The final part of my 2012 trip reports!
This post will cover the newly-opened Noitamina Cafe and Theater in Odaiba, the Robotics;Notes episode 1 advance screening session, Comic City Spark 7 at Tokyo Big Sight and the Science Adventure Live.
Japan – Day 10 (10.6)
After three consecutive days of making early morning trips out of Tokyo, I found myself waking up early again, so I left for Odaiba at 7 a.m. There was no one on the train, so I had the Yurikamome to myself!
I was going to the advance screening of the first episode of Robotics;Notes, and tickets were apparently limited. Not wanting to miss out, I decided to go early and wait outside Aqua City Odaiba, where the Noitamina Cafe and Theater was located.
On reaching Odaiba, all the shops were closed save for the convenience store, so I had nothing to do till the queue officially opened at 10am. I had breakfast outside the combini, and read a book to kill time. A friend of mine who was in Tokyo for the weekend (to attend a Symphogear concert) joined me a little later, so it wasn’t too boring. It was also the first time I spoke English in a week, which was a strange feeling.
Soon, more people arrived outside the building, and I guessed that they were Robotics;Notes fans too — the Skal bottle gave one away. When the doors finally opened, a queue outside the cafe was formed.
The shop appeared to be at least three times larger than their outlet in Shibuya. It’s a nice place!
The ticket I was given. I was the 12th person in line. \o/
The screening was to be held at the Fuji Television building, which was close by, and also accessible via a free shuttle bus from Aqua City.
They were giving out Tanegashima maps, which detailed the places used in the game/anime. I would love to visit one day!
The interior of the shop. The larger part of the floor space was taken up by the cafe, but there was plenty of merchandise too!
They were also playing music from the recent shows as well. The Moyashimon and AnoHana opening songs were playing when I was there.
Part of the shop space is an installation/exhibition area. It was previously modelled after the hideout in AnoHana, but it was converted into the Robotics club workroom to commemorate the Robotics;Notes anime.
An UFO catcher with Moyashimon plush toys.
There were photo sticker booths, with Moyashimon and Tsuritama frames!
After taking a look around the shop, I ordered some food from the cafe menu.
Moyashimon pasta! My friend ordered this, but I got to try some and it was delicious.
The Enoshima classic, Shirasu-don.
It also came with a random coaster, and I got Koko!
The cafe also had notebooks you could write in. Four of them were already filled, so I flipped through them for a look. Some people are really talented…
I took the opportunity to draw something in the notebook too.
When it was almost time, I took the shuttle bus to the Fuji Television building.
I was early, so I bought a drink and waited in the lobby while watching the staff set up the reception area.
Before the screening started, there was a demo with an actual working model of the Tanegashimachine-3!
After demonstrating the controls, they let the audience try it too. The controls were pretty simple, and it was connected wirelessly to a PS3 controller. I did the Tanegashima Accel Impact!
The theater finally opened, and the audience was admitted by the number on their tickets. It was free seating, so I got a seat in the middle row. As more people started coming in, some of them started using the Robotics;Notes AR iPhone application to pose Akiho on stage for photographs. It was cute to watch!
I was filled with anticipation before the screening, having cleared the game a month before. The emcee mentioned that the previous screening that was to be held in the high school at Tanegashima was cancelled because of the typhoon, so this screening was to make up for it. All visitors would also receive a special two-sided poster which were originally used for Tanegashima tourism promotion.
The quality of the first episode was better than I expected! I remember fangirling incoherently on Facebook after the screening ended.
I returned to Ikebukuro after the screening so I could leave the posters in the hotel, and then I decided to visit the newly-opened Toranoana in Ikebukuro. The new Toranoana outlet is extremely close to the Sunshine City exit from Ikebukuro station (It’s only a minute away from the exit). I bought a few books, and then I got few tries on their opening lucky draw, from which I won a mascot plush toy and an illustrated book cover by Takarai Rihito (which I later gave to a friend who was a fan of her).
I made a last trip to Akihabara for dinner, and took a slow walk along the main street. There were good deals to be found, and I bought myself a second-hand brown DSiLL for 7000yen. There were also DSis going for about 5000yen, and in very good condition.
There were also these cute Macbook pocket mirrors.
Japan – Day 11 (10.7)
I headed out at 6 a.m. in bleak weather conditions, to Tokyo Big Sight for Comic City Spark 7.
There are several Comic City events throughout the year, all organized by Akaboo. Unlike the biannual Comic Market, Comic City events usually do not have industry booths, and are completely dedicated to doujinshi. They are relatively smaller in scale, but in the case of the Spark events, it is large enough to occupy all the six East and four West halls of Tokyo Big Sight.
As I expected, it was drizzling when I reached. The temperature was about 18 deg C, which wasn’t exactly comfortable for queuing, especially in the rain. After checking a few signs, I managed to find the end of the line for the East halls, which was at the carpark area, like with Comiket.
There was a pretty interesting coincidence where the girl next to me had the same umbrella (Pastel stripes and polka dots). What are the chances of that happening?! I didn’t even buy that umbrella in Japan…
The line was split into two, for those who had bought the event catalog and for those who hadn’t. The catalog is like a ticket to the event, and costs 1000 yen. You could think of it as the admission fee. I bought my catalog (It was a struggle to hold my umbrella and phone with one hand while attempting to take out my wallet), and joined the queue. There was a girl without an umbrella, so I lent mine to her because I had a raincoat. It wasn’t a very good idea, because the rain kept getting on my iPhone and I couldn’t type properly.
I overheard two girls talking behind me, about the Kintama arc of the Gintama anime. It went something like this-
A: Kin-chan is voiced by this guy called Nakamura-san,
A: So I think Sugita-san definitely had a say in it.
A: Because they’re good friends.
B: It must be love.
Another thing which sets the Comic City events apart from the larger Comic Market are the attendees — Comic City events are mostly attended by girls. There were a few guys in the line, but I could spot no more than 5. After putting this observation up on Twitter, a friend gave me a helpful rundown of why Comic City had come to be a female-oriented event.
Previously, the Comic City events also had male-oriented circles and a reasonable number of male attendees. Twenty years ago, when Comiket was still held in the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, the Comiket committee was denied the use of the location on the grounds of the ‘extreme pornographic material’ which constituted a large part of doujinshi at the event. This was an effect of the otaku murderer, which caused a major stir and also the negative perception of Otaku by the general public.
Due to this incident, the Comic City organizers decided to tighten their rules and checks, in order to make sure that the fanzines “did not contain such graphic material”. As a result, male-oriented doujin circles gradually stopped attending the event, and so did the male fanbase, which led to the disappearance of male-oriented content from Comic City. This was a major blow to the Comic City committee, and their censorship rules were completely taken back and revised. Still, the damage was done, and the male fanbase didn’t come back.
However, in recent years, this incident has been forgotten, and male-oriented circles have been gradually making their way back to the event.
When it was two hours before opening, I decided to do a final circle check. It was very difficult because of the rain, but I managed to flip through the catalog and mark out the circles I had to prioritize. It would have been an easier event than Comiket if not for the rain.
This girl decided to sit down on the wet ground just to mark out circles, though. She has my respect.
The rain showed no signs of letting up, and only got heavier. After a very long time, they started moving the line!
I finished getting the stuff on my list after an hour. There was a Hyouka circle I went for first thing in the morning, but they were late (And only came at 12.30pm, so one of their books were sold out when I got there the second time :/). I bought a little over 40 books, which was more than I expected to get, but it was my last day in Japan and I felt like splurging. I’d upload loot pictures, but some of them are NSFW, so I’ll just upload a picture of the catalog cover here instead.
After my first Comic City, I had to lug a bag full of books to Yokohama for the Science Adventure Live. I was pretty beat by then, but I was looking forward to that event since it’s announcement in 2011, so the motivation and energy came naturally!
I got to the Pacifico Yokohama without much difficulty despite it being my first time there (The signs were helpful!), but looking for an empty locker took some time. Being relieved of the weight of 40 thin books, I made my way to the event hall.
The Science Adventure series spans three major titles, namely Chaos;Head, Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes. The Science Adventure Live is the first concert/event dedicated to this series. At the entrance of the event hall, the three main heroines of each game are featured on a large wall display, wearing Steins;Gate lab coats, in Okarin’s trademark pose!
Further in, there was an Airi stand, and a life-size GunPro-1!
Akiho was next to the GunPro-1 exhibit, welcoming visitors to the event, and introducing the GunPro-1 with her Gunvarrel victory pose. Genki Ippatsu!
There were many cosplayers around, which made me regret not bringing a lab coat along on this trip!
Frau was at the concert goods queue, where she bragged about how she was in the queue a week before, so she could be the first in line, and discussing things like Shogun x Takumi (Which isn’t exactly possible, if you’ve played Chaos;Head…).
Logo lightsticks! They were only available at this event, so it’s got quite a bit of collector’s value! ^^
The man behind it all — Shikura Chiyomaru!
This part of the report was written right after the concert (On the train back). It’s definitely more detailed than what I can write now, so I’ll just edit what I wrote then!
The event was made up of two parts, a live drama session featuring the voice actors of all the major characters from each game, and a concert where all the game and anime OP/ED themes were performed. There was also a bonus talk corner where the voice actors had to answer questions, variety TV style.
The Drama – Plot
The drama was a epic crossover between the characters from all three games, and as their voice actors narrated their lines, their characters and lines were projected on a screen above the stage, in a visual novel format.
-The characters all receive a strange email saying “Sono yume, dare no yume? (Whose dream is that dream, a spin on the famous Chaos;Head line, Whose eyes are those eyes?)” and then the world line changes, transporting everyone to 2012, at the Pacifico Yokohama (Where the concert was held).
-Only Okarin realizes this change, because of his Reading Steiner, but everyone else appears to know each other in this world line.
-Everyone also gains gigalomaniac powers, and are able to bring their delusions into reality!
Awesome things happen!
-The “-nya!” combination of Feyris and Subaru
Feyris: You are my long lost brother, Mr. Pleiades-nya!
Subaru: W, what are you saying, nya!??
-The otaku/fujoshi pair of Daru and Frau!
Frau: I’m going to make Okabe x Yashio-senpai into reality!!
Daru: But I think Okarin is the bottom…
I loved this crossover the most! You could hear the giggles from the audience with every line they spoke.
The ending of the drama part when you find out the cause of everything is HILARIOUS. I’m sure there will be a blu-ray release in future, so I won’t spoil it! (Hint: It has something to do with Daru and Shogun).
-Miyano Mamoru stole the show – his reactions were extremely funny compared to the rest of the cast during the drama part. It’s like watching a real Okabe! He also ad-libbed a lot, and got the audience to do the FU-HAHAHAHA! with him.
-Imai Asami’s angry face is so perfectly Kurisu, I give it 10 Christinas. She was also wearing clothes which resembled Christina’s, and a lab coat!
At the end, the story is thrown into a loop, and since it’s on a different world line, it never happened! ^^;
The Concert Setlist
Zwei – Robotics;Notes Game OP – Kakuchou Place
Phantasm (FES) – Steins;Gate Game and Anime ED – Unmei no Farfalla and Toki Tsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku
Itou Kanako – Chaos;Head Anime OP – F.D.D.
nao – Chaos;Head Love Chu Chu Game OPs – Synchro Shiyou Yo and Flag Tateyou Yo
Itou Kanako – Chaos;Head Game OP – Find the Blue
Itou Kanako – Steins;Gate Game ED – Another Heaven
Afilia Saga – Steins;Gate Hiyoku Renri Game OPs – La La La Labolution and Kindan Muteki no Darlin’
Itou Kanako – Robotics;Notes Game ED – Sora no Shita no Soukanzu
Itou Kanako – Steins;Gate Game OP – Skyclad Observer
Itou Kanako – Steins;Gate Anime OP – Hacking to the Gate
-Zwei sang the full version of the Robotics;Notes anime OP, even before the anime aired!
-The vocalist of Zwei threw the mic stand in the middle of the song lol
-Nao did Synchro Shiyou Yo and Flag Tateyou yo in a single set! She was running out of breath but she managed to do it! It was amazing.
-Ito Kanako was so excited during Sky Clad Observer she missed a line at the end but managed to correct herself right after.
The Seiyuu talk corner
-A surprise Shiraishi Minoru appearance as the emcee for the talk corner! He voiced Sido-sama in Steins;Gate, but he only got one line in the anime, unfortunately.
-Tomokazu Seki sexually harrasing Imai Asami on stage
This was what happened-
During the talk corner where the Steins;Gate cast had to answer a Robotics;Notes based question:
If you could make a member of the cast cosplay using the AR function in R;N, Iruo, who and what would you choose?
Seki Tomokazu: I want Imai Asami to remember her AV days, and cosplay completely naked!
Imai Asami then got really angry at Seki, yelling ‘BAKAAA’ on stage, even snatching away his answer board to stop him from showing the audience what he wrote ^^;
Mamo wrote several answers, too:
1. Yonaga nyan nyan
3. Or even Hosoya-tina!
To which Hosoya replied-
Hosoya: Hello, I’m Hosoya-tina. You mean like this?
Hosoya: (Looking at Imai Asami) So what is this ‘-tina’ thing about?
Imai Asami (Christina): DON’T SAY -TINA!!
-The Robotics;Notes cast had to answer a Chaos;Head based question: If you had gigalomaniac powers, what delusion would you want to bring into reality?
The interesting bits
-They managed to give a very good reason why Takumi wasn’t at the live: He made a voice announcement, saying “T, there’s no way I’m going somewhere with so many people… you lot are crazy! I’m just going to follow the comments on @channel fuhihihi!”. That’s a hikkikomori character for you.
-STEINS GATE MOVIE UPDATE. The main visual featured two Kurisu-s so I suppose its a Kurisu-centric story? A paradox?
-Sekuhara Seki trying to peek up Afilia Saga’s skirts at the end.
-When the Robotics;Notes cast appeared on stage-
Guy next to me: NANJOLNOOOO!!
-Before the encore, the cast and artistes came up and each of them did a FU-HAHAHAHA before their closing comment. Ito Kanako’s “FU-HAHAHA!” was really cute, and Sakakibara Yui’s “Fu-hahaha.”was really cool! Hosoyan went “FUAHAHAHA! I AM MR PLEIADES!!”
The concert lasted about three hours. It was one of the most memorable events I’ve been to!
That night would be my last night in Japan, so I bought myself expensive ice-cream from Seven Eleven.
I spent the rest of the night packing, and slept at 4 a.m. despite having woken up at 5 the previous day… But I managed to stay awake long enough to watch a movie on the flight back.
There was Sakamichi no Apollon on in-flight entertainment…
The food on JAL is really good!
There was Haagen Dazs again for dessert.
I watched The Kirishima Thing (Kirishima, bukatsu yamerutte yo) and ended up being moved to tears. I fell asleep right after, and woke up only when the plane was landing, haha.
And that concludes my trip report. Thank you for reading! It was great fun ^^