Thursday, 20 March 2014

Culture Japan Night London 2014

Long time no see! Work has been so busy these past few months that I had stopped posting on here to focus on my job. I'm currently taking a break from TokyoToys to focus on other projects and co-found a new business. I've also taken up sewing and hope to start creating my own clothing and cosplay outfits soon! I'll also be able to focus on other hobbies and interests I've neglected due to lack of time such as studying other languages (starting off with French, German and Japan. I hope to add Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese later down the line ^_^), clearing my backlog of games, sketching, graphic design and 3D modelling. I used to teach myself a lot of these things when I was younger, back before studies piled up. So that's my focus for now. Ganbatte!

So today, I wanted to talk about an event I had attended recently in London; Culture Japan Night, an event best known for being hosted by Danny Choo for like minded fans to meet and hear of Danny's latest ventures, had finally returned to the UK on Wednesday 5th March 2014.

Held at the Japan Foundation in London, an audience of about 80+ participants sat and eagerly awaited more news on the Smart Doll project. The room resembled that of a lecture room; rows of chairs with a projector mounted on the ceiling, Danny proudly standing at the front like a teacher with Mirai-chan stationed on a small table next to him. I wish we'd had these kinds of lessons in school! ^_^

We were shown slides of the various development processes all the parts had to go through before becoming part of the doll. Danny explained his reasoning for his design decisions while we all sat and listened intently. I was interested to hear that Danny wanted to use glass eyes rather than resin for better clarity.

 Many members of the community had brought their own dolls along! Cute~!! Of course, they were passed around and posed for mini photoshoots! ~^-^~

One of the many beautiful posters on display around the room.

At the end of the slideshow, Danny held a Q&A session and answered many questions people had about the Smart Doll project. One of the most interesting pieces of information that he shared on the day was that the standard doll and Smart Dolls will be available outside of Japan, making her very accessible to Danny's very wide-spread fan base (as well as those that may be interested in dolls but not specifically Mirai-chan; as lovely as she is ^_^). He also stated she will be available year round (no worrying about missing out on her on release!) for a price tag of around £350 (if I remember correctly) for the standard model! No word on exact release dates yet but the standard model should be released very soon with the Smart Doll to come at a later date. I personally cannot wait for Mirai-chan to be released. I'll be so happy to make her my first doll!

I'm a big fan of Mirai Suenaga, so I decided to cosplay her to the event! (Although, in the rush to get ready, I accidentally put her clips on the wrong side of my head! orz)

The uniform is made by Japanese fashion label, Lucy Pop, whom Danny worked closely with to produce it. I bought it after reading his article on the piece (found HERE) and absolutely fell in love with it once it arrived.

The cosplay costume is beautifully made and the quality is amazing! The details are stitched on, the top and skirt are well fitted and the fabric is very soft and lovely to the touch. I highly recommend it to any Mirai fan (to wear or to put on display, the choice is yours!). >u<

Photo credit to Michael Foulds (Twitter: @MikeFoxtrot1985)

"Kyaaaaaa~!! So many photos! Not too low down, please!!" >u<

I had the privilege of standing on the mini stage to pose for photographs whilst holding the lovely Angel-Cave's doll, Chii! She was super cute!!

After the Q&A,we were told to have a chat to the people near us; before long, everyone had risen from their seats to strike up a conversation with the nearest person who wasn't already talking to someone. Meeting all these like-minded people was so much fun! I discovered the room was filled with people of all ages and varying interests, but most commonly; dolls, figures, cosplay, video games, anime, studies, jobs and goals were the preferred subjects. ^_^

Above was one of my new-found friends! We had an interesting conversation and a great laugh!!

The lovely Mirai-chan herself!! I have to admit, she is, without a doubt, the cutest doll I have ever seen. I really can't wait to own one!! Danny plans to release her in a casual outfit; t-shirt and jeans, to appeal to a general audience, one that may not necessarily know or have an interest in Mirai-chan, Danny Choo or Culture Japan.

Mirai-chan with her trusty camera, ready to take plenty of pictures for Danny-san~! (The lens is removable and also doubles as a USB!!)

With the legendary man himself! It was an absolute pleasure to meet you!! <3 p=""> Danny proved to be a great host; his talk was funny and engaging but I loved most that he was genuinely interested in others ideas and opinions about his project and how he actively encouraged others to talk to one another and make bonds. I'm very grateful to Danny that I had the chance to make a few new friends at the event, it was very lovely to meet you all! (o^^o)

My souvenir for the day! Danny gave out business cards to everyone that took the time to have a chat to him. I also managed to get my Mirai Weiss Schwarz card signed! Squeeee~!

Danny had also briefly mentioned he was thinking of attending some UK events if he had the time, most likely Hyper Japan or MCM Expo May. Here's hoping he will return to the UK soon! Culture Japan Night London was such an enjoyable experience and I hope that he will return to host a similar event sometime in the future!

Thank you for reading~!! (^o^)/

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