Exclusive STGCC 2014 Coverage

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An exciting convention, where I was lucky enough to walk away with the Nao Shirahane’s drawing of Eiri.

kuromono-iconLast weekend I attended the Singapore Toy Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) 2014 and will be bringing to you a coverage of the event, stage panels as well as exclusive interviews with some of the special guests for Metanorn as highlighted before. As the event had a gracious list of guests and activities, allow me to apologise beforehand for not being able to cover everything.

STGCC 2014 is actually the sixth instalment of the annual event organized by Reeds Exhibitions and this was my fourth time attending the event. STGCC as its name suggests is an event held to celebrate toys, games and comics and should not be confused to be an ACG (Anime, Comics and Games) event. However, having said that, over the years the event has evolved to accommodate both the east and west fandoms. This year the event returned to the Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo and Convention Centre occupying Halls B and C of the expo throughout the weekend and attracting attendees from all ages and walks of life. The two halls spanning an estimated floor area of 10,000 sq.m was home to 221 exhibitors, 161 artist booths and an impressive guest list which covered personalities from illustrators, toy designers, DJs and even veteran voice actor, Tomokazu Sugita.

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Floor map of STGCC 2014

Booths @ STGCC’14

Upon entering the hall, we were greeted with a display of Storm Troopers at the front of Hot Toy’s booth. This was in conjunction with Hot Toy’s recent acquisition of rights for the manufacturing of collectibles from the Star Wars franchise.

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The various collectible figurines on display at the Hot Toy’s booth

Visitor’s who were more interested in the ACG scene were not left out, as this year Bandai Tamashii Nations was of the main exhibitors for the event. At the booth we saw displays of figures from One Piece, Sailor Moon and other action figures by Bandai. There was also a Good Smile Company booth as well as a Banpresto booth, which allowed visitors to participate in the Ichiban Kuji draws from four series, Sword Art Online, Shingeki no Kyojin, Kill la Kill and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

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Home grown studio, XM Studio, was also one of the booths that gained a lot of attraction with their impressive line up of limited edition premium statue collectibles from the Marvel universe.

Cherry Credits, was also there promoting the launch of their upcoming mobile game Coin Hunter. GB Comics, a renomed local comic book store, jumped in on the Guardian of the Galaxy train and had this impressive bust statue of Groot and Rocket Racoon at their booth.

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And they had this adorable baby Groot too! <3

Click for more Booths coverage // Show ▼

STGCC also had a great line up of activities / panels / performances at the stage area to keep visitors entertained. A full list of which can be found here. Due to clashing timetables, I only managed to attend a few of the events lined up for the weekend:

Spotlight on Tomokazu Sugita

Unfortunately no photography / recording was allowed during any of Sugita’s panels. The panel started with an introduction of the voice actor followed by a a resounding crowd ceer so loud that it could be heard from the end of the other exhibition hall. Sugitan was decked all in black and ready for fans. The sound system at the panel however was disappointing as audio was muffled leaving fans at the back unable to hear / make out what was being said. Nevertheless, it was still Sugitan and the crowd cheered and went hysterical either way! ^^;

Sugita+TomokazuAfter answering some questions relating to his time in Singapore, he proceeded to do a live dubbing of two scene from the recent Gintama movie. Which earned him roaring cheers from the crowd. This was follow by the questions from fans which were submitted on facebook. If you follow Metanorn’s fanpage on Facebook, you would have noticed the shared STGCC’s post, where the organizers invited fans to ask Sugitan questions. The fans who would get their questions asked on the actual panel would get a signed signboard. And what do you know Kyokai’s posted question was actually asked but I wasn’t aware of it and so her rightful autograph was given to another lucky fan. Oh she’s still pretty upset over it but at least I’m here to report the answer.

The questions covered topics including how he keeps a straight face while performing his lines, the most difficult thing about being a seiyuu and three people he would bring with him to a deserted island. His answers for the same were, laughing it out before the recording session, he finds it difficult that his voice tends to lean more towards the villain’s voice and if he were to be stranded on an island he would bring Hiroki Yastumoto, Yatsumoto and Yatsumoto. This brought laughter to the floor and Sugita went on to explain that Yastumoto is adaptable, able to cook and is generally strong.

Aside from getting fans to post questions on STGCC’s facebook page, fans were also asked to express which lines they would like to hear Sugitan reprise on stage. Sugitan read out lines from InuxBoku (Kagerou), Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (Hidenori), Gintama (Gintoki) and lastly JoJo’s bizarre adventures (Jospeh Joestar). Personally I was sad that the Hoshi’s Himo song, from Arakawa under the bridge, was not selected but I was just happy to experience his talent live.

Lastly, the panel ended with a message for the fans. Sugita mentioned that there was a certain Kin-chan who had a fear of flying, who he would love to bring with him in the future when he comes back to Singapore. The crowd immediately knew who he was talking about (Yuuichi Nakamura) and cheered. Hearing the warm reception, Sugita jokingly added that he felt sad that the reception for Nakamura was even louder than his. It was a little disappointing that the original panel, which was planned to be one hour was done within 35 minutes but since Sugita would return to stage for the creator’s panel, all was good!

Comic Artist Panel: From scripts to pages…

STGCC2014-14The Comic Artist panel featured pencilers and comic artists Oliver Coipel, Andy Price, Philip Tan and Harvey Tolibao. The panel covered topics on their jobs of translating the scripts provided to them to the comic panels readers view. In the Q&A session the panel was asked about how to deal with mental blocks. The panel’s response was pretty diverse with some thinking that it would be good to take a break but some begged to differ by adding that it could backfire and become a distraction instead.

The panel however did agree that they were all not too fond of drawing characters which were overly mechanical. A question on the floor asked if they had any specific character they did not like to draw and Oliver Coipel started it off by saying he did not enjoy drawing Ironman. This came as a shock to the audience. He then went on to explain on how there is no emotion in Ironman’s face since it’s just an oval with eyes and the body has too much details, that is too many things going on.

Andy Pierce (on left) chipped in and said, “I hate it when people ask me to draw transformers”. Interesting yet revealing truth? I think so.

Creator’s Panel with Sugita, Kedwin & Shirahane

One of the cosplay guests for STGCC 2014, Stayxxxx, was not able to make it to the event due to scheduling problems and as such the Sleepless Child panel which was scheduled on Day 1 was replaced by Creator’s panel featuring Makoto Kedouin, Tomokazu Sugita and Nao Shirahane. For this panel, Sugita changed his attire and cosplayed as Yuuya Kizami, the character he voices in Makoto Kedouin’s game Corpse Party. Nao Shirahane was also in cosplay for the panel: Eiri Mizuki from Sugita’s game Getsuei Gakuen no Kou. It was cute to see the guests being so supportive of each other’s work!

The panel started off with the guest being asked about their flight to Singapore:

Makoto Kedouin: This was my first time on a plane and I actually felt a little dizzy after arriving, but thankfully I managed to recover after resting yesterday and last night.

Tomokazu Sugita: I was playing the Persona Q game on my 3DS on the plane and before I knew it I was in Singapore. That was quite scary.

Nao Shirahane: The night before my flight to Singapore, I was actually pulling an all-nighter so despite being excited, I slept as soon as I got on the flight and when I woke up I was already in Singapore.

The host then proceeded to ask them about their ambitions prior to their current professions:

Makoto Kedouin: I actually started of wanting to be a mangka/Illustrator. I started playing on the famicom a horror game, Sweet Home, and that is where I gained my interest in the horror genre, which led me to produce Corpse Party.

Tomokazu Sugita: I didn’t really have anything in particular I wanted to do when I was young. So, I became a seiyuu after graduating. But if you ask me what I wanted to do going forward. I would like to do nothing and it would be good to just retire.

Nao Shirahane: There were many things that I wanted to be when I was little, like a teacher, but I have always been interested in drawing.

The panel then proceeded with Makoto Kedouin introducing his survival horror adventure game Corpse Party to the audience with some images from the recent Corpse Party: Blood Drive game. The first image was of  the character which voices, Kizami, and Sugita was prompt to point this out. Next, was a picture of the new character, Kuon Niwa, an assistant teacher in the game. Sugita hinted to the crowd that the voice actress for the character was Hayami Saori and followed up with an air fist targeted at a group of male fans seated in the front row.

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From left: Kuon Niwa, the character voiced by Hayamin and Aiko Niwa the character Sugita was supposed to cosplay

Another new character introduced by Kedouin-san is Kuon’s younger sister, Aiko Niwa. Kedouin-san shared that before Sugita decided to cosplay Kizami, he was thinking about cosplaying Aiko. Sugita quickly reverted to that statement saying that it would be too much trouble and embarrassing to cosplay a female character.

Click to continue reading creator’s panel coverage // Show ▼

DJ Night @ STGCC

This year the DJ night at STGCC featured three DJs, Inu, Sasakure.UK and IOSYS, while VJ Katsumaki assisted.

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Inu; Saskure.UK; IOSYS (accompanied by Katsumaki)

The evening started off with Inu who brought refreshing remixes of familiar anisong tunes. Inu has a really groovy vibe and just watching him on stage is enough to convince you to join in on the fun. It was a pleasant surprise to hear many older anisong being used. A few of the series covered were Evangelion, Railgun, K-on, Haruhi Suzumiya, Saint Seya, Tengen Toppa Gurren, Kill la Kill, Shingeki no Kyoujin and Rurouni Kenshin.

Sasakure.UK was next on the line up with tunes from Hatsune Miku. His tunes were less upbeat but the use of the MIDI pad gave the vocaloids tune a more 8bit feel. DJ Inu was such a cool guy, he even joined the crowd cheering and dancing.

Last but definitely not least, D.Watts (a.k.a. IOSYS) took to the stage with his collection of Touhou music. For the next hour and a half, the crowd was jumping, shouting and having a great time. The night ended in the “strongest” possible way as the screams of “BAKA!! BAKA!!” filled the hall to close the night.

Makeup tutorial with Lenneth XVII

In view that Stayxxxx was unable to make it for STGCC, the cosplay panel was changed to a cosplay make up tutorial where Lenneth taught the female audience how to make up when crossplaying (i.e. when cosplaying male character).

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Lenneth cosplaying as Makoto Tachibana (fireman version) from the Free! Eternal Summer ending song

In a brief 20-25 minutes Lenneth transformed her muse’s feminine features into that of a bishounen. A few of the tips provided by her was that the eyebrows play a vital row when cosplay a male character. She explained that males generally tend to have lower brows than females. She also emphasized the importance of keeping the make up light since guys in general do not wear any, especially if their just high school students.

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Tadaa!

Spotlight on Nao Shirahane (a.k.a. Dmyo)

Nao Shirahane attended STGCC Day 2 in an adorable cosplay of Mirai Suenaga (Danny Choo’s Mascot character). Her session was not so much a panel but a session where she drew live on stage. Accompanying her was DJ Inu who provided the audience and Nao Shirahane with some great tracks.

In 45 minutes, Nao Shirahane completed four artworks of the following characters:-

  1. A mascot character for STGCC
  2. Eiri Mizuki from Getsuei Gakuen Kou
  3. Mirai-chan from Danny Choo’s Mirai Millenium
  4. Kotori from love Live

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The first artwork was given to the STGCC organizer as a thank you and the remaining three were up for grabs to the audience. Shirahane-san was nice enough to make it simple for the audience and said that the one who is able to tell her both the name and series the character drawn is from will get to keep the artwork. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to walk away with the drawing of Eiri as per the main image of post. ^^;

Cosplay @ STGCC

To close of the 2nd day stage events the annual Cosplay Runway was held. It featured 52 cosplayers from comic, anime, games and more. And accompanying the cosplayer’s on stage was MONOMIND. The crowd went trigger happy and so did I. For all images, check out Metanorn’s fanpage album.

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Cosplay Runway @ STGCC 2014

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I forgot to mention that STGCC is free for kids under 12 on Sundays so we get to see many cuties like this too!

Click for more cosplay coverage // Show ▼

Closing note: Once again STGCC has proven itself to be one of my favourite conventions to attend! With a great mixture of guests, booths, panels, cosplayers and attendees. I will definitely look forward to what they will have in stall for guests next year. I would also like to extend a big thanks to Kyokai for getting the media pass. As mentioned earlier on I had a chance to interview some of the guests of STGCC and I’m currently transcribing the interviews. So be sure to stay tuned for more!

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Kuromono is a hobbyist residing on an island. She enjoys stories that requires some tinkering and test the boundaries of humanity. To know about her, you can follow her profile and/or other social media links from here.

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10 Responses to “Exclusive STGCC 2014 Coverage”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    Oh my gawd those Marvel collectibles look AWESOME! I would so get the Groot stuffs <3 and WOW Kyokai got her question answered!? Good job Boss lady and maaan I would love to meet Tomokazu Sugita.

    Thanks for sharing your convention fun~

    • Kyokai says:

      Groot really looked awesome, the cute one even more! xD

      And I just could not believe it that my question would be picked but oh god, FUKOOOH DAAAAA! I missed my chance to get his autograph. A big life opportunity missed. 🙁 Whoever the lucky bastard is, you have my eyes of death perception following you!

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    “We are convention security” *respirator breathing*
    “We are looking for a character called ‘Pedobear’ who has been spotted touching children inappropriately” *respirator breathing*
    “You WILL tell us the location of ‘Pedobear'” *Force Persuade* “Or else…” *respirator breathing*
    “Also we are looking for a Jediwannabe called Kirito. He needs to be… removed.”

    😛

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Nice coverage and you sound like you had a blast! Thanks for sharing your findings!

  4. Kyokai says:

    I’m still feeling sad on not getting my autograph but oh well! Awesome coverage, Kuromono! Lots of details and interesting bits about artists. ^^

    • BlackBriar says:

      Maybe next time you’ll get another chance for an autograph. Just got to hope for it.

  5. Overcooled says:

    Wow, nice job! It looks like you had a lot of fun too. Getting a signed piece of artwork must have been a really sweet bonus too.

    • Kyokai says:

      Kuro is under the weather this week so just replying on her behalf that she had lots of fun and happy for her interesting sojourn at STGCC. :3

  6. Kyokai says:

    Here’s some Sugitan and Kedwin love for the fans:

Leave a Reply to Di Gi Kazune