Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Eternal Con 2016

After all the Sakura Matsuri events this year and including this AWFUL NYU events, it has come to attending the first convention of the year after canceling Castle Point & Big Apple Convention. EmCon was originally going to be attended but it's also being canceled.



Last year when I write this blog and reviewed the convention, I was being a sad sorry face and alone and this year it has gotten any more different than the last. I am sorry for being so poorly to myself on the convention but now I am going to review it for the 2nd time. You expect Eternal Con would be has huge as Javits Center, but its big enough space for everybody including the planetarium theatre. Having a comic book or pop culture convention taking place in a museum is not bad at all. When you actually look at it and take a chance, it really feels like that you're actually in a convention. Now I understand why it states the largest convention of all of Long Island.

The first thing you notice is the long lines isn't as frustrating as last year. That's because Eternal Con included FRIDAY as the opening instead of Saturday. After you enter when you are NOT a VIP convention guest, you are received a stamp on your skin while 3-Day convention attendees gets a wristband. I never actually attended 3 days this year but that is because I only have the Saturday ticket. Of course that is the disadvantage because the stamp comes off in case for re-entry. I also noticed that Eternal Con staff never questioned about your wristband or stamp for panels and main shows. For most of the conventions I went, I have to flash my badge every single time to security. Keep in mind that the museum staff also worked for Eternal Corp so it's basically working for the same company. Eternal Con becomes less tedious than Winter Con but it's a family friendly convention. Admission is very separate so you will need to buy a different ticket that is not related to Eternal Con.



The showrooms are in 3 levels and are different than last year. The celebrities are now on the VERY top floor. Once again, you need to put away your camera while you're in the area. When celebrities saw a picture unauthorized, you tried to get away but there is a one second delay from security before you move, possibly evicting you from convention grounds. The second floor now has the artist alley and a panel room. The first floor has a lot of vendors and artist alley. The cosplay area is now at the space history.

What's so big about this year, 2 cast members of Zyuranger of Yuta Mochizuki and Reiko Chiba which I'll explain SHORTLY? That got the fans super crazy of meeting the casts from Japan in person. Why New York or Newark Comic Con can’t have any of this. THIS IS THE REASON why Newark Comic Con sucked, it's still an awful convention back then and it's still awful right now. In fact it's now the same date as Liberty City Anime Con but that isn’t going to help since its all-out war.

Here is my personal story, after going into the convention I immediately saw the person that doesn't welcome me on convention grounds. Probably because he saw my Facebook ads about the December 2015 j-Summit New York event but he's been sneaking on me on Facebook. My first activity is the Cosplay Runway show. If you read any of my Sakura Matsuri blogs, it's Philadelphia I am referring. After the cosplay show, I roam around the convention and taken a photo op with Reiko Chiba. Next person is Jennifer Rose, I had to say that I am quite jealous because I only met Yaya Han but Jennifer Rose seems to be the local cosplayer and model of New York City. Nicole Oliva is also a local cosplayer, model and soprano singer and she's not much of an interest. I ended up buying prints and had a picture. It isn't as bad as Yaya Han but next time, I SHOULD TELL PEOPLE TO HOLD STEADY TO MY CAMERA. Of I forgot YufieBunny, she's a cosplayer too.



Next part of the story is the Streetpass Game Show organized by the Streetpass of Long Island. It's a fun panel for people to play the mocked up version of Family Feud and you get to WIN prizes. During the panel, I actually do some personal checking!

Eternal Con is the only con for this year that bounces me back, whenever I got sad or angry, happiness just motivates me to keep going. I really glad that I got my friend to come and that matters. This person Reiko Chiba is completely at random. At the time I didn't care of meeting celebrities especially for voice actors just the image characters that played the roles. I really do not know Reiko Chiba that well and that's because I never grew up watching the original sentai series called Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. That show never existed here in the United States but came out as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by Saban Entertainment. However Zyuranger did create SEASON 2 only to use the stock footages for the Lord Zedd saga for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. When I was little, I always have a good crush with the character Kimberly Hart and not the actress Amy Jo Johnson. She was originally invited to Eternal Con of this year but Amy chose not to be part of the convention. If you remember last year's Eternal Con, they had Austin St. John, David Yost, Karen Ashley and Walter Jones. Big Apple Con or Wintercon ALWAYS has Jason David Frank. That really bothers me, what happened to TRINI? You know the Vietnamese actress? Her name is Thuy Trang. Why not bring her to the convention! Oh wait, she died in 2001? It's no wonder TRINI didn't exist at the time. Anyway continue!



When I got into Japanese actresses, I wanted to meet them in person. I was mostly interested in the Boys Over Flowers genre including the famous actress of the series Norika Fujiwara as one of the bully girls from the 1995 movie and Nanako Matsushima as Tsubaki Domyouji. When I heard Reiko Chiba coming over to Eternal Con I got to meet her in person and I did. By the way, Reiko Chiba played the role Zyuranger Pterodactyl named Mei. As a matter of fact, this is the FIRST time I ever met Reiko Chiba in person but don't get me wrong, back in SpringFest 2014 I met Mike Pollack (Voice of Dr. Eggman of Sonic X) but he's nothing comparing with out of USA or New York State celebrities. Maybe I want to meet Eric Stuart. Don't forget Monica Rial and Jaimie Marchi. I didn't care but they're random meet up but like I said I only care about the characters that played the roles. It's too bad I never meet and greet as a VIP guest but as being so generous I got her print included with an autograph and gotten a SELFIE with Reiko Chiba. She is so awesome and very nice at the same time. As for Yuta Mochizuki, NOPE I didn't bother but he does exist. Yep, he exists! It's the Internet that brought the world into fantasy.

 

After the panel from Streetpass, there are 2 more. Okay so I talked a lot more than last year but don't get me wrong, Eternal Con is MUCH better than New York Comic Con. If there's a low tier con than ReedPOP's high tier con which has so many problems for the fans I'll go there any day. The last 2 are Empire Saber Guild and the Cosplay Fashion Show Contest which the BEST one of the series and I have a good time this year.



As the convention ends, the rainbow of death arrived. Yep, LJN TOYS decided to put up a booth for the Eternal Con, just kidding but things happen when it rains so hard and while sunny. So that's folks, here's Eternal Con. It was a wonderful convention and I highly recommend this one than Newark Comic Con and New York Comic Con. There are other New Jersey Comic Cons such as Garden State Comic Fest but its WAY TOO FAR and its taken place as Morristown New Jersey. NO THANKS! I don't have any other talk at this time so I'll take a break for blogging for a while. Thanks for reading and take care.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Japan Block Fair June 2016

Japan Block Fair has been an astonishment since myself of the Insecduel Team since the year 2010 of June which I remember at Upper West Side where the big stage, chopsticks NY magazine, Japan products, yeah it's my favorite one of all time especially when I first take a glimpse at Reni Mimura and Uzuhi. It's also the time when I want to meet Reni Mimura in person to become one of her angels and I did thanks to the Japanese person on a maid costume name Mako chan but she is now removed from my Facebook list. It's the year 2016 and things are not as used to be especially after 3 years since the heartbroken relationship between myself and Reni but I have to move on with my life.



Japan Block Fair becomes such a success that it's also becomes such an epic failure at the same time. Japan Block Fair is no longer what you see like the big stage even fused with the Koreans twice in a row; you remember all of this right? The common areas are now Park Avenue below 40th Street and Broadway below 93rd Street. Both of these don't have the stage area anymore. That makes me wonder what happened. There's even the Japan Block Fair around 6th Avenue below West 4th Street. Other times it took place in Astoria on Broadway between Steinway and 46th Streets or even East Village on First Avenue. In 2011 Japan Block Fair had a swimsuit contest, yeah remember before the time Reni Mimura's maid night event. It also rained during the festival, what a wipeout. I miss the time when Lulla played at Japan Block Fair since Astoria is her hometown. If Astoria has so much Asian within the community, why the fuck would they never bring the festival back to Queens? Who's the owner of Japan Block Fair and why?



Japan Block Fair is now nothing more than your Japanese market place, no stage and no performances. Speaking of performances, they aren't too many of them. Based on my actual story I never stayed at the festival for too long. Without the performance list, this festival is already doomed what used to be a great festival.

Speaking of great festivals, Sakura Matsuri Washington DC seems alright except the 2016 year when they relocated to Capitol Yards. Hell, even the Korean Parade & Festival has performances and a big stage and it was organized by KAAGNY. The Korean performances are repetitive but it's entertaining. You got ummm.... Poku Poku Boys, Yuna I think but I can't remember her name, even Shihori played at the Japan Block Fair and that is because she is staying in New York until the 13th of June but how the HELL Shihori gets to play? Who booked her to play at Japan Block Fair, as a matter of fact who brought these people at the festival? There's clearly no stage including schedule so something is seriously wrong. Japan Block Fair got every Japanese product from Japan but hey it's okay for me.



What about Hakata Tonton, I haven't heard a single update since their restaurant is getting renovated. I think they're dead since Go Go Curry or other Japanese eateries took the competition. Overall, it's okay but not so well. I don't think it's terrible but it's not great either. It's too small; performances are slightly a train wreck, decent marketplace and standard quality products. At least it's not Queens International Night Market opening event which is the WORSE one I ever experienced with overcrowded people.

Sadly, Japan Block Fair is their last for the 2016 year. That's not all; Japan Block Fair is taking step backwards which is going to be named jAPAN Fes. Will it be a hit, or it will be another commercial failure. Find out when it hits October 2016. See you soon!

Monday, June 13, 2016

jSny May 2016

It's the 12th of June and things are not going too easy since I am working with Amazon Prime and now it's the weekend so let's catch up some blogs coming up. It's been 2 weeks ago since I got the haircut and now let's move on to the event called j-Summit New York.

j-Summit New York brings on the Kumamoto Earthquake along with the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. With 10 of the performers listed I am going to give my personal review one by one if you don't agree with my opinion that is on you.



The first one in order is JAROexperiment. I never even heard of JAROexperiment so I had to look it up on Facebook. According to her fanpage, the singer and songwriter name is Chie. I was thinking that Chie might be, oh never mind. Anyway JAROexperiment make a great opening of the show so far.

 

The next one is 2 J-POP singers that I am going to mention. The second performer is Marina Kondo which I actually met at Harrison but not in person. Just like in Harrison, at least Marina is decent. For my overall I am just not into Marina at all. I do love J-POP music but it seems that I have a bundle of Japanese female pop music performers. Way too many to count! The third one is Yukino Kikuta. For whatever reason Yukino knows me but when do I saw last time. I have a hard time figuring it out because Yukino's friends with Kyoko Uchiki. Do I actually meet her in one of Kyoko's open mic events last year? I don't know! As for Yukino, her music isn't too bad but she does have a beautiful smile.



The fourth performer is 2une that includes Uno from Japan and Sneko. They are the American J-POP idols. Unlike Nicole Oliva, 2une does sing their originals other than the cover idol songs. Hell, even Hitomi Himekawa sing her originals on her j-Summit New York years back and she's half Japanese and Italian. 2une does bring in the fun and entertains the crowd which I really like. 2une is very creative, but I think Sneko comes a long way of becoming a singer.



The fifth performer is the singer and songwriter that composes Game and Anime songs is no other than Shihori. Shihori continues to be a great hit for the crowd. On top of that, her recent physical CD in Japan is brought over to the USA. Of course you can get these CD's at Shihori's website but whether they're available or not, they are way too many to count. Her kimono is also impressive along with the makeup she's wearing. A good performance from Shihori, but she's going to relocate to New York on the Autumn season.



The next one is Kenji Furutate which is kind of interesting. Except he doesn't bring his own taiko's to the stage. Instead he uses a drum but along with another instrument. WHAT KIND OF A PERFORMANCE IS THAT. The performance I saw in Harrison is really really good. So why not have a taiko, a tap dancer or a drummer to the night event? At least Japan Festival Boston is way decent. For whatever reason his CD price seems a bit odd. A CD costs $17? What? Most CD's had a fixed price of either from $5 to $20. They're mostly $5 bills of a different kind. Kenji Furutate is okay but it could have been better.


At last I am going to talk about the 4 remaining bands. The sixth one is Takeshi Otani band. Not much to say but at least they don't make me sleep like the last one. Otherwise it's going to be a BORING jazz performance. Takeshi Otani band is greatly improved but doesn't make me a jazz fan. LUST continues to rock on which is also my comment and not discussing it in greater detail. GELATINE continues to be a great kickass band but it's going downhill a little bit. It's seems so repetitive but on the other hand the drummer Jose Ortiz is leaving for good. First keyboarder Mina left to Japan and now Jose is moving to Florida. Gelatine seems to be falling down but with some new members I am sure they will bounce back. The last performance is the BIG APPLE SUNSHINE BAND. Michael Potter continues to rock on but they're doing okay. As a good friend of Michael Potter I can continue to support his band.

Out of all performances on the lineup, it has to go to either 2une or Shihori as the best J-POP singers, GELATINE for the best rock band and Shihori for being a solo singer as well. Join me the next blog and I will talk about the Japan Block Fair. See you there!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Japan Cultral Festival, The MATSURI 2016

On this day back in 2014 is one of the worst days you and I ever should remember this day as I am writing this blog.



So we conclude to the final Sakura Nihon Tour of the 2016 year, which is Harrison, New York. By now, you should know that all the Cherry Blossom flowers are faded away. With all the Sakura Matsuri events taking place on the earlier weeks such as California, Hawaii, Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Nashville, St. Louis, and many more. One Sakura Matsuri that was canceled is Stamford, which is unknown. The first Harrison Japanese festival called Japan Cultural Festival, which is still named right now, becomes The Matsuri.

Just like the previous 2 years, it has still gotten better. Before I am on with The Matsuri let us went back on some of the good festivals I already went to which includes Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri Washington D.C., Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, JAANY Sakura Matsuri, Japan Festival Boston, Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival and Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn. The other ones like Randall's Island did not go so well and the worst of all is NYU & Iona College.

Harrison's The Matsuri event has not changed a bit. There is still fun and games along with arts and crafts for the kids, Japanese food and products along with performances. The third annual is just like the first annual folks and the Harrison Public Library has the tea ceremony while the second one had the Japanese exhibits at the recreation center. For one thing, even without the performance guide they have the performance list order in both English and Japanese. Now that is covered within the festival let us talk about the performances.

 

As I arrived, there is ummmm. I cannot remember but I rather not talk about these classic and traditional performances and I mean the J-POP performances. Marina Kondo sings really well but Megumi Matsumoto is much better. Even with one original song and two of her cover songs, it is still outstanding. Rie Tamuro with her guitar alone sings a couple of her originals. One thing I notice is her hair turns blonde or brightest yellow, which affects her branding. There are other ones like Karate demonstration, kendo and dance.

You would be surprised that Hatsune Miku made its way to the festival. Yep that is right, at least one cosplayer made it to the third festival of Harrison. That makes me wonder if any cosplayers taking over the Harrison and other parts of Westchester. The weather is somewhat hot too. Out of every performance, they fail the end time and it did not end at least 4:15PM.

 

Now with the FINAL verdict. The jury is found the Harrison Matsuri staff innocent. It is still a good festival but I hope next year I am bringing someone better. With all the Sakura Matsuri events, I had to end all of this as the weather getting hotter and flowers already died off. I am getting tired and that is the final Sakura Matsuri blog. Thanks for reading and have a good day.