Monday, August 29, 2011

SF J-Pop Summit Festival 2011

My trip to the J-Pop Summit Festival in San Francisco was unplanned, so this will be more of a snapshot than an actual review of the event. It was a two-day event, from Saturday to Sunday, although I was only there for the later half of Sunday. As such, you'll have to forgive my lack of coverage and photos.

As the purpose of my visit was to catch the screening of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, I went cosplaying as Kyon. Most people at the festival, however, were cosplaying as Vocaloids, with the occasional lolita thrown in for good measure. Apparently that was the case on Saturday as well, although it does make some sense, given the theme of the festival and the Vocaloid Dance Contest that was held there. I saw a few contestants perform, and the amount of practice that must have gone into the timing of each movement and gesture is astounding, although the repetition of some songs detracted from some of the performances.

There was a video camera set up that was streaming live to Nico Nico, so I took a minute to stop before that. Most people just stood in front of the camera, looking at the words streaming by and trying to react to them, but I took a moment to plead to the viewers to help me from getting dragged into something ridiculous by Haruhi again. I was pleased to see all the comments of "KYON!" flying by, but I moved on to enjoy the rest of the festival.

One thing I have to give them props for was the amount of free stuff being handed out. I wound up with a Nico Nico t-shirt and a CD of some group I never heard of, but I'm not one to turn down free things. There were several vendors set up along the street, although a limited budget prevented me from buying anything from them.

Earlier in the day, the Japanese cast of K-ON! appeared for a concert and Q&A session. I regret missing that, but I heard it went quite well. If anyone saw them and would like to provide anything about how it went, please feel free to do so in the comments.

As the festival ended, my girlfriend and I went to watch the Haruhi movie. One thing I have to complain about was that they had the same song playing while we were waiting for the movie to begin over, and over, and over. It drove most of us pretty crazy. Before the show started, a pair of Haruhi and Mikuru cosplayers introduced Mikuru's english voice actress, who thanked us for attending and gave a signed copy of the novel version to the person who answered her quiz question. I wish she stayed until after the movie, though, as I and many others would have liked to get an autograph. The movie itself I won't say much about, but I did enjoy it, so I'd recommend it to anyone who was considering watching it.

That's all I really have to say about the J-Pop festival. It's not much, since I wasn't there for most of it, but feel free to add anything you feel is worth mentioning in the comments. While it wasn't the greatest event I ever went to, for something that was free to attend, I'm not going to complain.

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