The Japan Festival 2011 took place during the last 2 days at Berlin’s Urania with many stands, artists and two stages with non-stop-live programs such as Taiko Drums, Aikido, Karate, Kendo, Cosplay, Ju Tai Jutsu, and many more.
Even an authentic Japanese cuisine freshly made by Japanese chief Takao Udagawa such as Sushi, Udon and Misu.
For me, it was a really funny and interesting festival, maybe because it wasn’t all about cosplay and mangas but more about the culture, the food and the lifestyle of the japanese people.
The third and last part of my Connichi 2010 coverage, a bit of everything.
The beginning, the large sales area, the park, the Halko Momoi concert, some pictures from this years World Cosplay Summit Qualification, the winners of this years World Cosplay Summit Qualification and this years special guests from Japan: OLIVIA, Rumi Shishido, “Halko” Momoi, You Higuri, Hiroyuki Yamaga, “Noir”, Yutaka Uemura, Gakuto Mikumo, Kumiko Uehara.
So here is the second part of my Cosplay Photo Collection. I was asked to show some convention shots, sales area, concerts, japanese guests, I’ll see if I can get some together, stay tuned for part 3.
I’m back in Berlin, back from this years Connichi in Kassel, a city about 360km away from Berlin and all I can say is, it was amazing.
The Connichi is an annual, 3-day Anime convention in Germany and one of the largest of its kind in the German-speaking world with over 15,000 visitors in 2010. Apart from Japanese artists that go on stage, Connichi hosts a variety of amateur performers showing plays and musicals, singing and/or doing standup comedy with anime-related themes.
Like the Leipzig Book Fair, the Connichi is also a place for many thousands of cosplayers and because that’s the only interesting reason for me to visit such a convention, I will show you some of the best cosplays I saw during my time in Kassel.
I bought a Danbo from amazon.co.jp, the Japanese version of Amazon. I wanted to test how long it would take to send a package from Japan to Berlin and I was pretty surprised after it arrived in less than 2 weeks, considering that I have to wait up to 5 days to get something from amazon.de.
Danbo is the anime figure Miura Hayasaka in a cardboard box suit from the Japanese manga series Yotsuba!. The plastic figure, from the Revoltech line by the company Kaiyodo, has movable joints, light up eyes and stands around 8cm tall.
The third Asian festival this year, the Japan Festival Berlin-Steglitz (located in the Steglitz district of Berlin), but this time it was more like a little Japanese market rather than a festival. Tables loaded with all kinds of Japanese goods. Figures, books, Japanese snacks and foods, chopsticks and ramen bowls, all those things you wouldn’t find at your local supermarket.
I tried a japanese lemonade called Ramune, it tasted a bit like Sprite, but less sweet.
It also had a very pungent cough syrup after-taste.
I’m a big fan of the Japanese Sakura Trees and their Cherry Blossom Festival but sadly I don’t have the time to travel 12 hours just to watch them bloom.
So I visited the Japanese Garden of Berlin’s Gardens of the World and it seems that I wasn’t the only one who had that idea.
I watched the second Anime during this years Berlinale, the world premiere of Welcome to the Space Show or Uchuu Show e Youkoso / 宇宙ショーへようこ if you are more familiar with the Japanese title.
A tiny mountain village in a remote woodland region. Five primary school kids have come together in this idyllic spot in order to spend their summer holidays at a camp. At first the children enjoy carefree days amidst unspoiled nature far away from adult supervision. But their life changes dramatically when they come across what they believe to be a small dog, badly in need of help.
The creature turns out not to be a dog at all but an alien on an important mission. It seems there is a mysterious substance on earth that is coveted throughout the universe.
The movie was produced by the same guys who brought you R.O.D -Read or Die-, Ishihama Masashi Masunari Kouji, Hideyuki Kurata and Tomonori Ochikoshi, all of them were parts of the audience.
There was only one thing I found a bit disturbing, I watched the movie in three languages, Japanese language, English subtitle and… a German translator for every single sentence and also totally emotionless.
But overall It was a really great movie with an interesting science-fiction story and cute characters.
So I watched Summer Wars today at an official cinema of the Berlinale 2010. It’s the DVD premiere in Germany and the movie was shown two weeks earlier, of course in Japanese language with English subs.
The movie was about a boy called Kenji, a computer technician for a virtual world called Oz (a massive social network in which everything is connected with the real world) who was invited by the most popular girl at his high school to her expansive family’s home for a summer job.
During their trip, the world of Oz became infected by a virus, Kenji’s Account got hacked and so the chaos begun.
Hosoda Mamoru, the producer himself, was one of today’s guests and at the end, he answered a couple of questions about the movie which I can’t tell you without spoiling you the story. The only thing I can tell you is that he got his inspiration from his own family… oh yes and that he loves Germany.