30 June 2010

New Desktop purchased

Just bought a new desktop in the weekend. I have been meaning to buy one soon, but I kept on procrastinating about it. Recently the laptop I am using (aka "lagtop" by my friends) starts to disfuction, so I know that its days are numbered.

The screen is a Samsung EX2220. Keyboard, speakers, and mouse come with the desktop for free, but the speakers are truly mediocre; they feel like they are made only with plastic and have so little weight inside. Oh well until I get some proper ones they will do the job for normal tasks or else I can use earphones for other stuff like watching videos and playing games.

The tower itself - specs for those who are interested:
  • Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz
  • ASUS p55 w/ crossfire motherboard
  • XFX ATI 5770 DDR5 (w/ HDMI output)
  • 500 GB SATAII Harddisk
  • 22x DVD +/- RW
  • 460 Watt power supply
  • A Cooler Master 370 Case

    A bit irrelevant, but this "Q" was bought from last year's trip to Tokyo. Stands roughly at the same height as my nendo nekomimi Shana.

    Not much stuff to test on at the moment, and I don't have many anime series with high resolution with me. Here's sola which I got with English subs with relatively high resolution.

    Here's 08th MS Team Remsastered version.

    Still getting used to my new desktop at the moment, and am still switching back and forth with my laptop for backing up etc. Better complete the backup and install programs on the new desktop before my laptop breaks down for good.
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  • Fate/Stay Night Sword Umbrella

    Want to own Saber's Excalibur from Fate/Stay Night? Here's an umbrella form of it that you can consider from Movic.

    Click image for full size

    In addition to the Excalibur (the umbrella which resembles the sword), Avalon (the case which resembles the sheath of the sword) is also included.

    Covers (blue and gold part at the bottom end of the 'blade') on the sword have to be removed before opening the umbrella and can be put back on after opening.

    Limited production. To be released on 12th August this year, official retail price 10000 Yen (!).
    Length of umbrella (Excalibur): ~105cm
    Length of case (Avalon): ~82cm
    Made of nylon (umbrella), steel (frame), and ABS (handle).

    You can pre-order this umbrella at Hobby Search andf AmiAmi.

    The umbrella does look quite cool when it's closed in its sword form, but 10000 Yen? That will sure hold back a number of fans I suppose except for a smaller number who really are willing to pay for the price.

    Also mentioned in zone otaku

    Images from OurToysLand forum, original item page here
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    26 June 2010

    CGM Night 8

    As I have mentioned in the previous post, I have attended the CGM (Consumer Generated Media) Night 8 which was organised by Danny Choo last Friday. Tokyo CGM Night is about "bringing manufacturers and service providers together with content creators". While it is open to invitation for pretty much anybody who has a twitter account and a website (or blog) to share content, the event is mainly for content creators and social media users.

    I have only just known about this event via Danny's tweet an hour before I had to head off to the airport last week, and the events happens to fit in my trip schedule surprisingly, so I thought I would 'slip in' and see what this event is like for myself as a foreigner.

    Warning! This is an image-heavy post (60 images)!

    Entering the venue - there is a small queue to get in as there are quite a number of (local) people who signed up for the event. Entrance fee is 2000 Yen (exact fee required as they don't do changes), and dinner is provided there with a ticket for a rice bowl dish and a drink.

    The venue itself was in a lecture hall of some kind in Digital Hollywood, Ochanomizu. Reaching there was no problem and it was less than 10 minutes walk from the Tokyo Metro and JR station. Not sure how many people were there attending the event, but from what Danny Choo has written in one of his recent post the number of attendees was around 200.

    Near the entrance of the venue a 1/7 Max Factory Hastune Miku was spotted.

    And the figure behind Miku was the recently released 1/8 GSC Black Rock Shooter Black Blade version.

    There was a quick mention to the attendees that we could use tsubuyaku.fm to post coverage stuff. Wifi access info was given as well for those who are using such this feature, or twitter etc for sharing out the information live.

    Danny pointing the crowd to where the Black Rock Shooter figures are being displayed. For those who are interested, a clearer version of the image shown in the slide is right here from this post.

    There was also mention of Obitsu, which is a doll maker company

    Danny mentioned Culture:Japan - a TV show that he is directing and presenting to show Japanese culture from his point of view. After being aired on Tokyo MX shortly before this event, this TV Show (apparently planned to be a series later on) will be aired outside Japan as well. I haven't watched it yet nor have I kept track of Danny's posts so I have no idea what to expect from his TV Show to be honest. We shall see when Animax does decide to show it on my local TV network in Hong Kong.

    Amano Ai makes an appearance that night, singing LED Nation by JulieHally of which she is part of the group

    Somebody managed to record her performance and put it on YouTube:


    Momochi (?)

    While girls with big heads seems okay in 2D pictures, seeing one in real life is a bit scary if you ask me ^^;

    A row of GSC (Good Smile Company) figures and Max Factory figmas in display (several of them are yet to be released). Most of them are Black Rock Shooter-related, with one Senjougahara Hitagi figure from Bakemonogatari light novel / anime adaptation.

    figma Black Rock Shooter. Official retail price 2800 Yen, to be released in July.

    The preview shots got me wanting to get one, and after seeing the actual figure itself, I am looking forward to getting mine~

    figma Dead Master. Official retail price and release date tba.

    1/8 GSC Black Rock Shooter Rock Cannon version (based on the artist huke's illustration). Official retail price 9800 Yen, already released (and sold out ^^;).

    For those who missed this figure, afraid not; a re-release is being planned apparently

    1/8 GSC Black Rock Shooter Black Blade version. Official retail price 6800 Yen, released recently.

    1/8 GSC Black Rock Shooter Animation version, Official retail price 9800 Yen, to be released this October.

    I gave in and pre-ordered this figure at a local shop not too long ago. Now being able to see the actual figure, the size isn't too huge so I should be able to fit one in my shelf with no problems.

    1/8 GSC Dead Master Original version (based on the artist huke's illustration). Official retail price 9800 Yen, to be released this November.

    1/8 GSC Senjougahara Hitagi. Official retail price 9800 Yen, to be released this October.

    ... Despite people saying how good this Hitagi figure looks, I am still a bit skeptical about how the face looks head on.

    Dinner was provided by Indotei, which is run by the figure company Max Factory

    If I am not mistaken, the dinner itself was Mirai-chan Curry, which is a rice bowl dish developed by Danny Choo and Indotei. The drink tasted something like Yakult with some melon juice, but I can't recall too well about it now.

    As for Danny himself, he seemed quite occupied meeting various people in the event. Lots of chatting, business card exchanges, or receiving samples of published materials etc.

    Even though I am not into Kamen Rider, this Kamen Rider cosplay definitely takes my attention with his awesome outfit.

    Ita-skis featuring Bakemonogatari and Oshino Shinobu

    Various dolls (mostly Dollfie Dreams) from various owners who attend this event are on display there on the tables opposite to those of the GSC and Max Factory figures.

    Danny Choo's Dollfie Dreams.

    One of Danny Choo's dolls holding a G17 and... I don't know what SMG this is orz (I am not so good at modern firearms)

    Dolls seem to require a lot of care and maintenance. And even posing for photos would require a lot of adjustments - the hands, the clothes, the hair arrangements etc. I heard some kind of shampoo or somethiing is required to keep the hair wig clean or in shape.

    More shots of various Dollfie Dreams

    Closer up of Tohsaka Rin

    Super Dollfies (SD) if I am not mistakened. Unlike Dollfie Dreams (DD), these dolls tend to have more realistic look and are more expensive in general.

    Closer up of one of the Super Dollfies. You can see how there is an emphasis on realism on the face, and there are make-ups applied as well.

    Dolls that I don't really know.

    Hayate no Gotoku and Da Capo dolls. Couldn't remember which brand they are from, but from info it saids that the Da Capo ones are limited items (not for sale in the event; those are just for display only by manufacterers I think).

    The "Happy Drummer Cat Adventurer"... I never thought I would get to see them in real life, or rather someone would actually bring some of these fake toys into the event. Was wondering what the weird constant beating chime was when I was taking pictures of the dolls.

    There was some kind of demostration on how to colour the eye of a Dollfie Dream or something like that, but I have missed it.

    Sheryl Nome cosplayer holding the Ita-skis.

    Danny Choo's dolls being packed away as the event was coming to an end.

    A picture of Danny Choo with his site msacot Mirai to end things off (image of Mirai is actually enhanced by Photoshop since the original image could barely show it).

    Not knowing what to expect except having a quick look of what it's about from his invitation post before heading there, I almost went in there with an empty head and just see whether I can get anything out of it (well, it's not like I can get to attend one of these that easily as a tourist so I thought I might as well give it a go). Not being fluent at Japanese (only know the bare bone basics for me to get around places) or knowing the people there, it wasn't easy for me to find a way to communicate with the people there, but I did manage to have a few quick chats with some English-speaking people (mainly foreigners who are working in Tokyo right now).

    One great thing there was that I have managed to meet Joseph Tsai (Tokyo Hunter) for the first time and we had quite a good chat together. He told me about his work and experience with his proxy buying service, along with that he is currently setting up a new website with his business partner and is testing on fuctions etc. No confirmation as for when his new site will be up, but he said he will announce it on his blog when it's ready.

    As for Danny Choo himself, I did shake hands with him and spoke to him very briefly at the end of the event (when the staff starts to pack up the area). I thanked him for the invitation and the event and asked whether he would come to Hong Kong this summer (which he did mention on his blog after his trip in March). He said he would love to, but would try to contact me when he does plan to come over.

    Overall, the event is alright. According to one of his latest posts Danny claimed this is the best Consumer Generated Media Night event he has organised so far, with a lot of personnels from various companies and online shops came over along with "200 bloggers and social media users in Japan". Someone I chatted mentioned that the displays could have arranged a bit better rather than all on the edge of the rooms with large empty space in the middle (i.e. should have them arranged in the middle so people can walk around them etc). Nevertheless it's still interesting to see the upcoming figures that are to be released later this year, as well as the vast number of dolls that are kindly being displayed by their owners. I think I would benefit from the event more if I were to be a bit more proficient in Japanese and know the people a bit better, but being as a tourist and a passer-by it's good enough for me I suppose - at least I had a good chat with a few people who could speak English there!
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