Best of Anime (Manila) 2014, Day 2

Best of Anime day 2 was a relaxing day for me. Which is just as well because my health pummelled and my voice was almost gone.



Since the Press Conference had to be postponed due to the torrential rain brought about by Typhoon Mario on Friday,  it was shifted to Sunday instead. So rise and shine early on the Sunday morning it is! Because I didn't have any schedule on Sunday and because my luggage was bursting,  i decided against bringing a second costume. So imagine my horror when the Press Conference had to be moved to Sunday.  I ended up being the only cosplayer who won't be donning a costume at the Press Conference ^^;;;;;

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I waited with Starmarie at the hotel lobby to be picked up to the event area. The entire time we were there, i wasn't able to make any eye contact with any of them (the girls and their crew) and felt a little left out :/




Then our ride and handler (LOL did this made us sound like animals xD?) Finally arrived and we trotted to the vehicle. Joe Inoue and his manager had also joined us at this point.


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I tried to make eye contact with my handler of the weekend;  who was John from Primetrade by the way, and failed miserably. Like i mentioned in the beginning, i lost my voice and could barely make out sounds much less greet someone “Good Morning”.  At that point I really missed my voice a lot ; (


As we waited for the vehicle to come near, because i was standing beside one of the Starmarie girls ( i think it was Kishita Nozomi ) , we finally made some eye contact and she blurt out in astonishment that i look " Zen zen chigau !". That translates to " You look so different!" Hahah. Hmm that explains the lack of contact throughout the lobby wait xD


When we finally fitted everyone onto the van and were a few meters on our way, John suddenly asked if "anyone saw Kaika?". He had just saw the sms i texted him a while ago that I'm waiting at the hotel lobby with the Starmarie people LOLL.




Imagine my astonishment as i awkwardly raised my hand to get his attention 8D I think I also cried out something with my crackling voice xD When John realised that I was already in the car he gave out an embarrassed exclamation;  he had thought I was one of the starmarie girls!! It was so much LOL (/u___u\)


Anyway we trotted off to the VIP lounge and waited for our turn for the Press Conference. We also had our best meal of the entire trip here, i ordered some Philippine grilled milk fish (Bangus) while Karael and Onnies had Fish fillet.




Onnies annoying Karael who was enjoying his fillet XD


I had initially thought all the guests will be attending the Press Conference together but turns out , the Press Conference was done in different groups xD. Because of that, we had to wait in the VIP lounge for a long while.




Some photos of the Press Conference by Kira Hokuten.




The media representatives asked many interesting questions about our attitude and opinions towards different things in Cosplay . And I'm happy to observe that many of what we said resonated with them; such as nobody likes Cosplay drama and everyone have the right to cosplay whoever they like. Woo hoo!




Onnies from Thailand, cosplaying as Ahri (Pop Star version) from League of Legends




Karael cosplaying as Mikasa Ackerman from Shingeki no Kyojin


Anyway, after the Press Conference i managed to snag a short interview with Onnies, so look forward to it! I was hoping to interview Joe Inoue too and dude agreed to it on Saturday.  But by Sunday he was so tired he was basically napping on the couch like a boss and I really didn't have the heart (nor the shamelessness) to ask for an interview XD.



Onnies playing games on her phone. She was very addicted to them hahaha




Every time I try to take a proper shot of her, she does weird faces =_= LOL. Onnies is very down-to-earth and likeable!




The super tired Karael. Dude stayed up all night fixing his 3DMG. Doesn’t it annoys you that this guy can still look so pretty without sleep?




Can I haz his face please???




I also finally mustered the courage to ask for a photo with heidi! They looked a little aloof but they were very very nice and polite once we got past the initial awkwardness. They even gave us a heidi fan at the end of the day ^_^


After that, my very attentive Marshall asked me if I'd like to get my Starbucks today *_*. When Allan had asked me what I needed the day before, I joked with him that he can get me Starbucks coffee hahaa. I was very surprised and happy that he actually remembered it and excitedly agreed to go out. Yeay! Free time! I want to take the chance to thank my other marshal; Elijah for helping me to buy a new hair band on Saturday. Like I mentioned in my BOA Day 1 blog entry, I had some minor costume malfunction (I was really not expecting the hair band to break apart T_T). And I had to trouble Elijah to go out the Mall to get a new hairband for me! I feel so sorry and thankful and I think I owe him a drink!


But before Starbucks,  I decided to roam the event! 




The event was held at the SMX Convention Centre (MOA Complex). Best of Anime’s organiser; Primetrade Asia, Inc. made an agreement with SMX Convention Centre this year that only people holding an event ticket can enter the premise (The Convention Centre). All the 3 events happening at the Convention Centre that weekend was organised by Primetrade inc.


It may seem rather radical but this arrangement was possible also because the Convention Centre is at an isolated wing of the Mall of Asia. Doing so does not interfere with the daily operations of the Mall and kept crowd control easy. Thus the event attendees who bought the tickets basically had the entire Convention centre to themselves, which of course made the Event much more enjoyable.


Anyone in Singapore who have attended AFA or STGCC or any local events held at the pre-renovated Suntec City Convention Centre would understand the pain of squeezing yourself through the crowds who are commuting by. It was an absolute jam of humans and literally a walking nightmare for cosplayers!


Anyway, back to the event! Check out my event video below.



There was this very adorable Ani-marriage booth where 2 person could get married for 50 peso. I wasn't able understand the wedding vow but the little couple looked very cute together. 






In the same as the Ani-wedding booth, there were also Artist booths with a myriad of talents selling different artworks and merchandise.



Behind these booths, was half a hall of empty space for Cosplayers to rest and gather. Talk about generosity! I love how the organisers took care of the needs of Cosplayers by allocating an empty area for them to rest and interact. There was also a baggage counter for attendees to drop their bulky belongings at.





Then we saw some Dolfie display!




This Rin dolfie is so sexy ahhahaaha




I also had the chance to take a photo with one of the Dolfie at a dolfie display booth.




Starmarie were having a meet & greet. Check out the crowd around the booth!




Aren't they just adorable? 




This was the queue for the Starmarie Meet & Greet. The actual Starmarie booth is behind the booth with blue banner at the far left of this photo. Yes, it’s a distance isn’t it? LOL!




Mogu Mogu lifesize Supersize statue! It's even taller than the door XD I believe there are the beverage sponsor for the event. We had the chance to drink some of it backstage and it was very nice! It had nice chunky , chewy bits of Nata De Coco.




And then I spotted these adorable Mogu Mogu mascots! Honestly, I need posing lessons, I can't pose for sh*t -__-;;;




I missed the chance to patrol the other booths because I was soon lured away by the Cosplay Competition! Since I came too late, the stage area was already swamped and it was difficult to get a decent angle. Hero TV was hosting the HERO Face-off Cosplay competition on stage and the stage area was totally barred off. Even the backstage VIP lounge beside the stage was difficult to get near. 




But my Marshalls were super awesome and they found me an "ALL ACCESS" pass! And with the pass, I was able to settle myself comfortably in front of the stage ^w^ b My poor Marshalls however, had to wait for me outside because they didn't have the pass. Goes to show how serious the organising teams of both HERO TV and Primetrade is with regards to event security. 

update: hahaha so Futomi-san from Anime Alliance updated me that he was the one who helped get the ALL ACCESS pass so here’s a shout out to him too ^^. Thank You dude!



I didn’t even remember I took this photo but much thanks to Kira for this photo with my pass! Sorry I chopped you off dude!




Can you see my poor Marshalls standing outside the barricade lol? 


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The performance this time had a lot of skits and being a long time fan of Rurouni Kenshin, the Rurouni Kenshin team left me with the deepest impression.






They performed the iconic scenes of Soujirou versus Kenshin and Shishio versus Kenshin. At the end of it I found myself having to battle my tears haha. I recorded the whole skit! Have uploaded the skit onto TCC’s Youtube channel !





The crowd’s favourite performance however, was most probably this Love Live AKB0048 (Sorry for getting it wrong D: ) cosplay performance!



Some photos of the awe-inspiring cosplays we saw at the competition ! Photo credits to Kira Hokuten.







One of the Cosplay Competition Judge that day was famous Filipino Cosplayer/celebrity ; Myrtle Sarrosa.




There were also dance competitions! This group of dancers were amazing!




After roaming the event, I went out for my Starbucks!




Hey look! Starbucks in the Philippines! Looks exactly like Singapore actually hahaha! My favourite Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and caramel drizzle (Tall) sells for 140 pesos. Someone remind me if I am wrong but isn't that slightly cheaper than Singapore? I remember having to pay extra 50 cents just for caramel drizzles in Singapore -__-; 



#keika is so nice #moa #bestofanime

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We walked around the HUMONGOUS mall to search for chocolate covered dried mangoes but to avail =( We did however, spotted a lost child and handed her to one of the Mall staff. When we were queuing for my Starbucks, there was a security guard in front of the shop directing the patrons. And it seemed to be a trend for almost every shops in the mall so I took the chance to ask Allen why it was so. Having a guard at almost every shop and almost every corner of every level seemed like an overkill to me but Allen insisted it was to keep everyone safe. He then took the chance to playfully reinforce the idea to me again when we escorted the lost child to the staff who was directing patrons around the escalator just 5 meters away LOL.


While we were leisurely strolling, we even contemplated playing Ice Skating (actually, I think only I was keen hahah)! I guess it was a good thing we didn't because I was suddenly summoned back around 5 plus PM! My Marshall's walk talkie had lost connections when we went into the Hypermart so when we finally came out and heard the organiser's panic search for us, we started to panic too O_O; And because Mall of Asia was SO BIG, it was difficult to get around quickly hahaha. 2 more members of Anime Alliance even came out to the Mall area to fetch us because the place was just too easy to get lost in ! 




Thankfully my little adventure ended splendidly with me arriving at the stage area 5 minutes before going up; talk about timing *smirks*. I'm sorry for causing my Marshalls and the Anime Alliance members so much trouble though u_u;;




So what were we on stage for? For the Award ceremony!  Much thanks to my Marshall , Elijah for all the photographs! It's so nice to have all these memorable photographs in my own camera xD




For some reason everyone was huddling on the right side of the stage and I was left stranded on the left side alone haha.




I sure was glad when they announced Joe Inoue’s name and then he stood beside me, yeay some company! And then Certificates of Appreciation were also given to sponsors and tie up organisations and we thus got more company on stage!





This is the part were we all gathered to have a group photo together. Joe was gentlemen enough to offer the front space to me but i offered it back, telling him his fans would be very happy to see him in front xD




And this guy went on to deliver what his fans absolutely love by coming up with all sorts of funny poses. Since i was directly behind, it was difficult not to laugh xD






Finally managed to stop laughing and pose properly.




And at the end the emcee asked all of us to jump for a jump shot but … it was just a joke -_-; And I was the only one who fell for it URGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




The day ended with an awesome performance by Musician, Joe Inoue and Visual-Kei band; heidi.




Joe Inoue is hilarious on stage. A very talented performer who not only plays multiple instruments but also writes songs and makes videos. He has a personal channel of his on YouTube called vellysillybilly where he shares some of his music, comedy videos, reviews and vlogs.




Joe sang many different songs that night. He started with his most prominent song “Closer” which was the 4th opening song for the hit Anime; Naruto: Shippuden. He even had a song called Oppai LOL! Yes, it's a song about boobies and it came with a hilarious music video with Joe fumbling with a pair of synthetic oppai stress balls. To watch the video, pop over to Joe Inoue's facebook page.






The most memorable part of his show, unfortunately had to be the pants down part. Yes, his Pants FELL OFF when he was jumping (guys don't have butts xD) and he literally just embraced the pants down attention and stood in glory LOL well, who can blame gravity right xD?





Of course the fans went crazy XD




Check out the scene in Joe's Philippines vlog here.





photo source: Joe Inoue Facebook


He even went on to have a pants down photo-shoot in honour of the incident hahaha roflmao. Excuse me while i crawl under the bed and lol forever. 




I’m ashamed to say we didn’t stay for heidi’s performance as we were all so exhausted by then!




heidi on stage at day 1 of Best of Anime.


This pretty much sums up my Best of Anime experience. I am immensely honoured to be part of such a professional and well organised event. It was an event with all the perks such as Merchandise booths, Artist alley, Cosplay performance, Cosplayer resting area and performance by Japanese idols, singer and band. All these and more for a very reasonable price of 300peso per day (500 peso for 2 days)! It was also an event that even my Filipino friends felt was an event organised with a heart for the fandom.




Before the trip, I was actually fiddling with the worried thought of a disastrous journey when everything would go wrong. Or that the organisers might be some sort of demonic incarnate and pull a fast one on me. However much to my relief, they were far far from it ! They were such a nice and sincere bunch of people that really respected other people; even if they were just a little Cosplay Blogger haha. They also took every effort to ensure not just the guests but the event attendees were well taken care of and entertained.


I’m thankful for the chance to work with all the amazing crew from both Primetrade Inc and Anime Alliance. They were always working hard and trying their best while having a smile on their face. I am also very grateful for the chance to interact with all the other guests, some of them I hope I will continue to be friends with long after the event is over!


Best of Anime:

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