Usually at around this time of year, a major figure event called the Wonder Festival takes place at Tokyo Big Sight where otaku can enjoy looking/buying the latest garage kits, figures, Dollfies and indulge in some cosplay too.
Unfortunately there was an incident with an escalator at the last event which caused some injury to some folk.
Neither Tokyo Big Sight or the organizers of the Wonfes (Kaiyodo) want to take responsibility for the accident which is still an issue - the issue still being up in the air has lead to the Feb Wonfes being canceled.
And then at the end of each Wonfes, there is usually a broadcast which carries on until the morning next day - today we look at the behind the scenes of the broadcast.
I couldn't make it due to other meetings and work. Now that I'm guest blogging on Boing Boing, I've had to take out extra time to keep the server up and distribute the load of the images and what have you - spent a lot of the afternoon doing that.
Its past 10PM and the show starts. Posted these NicoNico videos earlier on in the Billy Herrington news item and pasted them again below. Don't think you need to register for a Nico ID but let me know if you cant see the vids - if you are viewing by RSS then you wont see them as the player looks at the refferal in order to work - blame Nico and not me ^^
They may take a while to stream depending on what time you are viewing.
Part 2 below
And some of the live performance at Akiba in the afternoon.
When the show started, many staff were still in Akiba packing up after the event.
Having some food break in the main meeting room.
Some most yummy food.
The boss of GSC Aki-san.
The resident figure sculptors are around the table resting after a hectic day running around.
Been talking to many of the folks in the office and its great to hear how many of them are working in a field that they are passionate about - anime, manga and figures. How many of you have plans to work in any of these industries and what are you doing now (not tomorrow or the next day) so that you get to your destination?
This is Nendoron - GSC fans will know him for his moe-some figure sculpts.
We watch the broadcast from the huge screen in the meeting room.
Still doing the Sora Kake PR. Mako has got an incredible voice!
More folks are back from the event.
Some lovely posters at the entrance. Gotta love Sabers armpits. Wonder how fragrant they are.
Back in the main office area to see whats going on.
We're still on Sora Kake.
More folks start to turn up in the main area of the office.
Decide to go on air with me hat - just cut my hair and it looks berry short ^^;
And here is the star of the whole event and broadcast - Billy Herrington - the following text taken from that Wikipedia entry. Billy Herrington (born July 14, 1969, Long Island, New York) is a bisexual American actor best known for his work in gay pornography.
Herrington began his erotic career when a friend surreptitiously submitted his nude pictures to Playgirl magazine. The photographs won him a "Real Men of the Month" contest and a $500 prize. His appearance in the magazine caught the eye of famed photographer Jim French but it would be two years before Herrington would shoot his first Colt calendars for French.
Soon after that he would be shooting hardcore gay pornography for All Worlds Video. Herrington became one of the more well-known gay porn stars of the late 1990s, even appearing on mainstream talk-show "Ricki Lake." And why is Billy popular among the Japanese crowd? Herrington has also become an internet meme among the Japanese community after a clip from one of his videos 'Workout' was posted on Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video sharing website.
Over 3000 parody videos of him have been made, many of which utilizes deliberate mishearings of his lines in the porn flick. He is affectionately called "Big Brother"(aniki) among the Nico Nico Douga community, and most of his videos are deliberately tagged with "Forest Fairy" (mori no yousei), "Philosophy" (tetsugaku), or both. An example of one of those parody videos below which was easier to find on YouTube ^^; Just want to point out that we don't tolerate racism, sexist or gayist remarks on DC.
Mikatan, Aki, Billy and I go over the general flow of the scheduled 30 min slot.
I really didn't appreciate the enjoyment of the Nico Nico comments until this evening. For those who don't know, Nico Nico is a video sharing site just like YouTube but where users can type comments and watch other users comments fly across the screen.
This evening, we had a huge screen where we could watch users comments in real time and interact with the users as they watched our live broadcast.
One needs a premium paid account to view Nico Nico but can watch it for free with a login. Sometimes their servers get a hammering and thats when free users start to experience delays in streaming - premium account payers are given priority in watching stress free streaming.
We start off by me briefly introducing myself and from that moment on, thousands of referrals from the Google query term (my name in Japanese) started to appear in my server logs ^^;
The GSC team was watching all the 2chan threads like this one where folks were pasting in the url to my Japanese profile page (English version here). Saw many comments in the form of (Sugoi keireki wo motsu hito!) or "the chap with the outstanding career" - if you managed to watch the broadcast and saw me shyly smiling it was because I read those comments on the big screen in front of us ^^;
Then its time for Billy to come on - there were so many Nico comments that one could hardly see the screen.
This is one of the smaller screens dotted around the office. Streams of (Aniki) or "big brother" flying across the screen.
The show was a very play by ear relaxed show - had a load of laughs. This is where Billy picks up some sushi but drops the rice. Akiyama (one of the presenters) was saying that Billy is so strong that he destroyed the sushi.
While I think I have a good command of Japanese, translating in real time is a different ball game. Was pleased with most of my translating but there were times when I couldn't think of the English equivalent - good and bad.
This is good because learning Japanese from Japanese words and descriptions goes to show you that you have a good command of the language - its also probably the correct way to further improve language skills as the nuance other languages are different - a child starts to learn language using the language that they already speak.
This is bad because you look like a wally trying to think about how to translate something during a live broadcast ^^;
The chap in red is Max Watanabe - the boss of Max factory. We need to thank him for the Figmas.
Billy leaves Tokyo this Tuesday. Was supposed to go out with him and some of the team members tonight but somebody fell sick. If they feel better then we will go out n about Tokyo tomorrow but if not then it will be when hes back in July for the release of Billy's very own Figma figure.
A reader made a figure of Billy and wanted to give it to him in person but couldn't make it so I gave it to him instead ^^;
The reaction from the Nico users is (pronounced "Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr" - the sound you make when you are impressed with something.
The figure had a long message in English on the back which I was asked to read out in Japanese.
I started off trying a silly voice but realized it was inappropriate as it was a gift from a fan to Billy - I'm learning every day.
There is a section that we done which is missing from these photos because the lady who was taking them got on stage to measure bits of Billy with a tape measure. We asked the viewers what part of Billy they wanted measured and all we saw was (Musuko) meaning "Son" but is the colloquial word for "Dolphin" - I explain what Musuko is to Billy ^^;
Forgot to ask for that lovely poster of Saber Lily.
A lady from Dwango comes on to plug the Billy ring tones and mobile screen savers.
And right at the end Billy unexpectedly rips open his shirt^^;
A few poses before he...
...flings his shirt at the staff.
And then its chucking out time for Billy and I.
Quick snap with Billy before he runs downstairs to the awaiting Taxi.
Guests continue onto the early hours of the morning. The last time I was on the show I stayed until 4AM and got home at 6.
Me stays in the office for a while to catch up with other staff.
Some goodies spotted on the snacks table! Photos tomorrow - a few of them are just soooooooooo gorgeous - me was in danger of nearly eating them.
Back in the main meeting room for some food and continued meetings.
Then its off to the car parked nearby. Its about 02:20AM-ish.
Managed to drive back home in 40 mins instead of the predicted 60 mins by the Carnavi - listening to Ridge Racer R4 music while driving on the clear Tokyo highways over the city at night (at a certain speed ^^;) is really like playing Ridge Racer! - but only get one life in this game ^^;
Some of the tracks I listen to below - pasted links only as embed was disabled (lame)
Read more about life in Tokyo in the A Week in Tokyo series or subscribe by RSS.