Sunday, August 23, 2015

EOY Cosplay Festival 2015: Convivial and Enjoyable as Always


Cosplayers, stage performers, doujin artists, Japanese culture lovers and even the foreign guests were all about the place, roaming around freely, each one creating their very own special memories, able to interact uninhibitedly.

The Marina Barrage- home to The EOY for the past three years

What a fantastic and enjoyable weekend it has been! The annual EOY (Event of the Year, not End-of-Year, mind you) Cosplay Festival was held once again at the Marina Barrage, over the weekend of August 15th and 16th. It had the same charm and carefree atmosphere which we loved when we attended it for the first time last year.


This year's edition saw many foreign guests in attendance, to much delight of the attendees, with Niconico dancer Apricot* from Japan, cosplayers Candi and Sou from Taiwan, and Kazuko and Weon Haur from Malaysia.

So many guests for this year's edition!

We will not deny it but the main reason we went for EOY this year was to meet Apricot*.

Apricot's special video message to fans for EOY 2015

After all, who doesn't like cute girls? The XDantheManX Online team likes them especially so. After attending last year's EOY featuring the very cute Penta (who we would not mind returning every year, although that seems a highly unlikely possibility) and the equally adorable Marice, we could not fail to attend this year's edition, and so went.

Can you feel your heart melting into jelly?
(Source: Penta's Twitter)

While we attended only on Sunday last year (to much regret), we went on both days these year, and we had such an incredible and wonderful time at the event.

Cuteness aside, these girls are able dance with such great finesse too and we were really awestruck by their talent. It is not easy to perform with such stamina and skill and they must have surely spent countless hours and worked up buckets of sweat practicing. They are truly deserving of our respect.

The song and dance are just too cute!

Apricot* performed to three Vocaloid songs in the early afternoon, around 1.50pm on Saturday- "ZIGG-ZAGG", "Happy Halloween", and her favourite, "Strobe Nights". You should be able to find some videos of her performances up on YouTube as they are uploaded by fans who had recorded them in the coming days.


We shall not add too much superfluous commentary to the videos so we'll leave it to you to enjoy them!

We felt that the first song, "ZIGG-ZAGG" was a very upbeat and energetic song to dance along to. The ebullient crowd could be heard cheering along high-spiritedly at parts of the song as Apricot* danced on stage.

Apricot* dancing to "ZIGG-ZAGG"

Somehow, for the second song, we were expecting her to dance to "Halloween Night", the new soon-to-get-viral (I hope) AKB48 senbatsu (election) single featuring Sashihara Rino (yes, Sasshi again!) as the center.

Sorry, not this song

Nevertheless, we felt that "Happy Halloween" was very catchy too and her steps were perfectly in sync with the melody. A testament to her professionalism, it was a perfect display of both her ability and cuteness.

Different song, this one

She mentioned that the last song, "Strobe Nights" was her favourite Vocaloid song. It was a very special song for us too as it was one of the first Vocaloid songs which we had came across while looking up livetune(kz) before his set at STGCC's DJ Night way back in 2013.

MBS and the Singapore Flyer as the stage backdrop this year

It remains one of our favourite Vocaloid tracks, along with "Packaged", off livetune's first album, "Re:Package", released in his early days as a Vocaloid producer before making it big. There are also many other great tracks in the album such as "Faindaa (Finder)", "Rira Horun (Lilac Horn)", "Light Song" and the very famous "Last Night, Good Night".

One of livetune's best songs, "Last Night, Good Night" featuring artwork by redjuice!

In fact, we like many songs on that album. Do have a listen to it and check out our highlights from STGCC 2013's DJ Night featuring livetune(kz) while you're at it!

STGCC 2013: Best of Both Worlds

After her performance, the queue for her signing and photo-taking session was unsurprisingly long, attesting to her popularity with the audience. Many excited fans lined up for their turn to meet her and she would spend a short time interacting with them, sometimes breaking out into wotagei (dancing and cheering gestures performed by fans of idols) as other performers took to the stage behind her.

I guess that was a common feature that made many events which we enjoyed so much- CharaExpo, Icexpo, etc- successful - the time of personal interaction with the guests. We managed to get a cute two-shot cheki with her for $10 and it was worth every single cent.

Day 1's cheki!

Apricot* was scheduled to perform in the late afternoon on Sunday, around 5.15pm. She surprised us by holding a signing and photo-taking session around forty-five minutes before her stage performance.

We had expected her to hold it afterwards but she was visibly vivacious and exuberant, bursting into dances midway as fans waited in line.

We relented and surrendered $10 for another cute two-shot cheki with her after her cuteness won us over again.

Day 2's cheki

She performed to three Vocaloid songs on stage again- the much-loved "Spica", "Platinum -shin'in future Mix-" and "Heart Beats".

Special thanks to Nubu for allowing XDantheManX Online to embed his stunning Flickr photos in our post! You may click on the photos to view his photos of other events on Flickr! Full set of Apricot* photos here!

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I need a photo with this cute pose next time!

We loved the first song, "Spica", a very popular song which has been featured by many odottemitas (dancers). Apricot*'s dance was dynamic and buoyant, perfectly in harmony with the positive spirit of the song. Her infectious cheerfulness spread to the audience too as they spurred her on enthusiastically.

Apricot Day 2 Dance
#EOY2015 #Apricot #NDD
Posted by Operation P・Ani・C on Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Apricot* dancing to Spica - Video by Operation P・Ani・C

During the intermission, she greeted the crowd in English, "Hello everyone! My name is Apricot and I'm from Japan," to many whoops of delight.

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Apricot* dancing to Spica

She then griped jokingly about Singapore's hot weather, beckoning the audience to empathise with her in Japanese, "暑いですね Atsui desu ne (It's hot!)" and thanked everyone for turning up before panting for breath to illustrate her helplessness in the sweltering heat.

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The next song, "Platinum -shin'in future Mix-" was another upbeat one, as the ardent audience chanted "Hai! Hai! Hai!" along animatedly before the vocal part began. Penta had also danced to the same song at the same venue a year ago.

Platinum -shini'n future Mix-

After her dance, she apologised for speaking in Japanese before continuing her self-introduction, sharing that she has been dancing for five years, since 2010.

She expressed her overwhelming happiness at being able to dance in front of so many odottemita fans in Singapore, which was so far away from home. There were some nights when she found it difficult to sleep but it was really fun finally being able to dance here.

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Expressing her gratitude to those who came to watch, wait for and even those who were videoing her performance, she explained that she had performed overseas many times throughout her five years, in Taiwan, China, Korea but that she had never been to Singapore even once.

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She said that it was her first time here and she was very thankful to everyone for turning up and those who have always supported her, from the bottom of her heart, eliciting a thundering applause from the crowd. "Thank you for the good memories!" she added in return.

For her last song, she described it as one which she had a lot of affection for as she had many deep memories with it. It was the first song which she had danced to professionally when she started out five years ago.

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She recalled the many hours she had devoted to practicing the song- six long hours daily, shedding many tears as she danced everyday, before finally revealing it to be "Heart Beats". The crowd must have been no stranger to the track as they responded zealously upon hearing its title.

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Apricot*'s final performance, "Heart Beats"!

Jokingly bemoaning how lonely she is, always performing solo, she invited those who had attended the dance workshop she had conducted a few days ago to join her on the stage.

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"Are you ready?" she rallied her fellow stage performers. "Yeah!" they replied ecstatically, albeit softly. It was not loud enough for her. "Are you ready?" she asked again. "YEAH!" they replied more loudly the second time around.

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Then, she turned to the audience. "ARE YOU READY?"

"YEAH!" the crowd chorused fervently and thus, she began her final performance.

It was very sunny on Sunday afternoon; sorry for the underexposed video

EOY was one of those events which we instantly fell in love with when we attended it for the first time last year. The environment is just so laidback and warm, with many friendly faces all around. It does not have the rushed mega-convention feel, where everyone is clamoring to meet their favourite guests and scrambling to get their hands on limited edition goods.

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Goodbye, Singapore!

It is not to say that we do not like huge conventions though. Sometimes, we would just love to sit back, relax and have a light-hearted time with the people who matter most to us.

Let's not forget the cosplayers! EOY is a cosplay festival after all!

EOY has it all- wonderful dance and song performances by the local community, amazing guests who you can meet in person, doujinshi (fan-art) booths for aspiring artists to showcase their works and of course, merchandise stores for the collectors (although some stores may be selling products of dubious orgins...).

Special mention to this dance to Tokyo Girls' Style's (TGS) "Never Ever", recorded by our friend, Nakitty of Nakitty Channel. We are huge fans of TGS!

Not forgetting that there were also many food vendors to cater to the hunger needs of the attendees, selling a huge variety of food from hot meals such as mee siam and nasi lemak to Japanese snacks by BonJapan and Taiwanese ice-cream by Happy Ice.

The doujin booths were teeming with visitors

You could even get yourself a free drink to keep cool in the hot weather by downloading a smartphone application from one of the event's sponsors, Trezo. Not a single cent required!

Merchandise on sale. Hmm...

EOY feels like a Japanese pop culture event organised by the fans, for the fans.

We feel that the Barrage is a perfect venue for hosting EOY too. We simply love the beautiful scenery, the cool breeze blowing in from the sea and the windy rooftop garden. In fact, we spent the majority of our time at the rooftop garden. There are also many scenic areas apt for cosplay photography.

We love the rooftop garden at Marina Barrage; it's so windy up there

The venue is in part, what makes EOY what it is too and we look forward to returning to the same place every year.

The cool sea breeze blowing in... Ahh...

Looking back at past editions of EOY which we did not attend before some members of our team got into the Japanese culture, the event has certainly had a stellar line-up of guests in its history, from Niconico dancer Wata in 2013 to voice actress-singer Yui Makino in 2009.

This year's edition has just wrapped but we are already eagerly looking forward to next year's!

Which cute odottemita (Niconico dancers) will they invite next? *Hints* Lilia 彩りりあ or Miko みこ please! *hints*

As sweet as a princess...

Dance! Dance! Dance! (Lilia dancing to "Gigantic O.T.N.")


As the song title implies, literally! (Miko dancing to "too Cute!")

We sincerely apologise for the lack of cosplay pictures. We hope you enjoyed yourself tremendously (we sure did) at EOY last weekend and here's looking forward to an even better EOY next year!