Archive for party

(Bent-out of) Shape of Things to Come

Posted in Errata, Events with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by speedxgrapher

I think we are rapidly reaching, if we have not already reached, the lowest point concerning otaku culture in Greece (well, to be fair, in Athens). Now, before I explain how I have reached this seemingly dire-sounding conclusion, let’s rewind just a little: as you have obviously noticed, I don’t come to the parties anymore, not even occasionally (with the exception of Sakura Syndrome’s last, where I remained for all of half an hour – and then again only because I was in the neighborhood). Some of the reasons are already known and have been analyzed at some length (both here and inside CHORISSU). A couple of days back, I met some people who frequent the parties and one asked me why I never come by any more. My answer was that, besides all else, I am bored to death: the parties have reached a point where they are an endless repetition (the Harajuku Street Party being the only recent exception) of music, of things that happen, of highs and especially lows, with the whole affair having turned into a noisome, kindergarden cosplay catwalk. At least, until recently, there was the ingenuity, care and variation which characterized a great number of said cosplays.

Until recently…  Although I don’t show up, I keep myself informed and I browse through the pictures that people upload in a number of places on the internet.  Before moving on, let me state clearly that I will not name people, exceptions or whatnot: I don’t know if it’s the fault of the people taking the pictures or of the people featured within them, but there has been a steady decline in the visual value of the parties which, in my opinion, hit rock bottom at the J-Horror event. The (vast majority of) the cosplays I saw in the pictures were so badly made, so mismatched and ill-presented (simply, if harshly put, so ridiculous and ugly), that they do not even measure up to the very first cosplays at KABATZA. Note that, of course, this opinion is based on the pictures I saw, which made my eyes bleed (again, I have no way of knowing if this is the fault of the pictures themselves or their subjects).

Take a breath, let it sink in…

I realize you will probably hate me for this opinion, maybe even stop reading this blog altogether. Some who can keep a more cool head, may reason that perhaps this was the case in a single party or perhaps that I have not seen enough material. Could be: nothing’ s impossible – merely improbable. If you really believe so, retrace your steps in time with the photographic material that’s been posted all over the place (including here) and I am sure you will notice how the majority of cosplayers change for the worst, whereas a few exceptions not only give it their all, but raise to even greater levels. However, they really are isles in the ocean and I cannot help but believe that when they are fed up, they will just stop.

Now, you may ask, point out, accuse or whatever else fits as a reaction – certainly enraged and outraged – that “Who are you to talk? You never cosplay! Do you know how difficult… blah-blah-blah”. I never said (and in fact, neither did anyone else) that you MUST cosplay just for the fuck of it and “shame on you for not doing it right”. I don’t cosplay because I am not good at it and more importantly, I am not built for it. The anime / manga / game characters for which I could plausibly pass can be counted on one hand, if even that. You must simply realize that, sometimes, it’s OK not to cosplay, if you won’t (or can’t – no shame there either) put your mind and heart into it. It won’t be the end of the world… It’s certainly better that turning what used to be something creative and fun into a “pat-me-in-the-back” freakshow.

What I see, is something that I used to love, turned into a dying trend and if it doesn’t do itself a favor and die out, in its current form it’ s simply too ridiculous to be worth the effort. Therefore, I will not be posting any more party announcements (as I did not post the Akai Panda Anniversary), until I feel there’s something to it again. Of course, it’s entirely possible that there won’t be something to it again… Mind you, this is not some kind of threat, condition, whatever – I have been updating the blog only sporadically and really, it’s not like my decision will affect your lives in any significant way (if it does, however, I am honored that you think – or have thought until now – so highly of me). There’s still photographic material in my backlogs, as well as other Japan-related things that I intend to post, when I have the time. I am simply releasing myself form the self-imposed obligation to be consistently up to speed with the various J-parties and giving you some food for thought.

Whether you chew on it or not, is your decision.

Speedgrapher out.

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April 2010 Events

Posted in Events, Oni Market, Sakura Syndrome with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by speedxgrapher

April will be an eventful month to be sure, with the coming week featuring two heavy-hitting returns. The first is, of course, the 5th annual COMICDOM CON ATHENS at the Hellenic-American Union (22, Massalias St., Athens), which will be taking place from Friday the 16th to Sunday the 18th of April, featuring a bazaar, fanzines, international guests, panels, workshops and much – oh, SO much – more. For the full schedule, events etc. you would do best to visit right here. It’s our very own celebration of geek fandom and no one should miss it!

OMICDOM CON 2010! (Art by Mike Dialynas).

Secondly (and perhaps a bit unfortunately, given the timing) Somnium in Tenebirs returns with her Sakura Syndrome project to Athens on the same Saturday the 17th at Da Sein (12, Solomou St., Athens), presenting Japan & Anime Party – CLJ Collaboration Vol. 2, which is a SuG release party at the same time. You know the drill, you know what to expect and the party starts at 21:00 as always (just remember there is a 3,5 euro entrance fee, beer included)…

Sakura Syndrome - CLJ Event Vol. 2

…and just a week later, on the 23rd, she hosts her event in Salonika, at CoFiX (11, Lori Margariti St.) for the northern branch of the extended otaku family. This is a Starwave Collaboration Event, presenting the new release of the electro-rock band, the fool. Starts at 21:00 with an entrance fee of 4 euros (drink included). You can read more about both events over here.

Sakura Syndrome - Starwave Records Event Vol. 2

I may have some more news for you come next week, but that is all for now. I can already tell you that I will be at the convention during all three days and I will be kind of busy, but if you drop by, look around for the freak with the camera. I am sure you will recognize me.

Cheers,

Speedgrapher

Timeflip: Harajuku Street Party – “The Thingamajig”

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by speedxgrapher

This is a set with the previous post, created just to include the video of N8 and her cool thing (Largo would be proud) flashing from (inside, behind) her teeth. Enjoy!

Cheers,

Speedgrapher

Timeflip: Harajuku Street Party

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by speedxgrapher

Once more time has stumbled its leg  on its proverbial sands and so, even after all this time, I am still not going to complete the Cosplay & Maid Cafe series of posts. It’s either a peculiar time/space aberration, OR the photos from Wrong Group’s Harajuku Street Party were much fewer and easier to edit (I leave it to your collective judgment to figure out which of the aforementioned holds true).

At any rate, given that this party was organized by some of my favorite people, I had promised I would attend since Day 1 of its inception, my recent absence from similar events notwithstanding. Here is the catch though: a couple of days earlier I had caught a case of the seasonal flu (or even a plain old cold affecting my mucus glands – OK, I’ m stopping now). Whatever the case, just the day before I was a royal mess and on Saturday I had woken up in a most inconvenient and unseemly fashion (more disgusting details withheld). The thing about promises though, is that generally I try my damndest to keep them: so I had to go downtown to a meeting about the upcoming COMICDOM CON and then go over to some friends’ house, which was incidentally pretty near the location of the party (if I turned back home after my initial run, there was no way I was going to extract myself a second time).

Generally, I am very skeptical of so-called signs and portents but when the heel of my boot came off its nails at my friends’ house, I admit to questioning the wisdom of going to the party. Then I thought again of many people who would be attending and whom I had wanted to see for some time (I HAVE mentioned I do not get out much, haven’t I?) and as I said to a certain huggable someone, a promise is a promise: so I borrowed a hammer and some nails from my friends ans simply repaired my boot, before setting out.

Besides people being awfully nice after my long absence, the heartwarming meeting with many among them and a last opportunity to see some for the foreseeable future (since school exams are coming up fast and furious – ganbatte minna!), it was interesting spending the little time I managed (you have no idea of the voice from Hell I got from yelling and inhaling so much smoke, even for an hour-and-a-half) at an event of much different flair than those of recent months, not just in choice of theme or music, but also mood, which brought to mind earlier days…

But I will not veer off in that direction here: you came for the photos and photos I have, although I must warn you that this set’s quantity pales in front of anterior ones, which I hope will be balanced out by its quality. Also, it is by no means complete but I did what I could and hope you will enjoy it. Curtains please!

Well, that was it. I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly did, even though it ruined my voice for the next day and I could not, for the life of me, got o Makari and attend The Daughters’ of Fable Storytelling Night. I am inclined to think that, seeing many among you was worth the sacrifice (although I HAD kinda hoped I would manage both). Someone wondered if this signaled my return (who am I, Aragorn???). That I cannot answer yet. We ghosts are fickle this way.

May you dream of castles in the sky,

Speedgrapher

P.S. N8 had this great thingamajig that made her teeth flash all sorts of colors and I have it on video, which I will post as soon as it uploads. Sad thing is someone stole it on that same night…

February 2010 Events

Posted in Akai Panda, Events, Sakura Syndrome with tags , , , , on February 15, 2010 by speedxgrapher

Well, hmm… ho-hum… Actually, both these events have already taken place, the second one on Sunday, which was Last Carnival Day / St. Valentine’s Day 2 in 1 (excuse me while I barf on account of the latter). I have been… out of touch, to say the least and still, things won’t be looking up anytime soon. I had some thoughts about coming over to Akai Panda’s most recent party (even had some prodding from Kyoshiro, who attended despite the broken arm, as well as Mai-chan) but a misadventure including my PC, sparks and smoke set me back a few days and I could not really afford to wake up when I would, today,  had I come by (there is no such thing as leaving early from these things – not for me at least).

So obviously, my posting these here is just me feeding my case of OCPD and need for complete records.

Starwave Records Vol. 1

Valentine's Cosplay Party

Some people have been asking after me (or even asking me, concerning my absence) and I thank you for your concern. As Dr. Greg House would say, “it’s complicated” and take my word for it. I have, for the most part, no idea when I will untie some or all of the twisted knots currently plaguing my life and mood but when I do, you’ll know what to look for (unless I have completely mutated into something tentacled by then). There will be one or two other posts in the very near future, although I cannot be more precise and I believe the content of at least one will be some food for thought.

That’s all for now,

Speedgrapher

P.S. An amazingly funny thing, among the (mostly not funny) ones that reached my ears. I have a girlfriend! Not only that, but she hangs out at the Japanese parties (so she is probably really cool)! Only problem is, I haven’t left my cave in ages, my contact with the rest of humanity is currently limited to a (very) few friends with whom I watch movies or play table games and I have not flirted, much less dated since before the Summer (nor am I terribly inclined to). So that leaves two possibilities: either someone should get their rumors straight (although they do amuse me to no end), or I have been really, REALLY insensitive towards my sweetheart, so if she could please identify herself, I will rectify that post-haste.

January 2010 Events

Posted in Events, Nozomi Ongaku, Sakura Syndrome with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by speedxgrapher

Well, anyone who was really interested already knows this, but I will put it here for completeness’s sake. Tomorrow, January 9th, Sakura Syndrome (well, basically Somnium in Tenebris) host their first Athens party for 2010 at Da Sein (Solomou 12, Exarheia), starting at 21:00 as usual. This party, in addition to everyone’s favorite music, will include a guest DJ set by long-time absentee Raven Sweetwater, as well as the European debut of XodiacK’s first album, “Shinra Bansho – Setsuri” (read more here).  Besides the established cosplay contest, keep your eyes peeled for more surprises and freebies during the night.

Sakura Syndrome Pre-Release Party.

On the 23rd of January,  don’t miss “Schoolyard presents Japan Meets New York”, an East meets West special party, also at Da Sein, a joint production of  DCpleen Blog and Nozomi Ongaku. You are invited to listen to the mingled sounds of both New York and Japanese Freestyle, Hip Hop and Electronica, with the extra spice of J-Rock and Visual Kei sounds: an explosive cocktail like no other, hosted by the one and only, mighty KrizD!!!

East meets West. Word!

More on this as I get my hands on the information.

Have a nice month,

Speedgrapher

December 2009 Events

Posted in Akai Panda, Events, Sakura Syndrome with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2009 by speedxgrapher

Well, well… it’s that time of the month again, when the events of various teams have to be announced in order for the aspiring attendees to organize their time and cosplays. This month we have 2 events up north and one in Athens, so here we go:

First up is J.A.P 団 and Geek-Lover Productions’ Japan, Anime & Gaming Party on December 6th (that is to say, this coming Sunday), at the same location as their first party, To Kryfto (31, Valaoritou St., Salonika – see the poster for a map), chiefly sponsored by Byteme.gr. The party will feature, as last time, multiple contests in the following categories:

J.A.P 団 and Geek-Lover Productions' Japan, Anime & Gaming Party.

(1) Best Anime Cosplay.

(2) Best Gaming Cosplay: same as the well-known above, only with gaming characters.

(3) Best Photo-shoot.

(4) Best Role-Play Acting.

I believe the categories are self-expletive but if not, you can go here and read more details. Entrance is 5 euros including drink and for any and all information, requests etc., you can mail the team at japdan2009@gmail.com or visit their Facebook or MySpace.

Secondly, on Friday the 11th of December Sakura Syndrome are back with Christmas & Somnium’s Un-Birthday Party Special, combining Somnium in Tenebris’s birthday (which is on the 7th – many preemptive wishes girl!) with a Christmas Celebration, through Alice’s looking glass. This will also be a double release party in collaboration with Darkest Labyrinth, for Vanished Empire’s “Theater of Tragedy” (by DJ Chihiro and DeeLee, whom some of you may have met waaaay back with Gothika) and HimemaniK‘s “I wanna be a figurine”. The party will also feature contests and other suprises. The party will take place at CoFiX (11, Lori Margariti St., Salonika) as usual and starts at 21:00. Entrance is 4 euros including drink.

"Why? Because each has 365 Un-Birthdays!"

Finally, just a week before Christmas Day, Akai Panda organize their last party for 2009 on Friday, the 18th of December, at the new MAD Club (12, Dekeleon St., Gazi). The party starts at 21:00 with free entrance and will feature Camus, Namida and… (?) at the decks.

Akai Panda's Christmas Cosplay Special.

Well, talk about a packed December and here’s hoping it all works out for the best.

Cheers,

Speedgrapher

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