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Last Party of Le Ciel (02/03/2009 @ Roi-Mat Club)

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2009 by speedxgrapher


Here it is then, the end of a season: to be more precise, I should say that another chapter in what is the (comparatively) small, yet incredibly energetic Japanese music scene of Greece, has come to a close. I suppose there are all sorts of mixed feelings about this development, from all sorts of different people. I myself have been one of the cogs of this peculiar machine, called Ordre de Ciel and then later, Le Ciel, at least to the extent allowed by my day job restrictions; more importantly, to the extent allowed by my sense of self.

Hm… reading back from the previous paragraph, it seems to me that it is one of the most careful introductions I have ever written. Does it look that way to you? If it does, you would be correct in your assessment. Most of you know I am at odds with [room302] (OK, that’s putting it lightly) over a great many things, but that does not mean I do not recognize the fact that he made an honest and dedicated effort to spread Japanese music, for more than half the time of the team’s existence.

This blog’s aim not being the analysis of social mechanics, dynamics, right, wrong and so on and so forth (insofar as it does not directly concern Japanese events, as was the case with BIOS), I will leave it at that. The irony is that this was the first event of Le Ciel I went to, after a month-and-a-half being cloistered away for work and it turned out to also be their last.  It all happened on the last days of Carnival… On with the photos!

I saved this picture for last and post it here  separately, since it almost seems like an epilogue, featuring Le Ciel themselves.

P3020432 copy

Left to Right: Yu-kun, Larva and [room302] (the Countess was off doing um… whatever it is people were doing in the 80s – I wouldn’t know, I was frigging watching Chojin Locke and Thundercats on Greek TV,  in the 80s!).

As far as I know, there was another party planned after this one, but the club where it was supposed to take place closed down. Shortly after this party (4th of March), Le Ciel announced their cessation of activities, followed by an explanation. If interested, you can follow the links here.

That is all, I guess,

Speedgrapher

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Interview With Ryo Fujimura

Posted in Archive, Oni Market with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by speedxgrapher

I know I already bulletined it in MySpace but I believe it should also be mentioned here for completeness’s sake. The interview we did with AciD FLavoR’s Ryo Fujimura, a few hours prior to his Acoustic Live at Underworld Genesis (56, Ippokratous St.), on the 13th of February, is now up in the J-Rock Revolution Webzine. Just click on the banner below to read it, as well as a mini-report of the whole event.

Cheers,

Speedgrapher

1st Cosplay @ Roi-Mat Club

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2009 by speedxgrapher

Hello again, my dear fellows! This time I am back for real. A few odd ends here and there, after finishing the translation, as well as another commission right after, delayed me a bit more than I anticipated. However, the blog can finally resume its normal pace once more.

As you are reading this, you have no doubt long received the rather sad news of Le Ciel’s cessation of activities, as well as their disbanding. There have been many opinions, arguments and counter-arguments voiced on the matter by many people, as well as Le Ciel themselves, no less. This development could be exhaustively discussed until, by reductio ad absurdum, its causality could be established. However, I believe there is no point in discussing it further – for a load of reasons – not the least of which is that, whatever the causes, evident or underlying, the fact remains that a season is over. Effectively, the only team remaining active in the propagation of Japanese culture (at least, through musical events), is Sakura Syndrome in Salonika. Whether that will change or not, remains to be seen.

However, this is not our subject today, as Le Ciel’s last party (the Masquerade Special) will be tackled in a later post. Today is dedicated to the first of the two parties at the Roi-Mat Club (17-19, Solomou St.), which I could not attend (on the 22nd of February). It was a real pickle for me, since, in my experience, cosplay parties during Carnival Season usually feature the best costumes. Hence, as you might remember, I had called upon the help of anyone and everyone who WOULD attend, in providing photographic material, at least for the record. I have not had the chance to speak with many of you who had offered to help at the time, but whatever the case, trusty Dragonbunny (I only deem calling you that and not the inverse due to the circumstances – hmph!) came through and after yet another arduous editing session, well… voila!

You will notice that all these photos do not have the characteristic blog marker anywhere, and that is simply because they were kindly taken and provided by Dragonbunny, who retains all rights to them. I have merely edited them for maximum effect. Likewise, this one was taken by Countess Bathory, at the same party.

So then, this is all for tonight and soon, I will post the second Roi-Mat party, where I actually appeared after 1,5 month of absence, provoking reactions in the line of: “Dude! You’re alive…! And your hair has grown”. However, all that will be discussed in more (hairy) detail there.

Sore jya,

Speedgrapher

Carnival Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2009 by speedxgrapher

As Greek readers know, we do not have Halloween here in Greece but there is a similar religious festival related to Mardi Gras celebrations and conspicuously, also called Carnival. It is a time of the year when people dress up in costume and do anything and everything from freaking out pedestrians, shooting fireworks, bashing each other with plastic hammers and clubs and in general, have a hell of a time as the whole country turns into one big-ass party. The best known Greek celebration of the Carnival is the one held in Patra.

However, as of recent years, two new events have been established, given the opportunity to go out into costume without looking any weirder than other people, or at least, equally weird: the Carnival marked the beginning of Cosplay Parties or Gatherings in 2006, on one hand related to the, then odd Japanese music events and on another hand, to the forum of Anime.gr. At some point and without prior planning, the two came together last year at KABATZA Club, where Ordre de Ciel kick-started their Japanese music events. For  anyone whose memory is shorter than mine, you can always go refresh it here. Although cosplay has come a long way in this short time, Carnival has remained the peak of the season for it, here in Greece. Hence, the two following events on the same day, Sunday the 1st of March:

Man the Harpoons!

Man the Harpoons!

Anime.gr’s Cosplay Gathering at Athens’s Syntagma Square, at 18:30, near the fountain. People are welcome both in and out of costume but are strongly advised to bring along photo and video cameras, to record the… “proceedings”. My own prsonal advice is to bring along at least ONE type of offensive equipment or if not, at the very least, equip yourself in all manner of armor and/or shields: there’s bound to be (lots of fake) blood. For more information go right here.

Le Ceil Carnival Edition.

Le Ceil Carnival Edition.

On the same day, Le Ciel organize their Masquerade Special Edition Party at Roi-Mat Club (17-19, Solomou St. Exarheia), bound to draw the j-music, anime and cosplay crowds, for a real Carnival medley. The party starts at 22:00, so nothing stops you from joining the Anime.gr crowd and when temperatures start to drop (given that many cosplay costumes are rather skimpy, eh girls?), everyone can meet up at the club for more hours of fun.

Signing off (and yes, back to work),

Speedgrapher

When the Proverbial Cat is Out…

Posted in Archive, Oni Market with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by speedxgrapher

…everything goes to pieces! I cannot let you kids play quietly for one moment, can I?! Ah, well, as long as none of you got killed or stuck with a Dextroze I.V. up their arms…

Just a couple of things that came to my attention about yesterday’s Cosplay Party at Roi-Mat. Sadly, the first link leads to a text readable only by the Greek-speaking people and then again, only those skilled in Greeklish. The photos however, can be universally appreciated…

(1) Flexxxy’s Headbanging Accident.

(2) Evil Lolita as Lucy from Elfen Lied. This is NOT a photo I took and therefore do not claim any rights to it. However, it’s still way cool, so there! (Who took the photo, in fact?)

Heeere kitty-kitty-kitty. *crunch* *splat* *gore*

Heeere kitty-kitty-kitty. *crunch* *splat* *gore*

(3) In retrospect, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly Ghosts, photo by me cum Countess Bathory. That is to say (if I understand correctly) that Countess Bathory took the original photo of her and Evil Lolita and edited it to look as if it were taken with the Camera Obscura of the game. I have wanted to post this for some time. Again, credit for the all too cool composition must go to the Countess.

Sae and Yae Kurosawa. Brrrr...!

Sae and Yae Kurosawa. Brrrr...!

Well, that is all for now. Back to death statistics, irradiations and hospital bacterial infections. Fun (not)…  Good recuperation Flexxy and next time, wear a fucking Naruto headband (I know you own one)!

Speed (the proverbial cat) Grapher

February 2009 Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2009 by speedxgrapher

Hello, hello again dear readers. It would appear that there is no rest for the wicked (and I am pretty wicked – in a bad sense – according to SOME sources) and thus, not only have I reached a backlog of around 600 pictures which I need to go through, but February is choke-full of Japanese-related events, most of which, expectedly, I will be attending and hopefully, so will you. The month already started at a good pace, with us having a great time at Sakura Syndrome’s 3rd Year Anniversary Party at Da Sein (report on that next week). Well, it may have started on the 31st of January but it went on well into the 1st of February morning, so I guess it still counts, nee?

Here’s looking at the upcoming events, in chronological order:

On Friday the 13th, Le Ciel, in cooperation with Ramen Events, present Acoustic Live Show with AciD FLavoR‘s  Ryo Fujimura in Athens, accompanied by the team’s well-known and loved tunes. Those attending will have the opportunity to be exposed to Ryo Fujimura’s work, as well as chat with the artist himself! Location: Underworld Genesis (56, Ippokratous St.).

Ryo Fujimura Acoustic Live

Ryo Fujimura Acoustic Live

On that same day (Friday the 13th seems quite lucky this month), up north, the ladies of Sakura Syndrome present Horror Valentine Special in Salonika, mixing chocolate and flowers with blood and poison, inviting all to their well-orchestrated DJ/VJ combo. Location: CoFiX (11, Lori Margariti St.).

Horror Valentine Special

Horror Valentine Special

On the 22nd of February, Le Ciel host a Cosplay Party in Athens, in a different venue and where, rumors have it, massive organized cosplays will take place, with a prize for the best cosplayer. Location: Roi Mat Rock Club (17-19, Solomou St., Exarheia).

Cosplay Party @ Roi Mat

Is it over yet, is it over…? Oooh, no. Announcing, ahead of time, Tokyo Goddess Coco’s Fetish and Fire Show in Athens, on the 14th of March. Location: Underworld Genesis (56, Ippokratous St.).

Coco Tokyo Goddess. (Note: Originally I had posted here the UNDERWORLD GENESIS poster, made with the same photo, but it was recently taken off Photobucket, so I replaced it with the original artwork, from CoCo@ Katsuras MySpace).

Coco Tokyo Goddess. (Note: Originally I had posted here the UNDERWORLD GENESIS poster, made with the same photo, but it was recently taken off Photobucket, so I replaced it with the original artwork, from CoCo@ Katsura's MySpace).

Well, that’s all for now (as if it weren’t enough), so I will get back to my day job responsibilities and hope I somehow make it out alive at the end of this month and if I don’t, well, there’s always zombie mode.

Yours in earnest,

Speedgrapher

Otaku Lens Reader Awards for 2008

Posted in Errata with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by speedxgrapher

You know, these past few days, what with the massive commenting (epic rants with Eri-chan, Lucy and Zauk), I have been digging through the stats of the blog quite often and I noticed a pattern emerging, so I thought to present to you the public’s (that would be… YOU) preferences for 2008. Of course, I had to do some creative management, since, among the top five viewed pictures, three are those of Glastenen as Integra Wingates Fairbrook Hellsing (13-10-2008). The point is to see what stuff you liked the most, in terms of different content. So here goes:

Top 5 Pictures

1. Glastenen as Integra Wingates Fairbrook Hellsing

2. Raven, Sweet Death

3. Chiroto as Gothic Lolita

4. Moboros as Kakashi

5. Visual Keru

The Top 5 Posts are chosen from among the viewed items that are not /  do not have just pictures, but are accompanied by a report, captions, or other text, which assumes that you did not just like what you saw but also, what you read:

1. Ordre de Ciel: Ichiban no Cosplay @ UNDERWORLD – Part 1

2. Ordre de Ciel: Unshin and the Festive Room – Part 1

3. Photo of the Week: Raven, Sweet Death

4. Nihon no Weirdness (First in a Series ?): Hard Gay Ramen

5. Ordre de Ciel Grand Opening Part 1: Legendary Cosplays

Do not look at me funny; as I have often said: power to the people, the people are YOU and you have chosen your most favored items. Nostalgic about KABATZA, are we? Yes, me too… If I make the time, perhaps I will endeavor to present my own personal top choices, but do not hold your breath (I am trying to hold my own, as I am drowning in work). Here’s hoping there will be as much, if not more to choose from for your choices of best photos, events and whatnot, in 2009.

Yours as always,

Speedgrapher

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