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Yatta! Tokyo Game Show was held by massive numbers of well known game developers.


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The biggest attraction of this year is "PlayStation Vita" by SONY.
They just announced it right before this event.
It will uses 3G technology through AT&T phone network (in the U.S.) and allows data sharing
and crossplay with PlayStaion 3 and has a new improved handheld console.

The event was held at Makuhari Messe.
 It's the second biggest convention center in Japan.


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What struck me at first is that a line that formed at the entrance was much shorter than one from last year.
It took only 20 min. for me to get in as it took more than 1 hour in last year.
As we enter the site, we notice a lot of empty spots.


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It seems like as social games become popular,
small and mid size traditional game developers and publishers have faded away.
As contrast, I saw big corporations expanded their booth size.

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For instance, one of the biggest social game developer, GREE・DeNA had a line of "Companion Girls"
making their huge booth even more noticeable. 


And SONY had a line of crowd. Unfortunately, they prohibited any photos,
so I can't show you in detail how Playstation Vita looks like,
but I can certainly say that it has a big improvement on screen and console
such as the format multitouch screen and the rear multitouch pad, motion sensors.

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PSVITA will  be available to in the U.S. on Feb. 22, 2012. It's so exciting!


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Other companies did not come up with a new hardware,
so they just announced new games.
One of them is well known in the U.S., Skyrim.
I took some pictures for you to how it looks to walk around these booths.


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Social games have not been presented in Tokyo Game Show until this year,
but it does not mean they did not exist.
They have been developed based on each individual cellular phone technologies,
different technologies, so quality of these games were not that great.
Recently we had a big hit of smart phones in Japan, iPhone as being the biggest hit,
and it changed the whole picture of the industry and improved the quality of these social games.
However, I personally feel that many of these developers are focusing too much on how to make money from these games.
As a result, new games often lack of uniqueness and depth.
I am not sure about games in the U.S., but as we discussed in previous posts,
the Otaku culture in Japan is probably the last resort of staying away from commercial spirits,
I just can not stop hiding my disappointment with seeing 'too commercial' games.


Well, but I don't want to leave with unhappy mood here, so please enjoy pictures that I found at Tokyo Game Show!

ComicMarket 80 (summer 2011)


3 days of excitement, Comic Market was held on August 12 to 14 at Tokyo Big Site.
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Official says 500,000 people attended the event, but some says they can't announce the actual numbers due to the fire code.
Unfortunately, very popular booth "Magical girl Lyrical Nanoha" was absent, but BBS Live threads and NicoVideoLive were reporting the momentum from the event Live.

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The first day is well know for Fujyoshi. The event venue was filled with girls, and pillow cases of"Tobaku Mokushiro Kaiji" were sold out instantly.
"Tennis no Ojisama/ Prince of Tennis, " and "One Piece" have been very solid, but I can tell the popularity of "Katekyo Hitman Reborn!" and "Hetalia Axis Powers" are growing rapidly by looking at vendors who sell secondary creations of these Manga.

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The second day is "TOHO" day. 40% of the booth are somehow related with TOHO project.
TOHO recently released "TOHO SHINREIPYOU," a shooting game, and extremely long line was formed in front of TOHO booths.
Also many new CDs and Cosplay ROM were released on the day.
 These include Electro and J-CORE. (not much Vocaloid.
They prefer to participate in Vocaloid events, such as VOCALOID FESTA and THE VOC@LOiD M@STER rather than Comic Market.) As for Cosplay ROM, they already have characters from "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica" and "TIGER & BUNNY."

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Last day is the busiest day in 3 days.
It's for guys, if you know what I am saying.
It includes Eroge/ Erotic or should I say adult Game.
The event will be filled with guys and the second creations of these genre.
Such a gap from the first day! Not only games but we also have Cosplay ROM in this genre. You've GOT TO BE HERE to experience this.

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A Rave party called "Re:animation" again had big success drawing a lot of Otaku in Shinjyuku, Tokyo.

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We covered the last event, but we just couldn't miss this exciting event once more.


After the earthquake, many event organizers had tough time drawing people to Otaku events, and many of them even went bankrupt.
However, because the last "Re:animation" was huge success, and people at the event acted so peacefully and use the area so cleanly, the city of Shinkyuku fully supported the event this time.

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As some of you might already know, this event was originally created by fans of Eureka Seven.
The event has grown to 1,400 participants event which is 1.5 times bigger than the last one.
Under the current situation of people in Japan, the growth is very surprising, and it gives very positive message for the industry.
Instead of admission, the event asks participants for donation, but thanks to all these supportive Otaku, the organizer was able to raise sufficient fund from their donation.
Under the hot and humid weather, Governor of Shinjyuku came and interacted with crowds., making the event so special.
it was so touching by watching all the generations having fun together through Anime culture!


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Luckily, the event organizer of "Re:animation" found our last report on our website, and offered us interviews and pictures this time, so we have better pictures and video clips from the event that you can enjoy.


 And I send to you Re:animation2 Ustream Archive!!


These days, late night Anime TV programs have tendency to become big hits in Japan. Something like, Eureka Seven, Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover) which became even more popular after releasing an actual film version, and Higashi no Eden (Eden of the east) which became a huge hit movie are good examples of these Anime from late night spots.

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And now, in the last year, GAINAX which produced Neon Genesis Evangelion made a big hit Anime called, "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" from late night spot. They took a lot of essence from American Comic and Hollywood movie, and it created new direction and sensation. We've put photos from Comic Market in last December, and you can identify some cosplayers from "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" below.

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Recently, GAINAX and Galaxxxy who handles merchandise of "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" collaborated an event in Shibuya, Tokyo. The event had tons of characters, illustrations and music by TCY Recordings. The space was filled with people, and it proved that "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" is still a huge hit.
They gave us special permission to take pictures of the event and an exhibition at Galaxxxy Shop. Enjoy!


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Hi to all!
In Japan, nuclear power plant problem is still big news. About a fourth of our land suffers from earthquakes and radioactive materials. This has been causing cancellation of scheduled Concerts and events in the region. Luckily, we were able to attend 'Hatsune Miku live party 2011-39's LIVE IN TOKYO' because it was held 2 days before the earthquake. The party was extremely animated, being broadcasted live by a web 'NicoNico Douga. I'll show you some pictures from the event!

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Toyota recently announced a TV commercial for the US market featuring Hatsune Miku, and her hit song 'World Is Mine.' The song is already well known in Japan, and the company, Crypton is currently working on the English version.


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Since Hatsune Miku was released in 2007 in Japan, her songs have been a unparalleled great series of hits in vocaloid pop genre. When event that was held last year, SEGA made a three dimensional holographic image of Miku above the stage, using many translucent screens. It rocked our socks!


This year, people made a long line around the venue to buy a brand-new 'Hatsune Miku- Project DIVA-' proprietary controller. When we entered in the venue, there were too many people moving around. We even saw a father with a small child on his shoulder and holding stepladder as they were preparing to see the concert.

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Forty songs including 'levan Pokka',which sparked a boom, and 'Hajimete no Koi ga Owaru toki' by Supercell were played at the concert. Bands played hit tunes one after another. The audience was packed in the venue and waved chemical lights. Time flew by so quickly. In July, her first overseas concert will be held in L.A. Tickets were sold out immediately. We believe you feel the same excitement there.
Hi, Sorry to keep you waiting! We are behind in updating our website, because of the earthquake in Japan. Three weeks already have passed since it had occurred. Our staff including editors and researchers are gradually coming back to work as normal.

The JpopOtaku office is located in the center of Tokyo, which is around three minutes by foot from the Imperial Palace. When the earthquake happened, I was in my office and getting ready to leave for the day. At first, the quake was weak but it became increasingly strong. As you may know, earthquakes are frequent in Japan, so earthquakes less than magnitude of 3 don't effect our lives much, trains stop 5 minutes at most. However, the shaking of this earthquake was the strongest that I've ever experienced before.

As I realized how serious the situation was, I heard about the sounds of objects crashing and falling repeatedly in the next room. I wanted to open the door to avoid being locked up but I couldn't even stand there. I managed to sit on the side of the bed away from the wall and after few minutes, at long last, the quake died away. Then I checked the gas and turned on TV. It was reported that the earthquake center was 300-500 kilometers away from Tokyo. Judging from near the center of the earthquake, as there was strong likelihood that Tokyo would be hit by tsunami, I decided to go to the roof. From the balcony, I saw many people left building but I couldn't find any buildings that were destroyed or had cracks on the wall. Also, cars were moving. I was afraid at first that there would be big aftershocks and trains would stop, but there weren't any obstacles to the streets in Tokyo except a traffic jam. I decided to go to my the other office and to my house by my bicycle. I emailed with my cell phone to my parents and my girlfriend. They replied promptly that they were all right. Before long, my phone had trouble getting through because of the congestion. There were masses of people who went home by foot as public transportation was shut down.

As it was impossible to determine whether my friends and colleagues were safe, I stayed at home for few days with my girlfriend gathering information. Then I finally learned about tsunami and the nuclear power plant incidents. Although gas, cell phone, and public transportation were shut down, water, electricity and the internet were working in my area, so I was able to acquire the details about situation at the epicenter of the earthquake on TV. At first, tsunami damage was headlined and accident of the nuclear power plant wasn't reported so much. Many people believe that if the electric power company and the government had handled the situation properly since the beginning, the problem wouldn't have become so severe as it is now, and Tokyo would have returned to normal more quickly.

However, as is known, one of the power plants near epicenter caused a severe problem. That triggered mass displacement of people who were scared by radioactivity from eastern to western part of Japan. Also planned electricity outages have started.

Tokyo Big Sight, which is the biggest convention hall, was damaged on the wall but has been used as a place for evacuees. Therefore, "Reitaisai", which is the biggest Toho only event in Japan, was cancelled. Most of concerts or events hereafter have not been rescheduled. In addition, some of companies already went bankrupt due to the destruction from the earthquake.

We wanted to report you for "Mikupa"; Hatsune Miku Live Party, but we couldn't do it. There is a strong possibility that big events won't be held for long time. I can't say anything except that future prospects are uncertain at this point in time.

As for radiation damage, the government's announcement is all we know. There have been rumors that nuclear power plants are in danger. Also many people are extremely concerned about our future in Japan. These two things may cause some economic stagnation.

Anyway, all staff in Tokyo are fine. Thank you for your support from around the world. I hope that it returns to normal, and send you new reports soon..

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The first Saturday of January a new year's party was held at 'Club Asia' in the Shibuya district in Tokyo.

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MEGAPEER is a huge club event that is a get-together for all stars in Doujin Music (By the way, Shibuya is one of the Tokyo districts with numerous clubs.)
There were various circle groups' booths in the venue including stars of Touhou Project, as well as new units that were released in Winter Comiket in 2010 or very popular circles from Hokkaido (the in northern part of Japan.) Doujin has distinctive characteristics in terms of proximity between visitors and artists, unlike commercial music. Headlining artists and visitors share a feeling of unity with their fans. You can check some photos to know how the event was.

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The music from top artists at MEGASTER will be available to purchase online soon. Please look forward!

GEKKO NIGHT - Re:animation

20110215_3.jpgYou may know one of Japanese animations "Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven". It had been broadcasted on TV for a year, and had also been broadcasted entitled "Eureka Seven" in the U.S. Five years have passed since this TV program already finished. I'll tell you a story about events that related in this animation.

No sooner had "Eureka Seven" started than it became a popular topic on the web and seized many fans' hearts. As you can see, words like "Blue Monday", "KLF", "SL-1200Mkll0" were used in titles or machines' names with the movie, and then in club music inspired by the movie. That's why it didn't take long for fans to decide to hold a music themed event related to Eureka Seven.

The first event was small and held by fans. However, it has become larger over years. An event held two years ago was a big party attended by over five hundred participants. Tomoki Kyoda, who is director for the movie, also joined the event as a DJ because it was considered officially the "last" event.

However, all fans who were there knew that another "last" event was planed because it was notified there. The event, an open air GEKKO NIGHT RAVE, was supposed to be held at the center place of Shinjuku district (like Times Square in New York.) Unfortunately, it got cut off just before since Tokyo is difficult to control. It seemed unlikely that it would be rescheduled.

However, a year and a half later, an organizer of GEKKO NIGHT was asked about holding an event in Shinjuku shopping district. Although there wasn't enough time to prepare, the DJs who were supposed to run GEKKO NIGHT took charge and organized an open air daytime rave. It wasn't GEKKO NIGHT but "Re:animation". Around a thousand people enjoyed the event on that day. It was a big festival of anime and club music. I already posted an upstream in a facebook & twitter account about the event. The view of upstream drew over 2,200 views, which was NO.1 in real time.

Surprisingly, after the event the place didn't need to be cleaned out because there was no trash at all. What exemplary behavior! You can check out videos and pictures on the official website. I also took pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

I wish I could experience fan events like this in other countries!

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Happy Winter Comiket!

Happy (slightly belated) New Year! By the way, what's more winter than Comiket? That's where we went!


Over 20,000 booths were set up in the venue as has happened in the past. Some of the most popular booths were for Magic Girl Lyrical NANOHA (which was recently made into a movie) and Bushiroad. The Magical Girl Lyrical NANOHA booth had a huge line every time by fan standing all night to get the products. The Bushiroad booth had a promotional display with a stylish airship or bicycle. Not far behind are Eastern project booths. They had a long queue of hundreds of meters without a moment's respite until closing time.

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From the first day, the event was overflowing with enthusiastic visitors. The excitement continued building until third because many boys came to find games or photo collections, including dating and hentai games, photo collections of cosplay models, and pornography.

In contrast, you could see many performers in the cosplay section such as standard anime characters, sports athletes who achieved popularity in the year, and historical figures. One of the most popular cosplayers was performing the governor of Tokyo with upholding a paper expressing his regret because he moved ahead on ordinance that controls animation or manga.

Because of the Tokyo ordinance, reporters faced a serious challenge in filming, photographing or covering the event. Nevertheless, I did the best I could and took some pictures to share the atmosphere of the day.

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Next summer, I intend to attend Comiket as both a cosplayer and a photographer, so that I can take photographs without the restrictions facing general press.

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The next big event is Wonder Festival in February! I will make a new costume by then! 


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The biggest Vocaloid ONLY event, called 'The VOC@LOID M@STER14' was held on November 14th in Tokyo, at an exhibition center called Sunshine City in the Ikebukuro district. Doujin events called 'ONLY' are focused on a single category of items for exhibition or sale. I went straight there!

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The venue was crammed with around 500 booths vocaloid content developers. In addition, over a thousand people were waiting to enter in from early in the morning to buy what they really wanted. Sought-after items were sold out as quickly. A limited supply of 5000 catalogs priced at $10 each (combined with admission fee) were sold out in advance. The catalogs were in such high demand that were sold for as high as $150 on Yahoo auctions! Unfortunately, if you didn't purchase a catalog first, you had to wait until after people who had the catalog were allowed to enter.

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Once the door opened, the venue became like a crowded train. Soon there were long lines in front of booths run by vocaloid music producers, which were marked by the letter 'P'. There were also booths run famous painters, as well as by companies like Yamaha that make vocaloid software and hardware. (Sales clerks were beautiful cosplayers!) Many vocaloid music groups introduced their original CDs, photo collections and artworks. These group members also appeared in cosplay.


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Here is the crowd shot from the event that I managed to take. Have fun!

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