Now in its second proper year, this convention returned to Japan for an extended three full days this year with the promise of a bigger event featuring a lot more booths and exhibits. There were of course many similar things including the host which again was Makuhari Messe convention centre in Chiba. This huge place was where ‘Star Wars Celebration Japan‘ was held (July 2008) and many other annual events like Tokyo Motor Show, Tokyo Game Show and the Summer Sonic music festivals take place there. I just wish it was a bit closer to Tokyo!
It began at 10am each day but I didn’t arrive till lunchtime on the Sunday and as ever was mightily overwhelmed by it all at first. All guests were handed a huge free bag on entry which was a no-brainer for the organisers really as most of us can’t turn down a freebie and that bag was ideal for filling up with goodies bought or given out at the event as well as just promoting it outside of the arena. I just folded mine up and shoved it in my even bigger bag and headed straight upstairs to get changed into my costume and then set about meeting up with my partner in crime Neil who had arrived much earlier in the day. Even with a phone this wasn’t so easy as I had no idea who he was dressed as!
There are no interview panels like they have at ComicCon in San Diego which, as an English speaker, is almost a relief as these interviews really don’t flow well due to the constant need to translate. I didn’t see it at all but I’m sure the guests were all interviewed briefly on the stage at some point. Those guests were were Stan Lee, Mads Mikkelsen, Karl Urban, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, Karen Fukuhara and founder Steve Wozniak; the Apple guru who helped bring this event to Japan last year for the inaugural event following a successful trial and launchpad in Shinagawa in December 2015. I’ve not heard of half of them and the only one I was quite interested to see was Mikkelsen as he played Bond villain Le Chiffre in ‘Casino Royale‘ (2006). He was also Galen Erso in ‘Rogue One‘ (2016) but I really could not justify parting with 16,000 yen (£106!) in cash for a few seconds with the guy.
It’s very rare that I can resist a Delorean picture even though I’ve seen them a fair few times now (I’ve even sat in one!). Thankfully this time there were a few bonus ‘Back To The Future Part II‘ (1989) exhibits like the Hill Valley police car (below) from the futuristic vision of 2015 when Marty, Doc and Jennifer went to “the future” which is now of course in the past! Biff’s power-board was also on display which was nice as I’ve never seen that.
The T-800 endoskeleton from ‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines‘ (2003) featured again (below) along with some other exhibits from that franchise including the T-800 effects head from ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day‘ (1991) which I don’t think was there last time.
The Christian Bale bat-suit from ‘The Dark Knight‘ (2008) and ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ (2012) was on show again too but before you think that this post will be almost identical to last years I should say that there was some new stuff from the likes of ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory‘, ‘Men In Black‘, ‘Jurassic Park‘, ‘The Last Samurai‘, ‘Knight Rider‘, ‘Gremlins‘, ‘Superman‘ and ‘Star Trek‘ to name a few.
It wasn’t just film that was being showcased as there were also exhibits of a jacket that Michael Jackson famously wore for some American TV interview. Lady Gaga was also represented by way of a necklace she wore in ‘American Horror Story‘ (2011 -).
It’s kind of impossible to show everything that went on at ComicCon as there was something going on all over the place. There were many models and figures to look at (or even purchase!) amongst all the other paraphernalia. The Star Wars Japanese samurai-style ones were most impressive.
There were lots of other Star Wars-related things on show like retro pinball video games, a giant sized scale model of the Millennium Falcon and various Stormtrooper statues.
Mid-afternoon I finally popped over to the fan club area to see the likes of the 501st Legion, Tokyo Saber Guild and the Jedi Order. Sadly, master sushi chef Oki (of Minayoshi fame!) wasn’t in town for the latter but he did provide some vegetable carvings which were on show at their table.
Most of the day I was just walking round the place with no real aim but I wanted to talk to my friend Robert and ended up joining a line to get my photograph taken with Kylo Ren and a few others in front of a Star Wars set-piece. The wait became even longer as there was a fine performance from Robert and co as part of the Tokyo Saber Guild which included one guy operating/cosplaying as the huge AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport). Quite a sight! Watch it here via my YouTube video!
Last year my friend at the Glitter Factory booth had quite a prime spot with a never ending queues of fans awaiting the chance to cover their body in such fun and colourful temporary glitter tattoos. However, this time she was in a far less primary position and the customers were far less frequent and I felt disappointed for her.
Still, it meant that I didn’t have to wait to get my one done! This time I got a BB-8 tattoo on the inside of my arm as she tells me that my arm is too hairy for such decoration! As I return to normal life in the real world, such arm decoration is a nice reminder of this event in the days following on from it.
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2017’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo ComicCon 2016’
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2016’
Click here to read ‘Meeting Two Sith At Tokyo ComicCon 2015’
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2015’