I went down to Akihabara again this weekend, this time in pursuit of the guidebook for Wonder Festival 2007 Summer. Some pictures were taken along the way, presented below along with amusing anecdotes which you might like to read! Including: Nami SOS being molested by tentacles, Ruuuuuuuuuuu!, a creative use for Bust Emperors, Evangelion coffee, some very nice cosplay, and why you should never, ever carry a knife on you while you’re in Japan.

a view of Akihabara from near the Electric Town exit of the JR station

I feel compelled to take this shot every time I come to Akihabara. I don’t know why. I guess it’s comforting to confirm that the place is still there.

Romando's Nami SOS + tentacles, out today

A shop on the fourth floor of Radio Kaikan recieved their shipment of Romando’s Nami SOS tentacles today, along with

Wave's Lucy Maria Misora from To Heart 2, out today

Wave’s Lucy Maria Misora from To Heart 2. Ruuuuu!

augmented versions of Romando's Bust Emperor trading torsos

The same shop was being creative with Romando’s Bust Emperor series of …. trading torsos.

I picked Gendo because I look somewhat like him, only with less hair on top

Seiya reported earlier on the triumphant return of UCC Evangelion coffee, so I had to try some for myself. They were out of cans with the three main heroines on them so I settled for Gendo, the only anime character I remotely resemble; after taking this picture I drank it down. It tasted like canned coffee and not like LCL, thank goodness.

the whole point of the day's outing, the Wonder Festival 2007 Summer event guidebook

First impressions after browsing the catalog for a couple of hours on the train ride home: 1) there are a LOT of new circles participating in this event, meaning a lot of wild cards and fresh blood. I’m curious to see what this new crop of talent will bring. 2) there is going to be a LOT of Code Geass. L O T S. Especially C.C. I spotted a couple of Viletta kits, too. :3

a flyer for new cosplay social networking site Cos-Most

I received this flier for social networking site Cos-Most after taking pictures of three Getsumen Toheiki Miina cosplayers who were out behind the JR station representing the site. While the premise of an SNS built around cosplay seems a bit dodgy to me, and reeling in an initial user base with cute cosplayers (no doubt paid to be on the site) also rubs me the wrong way, it’ll be interesting to see if this develops into anything more than another harebrained entrepreneurial scheme.

Cos-Most cosplayers jyuria, Kaname Moe, and Hanasaki Toki

The Cos-Most reps, from left to right: jyuria (as Tsukishiro Miina), Kaname Moe (as Minazuki Miina), and Hanasaki Toki (as Ootsuki Miina). お世話になりました!サイトの活動頑張って下さい!

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A rather ominous coda to the day came when I was making a final sweep past Toranoana to check for the free Comiket industry booth pamphlet stores typically hand out with the event catalog (they weren’t any left, sadly – it seems the industry section will be popular this summer). I was heading there with a Japanese friend, but just as I was walking into the shop my friend (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons) was pulled aside by a couple of nondescript young men. They asked to see an object he had hanging from his backpack. He obliged; it turned out to be a small (4-5 cm blade) utility knife. I went up into the store, and when I came back down the two men, apparently plainclothes police officers, were questioning my friend and asking to see his ID. He complied with all of their requests but we were both a bit uncertain what to do; I ended up parting ways with him there and he went away with the policemen. I got a call from him earlier this evening saying that he was fine, they’d just confiscated his knife, taken a photo of him, noted his personal data and let him go with a warning.

Lesson learned: even if they’re of legal size (as I’m 99% sure this one was), carrying a knife in public in Japan is a Very Bad Thing.

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Shingo believes he was not followed on his way home today, but if he wakes up in the middle of the night to find his apartment being searched for very small knives he will know why. If they decide to take him away he fervently hopes it is to a place with air conditioning.