After meeting up with random people from both hemispheres in the tremendous line, we were all set to Wanfesu. Shingo and I had agreed on a system – he would stalk the resin and garage kits and I would shoot the new releases. I think I got the better end of the deal.

After spending the night in the sufficient accommodations of Capsule Inn Akihabara, I headed to Odaiba with visiting friends from Australia and Sweden. After the standard 4 hour line experience, we were in. I powered into the garage kit area for a limited edition Amamiya Manami “Buuu” kit and once my bounty was secured, headed off to shoot the releases.

Amongst the throng at the GoodSmile area, scattered around the display cases were rough cast Nenderoid Shiraishi Minoru figures. A sign of things to come. I took a break from shooting to watch Lucky Channel live.

Shiraishi Minoru came down the stairs toting an Akira character stand, which he then proceeded to trip over and bend in half. After warming up the crowd a little, Konno Hiromi (voice of Kogami Akira) appeared and the show began. The audience were treated to a short discussion on the Nenderoid Shiraishis during which Konno-san broke the head off one, a live performance of “Misoji Misaki” by Konno-san, during which Shiraishi disappeared then reappeared with a bag full of confetti. This he proceeded to toss around so liberally that Konno-san choked on it and ended the song by berating him in full “Angry Akira” mode. After this, Konno-san mentioned that during the filming for the video they asked her to walk straight towards the camera, but she kept on wobbling all over the place because of the kimono and geta.

Following this Shiraishi and Kanno-san decided to do some “Audience interaction” and invite some people up on stage. “Hey,” saidKanno-san, “what about those girls in yukata? They look like they’ve come in costume.”

Enter Katō Emiri and Fukuhara Kaori (seiyuu for Hiirage Kagami and Tsukasa). There was a short interview time during which Fukuhara-san mentioned that she decided to become a seiyuu in part, because she wanted to be Chibiusa from Sailor Moon. Shiraishi asked her why Chibiusa and not Usagi herself and she replied that she really wanted to be the Black Lady. Eventually the girls sent Shiraishi offstage and he departed reluctantly. They wrapped up the show and left the stage. People began leaving the stage area, but as they did Shiraishi’s voice came over the PA system. The audience was treated to a rendition of the Wasuremono song from the ending of Lucky Star #13. With that, the show was over and I headed off to shoot more new releases.

After completing my photo assignment, I visited the garage kits I’d marked out in my catalogue and finished up the day by heading back through the 2nd hand dealers area and feeding my Evangelion habit by picking up the Evangelion Wedding figures and scoring a Haruhi prize figure pair.

Overall, this year had a LOT of emphasis on Evangelion in the dealers area, although not surprising given the first movie in a series of 4 opens on September 1st. An area not given much attention was Lucky Star. Extremely surprising given it’s popularity at the moment, although I suspect that in the next 6 months we may see some movement on that front. This being my 2nd Wonderfest, I was a lot more prepared with a new camera and spare batteries. By next year I hope to have invested in a slightly longer lens and an external flash gun. And I can’t wait to see who they wheel out on stage in Winter ’08.

minoru1.jpg minoru2.jpg lch_l2.jpg lch_l4.jpg lch_l3.jpg lch_l1.jpg lch_l5.jpg

Shipon risked his life to take illicit photos of Lucky Channel Live (note the “no photos of the stage” sign), then faked no Japanese ability to escape with his spoils. He’s currently on a 4 day respite back in Tohoku before returning to Tokyo to cover Comiket next weekend.