“What is this?” The buzzing question on every fans mind since our announcement of the event back in February this year! Scam… another Comic Con-Job… it looks like a Western Convention but is it yet another ‘comic’ event full of Japanese anime stuff? Who are the organisers? who are these people?
So many questions and next to no answers what so ever.
Anyways, the fans & folks are generally very nice as long as you don’t take their money (very obvious by the results of the recent general elections). Then FB sponsored ads of calling for vendors of the Malaysia chapter started popping up… then local exhibitors & vendors really started to get weary.
So I joined forces with some ‘PRO’ people to do some Jessica Jones sleuth work and this is what we gathered. As this is what we think we can share => The organisers originate from Thailand. And over there they have been in this industry for a couple of years already. So their new brand / event will be called Asia Comic Con.
Thailand will debut in June and Malaysia will debut in July. The Malaysia chapter will be managed by a local advertising agency – iHub Advertising. We received endorsement by some reputable folks so ‘PRO’ folks were satisfied to proceed to get a booth at the event.
One fail safe that would protect our hopes and dreams was the fact that the Asia Comic Con would FIRST debut in the homeland of Thailand a month before our in Malaysia. So far Thailand’s version of the page was doing a great job in announcing and the guest was getting better and better by the day. One of the strongest factors was the announcement of I Love Anisong (an Anime Festival Asia brand), was to hold their concert nights there. If you’ve not heard of Anime Festival Asia – AFA is by far, South East Asia’s ultimate Japanese Pop Culture experience. Began in Singapore in 2008, has now expanded to 6 other countries.
Then later I spotted the Gyu Creative logos on certain promo material. So that is another strong vote of confidence. Who are Gyu Creative? They are the folks from Thailand who brought us Japan Expo Thailand & Japan Expo Malaysia! Nuff said!!
Anyways, if all this was still not enough I had to send my British Intelligence operative… Mr. Bond… James Bond …. or rather it was because he was already going to be there that I sent him xD hahaha Oh yea, and no his name was not James Bond or Simon Le Bon but John… John Gullidge! 😀
When Asia Comic Con Thailand announce their Hollywood guest, Ms. Nymeria Sand from Game of Thrones or as The Resistance Pilot Jess Testor aka Jessika Pava aka [Blue Three] from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and my favourite, she is one half of the Daughters of the Dragon – Colleen Wing from the Netflix Marvel Universe (NMU) Marvel’s Iron Fist and The Defenders…the beautiful and talented actor on the rise – Ms. Jessica Henwick!! I didn’t know if I should celebrate or cry. But to save my heart from hurt I have to keep my expectations low. More on Jessica later!
What to expect at Asia Comic Con Malaysia?
1:1 scale Galore! Batman: Dark Knight Tumbler, Batman Ninja, Batpod, Predator Throne and Magneto Chair!
Former Chemistry Teacher turn drug cook, might be there!
IDOL GROUPs Siam Dream and SWEAT16!
Nobuo Yamada (NoB-san) who is famous for the Saint Seiya anime series and Super Sentai series and Chie Nakamaru (mao-san) who is famous for Doraemon song.
In 1998 he formed P.A.F. (stands for Patent Applied For, named after the PAFguitar pickups) with X Japan guitarist Pata. In about one years time they released: two albums, one mini album, one live album and two singles.
So, the big news was released by our friends at Toybox Projects that the man, the myth, the mystery…. The voice behind bands L’Arc En Ciel and Vamps -HYDE- would be making his way to Malaysia for a concert. The WOWs in my head couldn’t stop popping up think of what the fans would be feeling or anticipating.
Toybox Projects is famous in the local scene to be the longest standing entity championing the cause to bring top Japanese music artist to Malaysia. Their long experience in media, public relations and promotions are their strengths… include that x-factor which is that the boss lady is a Japanese herself, who calls Malaysia her home.
Anyways, my concern was that I could make it for the Press Conference no problem… but the concert night was another story. And for those of you frequent concert goers may know… it’s really difficult to get some nice photos of your favour band in action, so I was very short of solutions. Who could I get in such notice who has the expert skills for dim light photography, passion for music and the affluent command of the English?? Where can I find someone who can represent Cosplay Fun – Malaysia with dignity, professional conduct who also understands the protocols of professional media coverage?? Then while processing all these criteria needs… a face comes to mind. This face!
All flags on criteria – PASS! Next concern was… OMG would he be available?? Being in so high demand it was a long shot but the best shot. Long story short… I present to you the return of the gentleman known as Max Jackson aka Johnnie B Ghoul… Mr John Gullidge! Scream Park Ring Master, Skilled photographer, great taste in music, gentleman extraordinaire… and it doesn’t hurt to be dashingly handsome too? Haha!
KUALA LUMPUR, 12 May: When The Captain at Cosplay Fun Malaysia asked me if I could take photos at the recent HYDE concert I jumped at the chance, I love doing live music photography and even though I had no idea who HYDE was, this was too good an opportunity to miss. The timing meant I was going to have to sacrifice attending an advance preview of “Deadpool 2” but I figured that was no big deal given the movie opened a couple of days later anyway. Then with a few hours to go before the gig, the Captain dropped the bombshell, their writer was unable to attend so in addition to taking photos would I be willing to write a review!
Bit of background here, the kind of bands I like don’t get to perform in Malaysia. I had to travel back to the UK last year to see my favourite singer Gary Numan and I’ve made frequent trips to Singapore to see the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie and even had to travel there and to Thailand to see the more mainstream Coldplay (thankfully Asians love Coldplay, at home most of my friends consider them far too mainstream and claim they never bettered “Parachutes” before selling out….which frankly is crap, you won’t see a better stadium show in the world than theirs…but I digress).
So anyway my response to the request was….”surely you want to get someone to review it who at least knows who he is”. As far as I’m concerned HYDE is the nasty half of one of horror literature’s better known double acts! Anyway a cursory glance at Wikipedia soon informed me that this guy is big, I mean Madison Square Gardens big, so my interest was at least piqued.
Arriving at the venue (extremely conveniently located right next to an LRT station, my preferred method of transport in KL!) I noticed a lot of the, predominantly female crowd, wouldn’t have looked out of place at a cosplay event and after eventually finding my allocated seat (wish I’d known I’d be given a spare ticket beforehand and I could have turned it into a date night, if I could find a date!) I immediately started fretting about how possible it was going to be to get decent photos from 8 rows back at the side of the hall but I needn’t have worried, the sumptuous lighting setup on a stage lit with candelabras, meant that it would have been hard not to have taken a half decent photo.
The term acoustic set conjured up images of a few years back when I was lucky enough to see my favourite band The Manic Street Preachers performing an “acoustic set” at a pub in Swansea. Incredibly pared back, it was basically the singer (James-Dean Bradfield) and guitarist (Nicky Wire) – they dispensed with the drummer -performing on just acoustic guitars. HYDE on the other hand was of what I would consider an orchestral set given he was accompanied by a pianist, guitarist, a wonderfully goth looking gentleman on a double bass, a drummer and four female violinist’s/cellists.
The first thing that struck me was how much I loved the whole look of the thing, very gothic and right up my alley (you should know that my full time job here in Malaysia is manager of the Scream Park at Sunway Lagoon and the annual Nights of Fright event so anything slightly macabre immediately gets my vote of confidence) and the second thing was the striking vocal similarity there was between HYDE and Japan’s David Sylvian (Japan the group, not the country).
This may seem irrelevant but when, half way through the gig, HYDE launched into a cover of Ryuchi Sakamoto’s “Forbidden Colours” (the theme to the movie “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”) I couldn’t have been happier or more impressed. It’s one of my favourite songs of all time and performed live by HYDE it not only raised every hair on the back of my neck but also brought tears to my eyes. Music has the power to move us unlike any other medium and this certainly did it for me.
I’d like to be able to rattle off the names of other tracks in the set list but I am afraid they were all new to me but clearly not to the hardcore fans in the crowd who applauded / cheered at each consecutive hit not to mention crying out between tracks: “I love you HYDE” etc. I would never thought of HYDE as a comic genius but his mastery of timing when using the simple “terimah kasih” was a joy to behold. Long silence….”Terimah Kasih”…audience cracks up….pause…..”Terimah Kasih” audience cracks up and repeat. Very funny.
The aforementioned lighting was stunning and a photographer’s dream (why they have to restrict the taking of photos to the first three numbers alone in beyond me but them’s the rules) and when HYDE asked everyone to turn on their phone flashlights the hall was magically transformed. He got in on the act himself at the end of the show, not only filming the audience, but taking the obligatory selfie on stage.
I think it’s a sign that I’m getting old, but to be able to watch a gig seated is actually so much more of a pleasure than being crushed up against a crowd and the acoustic tone of the set lent itself to a much more relaxed audience experience, at times a bit too relaxed as I notice a few people in the media section quite literally spent the entire gig scrolling through their phones just taking the odd cursory glance at the stage (maybe I’m doing them a discourtesy, perhaps they were live blogging the event for all I know).
I for one left the gig a convert to Hyde’s music, no mean feat considering a lot of the songs were sung in, what for me was a foreign language, and a quick check at the Facebook statuses of some cosplay friends who I had seen there confirmed that not only was this the gig they had waited a lifetime for (his first time in Malaysia) but it had exceeded all their expectations and you can’t say fairer than that.
Now if you’re unfamiliar with“Forbidden Colours”check it out on You Tube and thank me later! CHEERS!
L’Arc-en-Ciel and VAMPS fans REJOICE!! OK… maybe just go nuts then!! Your favourite front-man voice is coming to Kuala Lumpur in the FLESH!! KL is the ONLY STOP in the entire South East Asia!! Now that’s a big deal guys!! Get your tickets ASAP!! Here is the official info:
Date : 12 May 2018 Time : 8pm (Door opens 6pm) Venue : MCA Hall (163, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.) Ticket price : VIP RM698 / RM508 / RM338 / RM168
After so much requests, we are so excited to announce, one of the most influential vocalists from Japan, HYDE, the lead vocalist from the legendary Japanese rock band, L’Arc-en-Ciel, as well as VAMPS, is finally coming to Kuala Lumpur for the first time with his concert tour entitle [HYDE Acoustic Concert Tour 2018 黒ミサ Asia Live in Kuala Lumpur], Kuala Lumpur being the only stop for South East Asia!!!
Tickets will be launching on 12 March 2018, 10am at www.ticketcharge.com.my +603 9222 8811 (Kuala Lumpur) / +604 645 9811 (Penang)
HYDE is taking his time to hold meet & greet with the fans, limited to the VIP ticket holder!
There will be a special moment for the fans to have a high-touch and a group photo session with HYDE.
We have been requesting HYDE to come to Malaysia for so many years and this is finally happening. The fans should never miss this opportunity to witness the world of HYDE, his amazing vocals and fashion in live! Hard core fans of HYDE, should not miss this opportunity! The VIP tickets are limited!
Concert ticket price listed above is excluding ticket processing fee and other online & credit card transaction service fees.
Organiser reserves the rights to alter the terms & conditions and/or the contents without prior notice.
No photography or videography in the venue.
No outside F&B allowed in the venue.
Children aged under 16 years old are advised to be accompanied by the guardian.
Important Notice :
HYDE Acoustic Tour 2018 黒ミサ Asia Scam
We have been advised by HYDE management to inform all HYDE fans on this incidence. Kindly take note on the following :
There is some notification from fans that there is ticket scam company announced for HYDE Tickets for each territories. The company is called 上理Skyline票务资讯. Currently they are selling tickets for China, and HK but it could/may affect other territories too. Or there maybe other scam parties arise. To avoid any troubles, kindly purchase your concert tickets only from the official ticketing website / outlets appointed for the concert.
For HYDE Acoustic Tour 2018 黒ミサ Asia Live in Kuala Lumpur, the official ticketing agent is Ticket Charge and the official ticketing page is as below :
It’s an announcement of SUPERHERO proportions!! Just days after I wrote a short piece about the 3 events, that I go to Singapore to get a professionally organised event experience that is well themed and immersive – GameStart 2018 Announcement – and now comes this major announcement!
The two organisers of South East Asia’s PREMIERE Anime event and Gaming event are joining forces!!
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – it’s called “Avengers Assemble”!
In the DC Expanded Universe (DCEU) – Come together! – “Unite the League!”
In the DC TV Universe – it’s call “Team Up”.
In the official press release below – Anime Festival Asia organisers, SOZO and GameStart Asia organisers, Eliphant will move into a ALL-NEW strategic alliance, partnership and a spiffy new office in Paya Lebar iPark in Singapore.
Can you imagine what they now can achieve with their “powers combined”? (*Captain Planet reference* haha) The regions Best of Japanese Pop Culture + The Best of Gaming beefing up each others events… into new / newer territories? #OHMY
We can’t stop imagining so we’ll just leave it be till official announcements are released! Till then this is the official press release! -The Captain-
SINGAPORE, 1 MARCH 2018: The producers of Anime Festival Asia and GameStart Asia team up to further develop ACG (Anime, Cosplay, Gaming) contents in SE Asia. Organisers expect new expansion of events in Asia together
Singapore, 28 February 2017 – SOZO, organiser of Southeast Asia’s largest Japanese pop culture event Anime Festival Asia (AFA), and Eliphant, organiser of Southeast Asia’s premier gaming convention GameStart, have announced that both entities will form a strategic alliance to further strengthen existing events, and to create and develop new events in Asia.
The SOZO and Eliphant alliance aims to be the first step to roll out an integrated support system to further strengthen the community. By leveraging their strengths as IP innovators and event trailblazers, SOZO and Eliphant hope to provide new and inspiring ways for fans to enjoy their hobbies in gaming, animation and beyond.
With the support of SOZO, who has already established their presence in Indonesia, 2018 will mark the very first regional expansion of GameStart as they launch their very first: GameStart Indonesia. AFA will continue hosting its key events in both Indonesia and Singapore and hope to introduce more gaming content as part of their content offerings.
“Southeast Asia emerges as one of the fastest growing markets for gaming and content, we recognised that both AFA and GameStart audiences have diverse interests in both gaming and anime. With our partnership, we hope to work closely to bring even more exhilarating content and holistic experiences to both fanbases across the regions,” said Shawn Chin, Managing Director of SOZO and founder of Anime Festival Asia.
“We are extremely excited to be able to bring our event to various regions, with the support of our partners. We are determined to support the regional gaming industry, especially in esports and game development. We are positive that our partnership will provide more events and enable us to bring awesome content to both gamers and anime fans, ” said Elicia Lee, founder of GameStart Asia and CEO of Eliphant Pte Ltd.
As of 1st March 2018, both SOZO and Eliphant have moved to a new office premise together to further strengthen their alliance. Organisers expect an exciting year ahead and look forward to announcing more about 2018 calendar of events in the upcoming weeks.
About AFA – Anime Festival Asia (animefestival.asia)
AFA is a specialised business unit of SOZO. Started in 2008, AFA is the largest and most followed J-pop culture event in Southeast Asia. AFA has become a household name to J-Pop Culture lovers in the Southeast Asia region and is the leading and most effective content delivery platform, centring around allthings Japanese Pop Culture. In 2017, AFA partnered SOTSU to create C3AFA and has brought the event to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
C3AFA 2017 Visitor Tracking:
Hong Kong: 200,000
About SOZO (sozo.sg)
Tapping on Japan’s diverse wealth of entertainment content, SOZO has positioned itself to be the ‘bridge’, connecting Japan to South East Asia – by showcasing quality concerts, engaging retail experiences and creating meaningful online engagement to audiences and businesses across South East Asia.
Established in 2009, SOZO entertainment platforms include Anime Festival Asia, I Love Anisong, Japan Music Festival, and Anisong Fantasy Live. Previous projects by SOZO includes solo concerts for J-Pop artistes such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, May’n, SCANDAL, LiSA, and RADWIMPS, as well as festivals including Funan Anime Matsuri, Penang Anime Matsuri, and Creators Super Fest Jakarta.
SOZO is a Sony Music Japan group company.
About GameStart Asia (gamestart.asia)
GameStart is Southeast Asia’s premier gaming convention and Eliphant’s flagship event. Organised by industry veterans who are themselves gamers, GameStart seeks to bring the latest and greatest games across all genres and platforms – from PC, console and mobile to VR and tabletop – to audiences in Asia. GameStart Asia welcomed over 24,000 visitors from Singapore and the region in 2017.
About Eliphant (eliphant.co)
Eliphant is the organiser of GameStart Asia, Southeast Asia’s premier gaming convention, and since inception in 2014, has expanded its scope and operations to include its esports and live production arm, BEast of the East, SEA Major, one of the largest fighting game tournaments in Asia, and talent management agency VERSUS Talent.The company continues to play an active role in growing and supporting the gaming industry across multiple genres, including game development, knowledge-sharing, marketing, esports,
community building and event management.
Eliphant is the official organiser for the Capcom Pro Tour in Asia Pacific.
Wait… isn’t crepe a french desert? Yes, you’re right… but here’s 2 things I’ve learnt from experience, A) the Japanese folks really really love their deserts and B) with this love and ‘kaizen’ the Japanese folks ALWAYS take it up to another level!!
So What’s This About? Marion Crepes is the most famous Harajuku Crepe in Japan. They started their crepe revolution in 1976 as one of the only crepe shops in Harajuku. YES, 40 years ago!! To me that 1976 is a special year!! huhu ^^ Since then Marion Crepes has been lovingly passed down over three generations from grandmother, to mother to daughter, and to date it has over 80 outlets throughout Japan plus 2 in Hawaii.
This first branch in Malaysia, Plaza Mont Kiara (Kuala Lumpur), is also the first ever outlet in the whole of Asia!! Now that’s a pretty BIG STAT-FACT for us Malaysians. Mr. Tsutomu Yumoto (CO Malaysia) shared a little heart warming testimony on why he pushed for the selection of Malaysia on being the FIRST country in Asia to have the privilege of getting one of Harajuku’s finest deserts. He said during the opening speech, “I really like Malaysia because of the people. I really remember them (people impression) well as they were always very helpful and caring (concerned). (Often) At the airport when I am in a hurry or not sure (of something / or somewhere), people will stop to ask me if I am ok, or if I need help. Some (would) also speak to me in Japanese”. *Malaysia airport -__- You know, I know lah ya haha*
I don’t know about you all, but to me that is very heart warming and honest. Even more when it’s being told by Japanese man of high position, in a language and a land foreign to him. Those who are familiar with Japanese culture and protocol will know what I mean. Personally, I have been to many concerts and countless events and I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard such an honest, concise and touching testimony.
And to all you folks out there who just honestly and quietly (without bragging / complaining) help tourist or just our fellow humans – This one is for you!KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! Most of the time, we don’t who we help but after hearing today, let this be an encouragement to all of us! Little little things go along way!
KUALA LUMPUR, 2 March 2018: The most famous and the pioneer brand for Harajuku crepe, MARION CREPES from Japan is opening its irst branch in Malaysia, at Plaza Mont Kiara, with its grand opening on Thursday, 1st March 2018 with popular Malaysian actress Koe Yeet who is the big fan of Japanese crepe to join the opening with the fun and carnival ska band FAZZ to add the entertainment. Several campaigns are lined up ahead, including the [Ambassador of the month] contest, which is to be selected from the Harajuku Themed Cosplayers, with exciting prizes (a portrait printed crepe, the Ambassador poster at the outlet, and up to 100 crepes at 50% off) attached. There will also be other campaigns to introduce Harajuku and Japanese cultures.
MARION CREPES originated from Japan and started the crepe revolution in 1976 as one of the only crepe shops in Harajuku. It has evolved over generations and have become the most famous crepe shop in Japan with 82 locations nationwide and 2 branches in Hawaii, serving delicious delicacies. MARION CREPES is illed with carefully selected ingredients like Chantily cream, chocolate and ice cream. Japanese youth love to walk around Harajuku with a crepe in hand while shopping. To date, there are still long que of fans lined up daily even in the winter!
In addition to its widely popular hot crepes, MARION CREPES offers a rich array of fruits and other illings for your tasting pleasure. They combine their unique dough, still true to its Parisian roots, with over 60 unique and original crepe options. In addition, the limited edition for Malaysia will be prepared. With tastes, lavors and fragrances for all seasons and moods, drawing customers to come back for more crepes. This irst outlet in Malaysia (and only outlet in Asia!) has carefully prepared the pork free ingredients and the recipes of the crepes true to the original taste from Japan. There are dedicated Japanese staffs all the way from Japan joining the local team ready to serve.
MARION CREPES (Malaysia) Lot D-G-2A, Block D, Plaza Mont Kiara, No.2 Jalan Mont’ Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Here’s what went down on opening day!
02:00 pm Arrival of Guests & Media 02:30 pm Arrival of Dato’ Seri Azman Ujang (Chairman, Bernama TV News) 02:35 pm Introduction of Marion Crepes 02:40 pm Speech by Marion Crepes Malaysia Rep – Mr. Tsutomu Yumoto 02:45 pm Special Guest – Koe Yeet 02:50 pm Speech by Dato’ Seri Azman Ujang (Chairman, Bernama TV News) 02:55 pm Ribbon Cutting 03:00 pm Demonstration of Making Crepe, Japanese Green Tea and Butterfly Pea
03:10 pm Band Performance – FAZZ
03:40 pm Food Tasting
04:00 pm Event Ends. Koe Yeet photo session with public begins.
KUALA LUMPUR, 20th February 2018 – As the all the Lunar Celebrations….visitations and feasting is starting to subside. I just caught wind that a legit “Comic Con” is gonna make it’s debut in Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre to be exact, 13 – 15 July 2018. (http://www.asiacomiccon.com/)
Not to be confused with ComicCon Asia (https://comiccon.asia/), the Manila SUPER event that Stan ‘The Man’ Lee is headlining, Asia Comic seems to be hailing from Thailand… which in the past has a been another source for pop culture fans to rejoice – *WINK Thank you* Japan Expo Malaysia 2017 and *WINK Thank You* Japan Expo Thailand 2018 (which featured AKB48… fans went nuts). Despite Thailand having 2 existing ‘Comic Cons’ – Thailand Comic Con and Bangkok Comic Con, only the former has managed to survive since it’s debut in 2014 . Bangkok Comic Con ran from 2015 and stopped at 2016. In 2018… Bangkok Comic Con returns with a twist… they are joining forces with Thailand Comic Con for a mega event on 21 – 23 April!
IRONICALLY Part 2
So despite these 2 existing Comic Cons hailing from Thailand, this Asia Comic Con that’s being held in Bangkok and in KL is NOT organised by the initial two folks haha I mean that’s from what I can gather anyway. Anyone know more?
Which brings me to my first question? So who are these guys? And then my second question – how can I help them? The latter is kinda impossible since I don’t have the answer to the first question haha
Anyhow from what it reads, the event is promising a “WORLD CLASS Comic Con” experience. For my expectations? I am expecting quite a bit!! Haha I am expecting (hoping rather) that missing element that even Singapore’s STGCC doesn’t have – Hollywood Star power guest! This elusive element is really what I think makes a legit “Comic Con”… especially if you are referring to San Diego Comic-Con aka Comic-Con International…. the longest running comic convention in the world.
Can’t Hardly Wait
With the event just 5 months away, I SO looking forward to the guest announcements in the days to come! Fellow friends and fans will be holding on to the dream of a legit Comic Con in Malaysia, REJOICE… and again I say rejoice! And to the organisers, whoever you are – THANK YOU!!
– The Captain –
Dear Asia Comic Con organiers – if you’re reading this please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you 🙂 We are fans, we are excited & we want to help. Thank you! 😀 = firstname.lastname@example.org