Apr 30, 2014

CONVENTIONS: Ozine Fest 2014

Last weekend I attended Ozine Fest, the biggest summer anime convention held every year. It's a three-day event held once again at SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia. It started Friday, April 25 and ended April 27, Sunday evening. I went Saturday morning to pick up the Nendoroids and redjuice REDBOX artbook that I reserved with Onegai Onii-chan Hobby Shop. Thank you again, OOC, especially for the recently sold out artbook! I thought I'd never find a copy anywhere anymore. Anyway, I'll reserve my comments on REDBOX for my review next week so be sure to come back here to the blog. ^__^

Ozine Fest 2014 was my third convention attending as a solo photojournalist?  a photoblogger? (lol I'm not really sure what I am...) but definitely no longer the regular convention-going student I used to be. There were lots of new costumes this year, mostly from the latest anime series like Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) or Kill la Kill; this title only reminds me of Kill Bill haha. I only took a few photos this time because I had to leave early for an afternoon photography seminar courtesy of my mom's friend. Still, I'm happy with the pictures I have, especially after seeing fem!Sherlock and fem!Watson. You can see their pictures and other cosplayers after the break. 

Ozine Fest is a convention. In every convention, there are two types of participants. Those who are cosplayers/dedicated fans vs those who are just looking around. Similarly, there are two types of ticket buyers. Those who pre-order and those who buy on the day itself. What's the difference between the pre-ordered ticket and the regular ticket you ask? Based on this convention, a pre-ordered ticket is cheaper, made of a laminated? thick cardboard?? shaped like a standard wallet-size card but with nice logos on it and a nifty bar code at the back. I seriously can't tell if it's just a laminated cardboard but it's definitely not pvc? Anyway a regular ticket is either a printed on thick paper (like cheap bookmarks) or really small those newsprint ticket stubs. Thanks to OOC, I learned about the collectible pre-order tickets so I decided to buy my tickets ahead--mostly because they said it's pretty and collectible.

It turned out to be a good thing that I bought my ticket early. When I arrived at the venue, there was an insanely long line of people outside the building, waiting under the sun. My friend Nikko arrived earlier than I did and said the waiting time took at least 30mins before getting in. It turned out that 2nd floor was divided in half (the left hall for Ozine and the right hall for a corporate seminar.) While this gave a spacious and barely used lobby for the corporate people, it significantly decreased the normal lobby space for Ozine's entrance and ticket booths. For this reason, the guards limited access to Ozine through the left entrance of the building. And since they wouldn't let everybody in immediately to avoid crowd buildup? this actually caused a BIGGER crowd buildup outside the mall and under the sweltering summer heat.

Fortunately for those like me who bought tickets early, I was able to skip the lengthy line and go straight inside the convention. I just feel bad for the other attendees. Anyway from now on, I'm sure to buy my tickets in advance next time just in case something like this would happen again.


When I got inside, the first thing I looked for saw was OOC's solo booth. They had four glass cabinets displaying Team Onii-chan's personal collections. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic of the whole display. Nikko was already there, looking around. The convention's activities included a maid cafe, card game tournaments, lots of stalls selling anime and other fandom merchandise. There was also the new Cospa Asia booth and the event area with the stage and space where cosplayers sat around or took pictures with people. And there were a lot of people..it especially got crowded in the shops area. And amidst the regular crowd were cosplayers from various titles.


As a photographer, I realized I still feel shy and uncomfortable asking cosplayers for their pictures. My confidence (or lack of it) always affects my photos and you can see some really bad angles here. But I'm really loving cosplay photography. It's almost like making a film--telling a story through images, which is what I really enjoy whether it's in photography or drawing comics. But cosplay photos are more fun when I see characters I like and I get the cosplayer's "business cards."



So, even if my trip was cut short I still enjoyed the few hours I went around. At least I got to meet Nikko again and I'm really glad to get a copy of REDBOX. As for the photography basics seminar, I'm thankful it was done by mom's friend so they let me in without having to pay the fee. Although I knew most of the topics, I finally understood the real fundamentals of "white balance" and how to use the meter properly. In my next convention, I'll test these new information.

1 comment:

  1. Cool photos *w* I wish I had a decent cam too, haha. I'll probably take pictures here and there every con, although, honestly, I've only been to a couple of cons and I only walk around to see stuff.

    That Mirai though - she's still on my wish list, lucky you! Kill-a-kill definitely makes a person think about Kill Bill, =))