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So Fun, So Tiring, So Awesome: Toycon 2013

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The thing that I love the most about Toycon is how comfortable I am going to each one unlike with most other cons that I attend. There’s never this feeling of awkwardness that I feel too old for the crowd or that I hardly belonged. When I attend Toycon, I always feel good and I always feel welcomed. Maybe because of the more varied con goers (it’s not mostly just kids in high school/college who make me feel, well, so old and awkward) and maybe because the whole point of going is to look at cool stuff and maybe buy some, which is something I always have fun doing, and everyone is united in that.

So yes, despite the Divisoria-during-holidays crowd crush, I had a lot of fun during this year’s Toycon. I only went on Day 2 and I would have gone back today too if I still wasn’t feeling so tired from all the activity yesterday. Here are some highlights from the day:

  • Got to see old friends and meet new people. It was a reunion of sorts with the Phantasma crew after having not seen them for quite a while! There was hugs and pasalubongs and enabling people to buy stuff! For what is the point of going to Toycon when you wouldn’t indulge yourself and buy some of the cool stuff on sale? Also met some friends of friends who seemed like such nice and interesting people.
  • Met the brilliant artist behind the Avenge America t-shirt. Apparently he’s a Pinoy and he was at the con! Of course, me being awkward, I hardly was able to say anything beyond that I loved his shirt design and that it was awesome. It was the first time he had seen the shirt being worn in a local con so he was very happy and he took my picture. After everything, I kind of regretted not asking for his real name and for not introducing myself more but well, my social skills are still a work in progress. Ahahaha… I also wished I took the time to fix my hair before the picture was taken.
  • Going around the toy exhibit. The Avengers figures up there were part of the exhibit. There were other cool toys on display, like this figure of Himura Kenshin with hair made of human hair and clothes made of actual cloth. I think my favorite display was this diorama-like scene here:

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  • T-SHIRTS!!! One reason I went to Toycon (aside from meeting up with the Phantasma peeps) was to find myself some cool fandom tshirts. I found some, but they were either too expensive, not what I really wanted or were out of stock (I am still kind of sad I didn’t get to buy this t-shirt because Geekerie wasn’t prepared for the popularity of that particular design). In the end, I went home a Lannister and not a Stark as I had hoped.

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  • TOYS!!! We were at Toycon so of course there were toys! Lots of toys! And other merch but of course there were so many toys to choose from and my friends were happy enough to lighten their wallets on some figurines and such. I wasn’t an action figure person though so I didn’t really get anything like they did. What I was, however, was a plushie person. The last time I was at Toycon, I went home with a small Badtzmaru plushie. This time, it was the same. I went home with another cute plushie to love and own. I thought my hunt for my darling Cinnamoroll was over but it wasn’t meant to be. I was close though and I went home with Mocha instead:

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I guess my Toycon haul wasn’t as impressive as others’. There were  so many other stuff I wanted to get, like the Game of Thrones Direwolf Bookends,  this unmasked Tony Stark Iron Man action figure, these uber cute chibi mugs, and a couple of Harry Potter replica wands, but alas, I have other things I must save for. Still though, I had a lot of fun so I hope to be back next year. Maybe then I’d have more money to burn on cool shirts and cute plushes and awesome merch.

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After 10 Years…

A long time ago, back in 2002, I made myself a Fanfiction.Net account and it’s like a new world opened up to me. Even before that, I was unknowingly making fanfiction, writing them down in notebooks and journals and actually filling up a couple. Getting my fanfiction published online was exciting and fun and I got to meet new people and participate in fandom in a way that I never thought possible.

A decade and a bit later, here I am again, contemplating to try and write and publish fanfiction again; I am excited and intimidated as well as terrified. It’s just been so long and so far, what I’m coming up with is a bunch of crap. I’m always plagued with how I may never finish and people may not like what I write and it’s just very, very frustrating on top of the fact that I feel like nothing I write is good enough. But I’m still trying and I’m trying to psyche myself up. Of course everything’s going to suck. You haven’t tried writing creatively in forever, never mind attempting to write so many things all at once which is really what I have planned. Perhaps stupidly so, but I want to do so many things and if I don’t try and do them, when will I? So here is me trying and hoping with all my might that I’ll actually get things done.

I’ve tried to start up writing fanfiction again before but it never worked. Probably because I had no one who was watching but myself. Now I have support in the way of one of my friends and I’m hoping that her watching over my progress would be the boost that I need.

…I have been staring at the screen for five minutes and it’s 11:30pm here. I think it’s time for bed, haha. There will be time to write more tomorrow.

OKAASAN! The Host Club is Back!

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Just like most fans of Ouran High School Host Club, I really didn’t think a drama would work. A big part of the manga and the anime’s charm was Tamaki’s dramatics and somehow, I felt that a drama wouldn’t be able to show that as effectively as the anime did to perfection. Besides, who would they cast as Tamaki? Where would they find an actor whom the fans would deem worthy of bringing their beloved Host Club King to life? And what about everyone else? No, I thought the drama wasn’t really a good idea at first.

Eventually, though, I found myself watching the drama on a whim since I re-watched the anime. Might as well give it a try, right? That was what I thought. I could always stop if I didn’t enjoy it and so I started watching. Eventually, I found it hard to stop.

Yes, an Ouran High School Host Club live-action drama is painfully awkward to watch, especially the first few episodes when it looked like everyone was still getting into their roles. The acting wasn’t flawless and yes, quite awkward at times, but you have to hand it to the cast and the crew, they tried and oh did they try hard. They tried so hard I couldn’t help but be won over eventually.

The cast certainly seemed like they were putting in a lot of effort into what they did, especially Yamamoto Yusuke who played Tamaki. Yamamoto Yusuke certainly wasn’t the perfect match to Tamaki in terms of looks, but he certainly made up for it by throwing himself into the role and pulling out all the stops to be Tamaki. He was dramatic, he was all over the place, he whined and cajoled and yelled “HARUHI!” and yet was also quite gentle and charming when he wanted to be. He even allowed himself to be wired up and tossed against walls. He probably had the most demanding role in the cast and I think he did splendidly. The rest of the cast also seemed to fit their roles quite well. I loved the Takagi twins as Hikaru and Kaoru and Nakamura Masaya and Chiba Yudai as Mori and Honey were pretty spot on too. Kawaguchi Haruna wasn’t my first choice for Haruhi, but I guess she did okay. I also loved how they gave the spotlight to Jounouchi Ayame in one episode and I loved her story and how well Nakabeppu Aoi played her. And Totsugi Shigeyuki as Ranka was just amazing, too. Special props must be given to Daito Shunsuke for bringing Kyouya, my favorite character, to life. He looked the part and was able to deliver a convincing performance of the Shadow King I know and love. He’s just so cool. *w*

As for the visuals, I have to say that there was a lot of sparkles and that was good because in Ouran, you can never have enough sparkles. The Hosts are always sparkling so I’m glad that the drama also incorporated that. The styling was also pretty good and the Ouran boys looked like real life obocchan as they strutted around, even when they’re out of their smart, spiffy uniforms (though I have to warn you guys about the Karuizawa episode. You’ll die. Just. DIE.). The drama also tried its best to be faithful when it came to scene composition, shooting scenes as they appeared in the manga and anime.

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

Is there anything about the drama that I didn’t like? Of course. For one, I didn’t like the obvious slant towards Kyouya/Haruhi that wasn’t really there in the manga or anime. It’s also quite biased of me, but I wish they showed more of Kyouya’s story. I was really waiting for that episode where Kyouya gets left alone in a mall with Haruhi, but that episode wasn’t in the drama so it was a disappointment. The drama is only 11 episodes all in all, each episode around 25 minutes long, and I wish it were longer or they just made a second season on top of the movie. But of course we fans can’t get everything. I guess there’s always the anime and manga to give us comfort, haha.

!!!END OF SPOILERS!!!

As I said earlier on in this review, the cast and crew of the Ouran drama tried very hard and I think in some ways they did very well. At the very least, they renewed interest for Ouran and I’m sure the fandom is pretty thankful for that despite everything.

Now, if only someone subbed the movie already…

Casual Fujoshi Musings: Butlers and the Butler Cafe

Today, a friend and I managed to do one of the things a lot of anime fangirls would want to do should they have the chance: visit a Butler Cafe.

Okay, so it’s not a real one. I don’t think there’s an actual Butler Cafe here in the Philippines unless you mean those that you see in anime conventions. We went to Blush Con, a yaoi/BL convention (and I swear I will tackle that later!), and one of the attractions that they offered was the Butler Cafe. Of course, who were we to turn down the chance to be waited on by a handsome butler? And so we signed up and so we found ourselves waiting outside this room that was designated for the cafe.

It’s not surprising that we’re probably one of the older patrons and it’s also not surprising that we’re not the only ones who had lined up. The line was long and filled with squealing, excited young-uns, waiting for their chance to experience firsthand to be a Butler Cafe Princess for 30 minutes. There was an uproar when one of the organizers came up and said that only 15 pictures will be allowed in the next session (you can pay P50 for a chance to take a polaroid picture with your favorite butler). And just like the disillusioned old ladies that we were, we rolled our eyes and muttered about the kids expecting too much. They had no right to complain as they haven’t paid for it yet; complain when you have paid for it, kids! It was then that we decided that we won’t be taking a picture with our favorite butler, because we didn’t want to get in the middle of that madness. Even if one of our good friends happened to be one of the butlers. It’ll be okay. We can ambush her some other time and then we can take as many pictures as we want, haha.

And then it was our turn. And ohmyGod, our Butler was cuuuuuuuute. He was tall, cheerful and moe. He called himself Moo. He tried to recite the whole menu from memory and he failed, but it’s okay. He looked adorable doing it anyway. Our simple afternoon tea was certainly made more exciting by his presence. We played some games with him and we interviewed him a little. Apparently, he was dragged into doing the Butler Cafe by his brother and it was his first time. He said it was all kinds of awkward and then he looked weirded out and edged away when one of the girls in our table dragged out her BL paraphernalia from the con. Then he asked what fanservice was and I had to stare and ask, “Are you for real?” Because really. Really?? You work in a Butler Cafe and you don’t know what fanservice is?? He soon got what it was though when he had one of the Butlers come to our table. He leaned in to whisper into his ear and one of the girls in our table squealed. A moment later, he was asking if he was doing fanservice by grabbing the other butler by the hips. Thirty minutes passed by so fast and the next thing we knew, we had to get up and leave. Moo said goodbye and gave us all a hug, thanking us for coming. He even saw us out. He was such a sweetie and I pretty much could say that I enjoyed my time at the Butler Cafe. Too bad we didn’t get to have our picture taken with him.

It made me wonder, though, was it all real? Was Moo really that sweet and cheerful and awkward? Was his story of being recruited by his brother true? Did he really not know what fanservice was? The happy customer in me wanted to believe that it was, that Moo was really like that in real life, but the fangirl who did her research knew that Butler Cafes catered to women who had their fantasies.  Fantasies of being catered to by handsome young men who appreciate and enjoy their company, who will give them hugs, see them to the door when they leave and look forward to their return. It was just a bit sad to think of something like that after being taken in by the magic that was the Butler Cafe. And Moo, too, who took care of us very well while we were with him.

Will I be going back next year for another Butler Cafe session? I don’t know. I pretty much know how to ruin a fun, happy, thing, I think. No one said that I didn’t over-analyze these things and I did it a lot. So I don’t know, we’ll see. Who knows. Maybe next year, I’ll actually have a real, cute, huggable guy who wouldn’t mind playing games or having afternoon tea with me and I wouldn’t have to pay to get him.

The Good With the Bad

It’s just Tuesday and already I got mad at work. This is not looking good for my job’s track record. I actually talked to my Mom about today and she flat out told me,

“Write your resignation letter.”

You see, it’s just been crazy at work. I think I may have mentioned that before? Yeah, but anyway. It’s just crazy and I’m doing so much and I think all that I’m getting from it is falling productivity and all this stress. It just feels like it isn’t worth it most days. Mama says I don’t need to be abused and it looks like that’s what they’re doing. I’m working and all I’m getting is even more work. It’s frustrating. And I think I’m starting to fall behind on stuff. I’m starting to make mistakes and it’s really upsetting.

But anyway, meanwhile, I guess people like the Stony shirt, lol. That post got the most views ever on this blog. You fangirls (fanboys?) are nuts, hahaha.

How Was Your Saturday?

Mine was, predictably, less productive than I would have liked, but I should really not trust that I’ll actually be productive on a Saturday when I’m not being paid for it. I even spent a part of it napping because my body said I needed it and so I succumbed. The nap, however, seemed to have worked and so I actually managed to start and finish 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I’ll have to write the review tomorrow as I still have things that I must attend to after writing this entry. Tomorrow, I’ll be going to the hospital for some blood tests and so I have to actually sleep at a decent hour. I also have to get around to finding my pair of silver stilettos as I would need them for a Christmas party soon. Hopefully I find them.

So for tomorrow, here is what I should be getting up to:

  1. Blood tests
  2. Breakfast at Manila Adventist Hospital
  3. Go to Mr. Quickie to get my shoes fixed
  4. Write review of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  5. Get started on The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  6. Watch The Avengers and take notes

It would be fun if I could also watch some Supernatural but I don’t know. We’ll see. And to make up for this extra short blog entry, I leave you with Captain Steve Rogers.

Hello, Captain.

Good night. 😀