dancing

London MCM Expo Oct 2014: Highlights by Aisha Anime

Lolliepop Bunnie travelled from Brazil to sign at the NEO stand at London MCM expo

Lolliepop Bunnie travelled from Brazil to sign at the NEO stand at London MCM expo

Europe's biggest comic convention held twice a year specialising in sci-fi, comic book, video games, merchendise, kawaii fashion, live entertainment, celebrity panels and anime at the ExCel is reported to continue to shatter attendance records, with more than 110,000 in October.

The figures are a whooping 110,197 people came through the doors (24-26 October) compared to 101,600 at the last show in May and 88,000 in October 2013. This is possibly due to the heart throb Harry Potter hero actor Daniel Radcliffe attending in promotion of his latest horror movie 'Horns'. With his his arch nemesis Tom Felton attending Birmingham Expo later this year.

On Friday many teenagers, adults (mostly female) queued up enthusiastically in the Platinum suite (away from the general crowd which was a good idea) to see if they picked one of 200 winning raffle tickets to get to meet and receive a signed posted from Daniel himself. I was one of those lucky folks and armed with foam baseball bat and dressed in cosplay I was shocked and suprised to be able to meet the star at 5pm that day.  ll us 200 fans queued up anxiously with a few overcome in joy crying in anticipation to meet Mr Potter, now adorned with a rugged beard. A quick handshake and a quick hello and it was over. Whoever were not lucky enough to meet Daniel got the opportunity to sit through his panel before the signing.

hp no blur

Among the stars we had Shane West doing Q&A, Vic Mignonia (anime voice actor), Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham (anime voice actor), DC Douglas (anime voice actor), Dave Lewelyn(Red Dwarf), Hideo Baba (creator of Tales of game series), Jessica Nigri (cosplay star) and many more!

If you weren't queuing for the boy wonder then your sights would be averted to the female cosplay sensation - Jessica Nigri  whose queue never wavered in length. Most people queued to get selfies with the sexy Pikachu and buy personalised signed prints on both days as she dressed as Mad Moxxi and in a Poro Bikini both days with bestie and fellow cosplayer Kelly Jean.

jessica nigri

MYM stand looked after voice actors Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, DC Douglas who you received a free autograph from if you presented the latest edition of MYM magazine. Later all free presented panels and Q&A's with their fans. DC Douglas also did a late night improv session with left people in stitches with his great saucy comments.

Shinichiro Watanabe caused a stir at the Bandai Namco booth doing free signings and even brought his own Meow mascot. Shinichirô Watanabe is known for his work on The Animatrix (2003), Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001), Samurai Champloo (2004) and his newest Space Dandy (2014). I managed to get an interview with him and he was more than happy to talk about his mish mash of genres and the importance of socialising, which will be up on Ukanifest soon.

It was also great to catch up again with Hideo Baba about Tales of Zestrina and the characters which my video interview will follow shortly. Also I got to meet part of Dimps behind Dragonball Zenoverse - Masahiro Kashino who talked about his team improving the movement of the characters in the new game and the new customization mode. As they are still testing you may unknowingly meet part of DImps playing in the game !

Find more photos here.

cute merch

Okinawa Day 2014 by Aisha Anime

Flyers of the event

Flyers of the event

A friend of mine asked me if I was free 21st June to go to Okinawa day. this was something I had never heard of of. Okinawa is a prefecture made up of thousands of islands, south of Kyushu. The largest Island is named Okinawa Shima, or Okinawa Island, the mission of Okinawa Association U.K and London Okinawa Sanshinkai who organise the event is to promote Okinawan culture further in the U.K in order to strengthen our existing relationship between the U.K and Okinawa.

This event has occurred annually since 2009 in the Uk and they hope to strengthen the relationship between the UK and Okinawa through the annual events. They also encourage more and more U.K audiences to participate in future Okinawa related events and to create an Okinawa cultural hub in the UK. 

This particular Okinawa day is before the 23rd June which is a memorial day in Okinawa to commemorate the final battle day where more than 200.000 lives were lost at the end of WWll. 

Okinawa Day was held outside at Spittlefield market in London to celebrate Okinawan culture with a variety of events. They demonstrate the spirit of Uta-no-hi (A day of Songs) started in Okinawa in 2001 by BEGIN, a popular blues band. Uta-no-hi's purpose is to appreciate and celebrate Uta (Songs) which bring joy to their lives as well as to help overcome the hardships of life. 

kids dance at okinawa day

We had a great demonstration of Okinawan dancing with drummers and they even did a workshop to show audience members how to do the dance and drum.It was great to see a huge range of people in the audience from young children to the older generation coming to learn and immerse themselves in the culture

So we had a variety of singers perform folk songs, Jpop songs and had a great ensemble with Hide the Guitar player with Hibiki the top Shamishen player in the UK and Akari singing her harmonious melodies.

We also had some live Karete demonstrations which showed stances with different weapons and also a display of strength with the demonstrators withstanding bamboo sticks.

Hide, Akari and Hibiki

Hide, Akari and Hibiki

Amongst the entertainment they also had delicious food on sale including Nice Ice - perfect for the hot weather, Taponyaki (octopus balls) and even a Tea ceremony demonstration for people to participate it. 

Alongside the food they had lots of stalls selling merchandise including key rings, fans, plushes, flower headbands and a few travel agents including Japan Journey's offering bespoke holidays to suit your interests at reasonable prices. Why not indulge in a manga orientated tour ? Go to http://www.japanjourneys.co.uk/site/ for more information on planning your perfect Japanese holiday.

Poppy Daisy Handmade Flower Headbands 

Poppy Daisy Handmade Flower Headbands 

Poppy Daisy Handmade Flower Headbands happened to have been set up in the area where lots of ladies and children jumped at the chance to adorn their heads in flowers. She sold flower headbands, clips anything to do with flowers. Selling them for six years, the owner is from Sweden, where it is traditional to use flowers in celebrations. Buy some of her creations online from poppydaisy.com  as well as popping into Spittlefield market on a Saturday.

It was a great family day out and entry was free!

~Aisha Anime ~

For more photos of the event go here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.658360670885051.1073741836.554115554642897&type=3

For more information on the organisations involved or the day itself go to:

http://www.okinawaday.org.uk/

ladies in yukutas