Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ordre de Ciel: Anime Party Extraordinaire @ KABATZA Bar! - Part 1

I am still reeling and I bet room302 is also trying to get through his head what transpired last Sunday night, during which we had anticipated to have a very fun event and instead, ended up with what I consider the best J-related Party to date (and quite puzzle myself as to what could possibly come next). Now, since bubbling enthusiasm doesn’t help in reporting any event properly, let us take it from the beginning…

In the beginning, there was this DJ collective, called Ordre de Ciel and whose creator, room302 and I, have a common friend, Darkside_Blues. At some point, Darkside comes up to me and says: “you know, this guy is putting on Japanese music EVERY Sunday at this KABATZA Bar”. First, I had to let the fact that “Coyote” had become “KABATZA”, sink in (the new name meaning something along the lines of “a spare”). Secondly, the fact that someone was going the extra mile to play Japanese music EVERY Sunday, was very intriguing, so Darkside and I went over for a drink and a quiet night of discussion, since those first nights there were regrettably few people. That is where I first became acquainted with room302, Raven Sweetwater (it doesn’t get much sweeter) and KrizD (it doesn’t get much crazier). As I have said before, yes, Sunday is a difficult day to stay out until late, since most work in the morning (including the people of ODC) and I couldn’t really expect everyone interested in J-Music to just magically know about it. So then, I saw to it that this bold move be announced in the three big J-related forums (JMusic.gr, Anime.gr, Animeplanet.gr) but things did not really change all that much, until the events started, although a few more regulars seemed to appear (Ergo Proxy and myself included). In time, it was there we met Countess Bathory, Evil Lolita and Larva (now also a member of ODC).

One night in late January, as room302 and I are discussing the J-scene in Greece and I tell him how my Japanese fixation originates in the anime shows of the 80s, as well that most of my knowledge on modern Japanese music also derives from there, he tells me how it started completely the other way around for him and how he was only recently rediscovering anime and loving it. At this point, the little kid that seems to jump up and down with enthusiasm inside my head opted to speak:

“You know, it might sound stupid and geeky but I have, well something of an idea…”

“Well, go on then…!”

“You know, most of the J-related crowd in Greece is to some degree anime (and/or manga)-related. Besides, all the J-craze here, originated there, though people wouldn’t know if they looked at the local fans now. Like in any other country, otaku prefer to be visible only amongst their peers…”

“What are you driving at…?”

“Well, how about an anime-themed party? Not just the cosplays or screen displays, but also the music could be strictly anime-related.”

room302 looked at me blankly for a moment and in the beginning, I thought he too (as I did) found the idea rather geeky. He then looked at me very seriously:

“I think it is a very interesting idea… Would you be interested in participating in such an event?”

“I will be glad to help out in any way I can.”

“No, no, I mean participating, being part of it as much as every other member of ODC.”

“Although I have no idea what you might refer to, by all means!”

“Alright, I will get back to you on that.”

That was where our discussion left off for a time. Then, came the successful cosplay party on the 9th of March, after which I remained with ODC and some friends until morning and the subject of the anime-themed party came up again. Now, I had tons of work, the trip to Japan and the COMICDOM CON until the 6th of April, so we agreed that around the 20th it was a good time to consider, so that some space could be given for the events to breathe, but it all had to go down before Easter. True enough, room302 and I started talking at regular intervals through mail and phone, for the 2 weeks preceding last Sunday’s event. The man has wild ideas: giving awards for the best cosplays? Sure, it’s been done; but having a Death Note for song requests and votes for best cosplay? Now THAT was cool. Then, seeing as the Solaris Bookstore & Comic Shop had provided us with a number of goodies, it was only reasonable we hold a lottery for the rest of the things; but giving out Arrancar-numbered lots at the entrance? Way ahead.

For all that impending coolness and spam and word of mouth for the event and so on and so forth, I was shaking with apprehension at handling a deck again, even with room302 and Raven having re-educated me. The selection of the songs had already been tough, out of 190 down to 70 and then 23 for a one-and-a-half hour set. On Sunday afternoon, I lied down for a spot of sleep and to calm down for the upcoming event. It was then room302 called me:

“Hey man.”

“Hey… What’s up?”

“Guess who is coming at our party.”

“Umm… no idea?”

“Sugizo of LUNA SEA, the one who played in Hide’s place during the 3-Day X-Japan Reunion Concert!” At that point, I thought, in my drowsy, sleepy mind, that he was talking about someone cosplaying as Sugizo!

“Oh, cool. How come?”

“He is in Greece with Juno Reactor: I was talking with him on MySpace and when I invited him to the party, he said he’d love to come over!” By then, my brain had sort of kick-started and I realized room302 was telling me something unbelievable. “Speedgrapher?”

“Yeah, I’m here. You’re not messing with me? Sugizo is coming over to our party?!”

“That is what he said. I’m only now trying to get the word out! Where are you?”

“Coming over at KABATZA presently” and as we hung up, I dressed frantically and left for the bar.

The details of how we set up, how nervous I still was (tenfold, taking into account the new developments), how and when we would handle the awards and lottery, are not all that important. However the confirmation that Sugizo was coming around 23:00, along with the members of Juno Reactor, was surreal. After Raven played her beautiful set on the decks from 21:00 to 21:30, room302 told me I was up. Seeing as not many people had come in yet (what did I expect? – it was still 21:30), all sorts of paranoia started to plague me but I tried to concentrate on not blowing anything up. The rest, I believe, is subject to the following pictures…


Countess Bathory as Yuuko Ichihara
(now THAT sounds strange) from
xxxHolic.

Evil Lolita, happily writing...

...in the Death Note?! (Well,
she IS Misa Amane...)

Artact with a rare girly expression (she is
much more serious and scary but you
wouldn't know looking at this picture, heh!
Awright! Just kidding, put the knife down!).


The people who were there just as I had put
on "Moonlight Densetsu" (Sailor Moon). Glad
you could make it on time to scream, Usagi-chan!

Two to three songs later, more people have
arrived...

...but Larva (Vampire Princess Miyu) is still not
satisfied.

Yuuko Ichihara glares at Darkside_Blues
(nothing serious, but the notorious Dimensional
Witch is sort of a booze-gobbler and she was
fresh out of alcohol). "Watanuki, more sake!"

My friend Catherine, a lovely geishya.


Meanwhile, more people gathered and I felt
acclimated enough with changing songs that
I started taking more and more pictures...

...even being harassed by Nefeli-chan.

"More people, more food, Larva happy!" (In
fact, I believe that is when I put on "Girls
on Film" by Duran Duran, the opening of my
namesake, Speedgrapher).


Milk-chan, center stage...

...along with (kawaii) Louiza.

Shinobis and Kung-Fu Masters attended
(Elias and Olga - "7 different flavors").

Nya-chan and Usagi-chan,
our 2 winning maids.




Yes, she IS looking at Sugizo.

Yoshi (director, DJ and Sugizo's best friend),
Okuoku and Ben of Juno Reactor.




Tsunade from Naruto (of whom you
will see quite a lot of and...
weird pictures in the next post).

Mazinger Z: Most difficult cosplay
I have seen to date (to make from
scratch and wear for so many hours).
Six-Winged Angel, I salute you man!


Tsunade: "Take a full-body picture
of me."
Speedgrapher: "Girl, you are nearly
2 meters tall; not going to happen
in here, but I will do the best I can."

...aaand this concludes the first part of our report. A few clarifications: you might notice frequent mention to Sugizo, his friend Ken and Juno Reactor but you do not see Sugizo anywhere. That is because Ordre de Ciel and I have an agreement with his manager that only one photo, with him in it, will be posted here and one in the Ordre de Ciel MySpace (already up). Now, as I have said earlier in various forums, any of you (gals probably) who have pictures with Sugizo can mail me, PM me or whatever, for them and you are bound not to post or publish them anywhere. They are for personal consumption only (whatever that entitles). Secondly, though the party was anime-themed and we kept it at 90% anime music and 10% other J-Music (some favorites by Gazette, X-Japan and LUNA SEA - the last two being especially moving for Sugizo - way to go room302!), there were not as many cosplays as on the 9th of March, hence their absence from the photos. However, I believe that this party sported some of the best ones I have seen in general, so it's a quality-for-quantity tradeoff.

In closing the first part of the report, I give you my playlist, in case you couldn't make it or you were just wondering what the hell I was playing. I am a little proud of it, since it appealed to so many different people...

01 - Choujiju Yasai Macross - Macross Battle Theme [Instrumental].mp3

02 - Captain Harlock - Space Pirate Captain Harlock (TV OP).mp3

03 - Dragon Ball - Makafushigi Adventure (TV OP).mp3

04 - Sailor Moon - Moonlight Densetsu (TV OP).mp3

05 - Getter Robo - Getter Robo (TV OP).mp3

06 - SMJ - Successful Mission (TV OP).mp3

07 - Shadow Skill - Born Legend (TV OP).mp3

08 - Hellsing - The World Without Logos (TV OP).mp3

09 - Melody of Oblivion - Will (TV OP).mp3

10 - Wolf's Rain - Stray (TV OP).mp3

11 - NGE - Zankokuna Tenshi no Teeze (TV OP).mp3

12 - RahXephon - Hemisphere (TV OP).mp3

13 - Speed Grapher - Girls on Film (TV OP).mp3

14 - Weiss Kreuz - Piece of Heaven (TV OP 2).mp3

15 - Hunter x Hunter GI Final - Believe in Tomorrow (OVA OP).mp3

16 - Shaman King - Over Soul (TV OP 1).mp3

17 - Saint Seiya - Pegasus Fantasy (TV OP).mp3

18 - Fullmetal Alchemist - Undo (TV OP 3).mp3

19 - Gundam SEED - Invoke (TV OP 1).mp3

20 - D-Gray Man - Brightdown (TV OP 2).mp3

21 - Busou Renkin - Makkana Chikai (TV OP).mp3

22 - D-Gray Man - Doubt & Trust (TV OP 3).mp3

23 - Darker Than Black - Kakusei Heroism The Hero Without A Name (TV OP).mp3


That is all for now, more in a few days and afterwards, finally, the trip to Japan and a little surprise. Stay tuned.

In earnest,

Speedgrapher

8 comments:

elli said...

:3 eftyxws pou postareis k esy k xairomaste osoi den irthame:)
neeeext time (ante prolavainw na mathw k egw capatin harlock gia backing vocals?:P)

speedo-grapher kuuuuuuunnnn, prepi na parume fotografo eidika gia sena pou den fainesai pouthena:P

eve said...

glad to see your post - was hoping to find sth related to sugizo visitng athens since i couldn't make it there - still can't believe i missed that chance!

Speedgrapher said...

Panda efprosdexti Elli-chama. Oso afora to gegonos oti den fainomai pouthena, perimene apla to epomeno set fotografion, hehehe.

Glad you liked the post Eve. I try to be as faithful to the events as possible.

bamb0016 said...

omg,I am so jealous of you guys can met Sugizo and Juno Reactor.When I will get a chance to meet Sugizo too? *sigh*

anyway,it looked an awesome party that was.....XDD

Speedgrapher said...

What can I tell you bamb0016? The best things are often those you never planned for (well, I didn't and I suspect room302 has some sort of demon helper. hehe).

kyo said...

Are Speedgrapher zografises!!!!Pote katevenei to ova2??Anameno tin polipothiti tou Sugiiiiiii....
Kai meta toulaxiston se 12 kai oxi 7 diaforetikes flavours....

Speedgrapher said...

Soon, soon dear deeper samurai, Monday mayhap... Flavours fly all around...

Velvet said...

Ti mou 8umises twra re Speedy.......... Ti wraios kairos pou htan tote......... KABATZA, mpura, Visual Kei, good company........ What more could someone ask for?