The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

The AFA 2012 Experience November 13, 2012


For those of you who are looking for a detailed coverage of the event, unfortunately, this post will not be the one.(Sorry =w=lll)

This post will be talking about my thoughts and feelings about the planning of the event and everything.

First off, for those of you who had went to the previous AFA, you should know that AFA had always been held at Suntec, however due to the renovation at Suntec this year they had to find an alternative location.

Compared to Suntec, Expo’s convention halls seemed to be much bigger, the halls didn’t get too crowded to the stage you could barely walk.
However, unlike Suntec, Expo have fewer food outlet choices, some of the toilets can be crowded all the time.

The cosplayers attending the event greatly appreciated the open space in Hall 7 that’s kindly given to them as a place to slack and just laze around and get their photos taken.
Once again, as most of you know, back at Suntec it was the level 3, however level 3 may not always be available, so this time they did an awesome job at giving the cosplayers a comfort zone.

That was my thoughts about the event area.

Let me just give you guys an idea what exactly can I talk about in this post.

I bought the stage tickets for both days, but barely watched anything except the cosplay competitions.

I didn’t attend the Madoka movie nor the Anisong concert.

Neither did I join the queue to buy any merchandise or get into the maid/butler cafe.

Why? Because I’m broke. 8D

I’ll most likely be speaking from a cosplayer’s point of view, regarding how cosplay friendly AFA is getting.

I went to the event at about 12pm on both days, programs at the stage would have started already.

I went to the Expo hall 1-6 area to change, and it was a disaster.

The aunties attending other conventions were getting impatient with the cosplayers, the toilet was small, and easily crowded.

Note, this doesn’t only happen during AFA.

Expo’s toilet are almost always crowded.(I know because I like going there for book sales or IT show once in a while)

I’m not quite sure about the toilets WITHIN hall 7 and 8, since I only got in there after 4pm, when most cosplayers would have all been ready.

However the toilets within hall 7 and 8 are not that upgraded, and even smaller.

On the other hand, actually, Suntec Convention Center’s toilet isn’t any better. So, this isn’t exactly a complaint to AFA’s organizing team, but to Expo and Suntec.

Upgrade your damn toilets, trust me it’ll be appreciated.

The flow inside the convention halls were smooth, not as crowded as last year at Suntec.

Every booth is worth stopping at and spent some time checking out their cool stuff.

It’s a rather stress free environment, there was this karaoke booth that’s really fun, though I didn’t try but my friends did, and they enjoyed it a lot.

As we all know the SAO booth’s merchandise were sold out within a day, and K products was selling fast too.

This year they brought along a lot of famous cosplayers, some of which we are familiar with, some of which we know of, some of which we don’t…

Gotta be honest on this one, but there’s just too many guest cosplayers to the stage their value gets kinda degraded.

Remember when it was just Kaname? That was the time when he was treated like a real star.

However, this year, because of all the famous cosplayers around the world, it wasn’t so special…

Of course, all of them are awesome, I really love their cosplays.

It’s just the way they were presented to the audiences.

Anyway, the singles competition was awesome, I think it was like a gathering of all the best cosplayers of the day on stage.

Congrats to the Saber cosplayer from Philippines, sorry I didn’t catch your name, but if you’re reading this, I just want to let you know that my friends who absolutely loves Saber loved your cosplay to the maximum.

The Regional Cosplay Competition was just as awesome, enjoyed watching all the performances.

Congratulation to Team Singapore, Section 8‘s Shinji and Raistlin who was the champion, and everyone who had worked hard along with them to achieve this result.

I remember seeing on facebook about AFA publishing the competition requirement way too late to the stage they had to rush everything.

Hopefully next year AFA will improve on that.

For the two days I was cosplaying as Asakura Ryoko from Haruhi Suzumiya’s Melancholy, and Nagae Iku from Touhou Project.

Like most people would have said, most event are better on Sunday, and that is true for me during AFA.

Pathetic camwhore photo in the toilet ;____;

Saturday was so-so, my wig was in a mess, I took a while to search for the stage area, very few photos taken, couldn’t meet up with my friend who was doing Haruhi…

Awesome shot by Symple AndMeek, probably gonna end up on my dA if I get the high res >w<

Sunday was better, I was solo-ing as Nagae Iku, one of the Touhou characters which I started liking after a friend introduced her to me.

A lot of Touhou fans came to me and shared their love for Touhou with me, totally awesome.

When I was leaving the stage area, a friend(which I didn’t recognise, sorry) and his friends were screaming “IKU! IKU!! IKU!!!”, that was the moment when you realise that Iku’s name is just awesome.

A reader of the blog came to me and told me he was following my blog, have to give you a special mention because you totally made my day.

Ended both days with dinner at the fast food joints outside Expo area, saw lots of cute puppies because of the pets convention going on that weekend.

Things I wish could be improved…

Mainly for the stage area, during the RCC, when a team is performing, they need the screen on stage to be turned into the animation/video they’ve made.

But, the small screen for the audiences sitting at the back area is turned into the animation too.

The thing is, we can see the big screen on stage perfectly, but it is the humans who are performing that we can’t see.

For me, who is 170cm tall with heels, it was still okay, but for my friends who are slightly shorter, even when they’re standing up they can’t see much.

So… next year, maybe they could disconnect the two screens for a short moment, and just connect it to the camera who will be focused on the cosplayers who are performing.

That’s all I can complaint, this year’s AFA is indeed organized well, they’re getting the hang of it after 5 years of holding the event.

Of course we would also appreciate a cheaper ticket price, but I suppose that’s not very possible at the rate they’re going.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the event too, and if you couldn’t go for it, there is always next year!

Maybe, just maybe, AFA will soon come to your country too! Since they have been moving to Indonesia and Malaysia, there is a chance they will soon start holding the event at other Asian countries too.

Also, for my other readers, if you happen to see me during any events, don’t be shy to say hi to me, I’m a friendly person and I definitely won’t kidnap you and sell you away~

Coverage of Cosplay by Photographers I Really Like:

Some of the following albums still need updating from the photographers who are processing the photos~ Please be patient~

8bit Wonderland Day 2 / Day 3

Black Rabbit Photography Day 2 / Day 3

Brian Lim Photography Day 2 / Day 3

Shiro Ang PhotographyDay 2 / Day 3

A.R.C. PhotographyDay 2 / Day 3

 

 

[Movie Review] Chronicle – The Story of a Broken Soul March 30, 2012


Ratings:

IMDB – 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes – 84% Certified Fresh
My own – 8.0

I watched this a while ago with Jelly, wrote some reviews and are just not satisfied with them. (well once was because my computer’s power source got cut off due to the lightning, it’s still raining outside now and I hope it won’t happen again.)

Anyway, it’s a really interesting movie, maybe because I am ignorant, but this is the first time I see a movie like that.

The story begins with showing how the main character – Andrew, is an outcast who is bullied in school, with family problems that he can do nothing about, the only person who truly cared about him is his mother who is dying, and his father hated him to the core, giving him the worst life possible.

His cousin Matt is a much more popular guy compared to him and didn’t bother much about him other than sending him to school.

It only gets to the real story when Matt and Steve called along Andrew into a cave with extraterrestrial object, and accidentally gained telekinesis power.

This is the first time I see a found footage movie, it’s a whole new experience, especially with an interesting plot like this.

Andrew, being a complicated and broken person, with the most talent in the supernatural power out of the three, becomes the super villain in comic books.

This is what I like about this movie, the main protagonist isn’t a good guy who saves the world, he is the one attempting to destroy the world.

A rather interesting concept in my opinion, because I have seen enough of socially awkward teenagers becoming heroes saving the day giving virgin boys some hope instead of improving on themselves.

Also a good thing about this movie is that, because the holder of the camera have telekinesis powers, he is able to hold the camera in the air(in excuse for another person to hold it), so it doesn’t shakes as much and make your head go dizzy while watching it.

The pace of the movie is good, though not perfect, a little too slow at times, or maybe it could be just me not bearing to see the painful things that happens to Andrew. Some people may think the movie is going to suck around the middle of the movie, or may get bored and just give up on it.

A rare production of Hollywood where most/all things in the movie actually makes sense, instead of being unrealistically idealistic.

The idea of the story isn’t exactly original, teenagers gaining powers, but it is presented in a rather different way than other movies, a way which actually makes you want to watch it without thinking it will just be a stupid story of teenager angst. It’s a combination of a few factors, which are usually presented individually, that is why it makes this movie a lot more special compared to others.

Not just that, because of how realistic the movie is, people can actually relate to it, especially teenagers just like the three main characters. When they first gain powers, how they start toying around with their super powers, playing harmless pranks on people, doing all sorts of crazy things.

Also the part where popularity could mean so much to a teenager, yet it could be so fragile, one moment you’re a super star, next moment everyone laughs at you without you turning your back.

The expression of these key factors of being a teenager is presented really well, to the stage I could even feel for the characters at some parts of the movie, I believe when a movie could do that this movie didn’t fail.

Throughout the movie I felt really sorry for Andrew, I wished for a happy ending, despite knowing it’s almost impossible, and it would have been lame if this movie did have a happy ending.

He’s exactly like the type of villains we see the comic books, with a sorrowful story behind him, forcing him to join the dark side, and despite doing all sorts of evil things, we just can’t hate him. Even after he got defeated by the hero(who in this movie isn’t exactly one), we feel sad for him, because we know deep down inside he isn’t a bad person, not the evil being everyone else thought he was.

The other two supporting characters(I wouldn’t call them main because of how Andrew is really the center of the story), Matt and Steve, on the other hand, are slightly less developed.

All I know of Steve is that he is a popular model student living in a rich family, and Matt who is trying to hook onto a Good Girl Gina.

Despite that they still played a key role of making this movie not just about how Andrew got mad at the world and start killing, they gave us hope, a little bit of joy in a movie meant to be a tragedy. They made friends with the friendless, they tried to help him, they did, but failed in the end anyway because the problem behind Andrew is a lot bigger than it seems.

The movie showed how cruel the world is and an explanation to how some people become someone like Andrew, our coldness towards people may indirectly caused the insanity of a person.

A few things might have made Andrew completely different, such as if the pharmacy gave him the medicine his mother desperately needed, that would have made a dramatic twist to the story.

The ending was a bit too short, I wanted to see more of Andrew’s madness and his destruction of the city.

Why? I admit I am sadistic, but that’s not the main reason.

The thing is I could feel his rage and anger, I could almost feel it personally, and want to destroy the world in his place.

This is how strong the emotions are which the movie brought to me.

I actually think if I were Andrew, or even if I weren’t him and I gained the same power with the same talent, I would have become someone just like him.

Which is why I felt that the destruction and damage he did was too little, before Matt finished him, saving both the city and Andrew himself.

Despite thinking the destruction scenes are too little, I’m actually satisfied with the fact Andrew got killed.

There are no other realistic solution to solve the problem, which is why I say this movie follows closely to the most possible things that could happen if it happens in real life.

I won’t suggest people who can’t take things seriously to watch this movie, because I literally felt my heart rage when I walk out of the movie theatre with some teenagers completely misinterpreted the purpose of this movie, and start judging how stupid it is.

However it’s definitely worth watching if you’re looking for something different from the usually Hollywood commercial movies.

 

 
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