I got up at six and walked down to the Seven Eleven on the corner at six thirty to wait for Shiarobo. I was expecting him to arrive in his little blue k-car but it turned out that Eima had picked him up beforehand, and for good reason; the poor fellow had been up all […]

I got up at six and walked down to the Seven Eleven on the corner at six thirty to wait for Shiarobo. I was expecting him to arrive in his little blue k-car but it turned out that Eima had picked him up beforehand, and for good reason; the poor fellow had been up all night copying his book. Eima had gotten a full night’s sleep though which was an improvement from Wonder Festival and the drive went without much incident. We got to the venue, a few blocks from Hamamatsucho station on the Yamanote line, at about 10:30. Shiarobo set up while I wandered around to get the feel of the layout of the place. It was the third floor of a nondescript office building that began life perhaps twenty years ago with an original purpose long since forgotten, a faded yellow room with pillars in unusual places.

Walking into the building we passed a line of convention goers waiting for admittance. All men. Not particularly surprising, but rather different from Comiket or even Comic Revolution. Once inside there were a few dealers who were women until I realized that any assumption of gender in this context would be rather foolish. After I finished walking around I went back and hung out by Shiarobo’s table. He had set up a PVC of Lunamaria from SEED Destiny with a large phallus protruding from under her skirt. It attracted some attention through the day. I didn’t take a picture, it would have been awkward like asking a man if he will drop his pants for a picture. Sort of like that. While we were waiting for the event to start at 11:00 Rebis came up to the table and started talking with Shiarobo about Warhammer, an interest they apparently share (seems that Rebis’ interest is documented at his all-ages site for the curious). I was introduced to Rebis as some crazy gaijin who liked dickgirls and warhammer and he gave me a copy of his new book. I was embarassed to have nothing to give him in return. I guess this means I’ll have to make some doujinshi now. Not that I’m a particular fan of his art style, but it was nice to be acknowledged even in that offhand way and provided a hint of the incentive that comes with getting on the production side of doujinshi – Shiarobo somehow wound up with quite a stack of books by the end of the day despite never leaving the table except to go to the bathroom. I don’t know whether I really want to become a dickgirl porn maven, at least any more of one than I am now. I do owe some people though so I suppose I must forge ahead.

The event began at eleven with the predictable rush of folk into the venue. I picked up most of the stuff I had marked as being interested in with the exception of groups that didn’t show up and Yn_Red’s new book, which was a copy bon he hadn’t assembled beforehand and took the first hour or so of the event to put together. At some random time the event staff started letting people queue up for the purchase of his book. I attached myself to the tail of the line just in time, as the fiftieth person in a line of fifty. I waited for awhile. A staff member walked down the line to talk to the person in front of me, a friend of his apparently. “Actually, he may not even have fifty,” he whispered. Hold out hopes. They took the line in batches of five people. They made it through 44-48. Don’t ask me how the math worked on that one. The two of us left, well, turns out we were out of luck. It was a disappointing let down and the only thing that really marred my enjoyment of the event. I don’t understand why someone would bother to come to a convention with only fifty unassembled copy bon, especially an artist as good as Yn_Red. In the case of a lesser artist I could understand it, just participating for the circle tickets, but I can’t imagine that’s what he did. Guess he just dropped the ball leading up to the con. Alas.

Shiarobo sold out before noon, i.e. in the first hour of the con. He’s not top tier, but his work is solid and quite enjoyable and it seemed a foregone conclusion to me that he would sell out pretty quick. He spent the rest of the event (which ended at three o’clock) doing a few sketches, one of them his first con comission. It’s a tradition that doujin artists will do sketches for free for people who ask them if they have the time and inclination to do so. The bigger circles don’t do this but it’s nice to see an event of this size where small circles can get one or two requests for sketches and fulfil them without much pressure. I finished the bulk of my shopping before noon as well and hung around at the table for awhile before eating lunch. I took a break with Eima to head downstairs to the second floor where TAT-CON was taking place, a small and very laid back original model builder’s convention. It wasn’t worth the 1000 yen price of admission, there was nothing to buy there (anything good was long sold out) and I forgot my camera upstairs. It was interesting to see a much more laid back convention experience though, people were just sort of lounging around, chatting, eating snacks, and there was a DJ spinning techno over in the corner. A neat vibe.

We went back upstairs to Futaket and I finished my lunch. Over the course of the con thus far I had noted two other gaijin there apart from myself, and after a little more time passed in the afternoon one of them came over and struck up a conversation. Turns out he was Xero Kane, proprietor of one http://dojin.0bsidian.net/. I had posted the chapters of Boku no Futatsu no Tsubasa that I translated over there a year or so ago and he recalled my nickname. We had an interesting conversation.

The 11-3 schedule of the con was far less strenuous than the 10-5 schedule of Wonder Festival, and the cleanup at the end was twice as easy. We were out of there and back on the Yamanote by three thirty. I had asked if we could stop in Akiba on the way back home and it was ok with the other two so we did. It was more than ok with Eima, apparently, because he wound up wanting to stay until five. I only really needed twenty minutes so I did my shopping and dropped J2xC a line to see what he was up to. Turned out he was free, so he came down to Akiba and we walked around for awhile. Nice being able to meet up with him again. When it hit five I met up with Eima and Shiarobo on the fourth floor of the Radio Kaikan, one of the few places in all of Akiba where a fellow can sit indoors for free. We then went home in much the same manner as the return from Wanfesu, only without the falling asleep at the wheel. I had been feeling a cold coming on for most of the day and took the next two days easy to recuperate. And then it was today.