Actar in Japan …Part 2! – Day 2: Stand By Ready, Set Up! (For Wallet Pain)

With my opinions on the movie already covered in the previous post, it is time to chronicle my experiences at the movie premiere itself! Get ready to relive an epic tale of tragedy and triumph!

…well, not really.

Knowing that the movie was to begin at 7:30am, I left the hotel bright and early at around 5:00am. The only thing I had for sustenance was a Nikuman from the Family Mart below my hotel as I took the train from Akihabara to Shinjuku.

Why can’t I ever wake up this early to go for class?

Soon enough, we reached our destination. Kind of. The cinema was about a 10 minutes walk away from the station. The closer we got to the cinema, the more anxious I got. All this time, it was as if I was in a dream. Imagine! Going to see the premiere of a movie from one of my all time favorite franchises! It was all so surreal.

The tension level just went up and up as, upon arriving at the Shinjuku Milano Cinema, I was astounded to see a huge line already formed outside the theater. And I thought 5.00am was early. Man do I have a lot to learn from the masters… Anyways, the people outside were only a small indicator of how packed the inside of the building was.

As advertised on the Nanoha website, there was a section in the theater selling a whole variety of Nanoha movie merchandise. The system that they had set up was pretty ingenious as it really allowed a ton of time to be saved. Basically while lining up, each of the ticket holders were given a list of all the merchandise that was available for sale, all you had to do was to write down the number of each item you wanted and present it at the counter when your turn was up.

Yup, as can be seen from the paper (and from my pictured acquisitions below), I went bat-shit insane and bought pretty much one of everything, justifying it with the phrase “Since I’ve already come all this way” and “You’ll never get such an opportunity again”.

Yeah… not the wisest of decisions as it took up a significant portion of my trip’s budget, more so than I had planned. Though, how can you blame me?

At that time, one of my initial fears was that they would sell out of some of the Nanoha goods, seeing as the line inside was longer than the Amazon river, snaking all the way round the inside of the cinema and up a couple of flights of stairs. My fears came to pass when I found out that they were sold out of the Hayate tote bags by the time I reached the counter. Oh well. Nothing to do but to cry over spilt milk.

Besides that was a makeshift counter selling movie pamphlets.

Honestly, the feeling of being there was beyond phenomenal. If I could borrow a phrase from Konata, it would be that it truly felt like a ‘festival’, with everyone sharing a common interest and being there just for the movie. Say what you want about getting a life. This is THE life.

Before long, the doors to the theater were opened and people began streaming in. Each seat was already reserved so there wasn’t any jostling for seats. Good thing too, seeing that I was still stuck in the queue at that point.

Yup, Nanoha and Fate Combo Set. This sure as heck beats my Avengers cup topper back at home. Needless to say, I kept these after their contents were long gone.


Insert Fangasms Here

Like most premieres of Japanese movies, after the movie, there was a special on-stage meet and greet session with the voice actors and actresses. All together, there were 10 of them in attendance: Tamura Yukari (Nanoha), Mizuki Nana (Fate), Ueda Kana (Hayate), Shimizu Kaori (Signum), Sanada Asami (Vita), Yuzuki Ryoka (Shamal), Ichijou Kazuya (Zafira), Kobayashi Sanae (Reinforce), Hisakawa Aya (Lindy) and Takahashi Mikako (Chrono). Kind of a shame that Arf and Yuuno weren’t able to attend. Like a box of colored pencils missing the orange and green.

Aside from the usual thanks, here are some of the interesting comments that I can remember (curse my laziness for not blogging these earlier) are:

– The MC, whom was a pretty famous guy (I assume), commenting on how the amazing the audience was for attending this ungodly early 7:30 screening.
– The voice actresses for the Knights wanting a Knight spin-off series and
– Yukarin (if I remember correctly) commenting on how the snake tentacles were gross.

Sadly, there was a press conference and a second screening scheduled immediately after and the event came to an end all too soon. Somehow, I suspect that the organizers had put more effort into the 11:30 screening’s meet and greet session, but that remains until the release of the Blu-Ray/DVD to be seen. If that was the case, I feel so cheated. (^.^;)

On the way out, there was a whole line of people already waiting outside of the cinema. While not as crazy as Comiket, the number of Nanoha fans there was still something to behold.

With that, my Nanoha movie premiere experience drew to a close. To me, it was certainly something that I will remember for the rest of my life. Words cannot describe how awesome the entire experience was. It sure as h*** wasn’t easy to organize and to plan for, but it was undeniably worth all that time and effort in the end. (Only complaint being that the movie didn’t really live up to my expectations, but you can read all about that in my movie review.)

Oh yes… Video footage coming soon is here!

But! That wasn’t the end of the day yet. Not by a long shot. Immediately after that, I stopped by a Starbucks in a nearby shopping mall and quickly penned down my thoughts, observations and impressions on the movie. An hour later, and with a load off my mind, it was time to take a trip to Mandarake. Not one, but two!

For you see, one of the things that I did not know when I came to Japan the last time around, was the sheer number of Mandarakes sprinkled throughout Japan. This time, I made it one of the main priorities of this trip to visit as many Mandarakes as possible, starting with Shibuya and Akihabara.

The Shibuya store had a pretty amazing store front. However, the selection of merchandise wasn’t as large or diverse as I had thought, being confined to only one floor in the basement.

Er, do excuse the terrible framing of these in-store shots. Technically speaking, customers weren’t allowed to take pictures of the merchandise, so all of these were taken with LEET ninja skills.

Once we finished making a coupe of rounds, it was back to Akihabara (where our hotel was). On the way back, we had just enough time for a quick look round Mandarake Akihabara.

This Mandarake was 7 times bigger (literally) as it had 7 different floors, each being dedicated to a certain type of good, Doujinshi, Manga, Figures, etc… Managed to pick up a number of figures and merch that I’ve had in my WTB list for quite some time. Regrettably, we only had time to visit the floors with figures and er… manga.

Being a more-regular-than-I-would-like patron of their online store, seeing the actual physical store was something else altogether. It’s like seeing the inner workings of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory after consuming tons of his chocolate. Of course, I have yet to go to their main store/headquaters in Nakano. You can bet that I am looking forward to that.

Acquired merchandise in hand, we trekked back to the hotel, tired but happy with some awesome experiences behind us.


Today’s Acquisitions:

A myriad of Nanoha movie merchandise.

– 3 X Nanoha Tape
– 3 X Neck Strap
– 2 X Tote Bag
– 3 X Mug
– 3 X Shirt
– 2 X Long Towel
– 3 X Projector Pens
– 3 X Key Chains
– 1 X Metal Charm
– 1 X Original Sound Track
– 1 X Vita’s Cursed Rabbit Soft Toy
– 1 X Vita’s Cursed Rabbit Soft Toy’s Head Keyring
– 1 X Book of Darkness Book Cover
– 3 X Mirror
– 1 X Clear File
– 1 X Stamp Set
– 1 X Telephone Card
– 8 X Metal Bookmark

– DX Sound Capsule Gaia Memory EX Gaia Memory Complete Selection 2
– S.H.Figuarts Ankh (Greed)
– S.H.Figuarts Cure Aqua
– Nendoroid Pucchi Misaka Sister
– Max Factory’s 1/8 Scale Tsukimiya Ayu
– Megahouse’s 1/8 Scale Dark Precure
– Cure Blossom Soft Toy
– To Aru Kagaku no Railgun OVA Blu-Ray
– Black Cat DVD Volume 6
– Umakoshi Yoshikiko’s Original Illustration Collection Volume 2
– Umakoshi Yoshikiko’s Original Illustration Collection Volume 3
– Umakoshi Yoshikiko Toei Animation Works

4 Responses to Actar in Japan …Part 2! – Day 2: Stand By Ready, Set Up! (For Wallet Pain)

  1. Squiggsquasher says:

    Are those…

    Oh Actar, you naughty boy!


    Damn, those stores look awesome. Pronzorz aside. If I’m ever in Akihabara I will have to check them out.

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