Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Busy holiday weekend: Tokyo Game Show

Sunday I attended Tokyo Game Show. My relationship with TGS has been a strained one. Since my first time attending in 2005, the event has seemed to reduce itself in some way or another, ever so slightly with each passing year. This year, I found the whole thing very tiresome.

One reason is that the crowds get bigger every year, but the event itself does not. My hopes were higher this year because the floor plan had been expanded to use Exhibition Hall 9 of Makuhari Messe (to house the cosplay area, some shops and for some reason, a Konami booth very far removed from the rest of the attractions.

But what I had heard was misleading. This year the cosplay area, which used to consist of the nicely shaded gap between two halls, was an even more cramped outdoor area beyond Hall 9, with the dressing area taking up more room than the Xbox booth (no exaggeration). It boggles my mind because, assuming the dressing room was full, there was not room for all the cosplayers. And by putting all the cosplayers outside in the sun, it seems they are just tempting heat stroke (not to mention the frustration caused by half of all photography subjects being back lit by the afternoon sun).

Why am I even complaining about this? I used to make fun of cosplayers. Well, with Tokyo Game Show's ridiculous crowds, meager demo offerings (seriously, most of the games you can "preview" have already been released. What's the point?) and an ever-increasing amount of space being taken up by mobile game developers that don't interest me in the slightest, taking pictures of girls dressed like fictional characters becomes the main draw. Unfortunately, it's also the main draw for a lot of dorks with gigantic cameras who really take their time shooting pictures, so waiting in line to snap the cosplayer you want involves the science of careful subject selection:

Let's say you want to photograph a girl in a very well-executed costume of Xiaoyu from Tekken. You have to line up and wait for half an hour behind the world's slowest photographers. But you don't want to jump on the end of any line that's too long, or guess what happens. Xiaoyu gets heat stroke and has to take a break, which means the line disperses and your waiting has been for nothing. Your only recourse is "stealing" photos from your place in line by shooting a model while she's posing for someone else. It makes you feel dirty.

This whole event makes you feel dirty. Anyway, on with the pictures.

It's not TGS without at least one Tifa.

K (right) was wearing some suspicious flesh-colored support garments beneath his jacket. Either he's a drag king, or he's hiding a very un-KOF-like amount of chest hair.

Sometimes you get lucky. This was a "stolen" photo, but both subjects looked right at me. The girl on the left is the aforementioned Xiaoyu. I remember her from last year.

I'm not gonna lie. I have no idea what character this is.

This guy was a good sport. He gave me the choice of upward, downward or straight ahead for his kamehameha pose.

No comments: