Narita I think to myself that I’m kind of glad to be heading home. Trej notes that it doesn’t make any sense: there’s no shopping to do, we won’t be in Akiba, and the trains will be shithouse - why wouldn’t we want to stay here? I’m confused.
I probably just want to share it with everyone, it’s been a huge rush for the entire time. Besides, I’ve got 10kg of stuff winging its way towards Australia, gotta head home if I want to get my hands on it.
Caption: Cairns is so humid that we get clouds inside the plane. That’s my explanation and I’m sticking to it.
Further reports on acquisitions will come, but for now I need to recover. I literally fell asleep on the plane while one of the flight attendants was talking to me, that was probably the easiest flight I’ve ever had.