This weekend I made a trip up to Auckland to have a look at Doujin Overload, an attempt made by a small anime shop and aspiring anime artists to cultivate a culture of doujin creation similar to the one in Japan, where the Comic Market comes to mind.
New Zealand has a fledgling anime fan base, mainly made up of immigrant students coming to study who bring their fetishes and figurines with them. Over the years, coupled with the vast improvements in DSL services in the country, this has finally sparked to life an anime fan base sizeable enough for this little shop to exist its most populous city, Auckland.
But this post isn't about the tiny infinetsimal almost-nonexistant fan base and anime culture, but about Doujin Overload, an event organized by the Graphic Novel Cafe for well, doujin artists to exhibit and sell their wares.
It was held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Despite being told it wasn't very big, I probably wonder how large hotels in NZ get anyway.
Entrance poster seems pretty enough, with obvious influence from Naruto.
The event itself is held in a small-sized conference room about the size of 2 badminton courts. Rows of tables were provided and sections were simply allocated to the artists. This made it look like a really large canteen with long dinner tables filled with moe girls to chew on. OM NOM NOM
Above is Tragicomedy, managing the booth of Collateral Damage Studios. See the white sign sitting on the top of the yellow piece of standing board? Those were a stack of the Superscenic artbook and soundtracks which were sold out in close to no time.
Some very talented artists here at this event have produced some very beautiful work. One wonders why they are here anyway. These things would disappear like smoke after the dust settles if they were sold at the Comic Market. The poster of Kagamine Rin was probably the most awesome thing at this event.
Here's a loli (The one on the left) who drew those Hatsune Miku and Kagamine twins posters. These two girls pose a very very tantalizing dilemma to many of us moe lovers. The eternal question: 2D or 3D?
It is interesting to note that when I entered the hotel, the chaffeur told us that the Doujin Overload is an "art exhibition". Since I found that incredibly funny (its not wrong or anything), I'll refer to DO as the "exhibition" from now on.
Besides the superstars of the "exhibition", there were also many other aspiring artists who put up their artwork for sale. Likewise, I applaud their enthusiasm. But I'm only into vocaloid.
Also worthy of note are Dola-NZ. A group of artists that draw with radically different styles and levels. These guys have actually sold stuff at the Comic Market before, and sell the same work here too. The thing I loved most however, was their booth's banner. No other booth had a banner or a banner as attractive as theirs.
They even had a book with an awesome cover with a CG of Rin on it. I wonder where these people get their inspiration from...
There were even keychains, but I was looking for durable metal ones.
Madman was here too trying to sell their original DVDs and manga of shows which were released at least 2 years back. I wonder how surprised they were at how much more up-to-date the doujins were. With the existence of K-ON! Posters and stuff.
There was also a large space occupied by a big figure display. They weren't for sale however, and they weren't very special either. They were mostly mass-produced Max Factory and Goodsmile Company figurines and a few dolls, no limited edition produce or specials or resin kits. I was wondering what they intended to achieve with this...
There was also a booth selling random magazines and doujin work from outside the country. I remember the Rei Folder.
They were even trying to sell the Doujin Overload posters. I was wondering what I'd do with those after the event...
There were 3 booths that were selling 3D stuff too. Unfortunately they weren't very updated.
The Graphic Novel Cafe also had some stuff for sale, such as some nendoroids and figures which were long gone from the shelves of Hobby Link Japan. There were some artist tools too and doraemon plushies which I would've gotten had they not been hideously overpriced.
Finally, doujin and fail 3D booths aside, there was one thing that I look forward to at any anime event. COSPLAY. I am not sure who these girls are cosplaying. All I know is that they got the twintails nekomimi and megane all in a package with two girls. Oh, and there's that random big red antenna. Someone enlighten me.
There was a girl that dressed up in a yukata too. I was wondering about it though, because it is currently winter here in NZ.
This was one of my favorite cosplays. A real westerner doing Suiseiseki.
Another awesome loli from To-heart. She ended up not being very photogenic though. She's still pretty cute in real life. And she's western! Since New Zealand caucasians don't grow to a very large size on average, this country has stockpiles of western-style lolis and shotas.
Rena with her marker.
Also around was bloodaxe wearing a real riot suit. When I say real I mean, everything sans the helmet was actual Australian police riot gear. I wonder what he intended to do with it. Perhaps it was a counter to Rena's marker rampage which could've happened had she decided to run amok.
A bit of loot.
There were even 3D girls running around giving free hugs. I was pretty damn startled at first, but that made the event all the more fun
There were also a myriad of cosplayers who were nowhere short of fail. I shall spare you the scars on your life by not showing their real faces to you.
This one was awesome though, not because of the wig, but because of his stance. Knowlegeable people about Iaido will recognize this.
Su on the right WANT.
I didn't know she was trying to cosplay Miki from Shugo Chara until she told me she was "Mickey". =P. I was wondering where Ran was though.
There was even a cosplayer that had a gas mask with a built-in drinking cup.
One of the Dola-NZ guys in cross-eyed-mask-mode
However, not just the cosplayers were worthy of note. Some of the booth owners were also extremely charming in their own special way.
And those girls who went for that androgynous look.
During the run of the event too, there was a band and a quasi-Haruhi cosplayer who sung as the lead singer. She sang Glamorous Sky, God Knows and some other anime songs. I wasn't thrilled with the way they did God Knows. The guitarist was trying to play rythm and lead at the same time but failed in both because the guitar was simply too soft.
Blatant disregard for the rules.
Overall, the event turned out to be relatively okay since I didn't have very high expectations for the doujin scene in New Zealand. It was quite impressive however, that there was a fairly large crowd in the convention hall, though that wasn't as impressive once we noticed that most of the people we counted were pretty much the same people all day.
And finally, one does not come home from an event without a bit of loot.