This year's convention was, like last year, held over the September holidays (though, unlike last year, it wasn't on Grand Final weekend...pity), and over three buildings on the university campus. The events theatre was in Economics & and Commerce as usual, along with the fan traders, a stall selling pocky, the university Go club and other things I took no note of. The screenings were mainly held in the Old Arts building, and the traders were in Wilson's Hall. Numbers-wise, 2500 people were allowed on each day, and memberships were apparently sold out (allegedly by Wednesday, but I know people were still buying some on Friday...odd report.)
Manifest 2006 started relatively quietly on Friday. Registration was meant to begin at 12.30pm that morning, but when an8id and I finally decided to head to Wilson's Hall for that around 2pm, the lines were the length of that building itself. Thank goodness for 3wa! Preregistered members were able to claim their badges from the club committee, allowing us to escape the 3+ hour long wait that the others were subjected to - although...this only applied to those who'd registered for the entire weekend... Luckily for an8id, the 'registering on the day' line for Friday was pretty short too, so we were done by 3pm, in time for the opening ceremony. Nothing much on the first day though, as expected.
On Saturday, I went to the trading hall first up as usual (I had to leave at 9am to get there by 10...*yawns*). It turns out that animepower had portraits I didn't have - and they even had a Bleach portrait which they apparently didn't have about a year ago when I ordered it! I really wonder just how organised they are, especially now that I'd like to get two more XXXHolic shitajiki to complete a set... Anyways, over the course of the weekend, I added 3 portraits (one being the only HaruToki one I hadn't previously been able to find), 2 pins and 9 shitajiki to my collection, including one XXXHolic one from the CLAMP Su exhibition. an8id was a bit late, but swept the bromides at animepower (including some really nice SDK ones that I missed! which was actually a good thing in the end since I ended up spending too much anyway). No Tenipuri ones though, probably largely because of a US merchandies debacle which I've been unable to confirm. One of the people I buy merchandise off once mentioned that Tenipuri merchandise from Japan had become very difficult to obtain, because overseas distribution had apparently been licensed by some US company. The only way merchandise would be obtained was if one purchased directly from a Japanese retailer, whether in Japan or online. I've just never seen any press release confirming this state of things online.
As the convention was spread over three buildings, it wasn't all that easy to find cosplayers - one might just walk around missing them all day long! However, we managed to find the PoT cosplayers an8id had been looking for - actually ran into a couple of them in the traders hall. We later found a Kaidoh as well, but there were others I didn't see, including a Tezuka. I also ran into Asham in the trader's hall on Saturday - or rather, someone else did, and asked whether he could have a photo. The answer was...'yes - if you can name the character' - which was probably a bit mean considering that this was a character from a manga that had ended in 2000, and who had never appeared in the horrendous anime adaptation made of it - and, with all the excitement, it took a bit of stumbling around for me to remember the name - bells were going off in my head, and it almost slipped out of my grasp ^^;. But well, I'm really really happy that someone actually cosplyed Roushi - aka Taijourou-kun ^_^ - I'd been wondering if anyone in Australia ever would (I've seen a few Youzens elsewhere, he's rather popular for some reason...). The other character I'd love to see someone cosplay is Fukki - though I'm not entirely certain I'd recognise it straight of, since his costume isn't as distinctive as that of others'. Asham's looking for a chapter of Houshin Engi, which I should have...but I will not be able to access my chapters for a while since my HDD's not here, so if anyone else has it... It's also a bit annoying that deviantart does not allow annonymous comments...
Friday - a "Cup Ramen"
Saturday - Lina Inverse, Kirara, Suiseiseki and Souseiseki, Kon,
Tsien Ko/Lei-lei, Vash, Ulquiorra,
Sunday - Death Note and Bleach were popular, as expected,
Yuuko (actually, she came as Yuuko both days, but the costume just about fell apart on Saturday, so I was thankful she tried again on Sunday),
Asham as Hiwatari Satoshi (obviously not from the anime itself, but from a promo image I'm sure you've all seen)
The cosplay competition was...full of many average acts on both days, with a few really good ones. You can tell those who follow dubs as opposed to subs, both by their pronunciation and by the characters they choose to cosplay. There were some rather cute young cosplayers - a couple of Edward Elrics, several Naruto fans, and Dragonball Z fans, amongst others, who mainly thanked mothers and sisters for helping (read: constructing) their costumes. A couple of the roleplays were pretty amusing though, including a Bleach one that had Kon being tied up as usual, and er...involving Isshin's "pantsu" ^^; ; an Inuyasha one that was set to several songs (here's a youtube link, but unfortunately, that's not the whole video. quietwithyou also has several other manifest videos uploaded); a Death Note skit literally full of fanservice; KateWonder will also be uploading a few others); and a Naruto one which had me wondering just what anime is subjecting kids to these days. Why? Well...when "I'm not gay - I'm bi!" comes courtesy of the 14-year-old Rock Lee from this group, I just don't know what to think... But my favourite moment was when Vash the Stampede (by Carnival from the Manifest forums) proclaimed her reason for tackling the character: "guys just don't do it right!" (or something to that effect ^^;). Hopefully, there'll be a few more uploaded onto youtube over the next week or so, but what I really want to know is what happens with the official manifest video footage.
edit: More photos will be available here as they are uploaded.
I also forgot to mention one major disappointment - although we had an ENOZ cosplay group, no one actually tried to recreate the Suzumiya Haruhi dance. Pity. Perhaps this has something to do with how uptight Melbournians seem to be? It would have been perfect had the organisers been game to put on a show for everyone, but over the last couple of years, I've heard of (and this year encountered) one or two members of the committee that I'd rather not know. And I'm not even referring to the confirmation I read on another livejournal.