It’s that time again for another convention over in Victoria, Australia! It’s the biggest one we have and it actually got even bigger this year too. It’s called the Melbourne Anime Festival (or Manifest for short). For those who’ve been here since last year, you’ll notice that Tofu has also covered Manifest last year. Unfortunately I didn’t much (or any) events last year so it was rather a dull read (I confess). This time around, I’ll definitely go into more detail about what went on, the goods, the bads and the goodies or anything in between. Other than that, let’s begin!

Cosplays

Bigger than ever, Manifest’s new location allowed much more stalls to be set up and even keep the traffic at a tolerable level (something many people complained before the switch into a bigger building). Because of this, most of the photo shoots were even moved inside – this years theme was horror but surprisingly there was more Bleach and Pikachu cosplays than anything else… I didn’t know Bleach and Pikachu were horror.

Though besides that, there was a K-On cosplay group which made Tofu a very happy boy, there was even Black Widow from The Avengers! If I had to say who was most similar to their characters, it’d have to be Black Widow. I walked passed her and went “What!? Why is Scarlett Johnsson here!?” and when I took a closer look it wasn’t her (obviously). Also, you’ll notice a lot of Hinamori in the photos. That’s due to the fact that she’s one of my close friends and took the liberty to take most of these cosplay photos. Big thanks to her while I was watching a K-On screening in another building (I’m sorry but it was on the big screen, I HAD TO)!

Near the start of Manifest (I was there right at opening time), I came across a beautiful TYPE-MOON art book worth AUS$75! It definitely worth the money but I didn’t want to send a huge amount within the first 10 minutes I got there (and if I did, I wouldn’t have been able to buy the other stuff that I will talk about later on in the post). What made it worse was that the shop only had 2 copies of it left and I think something about Japan not reprinting them anymore. Either way, I’m stressing out so much from the loss but a certain figurine I’ve been hunting for 3 years is now in my possession (read on to know what it is).

Within the pictures, you’ll also notice a Saber figurine and a Aoko Aozaki figurine as well; both dressed in very nice blue/white clothing. This was actually a prize at one of the stalls (with the nendoroids as 2nd place prize). But just to enter into the draw, you had to pay an expensive AUS$30. Hell no am I gonna take that risk! Even after spending practically the whole day there, I decided to take a look at their stall to see if anyone won it. Unsurprisingly, no one has. At least they were kind enough to let me take pictures right?

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Toradora Maid Cafe

Besides the K-On screening, the only other place I went to (that isn’t for shopping purposes) was the Toradora themed Maid Cafe. It was the place that I practically had the most fun in but also my first time ever getting pissed at  someone in a convention (I rarely get angry).

Well to start things off, I obviously didn’t go Manifest alone (that’s quite sad). For most of the day I was with my awesome buddy Hinamori and also a few other friends of mine that we encountered after the K-On screening. So as a big group, we decided to go eat at the Maid Cafe since ANOTHER friend of mine was working as a maid there. Obviously I wanted to pay her a visit as a friend (and also tease her at school about it) so I was quite excited. The line was rather long (took about 40 minutes to get in) but it was worth it. Sadly you weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the vicinity so I can only provide you with the picture up top.

I made sure that when we got in, it was during one of their hourly performances so right after we got settled in with our parfaits and drinks, the Jan-Ken-Pon game begun. There were 3 participants and 2 of them were my friends. Basically you had to win against a maid in Jan-Ken-Pon (best out of 3) and if you became the champion, you got to take a free Polaroid picture with any maid you want upon leave. Let’s just say that with all the cute stuff happening and my friends awkward expressions on stage with a bunch of people watching… I couldn’t hold in my laughter. Oh I’m so mean~

Well anyways, no one actually won but a few minutes later, 3 other maids got up on stage and danced to an AKB48 song. The thing is, our table was right at the front so while I was watching them so I had to glance between the maids whenever any of them looked eye to eye. I couldn’t bare to keep staring (you know, for the sake of not making them uncomfortable or any misunderstandings). But hey guys, you all know what a power chant is right? A Maid Cafe is NOT a Maid Cafe without the awkward and embarrassing POWER CHANT right!? Well let me tell my experience.

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Showcase of what I’ve bought

Dengeki G’s Magazine 2012 August Issue

Well you can already tell with the ‘August’ Issue that this is the LATEST issue out in Japan. Sadly I can’t read Japanese so I only got it for Kuroyukihime. Actually, I dont’ mean just for the cover (although that’s kinda part of it) but it also came with a 2.5 inch figurine of Kuroyukihime in that very black night gown you’re seeing (picture of the figure on left). I also found out INSIDE that there’s going to be a Sword Art Online inspired PSP MMORPG game!!! That’s fricken cool as!!

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Animedia 2012 July Issue

Alright, I confess… I bought this magazine PURELY on the reason that it had K-On as its cover. Hey! You can’t blame me~ What’s more is that it also came with K-On textas (Yellow for Ritsu, Blue for Mio, Red for Yui, Green for Azusa and Pink for Mugi) alongside 3 different plastic folders (a Kuroyukihime one, an Ao no Exorcist one and a Kimi to Boku one). All for only AUS$25!!!  It was such a good price that I HAD to get it~! (And it was actually the first thing I got within 15 minutes on arrival where the TYPE-MOON art book was). I also got the G’s Magazine later on in the day at the same place.

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Compilation of the rest

Instead of dividing the little things (and a certain figure I will be putting up on the Figure Spotlight) into small categories with only 1 or 2 pictures, I figured it’d be better off if I put them all in one. Besides the two magazines I bought. The rest of the stuff that made me bankrupted included: 1/144 HG scale model of Gundam Age-2 Dark Hound, a Hitsugaya wooden phone strap, a BRS poster, Volume 7 of Ao no Exorcist, a Minecraft pickaxe, a HUGE and AWESOME K-On WALLSCROLL and leaving the best till last~ My most treasured figurine in my collection that took me 3 years to get my hands on, the wonderful and beautiful K-On! Mio Akiyama Complete Figure (School Festival version)!!! I was surprised how controlled I was when the seller presented this Holy Grail in front of my face. At that moment I didn’t care if I lost a lot of money to get it (AUS$125), I just NEEDED to get it at all costs! Oh Mio… *ahem* well anyways, be sure to look out for its very own Figure Spotlight post which is coming up soon!

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That’s it folks!

This practically concludes the post really. To be honest there were no interesting events going on besides the K-On screening and Maid Cafe. Although there WAS a Gangnam Flash Mob dance that happened on the day, I missed out on it since I was too busy arguing with the Maid Cafe Manager. Overall, hope you enjoyed my coverage of Manifest 2012! (I only went on the main day – Saturday) Tell me what you think and ESPECIALLY who was correct – the Manager or Me? Like my Mio figurine? Jealous now that I can mine pixelated diamond!?

Note: If any of these pictures are of you and it makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, please tell me the Row and Column number or direct link me to the photo so I can take it off for your convenience minna-san!

Manifest wants YOU to attend NEXT YEAR!!!