sketchley Posted January 13, 2013 Author Share Posted January 13, 2013 M:SDE ~in Osaka~ Stamp Rally! Part 1: Kyoto On the 5th, my family headed off to Kyoto for Hatsumode. Double checking the fine print on the Stamp Rally sheet, I realized that I had a chance to complete the stamp rally! First stop was lunch at Mozaic Kawaramachi. Men-chaya Kinasai on the 8th floor not only has excellent Kyoto cuisine (that doesn't break the bank), it has one of the best nose-bleed inducing views in the city! After lunch, we headed over to Animate Kyoto, located in the Shin-Kyogoku Shopping Arcade (first traffic light on the right in the right picture above). Note: if you're heading to Kyoto, this is the first of the two shopping arcades that run parallel in Kawamachi. There's an anime/manga store near the end of the other one, but Animate is a lot closer to Kawaramachi. The store itself was bigger than I expected (comparable to Animate Nipponbashi), and I was pleased to see a Ranka costume in the Cos-play section. That said, the Macross display was disappointingly small - shockingly small, given that the store is one of the stamp rally destinations! It occupied only a couple of shelves, with the stamp, ink pad, and M:SDE flyers occupying a chunk of that! Aside from the event straps, the only other items on sale that come to mind were Macross themed iPhone cases. Alas, the ink pad (or the stamps themselves) were all gunky... smearing ink onto the other stamp rally sheets, and who knows what else... I also picked up the Intron Depot 5: Battalion book at the store. I haven't been going out of my way to find it, so it was a nice bonus. Mini review: it's themed on 6 video game and anime projects Shirow-san worked on from 2001 to 2009, most of which didn't get produced. First impressions of the book are that it illustrates what goes into a pitch for a show/game, and it's interesting seeing a couple of picts in 3 different states (pencil sketch/block colours/highlights). Wish there was more, and a few more "completed" images (as in, backgrounds behind the characters), but that is also a refreshing change from the other books in the Intron Depot series. After that, we headed over to Higashi-yama for Hatsumode proper. First stop, Yasaka Shrine. [pictured is the shrine entrance, BEFORE the traffic signal change and the mob of people waiting to cross start climbing the stairs.] As to be expected, it was REALLY busy. The kids enjoyed tossing the coins into the collection box (remember MWers, it's always ￥15, so that you get "enough luck"), but they enjoyed kicking pebbles at Maruyama Parkeven more. >.< We continued through the park to Chion-in. Alas, the main hall is under construction. If you're heading to Kyoto, the temple gate and stairs at Chion-in are well worth checking out, but as the main hall is undergoing reconstruction for the next SIX years, it's about as impressive as walking through a factory yard (right side of the following). Gah... not only Chion-in, but Himeji Castleis undergoind a multi-year restoration. Lame! >.< And, apart from buying some snacks for the kids on the way home, that wraps up Hatsumode/Rally day 1. Part 2: Hirakata The very next day, I headed out along the Hirakata Historical Highway to complete the Stamp Rally with a visit to Animate Hirakata. Living in Japan, you get hundreds of years old (sometimes thousands of years old) things literally in your backyard - or a few blocks away in this case. This highway is part of the Tokaido (an Edo-era Edo-Kyoto highway), dates to 1559, and some of the MWers living in Kanto probably live near other sections of the road. See the glove? It's one of the nice things about Japan - you drop something, people put it in a visible place where it won't get trampled on. If you drop something valuable, invariably someone will take it to the nearest police box. Animate Hirakata had a much larger Macross display, right in front of the main entrance (couldn't miss it, unlike Animate Kyoto, which required some searching). There was a LOT more Macross themed goods on sale. Though, the much advertised commemorative strap for the Osaka edition of the M:SDE didn't look like it was selling well. I was thinking about picking one up, but opted for a FB7 movie themed mechanical pencil - not only was it cheaper, it's also nicer looking and useful! I also scored the ultimate Aim For the Top! book. Mini review: if you like Aim for the Top, THIS is the book to get. Insert a bunch of superlatives and praise of your choosing about it. The only negatives of the book are that the the line-art is usually shrunk so that there are many different pieces on a single page - some of those pieces deserving half to full page treatment; and that comparing the 2 series side by side reinforces my view that Gunbuster is pretty much all substance, with style on top, and Diebuster is almost exclusively style, with little in the way of substance. The stamp rally corner was off to the left of the main Macross display, and, thankfully, the ink pad was not gunky. Alas, it looks like the stamp is well used... poor VF-1J! I handed in all 3 of our stamp rally sheets at the register, and was presented with a long, rectangular box of stickers. I was told to pick any 3 at random, and if there was a mark on the back, I would have won one of the stamp rally prizes. As I had used up all my good luck scoring the Aim For the Top book... Here's a close-up of the sticker prize: After returning home, I noted that Animate's monthly magazine (mostly listings of products to be released in the month) was stuffed into the bag. Tucked away in a corner was a plug for the M:SDE event: All in all, I was surprised at how smoothly the Stamp Rally went (I had had visions of expensive train rides and entrance tickets to get all 5 stamps). Of course, not getting one of the grand prizes is a bummer, but I was more disappointed not getting the main prize at the Macross shrine - the Daruma signed by Kawamori-san! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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