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Tears of Themis Cafe - A Rant?

Friday, November 19, 2021 / No Comments
Hello hello my cute nuggets!

I went to the Tears of Themis cafe today and man, it was such a disappointment. I don't actually know what I was expecting, but I certainly was not expecting a mess of information. I'll add the images I took as I go through the post, and they'll certainly look out of place, but bear with me.

a photobooth area?

So right off, the reservations. It had been postponed once, and the second time I actually started camping to enter right at noon and I was completely not expecting the overwhelming response! I joined the queue at 12:00:13pm, and I was 480+ in queue. Crikey. 

i wonder if there'll be a giveaway for the standee?

After patiently waiting 2 hours for my turn, I entered the booking page only to realize that there were completely no slots for ToT at all? In confusion, I called the listed number only to be told that they had received calls and they didn't know what was going on and to please send a DM in. I was astounded. Was I going to have to requeue? Did I have to wait another 2 hours? Was I not going to be able to get the limited First Day merch? There were limited edition merch, which was a small figure and a plush, and only purchasable on the first day.

I sent in a DM. To be fair, they responded almost immediately with a new link to the reservation site. I got in, didn't have to queue, and managed to book first day slots. Crisis currently averted. 

Fast forward to today, as far as I know, merch tickets are given out to only the first 20 people in queue everyday, and it starts at 9:30am. There is also a limited amount of merch purchasable each day. This to me was rather ridiculous, if my dine-in slot was in the evening, I had to go specially in the morning just to queue for a chance to purchase merch? Fine, for the sake of limited First Day merch, I would do just that. Considering it was a weekday, I figured reaching at 9:30 should get me within the 20 slots.

I was so naïve. I got there about 9:35am, and there were already 20 people in the cafe, and a whole bunch waiting outside. I joined the mass of people, and started chatting with a couple of them. I figured it shouldn't take too long for the 20 inside to purchase their merch, then perhaps we can also start to enter and see what else there is to purchase. I knew there was the option of pre-order because of the overwhelming response, but limited First Day merch made me stay to wait. 

After almost an hour, barely anyone had left the cafe. What was going on? Who knew? Was nothing inside actually set up for purchase yet or was everyone just taking a painfully long time to decide on what they wanted to buy? 

I had to head off to work, so I left. My new friend informed me a while later that staff had finally exited the cafe to let the masses know that no one else would be let in to purchase merch, and we would only be able to purchase during our dine-in slot. I was stunned. After all that time waiting outside in the heat, for absolutely nothing. If you were a working adult with time constraints or you didn't manage to get an early time-slot, I guess it just sucks to be you?

She also told me that the First Day merch did not exist for Singapore. The cafe in Malaysia had the figure and plush, but not SG. So there was actually no point for me to go in the morning. Amazing. 

Never mind, let's move on to the menu. Because I couldn't tell how large the portions were, I decided to get only the main and the drink. I had asked my new friend to ask the staff if we could add on to our orders if we decide to get the dessert as well. Good news! You can head back to the reservation page, as told by the staff member, and order a takeaway for the same day if you decide that you wanted to purchase more food items. Remember this. 

So, happy with all these information, I made my way back to the cafe in the evening, prepared to get more food and support my fav 2D character. We had to do the safe entry check in before entering, and you can only use the trace together app to check in. They do not support the token check in. 

Once that was done, we were given a buzzer and shown to our seats. We had a long table so we shared with another pair. Kinda weird, but the space was small. You'll have to take your buzzer to the main counter and let them know your invoice number. We did just that and were given the freebies. The coaster was randomized, and we got Marius and Luke. Damn it, I wanted Marius and Artem. Anyone has Artem and wants a Luke?

I decided to add the dessert as well since I was in a mood, but was informed that I actually could not, and they were not offering the option to add on and takeaway. I was confused. The staff this morning said otherwise. You can't, they repeated, but I could always check their socials for updates. That was kind of hilarious to me. If I wanted the add on now, what good would your social media update be if it was not today?  

Oh well, whatever. We got our food and drinks a little while after, and ooh, the food was actually good. We ordered Luke's and Marius' mains, and it was sooooo nice. I especially liked how Luke's had chunky garlic bits in it. The drink was not bad too. 

After the meal, we went to look at merch. Got up to the counter to pre-order, and asked if there were any larger sized images of the merch, especially the Halloween acrylic standee and the keychains since the catalog was so small. Please take pity on an aging grandma with bad eyesight. Nope, they didn't have any images other that what was on the catalog. That was a little annoying, but fine, we googled. Should have just done that in the first place I guess. We placed our orders, but I'd realized that one of the Marius' keychains was unavailable. ?? Wasn't this a pre-order?

Oh, there was also a limit on pre-orders. I had thought the listed Daily Supply limit was for physical in store merch, but I guess I was too dumb to realize it applied for pre-order limits as well. Or did they not say? I had also realized that a bunch of merch I had previously seen were also missing, but I was at point too tired to ask for anything else. I put in my details and left.

Oh oh I did get something good out of this whole ordeal though, tadah~~~

Hilariously, I had come for ToT, but ended up leaving with KnB merch instead. The overall experience was quite confusing, and rather disappointing, but Aomine always makes me feel better.

As much as I hope Genshin's will be better, I suppose I'll just lower my standards. Thank you for staying till the end of my rant, tata for now!

Written by: ninetylives

Orchestral Manoeuvres at the ArtScience Museum

Monday, September 6, 2021 / No Comments

Besides the grandeur of its architecture, the ArtScience Museum is a place where seasonal exhibitions are put up for periods of time. From 28th August to 2nd January, Marina Bay Sands is hosting an exhibition called, “Orchestral Manoeuvres: See Sound. Feel Sound. Be Sound.” The exhibit, bringing together 32 composers and contemporary artists from across the world is an engaging blend between arts and sound. Last Friday, fellow writers Yin, Gin and I (kimizomi) had the privilege to be invited to a media preview of the exhibition and we’re happy to review some of the best bits with you! If you’re wondering too how anime might come into place within this exhibition, you’ll be surprised at some of the things that we might pick out! 

Orchestral Manoeuvres is held on a level with a circular structure. It would take us through the different exhibits around the area in one circle around the place. This reminds me of how sound is surround, like in a theatre. The location is definitely nicely chosen.  

Robert Morris’ Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, 1961.

You wouldn’t think that such simple boxes like these had the power to contain sounds in it, would you? Well, there’s more to this than meets the eye! One of the concrete stones dates back to 1977, when a German composer Timm Ulrich uses the idea of radio signals as the theme of ‘sound’. There’s a certain nostalgia and simplicity in the crackling radio noise that simply sends us back to a time when radio was one of the main tools of communication.
Another interesting to note about the design of the three different boxes: the length of the soundtrack is equivalent to the length of the box itself! How cool is that!

Writing Sound: John Cage

Alas, one of the main attractions of the exhibition: the piano. Sitting right in the middle of the room is a piano, stationary and almost volatile. Yet, we were stunned when it began to play a rather comprehensive piece, filled with breaths of staccato in between. It certainly feels like the piece is reverberating throughout the entire exhibit. 

The piece comes to be 4’33, by John Cage. It refers to the total length in minutes and seconds of the performance, and the piece has widely inspired a greater audience, even athletes. It’s amazing to know how much music can transcend beyond a single medium, and reproduce in other forms. 

If you wanna know just how impressive the piece was, check out the small snippet here:

Chair of Concentration: Chen Zhen

This exhibit stood out to me because it was made of pieces of furniture that are very familiar in my own life and culture - an antique wooden chair that looks like something my great-grandparents would have owned in their time, and connected to it, a giant pair of ‘headphones’ made of chinese chamber pots.

Now, we all know that chamber pots are used to store human waste, so it was really funny to me that Chinese artist Chen Zhen used them as part of his artwork. Within the chamber pots are speakers that play an empty static noise. Someone sitting in that chair would be quite literally ‘listening to crap’. Maybe Chen Zhen should have put farting noises in those chamber pots instead?

All jokes aside, I think there’s definitely some kind of deeper, less crass interpretation behind this installation. My best guess is that it has something to do with how the act of taking a dump is detoxifying and symbolises the expulsion of bad energy and other unwanted negativity. Sitting in that chair and focusing on the steady static could probably do the same for us mentally, drowning out any negative thoughts and resetting our emotional state, almost like meditation. This artwork definitely lives up to its name, because speaking from personal experience, meditating and going number 2 both do require a large amount of concentration. Heh.

Arnold Schoenberg, op. 11 - II - Cute Kittens: Cory Arcangel

This piece was a welcome surprise for me, because I LOVE cats. Schoenberg’s original piece, though atonal, is known for favouring emotions and expression over structure and tone. Having adorable kittens play it note for note only elevates the experience. The fact that most of these kittens are just stepping, laying, and stumbling on random piano keys out of clumsiness just evokes an indescribable (like Schoenberg’s music, LOL) feeling of joy in me. Have you ever wondered why we want to squish things that are cute? Apparently it’s because our brain doesn’t know how to deal with overwhelmingly positive feelings. Maybe Schoenberg composed this piece because he saw a really cute kitten and didn’t know what to do with his emotions..? I guess we’ll never know!

The Sound of Non-Sounds: Christine Sun Kim

How does a deaf person experience sound? Well, deaf artist Christine Sun Kim can only guess.

In a world that privileges the auditory, Christine makes us re-examine what ‘sound’ actually means. Using only musical notation and dynamics like piano and forte in her work, she accomplishes the feat of distancing ‘sound’ from hearing, and making it something that can be seen and felt instead. 

Even as someone who is not deaf, I could totally relate to what she was trying to convey. As a nervous wreck myself, the last three lines in The Sound of Obsessing where she goes ham is just #relatable.

Interactive Activities: The Stage is Yours and Compose Your Own Graphic Score

Finally, the exhibition ended with some interactive activities for visitors.

In The Stage is Yours, visitors could play on a silent piano in the middle of the room. Everyone can have their Mozart moment, and the best thing is, only you can hear yourself (so no one will have to hear your terrible playing)!

There were also other interactive activities we could do, such as making music from household objects. 

Compose Your Own Graphic Score was pretty cool too. Visitors were allowed to write their own graphic notations and sheet music using different templates that had different shapes and symbols before adding them to the wall. I guess the idea was to show that music isn’t always just a 5-line stave read from left to right -- it can be so much more. 

Gin at work with her own musical score

All in all, Orchestral Manoeuvres was an iNteReStING (as TwoSetViolin would say) experience. If you want to give it a shot, the exhibition will be up until 2 January 2022, so there’s still plenty of time for you to experience music in a whole new light!

Orchestral Manoeuvres: See Sound. Feel Sound. Be Sound is open from now till 2 Jan 2022 at the ArtScience Museum, so do get your tickets and enjoy this immersive sound-art installation! 

Written by kimizomi, Yin and Gin
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Excitement gearing towards BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I: Promise

Monday, June 14, 2021 / No Comments

Hey everyone, it's me again~ 

Has anyone caught the new Roselia movie that was just released last Saturday? 

It was a fan screening, which also meant a rather lavishly priced movie ticket at Golden Village that amounted to $47. Of course, it also came with a great deal of merchandise: an illustration card of one of the Roselia members, a beautiful A3 poster, a can badge of one of the members, as well as a mystery gift from Hakken, the physical anime merchandise store that was just around the corner by the movie theatre. 

Here's one of the movie trailers if you are interested:

This movie is actually the first part of the Roselia movies, and a second one will be out pretty soon.

For a huge BanG Dream! fan whose favourite band is Roselia, you would expect me to snatch up this movie ticket and enjoy the movie. Unfortunately, I could only gaze from the sidelines :( However, that is okay as I can still wait for the online release in future. Besides, seeing so much Roselia promotion on the highest floor of Plaza Singapura already made me so happy. I mean...

A huge movie banner that spread across the wall? A dream! I had to pose with it (although I was a bit shy)

To add it on, I was standing right in front of Shirokane Rinko, my favourite member from Roselia~

Besides that, I also visited Hakken, the anime store I mentioned above. Entering Hakken felt like I was entering the mini version of one of those anime stores in Akihabara (Ahh... I miss travelling) because of the music that was playing, as well as the energetic display of items around the store. I even got another small Roselia treat from the brochure they gave out!

I guess even though I didn't get the chance to watch the fan screening, little things like seeing Roselia on a big display or even a small brochure was enough to make me happy. 

Another movie poster I saw outside the theatre

To be fair, although I did miss the fan screening, there will also be a regular screening this Saturday, and it will be screening for $15. There won't be any merchandise given this time, so it definitely feels like a more pricey amount for a regular screening. However, I'm sure that big fans of Roselia will still appreciate the movie regardless. 

On another note, I wish that I can see the seiyuus of Roselia (who also play their instruments in real live!) perform in Singapore. Unfortunately, only time will tell in this pandemic. Nevertheless, let's look on the bright side :)

Well, if you have seen the fan screening last weekend, feel free to share your thoughts and let us bond together as Roselia fans! 

To close it off, here's one of the songs that was featured in the movie!

And... I also wanted to share a recent live performances performed by their seiyuus! The song truly is a... Blessing to my ears. 

Have a good week everyone! 

Written by kimizomi

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MILKCANANIME Exhibitor Booth at Singapore Comic Con 2019

Sunday, January 5, 2020 / No Comments
It was my first time to hold an exhibition booth. And we are privileged to be able to showcase our artworks and merchandise at our favourite event, Singapore Comic Con 2019 (They are one of the nicest organisers for anime events).

Three months prior to SGCC, we also took on the challenge to design a pack of messaging stickers for WhatsApp and Telegram. It is a collaboration between SGCC and MILKCANANME and we decided to use one of our OCs Miwa Haruka and their new OC, Red Robot. We turned the Robot into a chibi to create a touch of playfulness. So as Miwa Haruka meets Red Robot, we combine the elements of Japanese Sub-Culture and Western Pop-Culture into one.

This was taken on Friday evening, where only Exhibitors were permitted to move in to do set-up.

 We prepared a stack of flyers and some Miwa Haruka stickers. 

 The designs for the 24 messaging stickers.

To avoid Copyright issues, we decided to take out "Wonder Women". It was later replaced by our OC, Amami Kisa aka Queen Bee

To download this pack of stickers, click here.

 My buddy BT and wife Angela were there to help me set-up on Saturday morning.

Our pink-hair mascot Miwa Haruka (cosplayed by Hani Hashiya) later dropped by our booth at TS24 to help.

A portion of our artworks include these four illustrations which we work with KidZania Singapore. As an artist for their Variable Programmes, we draw using our OCs and according to the theme for their event which takes place on a certain period. We then make another black-and-white Colouring Sheets for the kids to colour. 
More info on this Singapore Bicentennial Artwork here

The sweet Miwa Haruka and her Shiba plush. Miwa Haruka loves animals and her best friend is Moo Chan.

 Our vivacious blogger Devi dropped by our booth. She wrote a lot of travel guides for us in Japan.

Met our 'MIA' blogger J.Fluffysheep. Remember reading those "A Letter to XXX" posts? They are all written by him. Heard he had created his own blog which focuses on manga. You should check it out here. I told him that he is welcomed to return to writing for MILKCANANIME. He smiled sheepishly. 

 Some of our merch on display includes our Character LED watches, enamel pins, acrylic standees and plushes. We were there solely to showcase our merch. It was funny when people started asking us if they could buy on the spot. We asked them to visit our online shop

 Jack Sparrow and his Pirates of the Caribbean's crew hailed from the Philippines. Long travel by sea, Captain.

We enjoyed the two days convention in Singapore Comic Con and wish to thank everyone who dropped by our booth and chatted with us. Special thanks to my Resident Illustrators Shiriel Corda and Kim Gaby as well as Pearl and Amanda from Reed Exhibitions who worked alongside with me on this project.

We also put up a short video here. Enjoy! ^_*

Credits to our videographer BT

Written by Max Wong