What to say, what to say…
The Japan Expo, otherwise known as the JE, is THE European Mecca for Japanese Pop Culture fans. I’m saying pop culture because I’ve rarely seen anything traditionally Japanese related, in all my four years of attending. I might be wrong, maybe not.
The Japan Expo (which is French) was created in 1999 and was first held under ISC Paris School of management. Now it is held every early July in Paris-Nord Villepinte’s exposition park, a few stations away from Central Paris. The Expo lasts 4 days: it begins Thursday, and finishes Sunday.
Ever since its creation, the number of visitors keep increasing (Last year’s impact had 173 680 visitors) just like the number of special guests (well not really since 2009). I could say every year we get more popular guests: last year guests such as Morning Musume and Yoshiki and Toshi from X Japan came in the music category, Hideo Kojima in the Video games category, Aya Kanno, Kazue Kato, Tsukasa Hojo, and Hiro Mashima in the manga/anime category.
The Japan Expo isn’t only about its guests: It’s also a large market (everything Japanese-related at a high price or not) where you can also see Japanese (or Korean) people selling products brought from Japan or video game companies/manga editors promoting their goods. I remember seeing Ichigo Kurosaki’s life-sized blade for sale at only 10 euros ($14.21 US).
If you have the time, you can join in the many amusing activities held over there. A big part of them are not mentioned in the exposition’s plan, so you’ll have to walk around a bit and ask if ever you find something you want to join in. For example, the SOS Brigade (Haruhi Suzumiya’s group)’s activities aren’t noted in the plan and you’ll have to be obliged to go directly to their stand if you want to know about their plans.
If you’re not interested in Japanese-related activities and you just came to accompany your friends, I would suggest the Comic Con right around the corner where everything about American Pop Culture is sure to be there.
This year there was a Harry Potter stand where you could act out a duel scene with fake wands.
This year wasn’t the most interesting year for me. Apart from getting the chance to meet THE h.NAOTO, NEEKO, Michiru Oshima and Christine Thouzeau, and in addition participating at a Black Butler cosplay contest with my Ciel à moi, it was hardly the best JE year. Did I mention that the entry price varies from 9 euros to 14 depending on the day?
-sigh- I just hope that next year will be worth it.
I can’t believe I got to meet h.NAOTO…*_* After signing autographs, he came to us with camera and all. Everyone was so surprised! This was when he took a picture of my little brother :D
When it was my turn, I went up to say “Ciaossu!” >_< How embarrassing of me…At least she said my Ciaossu was very good. xD
Embarrassing Japan Expo moments:
- This last picture had an embarrassing moment to match. While I was waiting for my Michiru Oshima autograph, I was asked: “What is your favorite Michiru Oshima composition?” (It took a while to answer since I was forcing my brother to say “Hi” in three different languages). I answered “Brothers” (from Full Metal Alchemist -The singing version)…even if I wasn’t sure she composed it. Lucky for me I got it right or it would have been very awkward…
- During the Black Butler cosplay contest, I (dressed as Hannah Annefellows) forgot to face the jury and left… -facepalm-
- I was ditched by my friends
(many times)when I went to a big Full Metal Alchemist quiz… They forgot me. >_>
- My cosplay dress had many hidden flaws. Glad nobody noticed.
- A friend of mine (dressed as Kagamine Rin from Vocaloid) danced like crazy in public… <_<