Shipon represents for HD at this winter’s event for figure lovers, garage kit maniacs and devotees to hypothermia.

With Shingo off peddling his wares at Futaket, I was off to Tokyo’s Big Sight (the Vatican for nerds) for yet another convention. After my Summer Comiket experience I was prepared (so I thought) for the lines, the waiting, the weather. Oh dear.

7.10am

Early Rising

Bright & Early

I arrive at Kokusai Tenjijou station – well rested (hah!) – from a night spent in Akiba Place. The first thing I see after recovering from the vertigo-inducing architecture is the 100 people or so lying to the side of the footbridge in sleeping bags and foil space blankets. It was -2c when I left Akihabara in the city – these maniacs (in the truest sense of the word) spent the night at Odaiba by Tokyo Bay. In winter. Respect.

7.35am
After a brief stop at a conbini in passing to buy some hot patches to shove under my shirts (apparently 5 layers of clothing with long-johns still isn’t enough), I reach the end of the line. Realising I could have actually gotten off the Yurikamome line a stop earlier and actually been closer to where I ended up would have been moderately amusing if I were not sitting at the apex of a bridge in morning winds blowing straight off Tokyo Bay. The people behind me starting bitching about the cold in English with Australian accents and I turned around to discover the crew from TAMarket, (old hands in the Australian anime scene and the first online anime store Down Under) who were at Wanfesu as part of their bi-annual restocking trip to Japan.

10am
After the line moving along slowly, some Pooh-san branded hot packets and some Wonda Morning Shots (canned coffee has awesome names) we came upon the Big Sight and entered the madness therein. Compared to Comiket this event was much less frenetic, although I still made a dead-straight beeline for my only target of the convention. My baptism of fire in the construction of resin figure kits will be this special limited Manami figure kit. 1 of only 30 made for sale at WanFesu by Plastic Arts and currently awaiting construction on my kitchen table.

After picking up that kit I returned to the exhibitors hall and tried to grab as many photos as my failing camera battery and tiny Canon compact would allow. (Note to photographers : Cold saps the power from your batteries.). I also picked up a Tsukumiya Ayu PVC for well below the going retail price in my local stores in Sendai. After grabbing some more shots (until my camera refused to even boot) I returned to the other halls and checked out some of the amazing sculpting and painting skills on display. I even sized up the massive human sized-Evangelion, but decided to pass on it due to the size restrictions of my apartment (and the fact it costs over 3 months salary). In between the modelers displaying their skills, I picked my way through the 90 000 Gundam kits to score a few nice deals on some other models (CCS, Evangelion) and a lovely winking Taiko no Tatsuujin drum.

2pm
All over – I was hurting in the feet and the wallet and had Wanfesued myself out. I headed back to Akihabara to meet up with Shingo and do some final Akiba touring before I caught my shinkansen back to the boonies.

Photo Dump
Here are the photos I took. My camera is crap – it’s really time for a new battery and probably a new camera. Might I recommend the extensive photo gallery over at Danny Choo’s site. If only we all could earn big bucks at Microsoft with which to afford decent cameras and stormtrooper outfits. *sigh*.

Shipon lives in Northern Japan where he is currently sanding down the seams on Manabi’s inner thighs.