Monday, June 30, 2008

Vocaloid Spotlight: Hatsune Miku - Letter Song.

Wow, it's been quite a while since my last Vocaloid Spotlight post, and hoping to break the mass amount of photo posts in the past 2 weeks or so, I will be doing one now. Actually, while on a whim, I just decided to pay a visit to doriko's blog (a original Miku song composer), and it seemed that there was a new song which was just posted on the 27/06. Taking this opportunity due to laziness, I'll be doing a post on it.

Scanned picture of Miku from a doujin called Miku☆Miku☆Miracle! by REI'S Room. I personally scanned and did some colour touch up myself using Photoshop CS3 (in the process of learning how to use). It's not a very good scan though, noticed some bad areas in certain parts. Will rescan in the near future (and other pics too).

Hatsune Miku -「letter song」 by doriko.
Mp3 can be found here. And for those who might want to see if your system can display the Japanese characters, lyrics can be found here. (my system can't)

Letter Song is a slow paced peaceful piece, that is based around the theme of "self-reflection". In one way, this song is a follow up of doriko's previous song, Yuuhizaka (my post on it here). Writing a (song) letter to yourself 10 years from now, is a concept that is quite common. It may not be a letter, or could be just a thought, or maybe a blog (like what I'm doing now?), but surely we tend to look back and question ourselves if we're truly happy with the path that we had chosen in our lives.

Actually, it's quite a coincidence, as last night I was chatting with Squee and C.I over MSN about our past and stuff, and at the same time I was browsing through my old blog entries, looking at my old quotes and poems in them. Reading them once again was somewhat like a "self-reflection", and I thought back to my mentality then, which I would say had a pretty dark outlook at life. I think I'll do a post on that in the future too, with my old quotes and poems too ^^.

Anyway, hope you'll enjoy the song, I shall now go and do more "self-reflection" on my current's life heading (and maybe fall into depression at the same time). And here's a little quote that I did before, a little teaser. Signing out.

"Holding onto memories can be of great strength, but binded the mind be, the downfall of many to pass."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

STCC Cosplay Coverage!!

Paid a visit with some Team Blue members to the Singapore Toys & Comics Convention (STCC for short) today, 29 June 2008, held at Suntec Convention Centre. All I can say about the event was.... just so-so, thus I wouldn't bother going through it (I'm sure others have already said their say anyway). Instead, I'll focus on the cosplay aspect of the event ^^. On to the photos!!

Note: The lighting was pretty bad at the location (when I meant bad... it's FAIL bad!), so there might be some shaky photos due to low shutter speed (ISO 640, 1/8 - 1/15 shutter speed, F3.5-4.5). I've done the best I could without a hotshoe flash.

Massive crowd turnout for the cosplay competition.Another angle of the mayhem.
Nice S.W.A.T/Police outfit here. The black shadow at the bottom right is thanks to Panther >.< (And more thanks to Panther for the edit. I actually wrote bottom left.)
The force is strong with this one. Sith/ Dark Jedi. Didn't use flash for this shot as I wanted to have the "dark" effect. Slight shake in photo though.
Hatsune Miku!! She eventually won the cosplay competition too.
Miku and a red-haired KAITO playing around.
Reading music scores with lyrics to prepare for the next song.
Oversized leeks ftw! Looks like she gave up reading the scores.
Sakura and Syaorun from CCS. Sakura's costume is really cute, really liked it very much ^^.Another shot of the CCS Stars. Damn I really liked the Sakura, cute!CCS > Sith. Looks like Clow Cards > The Force.Sakurazaki Setsuna from Mahou Sensei Negima. Those wings were huge!
I have no idea which series is the afro guy from. Some said Yakitate!! Japan, others said Afro Samurai, and some more said from DDR2. I'll just leave it blank for now then. No idea on the other cosplay too.
Watanuki Kimihiro(?) from xxxHOLiC. I believe it's Watanuki due to Mugetsu (the pipe fox) and Kuro Mokona being with him.
Goth Lolitas? Panther asked to take some photos, and a crowd of photographers soon followed too to snap photos of these 2.Another shot of them. V for peace!Afro and Setsuna together.Lenalee Lee and Allen Walker from D.Gray-man. They were surrounded by mass group of photographers.
Simca from Air Gear. She's actually one of the judges for the cosplay competition.
Lastly, a cute Yuki Cross(?) in Night Class outfit from Vampire Knight.
And another... Can I drink her blood now? :DRandom shots of the rabid photographers.It was really crazy. I was getting smacked left-right-centre by albows, bags, cameras etc countless times, especially on my face, since I was focusing more on taking the photos than my surrounding.

Hopefully, when I attend Cosfest next week Sunday @ Downtown East, we will have better lighting and more space for cosplay photography. That small corner in the exhibition hall was really a killer, so hard to move around and too many people! Anyway, that's it for now, will finish up on my Japan's posts during next week before Cosfest. Hope everyone had enjoyed their weekend! Signing out.

P.S: Adding link for Full STCC Coverage by other bloggers. (30/06/08)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Japan Day 7: Tokyo DisneySea.

A slightly different format from my other posts; rather than lots of photos, I'll be posting videos of the show performances from Tokyo DisneySea (Not my videos though, but searched from youtube from others). There still will be photos, but not much.
The first thing you'll see once entering DisneySea.
Band performance welcoming everybody to the place. The lady with the sax is not too bad looking too.
Upon entering the main area, we saw lots of people sitting/standing around, and we were wondering what was the crowd waiting for, which turned out to be the show performance "Primavera: Springtime Sea". I'll come to that later in the post.
Random scenery shot. Felt like we're in Venice, Italy.
The only ride I actually enjoyed in both DisneySea/Land. The Tower of Terror. It's a free fall ride, and I sat it 3 times! The 4th time I wanted to sit before the park closed, they had some system error >.<" Bad Tiki! (We nicknamed the "statue" in the ride Tiki, which is some "cursed" ritual idol.)
Random photo of a Micky statue.
More random photo. If only I could change that "cargo light" to a moe~ figurine, it'll be perfect!
Some fountain with an Aladdin theme. The genie styled water-shooters (I don't know what they're actually called lol) are cute! Every different one had different facial expressions.
I have no idea this sub came from which Disney story, but it looked nice so here's a shot.
Overview of the main area (or at least the entrance to the main part of the park). See the number of people along the waterfront? They're all waiting for the show to start. People queue/wait/book places like 2 hours (there's one parade in Disneyland, people were already waiting 4-5 hours before it) before the actual showtime. Hardcore fans -.-"
We watched both daily performance of "Primavera: Springtime Sea", and snapped lots of photos. This is where I would rather have a good videocam though, in order to capture the whole show in action. A camera just doesn't do it justice. At least there are many others who did have a videocam, and surely someone would have posted on youtube, so I searched them out and here you have them!

A good edited copy of the show, but it's not the full complete performance sadly.

I believe this would be a good presentation of what we saw, as we were at the same area as this person (for the morning performance). Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.
Seems like the love for Disney is strong with this little one. She was dancing along to the songs, with the same dance routine as the performers (she actually memorized? amazing). Those around her cheering her on too. Really really cute.
And during the afternoon performance, I spotted this guy at the top of a building, also dancing along to the songs with same dance routine. Heck, nearly 30% (estimate) of the audience WERE dancing along to the entire show with its dance routine!! Real big fans of Disney I guess.
This night show performance is called "BraviSEAmo!". We arrived late for this show though, as we were having our dinner just before, so we missed out the first part (we didn't even know of this show till we went to the main area for the fireworks and saw it). I really enjoyed the pyrotechnics used in this performance.

Cheers for others with videocams! I can rewatch it from the comfort of home.
Another shot of the show. Sadly, due to bad weather conditions, the fireworks show we were waiting for, that was supposed to happen after this show, was canceled.

Overall, it was a good experience to visit DisneySea, something new to me, as I've been to the Anaheim's Disneyland in the US before back in 1996. But seriously... the rides were boring!! (Besides Bad Tiki) And the cost of entry to the place is also not cheap, @ 5,800 yen for a day visit, or 10,000 yen for a 2 day pass. I'll definitely not return to this place, unless I have no choice (GF maybe?), or someone is paying for me (family trip). At least the show performances, Primavera and BraviSEAmo, were very enjoyable. Anyway, next post will be on Disneyland, but that was a letdown so don't expect much. Signing out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Japan Day 4+5+6: Various Locations.

Will be combining 3 days photos, but didn't take much photos on these days anyway. On to the photos!!

Day 4: Tsukiji + Imperial Gardens + Yasukuni Shrine + Nakano + Ueno.
It seems that Bandai's main building is in the Asakusa area, spotted it while walking towards Kuramae Station.Tsukiji is crazy!!! The amount of traffic is madness!! We didn't see the tuna auctions, but after seeing the craziness even if it's not during its peak hour, we believe we had made the correct decision of not coming early. We didn't take a walk inside the main market but only on the outskirts, but that was enough. I was never fond of mayhem. Still had a sushi breakfast and it was good... Want more ootoro!!
After Tsukiji, we walked towards the Tokyo Imperial Palace, heading towards the Imperial East Gardens, enroute through Ginza. Out of Ginza area, and just before reaching the palace, these huge plains of grass and trees makes it a very nice place to just hang out and relax.They might even be good places to do some figurine photo-shoots too!! Love the emptiness.
Guard Tower?? Random photo. Love doing those water reflection photos.
Within the East Gardens, there are smaller gardens where they have flowers and trees (they're labeled with their names too). Lovely flowers especially, and spotted lots of other photographers taking photos of the flowers. There were also groups of environmentalist(?) or plant-lovers doing some "study" of the flora (more like going "O.O what is this? Adds to note book.")
More empty plains, perfect for picnics.
Once done with the East Gardens, we then walked to Yasukuni Shrine, the controversy shrine behind bad relations between China and Japan, mainly due to having enshrined 14 A-Class War Criminals and having high-ranking Japanese Officials (Junichiro Koizumi mainly) paying their respects at this shrine. I couldn't hold my laughter though, when I saw one of the ema plaques having someone wrote on it "Free Tibet!". Surely looking for trouble I guess.An actual Zero-sen (repaired reassembled from various crashed/incompleted Zeros after the war) being displayed in their museum. My favourite WWII aircraft too! I was going "OMG ZERO SHIKI! WOOT!" when I saw this.This trip wasn't planned, but due to the huge amount of extra time which we had, having cleared the various locations before hand at a much faster speed than I had expected, my friend decided to let me go Nakano, to Nakano Broadway. Treasures I definitely found there; my Nendoroid Petit Lucky☆Star Set @ 7,000 yen (no where else had!! And buying it from La Tendo back in SG is crazily expensive), and Nendo Miku at a "cheaper" price (yes Fariz your Miku came from here) of 4,200 yen (The next cheapest I found at Akiba was 4,500 yen).

Day 5: Harajuku + Shibuya + Shinjuku.
Love the 2nd from left dress. Cute! Comes with a Nekomimi hood too!

We met up with another friend who was in Japan at the same time as us, but her trip was for 17 days. Anyway, this wasn't a day for me, but mainly for my friends, as they went on their clothes shopping sprees..... Even though I was going "Yep no problem I'm okay with shopping", but truthfully, I was bored to death. Yes I may have found clothes that I liked (and wanted to buy), but like my vest... It's all tooooooo expensive for me!! The only time I enjoyed myself, was the Karaoke!! Sang quite a few songs: Hirai Ken - Canvas + Hitomi wo Tojite; B'z - Ocean (Umizaru rocks! my no.1 favourite Jdrama, need to do a review on it one day); Haruhi - Hare Hare Yukai + God Knows (I didn't choose these songs, but it seemed another one of the guys from my other friend's group is a Haruhi fan, so yea we both sang it together! and we rocked!!); KOTOKO - Snow Angel; Maaya Sakamoto - Loop; doriko - Uta ni Katachi wa Nai Keredo (I can't believe I actually found this Miku song!! Too bad couldn't find any other Miku songs... I would have rocked on them all!).

Seems like I could only remember these few songs, but not that we could sing alot too, since we only had 2 hours, and 4 of us were trying to hog the system/mic lol. I've attached youtube links to the song names too, in case you want to listen to them. Aaaahhh can't wait to go to the Singapore's Japanese Karaoke so I can rock again! But no more high-pitched songs for me though, I couldn't handle Hirai Ken's songs truthfully, neither could do so for KOTOKO.

Day 6: Akihabara + Odaiba.
The Rainbow Bridge in Sunset, along Odaiba Seaside Park.

This day was supposed to be going to Tokyo Disneyland, but because it was raining, and not knowing where else to go, we decided to just enjoy walking in the rain, and headed to Akiba to do abit of MY shopping in the morning/early afternoon. But late afternoon (about 4pm) the rain stopped, in which we headed to the futuristic island of Odaiba.
View of the Odaiba Seaside Park, a small beach area.
We also took a side trip to New York to visit the Statue of Liberty. OR at least it got "Teleported" here.
I was actually making fun of the naming of this subway station in my previous trip (and abit of referencing to the above comment), about being a "teleport" station and such, but at least it does look futuristic from the outside(?). Anyway, "Beam me up, Scotty!" ^^
The sunset looks so beautiful.
Random photo while enroute to Palette Town.
Inside the Partire Tokyo Bay Wedding Village. A place for those couples in Japan who wants a western styled wedding in Tokyo. Anyway, we got chased out by security after taking this shot though LOL. Guess we're not allowed in there. It was fine the last time I came though, maybe the guard was having PMS. The ferris wheel at Palette Town.Walked back to Odaiba Seaside Park for some night photography. The jetty you see is where you'll arrive at when you take the waterbus from Asakusa/Hinode Pier to Odaiba.
And 1 more shot of the Rainbow Bridge in it's beauty at night. You can also see the orange-lighted up Tokyo Tower in the background to the right of the bridge.

That's it for the 3 days, and I'm thinking of doing a combined Day 7+8 post too, since it's just Disneyland + DisneySea; Will confirm after sorting photos. As to why I didn't do a post yesterday, and most likely including tomorrow, is because I went to my friend's house for gym + swimming, and mass Guitar Hero III on his Xbox 360!! That game is fun!! Even though I can only managed up till medium difficulty, and hard just kills me. Can't wait for Guitar Hero: World Tour!! The mic is mine!! Tomorrow will be going to his place again, so I don't know if I got the will to do a post. Oh well... Signing out for now.