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STGCC 2015: A Tale from Two Guys

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Zwei created the chatroom STGCC2015

J.Fluffysheep joined the chat

Zwei: Hi!

J.Fluffysheep: Hello!! (^o^)

Zwei: My back is still recovering from both concerts. I really wonder where those people get their energy from.

J.Fluffysheep: Must be from all that Gabu Gabu in the day. (^_^|||)

Zwei: I guess it being ‘free’ has its charms. I’m really sorry for being late on the first day. I had to work late and overslept. What a terrible way to start the day. m(_ _)m

J.Fluffysheep: Well, if we were to compare ourselves to those hardcore fans, yeah I guess we were a little late. The wonders of Otaku Power! (@_@)

Zwei: Haha, yeah… Those people lining up since the night before are really committed. 

Are they what is classified as an actual otaku?

J.Fluffysheep: I don’t think there is an actual definition. But their persistence was already overwhelming, and the doors weren’t even open yet!

Zwei: This reminds me of the AFA two years ago at Singapore EXPO where people queued up till the next day just to be first in line. But in the end it didn’t matter as everyone started crowding in front of the entrance and the security can’t even collect the tickets. In the end, most of us entered for free. I’m glad that it’s not allowed at Suntec. Or the line would probably extend down to different floors.

J.Fluffysheep: The hallway outside the convention halls in Marina Bay Sands were just slightly more spacious, or not at all. Let’s just say there was a difference between morning and afternoon. Did I mention I have claustrophobia? (x_x)

Zwei: Umm.. I think I heard you saying that when we entered the halls. Did you tell me before we entered? Sorry. I was distracted by the Star Wars characters that were entering. Haha.. (⌒_⌒;)

J.Fluffysheep: I really envy those people who could stay for the entire convention without complaining. Last year, I left before lunchtime! Who else could be as crazy as me? But I bought several badges and candy! The candy was super delicious! (^o^)v

Zwei: I think staying for the whole event is something to get used to. For my first event that I attended, I manage to learn a lot of things like the crowds, queues, atmosphere. It is very overwhelming! But over the years attending various events, it kinda grew on me. It felt like a requirement to stay so as to appreciate what the organisers have prepared for the attendees. It kinda feels euphoric I guess..

J.Fluffysheep: For me, it has always been tough to navigate through the long, meandering human sandwich! I’m thankful for the many eye-openers at events like this, but I wish I could spend a little more time at different stalls, properly browsing before deciding what I want to get. The visiting artists for this year’s line-up are such awesome, talented people!

Zwei: Yeah, they are. Though I don’t recognise most of them. But I do like the works they created like Toshimchi Mori for example. BLAZBLUE was one of the best games I played during my secondary school days as me and my friends would battle each other to see who would be the champion of the school. There’s also Koyama Shigeto who is the character designer for HEROMAN, which I really like, and the design works for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and for Captain Earth’s Earth Engine. No wonder they bear a similarity.

J.Fluffysheep: I’m thankful for both the originality and tribute the many different artists have laid out over this convention. I was very mesmerised by a lot of the artwork! For example, Secret Garden from Thailand has produced their unique impressions of popular anime titles like Free!, Brothers Conflict, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, and Cardcaptor Sakura on badges and accessories. It was pretty much love at first sight for me! (^3^)

Zwei: Haha, I could see you fawning over them. You really have a soft spot for cute things! Any others that caught your interest?

J.Fluffysheep: Yeah, I must give a shout-out to our local artists who have shed so much blood, sweat and tears on their precious creations! It was really tough deciding on what I want because there were too many temptations. However, I was especially drawn to this particular brand Wackymons. 

The brand belongs to a very friendly designer named Shenly! It was so nice of her to chat a little with us. (^^)

Zwei: Yeah, she is. And her designs are really uniquely adorable. I was attracted more to the various range and theme of artworks that were displayed and sold there. I can’t help but be in awe as I walked pass them, browsing their pieces. 

They definitely are amazing. Oh, I recognise a booth there called Steam Machine. They came for AFA last year and I was quite surprised to see them there.

J.Fluffysheep: It was definitely a huge relief to have things that appealed to both of us. Most of the crowd seemed really sure of what they wanted, and the busiest lot had to be the collectibles and such which many buyers had pre-ordered with the major toy retailers prior to the convention. 

I noticed a lot of them were hand-carrying several bags of stuff, and it was barely a couple of hours into the event! (@_@)

Zwei: Well, the line still lasted quite long, about a few hours even after the event started. I don’t even have the patience to wait in line for that long.

J.Fluffysheep: Luckily for us, there was more time to take a look at other things despite the increasing turnout. You bought some really cool T-shirts with illustrations of trending anime characters. 

The one with Umaru-chan stood out quite a bit! Well, maybe because her mouth had been wide open… (>O<)

Zwei: Haha.. I really got into the anime. I even bought a few badges to attach it to my hat just like Umaru. I really like the Esdeath and Accelerator shirt that I bought. Well, all I can buy are shirts and other small trinkets. Even if I bought stuff like figurines and posters, I can’t really display them. They’re just picking up dust in the store. 

One day, I’ll definitely display them proudly. One day…

J.Fluffysheep: I don’t have the capacity for posters and artwork prints. The utter lack of space aside, those things will only grow stains or turn yellow over time! Just like figurines, I think I need a separate room for taking care of artwork. And frames, plastic covers, folders, etc...gosh, I can totally understand the plight of many collectors! (><)

Zwei: Back when I used to had the space to display my figurines, I usually do “maintenance” on them. I would use a small brush to brush off any dust and use a slightly wet cloth to really clean the joints and surfaces. It needed so much work as I don’t have a display case so in the end, I place them back in their boxes. Well, it’s not just because it’s cumbersome but also because I was moving. And I just left them in their box ever since. I would occasionally take them out, giving them some fresh air but I guess the dedication to take care of them has to be great in order to handle a collection of them.

J.Fluffysheep: Anyway, we managed to have our share of retail therapy in the midst of so much madness! The crowd was gradually building up by then, and I could feel much claustrophobia kicking in! Thankfully, we were able to freely re-enter the premises as and when we liked. Now, we have to talk about the massive inflow of Cosplayers! 

They have stolen so much of the limelight outside the convention halls.

Zwei: True! There are a lot of popular characters that are being cosplayed this year. Characters such as Harley Quinn, Spider-man, Iron Man from the west, and characters from Love Live!, Owari no Seraph and Kantai Collection from the east. 

These are just a few that I can name from the top of my head. I think it was mainly because of there being many different and vibrant cosplayers that made it really hard for us to navigate through the crowd. Sure, on the first day itself was already quite hard to find a path to walk pass these cosplayers. But since it’s on a Sunday at Marina Bay Sands, a tourist attraction, an overflow of passer-by is to be expected. I really felt lethargic then. But strangely, on Sunday was where I got good photos. I especially like this Sinon cosplayer that I took. Great job on portraying that facial expression! But I can’t help but envy my friend for his photos. I still have to polish my skills even further!

J.Fluffysheep: Don’t worry, at least you have had many awesome photos. I can never measure up to those avid photographers with their professional equipment all ready on standby to tackle any Cosplayer they fancy. There were several who simply dominated the entire space for a long period of time! But I was impressed by the professionalism of those Cosplayers who readily agreed to pose even outside the venue where the haze condition was really terrible. Many simply hanged around the smoking area as there was considerably more space. When it comes to Cosplay, I have extremely limited knowledge but I was glad to have recognised some popular characters! There was Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom, Sakura Chiyo from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Sakura and Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura, characters from Shokugeki no Soma, etc! 

The standards have certainly come a long way.

Zwei: Yeah. I’m glad that they agreed to move outside in order for me to catch the sunlight. Wearing those costumes in the haze, it must have been pretty hot for them. Though the haze help to create some effect on the lighting and background, so I won’t complain. There were quite a few that I saw who cosplay as the same characters. Love Live! especially. Oh, and there were also those who cosplay as Touhou characters. Yay! And also Umaru! Haha…

J.Fluffysheep: Yeah, complete with potato chips and a bottle of Cola! Well, on Sunday the turnout was so huge the security had no choice but to chase everybody up to the main lobby! That would explain the much higher level of claustrophobia, haha!

Zwei: Yeah, it seriously was claustrophobic. There were just too many people gathering around the cosplayers at the entrance. But I guess it wouldn't be the same without it.The bustling crowd and cosplayers were really a huge part of the event. But for me, what really made the event great was the concerts on both days. I was really excited when I saw Animenz on the list of guest invited. 

After a few rounds around the hall...
But when we swung around his booth, he wasn’t there. I gotta admit, it made me slightly disheartened. Haha…

J.Fluffysheep: At least you had been aware! I had completely no idea as of who was invited to the convention, and the event guide wasn’t of much help either! But the confusion wasn’t all bad though, as navigating around the ever increasing turnout was supposedly part of the experience...well, kind of! Next to Animenz was TAMUSIC, which almost immediately caught my attention, due to the wide array of merchandise available at the booth. The cover art was nothing short of breathtaking, and cute! More importantly, TAM himself was present! He dished out impromptu renditions with his prized violin, while fans and curious onlookers gathered around. 

Oh, and I spotted my ex-classmate from Japanese class at the booth; he was assisting TAM!

Zwei: It’s really a small world. Anyway, the first day concert was the best part of the whole event. Well, to me that is. It’s like taking a trip down memory lane as you reminisce on those past anime that you watch as they play mostly songs from anime. Tam seems to have a balance of Touhou soundtracks and anime music which was really fun to listen to. 

Reminded me of those times I play touhou and enjoying the wonderful music accompanied with it. Animenz on the other hand mostly plays anime soundtracks and I gotta to say, I fully enjoy it. I can’t help but sing along with the music for songs like COLORS by FLOW, the Pokemon theme from Season 1, Miiro by Akino from bless4 and many others from Evangelion, Soul Eater, SNK, Angel Beats! and more. He even urge the crowd to join in the song. 

And when they collaborated, it was definitely the most prominent moment out of the whole event. Even when they were problems with Tam’s microphone, the crowd waited patiently and they cheered when it was fix. Songs like Hikaru Nara, Senbonzakura, even soundtracks from Clannad, Air and Kanon. It was literally a feel trip when those three were played. Goosebumps started crawl all over and I just close my eyes and let the music seep through and throughout my body. It was definitely an experience I will never forget. Well, because of the music and also the aching back and joints I had after standing there for an hour and a half holding the camera with my hand. Yeah, that too…

J.Fluffysheep: Haha, honestly I can’t compete with those youngsters anymore! Even an applause seems to take away so much these days, and jumping is like digging my own grave. I was telling somebody a few months ago how hard I had been jumping at one of those concerts, not because I was feeling high but rather for a slightly better view of the stage, the performers and everything else! I felt a little bad for not swinging along with the rhythm, and as much as I didn’t want to associate any of those cracking sounds and aching joints with age, I had to raise the white flag! Anyway, I had to miss Animenz and TAM on the first night but I stayed for Yuyoyuppe and Hige Driver on the second! Both were amazing, I have to say!

Zwei: Yup! I am not really familiar with them as I am not into this genre of music but I can understand why it’s engaging. The songs they played like Maware! Setsugetsuka, Saikousoku! Fall in Love and more are definitely engaging where even the crowd joined in with them in singing and dancing. Some waving their light-sticks and others jumping to the rhythm, it was fun to watch and be part of it. It was definitely an enjoyable experience and a great way to end the event, ending on a high note. I actually expected the crowd to shout for an encore as that happened the last time I went to an STGCC DJ night. Oh well,..

J.Fluffysheep: Haha, encore or not the DJ Night was a tremendous success! Those hardcore fans really knew their stuff. Every word, every move was so in sync! I realised I couldn’t coordinate my joints according to the rhythm as much as I would love to immerse into the superb mixes by both DJs. Well, I would say Yuyoyuppe was more engaging and fun to watch.

Zwei: Yeah, he was. I actually mistook him for a girl when he first came on stage. I was like “Who’s this girl? I thought the DJ is a guy…” Haiz… I feel old not being able to differentiate between a guy and a girl. But in my defence, he does look like one at different times when he was moving around on stage. Just sayin’...

J.Fluffysheep: Anyway, by the end of it I was just glad my ears didn’t burst or anything! The sounds were simply overpowering. Nonetheless, it was an awesome conclusion to this year’s convention.

Zwei: This year’s STGCC was really fun for me as compared to other events that I attended this year as of yet. Though, I was expecting more for the games department as there hardly much games that were shown during the event. Like maybe a preview for an upcoming game or maybe a panel where they talk about various new releases, that sort of thing. Though, I won’t really be much into it as I don’t game as often as how I do before. The booths there were interesting to browse but I find myself drawn to the Artist Alley as the works they display really pique my interest. Many were artworks and some made small trinkets and other slightly larger products. There was also this shop, which I think it's name Toy Baze, that was selling old toys from the Super Sentai Series, the Kamen Rider series and more. 

It‘s a bit pricey though but I felt satisfied actually finding the stall.

J.Fluffysheep: Yeah, I have to say the toys were pretty much the main focus, or more specifically, the Superheroes, Star Wars, and many of their American counterparts. Anything remotely Japanese was pretty much stashed deeper at the back, and it really took a while to take notice of them! But thankfully, there was still a wide variety of merchandise inspired by popular anime and manga titles as mentioned earlier. There was something for everyone in the end! I just wish the balance between East and West could be more apparent.

Zwei: Oh yeah, I remember seeing that you bought something on the first day. What was it?

J.Fluffysheep: I bought some cute badges from Secret Garden, and all featured characters from one of my favourite series: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun! 

Oh, I suppose it would be a little embarrassing to say this, but since I’m generally weak against cute stuff, I don’t think it matters much. I also bought a cat plush that comes with a safety pin and clip which can be attached to the strap of a bag, or the shoulder region of a shirt. 

The designer gave away a complimentary hairband which also meant that I could have my cat sitting on my head, but I don’t think I would ever do that, haha!

Zwei: Haha… I remember seeing you the next day with the cat attached to your bag strap.

J.Fluffysheep: Yeah, I think there was quite a bit of attention on the cat as I made my way to the convention the next day, haha. Oh, one of the stall owners even complimented on how cute it was! I suppose I should feel quite happy about that, haha!

Zwei: Well, that was quite a lengthy chat. Didn’t really expect it be quite long… Anyway, we should meet up again some time for another event, maybe with the other writers…

J.Fluffysheep: Yeah, maybe the AFA? I bet we would have a lot more to talk about by then!

Zwei: I really hope I can attend AFA this year… I might have shoot on that day. It makes me frustrated thinking that I’ll miss AFA this year before I go for NS next year. Please, let there be nothing on those three days…

J.Fluffysheep: Haha, maybe we should stock up on supplements, energy bars or something before then! I bet the level of activity and movement would be many times bigger than the convention, and that calls for greater survival. I’m looking forward! (^o^)

Zwei: Yup! AFA will be a much more treacherous journey. Going there is already confusing enough for me… I really hope I don’t get lost because of the the weird scheduling for the Esplanade and Bayfront station in the Circle Line.

J.Fluffysheep: Yeah, I guess we could only anticipate for now, even though it is merely a couple of months away! Anyway, the convention had been a wonderful, eye-opening experience for me. Thank you so much for the hard work! It was a blast! Hope to see you at the AFA. Until then!

Zwei: The same goes for me! Mata ne~

J.Fluffysheep left the chatroom
Zwei left the chatroom

Written by J.Fluffysheep and Zwei



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