Posts tagged Tokyo Disney Sea
This is that time of year when folks begin posting about how this year they’re planning on changing a zillion things and making thinks different somehow. For me, though, I’m not looking forward to changing… I’m looking forward to continuing.
2012 was a hard year, but that’s not a bad thing. As friends and colleagues will tell you – I tend to be a workaholic. I love it. I love the feeling to things getting done and the creative process attached to it in my little geek universe. My friends (my team) and I put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into a number of projects that are now continuing into 2013.
Hell. We’re already in production for two unannounced things in 2014.
The best way to look forward, though, is to remember where you’ve been. SO, here’s my recap of one of the craziest years of my life. Enjoy.
- Reflected on a pretty exciting life thus far in this blog post. No clue what the year was about to bring.
- We were in the thick of planning InvaderCON II: DOOMCON that month, too.
- Took the first of what would be many trips to Los Angeles to work on Anime Expo and Project Anime.
- Randomly took an air boat ride in the Florida swamp because, you know, I’m random that way.
- Took another trip to Los Angeles for work on PA/AX some more.
- Took another trip to Los Angeles two weeks later… on my way to Japan for the first time. I spent eight days being the tallest person in the room.
- I went to Tokyo Disney SEA.
- I went to Disneyland (in Los Angeles) with the voice of Gir.
- I won a $500 Apple gift card for telling a goofy story online about my old IIc.
- Took a quick trip to Atlanta to look a party spots for some adult website.
- Was the best man in my best friend’s wedding… on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas.
- Saw Tom Petty in concert! I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.
- Went to Los Angeles again.
- Dealt with loss as my father’s wife passed away.
- Survived Year Two of Florida Anime Experience with the first ever appearance of Terri Hawkes (the voice of Sailor Moon!)
- Back in Los Angeles again… this time to visit E3!
- Return to Los Angeles at the end of the month to set up for Anime Expo and Project Anime.
- Survived the hell, horror, and amazement of Anime Expo 2012. My eyes were open to a lot of things that one week in Los Angeles.
- Found out a cheesy horror film I did in 1991 was finally coming out on DVD.
- Read the Steve Jobs book. I’ve revisited a lot in that book since then (after years of being told that I am “an asshole just like Steve Jobs.”)
- Returned to Los Angeles for Anime Expo follow up meetings… and new perspective.
- Ran, successfully, InvaderCON II: DOOMCON in Los Angeles. Amazing things happened.
- Finished laying the groundwork (after months of set up) for what has since become Talent For Cons by booking voice actors in Anime Expo and Florida Supercon.
- Announced a new show for the Jacksonville market called WasabiCon (since EXPcon had fallen completely off the radar.)
- Ran events at Gen Con in Indianapolis again. Good times!
- I spent a lot of this month recovering from the Anime Expo/InvaderCON/Project Anime stuff in July.
- Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia. I helped some Edgar guy host events at a party at the Hard Rock Cafe there. While there, I saw a sci-fi celebrities drunk daughter dance on a stripper pole. (I love my life.)
- Lots and lots of catch up work that month…
- Wound up visiting EPCOT on the 30th anniversary of the park’s opening. Turned out it was a clever day to take my friend Marc Perez there for his first time.
- Launched the very first PinUpalooza. It was a lukewarm event (after getting dates bounced around and whatnot) but we proved the event was a solid concept. Already planning Year Two.
- Because one con just wasn’t enough, we ran WasabiCon that same month, too. One of the best cons assembled in two months EVER.
- Took another cruise for my five year wedding anniversary with one of the most patient women on the planet. This time we found ourselves in Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. (It seems that I still need to write a blog post about this since I didn’t see one while writing this.)
- Spent Thanksgiving with my dad… because that’s what family does.
- Got blind sided (for the first time in my life) by a surprise birthday party. I have some amazing fucking friends.
- Launched ANOTHER new event in 2012 – Cosplay Christmas. It was holiday goodness that will return in 2013.
- Went to Busch Gardens for the first time in yeaaars.
- Was a groomsman in the AMAZING wedding of Troy and Kim Doerner.
- Returned to Los Angeles for the first time since July to start work on Project Anime 2013 again. Saw some geeky stuff.
- Spent the first Christmas in 13 years without my wife… but got to spend it with my dad. My heart was happy, but my lungs were in pain. (Long story.)
SO – cities I found myself in during 2012:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
And now for that part we all do during a perceived time of renewal – plan for the future. So what are my goals in 2013? I have a couple of things to work on, sure, like anyone else. I like keeping things simple, though, so here are the three things that I will concentrate on in this new year.
- Lose weight. (Cliche, yes, but truly needed at this point.)
- Blog more. (In reading about my past year, I realize that I didn’t write as much about most of it that I should have.)
- Continue onward. (I created a lot in 2012; now I have to build it up even more.)
So here we go…
Remember that time I went to Japan? Remember when I was blogging about all the exciting adventures I had? The last time I posted part of that particular tale was over two months ago – in the beginning of May. Check it out: http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/8990
I left off at this photo:
So let’s pick up this story again, shall we? Here goes:
After regularly hearing the hype in anime convention fandom, books like Fruits, and that whole Gwen Stefani thing, I really wasn’t sure WHAT to expect when I started walking do that road. The Starbucks across the street from that sign, though, should have been my most obvious clue regarding the hard truth I was about to discover.
Harajuku = American hipster
Don’t get me wrong – it was fun, trendy, and much of the charm was retained since it is a bunch of Japanese people dressed American hipster-esque. Here’s some of them now – and Jason from Otaku Life looking TOTALLY out of place:
They are all so much cooler than we were. Near the intersection was this road sign (across from the Harajuku one.)
Allegedly this sign is a newer one and it has MANY of the locals (and Japan-philes) upset. The original Takeshita Street sign was supposedly much cooler and, while it seems pretty trendy-cool in my eyes, this one just doesn’t cut it for a lot of people. I guess I’ll never know. MEANWHILE, though, past the signs and into the streets…
Dee Snyder would be so proud! Glam rock style of the Seventies and Eighties in America, it seems, lives on in Japan. This colorful group drew the attention of everyone around us as they walked by. They could have, for all I know, been local rock gods in Japan and I wouldn’t have known. That said, I could have been Justin Bieber and they wouldn’t have recognized me, either. Perks of being on the other side of the planet. Either way, they seemed pretty cool. Next up:
Alice in Wonderland is really trendy in Japan. (This will come up again later when I finally write about my adventures in Tokyo Disney SEA.) Aside from the obvious gothic lolita action in this photo, take note of all the t-shirts for sale in the shop behind them. That’s right – trendy American culture. (Check out the larger version here.)
Now, I present you with the sign for this shop for no other reason outside the fact that it makes me giggle – and I still don’t know why.
That’s right. Store My Ducks.
Down the street from this fine, fine establishment is every American Otaku’s wet dream. A wet dream made even more drippingly epic by random chance and the best luck ever.
The dream? The Evangelion Tokyo-01 store. http://www.evastore.jp/real/index2.html
The epic lucky part? We were there the week the racing team models were visiting. http://sgcafe.com/2012/03/evangelion-store-tokyo-01-hosts-evangelion-racing-week/
We had no clue until we got there. (Grab your tissues, boys.)
That’s right! It’s a zany American taking a photo! Do a thumbs up because that’s what they all do, right? Inside the store:
For the record, I spent over $80 on a business card holder while I was here. In Japan, the damned thing turned out to be invaluable during introductions. I use it in America, too, since a lot of my business dealings have to do with folks in fandom. It never fails to draw attention when I take it out and – by the way – you can only buy it at this store in Japan. (You’d think after all that, I’d post a photo of it or something. Maybe later. I don’t have one available while writing this. Trust me, though. It’s snazzy-cool.)
Now let’s look at more hot chicks:
And the store again:
If you want to see more, all of my Japan photos are posted in this set on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomcroom/sets/72157629780231609/
Thus ends my tale of Harajuku. I found myself in Akihabara again that night… but I’ll write about that later. For now, I leave you with this photo of the Starbucks that serves as a warning for Americans entering this particular fashion district:
Tomorrow night I catch a plane and head west… really really far west. I’m flying to Tokyo, Japan for the Tokyo Anime International Fair next week. Before I go, though, I want to make sure I have all my proverbial ducks in a row.
(And all five of you on Google+)
Please check my two lists and let me know what I’m forgetting/what else I need to know. Thanks!
- I called my cell phone company. My cell will work in Japan. Texting will work in Japan. My Internet will NOT work in Japan.
- I called my credit card and bank card companies. They have been notified that the strange charges in Tokyo aren’t from some hacker who hijacked my info.
THINGS TO SEE:
- The team I’m going with plans on visiting Disney Tokyo Sea.
- I want to visit Tokyo Tower.
- I plan on visiting Shibuya Station.
- There is talk of trying to find time to make it over to Mount Fuji. This one is a “maybe” based on scheduling.
- Word has it that I may be visiting Sanrio Puroland (aka “the Hello Kitty Theme Park.”)
Any feedback in the next twenty-four hours would be appreciated. Thanks, folks!