Ayacon Apocalypse 2013 (and London Expo plans)

So, finally doing a write up on the last ever Ayacon (for those that don’t know it is a Japanese culture/anime/cosplay convention).

Prelude:
The Thursday before the con was pretty much making sure everything was indeed completed. Shazz came up to travel to the con with us, and we watched many a silly thing. Listened to some Rammstein as far as I remember too haha. It was an enjoyable travel to Coventry, as the con crack had already started, and we were singing Attack on Titan theme tune really badly to each other. As we were staying at different hotels, us and Shazz parted ways for the time being. The hotel we stayed in was the De Vere Village, the room was the upper suite, and the bed was fantastic. We had free Sky tv and HD movies and Starbucks drinks in the room. It worked out cheaper staying here than on the campus the convention was held at, so all in all a bargain really. We had a walk to the Warwick Arts Centre (though someone told us to go a really long way round) and met up with Shazz again, and had one drink…bloody bar was closing. The Costcutter there I must say is fantastic for food from all different countries. We ended up with loads of Italian snack food.

Day 1:
Today was Weiss Kreuz day! First things first, though, breakfast. The room we had gave us a free breakfast every morning, and coffee and tea, not bad stuff. So, we got made up, and hit the con. We had Kat joining us in this group, and met up with a few familiar faces. It was quite chilled out, but then towards the end of the night I threw up and we went home. Whoops lol.

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Day 2:
This was the DOGS: Bullets and Carnage day. I think this was the most fun costume to wear in some ways. We skipped breakfast this day and got ready, and head on out. Immediately as we got out of the taxi though, the person whom we know who was cosplaying the “bad guy” from the series was walking towards us, completely unplanned…but a perfect meeting really. (You can find him here). We mooched round the dealers room, and we ended up acquiring this gem:

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We changed into the evening gear and I took a shit load of crap selfies haha. Ended up back at the bar, with our crew. We wanted to go to the J-rock party, but it was scheduled for 1am, and it seemed really late to wait for especially cause we didn’t know if it would be good or not. We ended up briefly at the K-pop party, but the DJ then changed to J-idol music and everyone fucked off. We just went home after.

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Day 3:
Vassalord and Gorillaz was the main aim for today.  Vassalord was so fun, and a couple of people recognised it. Charlie and Shazz ended up with Balamb Garden T-shirts from here (Really cool stuff! Check em out!). We were introduced to a free purikura machine and played around in that for a bit. Then toddled off home to change into Gorillaz. Unfortunately there was some bug going round at this con, a lot of our friends got ill. Charlie got hit with it on the Sunday so we went back to the hotel and he got some rest. A lot of people missed the final party due to this, but hey there will always be another con!

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After getting home I think even though I didn’t need to, I felt a bit low that it went so fast. We are hoping to re-wear some of the costumes for some pics, I have a cosplay shoot for a couple of them in September.

LONDON EXPO is next in October. I am highly excited for this, and we have groups which is exciting.

Final Fantasy 8/Attack on Titan/DOGS
c-schneider will be Squall/Jean/Haine
Shazz will be Zell/Eren/Naoto
Ballet Shoes will be Quistis/Armin
Georgi will be Sephie/Mikasa
Myself Irvine/Levi/Badou

Photos for this blog were all taken/edited by either myself, c-schneider or paper-plate

DVD Review – Chernobyl Diaries (And bits of other stuff)

I honestly have heard mixed reviews on this one, but wanted to watch it anyway to see what was going on. I picked it up cheap from Blockbuster (cause our local one is closing down sadly…well kinda sadly, cause there is a lot of reduced stuff in there) and me and Charlie watched it the other night.

Chernobyl Diaries (2012 dir: Bradley Parker)
Genre; Horror.
Age; 15

Plot:

So, basically tourists get lost because they go somewhere they probably shouldn’t and they get into trouble.

The Film (Spoilers):

Oh jeeeeeeeeeez with many e’s. It was pretty much a bog standard American style horror. The characters in it (I can ONLY remember Chris, as we were making Resident Evil jokes about his name being called) were so bland and formulated it could of been any film. (I only liked the minor characters and you KNEW they were gonna kick the bucket). I feel it was really obvious what was going to happen, and I don’t think either one of us “jumped” at it. The end..also, was so..obvious. It really did lend heavily to horror game related things, and I was told it was very similar to the Silent Hill film in some ways.

THE CG WHAT? That’s all I am going to say. I don’t think I have ever seen…a less realistic bear in a film. It was something like this? (Which is all well and good, but in a high budget film and all). The smoke too! What was that? When he kicks the fire away.

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I can’t slag it off too much though. Some of the scenery was gorgeous, and the interior bits looked fantastic.  The music, also, that was really really good. Diego Stocco I think I’ve gotta say, this was the best thing about the film. I admit, I liked the Marilyn Manson song at the end too (whom I recently realised I have been into for 14 years erk).

This Release:

It’s an ex-rental copy, so I don’t think it is blessed with such things.

Special Features:

N/A

Summary:

2/5 – It was poor. The idea itself was amazing. But the execution was awful. I may give it another watch, on maybe a “lets watch crap films” night, but I can’t say I was wowed.

And in other news, hitting Memorabilia this weekend and cosplay Gorillaz-ing it up. Expect images I guess! (Maybe on the blog, maybe here). And and and and and looking forward to many travels this year, all will be written about in due course. I am so excited.

DVD Review – Wicked City & Demon City Shinjuku

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Wicked City (1987 dir: Kawajiri Yoshiaki)
Genre; Anime, Supernatural Thriller.
Age; 18

Just re-watched this after many years. I hold this dear to my heart in my anime life as it was one of the first I watched and totally blew me away as a kid. I used to have it on VHS a good while ago, but no longer have a player for that. It took me a while to find it on DVD, and I managed to pick up the Korean version on eBay.

Plot:

The film plot is pretty much two secret agents who protect this old (important) pervert against demons fall in love and beat the bad guy. IMDB’s bio is probably a bit more indepth than mine; here.

The Film (Spoilers):

Seriously, it has some beautiful scenes. Two of which stand out in my mind and have done since I first watched this.  When Makie breaks the wall of the demon dimention. And when she is impregnanted and beats the bad guy. Jesus they will always stick in my mind. It does suffer a little from 80s anime style, but personally I much prefer eyes and faces drawn in this style than the newer style. It suffers slighly from 80s fashion in parts too. It’s probably not the BEST thing in the world, but it is to my tastes.

This Release:

This is the Korean version of the DVD, region free. It offers the Japanese original version and dubbed version, which is nice, as from my memories as a kid this film didn’t have the worst dubbing in the world. Also offers English and Korean subtitles (the subtitles themselves are very clear). The packaging is simple, the back is all in Korean so I have no clue. This release also is uncut to what I remember, which was kinda cool to see bits I hadn’t before (especially the dirty bits ;D)

Special Features:

  • Digitally Remastered in 5.1
  • Original Theatrical Trailers (JP/USA)
  • Character Biographies
  • Image Gallery
  • Exclusive Interview with the director, Yoshiaki Kawajiri
  • Dual Language Options for English and Japanese.

I honestly can say, these really don’t appeal to me as extras, but usually I only like outtakes when it comes to special features. Being remastered didn’t really make much difference to the original either.

Summary:

4/5 – I love it, but being realistic it probably isn’t the best thing I’ve seen in my life. I’m not that interested in the special features myself, but someone may find it interesting.

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Demon City Shinjuku/Monster City (1988 dir: Kawajiri Yoshiaki)
Genre; Anime, Supernatural Fantasy
Age; 18

As I had the VHS of the above film and this one together, I thought I would put them both as a review as I have DVDs of them both these days. Although I prefer Kawajiri’s earlier film, this one again does stick in my mind. That and it has Mephisto and Chibi, both of which are very cool characters for very different reasons. I also like the stretchy lady.

Plot:

Some kid has to become a great fighter in this demon city to save everyone and the girls dad and yada yada. I’m really bad at writing film plots; here.

The Film (Spoilers):

Again, it has some wonderful scenes, but I think this one is a bit more…teeny? It’s more angst and coming of age, rather than the already adults of Wicked City. Saying that though, it isn’t for children at all. I think the story is a lot more..general anime feel too; you know the good guy is gonna win, so this one might appeal to a wider audience. Again it suffers a little of 80s fashion, but I really enjoy watching anime of this age, I really like to see the actual hand drawn and coloured stuff rather than it all being computer generated.

This Release:

Very plain, with no special features. Offers Japanese and English language, with English subtitles. It is region free. Once again the subtitles are very precise and easy to read. It offers Dolby 2.0 surround, but as we don’t have surround sound here, it’s no different.

Summary:

4/5 – Again, it’s not the most amazing thing in the world but it is worth a watch. It does bring back memories of me watching anime when they used to play it on SciFi late at night.