Comic Frontier 2016

Another backlog post (☉౪ ⊙)

Comic Frontier (or Comifuro), a visual art market event where local artists and consumers meet (think Comiket). What makes it interesting? For me, it is the “market” atmosphere. Imagine a large mildly air-conditioned (which means quite hot) and mildly decorated room with a lot of artists and large mass of consumers. Each of those artists is given the same desk (as big as school desk) and chairs, which the artist has to decorate (or not), and that is it; not even a booth. Walking around a bit and you can find a lot of comical decorations, made creatively with dirt cheap materials (ex: elementary grade picture drawn with color pencil on an A4 paper). And the participating artists are there personally, with no corporate PR involved. What will you encounter? A lot of doujins, posters, key chain, pins, and home-made games. Oh, and cute artists too 😛

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SMESCO UKM building complex. The venue was actually on the right side and not shown in this picture, but you can see the crowd haha
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Hideo Kojima made a surprise appearance at Comifuro 2016!!!
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Entry stamp. It is supposed to be a girl face. Oh well..

I personally think that Comic Frontier contains some interesting symbolism. First of all is the fact they are using SMESCO UKM building (maybe they will move to other venue next year, I do not know). At one side it symbolizes that doujin-making (and similar visual art making) is more than just a mere hobby, it can also become a source of income with significant demand in the market, and at the other side, by choosing a modest venue (and with UKM title), it also emphasizes that the popular visual art market is not dominated by big profit-hungry corporations, as the grassroots producers, the artists themselves, who create to express their aspiration, are still a considerable force in the market (*cough, not like AF#). Second, the rise of fujoshi and public showing of risqué visual arts. You can say that those are the signs of decadence, but I would like to look it in another light. They signify the progressive transformation of Indonesian people into an open-minded society where everybody may express their creativity without fear of persecution. Do you not remember the sign of Italian cultural renaissance? Naked statue (it is a joke).

To sum it all up, I recommend Comic Frontier for people who want to get in touch directly with local aspiring visual art creators with “market” atmosphere. There is very little amount of third-party meddling here, so you can be sure that your purchase goes straight to the creators (or their friends who tend the stall), which makes the whole experience less like “purchasing” and more like “appreciating”.

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My loot from Comifuro 2016
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I also won an SSR (Super Star Rare) Lancer pin (Fate series) from a gatcha event.
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A Dream of Indonesian Pop Culture

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A photo of a burnt down market section I took around Tanah Abang. Why this picture? It is an image of destruction, but it also signifies chance to rebuilt, constructing something new on an old land. Or I just don’t know what picture to show.

So far, the influences of Japanese and Korean pop culture have been everywhere; reaching out audience beyond national border, even continents. The Japanese pop culture invades in variety of media. First, though probably not the earliest, is the popular 2D art in the form of manga and anime, which successfully differentiate itself with Western style and maintaining a distinctive style with worldwide fans that will be the envy and object of imitation across the globe. Then, they have the idol industry that exports image of youth and “kawaiiness” that grabs hearts of so many people who then buy merchandises to support their idol and promote them among their friends. Following behind them is the J-drama and game show which have find its own strong loyal supporters even overseas. Furthermore, not only Japanese effectively conserve its historical legacy, they also cleverly insert it into its pop culture media mentioned above and promulgate it to other civilization. Japanese history does not defend itself from foreign and modern cultures, but fiercely attacking them at their own foreign land.

Morning Musume '16 at Anime Matsuri, which is in Houston, USA (source: tenkigumi ameba)
Morning Musume ’16 at Anime Matsuri, which is in Houston, USA
(source: tenkigumi ameba)

The Korean pop culture wave, which is more recent than the Japanese wave, invades in comparable but distinct way. It started out with Korean dramas that laid the foundation for the invasion; admiration for Korean “beauty”. Then, the Korean idols and performers proceed to assault. By combining western style of dance and fashion with Korean sexy and adult image, they differentiate themselves with their Japanese counterparts. And can we forget the famous “Gangnam Style” that conquered both world of the west and east in unprecedented level in a very short time span? Refusing to stop there, though initially following Japanese manga style, Koreans try to popularize their own manga art through webcomic platform and found limited but gradually growing fans. Can anyone stop this merciless invader from devouring every nation known to man?

PSY at MTV Europe Music Awards (source: bbc.uk)
PSY at MTV Europe Music Awards
(source: bbc.uk)

Then it comes to the hard question. When will Indonesia achieve such level? Will we ever be in that level? So far, we have generally been the consumer, the influenced party. So tremendous is our penchant to foreign culture that it has reach a detrimental level to our own culture. Young generation hailed foreign culture as the culture they want to have, while our own historical culture have been put in the confinement of museum to be left rotting and forgotten. Even our cultural artists who work passionately to rejuvenate our national culture are more respected outside our border than within, where they are largely unknown by their own people. It is not impossible that at this rate, we will gradually lost our identity, and our culture got substituted by amalgamation of foreign cultures; effectively eliminating our chance to lead and therefore will continuously follow.

Unless, some measures are taken. An article by Mario Rustan in The Jakarta Post might sound a bit pessimistic about our pop culture, but it also points out matters that have to be dealt with to create a proper future for Indonesian Pop Culture. And a writing by Johannes Nugroho in Jakarta Globe describes a need for “a strong cultural profile that is sustained by an equally vibrant yet uniquely Indonesian pop culture”. Both mentioned government support as a critical factor in shaping Indonesian Pop Culture and what measures have to be taken. Both also inspired me to imagine a future where our popular culture stands strong and influences people outside our national border.

Lumina Scarlet, an idol group from Bandung, Indonesia (source: localaidoru.blogspot.co.id)
Lumina Scarlet, an idol group from Bandung, Indonesia
(source: localaidoru.blogspot.co.id)

What ideas do I have ? Well, if you excuse my nonsensical imagination, I have some ideas that I hope will help shaping Indonesian Pop Culture. First, a central hub for our pop culture to flourish. We already have a lot of artists with great potential to become pillars of our pop culture; take a look at our locally produced cergam (an equivalent of manga?) at Re:on, our local idols like Lumina Scarlet or Happy Kingdom‘s group, or our historical re-imagination literature like Gajah Mada. Now, let’s assemble them! By having a central physical pop culture hub, like Akihabara or Harajuku, a street where there are shops and other attractions related to our pop culture, we can introduce our pop culture icons far more easily to the audience. Audience can go to this one location and browse through all of our pop culture icons, get to know more about them, get acquainted to them, and become their fans. We can also put a virtual hub; a website where netizens can get to know and enticed by our pop culture. Second, a “Dear Stage“-like establishment. Why? Well, just because I love the concept. An establishment meant to provide a space for individuals to tread their way to stardom, not through big agency sponsored audition, but through all-round performance: determining a show concept, setting up the stage, designing the costume, making the song setlist, or in short, producing yourself. By having such place, we can endorse a richer variety of performers with pure creativity, not yet mainstreamed or commercialized by big firms. Third, a grand collaboration for the advancement of Indonesian Pop Culture. PopCon is a nice example of gathering different artists together, where they can meet and share inspiration with each other. And I imagine we can make something like Osamu Tezuka’s Star System or at least when same pop culture icons can be referenced and presented by different artists across different art products, so that audience will be allured to search for those icons across the universe of our pop culture. Fourth, making our history hip again through our culture. Just like what Japanese has done, I want to see more and more of our legacy represented in our pop culture to garner younger generation interest in our history. Imagine you are in a cafe and everybody around you are discussing about the Battle of Bubat or the heroism of Srivijaya admiral and others (ノ≧∀≦)ノ.

So, my ideas might be quite off from reality. But the thing is I am very excited for it. I am interested to imagine our own pop culture spreading to the world. I will be delighted to participate in such movement, an I-wave boom! It will be awesome: looking at an Indonesian idol group getting thunderous ovation in an overseas concert reported live by mainstream channels, playing a multiplayer keris-battle game with foreign player, reading a fiction cergam about what-if scenario that Mataram Sultanate successfully westernize and play pivotal role in WW1. Can you imagine that? Are you getting excited too?

 


 

Source:
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/11/the-possibility-creating-indonesian-pop.html
http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/opinion/authentic-indonesian-pop-culture-key-gaining-global-prominence/

Anton’s Coverage: AFAID 2015

What big event do we have on September 2015 in Jakarta? Yup, one event that will come up on most anime fans’ head is none other but Anime Festival Asia Indonesia (AFAID) 2015. To be frank, I planned to restraint myself from attending AFAID this year, since I was out of budget and I already planned a trip to Dewata Anime Festival (DAF) 2015 next month. Plus, the maid cafe was not suitable for people in my standard of living (250.000 IDR for the cheapest meal package… I miss CDA and their Maid Cafe with 60.000 IDR Takoyaki package…and Abigail T.T). But, alas, I found a moral justification to attend: my brother was going to the event alone. And so I went there with my brother.

How’s my journey? Check it out! (Warning: disappointing level of useful information. Try other site for better info about AFAID 2015)

BABTMETAL on screen on Amuse booth! But no merchandise available *sigh
BABTMETAL on-screen on Amuse booth! But no merchandise available *sigh

 

Met an old friend without appointment. Was he donning Yowamushi Pedal? He said he wasn't; he literally went from his home to JIExpo by bike. It has been a year, hasn't it?
Met an old friend without appointment. Was he donning Yowamushi Pedal? He said he wasn’t; he literally went from his home to JIExpo by bike.
It has been a year, hasn’t it?

 

I met Japanese cosplayers at Cool Japan Lounge. They were promoting a game subtitled "Fantasy Battle in Japan Traditional Hot Spring Village"...but I don't remember the title. They were so nice and polite and cute too! The lady in pink told me she liked my Mudkip badge and she like Pokemon too. ^^ I wanted to try out my limited Japanese and converse with them. But I was so nervous and all I can say was "arigatou" and my tongue hardened, my feet weakened... :( Will try better next time!!!
I met Japanese cosplayers at Cool Japan Lounge. They were promoting a game subtitled “Fantasy Battle in Japan Traditional Hot Spring Village”…but I don’t remember the title. They were so nice and polite and cute too! The lady in pink told me she like my Mudkip badge and she like Pokemon too. ^^
I wanted to try out my limited Japanese and converse with them. But I was so nervous and all I can say was “arigatou” and my tongue hardened, my feet weakened… 😦
Will try better next time!!!

 

People might say: "THAT'S YUKATA for FEMALE". Well, it's definitely not written in stone or ratified by the congress and defiance is totally not punishable by law. So, that's me in a beautiful Yukata. I feel kawaii..oh so kawaii.. I feel kawaii and witty and bright!
People might say: “THAT’S YUKATA for FEMALE”. Well, it’s definitely not written in stone or ratified by the congress and defiance is totally not punishable by law. So, that’s me in a beautiful Yukata.
I feel kawaii..oh so kawaii.. I feel kawaii and witty and bright! And I pity. Any boy who isn’t me tonight.

 

I got a temporary tattoo from Aniplus booth. It's free and nice looking!
I got a temporary tattoo from Aniplus booth. It’s free and nice looking!

Btw, do you remember this song?

What a nostalgic song! It’s “Butter-Fly”, the soundtrack of original Digimon anime series, played by DJ Kazu. The stage was small but you can see how enthusiastic the crowds were. It’s like going back to the past, to the days when you went home from school before evening, to the days when anime-s were all about hope and friendship and courage. :’)

 

And before I went home, I found an interesting booth who sold gachapon prizes for a bargain price. It’s West-Ota booth, or Osaka Ota booth, promoting otaku culture at Nipponbashi-Ota-road of Osaka (rival of Akihabara of Tokyo). Two goods for 50.000 IDR and many of them have “not for sale” stamp on the packaging. I couldn’t restrain myself.

These are all the goods I brought home from AFAID 2015. Totally outside budget! T_T
These are all the goods I brought home from AFAID 2015. The creators’ circle products are also great! Look at the Nichijou art I bought, I rarely find Nichijou fan-art for sale. The IPO (Internet Positive) art is totally unique too. All of them are… totally outside budget! I’m technically embezzling the money of my future self. T_T

 

That’s all folks! Personally, I still enjoy Countdown Asia Festival 2015 more. It’s cheaper and there are a lot of artists’ performance I can enjoy. Aaaand the Maid Cafe is totally the deal breaker of CDAF. But that doesn’t mean AFAID 2015 is not memorable. It’s fun! Check them out next year!

Countdown Asia Fest 2015 Coverage

The stage in Countdown Asia
The stage in Countdown Asia

This is obviously an overdue post. Uploading those photos and videos was definitely a form of torture. Anyway, the coverage is finally here in Anton World, yey! 😀

Countdown Asia Festival 2015 was a Japanese Pop Culture Festival held on June 6th and 7th, 2015 at Lapangan D Senayan, Jakarta. It basically put together modern icon of Japan in one place: manga, anime, cosplay, J-pop, etc. For me, it’s the first Japan-theme event I had ever been to. So, it’s memorable. I went there in the evening (the event itself started on 11AM) on the second day event (June 7th) with my little brother and my high school sweetheart best friend. I knew there were free tickets for the first 100 (or around that number) people who tweeted about the festival. I didn’t expect to get the free ticket but I guessed trying won’t hurt. Aaaand.. I got the free ticket. I was possibly the 20th person, judging from the tally the ticket stall girl made, and that was kinda odd for me; an event this big didn’t get enough social media buzz. Alas, my brother didn’t have internet connection, and I decided to pay for him; 50 thousand T.T

We went in and we didn’t see as much people as we expected, especially in comparison to the size of the venue; it felt like visiting a local museum. But, it’s actually quite comforting for me, I didn’t have to fight the crowd just to move from one spot to another spot, I could just focus on one important activity; enjoying the event. And here’s the highlights:

Maid Cafe

group photo in the maid cafe
group photo in the maid cafe

The first place we went to? Maid cafe! Food and cute girls, yeah!


 

To get a personal time with one of the maids, one must buy a set of meals. I bought a takoyaki set.

To get a love confession from the maid, one must win a game against the maid. I won the game; it’s about making sure to look at the different direction than what your opponent points at.

The cute maid, Abigail, whispered to my ear that she loved me.

Achievement unlocked: Loved by a cute girl.


 

That’s basically my first sweet experience in a maid cafe (my heart went doki-doki whenever I remember it). Oh, we also got to see a special performance by the maids!

Interesting thing was we were probably one of only two groups of  Indonesian customers, the rest were Japanese, and they got about three to four maids for each table.

Dempagumi.inc

While we were strolling around the venue and observing the stalls, a pretty girl in event-staff-like-outfit approached me us. She gave Dempagumi.inc leaflets and say, “Don’t miss Dempagumi on the main stage!” (in English). I asked her,”What time will they perform?” (in Bahasa). And she just smiled and bowed and replying,” Yes, Don’t miss Dempagumi on the main stage!” (still in English). Well, judging from her appearance, she’s probably a native Japanese and still not fluent enough in Bahasa. We thanked her and continued our stroll. Then the time came when Dempagumi.inc showed up.

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I didn’t know who Dempagumi.inc were at that time and I didn’t have any expectation that time. They got on the stage, spoke some Japanese (NO TRANSLATOR! SERIOUSLY!), and the performance started. I can’t really describe it well enough into words. These girls were GREAT! The show was awesome and I can felt their energy through their choreography and voices. I mimicked people around who seemed to know the proper chants and what-fan-supposed-to-do-on-live-event things. It was very exciting! ^^

I realized there were quite a lot of Japanese native in the crowd and they wore distinctive costume. They seemed to be the hardcore fans of Dempagumi.inc since they could sing along and gave proper respond to signals given in some part of the songs; they even had matching towels to wave (look at the picture above) in the proper moments.

I will come to their performance again if they come back to Indonesia (when the time and price are right).

JKT48

JKT 48 on stage
JKT 48 on stage

JKT48 was scheduled to perform next. We could see their renowned fans gathering in front of the stage with their light sticks. I was initially very excited in anticipating their performance, but unfortunately, I then realized I might not be as “JKT48 fan-like” as I thought. They sang five or six songs and I only like two of them, and their performance was quite plain in my opinion. They were definitely not on the same level with Dempagumi.inc.

Momochi Minami [Surprise Performance]

The sky was getting dark and we knew it might be the time to consider going home. But then my little brother ran to the stage and back, informing us that Momochi Minami was DJ-ing. Momochi Minami was scheduled to perform yesterday, not today. So we ran together to the stage and there she was!

In case you still don’t realize it, that’s not her face. She wears mask; that’s her trademark. She considers herself as the “Anime Chick Idol” and never let go of her mask in front of the audience.

Special note: after her performance ended, she went back to the tent behind the stage. But before she went in, SHE LITERALLY WAVED AT THE THREE OF US! How can I be so sure? We were the only group still standing near the stage at that time, and the direction of her look were unmistakably toward us.

Achievement unlocked: got special attention by an idol ^^

Ultraman-s (or Ultramen)

Yup, you seen it right. It’s Ultraman! Ultraman in their real size, which means not in their monster-fighting-building-crushing size. Ultraman Tiga is my favourite Ultraman and the first Ultraman I ever saw on TV, and he was there in front of me, with a very detailed costume (look at that light from his eyes and chest!). That moment was sublime. Regretfully, I didn’t get a chance to take photo with him.

Memento

The loot I took home
The loot I took home

From left to right:

– Dempagumi.inc small poster

– Countdown Asia Map and schedule

– Dempagumi.inc big poster

Re:On 01-03 bundle. (Supporting Indonesian manga industry!!! ^^)

Ringoame (my first ever) and Jiyuu no Tsubasa Necklace

And on top, that’s the gift Abigail gave me *blushing

 

I am looking forward for the next Countdown Asia Festival and I invite you to check it out too!

Quote yang bagus…

Kemarin gw sewa komik dari tempat penyewaan komik setempat bernama Citra Library. Gw pinjem 20th Century Boy nomor 20,21,22, Comic Bomber nomor 7, dan Crayon Sinchan 38 dengan harga dua ribu perak per komik.

Jujur aja, waktu itu gw agak kecewa karena sudah 2 bulan gw ga dateng dan ternyata 20th Century Boy belum nambah 1 volumepun dari saat terakhir gw dateng. Padahal, rencananya dulu itu gw ga pinjem 3 volume itu karena gw mau 5 volume langsung.

Ternyata setelah gw baca, gw ngerti kenapa ga nambah lagi…

Nomor 22 udah tamat.

Huaaaa…..mengharukan….

Umat manusia akhirnya menang.

Tapi, huaaaa lagi….

Endingnya sangat menggantung dan tidak membuka tirai misteri yang menyelubungi serial manga ini dari awal sampai akhir. Akhir hayat tokoh antagonispun tidak jelas. Maklum, buku-buku karya Urasawa Naoki memang penuh misteri dan alur ceritanya bolak-balik membingungkan. Biasanya, misteri-misteri masa lalu tokoh-tokoh penting akan si Naoki ungkapkan di bagian akhir, dan memang gw udah sangat menantikan hal itu. Tapi, ternyata…si Naoki berkehendak lain.

Tapi ada satu quote yang gw inget terus dari volume 22.

begini dialognya:

(2oth Century Boy volume 22, Urasawa Naoki, Level Comics){Cerita5 halaman 82}

Kiriko: Kalau ingin menyelamatkan orang meskipun hanya seorang…

Pertama…

Kau harus hidup!

Entah kenapa kata-kata ini menggetarkan hati gw. Ga tau kenapa.

Rasanya seperti, termotivasi…

Dan gw ga bisa lupa.

Bagaimana dengan kalian yang sudah membaca 20th Century Boy lainnya? Kalian merasakannya juga?