What are the odds…

9 11 2009




Clouseau promo tour

30 10 2009

… is so cool!
This morning, the area around Gent St. Pieters was ringing with rock music.  And it was way cool!  Apparently, in promotion for their 10th (!!!) album “Zij bij zij”, Clouseau,  the decided to do a one day tour of Belgium. The dates, well hours, were as follows :

1. Oostende
Showcase: 05.50- 06.20
Vertrek trein: 06.31

2. Brugge
Aankomst 06.44
Vertrek 07.24

3. Kortrijk
Aankomst 08.01
Vertrek 08.48

4. Gent Sint Pieters
Aankomst 09.13
Vertrek 09.59

5. Brussel Zuid
Aankomst 10.37
Vertrek 11.15

6. Mechelen
Aankomst 11.35
Vertrek 12.14

7. Brussel Nationaal Luchthaven
Aankomst 12.36
Vertrek 13.23

8. Leuven
Aankomst 13.40
Vertrek 14.17

9. Hasselt
Aankomst 15.00
Vertrek 15.50

10. Antwerpen Centraal
Aankomst 16.42
Einde +- 17.30

I only had about 5 minutes before my train left but it sounded really good.

It’s such a good tour idea. I do hope it pays off and catches on. Doing promotion in the train station is a common thing in Belgium but it mostly involves drinks and snacks.

Yey for surprise music gigs !!!

Post Asianim 4

26 10 2009

All the things Asianim promised it delivered.

Location was OK. The Palais du Congres is, well, what the name states, a congress hall. Asianim had two amphitheaters: one for entertainment purposese like quizzes and games and one for cosplay and concerts. Brilliant idea. They worked out great.The was devided into 4 spaces: downstairs: traditionl Japan, upstairs: game/food hall, vendors’ hallway and amphitheatres.

Food was good. Hats off to the asian guys that worked so hard in the food section.

The avatar village was a let down  partly because it was preceded by the oh so cool Star Wars  fan village last week. So I was expecting igloos, benders of all races, and fire nation ship models. Other activities; didn’t have to do origami this time as people at belorigame had a full table all day long. The martial art demonstartion were cool! as all the other things well.

The cosplay was brilliant; That comes to show what a real stage, proper lights and actual music can do for such an event.  With comfy seats in the hall,  we sat through the entire 3h cosplay event  featuring  3 categories: individual, group and catwalk .

Merchadise. The vendors were located in the hallway in front of the amphitheatres, which was a beautiful hallway bathed in light from the  glass façade which could be translated info fucking bright light that made us crawls into the dark corners of the cosplay room. 23 might have been the biggest number of vendors to participate at Asianim however that didn’t translate into a lot of stuff. Luckily the few vendors that were there had good stuff: Bleach swords, nice trinkets, good cosplay outfits. Some second hand manga was available however the new editions where only available from Slumberland at €8-€9 a piece. Again expensive! At Forbiden Zone in Brussels you can get new manga for around €5-€6 so I’d expect big retailers and editors to sell it for less.

All in all Asianim was a fun event intended for 3 days. We only attended it Sunday and after spending about 3h – 4h  in the cosplay event  and the mandatory amount of time staring at the goodies on sale, we barely had any time left for games and other activities.

Here are some pics of the event taken from the Asianim facebook group

Asianim 4

20 10 2009

Belgians love their anime so a week after FACTS we have Asianim.
The fourth edition of the Asianim festival is taking place on the 24th & 25th of October in Luik/Liege at the Palais des Congrès. The activities of the festival will be focused around 3 themes:

1 – Traditional Japan

  • martial arts demonstrations -Karaté – Aikido – Jujutsu – Kobudo- by JAPAn asbl
  • Sumi-e –traditional painting- by Suely Shiba
  • Shogi, Japanese cooking  by Passerelle Japon
  • Go by Club Go Liège
  • Tessen demonstration –fan fighting- and painting on silk by “l’Orient en Occident”
  • Viêt Võ Dao demonstration –Vietnamese martial arts-  by Vovinam
  • Tea ceremony
  • Bonsai  exhibition by Bonsai Club Liège
  • Origami by BelOrigamo
  • Calligraphy by Mrs. Manda
  • Go

2 – Contemporary Japan

  • an Avatar village
  • Dance Dance Revolution booth
  • AMVs
  • anime projections
  • movie projections – 20th Century Boys on Sunday
  • Video Games – console, arcade, pc
  • Inflatable Sumo
  • various fanzines
  • cosplay competition on Sunday at 14:00
  • Jpop/Jrock/Visual Kei Concerts on Saturday

13:00 – Guren

14:00 – Pinky Doodle Poodle

16:00 -Bernard Minet

3 – Commercial

  • 23 different vendors

Aside from this there will be Speed Painting and contests, karaoke, quizzes by Bulle Japon.

Practical Info

1 – Food & Drinks

Asianim announced it will provide reasonably price sushi. Menu should look something like this :

  • Sushi €1,5
  • Pack of 6 sushi – €7,5
  • 2 Maki – €1,5
  • Curry Rice – 4,5
  • Sandwich – €3
  • 0,33 soda can – €1

2 – Tickets

Pre-sale at Fnac and Slumberland:  €7/day , €12/weekend

At the entrance: €8/day, 15€/weekend

3 – Hours

From 10:00 to 18:00

All in all

So they seem to have all that I’d expect from a anime event in Belgium : cosplay, concerts, merchandise, games and touch of traditional stuff. Why tamper with a proven recipe, one might say. Other might say that we’ve seen it all before. However, I believe that, like myself, the ones attending Asianim are looking forward to learning another origami figure from the guys of BelOrigami or practicing their Shogi / Go or one of the other activities they’ve enjoyed at other events.

After FACTS,  I’m hoping to find the “manga for €1 booth”, which showed up at Animansion and Made in Asia and maybe some other reasonably  priced goodies. Assuming that the 3 years of experience will show, Asianim should be the best Belgian anime event so far.

See ya on Saturday if you’re heading there.


17 10 2009

Just got back from FACTS 09 and I am exhausted. This was my first FACTS  convention and my third anime con in Belgium.

First off: the line to get in was EPIC! We got there around 11, so about an hour after the doors open. That was the longest line I’ve ever been in however it went pretty fast, for it’s length. The organisers might get a kick out of seeing the lines outside however I disapprove, seeing how the chances of rain in Belgium are extremely high any time of the year. This happens because, aside from a few “early bird tickets”, all tickets must be purchased at the door.

FACTS is said to be the biggest convention of its kind in BENELUX and I can’t but agree. Of course they needed a  space to its size so FACTS it’s currently taking place in the Flanders Expo. Not the best choice of location.

The location

The Expo might be a big enough space to pack in all the geekines however it is not the best space for such an event

  • It wasn’t very well ventilated.
  • The ceiling are rather low so it make the space seem even more enclosed.
  • There are windows all around expo and  natural light doesn’t make the best mood light.
  • I don’t know if this is on the location or on the organisation but  the space was not very well planned out. Plenty of dealers, plenty of room to move around, not so easy to follow which ones you already visited.
  • Also the artists were just lined up on tables, not booths, so they didn’t have much space to exhibit their works and there were no real activities involving them as well.
  • The cosplay stage was kind of small and the sound quality was not too brilliant.Plus natural light cancelled out the stage lights.

The one other event I saw at Flanders Expo was a book fair and that suck as well, being cold and dark.


The cosplay was good. Over 60 participants in the competition (kids/group/individual). Loads of people running around in costumes. Apparently FACTS is the “official” Belgian cosplay event as the winner gets to go to EuroCosplay.

One thing though: why do the people presenting these thing suck at it? How hard is it to get someone to properly read the names of the contestants? Is there a shortage of bilingual anime watchers with that can hold a microphone? ‘Cause I can think of at least 3 of the top of my head.

The guests

Christopher Judge and Kevin Sorbo (and other guests as well)

I found it rather confusing how they did the entire signing/photo/Q&A sessions. On top of that the Q&A was done in an adjacent room to the expo hall, that could just as well be a storage room. I sat in only at the C. Judge Q&A and it was good fun.   Kevin Sorbo looks better in person that in his latest online pics, however I expected him to be  of a more imposing stature.


As FACTS is not an all anime con, there was a shortage of merchandise in the anime sector.The few wall scrolls and figures we found were reasonably priced, starting from €8. However the manga was expensive, most of it being around €8.

There might not have been a lot of anime stuff at FACTS however there were plenty of goodies. I loved a particular dealer selling medial costumes, everything from coats, dresses to armours. A German shop had a very nice selection of gothic inspired jewellery. Loads of vintage toys and tons of comics. Also (expensive) geek pride shirts, (expensive) patches, decorative weapons.

Food & Drinks

Expensive! Like at any expo. €3 for cola, €6 for a small box of very spicy pasta, €1,5 for a donut. Expensive candy was also available  for  €3,5 / 100g which is like 3 times how much it usually costs. The organisers were nice enough to allow you to go outside and buy  food. I’d wish I could buy theme food at such a place *sigh*

Other stuff

I loved the fan village… which was like a demo to the Star Wars universe. I’m not all that much into Star Wars however the people that are into it are so much cooler that the actual thing. LARP FTW! Not much else at FACTS, sadly enough.

All in all

It might sound critical however it was a pretty good covention. I guess my standard for FACTS were quite high at it is a long running event. All these being said, I am totally looking forward to next year 😀 and for the record I volunteer to present the cosplay event (I am bilingual, not afraid of speaking in public and I know what WOW is)

Here are a few pics from FACTS.

Pictures taken by and property of Laura Smekens.

Live action fever strikes again: ParaKiss

15 07 2009

WFT? What is up with all anime getting turned to Live Action Movies? What is the H1N1 pandemic not enough, do we really need a Live Action Movies pandemic as well?  Why was DG not a bad enough experience for everyone? We all wait in terror to see what will happen to cult classic, Cowboy Bebop  and I heard rumors of a Trigun one as well. Sure these are made by Hollywood and we have all the more reason to dislike them, one might say. But the ones made in Japan are not any better.

I just saw the first Nana movie and, as true as it stayed to the story, the acting was as stiff as a block of concrete! I never made it all the way though the Death Note movie and as good looking as Blood: The last Vampire trailer might be, review were not that positive.

So… googling Ai Yazawa for news on the future of Nana and what do i see on IMDB page? PARADISE KISS IN DEVELOPEMENT … 2 search results later “Fox in Talks for Live-Action Japanese Paradise Kiss Film”

*falling into endless pit style* Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Sure it is only “in development” and, sure, no one is forcing me to watch it. Nevertheless this is not a good thing.  I understand how fucking with perfection might seem appealing in more than one way…  however experience warns us that the results are not going to be pretty.

Well, one can only hope for the best ^^


Karpati’s Dito Nail Laquer

14 07 2009

Tadaaa! Dito Nail Laquer.

I cannot put enough emphasys of how brilliant I find this to be… what I can say is that the NY Museum of Modern Art agrees as it was included in its “Design Collection”.

I’m getting ahead of myself: this is a innovative nail lacquer bottle created by Karpati, an Aussie bio-cosmetics company. Yes, more reasons to love the Aussies ^^. And the Dito Nail Lacquer comes in 27 different shades. Enjoy!

This would have save me so much trouble and so many stains while I was doing my nails and driving to various places at the same time. One more reason to move to Australia as this is quite difficult to come by in most parts of the world.